Brave New World

My first fantasy map, 1982-1983 circa

I drew the map above in my squared A4 school notebook with my school issue Faber-Castell o.5 pencils. It was back in 82-83 and we had played b/x for a while and I had just gotten hold of the Games Workshop Runequest box (RQ2 for the initiated). I loved the game, but the greatest fascination was the Prax map by William Church. I had never seen anything so cool map-wise, so I decided to expand the map with my home-brew setting, which eventually grew into the “World of Haleth” (yeah, I know – superdorky and pretentious name).

This world was expanded as needed and really was a mix of my own stuff, Glorantha and The Known World (and later other settings like Hârn and Shadow World). We also used it for our b/x, RuneQuest and later AD&D and even GURPS Fantasy games. It was highly anachronistic, mixing fantasy styles as well as ancient to medieval timeframes in a bizarre mix.

And it was awesome. 

This Christmas season I have thinking of different fantasy worlds and rule sets and I have come to the conclusion that I use far too much precious prep time on various system and game world related issues. (In this post from last year I discussed some thoughts on my then four ongoing world projects).

That is why I have decided to combine all these ideas into one (in)coherent whole: Terra Innominata.

This new world will incorporate all the different stuff that I have used different worlds for. I will also mash up the campaign flavours, not solely playing Dark Fantasy but also insert more easy going stuff in one and the same setting.

And even more bizarre, I will do as I did back then: I will use the same world for both d100 and OSR gaming.

Hopefully, this will put back the magic into world-building and designing cool adventures.

To do this, I have made a very crude continent-size map of what’s there and how these lands relate to each other. As before, my world will be seriously influenced by The World Between (from Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque), Ravenloft, Planescape, Warhammer’s Old World but also by literary sources like the Witcher books by Andrzej Sapkowski and the First Law books by Joe Abercrombie.

It will be Low Fantasy. It will be Dark. It will be hard. But there will be beacons of light and civilisation. And Sigil. And hope. And Heroes. A place for adventure.

And it will be awesome.

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New adventure: No Country For Weak Men

No country for weak men

Download PDF here

Yes, it’s free 🙂

EDIT: Larger versions of the Draugr Tomb and the Silent Valley Maps can now be found in the Loot section of this blog.

EDIT 2: When I updated the PDF with markable text, apparently the graphics got worse! I didn’t notice until today. Now, I’ve uploaded a version with crisp graphics. Sorry about that. I’m learning this publishing and PDF software…

EDIT 3: There’s a 2nd edition of this adventure, with better layout and more illustrations. Download:

Blood & Treasure 2nd ed version

Swords & Wizardry Complete version

Somewhere in Frostreave…

“Ever since we left that so-called town at the edge of the land of eternal ice, I’ve been freezing my butts off! And no trace of that were-whatever-thing we’re supposed to hunt down.

Our best scout, Halross, says she’s been passing here, into this valley, but I get a bad feeling from all this silence, frost and snow. It’s empty here. No animals. No tracks. No nothing, but ice and snow. It’s not natural…

And now we’re stuck in this cave. The blizzard has lasted two days now, and our supplies are almost gone. Hell, I’d give a sack of gold for a cold ale and a hot wench in my lap right now.

I can smell the fear of the others – die of starvation or disgust here, or freeze to death out there. And some other not so pleasant smells too… Some choice, huh?

Maybe we can roast that gnome’s pony? Would have been nice with some food now… Or, we just roast the gnome…

Everyone’s on the edge. No sign of the blizzard waning either.  I reckon someone will snap soon…

Well, not me. Guess it’s time we get moving…”

I wrote this 3-part adventure for a weekend game with my old gaming buddies last summer. Despite my fear that the material wouldn’t suffice for 2 full days of gaming, I was wrong. We actually didn’t manage more than half of the adventures. But it was great fun.

I’ve been stealing gaming stuff ever since I discovered the wealth of Old School materials online, and now I want to give something back.

Here it is. ”No Country for Weak Men” is a traditional dungeon, meant to be played the hard way. Dark, shitty and remorseless. And if the Draugr don’t get you the cold or lack of food will…

I think 4-5 level 3-4 PCs would be appropriate, but since I don’t care much about balancing my games that way anymore, I invite GMs to adjust monsters and adversities to fit their needs. I know you will anyway. So, happy gaming. Stay frosty, and you have a chance to survive…

New Dungeon: The Draugr Tomb

Draugr Tomb II

 

I got an unexpected free afternoon today, so I drew this little thing.

I used a Muji 0.5 pen, Kuretake Zig 0.3 and 0.2 pens on thick drawing paper. Free-hand, no grid.

It’s a most evil dungeon in my sandbox the Silent Valley in Frostreave (World Between).

As you surely have deducted, this place is full of nasty undead, out to eat your brain, swallow your soul and other such things the undead revel in.

When I designed/played this adventure I used a heavily modified version of a map I found on Dyson Logos site, but I wanted to have a clean version that I made myself, since I’m statting this one up for sharing as a mini-module.

It will be Part I of a trilogy of adventure locations in the Silent Valley.

Hope you like it.

And thanks to Dyson for being an inspiration in hand-drawn map land.

 

 

 

The Only Fantasy World Map you’ll ever need

The Only Fantasy World Map You’ll Ever Need by eotbeholder@deviantart

I love this. Probably no news to most of you, but I just found it. And maybe some of you haven’t seen it before so…

Actually, I’ve been thinking along similar lines for outlining my expanded version of Jack Shear’s World Between – Nexus Mundi.

No need to create a huge and detailed world map before you start adventuring. At the same time I like to have at least a clue to the World and where stuff might be located.

Creating a rough map labeled with concepts and ideas instead of countries or regions is just pure genius. Just like the World Between books, where boring details are absent and instead the energy is put into evocative ideas and flavorful suggestions for adventure.

Maybe not everyone’s cup of tea, but for me this is the way to go.

If you’re interested, here’s eotbeholder’s home page