Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Unfocused Thoughts on the Wilderlands of Something Something

I've mentioned before that I have a great fondness for the Wilderlands.  I ran it for most of my time as an undergrad, and it has created some of the most memorable gaming experiences I've ever had.  For some reason, yesterday my mind wandered back to those Judges Guild maps, and I decided to see what I could come up with in one of these posts.  So here we go...

  • When I ran it in college, it was a bizarre combination of Classical and Late Antiquity.*  I'd likely keep that mix because I like it.  
  • In my old Wilderlands game, the CSIO got destroyed by a giant robot.  If I run this, it will have been rebuilt but that means it's going to look significantly different than the one presented in Judges Guild products.
  • I'm probably only going to use the original 70s Wilderlands of High Fantasy book and then fill in the details based on what I remember from the 3e version as well as stuff I think is cool.
  • Also this map.  I'm using that too.  Primarily to determine the polities and the different groups whose cultures I have to describe.  I care mostly about the part north of the equator because the areas covered in the Wilderlands of High Fantasy book are mostly located there.
  • Based on that map and my recollection of what I liked from my old campaigns, the different groups would be Skandiks (pseudo-viking guys), Ghinorians (pseudo-Hellenistic Greek guys), Avalonians (blue part elf guys), Altanians (red Conan guys), Viridians (green fish worshiping guys), Karakhans (mongol guys who worship gods that require blood sacrifice), and Orichalcans (purple skinned, scaly humanoids that dominated the area of the CSIO in the distant past)
  • There are also micro groups, like Tarsh and Antil, but these tend to be permutations on the above cultures.
  • Elves are blue.  Dark Elves are pale and morlock-y.
  • I'd either run the game in the newly rebuilt CSIO or in Tarsh.  Both of which have large sections of the city which are in ruins, which gives me a good excuse to have an undercity as the central dungeon in addition to the ruins and stuff in the wilderness.
  • I'd have quite a bit of ray guns and stuff, as well as quite a bit of Devil.  My inability to combine these two in settings which aren't the Wilderlands has led to immense frustration on my part over the last three years.
  • If I run it in Tarsh, there will be a large portal in the shape of a dolmen that is covered in depictions of Flailsnails.  This is where inter-dimensional travelers come from.
  • Originally, my Wilderlands was a ring world.  This was done solely so that when the players figured it out I could go "well you never asked!" which amused me at the time.  Some of my G+ players seem to like the idea.
  • IF it is a ring world, then the map above marks the East and West boundaries of the world.  Any farther and you reach a giant mountain range that runs the length of the ring.
  • Viridians wear the fish hats that my Uz players have come to associate with Phut.  I originally designed them for the Viridians and put them in Uz because I remember my Hattiesburg players liking the Viridan fish cult.  Viridians also scourge themselves in sorrow for not being a mermaid.
  • Oh, there are also Ghuls!  How could I forget about them?!
  • Which also reminds me: it'll be heavily influenced by Leiber's Swords Series (the Fafhrd & the Grey Mouser stuff)
  • I'd probably use the Swords & Wizardry White Box with the normal classes and demihumans plus my version of the thief and demihuman write ups for Viridians and maybe Altanians, Avalonians, and Orichalcans too.
  • The gods would be taken from Unknown Gods and Petty Gods, with maybe the ones from Pegana thrown in there too.
  • At the time, I was calling my custom version of the Wilderlands "The Wilderlands of Foul Devilry" after the Wilderlands of Darkling Sorcery and the Majestic Wilderlands.  I might keep that or do something like the Wilderlands of Swords and Wizardry (or Swords and Deviltry as a reference to Leiber)
That's it for now.  Just had to get that out of my system.

*Known to some as "The Dark Ages" /shudder


  1. "If I run this, it will have been rebuilt but that means it's going to look significantly different than the one presented in Judges Guild products."

    You are talking about the robot right?

  2. I'm talking about the city itself, though I'm thinking the carcass of the giant beetle robot might make a good palace for the overlord.

  3. Fabulous. With this you can skip the 3E expansion entirely.