Greetings, here is the first installment in a new mini-setting project inspired by a post by Black Dragon Games (here) and an old blog by Goblin Punch (here). In this post I am laying the groundwork for future posts in this series describing this setting and the classes common to it.
I will eventually begin taking many of these mini-setting ideas and produce fanzines centered around them. If once they are sold out and the demand is high enough I may collect the contents and reorganize and potentially expand upon them and create custom print versions, with DIY hardcover and Old School 3LLB style pamphlets in custom boxes.
But enough of that, now onto the introduction for the setting.
Grimmwilde – Adventures into the Savage Wilds
Grimmwilde – Adventures into the Savage Wilds is a mini-setting inspired by Tweets by one of my favorite creatives Black Dragon Games and a separate blog post on the Goblin Punch Blog concerning the Primal Druids. It sparked inspiration to create a new mini-setting that seems to be focused on the clash of Law/Order and Chaos/Disorder. But it is more a struggle between Nature and the at times ruinous nature of Civilization – at least in the case of urbanized “High Civilization” modern nations extoll. Though Neutrality does exist, those who do not pick a side are merely casualties in the age-old struggle.
In a world where numerous advanced civilizations have arisen and crumbled over the eons – a new world is developing from the ashes of the old – New Powers arise trying create Order in the midst of Chaos, at least within their own biased view. They believe nature must be tamed and the “uncivilized savages” and “anarchists” must be “taught” that Order and thus their band of civilization is the only true way.
Some might claim that I am pushing a political agenda – I am not exactly sure what those politics are supposed to be. I am a political person, but in the end, this is a setting for a game, not some politicalized novel. The Players make their own choices on if they are going to choose a side or live their own life, their own way. All I am doing is creating a fantasy setting, if others want to infer a political agenda, let them. I don’t care, I really don’t.
This projects sole reason for existence is a desire to create a mini-setting for my feral “Druids” and other classes and have fun creating a world (and thus drawing maps for it). Nothing political at all, that said will some of the ideas expressed within mirror some of my own beliefs? Sure, how could it not. That said, this isn’t a political project; so, don’t worry your pretty little heads I will not be preaching to or at you via this work of art.
ALL ELSE IS ERROR
The natural world is a world of war; the natural man is a warrior; the natural law is tooth and claw. All else is error. A condition of combat everywhere exists. We are born into a perpetual conflict. It is our inheritance even as it was the heritage of previous generations. This “condition of combat” may be disguised with the holy phrases of St. Francis, or the soft deceitful doctrines of a Kropotkin or Tolstoi, but it cannot be eventually evaded by any human being or any tribe of human beings. It is there and it stays there, and each man (whether he will or not) has to reckon with it. It rules all things; it governs all things; it reigns over all things and it decides all who imagine policemanized populations, internationally regulated tranquility, and State organized industrialism so joyful, blessed and divine.
The above introduction is meant to give a general idea of the purpose of the setting and preemptively silence potential groaning of “Politicalizing” the hobby. The tone of the following brief overview is bound to upset some overly fragile folks on Twitter, but I don’t care. I figured that I would install a trigger warning for the ignoramuses’ who lack any critical thinking.
Now onto the overview.
Setting Overview – The Grimmwilde
The Grimmwilde is vast wilddéorness east of the Kingdom of Róborium (Regnum Róborium). It was once a province of the Old Corulium Empire (Imperium Corulium). In the western reaches of the Grimmwilde lies the Duchy of Corvium (Ducatus Corvium) and its vassal villages. The Duchy of Corvium is a dominion of the Kingdom of Róborium. The Duke hopes to pacify the local Grimmcynn tribes and claim the lost lore and treasure of the Old Empire, for himself and his lord.
Centuries after the fall of the Corulium Empire, the wilddéorness has reclaimed the ruins and the native sons and daughters of the once vassal province are now “savage” tribes living in harmony with nature. That said, some of the tribal lords’ thirst for power and have brokered alliances with the Duchy of Corvium and the Kingdom of Róborium. As part of the alliances, they must adopt the faith of Lucifer, the Light Bearer – Lord of Order; as well as tame their lands so civilization can flourish under the guidance of “advisors” and Priests of Lucifer (Sacerdotes de Lucifer).
The last few decades have seen a “taming” of the Western Grimmwilde by these Barons (Barones) have worked tirelessly to create resources to trade with their allies in the west. New villages (villas) and towns (oppida) have risen in the once lush forested hills of the region. Warrior-Priests of Lucifer aka Hounds of Lucifer (Bellator Sacerdotes de Lucifer aka Canes de Lucifer) ferret out “Witches” (Wicce), “Sorcerers” (Wicca), “Demon Worshippers” (Daemon adoratores) and Demons (Daemons) and other fell monsters.
Resistance from the eastern tribes has been weak, largely because of pretty rivalries and potential secret negotiations with their western kin and the Duke. A new power has arisen in the Eastern Grimmwilde, followers of the Old Gods – Gods of Fury and Nature. These Old Gods are seen as Demons to the followers of Lucifer and as such, their priests and worshippers are hunted down by the Hounds of Lucifer.
So, a guerilla campaign has sprung up throughout the Grimmwilde.
Grimawicca(e) haunt the wilddéorness and raid the settlements of the Wealhcynn (Róburians) and their treasonous western kin (searofearo cynn). The Grimawicca/wicce are so named because the masks they wear, masks in the shape of wolves, ravens and even dragons.
If kin-strife wasn’t enough but now monsters once thought extinct have returned to plague the Grimmwilde. Eatons, worms, ælfs, werewolves and déormann-cynn (Beast-man kin) tribes haunt the mountains and forests of the region.
Beware all who enter the Grimmwilde.
THE VICTOR GETS THE GOLD
Virtue is rewarded in this world, remember. Natural law makes no false judgments. Its decisions are true and just, even when dreadful. The victor gets the gold and the land every time. He also gets the fairest maidens, the glory tributes. And — why should it be otherwise? Why should the delights of life go to failures and cowards? Why should the spoils of battle belong to the unwarlike? That would be insanity, utterly unnatural and immoral.
BE AS A LION IN THE PATH!
HATE FOR HATE AND RUTH FOR RUTH,
EYE FOR EYE AND TOOTH FOR TOOTH.
SCORN FOR SCORN AND SMILE FOR SMILE,
LOVE FOR LOVE AND GUILE FOR GUILE.
WAR FOR WAR AND WOE FOR WOE,
BLOOD FOR BLOOD AND BLOW FOR BLOW.
Might is Right by Ragnar Redbeard
I included quotes by Ragnar Redbeard’s Might is Right to help illustrate the tone of this setting – it is not a fluffy bunny “Elf Game” type of setting. It is dark and grim. You live by the sword and die by it or end up in chains and die an ignoble wretch.
Fantasy and Sci-Fi has for too long been gelded by those who wish to sanitize these interrelated genres and there is a concerted effort to do this to tabletop role playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons. The proponents of this gelding of the genre and hobby seek to make ttrpgs safe from “problematic” content.
Intelligence bonuses? “Nope, gotta get rid of those you ablest.”
Drow? Orcs? “Nope, they are racist – so they gotta go.“
XP for treasure and killing? “Nope, those are “Colonialist“.
“Why not role play running a cooperative business and unionizer? See isn’t that better and less problematic?“
Nope, sorry but not sorry. I want two fisted adventure back in my Fantasy and Sci-Fi, including my TTRPGs based upon them.
No, I am not some Alt-Right “Nazi/Fascist” or Conservative – I am a Leftist. I just have zero issue with “problematic” content in my fiction or games. Just because I enjoy ready, watching and playing them, doesn’t mean I want to emulate them in my real life. I just know the difference between fantasy and reality.
Now I do love Manga and anime, as well as a few Light Novels from Japan, many could be considered Fluffy Bunny Fantasy/Sci-Fi, so I am not adverse to the type of fantasy. I just also want to read, watch and play two fisted adventure content too. Which is why I gravitate towards OD&D/B/X D&D and Classic Traveller RPGs, the fiction of Fritz Leiber, HP Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard, amongst others.
Do I want to see the sanitized fluffy bunny Fantasy, Sci-Fi and TTRPGs banned? No. If their is a market for them, produce them. I just want more good ol’ two fisted adventure fiction and games being produced again. Well enough of this rant. I needed to get this off my chest.
Please take care and stay safe. Fin.