Sunday, April 3, 2011

Uz, the Underworld, and other Updates

I'm probably going to stop developing Uz and it's surrounding territories.  This was a hard decision for me because I enjoy the ideas quite a bit, but the Ugarit project at Sword +1 is so similar that I don't want to steal his thunder.  I started working on Uz after he started his work on Swords of Abandon so I'm the late comer.

Of course the problem is that Uz filled a niche in my brain-space, one that was left empty by my many conceptual problems with the Underworld.  For lack of a better, shorter term I call this niche Sword & Sorcery Science Fantasy.  It's one part Hyboria, one part Zothique, one part Shaver Mystery, and one part Harryhausen movie.  Mix well, serve hot over rice.  But I haven't figured out the right admixture that works without any mental dissonance in my own noggin (or hasn't already been thought of by someone whose doing a perfectly good job already).  So I'm left to wander in search of an appropriate project to act as a funnel for those urges.

Thats more or less why I'm not doing the April Alphabet thing.  I was going to use it to express some of my thoughts on Uz, but now I'm without a project.

There are two reasons you haven't seen Dark Country material as much lately.  First, and most importantly, most of my time spent developing the Dark Country is spent stocking dungeons and making sure I'm ready for the next session.  Theres less high conceptual stuff I need to get out of the way.  What does need to be dealt with usually gets dealt with in play, and thats the way it should be.  The other reason is that I'm feeling a bit of ennui in regards to that setting, for reasons I may discuss in another post.  Still, it's unlikely to go anywhere for a long while.

It's unlikely I'll be able to do my one page dungeon version of the abbey.  The way the Abbey is structured in my notes is just too different from the format, and I'd essentially be creating a wholly new dungeon.  Since that  more or less defeat's the point of using the abbey the project is effectively dead.  It's also unlikely that I'll seek another form to publish it in because I rely too heavily on monsters which aren't available in the OGL.  I can't imagine Nightwick Abbey without Mites for example.

I hope to work on the community megadungeon some more, but just as I was finishing my level, cola got spilled all over my map.  I'm going to try to redraw it so that it looks nicer, but there will obviously be a delay.


  1. You shouldn't stop Uz because of Ugarit. There is plenty of room in the blog-o-sphere for us both.

  2. They are really similar. I think I might have more Lovecraft in my conception, but Uz is also supposed to be EPT but with Canaanite gods.

  3. I'm a huge Dark Country fan. I would be running a game there if my players would let me.

  4. Are the contents of the Fiend Folio not in the OGL? If not, we may need to have a special secession where we reto-create a few of them.

  5. we may need to have a special secession where we reto-create a few of them.

    I agree. I've been thinking about either doing a series of posts or a small product of the "Monsters of the Dark Country" (or something like that). It'd have a few creatures which are the FF ones I use the most but changed to fit the setting and to make them more unique than a simple retro creation. Such a thing would also probably include some of my different takes on standard monsters, but I'm not sure if I'd have enough new material to warrant such a thing.

  6. Monsters of the Dark Country would be cool. Also a description of a settlement or two would be useful.