Terramar is an Old School rpg campaign (created over 40 years ago).
You know what’s fun? Talking with dragons. Finding treasures. Negotiating with pirates. Exploring flying castles. Laying forgotten spirits to rest. Fulfilling ancient prophecies. Tricking gods. And you can do all that and more on Terramar.
My campaign can be about losing yourself in your favorite, familiar fantasy stories and imagining yourself as a hero doing all the cool things you’ve seen and read about. And it can be about complex, unfamiliar, fantastic worlds unlike anyone has ever seen before. With strange races and alien environments. And nuanced moral and political philosophy.
Terramar runs regular sessions on Discord and Roll20, and also play-by-posting mode on Discord for those who can’t make the regular sessions.
It is set on the planet Terramar which is a backwater colony world inhabited by humans and other species.
The campaign is “weird fantasy” in the style of China Mieville’s Bas-Lag (but with very different politics and economics); baroque fantasy in the style of M. John Harrison’s Viriconium; sword-and-sorcery in the style of Fritz Leiber’s Nehwon; and a planetary romance in the style of Robert Silverberg’s Majipoor.
“I do not try to scale adventures to a party’s level. Since I typically run sandboxes, I will put stuff together that makes sense to me (at least). Yes, a low level party may run into a pair of owlbears. My philosophy is that they will either learn to cope, run away, or get practice at creating new characters. It’s fine so long as that’s what everyone has signed on for. Pre-game discussion is the answer to a lot of questions that are typically posed as theoretical matters.”
To understand Terramar, imagine the perspective of the average medieval or renaissance peasant. This person has the stats of a normal human commoner, and while they might not know their stats explicitly, they know their relation to the rest of the world. Our peasant knows that he can be killed quite easily by marauding raiders, enemy soldiers, or even wild animals. He’s not mighty, he’s not organized, and he doesn’t have any special skills to bring to bear when danger strikes. He worries about drought and flood, and the welfare of his livestock. His extended family likely all lives within a mile of his birthplace. To him, a trip to a town ten miles off is an expedition into the unknown.
Imagine you are this peasant, and you meet a trio of GURPS adventurers. When you address the wizard, you are speaking to someone who could incinerate your home and slay all your livestock with a few words. The fighter has prevailed against a dozen orcish skirmishers and slain them all – and he could do the same again. The cleric is a man so holy that the gods themselves have granted him the power to cure the sick and heal the wounded. These are epic heroes.
Now consider the powers of a manticore. To the peasant, the appearance of this manticore near the village isn’t a nuisance: the beast can, and likely will slay you in seconds if you draw its attention. You, your livestock, and your entire family are in immediate danger of violent death. Even if you were well armed and gathered a large peasant militia, your village faces heavy losses and no guarantee of success. Against such a creature, adventurers may be your only hope. GURPS recognizes that heroic characters are mortal, while reframing the game’s perspective to create a context where those same characters are epic heroes.
The game is an open world which follows the F.L.A.I.L.S.N.A.I.L.S. conventions,
It uses (at the option of the particular party of players) either D&D, TFT, d100, GURPS, FUDGE, FATE, PbtA, or Savage Worlds rules.
- Coming Next*
1. I am going to look at https://www.tribality.com/2016/01/08/writing-a-players-guide-for-your-new-campaign/ and see what else should be posted in the campaign wiki.
2. Stuff for Session Zero.
A list of races is available at https://terramar.obsidianportal.com/wiki_pages/races-of-terramar
There is a DRAFT Campaign Planning Sheet at https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vS682SLiOabNcfI4Sthixzn36q2IZK4qQvoJk4VuFeorLlZm6JZZrMdl1RueBVh7mbTecoVD6VXRe4z/pub