Friday, April 25, 2014

The Sunken Lands

I've posted in the past about Midkemia Press, and the Midkemia setting published in the late 70s and early 80s. I've started reading Heart of the Sunken Lands, a wilderness campaign of exploration, discovery, and getting either rich or dead. It really is a wonderful setting, and you could find ways to insert into campaigns not set in Midkemia.

The book describes The Sunken Lands, a vast wilderness created from a mountain range when the gate to Kelewan was closed 800 years ago (events in Feist's Magician). The resulting backlash of magic destroyed the mountain range and twisted the inhabiting people, creatures, and plants. 

Now, expeditions are mounted into the interior of the area, looking for gems, exotic animals and plants, wood, insects, and other resources. 

Jonril: Gateway to the Sunken Lands is a companion book that details the city of Jonril, situated just outside the pass into the Sunken Lands. The two books really go together. A large part of the purpose of the city is to supply the many explorers going into the wasteland. As in the California Gold Rush, it is the outfitters that get rich, not necessarily the prospectors.

The Midkemia books use the Tome of Midkemia rules, which were never published. They are vaguely D&D-like, with levels, Hits To Kill (HTK), and percentile skills. Monsters have Armor Ratings (translatable to AC), HTK, size, attacks, damage, and movement, and they are very easy to translate to D&D or a clone. So, it will be extremely simple to run using any D&D variant. 

I've decided that I want to run this. I want to use Beyond the Wall and Other Adventures for the ruleset. It has skills, and the magic is something I like. Building connections between the PCs through character generation is also a wonderful thing. I was thinking about using Heroes and Other Worlds, but the translations would be somewhat harder.

I went to FedEx Office and made 17"x22" copies of the players maps of Jonril, Tulan of the Isles, and The Sunken Lands (as well as a scanned image of the map).

To get used to the nature of hexcrawling in the Sunken Lands, I'm going to start by doing some solo explorations. Then I'll have some NPCs that have been through a few expeditions and have tales to tell.