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Gods of the Forbidden North Part One: OSR Mega Adventure


cailano

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By Crom this adventure looks cool.

Gods of the Forbidden North is a 400 page sandbox OR adventure path that can be run however the group prefers. It’s set in an Arctic kingdom with a strong swords and sorcery / cosmic horror vibe, and it looks crammed full of amazing art and content, And it’s part one of three.

There’s so much creativity and innovation in the OSR community right now. I think it might be unmatched in all of TTRPGs. I can’t even imagine the amount of work that went into this book.

https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/product/451792/Gods-of-the-Forbidden-North-Volume-1

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2 hours ago, Malkavian Grin said:

It's got a 4.8 out of 5 rating... Dang, that is excellent! Cai you must be on mailing lists to always be posting us updates :D

There are just so many great voices in indie game design right now, particularly in the OSR. I have some key YouTube subscriptions and Reddit communities that I follow to help me keep up.

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It’s not in my immediate plans. I’ve already got two games going, and I just started an excessively ambitious game in Barrowmaze.
 

But there is a lot of awesome stuff coming out of the OSR community right now and I like to draw attention to it.

It would be cool to see more people running these indie-released adventures though. My next “short” game will probably be something like Hideous Daylight.

I say “short” because a 24-page module is a six-month campaign in PbP, even with the crazy pace I run games at.

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I’ve mostly sworn off Kickstarters but I backed that one just for the offset print books. $99 for something like 850 pages of OSR campaign in high quality physical copies is a great deal.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Wish I had money. I'm barely treading water most days. But as the story of my life goes, I'll just catch stuff on sale later after no one cares about it anymore.

Oh, also, for shame Cai, I thought you knew better! I thought you took the pledge to N.A.R.E.!
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On 3/27/2024 at 5:04 PM, Malkavian Grin said:

Wish I had money. I'm barely treading water most days. But as the story of my life goes, I'll just catch stuff on sale later after no one cares about it anymore.

Oh, also, for shame Cai, I thought you knew better! I thought you took the pledge to N.A.R.E.!
 

Necromancers Against Resurrected Entities?

Necromancers Against Righteous Elves?

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As a Kickstarter backer for Vol. 2, I just got my Vol 1. digital rewards, which include a copy of Gods of the Forbidden North Part 1. I've been looking forward to this delivery!

I've been reading part one over the last few days and am very impressed so far. There is so much content in this book. It's 479 pages long, and as it was intended as the first of three volumes in an ambitious campaign, it has to deliver the setting itself: the titular Forbidden North.

Author Rob Alderman seems to strike a good balance of detail, offering enough to be evocative and to establish the character of the campaign world, while avoiding unnecessary detail. It's a tough balancing act, and he seems to lean towards "more is better" without getting too extreme.

This book also includes several small dungeons, which are meant to take the PCs from level 1 to level 5 using the progression charts from Old School Essentials. As any OSR gamer can tell you, getting through those first five levels is not a trivial task, and there's enough content here to keep an active PbP group going for at least a year.

Locations and encounters in the game are written in a playable way but veer from the "ultra-lean" descriptions used in some modern OSE adventures. While this requires more preparation from a GM running this game live at the table, I like how the locations are presented and the level of detail therein.

Gods of the Forbidden North is classic sword and sorcery. There are demons, cults, mysterious relics, overtones of cosmic horror, and the whole nine. It seems like precisely the kind of game I love to run.

Important note: this isn't a megadungeon like Barrowmaze or Rappan Athuk. It's more like an OSR adventure path, somewhat similar to (but better than) 5E's Rime of the Frostmaiden. Most locations can be explored in any order, although some are more dangerous than others.

Some unique elements include a mechanic for creating first-level characters during play, which is an ingenious way to take advantage of the simple character creation methods in OSE. There's also a healthy collection of new monsters, spells, and magic items. There's even a custom character sheet, which I love to see in an adventure of this scope.

Another interesting aspect of this campaign is that the encounters seem more thoughtfully designed than in other OSR supplements. I appreciate this extra effort and the author's transparency. Apparently, he took his encounter design cues from the TSR Rules Cyclopedia, which remains the most complete single volume in any D&D edition.

I think it's safe to say that Pulp Hummock Press and author Robert Alderman could be major players in the OSR space. I'm still reading volume one, but its obvious that Gods of the Forbidden North is something special.

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