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Monday, February 17, 2014

Games From the Basement - Thieves' World Boxed Set


I really enjoyed the first couple of Thieves' World books. Later ones seemed to be much less enjoyable, but the first three or four were simply aces and I could see myself running a campaign in the city and the surrounding area.

I never did.

I wasn't able to make it work in my head in D&D terms, and at that point in my gaming history we had already played some RuneQuest and moved on, or back, to AD&D as our fantasy ruleset of choice.

Damn but I can see this playing out in my head right now as a S&W sandbox. Lots of adventures, few dungeons, lots of intrigue, few magic items but the ones found will have history and power and overall lots of fun.

The encounter charts are inspirational and the mapping is damn near magical. The city is presented in a systemless manner but the personalities are stated out for nearly every damn system that was on the market back in 1981. Which systems?

AD&D, Adventures in Fantasy, Chivalry & Sorcery, DragonQuest, D&D, The Fantasy Trip, RuneQuest, Traveller (yes, Traveller) and even Tunnels & Trolls. The names working on the conversions is nearly a who's who of the early days of RPGs: Dave Arneson, Eric Goldberg, Steve Marsh, Marc Miller, Steve Perrin, Lawrence Schick, Greg Stafford, Ken St. Andre and others.

Ye gods but I really want to run this now. Damn me cleaning out the stack of games to make room for a real closet to be built...

14 comments:

  1. Oh, man. I had that when I was a kid. Wish I still did - I loved those books.

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  2. I think it might work best as an Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea campaign; after all, that system is designed as a purely human PC version of the game, really. It has the proper vibe, I think...

    Back in high school, our D&D Club sponsor and main DM, the biology teacher Mr. Strange, ran two campaigns, one in the CSIO, the other in Sanctuary. Both were awesome, but I remember the Sanctuary campaign distinctly as we were only allowed to play humans (this was 1E AD&D).

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    1. AS&SH or Crypts & Things - depends on the level of detail needed for the PCs

      argghh!

      Gamer ADD strikes again!

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    2. I vote for Crypts & Things. I just bought it and love it: http://digitalorc.blogspot.com/2013/12/crypts-things-review.html

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  3. We played the hell out of that setting, placing it in our Glorantha-variant for Runequest. It is a superb box set and great fun to use, as you say, the encounter tables are amazing.

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  4. My first Chaosium purchase, actually. I still have all three books, but have lost the box and maps. Loved the paperback anthology series, as much as it may have varied from volume to volume.

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  5. I'm starting a city campaign and last night I pulled that very box set off of my shelf. I had forgot how damn cool it is.

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  6. I looked for this long and hard for this box set. Rob Conley found it somewhere and snagged me a copy. Love the books and the setting. That series of books influnce my way of gaming more than any others.

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  7. There was the boxed set and a companion supplement, also a number of adventures from FASA. I've never run them. After going through Thieve's World today and gathering names of NPC and which stories they were mentioned in I immediately started getting ideas for working out an adventure in The Maze. I have my graph paper handy so I'm drawing buildings, narrow streets and plenty of alleys. The idea for an adventure is The Rat in the Maze where the characters need to negotiate their way through the slums of sanctuary at night chasing down a thief and avoiding the nightwatch who patrol the intersections the better sections of the city. I never did like the map of Sanctuary found in the books and always felt that the Maze needed to be a vast warren in the decaying city.

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    1. Threw down a rough map and a bit of an introduction. It should suit AD&D fine. Fighter, Cleric, Magic-User, Thief - they are all in the books, and more.

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  8. I loved the stories and remembering thinking the same thing about it being a bitchin campaign..

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  9. I have had a few regrets in my gaming career: selling my only copy of Dune: Chronicles of the Imperium for less than $50 (damned auctions), not buying a copy of the White Box when I had a chance, and not getting a copy of the Chaosium Thieves' World.

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  10. Good stuff there. Never actually ran it, though.

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  11. Played a short campaign in it as a kid. After a particularly bad burglary attempt my fighter/magic user/thief was desperately in need of healing. Fortunately? I ran into an odd old doctor by the name of Kurd on the way out of town. Things went down hill from there....

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