25 May 2010
Savage Swords of Athanor!
The Savage Swords of Athanor is another gem for the 'Swords & Wizardry' game.
This wonderful, digest-sized book includes a number of interesting house rules (including a 'background professions' system that looks remarkably similar to my own for S&W -- "great minds think alike," and all that).
It also describes the dying planet of Athanor, a place where magic co-exists with ancient technology, where dinosaurs prowl trackless deserts under a bloated red sun, and where players can take on the roles of lost 'earthmen' trying to find their way in a savage, alien world.
The cover does a brilliant job in capturing the flavour of the setting. It looks like it could be the cover of a 'science fantasy' or 'planetary romance' novel from the early 1970s.
Athanor is a wonderful mash-up of a setting. It includes mutations, weird science, clone vats, bizarre non-human races (arthropods, sentient humanoid fungoid creatures, etc.), and many other oddities. The names of the city-states of Athanor should be familiar to anyone who has read the work of R. E. Howard (although Athanor clearly is not based on any of Howard's stories).
The Savage Swords of Athanor is a fun read. Even if one had no interest in running an Athanor campaign, there are many evocative ideas to be found in this delightful little tome. Highly recommended!
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