Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Majestic Wilderlands Vs Wilderlands of High Fantasy

So what is the story of my work on the Boxed Set, Wilderlands of High Fantasy, by Necromancer Games.

Several years ago there were several abortive attempt at reigniting Judges Guild, but Clark Peterson was the one to get all the people to together to work on the four JG product they released. He and Bill Webb love of Judge Guild and respect for Bob Bledsaw Sr work is what pushed them to create an amazing team of old and new fans.

During the runup on all this I was known as one of the guys who know the Wilderlands inside out. I performed the dreaded infodump and emailed all my notes on the Majestic Wilderlands to Clark. However I was not the only one . There were many others who worked with Bob Sr. And there was material that was never published that plugged many of the gaps founds in the published product.

It was rapidly becoming obvious to me that my Majestic Wilderlands was nothing like Bob Sr's notes. I rapidly ceased trying to advocate my vision of the Wilderland and started to listen to what Bob was saying along with everyone else. I got to contribute some entries to the player's guide notably some of the gods.

After the player's guide everybody was still feeling around on how to approach the the Boxed Set. It was obvious that a table of stats wasn't going to cut it. One of the things everybody kept mentioned was the ruins and islands. Unlike the villages, citadel, and lairs. These had a handful of sentance sketching an evocative location.

So I sliced out a section of Map 1 around Rorystone Road and showed how this can work for Villages and Citadel. Clark liked it, expanded the format to include geography, lairs, as well as ruins and islands.

I was assigned to do the Villages and Citadels of Map 1( City-State), Map 2 (Barbarian Altanis) and the upper part of Map 12 (Orchia). While I had only a 1/6 of maps I had over 1/3 of the villages in the Wilderlands 300+ entires.

I knew my Majestic Wilderlands wasn't a good fit. So I created a whole new Wilderlands based on Bob Sr's notes and guidelines given by Necromancer Games. I took the original stat tables and pretended I was new GM looking at this for the first time and wrote accordingly. The result was my section of the Wilderlands of High Fantasy.

Is there any thing of the Majestic Wilderlands in the recent release? There is some; the Ghinorian Successor Kingdoms, the expanded description of the Beggar's Guild in CSIO, some of the easter eggs I put into various entries. Of course there are strong similarities due to the common foundation but for the most it was a new take. One that I am particularly happy to have created.

Sometimes there are days I wish I could be running the boxed set Wilderlands. While I have 20 years in making the Majestic Wilderlands it never had the richness of detail that I put into the Boxed Set, the Wild North, or any of my Points of Light setting. I think it about needing to have a honest deadline in order to get the final details from out of my head onto paper.

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