Hiatus & Homebrew

W O W so holy shit it’s been a minute. I got bogged down in school and as the year ended the holidays kept me exhausted for an extra month. It’s only this week that I’ve been able to breathe and even then, physically I’ve been recuperating and dealing with a sinus infection.

Ailments aside, today has been productive. I get to thinking about how to mash up homebrew systems, OSR hacks, game settings, and mechanics from around the web on other peoples’ blogs. When I do, stuff like the Continent happens.

The Continent is where I’m squarely basing all of my OSR/ homebrew games. I’ve got Gorantia for my current science fantasy game, but I crave some gritty, low-fantasy gameplay now and again. Low fantasy =/= low magic in my head, so though the Continent is anywhere from mid-1500s to mid-1800s in its techno-magical development, it’s primarily points of light in wilderness and feudal monarchy where the wilds have been pushed back.

But it’s also a headcanon interpreation of a ton of content created by other people. So I can’t take credit for the basis of any of this stuff. I can only tell you my interpretation of it and how to run it in my way. Which makes this version of it mine, but none of the source material belongs to me. Kinda how you can run Forgotten Realms or Eberron and it’s not your setting, but it is as soon as you touch it and crack open the pages of source material.

So to get all that out of the way, here are the sources I’m pulling from. Other blogs, books, Redditors, and so forth. Good shit you should look at:

  • The Thawing Kingdom by the Bottomless Sarcophagus. Soulsborne-esque spiritual amnesia coupled with good ole-fashioned OSR-style worldbuilding. I’m coupling this with Noringrad, a place made by u/dIoIIoIb, to get my own version of a city stuck in between over-flowing material opulence and crumbling decadence. There’s some Hot Springs Island that bleeds into this interpretation, as well, especially the sipopa epidemic and the mage-only civilization that follows.
  • Incunabuli, a wholly fantastic gameworld. If you haven’t looked into this, you should. It’s a hugely impressive project with a ton of inspirational material. I’ve grabbed things piecemeal, like gunsprings and grisodate salt. Litorans made it into my world too, warped there by the same dreamwave that forms the basis of magic in my setting.
  • I deeply enjoy Death McGunz‘s work on Reddit. I have taken his idea of Muck and incorporated into the Continent, calling it the Aldfen. I also grabbed the idea of inaccessible regions and a name from Altimeria by u/Dedicated_Duck, whose setting is one plagued by mists that make navigation and travel deadly.

So the Continent is shaping up like this:

A long time ago, some people got greedy. They were called Noringrad, and they were viewed as apostates rebelling against the gods. Then they killed the gods using magic they stole from a people known only as the Dark Folk, who hailed from Gloomwalk. Now there was no one to rebel against, so they started exploiting the god-husks and mining them for resources. In time, their expansion led them to the Swordfish Islands, where they found the sole supplier of a red crystal that came to be known as lyrocite. It propelled their society to new heights, but also reduced it by three fourths, and now only mages live in Noringrad.

While Noringrad was teetering on the edge of implosion and a riot of advancement, other nations struggled with the dreamwave and its impact on the world. Magic grew more powerful as the gods manifested in the mundane world to fight Noringrad. With the growing magic, monsters and mayhem followed.

The alderfey left the elves as custodians of their ancient homeland and abandoned the mundane world, sensing disaster. Kor Radir used hundreds of magi to seal themselves away from the rest of the world, conjuring a vexacious mist that kept their borders impermeable until such time as they decided to lower them. The kingdom of Iceheart was frozen as the king’s jealous, envious heart seized upon the dreamwave and cast a spell of instinct and intent and primeval frost. Though it now thaws, much of the kingdom suffers from amnesia and struggles to control the murky landscape. In the south, Aharantha is experiencing the rise of a new goddess, though the claim to that title is dubious at best. None can deny the fervor her people hold for her, but Noringrad is beginning to stir at the idea that gods cannot be forever killed.

Meanwhile, Altimeria languishes under the lawlessness of the wilds, lack of central authority, and Otherworldly monsters drawn from nightmares and the Dream itself. Mists blossom in the untamed places, and only foolhardy adventurers plumb the ruins, relics, and tombs of former civilizations. Riches and treasures lie buried. The Continent careens as new developments arrive daily. There is expansion, and there is regression. Power and poverty, darkness and desperate light, order and chaos spiraling round one another form the crux of the Contient’s plight.

So this is my setting. Is it mine? Not really. It’s an amalgam of other settings. But I have my own twists. And in no way can I claim that these ideas are anything other than other peoples’ really great work and effort. So it’s not mine, but it could be yours.

Use it. I’ll keep updating about it unless the aforementioned writers don’t want me to, in which case this will vanish. It’ll be an untyped notebook of mine, used until I have no use of it, then passed on to my children or friends who take up the mantle of referee after me.

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