Friday, February 4, 2022

The Golden Heresy Sword & Planet Campaign Document

Cover to Warlord of Mars #2
Art by Joe Jusko
2014 Dynamite Entertainment

Late in 2020 I started it a world-building project as part of this blog called The Golden Heresy. Inspired by a mix of Stargate SG-1, the music of Gloryhammer, the movie Wizards, and a cocktail of Jack Vance and Edgar Rice Burroughs, it was a campaign in which at least the starting party would begin as a set of interdimensional saboteurs in the service of a wizard who was trying to murder the gods.

I started out with the concept of a powerful Chaotic magician commanding a navy of interdimensional ships sending saboteurs to a post-apocalyptic world called Rustidium in order to infiltrate a world protected by angels and gods of Law, and then work undercover to sabotage a magical artifact keeping the forces of Chaos from descending upon the world and destroying its gods.

There was a pretty good chance that the characters might get lost or lose their method of inter-dimensional travel before they found the portal on Rustidium, at which point the campaign would have turned into a survival adventure across a radioactive wasteland to find a science outpost of their armada. If they found the portal, then it would become a traditional medieval fantasy with a twist has the player characters are out to destroy the world.

I figured that eventually, if the latter happened, the party would eventually have turnover enough that instead of being agents of Chaos trying to destroy the world, they would become natives to the world trying to repel the invasion they have learned about from the their dead allies.

Either would have been a lot of fun. So I came up with hooks and maps for initial play, and did some of the initial prep for the campaign in Old School Essentials here on the blog.

While I got some good responses, especially from friends, they were not popular articles. I don't think they fit the milieu I established for this blog. People visit my website to get reviews of game products, and get tools and tips for building their own campaigns and adventures. They aren't actually interested in my world-building projects except is so far as I can use them as examples for World building tools. If you want a day great example of world building, you need go no further than Dweller of the Forbidden City The Hill Cantons, or World of Weirth.

And so I put that project aside, referring back to it once in awhile when I could find a useful reason to do so.

Last Summer I attempted to start a podcasting project. Running two campaigns and translating them into short, bite-sized, and nicely edited podcasts, rather than the usual lengthy actual play casts you get online. Unfortunately, life was pretty much constantly in the way for both games. My players and I missed far more sessions than I managed to run thanks to players having medical issues, changing work conditions, the Koof, etc.

I vowed that when I had time in the new year I would try again. To that end, I've been working on a set of pitches for podcasts, with the hopes of being able to poll my readers to see which one they feel would do the best job of creating something people could listen to, and through it get an idea of how OSR games play.

Of my new ideas, running The Golden Heresy became one of my top three. So, I decided to put together a campaign primer for the setting. The setting document includes short explanation of the setting, house rules to bring a fusion of AD&D and D&D3e psionics into play, and make manageable firearms, and selection of rule systems for handling tetanus, radiation, unexploded munitions, and mutagenic plagues. Not to mention my own take on the skill system from Lamentations of The Flame Princess, and a dozen new monsters.

As I am looking for speed and simplicity,  I also moved over to Swords & Wizardry instead of OSE.

Last night I completed version 0.5 of the setting book. After some great feedback,  I advanced a few more iterations. Now I hope that I can use the document, and eventually another I'm working on to discuss some of the methods and tools I use when building worlds, and as a segue to a couple of reviews.

If you are interested is my campaign planning methods, are looking for a B/X or OD&D compatible psionic system, or like a mix of Sword & Planet and Post-apocalyptic please have a look!

The Golden Heresy Campaign Setting
(Swords & Wizardry version 0.62)

No comments:

Post a Comment