Tuesday 19 January 2010

The Adventurer's Setting Musings

I've been working on a starter module for The Adventurer's Tale in the form of a small sandbox with a few minidungeons for adventurers to brave. The idea of the game was always to encourage GMs to make their own settings or adapt the game to existing ones. However, I can only resist the lure for so long. I'm going to have a short paragraph of setting info at the top of this starter module.

For this I want to start with some key points that people familiar with fantasy settings will want to know. The idea is to stay generic, but do generic as well as I can. Let's do this off the top of my head.

- The World is a mundane place. Magic is uncommon, most people have boring jobs and the novelty of local monster attacks has long since worn off on the average human. Most people have little reason to know about things that aren't happening in their immediate surroundings.

- The Otherworlds are far from mundane. These hidden, unnatural places exist outside of the natural world and range from the the glittering domain of the forest queen, elusive elf cities, weird underworlds filled with wonder and even Hell itself. Crossing points to Otherworlds are difficult to find and could take any form, but the Adventurers will find a way. These places are where the rules are broken and occasional "leaks" from Otherworlds are the source of most of the Fantasy in the otherwise natural world.

- Elves are elusive, immortal and always thinking of the big picture. Dwarfs are focused, obsessive and enjoy routine. Orcs are ugly, amoral and easily led by smarter creatures. Humans are everywhere.

- Wizards can display supernatural abilities but are rare enough that many people go their lives without witnessing it first hand. Wizards rarely gather together in numbers of more than two, a master and his apprentice. Stories of magic are told, but often assumed to be exaggeration. Likewise, stories of Otherworlds are often thought of as children's bedtime stories.

- Adventurers seek to protect their loved ones, gain riches and fame and explore the legendary Otherworlds. They will be given ample opportunity for all three.


  1. I like the Otherworlds as the destinations for adventure with the regular world just being mundane. The hidden worlds thing makes me think of hellboy, fables, and miyazaki films.

  2. Hi Chris, hopeyou'l get notified of my comment on this old post.
    I wanted to know if you worked some more on The adventurer's tale? I really like the simple rules. But I don't see it listed in the "Games" list of your blog. I'm having fun right now merge the rules with an ld frensh Sci-fi RPG called Empire galactique, the setting of which I have a nostalgic love for. Anyway, I'm interested if you have some more material and if your curious I'l show you mine.
    Best regards, Jean.

    1. Hi Jean, great to see someone's still enjoying The Adventurer's Tale after all this time!

      To be honest, I haven't worked on the game in years, and I tend to get my rules-light-fantasy fix elsewhere these days.

      In the next few days I'll put together a post of all the Adventurer's Tale material that I have put aside. Hopefully you'll find a use for it!