Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Review: HYPERBOREA Referee's Manual

HYPERBOREA Referee's Manual
Yesterday I covered the Player's book. Today let's go with the Referee's Manual.

HYPERBOREA Referee's Manual

PDF and Hardcover. 308 pages. Color cover, black & white art with full-color art pages.

Chapter 10: Introduction Again, this is our introduction this time for the Game Master or Referee's point of view. What the Referee does for the game and more. 

Chapter 11: Refereeing This get's into the Game Mastering process in detail. This covers grant experience for the characters and setting up the campaign. 

Chapter 12: Bestiary Our monster section and truthfully one of my favorites. The expected ones are here, but there are also plenty of new ones.  This covers roughly 130 pages.  There are interesting new takes on some classic "D&D" monsters, plus many new ones like a bunch of new "lesser" and "sublunary" demons. The format is most similar to Basic or Labyrinth Lord, and it is full of the usual suspects with some Lovecraftian Horrors, and even remnants of alien and bygone ages. "Demons" are here, but no devils. 


Chapter 13: Treasure Covers treasure types and magical treasure. Among the magic items are things like Radium Pistols and other sc-fi artifacts. Very pulpy. It also includes some rules on scribing spell and protection scrolls. There is even a small section on Alchemy in Hyperborea. Very useful to have really.

Chapter 14: Gazetteer.  The lands are a pastiche of Howard, Vance, Lovecraft, and Smith.  If these names mean anything to you, then you know or have an idea, of what you are going to get here.  This section has been greatly expanded from the previous editions. Included here are the gods again and a little more on religion.  Basically, you get the idea that gods are either something you swear by (or to) or get sacrificed to by crazy cultists.  So yeah, you know I am a fan.

Appendix A: Weather in Hyperborea. Likely more important here than, say, other game worlds. Weather in Hyperborea is dangerous. 

Appendix B: Hazards of Hyperborea. There are horrible things waiting for you in Hyperborea and they are not all monsters or the weather. 

Appendix C: Waterborne Expeditions. Covers waterborne adventures and combat. 

Appendix D: Warefare and Siege. Your characters have built their strongholds. Now someone wants to know it down.  Here are the rules.

Appendix E: OGL Statement. The OGL statement for this book.


Nearly every aspect of this game has seen expansion since the 2nd Edition; some sections more than others, but it is a great upgrade.

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