I’m Starting a Wilderness Campaign

Sam W

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Starting a Wilderness Campaign

Having backed the Dolmenwood kickstarter a few days ago, I have been brewing on its elements and the campaign structure it supports. It’s hexcrawling and dungeon delving, something I have flirted with but never had a full campaign of. Now I wanna run it for my home group.

This serves as starting information for the group, as well as inspiration for anyone else looking to run a similar campaign and doesn’t know how to get started (start small is the answer). This may be edited as I figure out and mull over what I want.

Rules n Stuff

For combat and character rules, we will be using White Box: Fantastic Medieval Adventure Game, with a few odds and ends taken from Delving Deeper (such as making scrolls). These are based off of 1974 DnD rules. We will use the WBFMAG standard combat sequence, allow binding wounds, and first hit die of HP is maxed out. I will be rolling Morale and Reaction rolls for monsters. We will be rolling 3d6 down the line, but not using experience bonuses based on prime attribute. THIEVES ARE ALLOWED!

We will be using hexcrawl rules based on Hexcrawls rule!, and using 10-minute chunked time (‘dungeon turns’) when in a dungeon of some kind. We will be keeping track of gold, food, torches, time, and any other resources.

Instead of Alignment, I have provided alternate names for each class based on Law and Chaos (the only two alignments allowed!). They are as follows:

Class Lawful Variant Chaotic Variant
Fighter Knight Mercenary
Cleric Holy Warrior Pagan Priest
Magic-User Magician Sorcerer
Thief Vigilante Brigand

Think of the variants of the class you pick, rather than the underlying alignment. It’s just a bit more character flavor for you to lean into.

I will distribute WBFMAG over Discord, but Delving Deeper is fairly similar and and can be viewed online for free.

No preparation is needed other than reading this page.

The Setting

Players’ Map of the Far Reaches

“In days long past, many beasts and machines roamed the land. People lived and flourished under the rule of autocracies, until one day they all fell apart. Then came the diaspora and chaos. Eventually, people settled, though scattered, living in fear of monsters and evildoers. Now people live, though somewhat miserably, in the remains of what was left. It has been generations now since the peak of society, but remnants of it live and torment us.”

                      -- Unknown

This is a setting of survival. What you should have in mind is the stagnancy, dilapidation, and xenophobia attributed to the dark ages (though arguably ahistorical, I like the themes). This is a nominally fantasy-type world, complete with wizards and dragons.

You should start the game with all the information above known to you.

The Sandbox Approach

I’m not going to set up a plot for you, I’m going to provide opportunities for action, and plenty of them. Expect to have to be a bit investigative and proactive to get stuff done. This will be a game of fortune favors the bold and clever.

You might die. I’m not going to kill you for gotcha’s, but you may need to risk your life and fail. You will be reincluded with a new character as quick as possible.

This is Gold for XP, so you need to make money to level up. Expect to dungeon delve, it’s the primary content I am prepared for.