Hopefully it’s not out of place to mention this, but my brother and I have been working on a card game with some…

Hopefully it’s not out of place to mention this, but my brother and I have been working on a card game with some…

Hopefully it’s not out of place to mention this, but my brother and I have been working on a card game with some Norse-inspired flavor that’s now made it to Kickstarter. While the game isn’t DW-esque in the slightest, I’ve used the flavor and art as a huge omnibus of inspiration for my current DW campaign, which is set in a Norse-ish archipelago.

I’ve turned this into a few campaign resources, including a map, a bunch of history docs, some fronts, and plenty of NPCs. That last part has been particularly fun, as you can rifle cards out of the playtest deck to insta-generate characters.

In addition, the worldbuilding I’ve done around this has been more divided by faction lines than racial ones. Each card’s “type” (might, lore, craft, faith) ended up as the basis for a section of the map, with races then filling minor roles and being scattered everywhere.

Anyways, when I started out I drew up a map and threw random flavor-appropriate names at it until I ran out of ink. Then I drew rough faction lines, added capital cities, fleshed out some crude history for ~2% of the locations, and boom. We started the campaign.

We printed the map out and day 1 in full color on an 8×11 sheet of cardstock, and it’s been really, really cool to lay it down before the players and say “You can go anywhere.” Since I’m not overprepping, the whole map is largely “blank spots” from my side of the table, but because I’ve got faction lines I can usually rough out an event for any destination they pick.

Case in point, to start the campaign I made them all choose home towns for their characters. The towns they chose had no initial backstory, but later I used those as hotspots to steer them towards. When they got close to one player’s town, I sent her a private message and asked, “What’s this town known for? What’s your history there?” and used the answers to create a session or too.

Compared to some of the previous campaigns I’ve run and played in, it’s been enjoyable having a world where race doesn’t automatically equate to faction. Not every elf is a ranger, not every ranger’s an elf, and most importantly (to me), most of the NPCs are human without all blending together. Just by telling my players what “color” a character roughly aligns to, they get a pretty good flavor of what that character looks like, acts like, values, resents, etc.

For anyone who wants to check out some of the other resources I’ve been using as world-building inspiration, there’s a site with a pretty decent gallery here (http://norsaga.meromorph.com/resources/) and a Kickstarter page here (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/meromorphgames/norsaga) which seems to be adding additional art. Not all of the hero card names+images are available (at least not yet, to my knowledge) but it already serves as a decent gallery for creating characters. There are also plenty of boss-style creatures that I’ve been running to when I need a more epic confrontation.

Finally, if anyone finds this map useful, I can toss up a link to the “other world” version. Think the Feywild, but aligned with Yggdrassil. I’ve also made a version that has a randomly generated set of “overlay” points between the two maps, to really bend my players’ minds.