Calidar AFF2 adaptation

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Calidar AFF2 adaptation

Postby Yaztromo » Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:26 pm

My favourite ruleset is Advanced Fighting Fantasy (2nd edition), that is a less well known ruleset compared to others, but I really like it for its quick playability and simplicity. In fact even players that never heard of it before (quite often my players...) can start playing with no problem within 5 minutes and have fun.
For this reason I was very happy when I read that Calidar is a rule-less setting (although there is a kind of soft spot for D&D and some derivative...).
At the moment I'm finalizing my first mini-campaign on Calidar (starting from a remote asteroid) and necessarily I'm adapting the setting to AFF2 rulebook (and vice vers, of course!). Once I'll finish my job, if the playtesting will give a good feedback maybe I'll share the adventure in order to have some improvement suggestion.
I'd like as well to read your first Calidar adventures, if you are happy to share them on line (it would be great if you use AFF2 as well, although I'm sure that the vast majority of game masters will use other rulesets...), so we can share our experiences and find the best way to bring out the flavour of this world.

WRT AFF2 ruleset, I think that the first part of the job will be doing the write up of the various deities and related priestly powers (I'm using only one deity in the beginning, but I noticed it requires some good though...), while with creatures and stats things went reasonably smoothly (although I'm not using too many races at first...). Something that really helped me is that in Blacksand book there are a lot of naval stats and description that can be reasonably easily lifted and adapted to flying ships.

If anybody by chance uses AFF2, we can use this thread to share our experiences and decisions in adapting Calidar setting to the ruleset (and vice versa!).
Last edited by Yaztromo on Mon Dec 01, 2014 11:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Calidar AFF2 adaptation

Postby Havard » Mon Dec 01, 2014 12:01 am

Great idea :)

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Re: Calidar AFF2 adaptation

Postby Ambreville » Mon Dec 01, 2014 2:40 am

I'm all for this sort of adaptation!
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Re: Calidar AFF2 adaptation

Postby Yaztromo » Thu Dec 11, 2014 3:10 pm

In early 2015 I should be able to post the outcome of my first adventures and at least a draft of the adaptations and the adventures, if I find time to type them up and the feedback from the players is positive.
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Re: Calidar AFF2 adaptation

Postby Yaztromo » Sun Dec 14, 2014 4:25 pm

I can tell you what is my adventure arc insofar:

***SPOILER ALERT*** (just in case you might end up playing this stuff as fan adventures at some point in the future...)
First adventure cycle (mostly invented by me):
-The Characters wake up as Rhino-men on a barren asteroid in the Fringe; the initial conditions are extremely grim and primitive, with Rhino-men just grazing and sleeping
-First tasks for the Characters are similar to some civilization/colonization games: getting that little bit of agriculture ongoing so that you can take more time for exploring the strange asteroid and invent something more sophisticated
-The Characters get some hint on the nature of the asteroid and find a way to internal structures that honeycomb the inner asteroid
-Level by level, they uncover a fair part of the story of the asteroid bets-Rhinoceros: Rhino-men used to be Starfolks and settled a planetoid that they called Rhinoceros (theur single deity was called Rhinoceros as well, or the Demiurge) and they turned it in a planetoid-size starship (almost like the Death Star, but with more natural features, just to make it clear), on the first apparition of Ghule in Soltan Ephemeris Rhinoceros collided with the much bigger Ghule and was almost destroyed (fragmented in seven pieces called alpha- beta- gamma- etc- Rhinoceros), Rhino-men managed to scavenge what was present on beta-Rhinoceros and turned it again in a asteroid-sized starship. Unfortunately, with the dramatic decrease in number of Rhino-men and the fragmentation of Rhinoceros, the Demiurge powers diminished greatly and he didn't grant the same lavel of priesty powers to his priors: this triggered heresies and civil wars that alost annihilated Rhino-men. The Demiurge, now almost depleted and about to vanish, every now and then buys some "cheap souls" and get them on one or the other of his asteroids, just to keep Rhino-man race barely survive
-In the deepest levels the Characters learn about the Demiurge and get a small, knarr shaped starship (with an oversized ram) and with that they start searching for other Rhinoceros fragments, but they will soon find that the ship is extremely difficult to direct.

Second cycle (adapted from the gamebook The Dead World by Ulysses Ai):
-The starship is very difficult to control and, as they are directed across a space region where there is a battle between Caniseans and Feliseans, they apply maximum acceleration to avoid being caught in the cross fire. A ship tries stopping them, but the battering ram proves a formidable weapon and they zip through the space.
-The ship ends up nearby Lao-Kwei, where it is attracted to a strange empty region where apparently flying ships routinely shipwreck.
-In the same place there is a Starfolks ship stranded as well. Starfolks (visually, I used the "grey" aliens of many stories..) are almost friendly, although they display a lot their superiority and don't take very seriously the primitive Rhino-men
-The rescue ship for the aliens will arrive in three days, so in the menawhile the Rhino-men wonder around the ruins of ancient civilizations around the area and the multitude of othe rshipwercks residuals. In this part of the adventure I exchanged the Spacerats that are in the original gamebook with Kahuulkin.
-The Characters understand that this part of the planet is just a huge skipyard and that Starfolks rescue ship, if they come close, they will just shipwreck on their turn and they manage to prevent that
-Eventually the Starfolks rescue ship arrives and, before disappearing, out of friendship and gratitude, fixes also the Rhino-men ship and they teach them the principles of its control, but they do not recharge the cylinder that generates the power to fly in the space

Third cycle (partially adapted from Burrogh's adventures on Barsoom):
-The Characters fly far away from the area of the shipwreck and find a strange structure with a thick glass ceiling: it is an incubator and the Characters will go through some of the adventures of ohn Carter of Mars.
-Of course I adapted a lot Burrough's adventures, but Barsoom references Mars a bit like Lao-Kwei, so in general it works well. I introduced the despised slave race of Kahuulkin and kept the other races more or less as they are, part from highlighting more the Oriental descriptions and behavioural aspects, where the honour ethos of original Barsoomians fits quite nicely with the oriental setting of Lao-Kwei. No messing with the Turtle Empire, insofar.
-I also tried introducing some aspects from Out of the silent planet by CS Lewis, but didn't work very well (they are more difficult to adapt to a roleplay game than Burrogh's) so I didn't proceed in that way a lot.
-My idea is that, eventually, with the help of a local mad scientist, they will manage to recharge their cylinder and then fly to Calidar
***END OF SPOILER ALERT***


Once the playtest is complete (unfortunately for practical reasons I have a short time for that and it will end in early 2015) I'll try passing more time writing up, so I will be able to share my experiences better, hoping for a good exchange of ideas...
Last edited by Yaztromo on Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Calidar AFF2 adaptation

Postby Yaztromo » Sun Dec 14, 2014 7:52 pm

As part of my conversion, for the various races and subraces of Barsoom that I imported from Edgar Rice Burroghs, I did not use MAGIC characteristic, but instead I decided to go for PSY and a dedicated set of psychic powers, as in Burroghs' books.
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Re: Calidar AFF2 adaptation

Postby Yaztromo » Sun Dec 14, 2014 7:56 pm

As part of the Oriental flavour, I incorporated some rules for "sight duels", where two duelists look into each other eyes and "live" a fight in their minds. Depending on the outcome of that "sight duel", one of them may have more or less significant bonuses in the following physical duel, or the loser may decide to flee alltogether.
i always liked this rule in Oriental adventures so I cound't miss this chance of incorporating it in the customs of Lao Kwei.
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Re: Calidar AFF2 adaptation

Postby Yaztromo » Wed Dec 17, 2014 12:19 am

I decided that on the (ethereal...) way between Lao Kwei and Calidar, an incredible mountain-sized fish will appear in the "hyperspace" and swallow the flying ship as if it was nothing but a tiny mosquito! :o
I will adapt another gamebook adventure by Ulysses Ai (the Hypertrout http://www.ffproject.com/trout.htm), but this time the adaptations / modifications will have to be wider than for the Dead World...
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Re: Calidar AFF2 adaptation

Postby Yaztromo » Thu Dec 18, 2014 3:20 pm

I started writing up the first adventure cycle on beta-Rhinoceros (that requires some characters creation adaptation to Calidar that may turn up to be useful later on...) but I'd like to incorporate as much playtesting feedback as I can, so I'm keeping it still as an early draft and at the same time I'm pushing with the third adventure cycle (on Barsoom / Lao Kwei), that is progressing smoothly.

Before writing up the two conversions from Ulysses Ai gamebooks (the Dead World and Hypertrout) I'll wait for his agreement first.
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Re: Calidar AFF2 adaptation

Postby Ambreville » Sat Dec 20, 2014 10:23 pm

Yaztromo wrote:I decided that on the (ethereal...) way between Lao Kwei and Calidar, an incredible mountain-sized fish will appear in the "hyperspace" and swallow the flying ship as if it was nothing but a tiny mosquito! :o
I will adapt another gamebook adventure by Ulysses Ai (the Hypertrout http://www.ffproject.com/trout.htm), but this time the adaptations / modifications will have to be wider than for the Dead World...


You realize that there is no ethereal hyperspace for ships hailing from Calidar. They use seitha that drives them into the netherworld as a way to travel great distance through space. You could run into a gigantic creature there, but it would have to be the spirit of a dead creature or an undead monster of some sort. You might want to refer to the articles I wrote about the netherworld to clarify all this. Lao Kwei as a destination is pretty cool, but it's really a major shot in the dark since I haven't actually designed that part of the setting.
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Re: Calidar AFF2 adaptation

Postby Yaztromo » Sat Dec 20, 2014 11:17 pm

Sure it is netherspace instead of hyperspace (although this may be of interest for some Starfolks...), but this doesn't mean that you have no chance at all of finding oddities or other strange things going on in it (like certain outer planar monsters that may find a way into limbo, according to your first netherworld article), especially if they are fun...
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Re: Calidar AFF2 adaptation

Postby Yaztromo » Mon Jan 19, 2015 3:28 pm

At the moment I started typing up properly both the Barsoom Gazetteer (with one extended chapter dedicated to the adaptation of Barsoom to Lao Kwei) and the adventure-gazzetteer taking place on the asteroid beta-Rhinoceros (which includes characters creations and all the rest).
Probaly I'm at three quarters of the job for Barsoom Gazetteer and one quarter for the beta-Rhinoceros thingy (both in English), but... it's so terribly time consming!!!
Sooner or later I'll finish them... now for a long while I won't have opportunities of playing, so I can concentrate a bit more on typing up...
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Re: Calidar AFF2 adaptation

Postby Yaztromo » Tue Jan 27, 2015 8:50 pm

SPOILER ALERT: if you think there may be a chance you will ever play with my adventure if and when I will put it freely on this site, please avoid reading the following spoiler...

This is how I managed prior powers following AFF2 ruleset in the small asteroid of betaRhinoceros, where a single deity, very close to vanishing, is worshipped: Rhinoceros, the Demiurge...

Rhinoceros the Demiurge is a deity from the Fringe “Worls Soul”, generated by the Rhino-men of planetoid Rhinoceros. However, after the fragmentation of the planetoid and the dramatic population dwindling, the deity became semi-unconscious and is close to dissolution, as normal for all deities of the World of Calidar that barely have followers, but is still sometimes semi-active along old behavioural protocols and on that occasions he trades some of his remaining, dwindling power for cheap “souls of no consequence” to be reincarnated as Rhino-men on one or the other of the asteroids resulting from the collision with Ghüle: that's how the Characters were transferred to beta-Rhinoceros with the “usual” (for these occurrences) selective amnesia. Only with time, investigation and roleplaying the priors will learn bit by bit the content of this section.

The patron of any Character with Magic – Priestly Special Skill involved in this adventure can only be Rhinoceros (and no other), but the Characters (and all other NPCs on beta-Rhinoceros) can't remember any deity at all. This also means that they will have to “find” their priestly powers by trial and error, stating that they want to try casting for a specific effect: they will be able to attempt using a new priestly power only once a day (24 hours), after long meditation and concentration.
Due to the extremely weakened state of Rhinoceros the Demiurge, his priors need to succeed in rolling 2d6 vs. DEVOTION or the power will not act as intended. Rolls can be improved by one point for each round of meditation and preparation prior to casting up to a maximum of 1d6 rounds (to be rolled by the Director without the Character knowing).
Specific power: priors can activate and attempt controlling Rhino-men skyships. If the roll fail, the skyships will be uncontrollable as it will be explained in the section dedicated to skyship Eighteen.
Assuming they will ever meet them, priors will be never attached by rhinoceros and may communicate freely with them. If the roll fails, rhinoceros will attack the prior for 1d6 rounds before going back to normal.
General powers:
Shape Change: the prior can change and back into a giant rhinoceros at will once a day and can stay in the animal form for as long as desired. All clothes and equipment are included in the change, that takes a round to complete. The prior retains all intelligence and knowledge, but gains the (non-magic) physical abilities of a giant rhino and a +1 SKILL if the prior's SKILL is lower than 10 (there is no STAMINA bonus). If the roll fails, the prior will lose intelligence and knowledge, behaving like a “natural” giant rhinoceros for 4 hours before going back to previous shape.
Heal: recover a number of STAMINA points equal to prior's DEVOTION, up to its initial value, max. If the roll fails, the same amount of damage is caused, instead of being healed.
Commune: this general power would normally allow a prior to briefly contact the deity during deep meditation, but this power will NOT work until when all seven fragments of Rhinoceros will be put together again (the slow failing of this power caused mentioned heresies and divisions in beta-Rhinoceros). If this power is used, it will generate a dreaming vision of a colossal, sleeping Rhino-man stone statuette shattered in pieces, although if the prior is close to a breakthrough in reuniting the fragments of Rhinoceros, the deity may include some detail giving some minor clue. If the roll fails, after having the vision, the prior will wake up and behave with mindless violence for 1d6 rounds before falling asleep, oblivious of everything.
SALVATION power will not be active as well, until when all fragments of Rhinoceros will be joint again, but may well be used in the effort of reclaiming the mysterious sacred artifact from Ghüle.
Given that it is necessary having at least a prior in the group, if there is no Character with Magic – Priestly Special Skill already, the Director will select a suitable Character (preferrably with no other Magic Special Skills) and will lead his/her roleplay (with dreams, considerations, inner voices, etc.) towards using an available Special Skill slot for acquiring Magic – Priestly. That's how sometimes vocations happen in the World of Calidar... In alternative, prior NPCs can be used.


PS I used the tiny characters so you won't read them by mistake, but you'll have to copy and paste them somewhere else handier... (yes, I don't know how to manage spoilers properly within this forum.... :oops:
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Re: Calidar AFF2 adaptation

Postby Justinov » Wed Jan 28, 2015 5:48 pm

Yaztromo wrote:My favourite ruleset is Advanced Fighting Fantasy (2nd edition), that is a less well known ruleset compared to others, but I really like it for its quick playability and simplicity. In fact even players that never heard of it before (quite often my players...) can start playing with no problem within 5 minutes and have fun.
For this reason I was very happy when I read that Calidar is a rule-less setting (although there is a kind of soft spot for D&D and some derivative...).
At the moment I'm finalizing my first mini-campaign on Calidar (starting from a remote asteroid) and necessarily I'm adapting the setting to AFF2 rulebook (and vice vers, of course!). Once I'll finish my job, if the playtesting will give a good feedback maybe I'll share the adventure in order to have some improvement suggestion.
I'd like as well to read your first Calidar adventures, if you are happy to share them on line (it would be great if you use AFF2 as well, although I'm sure that the vast majority of game masters will use other rulesets...), so we can share our experiences and find the best way to bring out the flavour of this world.

WRT AFF2 ruleset, I think that the first part of the job will be doing the write up of the various deities and related priestly powers (I'm using only one deity in the beginning, but I noticed it requires some good though...), while with creatures and stats things went reasonably smoothly (although I'm not using too many races at first...). Something that really helped me is that in Blacksand book there are a lot of naval stats and description that can be reasonably easily lifted and adapted to flying ships.

If anybody by chance uses AFF2, we can use this thread to share our experiences and decisions in adapting Calidar setting to the ruleset (and vice versa!).


I have not tried this system. We had the Fighting Fantasy books in Denmark, where they were hugely popular in the mid-80 and many was translated, but then it died out as D&D really caught on from 1989/90. I didn't even know they made an Advanced “Fighting Fantasy“ Role Playing game.

It is “UK“ Steve Jackson that wrote Fighting Fantasy - the man behind “The Citadel of Chaos“ - my very first introduction to anything Role Playing related: I found it by chance in a Danish translation, when scouting the school library in the 5'th grade (1984, I think). Soon afterwards many boys in my class borrowed it as well ;) So it was only 3 years later that I tried actual Role Playing with D&D for the first time (Threshold, Karameikos)!
Confusingly even the “US“ Steve Jackson also wrote Fighting Fantasy stuff (according to wikipedia at least) and famous for creating “Steve Jackson Games“. I thought they were the same guy until the mid-90 :D

Perhaps I should try to write a small “Norseman scenario“ for Calidar, but doing it more and less without precise rules and stats (just by indication of skills and strengths).
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,/But I have promises to keep,/And miles to go before I sleep,
[Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening - By Robert Frost]

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—/I took the one less traveled by,/And that has made all the difference.
[The Road Not Taken - By Robert Frost]
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Re: Calidar AFF2 adaptation

Postby Yaztromo » Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:41 pm

Ther answer is yes. :-)
If you want to download for free the quickstart rules (that will allow you starting to play in 5 minutes, but for directing you need a bit more), you will find them here: http://www.rpgnow.com/product/108092/Ad ... Quickstart
Last edited by Yaztromo on Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Calidar AFF2 adaptation

Postby Yaztromo » Mon Apr 27, 2015 2:46 pm

Yaztromo wrote:At the moment I started typing up properly both the Barsoom Gazetteer (with one extended chapter dedicated to the adaptation of Barsoom to Lao Kwei) and the adventure-gazzetteer taking place on the asteroid beta-Rhinoceros (which includes characters creations and all the rest).
Probaly I'm at three quarters of the job for Barsoom Gazetteer and one quarter for the beta-Rhinoceros thingy (both in English), but... it's so terribly time consming!!!
Sooner or later I'll finish them... now for a long while I won't have opportunities of playing, so I can concentrate a bit more on typing up...



I'm reading through these old posts and I realize I havent progressed the write up by a single word in last couple of months... :(
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Re: Calidar AFF2 adaptation

Postby Yaztromo » Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:19 pm

I recently had a chance to run a short cycle of adventures with a new group and I choose to set the game in Lao Kwei (I find it an inspiring setting and I have a lot of freedom to create whatever I want away from the Turtle Empire) making them a group of "tamed" (=slave) Kahuulkin in search of their roots.
I kept the background races of Barsoom (with a bit of oriental flavour) from the previous game and I made the Kahuulkin a sort of Dune's Fremen, but coming from a grand, although forgotten past, where everybody say they have huge guilt, but nobody can really say anything more circumstantiate (racism?). As in the previous game, I made some of the desert radioactive, with Kahuulkin being more resistant than other races to radioactivity (so they could meet some experienced "Fremen" i these dead zones, after escaping from their (Red Martians) Masters.
At this point I dropped a plot similar to the Secret of the Sahara (old but evocative telefilm), i.e. the legend of the "Talking Mountain", lost somewhere in the desert, that lots of dreamers are searching (with Green Martians instead of the Foreign Legion, other "Fremen" tribes insteads of the Tuareg, etc.) and I left exactly the same "secret" at the Talking Mountain, i.e. an alien spacecraft, that was actually a relic of the times when Kahuulkin were masters of Lao Kwei.

Insofar the adventure went on quite well and we had good fun, but then the players decided to go with the new spacecraft to Calidar and Meriath, taking some highly dangerous choice (frontal attack on the Kingdom of Meriath, hoping to take over the crown with a single blow by a small group of not-so-experienced adventurers), rolling some poor roll and finally achieving a total party kill.
Happens.
Last edited by Yaztromo on Sun Nov 29, 2015 6:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Calidar AFF2 adaptation

Postby Ambreville » Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:19 pm

Hey, neat ideas here for Lao Kwei!
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Re: Calidar AFF2 adaptation

Postby Yaztromo » Mon Sep 07, 2015 10:45 am

Somebody contacted me for more information about the old (1987) TV mini-series of The Secret of the Sahara (in some countries it was cut down and presented as a movie).
You can find more info here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Secret_of_the_Sahara - the plot is very strictly summarized and various side stories are not even mentioned, but all the important stuff is there.
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Re: Calidar AFF2 adaptation

Postby Yaztromo » Thu Nov 26, 2015 5:06 pm

I completed the first draft of my Life on Barsoom gazzetteer.
The final appendix is my personal adaptation of this world to Lao-Kwei, with plenty of guesses on my side. Have a look at it, if you have time and if you want to help me to fix both the backgroung errors and my poor English writing: I will need a lot of help to reach a decent level!
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Re: Calidar AFF2 adaptation

Postby Sturm » Fri Nov 27, 2015 11:15 am

And the Lao-Kwei appendix is great too!
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Re: Calidar AFF2 adaptation

Postby Yaztromo » Fri Jan 08, 2016 11:20 am

In this folder you can find the finished job (Life on Barsoom): http://www.librogame.net/index.php/download/viewcategory/191-advanced-fighting-fantasy
The last apendix (by far the longest one) is all about adaptation to Lao Kwei.
Please highlight to me all possible improvements, as nothing is cast in stone and I'll be happy to fix this thingy!

EDIT: if previous link doesn't give you joy, maybe you can try this: http://www.arion-games.com/affBarsoom.pdf
Un'idea, un concetto, un'idea finché resta un'idea è soltanto un'astrazione.
Se potessi mangiare un'idea avrei fatto la mia rivoluzione.
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Yaztromo
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