Sunday, September 23, 2018

AS&SH: The Anthropophagi of Xambaala

The Anthropophagi of Xambaala is a module for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea written by Corey R. Walden and kickstarted by North Wind Adventures along with The Beasts of Kraggoth Manor in the aptly named Beasts and Cannibals campaign.  The kickstarter was launched back in March with an estimated delivery date in August.  PDFs were delivered to backers on July 30th and the printed books started shipping over Labor Day weekend.  I've said before that Jeff Talanian runs an extremely professional and punctual operation and he continues to deliver.

I've had time to read through the adventure and my game group has a few weeks of play in it now, so let's see what this Anthropophagi stuff is all about.  Spoiler review after the break.

Barrowmaze Mapping (Area 1)

I've been reading through Barrowmaze lately and have to say it is pretty cool.  Written by Greg Gillespie based on his home-game dungeon, with the best lineup of artists outside of the DCC rulebook, Barrowmaze is a sprawling 375-room single-level megadungeon with an undead theme.  It was published through crowdfunding in 2014 and has been consistently referenced among the best dungeons published in the OSR since.  From the back cover:
Local villagers whisper of a mysterious place deep in the marsh - a place shrouded in mist and dotted with barrow mounds, ruined columns, and standing stones.  The tomb-robbers who explore beneath the mounds, or rather the few who return, tell tales of labyrinthine passages, magnificent grave goods, and terrifying creatures waiting in the dark.  Are you brave (or foolish) enough to enter Barrowmaze?
It's a pretty classic setup.  Written for Labyrinth Lord, the book includes a gazetteer introducing the region around the Barrowmaze, including a small hex map to explore and the town of Helix to serve as base of operations.  There's a smattering of new monsters, spells, magic items, and some nice tables for dungeon dressing and random crypt generation.  For more of an overview, you can check out Questing Beast's video, and there are plenty of reviews out there praising it.  After the break is some mapping stuff, so if you're playing in or planning to play in a Barrowmaze game, go away.