Stone Halls & Serpent Men

Swords & sorcery role-playing game, based loosely on the OGL SRD and old-school renaissance.

  • Setting: Hyperborea, a classic, pre-1970s-style swords & sorcery setting, heavily inspired by the Dark Ages just after the fall of Rome. I'm currently making sweeping changes removing Tolkienisms, left in originally to convert D20 modules easily, but now I'm far less interested in that. I want more Fritz Leiber, Leigh Brackett, and Michael Moorcock.
  • Characters: Stats are simplified to three, with modifiers only (not rolling stat, looking up modifier every time). Classes are gone, instead there are a series of professions, each of which adds new abilities, without a giant laundry list of skills, advantages, feats, etc.
  • System: Simplified rules for wilderness & dungeon exploration, very fast combat system with many "stance" choices so you don't just have "I hit it".
  • Powers: Black Magic, White Magic, Psionics, and Mutations. I mainly use power-based spellcasting, but also options to reproduce slot-based magic as Jack Vance wrote it (not necessarily "Vancian" magic used in some RPGs).
  • Bestiary: Mostly just a stats list, you're expected to know how to describe a monster from literature, but some monsters have unique flavor and power lists.
  • Treasure: If you ever wanted to have a sword like Stormbringer, you finally can. I don't know why most OSR games avoid the unique artifacts and intelligent weapons of OD&D.
  • Referee's Tools: A number of special procedures, card-based mechanics, and encounters for the Referee to make a unique world.

 

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