The Great Cities have risen and fallen, civilization's grip on mankind has grown weak and arthritic, dark powers seek to renew forgotten covenants, and primordial beasts reclaim the wilderness. -- Korgoth of Barbaria, "Pilot"
Ah, another setting destined for the creative detritus of my wandering mind. Hopefully this will get it out of my system and I can get back to Dark Country and Uz* related things. The impetus for the idea came from this post by another Evan** whose blog appears to be defunct. Anyway he points out that OD&D using the Outdoor Survival map is a rough place to live, and it's filled with roaming bands of armed humans. That's saying nothing of the castles.
Anyway, that reminded me of Korgoth, 80s S&S movies, and the Greek Dark Ages for some reason, so here are some setting notes.
- The map is (obviously) the one from Outdoor Surival. Ponds are castles, buildings are towns, deer are probably going to be villages and the little wolf-looking things (I can't really see what they are from the maps online) are probably what Scott would call an "8 page module" dungeon. I may cut the villages out or make the monster layers if I want to make it very "barbaric," which I do.
- Basic premise is, as stated above, our civilization has crumbled and a civilization that looks suspiciously like pre-modern Earth has risen in it's place.
- Rules would be OD&D plus some classes and monsters from the supplements and probably some copious house rules.
- Part of the idea would be to develop things (house rules, setting info, monsters, etc.) through play and the needs of play. I want the setting to have an overall flavor, but it's a bit closer to baseline D&D than is say... Uz.
- While I want to retain some of the barest Tolkien elements, I want to emphasize some of the other source literature a bit more. If orcs are in it then they'll be the pig-faced guy from the three Deathstalker movies or something equally stupid.
- Since it's a far-future Earth I plan to make good on OD&D's promise of Robots. Ray guns are probably but not a replacement for magic items in the way they will be in Uz.
- I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet with alignment. If I go with a REH style split between barbaric and civilized people I may use it to get that across; however, it seems like this setting is going to be pretty barbaric all around, so I dunno.
- I wanna go back to using some mythological monsters I haven't gotten to use with Nightwick Abbey or Uz. I miss Minotaurs.
- If it looks like I'll run this at some point -- which seems unlikely right now -- I'll probably work up some kind of "underworld" for beginning play. OD&D's wilderness can be rough on level 1 characters.
- On that note, I may steal a page from Scott and use the CSIO 4 Level dungeon for that. I wouldn't have to draw many maps right away and it seems like it would be fun to stock.
- Speaking of the underworld: I need more dungeon NPCs!
- I'd generally take the "whatever you want to play" approach to PC races, but I think I'd like to work up some writeups for things like lizardmen and other weirdos. I swing back and forth between human only campaigns and campaigns where you can play minotaurs.
- The basic culture of the area would probably be movie-style-medieval, with a thick layering of bronze age and classical crap over it. Some clerics might worship God, while the next one over is a fan of Apollo, and that wizard is totally a Satanist.
- The various castles on the map would be generated using the rules for such things in Underworld & Wilderness adventures. I'll probably also add a few fighting men whenever that seems appropriate.
- The towns will use a combination of the guidelines for determining population in the Greyhawk Folio and in the Ready Ref Sheets.
- Place names will be a mix of historical place names and shit I like spelled backwards. Expect the return of Vennax the Mauve.
*More on that later
**There can be only one!