The first Wyrlde campaign was started in 1982, The last one until now was in 1996. Each of those that came before fed into this one, and all of it was something that was pretty wild, with different experiments and efforts to try and find something that wasn’t just the run of the mill experience, while still giving you a lot of the same fun stuff there.
As a result, Wyrlde is both a complete campaign of interconnected adventures and a completely new setting, different from any other, while still being somewhat familiar.
In terms of the larger scale D&D universe, Wyrlde still lies in the Prime Material Plane, but is not closely linked to any others. In the act of creating it, there was much that was liberally used from other settings to flesh out this one – no sense in reinventing the wheel – but there is also a lot that is new, and specific, and different.
This is a long story, and your group of hardy souls will be the ones who ultimately decide how many sessions you play, so how long it takes, but it has been set up so that you can take your time, and develop your characters, and have stories afterwards about the acts of bravery and heroism and all the rest that we all like to prattle on about when we look back on old games.
Development on the Setting and Campaign began in late May and early June of 2019. Every element of the setting was looked at, because nothing in this world is without a reason – even if that reason may sometimes be “the sheer damn foolishness of it”.
That is why there is a Player’s Guide specific to this effort. There are races, classes, backgrounds, equipment, spells, monsters, magic items, quirks, and other oddities that need to be laid you for you, all while also giving you a sense of this world, this time and place. A favorite class may not be available, or a standard race may be absent, or a kind of weapon or magic item you have grown used to may be missing.
This is not going to be a tournament permissible campaign, then. It will be a fun one, though.
This Guide will give you all the stuff that’s different. It will also give you stuff that’s useful, new, and possibly annoying, as well as all three of those things and more.
This is a campaign that is told in nine Adventures:
1. The Rising Legend
2. The Abyssal Summit
3. The Tower of Ism
4. The Shattered Dreams
5. The Journey Home
6. The Shattered Hopes
7. The Master’s Tools
8. The Floating Mountain
9. The Well of Souls
Each of the Adventures should, in theory, take your character up through three levels. Assuming the guidance in the GM’s Guide is sufficient, the experiences will also give your characters increasing renown, and put them in a position of greater fame or infamy.
Each adventure has a beginning, a middle, and an end, in and of itself. Each part of the adventure is designed for a well rounded party of five players, with at least one Cleric, one Warrior, one Mage, and One Rogue among them. It is designed for five players, so that it can be played by three to seven players.
Each Adventure is essentially going to take you up three levels. Each level of adventure is easily divided up into the ability to do it in three sessions of four hours each. And all of them lead int the next one, with plenty of time for other stuff.
There are also side quests, also nine of them, that can be done in addition to the main course.
The end goal is that you will have a chance to shape the world itself – what you do will have consequences and impact that you will be able to see. Because, in the end…
This is a campaign where players are the Good Guys.
That doesn’t mean they can’t be anti-heroes, nor does it mean that they can’t be absolute assholes – “every villain sees themselves as the hero of their story” is more than just a pleasant phrase.
But they are the Heroes, and it is very intentional that they are that way, because when I tell you that the Story being told here is about the small group of people who Save The World, it is a very true thing.
So, as a player, consider, if you would, what it means to be a good guy. Alignment is not a big deal here – because in the end, it is the actions, not the intent, that will matter when the history is told – likely in the Campaign that follows this one.
This is very much a campaign, told in parts, and you can make book on it.
I’m your GM. The tone and speaker to you throughout this work is me speaking. The notes, comments, and content that comes from me about the world is meant to be listened to. The stuff about how you should role play or make your character is a gentle suggestion, since it could have an impact on the side quests in particular, but also the main questline, since at least one of the major elements involves each character as a person and their hopes and their dreams and their fears and their terrors. You can call me Game Master or Game Mistress or Game Meddler. Ask, though, just to be sure.
There is, however, a thing to ask you that might be surprising. Is this world an immersive VR video game for you? Is it a novel that has sucked you into the story as one of the heroes? Are you someone born in the world and of it, not drawn or summoned from other places within the prime Material Plane? Did you die and were you reincarnated on this world? These are things you should decide – either on your own for you, or as part of a team effort with your fellow players. Because these things will subtly alter the way you play your character and add to the entirety of the setting and the gaming experience.
When you first start to play in this Campaign, you and your party will start at 1st level. Each of you might consider filling one of the Party Roles in that party. The Roles are somewhat important – aside from making it easier to tell the story, they also ensure that the party can handle whatever it encounters. And I want you to be able to handle whatever you encounter, since very little of it is truly random. This campaign is not meant to kill you – but that doesn’t mean it cannot do so. A single goblin can get a lucky roll and off goes your character’s head. But, by and large, you have a fighting chance through most of the campaign, assuming you can keep your head and remember to stay true to the character.
Should, however, a character die, it is important to note that replacement characters will also start at 1st level or one half the level of the rest of the party, whichever is greater. This is to ensure that while still weaker, they can be fit into the ongoing story as it happens, and there are key points where those characters can be introduced often.
Some effort was put into making the segments of each adventure playable in a single four hour session. Assuming for overages, no single adventure should take more than three to five sessions – six sessions among the last few, and it is planned to be a full eight sessions for Well of Souls.
The Wyrlde Book (TWB), is the Player’s Addendum for this setting. It contains a wealth of information developed at the same time as the setting and presented to you so that you are not flying entirely blind.
The Encyclopedia Wyrldica (TEW) is the DM’s Addendum for this setting. It contains all the adventures and materials and special rules and advice and tables and charts and *whew* you get the idea.
The most essential Books for a player are The Players Handbook and Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. These are abbreviated using PHB and XGE. If you do not have either of them, and/or you use the Basic Rules, you can ask to use the House Copy of those sourcebooks. To look things up, or you may play using just what you have access to yourself. XGE is worth adding to your own collection for use here, as there is a lot of information pulled from it.
There is some material drawn from The Wayfarer’s Guide to Eberron and The Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide sourcebooks as well. They are abbreviated as WGE and SWAG, respectively. WGE materials are predominantly drawing on ideas about the setting, while SWAG pulls in subclasses and backgrounds.
These materials as well as some which come from other sources (such as The DMs Guide or D&D Beyond) are presented herein, essentially copied and pasted over, making this a useful supplement overall and making it a Sourcebook in and of itself.
Influences & Inspiration
The influences that feed into Wyrlde are many and vast. The Mythopoetic Creatrix of the setting is a Sociologist and Psychologist, and she has a broad range of interests and ideas. She draws often from pop culture and Meme Culture for some things, but also from History, from the same sources as the original D&D game, from the Sourcebooks, past adventures in previous incarnations of Wyrlde, and the usual traditional sources.
But for this incarnation of Wyrlde, she chose to not only step outside the realm of typical and comfortable and familiar, but to rely on newer, younger sources for inspiration and ideas. As a glance through this work will tell you, she has drawn heavily from Anime imagery, manga and anime works, and not merely in the sense of the Fantasy ones. She has spent time on TVTropes, trying to deconstruct and even rebuild some ideas, and she has turned to video games such as Horizon Zero Dawn. She has pulled from a host of authors, most of whom were published well after the 70s (the early 70’s being the end of the inspiration for the original Dungeons and Dragons game), including Stephen Donaldson and Stephen King, Tamora Pierce, Rebecca Roanhorse, Patricia Briggs and Kim Harrison, Kameron Hurley, Leigh Bardugo, N.K. Jemisin, Brian Vaughn, Fiona Staples, Ao Jyumoni, Glen Cook, Reki Kawahara, Tanya Huff, and Elizabeth Moon.
She herself started playing D&D in 1979. Then kids, life, and more got in the way, and she only returned to it in 2019, after having stopped for 20 years, and this is the result of her return, a massive pair of tomes and an assortment of handouts, bric a brak, and the keys to kingdom unlike many others.
I, Antelle, hope you find her hard work worthy of your time, and that it brings you happiness, even if for but a little while.
It is a lot to take in for a simple introduction, but I, your GM, think you can handle it.
After all, you want to be a Hero, don’t you?