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How about more Lankhmar love?

Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 3:55 pm
by Finarvyn

Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:22 pm
by Arasmo
Great job! I'm a fan of Lankhmar myself and have all three Mongoose supplements along with some old TSR stuff.
Hopefully, I'll be starting a campaign this month. Characters have been created, all we need is to find some time! I'll be using the Nehwon supplement as a basis for my scenarii.

Overall, what do you think of the three Mongose supplements?

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 12:42 am
by Puck
I loved them. All three books are great. Whats more they contain two of the very few RQ adventures mongoose has put out. Both adventures are great reads and very Lieber-like. I wish there would be more black magic spells, but I guess I can use any sorcery spells included in the basic books( no doubt a side effect of staying so true to the stories). If any more Lankmar stuff comes out it will go on the must have list.

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 10:53 pm
by Der Rote Baron
Three supplements? I have Lankhmar and Newhon - why am I missing?

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 11:02 pm
by Rurik
There is a PDF only scenario release "Swords Against Sorcery" which is a continuation of the scenario in Nehwon (though can stand alone). It is available at drivethroughrpg.com for $7.

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 3:40 pm
by danbuter
I'm guessing the line didn't sell well. Mongoose doesn't support stuff that doesn't sell (like d20 ST :cry: )

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 10:20 pm
by Magistus
danbuter wrote:I'm guessing the line didn't sell well. Mongoose doesn't support stuff that doesn't sell (like d20 ST :cry: )
They supported d20 ST for a long time, once they said that ST would be under Traveller, they removed the d20 ST forum.

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 10:29 pm
by Arasmo
Well, although I like the Lankhmar line, I do feel it has it's fair share of flaws, especially the main book.

Biggests Problems of the Lankhmar book according to me:

- Nehwon's map hasn't got any scale, and seems directly pasted from the map of a homebrew campaign based on Leiber's work :http://quest-bird.com/nehwon/maps/n-nehwon.html.
For example, the two maps have the Dragon Rocks and the Questbird map has the city of Carse ( taken from Mikdemia) that has been renamed to Caise in the mongoose map. Curiously, there's not a single line of description of that city in the book...

- the city presentation is very vague : of course the author is tied by the author's material, but after recapitulating all the info gathered from the books, he could have for example given different versions of the city with tips to help out the gamemaster, a bit like what he did in the Nehwon supplement. An example of this vagueness: the author mentions the existence of districts as in the TSR version, (cf page 52: "the joint mercantile and church district"...) without ever explaining anything about them ( how many districts, for example): how useful is that?
TSR' s City of Adventure supplement might be less faithful to Leiber's work but it make the GM's job easier: nice maps, description of a lot of places, calendar...

-organization is pretty bad, imho : I would have prefered a separate section for NPCs and another one for all the factions and cults that the PC can join for example. Less time wasted on searching for information...

-the magic section is very incomplete: what about Mingol shamans, Sheeba and Ningauble's powers or those strange magical tricks learnt by the Mouser ( i.e : the wire that protects against death spell in Swords of Lankhmar)?

-While I think the stories in the Knight and the Knave of Swords are a bunch of crap, there is still a lot of valuable info in them, that hasn't been taken into account in the RPG book: why isn't there any mention of Arilia for example?

- An index would have been nice.

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 2:55 pm
by The Greek
I am hoping, at some stage this year, to start work on a Kokgnab sourcebook and campaign (starting in Lhanmkmar, of course). It will include dark magic, exotic lands, curses and an order of 'holy' assassins. Oh, and an obligatory ancient evil scheming to return to power...

This is aimed to be released at some stage but do not expect it to be done any time soon, I have several other personal projects to finish firt, and these will take at least two to three months each, minimum.

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 5:37 pm
by homerjsinnott
Arasmo wrote:Well, although I like the Lankhmar line, I do feel it has it's fair share of flaws, especially the main book.

Biggests Problems of the Lankhmar book according to me:

- Nehwon's map hasn't got any scale, and seems directly pasted from the map of a homebrew campaign based on Leiber's work :http://quest-bird.com/nehwon/maps/n-nehwon.html.
For example, the two maps have the Dragon Rocks and the Questbird map has the city of Carse ( taken from Mikdemia) that has been renamed to Caise in the mongoose map. Curiously, there's not a single line of description of that city in the book...

- the city presentation is very vague : of course the author is tied by the author's material, but after recapitulating all the info gathered from the books, he could have for example given different versions of the city with tips to help out the gamemaster, a bit like what he did in the Nehwon supplement. An example of this vagueness: the author mentions the existence of districts as in the TSR version, (cf page 52: "the joint mercantile and church district"...) without ever explaining anything about them ( how many districts, for example): how useful is that?
TSR' s City of Adventure supplement might be less faithful to Leiber's work but it make the GM's job easier: nice maps, description of a lot of places, calendar...

-organization is pretty bad, imho : I would have prefered a separate section for NPCs and another one for all the factions and cults that the PC can join for example. Less time wasted on searching for information...

-the magic section is very incomplete: what about Mingol shamans, Sheeba and Ningauble's powers or those strange magical tricks learnt by the Mouser ( i.e : the wire that protects against death spell in Swords of Lankhmar)?

-While I think the stories in the Knight and the Knave of Swords are a bunch of crap, there is still a lot of valuable info in them, that hasn't been taken into account in the RPG book: why isn't there any mention of Arilia for example?

- An index would have been nice.
Mongoose, rush something into publication?.......Never!


:roll:

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:25 pm
by Cleombrotus
The Mongoose supplement struck me as the perfect supplement for the TSR product (They're going to hate me saying that...). The TSR city was one of the coolest gaming supplements ever, purely on the grounds of map atmosphere and utility for gaming, but the supplement was hilariously inept in almost every other area.
The Mongoose sourcebook is much more conscientious about the source material whilst managing to be nigh on useless for gaming. By that I mean it concentrates too much on superfluous information - great for reading, and worth it for just that in my opinion, but it is supposed to be a gaming supplement. Personally speaking, I can read Leiber and get the atmosphere and stuff. When I buy a gaming supplement I want gaming information.
Stats for NPC's and archetypes for improvised encounters, like Chaosium did for their Elric/Stormbringer campaign books. These save time and convey atmosphere in a practical way since they set standards that are useful for GM's.
Quality maps and artwork - these are things that many people have trouble producing. On the whole we can all write piles of stuff, but producing evocative and attractive maps is generally beyond most of us.
Whilst I like reading rpg stuff for its own sake, like lots of people I'm thinking, I have found that the supplements that stand out are the ones that deal in utility first and esoteria second...

Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 2:47 am
by Finarvyn
danbuter wrote:I'm guessing the line didn't sell well. Mongoose doesn't support stuff that doesn't sell (like d20 ST :cry: )
Maybe, but if I recall my timeline the ink was still dry on the Lankhmar book when it was announced that they had the rights to Elric. Elric is a better seller overall, and it seems like they quickly moved on to "better things".

Just look at the name of this section of the boards: RuneQuest/Hawkmoon/Elric and you'll see how much support Lankhmar got. :(

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 9:04 pm
by Arasmo
I am hoping, at some stage this year, to start work on a Kokgnab sourcebook and campaign (starting in Lhankmar, of course).
That's very good news indeed! Do you have an idea of how you will present Kokgnab? Will you use the "build your own Kokgnab" style like you did for the Nehwon supplement or will you flesh out your interpretation of Kokgnab following the "City of Adventure" formula?

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 9:20 pm
by Arasmo
The Mongoose supplement struck me as the perfect supplement for the TSR product (They're going to hate me saying that...). The TSR city was one of the coolest gaming supplements ever, purely on the grounds of map atmosphere and utility for gaming, but the supplement was hilariously inept in almost every other area.
I totally agree with you there. Mongoose Lankhmar is a very good synthesis of the information found in the books but the GM still has a lot of work to do if he wants to set a game in Nehwon.

Concerning the artwork, i was actually quite pleasantly surprised by it. The cover for the main book was much maligned but I thought it was actually pretty good : not technically perfect of course, but high on athmosphere. And the interior artwork isn't bad overall. Of course, i would have prefered directly useful artwork like the one in "Warhammer city", that illustrates every important building and gives portraits of all the main characters, but one can't ask for too much...

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 11:06 pm
by The Greek
Arasmo wrote: That's very good news indeed! Do you have an idea of how you will present Kokgnab? Will you use the "build your own Kokgnab" style like you did for the Nehwon supplement or will you flesh out your interpretation of Kokgnab following the "City of Adventure" formula?
At the moment I have a number of ideas and notes that I will expand upon, with the idea that I will provide a load of background stuff and an adventure / mini-campaign to round it all off. Kokgnab's isolation when it is on the same coast as other Nehwonian cities has been resolved in my mind, at least, as has a fair chunk of its history and background. I have actually written only a few thousand words for this (maddeningly, though, I think most of this is on a different computer to the one I use now!). The Kokgnab main adventure will allow characters to get there (not the easiest thing in the world to do!) and have to deal with some pretty horrid villains, after the initial adventure it will up to the players and GM as to where they go from there - the idea is to provide a heap of background material for the GM to be able to build from where the adventure leaves off.

However this is some way off at the moment. It takes a considerable time to get a book written in your own time, and once I have done that I will still have to get art and maps (both of which I have to pay for out of my own pocket), lay out the book and so on before it can be printed. All this has to be done when not actually working for Mongoose (like I said - it is my own project). As it is my current project for Slaine is behind the generous schedule I gave it (but does have an advantage that the art is free!) and that required a lot less work that Kokgnab will. I have at least one, and maybe two, other books I want to do prior to Kokgnab in any case (one Slaine, one a wargaming rulebook). I also am working on several articles and adventures for S&P, and these eat into my available spare time.

(Also - for my sins - I actually like to play these games as well, eat, wash, housework and even walk the dog... occassionally I even have to sleep!) :wink:

So do not hold your breath - I would love to be able to churn this book out but at least by giving it the extra time I have been able to think up some pretty cool stuff in the meantime (some REALLY unpleasant bad guys will make an appearance). :twisted:

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 8:37 am
by Arasmo
I will still have to get art and maps (both of which I have to pay for out of my own pocket), lay out the book and so on before it can be printed
Gee, it will be hard to make any money on that one!
So do not hold your breath - I would love to be able to churn this book out but at least by giving it the extra time I have been able to think up some pretty cool stuff in the meantime
Don't worry, I wasn't expecting the book anytime soon. In fact, I'm actually very happy that you can work on it at your own rythm : ideas will no doubt come aplenty!


Good luck on your projects![/code]

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 10:02 am
by The Greek
Arasmo wrote: Gee, it will be hard to make any money on that one!
Well with PoD available it will not take THAT many books to break even, since I will be doing almost all the work (bar the art) myself. The other projects I have planned either have art I can use for free (woohoo) or involve miniature pics (I either have the minis already or can borrow them). Safe to say any money I make from those will be put aside so I have a small art budget for Kokgnab. Also PoD (and pdf sales) means that even if orders trickle in months (years?) after the initial release I will have a small income coming in from that.
Don't worry, I wasn't expecting the book anytime soon. In fact, I'm actually very happy that you can work on it at your own rythm : ideas will no doubt come aplenty!
I hope so! I am really looking to get this done before the year is out (certainly not impossible). After all I would like to get cracking on more projects next year as well.

Good luck on your projects![/code]
Thanks!

Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 10:56 pm
by Arasmo
A little mistake that I didn't notice before in the Lankhmar book : in the eight cities section, there are nine cities... Ah well, error is human!
Well with PoD available it will not take THAT many books to break even, since I will be doing almost all the work (bar the art) myself.
That's good. Hopefully, you'll sell enough books to encourage the writing of further supplements ... Let's pray Aarth for that!

A question for all Lankhmar grognards : does anyone own the Lankhmar boardgame designed by Leiber and Fischer? As the map is probably the most accurate one there is, i was wondering if it was very different from the Moongoose Lankhmar of from the New Adventures of Fafhrd & Gray Mouser ( TSR,1996)?

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:33 am
by The Greek
Well both the TSR and our map both come from a map that was drawn prior to the release of the board game (one of the reasons for their similarities). I was unaware of the game's its existence (By Sog!) otherwise I would have tried to chase it down for reference.

It is quite possible (probable) that the board game was also based upon the earlier map, although there is no real way for me to check right now.

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:23 am
by Cleombrotus
Well both the TSR and our map both come from a map that was drawn prior to the release of the board game (one of the reasons for their similarities).
Thanks or clearing that up for me. I've asked about it several times and received no response, only a vacuous silence that felt like guilt because you'd ripped it off. It's such a good map that not producing a version of it for use in gameplay seems like a missed trick to me. We all love good maps. Surely they're one of the sure fire sellers of the roleplaying world since people buy them both specfically and generically? Maps of cities say more about the place than a big pile of text, especially to players...