Doom of the Wildelands
The old kings are dead. Their castles are rubble and cities brought low. But in this bleak epoch of man, a spark catches in the dark. New kingdoms flicker to life and civilizations rise again from scattered tribes. They scavenge among ruins to build something new, but they are not alone.
The old dangers still roam, and monsters whisper from the edges of madness. Other times, they come screaming to gnaw on flesh and bone. As before, men are there to meet them with sword and shield. They prove that if the end is to come, it will not come without a fight. Something, however, is different this time. Among the old demons, there is a new god whose fanatical followers promise order within the chaos, and these maniac men don’t hesitate to throw their one life into the gapes of giant gibbering mouths to prove it. Yet others meet the old threats with the old ways. Using ancient tomes that tempt with knowledge about demons and devils, they fight back and hope to control them.
In the midst of this struggle for survival, there is always the hopes and dangers within men’s hearts. It sometimes turns man against man, or gives him the courage to face the world at large. Armed with iron, god, or lore, heroes and villains push to make a difference.
This can be a dusk or dawn. How will you contribute to the the Wildelands’ fate?
The rules we’ll be using is a Basic D&D clone, Lamentations of the Flame Princess: Weird Fantasy. Herein referred to as Weird Fantasy or WF. Our game is a sandbox game based on the Points of Light map, Wildland, although I made some minor changes to the map.
The premise of the game is that the characters are like-minded individuals seeking wealth and everything that comes along with that. As a result, they will inevitably—deliberately or not—impact the course of events. That is, if they survive. WF is an interesting game in that it assumes the PCs to be special among the rest of their kind, but still vulnerable to the dangers of a horrific, mythical world. I plan to play that up. On the meta-game level, the tried-and-true treasure equals experience will reward the players for following the game’s premise: wealth = glory and power.
The world is standard fantasy with a swords & sorcery bent. However, many of the D&D fantasy tropes are not present. Ultimately, the setting is not an original fantastic world, but rather something familiar, more rooted in myth and history than gonzo fantastic. Although there is an elf and a dwarf kingdom, all the cultures, including the eight human kingdoms, are ethnocentric and insular. The D&Dism that consists of a party made up of varied races and one human is against the spirit of the setting. Fortunately, the WF rules support this.
Ironically, to achieve the goals of wealth, power, and glory that is the game’s premise, it will require the players to explore the map. While this may seem contradictory, the characters do so because they are extraordinary. It is their desire that allows them to try for great things. The stories that are to emerge from the gameplay, are not about a particular band of characters, but about many who strive to achieve something.
Many will fail; some will continue.