Direbane is an abode to share artifacts, simulacra, histories, and other items of note related to ongoing years adventuring.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Everything Is Connected


(Wilderlands imposed on Ghostring)

My present Judges Guild Wilderlands campaign has been running for 15 years, and has direct linkages back through our "Blipping" campaign running between 1988-2005 and somewhat looser connections from our earliest campaigns there and elsewhere from as far back as 1979. (Ha, however, in a sort of "Groundhog's Day," every Wilderness campaign restarted the jumpstart year of 4433.)

Unfortunately, fast-forward back to nowadays after Bat in the Attic Games announced in February 2020 it would suspend all future dealings with Judges Guild over a series of racist and antisemitic posts made by Judges Guild owner Bob Bledsaw II, and it has become complicated to support the old-school brilliance of these Wilderlands works by the Senior Bob Bledsaw, who passed in 2008 and is unconnected to the present drama and controversy.

I sort of pulled a fast one on our shared referee "New Old Weird World" campaign and slipped the Wilderlands into a world map there, albeit in a Tekumellian, post-apocalyptic scene more than 20,000 years in the future.

Basically, I had found some time back a Judges Guild adventure for the sci-fi game Traveller call "Marooned on Ghostring." The setting is a planetary system missing from records of the galactic Imperial government, and several (but not all) of the attributes are similar to the system of Ghenrek IV, the planet where The Wilderlands exist.

I ran with this information adopting what I needed and changing the rest to fit the world into the Imperial empire of the far future.

Ha, so myself, I have been running essentially one campaign all this time. Everything is sought to fit (perhaps sometimes imperfectly) within an ongoing story of our group's adventures where I've refereed.

  • Furthest back 30,000 yeas ago Agent Smith from an alternate future dabbles in forbidden arts and ends up on Ghenrek IV during the Uttermost War. Smith is attacked by "Grey Goo" (a nanotech swarm) and only saved when Elder Alliance engineers transform Smith into a cyborg. Smith is secretly left behind on Ghenrek IV when the Elder Alliance abandons their starbase there under terms of a cease fire with the Markrab Prince.
  • During the year 4433 several large masses of combatants ranged across the Wilderlands. A humanoid and giant force that sieged City State of the Invincible Overlord. Githyanki sent by their Lich Queen to establish a massive hatchery helping combat future Mind Flayer domination. The traitorous Drow Necromancer who plotted with the World Emperor to field an undead army. And finally the undead horde released from Mount Doom across the Wild North above Valon.
  • Also during 4433 an adventuring party resisting the Githyanki incursion assembled the Tripartate of All Evil, inadvertently releasing the dreaded elder god, Tharzadu'un. As the elder god attempts to access a hidden portal to escape from this prime material plane, a massive magical-thermonuclear explosion occurs and the party/world (?) only survives through intervention from Codex of the Infinite Planes. This adventuring party is soon after imprisoned in a stasis field as when they moved to defeat the Drow necromancer.
  • At some point by 4434 the Baron of Blackmoor acquires what he believes to be a powerful weapon to defeat the various forces threatening Blackmoor. Unfortunately the "weapon" activates "The City of Gods," a terraforming installation left over from the Elder Alliance/Markrab days which was never put into use. The terraforming uses force beams to manipulate the flows in the molten core of Ghenrek IV to alter the planet's tilt, spin, magnetic field, gravity, etc. and creates a world-wide apocalypse.
  • The adventuring party, after messing with a faulty Mind Flayer time ship, is deposited sometime around year 8400 in the northern post-apocalyptic barren dry barren waste. They are only able to escape back to 4433 by discovering the Comeback Inn situated on a barren outcropping of magical black rock. The inn has a somewhat randomized time portal in its basement.
  • This party is abandoned in the Wilderlands approximately in year 25,000 where there is only a barren, icy wasteland populated by cultish white elves who are in transdimensional communication with Githyanki. Ultimately, the party discovers a plan to infiltrate the Mind Flayer home planet, a discworld Mind Flayers are preparing to send back in time.
  • After that adventuring party had fell through an interplanar transtemporal "rabbit hole" into an alternate prime material plane where they meet Matsuhara Yatsuya, a Time Lord, who sends the party to a number of alternate far, far future scenarios, which seem to resolve in ultimate futures of either a "Matrix"-like AI generated artificial existence, or a fiery ecological disaster of acid rains and marauding demons.

In our latest campaign adventurers are back on Ghenrek IV circa 25,019, but I utilized the world map to provide different options for terrain and climate. We are also rotating referees, so while I started the campaign I have little control over where the campaign will end up (although I did hit up Sick Rick our next referee about the Wilderlands connection).

Despite the recent drama and bigotry, the Wilderlands for me continues to be our longest running campaign setting which still pays dividends to our imagination. I just wish certain people's beliefs would be less parochial...

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