For the past few months I’ve been running a Dolmenwood/ Barrowmaze mashup using Labyrinth Lord and haven’t posted too much about ACKS. In the background, though, I’ve been reading the sneak peek pdfs of the ACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook and Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu (BCK) and thinking about how I’m going to use them.
I was originally considering converting my Astonishing ACKS campaign over to the Heroic Fantasy Handbook, but have decided against this. I think standard ACKS spellcasting works great in Hyperborea, with mighty Pyromancers and Xathoqquan Sorcerer-Priests brimming with magic power. More of a four-colour pulp comic feel.
I will adapt some of the material from the Heroic Fantasy Handbook and BCK when I restart Astonishing ACKS – particularly some of the non-magical character classes, Heroic rules, and Technology – but I’m planning on waiting until I get the final draft before doing too much with this.
What I have been fiddling with, though, is an ACKS mini-campaign called Fall of Atlantis using the Ceremonial Magic rules from the Heroic Fantasy Handbook and high technology from BCK. Set in antediluvian Earth, it would focus on the exploits of former slaves and barbarian foreigners on the doomed island of Atlantis in the final years before it sinks.
This campaign would be loosely connected to my Hyperborean game. In this era, the Old Hyperboreans still dwell on Earth at this point and have only recently begun to be corrupted by Xathoqqua. The human (and hybrid) Valusians have finally wrested control of their lands from their Ophidian overlords, but will soon fall too. And the Atlanteans – once greatest of all – have become decadent and corrupt, relying on oppression and slave labour to maintain their powerful empire.
I’ve also been reading the excellent Spears of the Dawn, an African-themed sandbox RPG from Kevin Crawford of Sine Nomine Publishing. Although I don’t think I’ll run a game set in Africa, I like the idea of it being home the most powerful human civilisation in this era. The “Ivory Kingdoms” are the only human domains that Atlantis treats as near-equals (Atlanteans view themselves as ‘above’ humanity, on par with the Hyperboreans and Ophidians).
So expect a few posts here outlining this new mini-campaign. If it still interests me after I wrap up Barrowmaze later this summer then I’ll give it a shot.