Review on the Stygia sourcebook ?

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Nyarlathotep
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Postby Nyarlathotep » Thu Apr 19, 2007 3:29 am

I have a comment to make Vincent.

I love this book! I think its one of the best d20 books out there trying to detail a culture, its something rather unique and keeping in REH's vision.

Its generates for the reader a believable decadent empire.

I do have a question though, regarding the House of the Black Circle - how come their priests are exempt from the usual priesthood restrictions/obligations? Is it just really a "sorcerors cult" masquerading as a god cult?

Furthermore, and perhaps i missed this section in the book, what is the political relationship between the King of Stygia, the various Priesthoods, and the Black Circle?
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Postby Kyorou » Thu Apr 19, 2007 7:17 am

I bought it yesterday and I have the same precise question...
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Postby The King » Thu Apr 19, 2007 9:44 am

VincentDarlage wrote:Then I read what resurrected it - and to be honest, I have no clue what you are talking about or why you resurrected a long dead argument.
I will shortly answer your question and hope noone will interfere and intervene as they usually love to do it and go astray.
I created this thread - which noone cared to answer and I had to resurrect it already once - and some posters took some pleasure to carry it off-topic and lead personal attacks against me (the famous: "you are contumacious"), where I retaliated as usual.
However I was quite disappointed too that you didn't intervene at that moment telling some people they were going astray.
As I am no dog just sniffling around I just pointed out to one of the agressors that my truths could be as potent as theirs. I don't regret the post nor the results as I never warn for naught.
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Postby kintire » Thu Apr 19, 2007 9:51 am

Sgt Zim's use of the word "Contumacious" was correct. Advice: do not attempt to argue about what a word means when it is a second language for you and your opponent is a native speaker.

Second hint: disagreeing with you is not a personal attack, unlike the various attacks you have made on other posters. Take a deep breath, calm down, and let go of the anger. You've had a debate on a messageboard that didn't go so well. It happens. Move on.
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Postby VincentDarlage » Thu Apr 19, 2007 10:21 am

Nyarlathotep wrote:I do have a question though, regarding the House of the Black Circle - how come their priests are exempt from the usual priesthood restrictions/obligations? Is it just really a "sorcerors cult" masquerading as a god cult?
They are exempt because they have the power to make themselves exempt. They have entered a stage of true elitism, and the elite usually seperate themselves from what they consider to be duties beneath them.
Nyarlathotep wrote:Furthermore, and perhaps i missed this section in the book, what is the political relationship between the King of Stygia, the various Priesthoods, and the Black Circle?
The King of Stygia is a high priest (check out his title on page 91). Thoth-amon seemed to hold him in some regard in Phoenix on the Sword, bragging how the king had placed him above all others. So, the king is a priest, and a member of the Black Circle. The other priests are the king's beauracracy, officials and judges. They serve the king, who is portrayed as Set's representative. All of them have a vested interest in keeping themselves in power. Even Prince Menophis is technically a priest of Set(Judge of Magicians in the House of the Black Circle), although he only dabbles in magic.

The Black Circle are the King's highest advisors. They are his inner circle. Below them are the other ranks of priests and scribes. I wish Mongoose had printed my graph/illustration showing how it all worked.

Anyway, to use a modern analogy, their roles would be similar to the following: The King plays a role similar to Pres. Bush, Prince Menophis is in a situation like VP Cheney, Prince Bessu Besek would be Ms. Rice (sec. of state), Thoth-amon would be in the spot occupied by Karl Rove, and the other members of the Black Circle would be Mr. Gonzolas and the rest of Bush's "inner circle" of appointees, bushies, and cronies. The House would be the scribes and the Senate would be the nobles (nobles who join the priesthood, because of their Giant-King heritage, quickly go into the ranks of the Black Circle). The judiciary department would be the priests; there would be priests in other important roles as well.

(note: the above is not a comment on personalities, just the role they play for illustration purposes).
Last edited by VincentDarlage on Thu Apr 19, 2007 10:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby VincentDarlage » Thu Apr 19, 2007 10:33 am

The King, would you please stop it? It is tiresome and off topic.

Honestly, if you don't have something to say about Stygia, don't post! Its easy.

Thanks.
Last edited by VincentDarlage on Thu Apr 19, 2007 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby The King » Thu Apr 19, 2007 10:37 am

Stygia is great indeed.

Don't make a one-sided justice, or do you fear to loose some customers? I thought you tried to write something great and not just to please some silly posters.
I do some typos as you and many others, native or non-native speakers. Double shame for the native.

But Stygia lacks some adventure as in Across Thunder River
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Postby Krushnak » Thu Apr 19, 2007 11:31 am

i havent gotten a copy of stygia yet but was just wondering about some of the other egyptian gods like Osiris, Horus and Ra. specifically whether they exsist in any form in stygia or are they later introduced by the conquering tribe of vanir at the end of the age?

i just had an idea too include the myth of Set slaying Osiris and inturn having Horus come slay him.
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Postby Kyorou » Thu Apr 19, 2007 11:41 am

Krushnak wrote:i just had an idea too include the myth of Set slaying Osiris and inturn having Horus come slay him.
Very interesting. The name "Osiris" could be a stygianeered version of the name "Asura"... or am I pushing it too far ?
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Postby kintire » Thu Apr 19, 2007 1:05 pm

I wish Mongoose had printed my graph/illustration showing how it all worked.
It sounds useful. Is it possible to get a copy? Don't go to any trouble, but if you have it electronically or something I would be very interested. I'm not very familiar with the structure of US government...
Very interesting. The name "Osiris" could be a stygianeered version of the name "Asura"... or am I pushing it too far ?
No more than Howard did!
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Postby Dpetroc » Thu Apr 19, 2007 3:08 pm

I've been going back to the Stygia book a bit more lately, as I draw up some NPCs for my campaign. Although I wish Mongoose had not chopped out the maps, I find it very useful as a resource. I haven't gotten to the point where my players actually go to Stygia, but I can't wait to get them there!

I like the variety of NPCs in the back, and the pantheon presented. It's really a treat of a sourcebook.
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Postby VincentDarlage » Thu Apr 19, 2007 4:03 pm

Krushnak wrote:i havent gotten a copy of stygia yet but was just wondering about some of the other egyptian gods like Osiris, Horus and Ra. specifically whether they exsist in any form in stygia or are they later introduced by the conquering tribe of vanir at the end of the age?
Osiris and Ra are in there (sort of) as Usir and Harakht. I don't think I included a Stygian version of Horus in the final draft.
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Postby VincentDarlage » Thu Apr 19, 2007 4:04 pm

kintire wrote: It sounds useful. Is it possible to get a copy? Don't go to any trouble, but if you have it electronically or something I would be very interested. I'm not very familiar with the structure of US government...
Send me a PM with your email address and I can send it to you.
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Postby lastbesthope » Thu Apr 19, 2007 4:45 pm

MODERATOR MODE:

Can everyone please keep the language clean, and the discussion civil and (reasonably) on topic.

Thank you

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Postby Axerules » Fri Apr 20, 2007 4:26 am

emirikol wrote:zippo on map quality (only one..and it didn't match well with in book listings)
The map was accurate (even if it was not beautiful and that we had only one), using Dale Rippke's "cartographic curiosities" as a basis.
emirikol wrote: It comes across as too much "don't adventure here." The text makes the society seem so entirely xenophobic that hunter-kller terminators would come after you and alarms would go off if you so much as lay one finger across the river. That's not a "Pro-Campaigning" type supplement. It doesn't need to be open welcome arms, that's not Stygia, but there weren't good hook provisions for me.
It's Stygia and it is hostile. Players could go to Sukhmet like Conan, fighting against the Darfari cannibals, but Stygia should never become a place were they feel well. About the "pro-campaigning", IMO an adventure in Stygia would have been a good thing. Was it written and edited out ? At least for those like us who have acces to the web, there's the Staff of Ibis.
Failedspotcheck wrote:
I'd wager that the majority of the country is WIDE OPEN DESERT.(...) Non-Stygian characters could probably wander for weeks w/out even seeing the walls of a populated settlement.
I do agree. The desert was the setting for the Staff of Ibis scenario.
  • I have a question about the sources: does Ishiti come from a comic, a pastiche book or was it created by VD ? I know Harakht comes from a pastiche, Derketo from REH's text but I would really appreciate if the references were not edited out.
  • IMHO, this book is good for building Stygian NPC's and villains, but a scenario in Stygia, except for a short desert trip or a mercenary campaign in Sukhmet would be very difficult without a Stygian character, so I would have appreciated to see how Mr Darlage could have handled it. I don't want to see a "welcome all" Stygia in my Hyborian Age, but the lack of an adventure in the sourcebook is a problem for me.
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Postby The King » Fri Apr 20, 2007 11:15 am

How do they count the dead in Stygia or do they bother at all?
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Postby VincentDarlage » Fri Apr 20, 2007 11:35 am

Axerules wrote:I have a question about the sources: does Ishiti come from a comic, a pastiche book or was it created by VND?
Ishiti comes from Marvel Comics' Conan the Barbarian #134, "A Hitch in Time" by Bruce Jones. She returns in issue 138, "Isle of the Dead" and 139, "In the Lair of the Damned," both also by Bruce Jones.

The last issue listed, 139, was the second Conan comic I ever owned/read, so Ishiti has always stuck with me (I was 12).
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Postby The King » Fri Apr 20, 2007 11:37 am

VincentDarlage wrote:
Axerules wrote:I have a question about the sources: does Ishiti come from a comic, a pastiche book or was it created by VND?
Ishiti comes from Marvel Comics' Conan the Barbarian #134, "A Hitch in Time" by Bruce Jones. She returns in issue 138, "Isle of the Dead" and 139, "In the Lair of the Damned," both also by Bruce Jones.

The last issue listed, 139, was the second Conan comic I ever owned/read, so Ishiti has always stuck with me (I was 12).
Do you have all the Conan comics? There are more than 600 issues in all, aren't there?
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Postby VincentDarlage » Fri Apr 20, 2007 12:15 pm

The King wrote:Do you have all the Conan comics? There are more than 600 issues in all, aren't there?
I own all of the Conan & Red Sonja comics but for three: Savage Sword of Conan 135, 144, and 156.

I'd say I have a reasonably complete collection. That includes all of the color comics (including King Conan and various mini-series), all of the What-If comics with Conan in it, and the Marvel-Team-up with Red Sonja & Spiderman. It includes all of the b/w Savage Tales, all but the three aforementioned Savage Swords and so on.

I am not sure how many there are, but they take up a ton of room in my closet. One of these days I will have to search out my three missing issues of Savage Sword of Conan.
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Postby Aholibamah » Fri Apr 20, 2007 1:31 pm

Krushnak wrote:i havent gotten a copy of stygia yet but was just wondering about some of the other egyptian gods like Osiris, Horus and Ra. specifically whether they exsist in any form in stygia or are they later introduced by the conquering tribe of vanir at the end of the age?

i just had an idea too include the myth of Set slaying Osiris and inturn having Horus come slay him.
Stygia is like an alternate reality of Egypt. Essentially there IS no Osiris really, in fact Set's opposite number is Ibis. So in a way you could take it as a myth in which it is Set who is victorious. If Set is totally victorious then theoretically at least there is no Horus unless Isis finds the pieces of Osiris and mates with him. (I think)

I generally liked this sourcebook. It presents some challenges as to how to actually make use of it though. I'm still puzzling over that. However it certainly is very thorough about culture, magic, religion and military aspects of the region.

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