S:t Hexen – a creepy little town

Arriving at S:t Hexen…

As I’m working on the final touches for our next game – Ravenloft using the OpenQuest 2 rules engine, I’ve also started sketching on the next project:

The creepy town of S:t Hexen, in the southwestern parts of Caligari.

The world is Nexus Mundi, which in turn are my hack on The World Between of Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque fame.

Yesterday evening was spent in the bed with a fresh Moleskine notebook and my trusty Muji 0.5 pen, jotting down ideas and concepts – lo tek style.

I’ve also decided to try out the Fantastic Heroes & Witchery OSR rule set for that game. In my opinion, the most Fantasy Horror-y game of the OSR bunch.

I will post notes and stuff here along the way…

“You can always check in, but you can never leave…” – Grumble Crackpötz, Inn Keeper & Purveyor of Fine Meats

“Aaaaaaagh…” – Herr Doppelstöcker, Travelling merchant, last seen at the “Halber Mensch” Tavern (now missing)

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I’m on the fence for my next Dark Fantasy project…

Dark…

Let me explain.

After our foray into d100 Ravenloft-land, I was planning to run some Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (2e). Now, work demands have increased a lot as my PhD dissertation is due this fall, and I feel my time for first learning and then introducing a new game to my players might be too much.

Thus, I’m contemplating placing Warhammer on hold until after the book and Dissertation Seminar is over.

I want to play, though. Writing and prepping games are good relaxation for the mind and actually helps me focus on research tasks, so to put gaming on pause is not an option.

Before Warhammer, I was working on some Dark Fantasy plugins to adapt Blood & Treasure for my Nexus Mundi setting, but then Fantastic Heroes & Witchery hit the Lulu store at the end of 2013. And it really straightened out most of the things I miss in most “standard OSR” games.

Going the Fantastic Heroes & Witchery route would undeniably smoothen out the learning curve and let us cut to the action easier than starting up a completely new game from scratch. Not to mention the time that I would save as GM.

As I write this I think I decide to go with FH&W until my PhD is done and over with…

Nexus Mundi is born

After returning to pen and paper rpg’s after many years, I had a hard time deciding on (i) what gaming system to use and (ii) what world to adventure in.

To get things going, we ended up playing Rules Cyclopedia D&D in Mystara/The Known World. Great fun, but it wasn’t what I was looking for in the longer run.

Mystara was also very different from the version I used back in the day. I checked out Greyhawk and Forgotten Realms. OK settings, but too polished and too high fantasy for my tastes these days.

Then I happened to stumble upon Jack Shear’s “Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque” (TotGaD). And it all fell into place.

TotGaD takes inspiration from Ravenloft and Warhammer’s Old World and mixes with equal parts Gothic Horror and Weird Fantasy, to produce an awesome and hugely inspirational mix, where Fantasy meets Horror in the World Between.

The World Between is not presented with maps and political info. Instead, the author writes short and evocative texts, describing the people and the place. It really, really triggered my imagination, and now I’m working on my own adaptation of Jack Shear’s work: Nexus Mundi.

I will also be forever thankful to Mr Shear for pointing me to Ravenloft and Warhammer. Awesome settings/games, and very much what I want for my old school games.

Next up: An OSR gaming system for Nexus Mundi