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Preview: Savage Swords of Athanor

Savage Swords of Athanor

A blog following the development and background for an old-school role-playing game of swords-and-sorcery planetary romance using the Swords and Wizardry Whitebox rules.

Updated: 2017-09-07T15:51:08.515-07:00




Oh, for crap's sake, it's been nearly a year and a half since my last post. In the meantime, my wife and I bought a house, I had a huge pile of projects at work, and I ran a lot of games of Estarion. Inspired by Christian Walker and his two-page Iridia zine, I have turned the notes I have for the game into a series of 13 two-page zines, the Glory Road, which I am putting up soon for free

Estarion, Games 15 and 16


Game 15 After several weeks of hiatus (I moved across town and some other life events), we returned to the table with a simple dungeon crawl. Jarrett began reading the Book of Ebon Bindings, and investigated a trapped magical box that held bits of pinkish fleshy substance, still apparently alive. Since it was alive, it wasn’t really in his wheelhouse, but a journal in the box tied the

Fiend Folio Friday: Firenewts


Firenewts Firenewts are distant relatives of lizard men who live in sun-baked rocky hills, volcanic regions or any other locale which tends to be hot, dry and sometimes sulphurous, whether above or below ground. A typical firenewt is a mottled sepia colour, darkest along the spine and fading to near-white on the belly. The smooth flesh and features are eel-like, though the flesh is dry.

Fiend Folio Friday: Dark Creeper and Dark Stalker


Dark Creeper The dark creeper (a folk name for the race since the race name is unknown and the race language incomprehensible to linguists) is a humanoid, slightly-built creature about the same height as a dwarf. Members of the race always dress in sombre, dark-coloured clothing, concealing as much of their pallid skin as possible. They detest light and dwell deep underground — usually leading

Magic Item: Book of Ebon Bindings


The players in my game recently found a magical book. It's a bit powerful, even though I don't use many magic items, but its role is pretty limited in granting power to the character. (All respect to Dr. M.A.R. Barker, from whom I stole the title of the Book). BOOK OF EBON BINDINGS Wondrous Item, legendary (requires attunement) The Book of Ebon bindings was granted as a gift to the wizard

Estarion, Game 14


The heroes investigate what leads they have, not quite to a dead end, but to the point that they are convinced that the Intellect Devourer is part of a very heavily covered up attack, but it isn't clear who is behind it. While investigating at the library to learn more about their foes, Jarret, Arturius, and Carver find the brothel of Tatiana Scaevola is on fire. Calling on divine powers to

Current projects I'm moving forward on...


So I am thinking about making more thoughtful and a bit less amateurish work of my previous free settings and putting them up for sale: I am working on a revised and expanded Estarion: City of Knives with some expanded background, short adventures, and a pile of tables to guide ad-libbing at the table. I can't say the book will be able to aspire to Vornheim-level innovation, but I think it

The benefits of using Roman (and pseudo-Roman) names for one of the cultures in my campaign...

2015-02-07T15:51:54.623-08:00 that I can slip in scientific names for plants and animals to amuse myself. The characters ran into an NPC named Brassica Oleracea, or example. But in all seriousness, use of a real language as an inspiration can, if used well, help as a shorthand for understanding the culture of a group. The Aquilans are pseudo-Romans. This gives a sense of how bureaucratic they are prepared the

Fiend Folio Friday: Crabmen and Dire Corbies


This week, my Fiend Folio entries focus on basic grunt monsters from the original Folio. My rewrites give little twists to both of these monsters, but keep them as low-level thugs with a little different flavor.