Howard Introduction Introduction The wilds of the world of Conan have been the source of nearly limitless Hyborian Age adventure, pitting savages and barbarians against soldiers and nobles in a variety of locations. Stories tell of swords and sorcery throughout the lands; through deserts, jungles and savannahs alike. We know about all of the fantastic action that occurs on the Hyborian worldbut what about beneath it? Just like our world today, the earth of the Hyborian Age has miles of caverns, caves, mines and other tunnels scattered throughout the worlds crust.
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Howard Introduction Introduction The wilds of the world of Conan have been the source of nearly limitless Hyborian Age adventure, pitting savages and barbarians against soldiers and nobles in a variety of locations. Stories tell of swords and sorcery throughout the lands; through deserts, jungles and savannahs alike. We know about all of the fantastic action that occurs on the Hyborian worldbut what about beneath it?
Just like our world today, the earth of the Hyborian Age has miles of caverns, caves, mines and other tunnels scattered throughout the worlds crust. Some are cut by the hands and tools of men, others by the claws of beasts or perhaps just the touch of time and nature itself. These subterranean locations are no less exciting as those found above ground; many of them are so much more exotic, strange and dangerous.
If someone falls in a forest they might twist their ankle fall in a cavern they may never be found again. Catacombs of Hyboria is a sourcebook for the creation and exploitation of subterranean terrain and landscapes in Conan the Roleplaying Game: Second Edition. This book allows Games Masters to add new and interesting facets to their own gaming worlds or adventures, revealing new rules for subterranean terrain.
What was once a simple recess in a hillside can now be turned into a deep series of caves and mysterious tunnels, if a Games Master wants to add a little something extra to their world. This book is a guide to creating and adventuring in subterranean settings throughout the Hyborian Age, with a collection of several interesting sites designed that Games Masters can add to their own game campaigns to give some more depth to the world of Conan.
How to Use This Book Catacombs of Hyboria is written to not only serve as a collection of pre-built subterranean adventure sites; it is also a complete guide and rules system for randomly creating new caves, caverns and similar features. The book includes random tables, found in the rst chapter, for Games Masters to use to create new locations underground.
It identies what sorts of hazards and terrain elements exist in subterranean locations and has an assortment of rules associated with these elements. With the rst chapter of this book, Conan game players and Games Masters can design their own underground sites and have proper rules for all of their various encounter points.
The sourcebook then separates into individual smaller chapters that describe specic underground locations, their unique and interesting backgrounds, features and potential inhabitants. Games Masters can use these locations as a source for side-scenarios and plots or simply as noteworthy locations for their own campaigns. The rst location is known only by one title the Dragons Graveyard. Located deep in the southern Black Kingdoms, this rift has within it the entrance to a huge cavern Introduction complex that is home to a distinct and strange lifeform that the locals have only one word fordraconne.
It would be completely avoided by all sentient life due to their savagery, if it were not for the massive chamber full of clear blue sapphires that many feel are worth risking dozens of slaves to acquire. Next covered in this book is a mysterious subterranean complex discovered in the sandy wastes of Stygia.
Named Ankhenu by the creature in the enigmatic tomb at its heart, this underground structure is a perfectly designed pyramid similar to any other found in the deserts except it was built upside down and under the sands for the use of an eternally damned thing of darkness! North of the Ymir Pass in Cimmeria, the next chapter is devoted to a sprawl of natural caves burrowing beneath a range of mountains. The area is collectively known as Cianhogh and is the source of many local legends and rites of passage.
Exactly why a barren stretch of rocky caverns and pitfalls receives so much attention from the clans is the real question The book then moves on to a large cavernous expanse that exists under the clay layer of Vendhyas casteworked elds of indigo plants and bowyer-grade ash. Called the Edau Voyha, this spiritually charged location is considered a holy place for one of the more controversial Vendhyan faiths and home to a unique breed of monkey.
What else might be found amongst the inky blue stones? The next chapter pulls the focus away from the monitored and protected locations to a cold and unforgiving stretch of ice and snow called the Snow Devil Hollows. Found under the frozen elds of the Snow Devil Glacier in Asgard, this ice and stone maze of tunnels has claimed the lives of so many but why?
In the northern tundra, somewhere between Hyperborea and Hyrkania is the city of Scythia; a speck of civilisation in a savage and unforgiving land.
Just south of that renowned location is a natural cavern complex that has been used by the like of smugglers, slavers and cultists to hide their activities from prying eyes.
No matter the caverns inhabitants however, it always comes to a total and mysterious end. This chapter reveals exactly why this strange place has claimed so many lives. The books next chapter is dedicated to an interesting underground locale in the thick forests of Khitai. Called Tai Paun Li Nine Flooded Tunnels , the ground gives way to nine deep mines that were once used to cut amber from the deep sediment around 1, year old tree roots.
Each of these mines ended their production when they dug just a little too deep and found the rushing waters of the earth; waters that continue to churn wildly through parts of these treasure-rich tunnels. Tucked away in the wilds of dark Zamora there is a gaping cave, protected by sinister creatures bred singularly to keep the unworthy away, that leads down into the dark black heart of the Skarpash mountains. As some ancient texts and local wives tales claim, this cave leads to the resting place of a long forgotten goddess the Queen of Nightmares.
The book ends with a truly massive complex of natural caverns in the grassy plains of Shem; a place collectively called Yhastur den Leona. Known for its connection to the lions of Shem and their holy representative in the Shemite pantheon, these caves are frequently explored by the religious, the adventurous and anyone trying to nd and possible kill the mythic ivory lion of Shem. Man-made terrain but no dungeons?
This book covers several subterranean locations that were originally cut from the earth by sentient tools or hands, making them very similar to the sort of underground structures found in civilised areas but we chose not to add any true dungeons to Catacombs of Hyboria.
Dungeons are too much like common constructions to be included here; this book is focussed upon older or more specically subterranean locations and those that exist solely on their own. This does not mean that an ancient or abandoned dungeon could not be found in the wilderness or would not be able to support some of the rules and terrain elements delivered in this sourcebook. It is simply more likely to nd them in true caverns, caves and underground tunnels.
Beneath the dirt and the rocks there is another world of exotic places that are not so easily overcome by the common adventurer. A traveller with a stout pair of boots can make their way across nearly any overland terrain landscape but it requires skill, care and practice to survive in the underworld of Hyboria. Caves, caverns, tunnels and ancient mines are just some of the locations that Hyborian travellers might discover all they have to do is look under their own feet to nd them.
This chapter is designed to help Games Masters design subterranean landscapes in the world of the Hyborian Age. By following the process as it is described, an entire underground setting can be created to serve a campaigns needs in just a few moments of rolling dice or choices made by the Games Master.
These rules can also be used to selectively add natural hazards and obstacles to existing settings if the Games Master wishes to do so; there is nothing like adding a few surprises to a pit-lled ruin! The following section covers the process of creating a Hyborian Age subterranean locale. Roll a d20 and consult the following table to determine the general type of the subterranean terrain being created. If the Games Master decides that the rolled option is not right for his purposes he can re-roll or forego the roll altogether and choose instead.
Games Masters should roll randomly or choose on the tables below to determine the various facts about their developing terrain site. Hollow: This subterranean terrain type is a very simple site that does not lead very far underground at all. It is more of a cut-out section of earth with a dened edge or overhang that creates the entrance to the hollow. Often wider than they are deep, hollows are frequently formed when something makes a drastic change to the landscape like a landslide, ood or structural collapse.
They are the youngest of the natural terrain types that can be formed. Cave: The most common of the subterranean terrain types, caves are natural underground chambers that have at least one opening to the surface. They minimally extend down to a depth that will create at least some lightless environments, with some reaching hundreds of feet below ground level.
They are formed for a variety of reasons but the most common is underground water ow eroding slowly away at the rock and soil to create the main body of the cave. Caves are some of the most diverse of the natural terrain types to be found, with a host of different shapes, depths and mineral make-ups that can occur; depending on where the cave formed. Due to the larger number of smaller terrain sites underground, the die roll is weighted toward certain results, as there are not as What Lies Beneath cave-like structure.
Tubes and ows rarely have many natural branches or chambers that are not a part of the initial pressure path, making them directionally very easy to explore. Their volatile origin and often steep incline to unsafe depths can make them much more difcult to traverse.
Simple Cavern: This subterranean terrain type is a larger version of the common cave, except it often extends in several directions to a total depth that is hard to determine without a full exploration. A cavern can be formed when several smaller caves grow and expand until they join together into one expanse but some are simply ancient structures.
A cavern will likely have at least two different openings to the surface and multiple inner chambers, some of which can be quite large. Abandoned or collapsed mines or tunnels quickly degenerate into rough caves. Man-made catacomb tunnels will turn into dangerous caverns if they are not monitored and repaired.
Cavern System: Rare amongst subterranean locations, cavern systems are enormous connected chains of caverns that form into a single series of chambers and tunnels. Expanding for miles in area and often depth, cavern systems are large enough to be explored for years by expert spelunkers and not be completely mapped or seen.
They are tremendously spacious and can house underground cliffs, land formations and even communal living centres. Entire populations of rare beasts can live out their existence within a single cavern system and never see the light of day. They are the largest and oldest of subterranean terrain sites.
Size Area and Depth How large a subterranean site is, is a combination of the actual area covered by its traversable surfaces and how far it extends beneath the ground level. These two classications, area and depth, are what determines how much of the underground site is available to be explored. Measured in square feet and feet below surface, every subterranean location can be described by these two factors.
Roll a d20 for each of the tables below to determine the area and depth of the location being created. The tables give a generic term for the measurement amount and the actual number of square feet or feet below surface of the location.
These two measurements can then be used in conjunction with later information to accurately draw the oor plan of the site. Obviously, if the Games Master decides that the rolled size measurements are too small or expansive for his purposes he can re-roll or forego the roll altogether. Uncommonly Small: This level of area is the smallest variety of subterranean terrain, barely even considered an example of its listed type.
Many explorers, especially dedicated spelunkers, might not even classify these as their dened version. Small: Subterranean spaces of this area category are cramped and tight compared to their larger counterparts, with far less area that can be explored. This is often due to lowered ceilings or unstable surface areas but can also be a result of sheer or uneven surfaces as well.
Below Average: Falling below the normal area for its terrain type, this category begins to turn the subterranean sites into functioning places to be explored and potentially mapped for further visits. These terrain areas are far more common than those of smaller surface amounts and they are a good source for underground encounters and hazards. They have a good amount of traversable surface area and are what most people think of when they are told about a cave, mine and so on.
Large: Bigger than most versions of terrain of their type, these areas are greatly swollen compared to the average versions. Expanded areas allow greater mobility and exploration, normally in conjunction with additional tunnels or chambers that sprout off from the main body often unexpectedly so. Going into a large classed area without proper equipment can be a very dangerous activity. Very Large: Extremely rare and ancient, any subterranean locations that have an area of this size are likely to be well-known across the land.
Their size and scope makes each terrain location of this size a landmark or legend to the area surrounding it. They are few and far between but entire campaigns might be able to take place within its walls and halls.
The surface area of each terrain location will divide up its traversable area into various types of sections. The general classication and area category of the location determines what percentage of its area is dedicated to each given type, as listed on the table below.
Conan Catacombs of Hyboria
Dira Catacombs of Hyboria PDF version RPG Item Version BoardGameGeek Each is laid out to be run after just a glance of a few moments, ensuring a Games Master is never caught off balance whenever his players choose to go somewhere unexpected — keep this book near your gaming table, and your players will marvel at detail you have worked into your campaign! Add a copy to your collection. Tags separate by space: May show very small spine creases or slight corner wear. Well laid out, written and Illustrated. Due to the nature of loose counters, if a game is unplayable it may be returned for a refund of the purchase price. The perfect companion to both Ruins of Hyboria and Cities of Hyboria, this book provides several fully detailed underground-based encounters that can be played throughout the Hyborian Kingdoms. Close to perfect, very collectible.
Catacombs of Hyboria
More Information Edit History. Item is complete unless noted. Very recommended for gamers. Home Recent Additions Welcome Wiki. Catacombs of Hyboria by Bryan Steele. Each is laid out to be run after just a glance of a few moments, ensuring a Games Master is never caught off balance whenever his players choose to go somewhere unexpected — keep this book near your gaming table, and your players will marvel at detail you have worked into catacomsb campaign! Well laid out, written and Illustrated.
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