Saturday, September 25, 2010
Wilderlands of High Fantasy - Do you have this?
If not, you should. Unlike certain other (ahem) publishers with classic old-school RPG products, Judges Guild has its stuff up for easy, cheap download (and is also relatively easy to find on ebay). This particular book here, Wilderlands of High Fantasy, I first bought in the local corner hardware store when I was in 5th grade. It was the third RPG product I ever bought, but it was the one I used the longest (and still use).
It achieves just the right balance of detail and vagueness to inspire a referee's imagination. Its easy to play around with. My first campaign with it (B/X) was very Tolkeinesque, with elf lords and rangers and orc chieftains and abandoned dwarven mines (I'm getting a little excited just thinking about it;). In the 90's, it was home to my very own personal 1E OSR during the 2E era, and home to the classic TSR 1E adventures Temple of Elemental Evil, the Slavers series, and the Giant/Drow series (the pastel versions, of course;). In the early to mid 00's it was home to 3E and the Dungeon Crawl Classics. The last few years (C&C, Microlite20, and finally Swords & Wizardry) its been home to a series of picaresque adventures Cugel, Conan, Elric, and Fafhrd would have felt very much at home in.
Its a bit like an empty canvas that helps you fill it in as you paint. Pick a hex anywhere, make a couple of rolls on the multitude of random tables JG provides, and you're good to go.
Do yourself a favor and pick this up. The main book is here, you should get at least campaign map 1 to go with it, and it doesn't hurt to add the City State and the Ready Ref sheets.
That's 30 years or so worth of gaming material for less than $10.00.
If you have it already, share a little love in the comments below.