Friday, October 9, 2020

OSR Commentary - Hacking Into the D20 Wilderlands of High Fantasy Using The Castles & Crusades Rpg


"THE MOST DETAILED FANTASY SETTING OF ALL TIME! ~ The Wilderlands of High Fantasy Boxed Campaign Set is the definitive Judge's Guide to the Wilderlands. A companion to the Player's Guide to the Wilderlands, this boxed set is unmatched in scope and detail. ~ This box contains: 2 large paperback books and 9 double-sided fold-out maps"

A couple of months ago I acquired a treasure that was given to me by a friend & that was the D20 Wilderlands of High Fantasy box set. Now this magical box set sits proudly on a shelf but my players are looking forward to spending some time in the Wilderlands coming up via Castles & Crusades new kickstarter. 
Way before this new kickstarter goes on line, the players want to get in on the action. No way is a three hundred dollar box set going on my table top. So that magical thumb drive had a copy of the Wilderlands of High Fantasy D20 on it along with the maps. 

So a post Covid trip  over to the printers & a very large set of maps done on a drafting printer & we're almost ready to go to the table top. Beer, potato chips, etc. near these is fine. But after several mishaps over the years the hard backs don't come any place near the table top level. 

So what makes the Wilderlands of High Fantasy compelling to me even after all of these years well its summoned up very nicely by Amazon reviewer 
John J. Thomas III ;

"This boxed set has a 1st ed of AD&D feel with some Robert E Howard's Conan thrown in, along with elements of what made Greyhawk, Spelljammer and Ravenloft so interesting. If you loved the old B2 keep on the borderlands dungeon for D&D this setting has that same feel to it. Pretty much this set contains a ton of information and yet the DM has a lot of room to add or change what and where they want. You can fit in stuff from other settings and not have to worry about something not fitting in. Somewhere it can fit in. Like the city of Waterdeep from forgotten realms? You can find a spot for it somewhere and will have to make few changes. Like the Ravenloft monsters or some of the places detailed from that setting? It can fit in pretty easily. Its a big area covered in this setting and there'
s room to add what you like and take out what you don't. What I really love is that there are no powers that be in the setting. Elminster will not show up and tell characters to stop it or go do something. No circle of eight is gonna manipulate events. The whole setting is very much a "borderlands" wilderness. There are towns and cities around but there is no all powerful ruler to enforce their will. Characters in this campaign are pretty much on their own for good or ill. no powers that be will come save em or save the world from some big bad baddie." 

Yeah its the fact that the party is really the heroes that the world deserves.. 

There is enough material here to run for many years. There's tons of towns, islands, hidden fortresses, and much more. This is a massive campaign setting box set & its this massiveness that has me wondering about the adventuring  possibilities with the  Greyhawk box set. The economics, the trade wars, the strong possibilities with war fare across the planes are too much for me to ignore. 

Could many of the tribes of Greyhawk have fled across the planar bridges to escape the destruction of Greyhawk's lands into The Wilderlands of High Fantasy?! There lots of interesting ins & outs here which need to be investigated further. 
One thing that strikes me as very fortunate is the fact that over the years a copy of this book has been in my collection. Hands down this is one of the best D20 3.5 Dungeons & Dragons urban books that that D20 glut produced. 

If  you know the  'how's' & 'why's' the City State of the Invincible Overlord D20 3.5 book.  Then we see the scale of both the Wilderlands & the city state in terms of over all use & wealth as well as natural resources. Would  the Wilderlands  be trading partner & rival to Greyhawk? Hell yes! Would I run this using 3.5 D&D or perhaps Pathfinder?! Hell no! This is where the Castles & Crusades game system comes in & roars! The whole of this campaign idea hinges on several factors. Working out the economics of the setting,the timing, & especially the players. 

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