PDA

View Full Version : Horseclans by Robert Adams



malchya
05-28-2010, 02:42 AM
I've just rediscovered these. I used to be somewhat obsessed with the setting and gamed it for a brief while. I'm working on blowing the dust off and trying again. Anyone else have fond memories of the setting? Perhaps tried to run a campaign?

Skunkape
05-28-2010, 07:53 AM
Never ran a campaign using the setting but I used the GURPS Horseclans World Book for inspiration with one of my future pocyclipse campaigns!

Had some really great information and ideas that were easily adapted to my world.

malchya
05-28-2010, 03:02 PM
I admit that I am quite surprised at the apparent death of this series. They were best sellers throughout the early and mid eighties and were, at one time, the only fantasy setting from which the SCA would actually approve "characters." They had a presence on the 'net in the early, early days and were quite popular in the rpg set. Now about all you can find are lists of titles and a brief wikipedia article. How quickly fans forget.

Metroknight
05-30-2010, 08:22 AM
Very true. I ran a campaign using the gamma world rules for that setting at first then switched to GURPS when they came out with there world books for it. I ran it for a couple years. It helped to have all the books in the series including the anthologies that came out also.

malchya
05-30-2010, 10:24 AM
I just received my copy of GURPS: Horseclans in the mail. I haven't had a copy of this since my boat flooded in '99. I'm hopeful that I may enthuse a couple of people to give the setting a try!

templeorder
05-30-2010, 11:20 AM
Yes. I have all the original paperbacks and ran a 1st Ed version of this game that took from some Gamma World rules/items/influences as well (hey, not much out back then but TSR materials). I changed a little of the history (as i did with Stormbringer) to explain the current setting direction...

The results are foggy, but i don't think it went over well. Without everyone else having read the books, i think the play felt a bit empty (maybe i relied on those references too much - i was not a good of GM as i am now) and it on.y lasted a couple sessions.

tesral
06-01-2010, 02:48 PM
I spent a long evening talking to Robert Adams back in 1977. A Cat of Silvery Hue had just come out.

malchya
06-02-2010, 12:32 AM
I envy you. I would very much have liked to meet the man. Cat of a Silvery Hue. In my opinion the best of all the Horseclans novels. Every time I've read it the last page has left me with serious goose flesh! Man but I would love to find interested players!

tesral
06-02-2010, 02:05 AM
It is an interesting setting. I've read a number of them and the writing is good, the setting mostly consistent.

Adams had some good ideas in there. We are talking a major hunk of writing to get a decent world book together. It would be a good game to play.

"He smells of dirt; I know him not."

malchya
06-02-2010, 01:53 PM
I've reread the GURPS: Horseclans worldbook a couple of times over this past holiday weekend. Steve Jackson actually did a pretty good job of encapsulating the setting, though there are a couple of things for which he does not site a reference that I question (geography). The "mindspeak" adaptation of psionics is well done and the cultural gazetteer well written and fascinating. I've ordered a dozen of the novels, having lost all but two in the course of divorce and moving, and am looking forward to re reading them upon arrival. It is a setting I REALLY want to run! The question becomes one of finding interested players in my area....

tesral
06-02-2010, 03:44 PM
There's the rub.

fmitchell
06-02-2010, 10:13 PM
The "mindspeak" adaptation of psionics is well done ...

Can anyone tell me the difference between Horseclans psionics and general 3rd-edition psionics, if any? (Or GURPS Horror 1st ed. psionics.)

For reference, 1-3rd ed psionics usually had a leveled advantage for the power of a particular talent (e.g. Telepathy, ESP, Telekinesis), and skills for particular uses (e.g. Empathy, "Telesend", "Telereceive", Suggestion, Clairaudience, Clairvoyance, etc.), IIRC.

tesral
06-03-2010, 12:43 AM
Not from a system PoV but Horseclans psi was generally weaker than you would find in D&D. Psi powers fill in for magic. Some are clairvoyant, some can actually affect the weather, but those are rare. Usually it is limited to "Mindspeak", and it seems that most clansmen have some degree of this. Certain non human creatures, like the prairie cats have this as well. The clan horses have mind speak.

At the core the Horseclans setting is zero magic, some psi. A post apocalyptic setting with hard scrabble barbarian vs hard scrabble farmer, and a touch of high tech thrown in.

fmitchell
06-03-2010, 12:31 PM
Not from a system PoV but Horseclans psi was generally weaker than you would find in D&D. Psi powers fill in for magic. Some are clairvoyant, some can actually affect the weather, but those are rare. Usually it is limited to "Mindspeak", and it seems that most clansmen have some degree of this. Certain non human creatures, like the prairie cats have this as well. The clan horses have mind speak.

Yes, I remember the setting from the one Horseclans novel I read, and from thumbing through the GURPS book in a store 20+ years ago. I was just trying to remember how they handled it system-wise. (Mainly it's out of idle curiosity, but I'm also writing up my own Psychic Power system for RuneQuest II, eschewing the one in BRP for something like True20 due to MRQ2's different skill advancement system.)

IIRC, GURPS used the advantage + skill pattern since psi's debut in GURPS Horror ... but Horseclans and Horror came out in the same year, so I'm curious if the Horseclans book used a different/simpler system.

tesral
06-03-2010, 01:07 PM
Alas I have it not.

RGTraynor
06-04-2010, 07:13 PM
I do have Horseclans, and the answer is that it uses the psionics system fairly straight. I'm sure anyone interested can get a PDF of the book at SJ Games' e23 site.

The series dropped off the radar because Adams died, no new books were coming out, and we're talking a relatively ephemeral series. I don't foresee them being reissued, so snap up your copies on Amazon while you can ...

malchya
06-05-2010, 10:27 AM
I'm not certain that ephemeral really suits. They were bestsellers and in print for more than a decade with a number of other authors playing in the setting through the friends of the Horseclans volumes. A small publishing company, the name of which escapes me at the moment, has reissued at least some of them with Luis Royo covers. Given their sales and reputation within the fantasy community, I am surprised at their relatively quiet demise, despite the unfortunate death of Mr. Adams in the early '90's. I've been rereading these little gems and am actually pleasantly surprised by how well they hold up. I wish there was more interest and activity with them.