Joined: Feb 01, 2005 Posts: 154 Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:41 pm Post subject: Blackmoor Culture
My campaign just can't seem to stay in one place long. My players have moved on to Blackmoor. Please, help me. I've dug up all canon material including the Oerth Journals. I need some input on the culture/peoples.
So, what's your take? What real-world/Earth parallel do you suggest? What product or map do you use for the capital?
Lastly, I tried to search the forums here for previous discussions. The search function doesn't seem to work. Any suggestions?
Blackmoor is a grab bag of great fantasy cultures and I would start by listing everything you plan to use from its different incarnations (Arneson's Blackmoor, Ritchie's Blackmoor, Gygax's, Weining's, Judges Guild, 3e, 4e, etc.) and anything else that fits the vibe.
I would include Winderland's Valley of the Ancients, JG's Citadel of Fire, Wastrian Cultists, spacefaring humans, forgotten Aerdi nobles mad with isolation (and a dash of Ravenloft), the Zei (sp?) Sea Barbarians (the forth faction of the Suel barbarians), Flannae marsh dwellers, refugees from the Bandit Kingdoms, Kuntz's Dark Druids, the Docrae halflings from Dragon #315, liches and tombs (Oeridian and ur-Flan), xvarts & kobolds, dark creepers, links to your favorite version of the City of Brass, elder evils and technology from astonishing swordsmen & sorcerers of hyperborea, dwarves with stream technology (3e sources and Iron Orb of the Duergar in Dungeon #46).
I'd probably read up on real world peat bog mummies and add some Scottish culture.
Saga of the Witch Queen (Goodman Games) and I8 Ravager of the Time are generic, but totally awesome modules with a great Blackmoor vibe.
The trusty 1983 boxed set alignment map depicts Blackmoor as LE, NE and N in alignment. Blackmoor is also one of the most remote and inhospitable realms in the entire Flanaess. This made me envision Blackmoor as the place where the most desperate people, the ones with absolutely nowhere else to go, gather.
The law of survival applies more in Blackmoor more than anywhere else, even the fell lands of Iuz or the Horned Empire. The strong survive, while the weak drown in the marshes. Blackmoorians only cooperate with one another out of necessity, or when compelled to do so by brute force.
Blackmoor's heraldry of an island castle surrounded by water is a fitting metaphor. Every Blackmoorian realizes that he's surrounded by potential enemies, as does every town, every province and the nation as a whole. And they're right-whether it's attacks from the Egg of Coot's forces, the weird inhabitants of the Black Ice region, independent humanoids and other monsters, the followers of Wastri, Archbaron Bestmo's own brutality, or anything else, every day in Blackmoor is a struggle to survive.
If you ever find yourself in Blackmoor, you will either learn quickly to take care of yourself and survive, or you will end up rotting in the bogs like so many countless souls before you.
Blackmoor is a grab bag of great fantasy cultures and I would start by listing everything you plan to use from its different incarnations (Arneson's Blackmoor, Ritchie's Blackmoor, Gygax's, Weining's, Judges Guild, 3e, 4e, etc.) and anything else that fits the vibe...
-Arneson's First Fantasy Campaign describes the people now described as Marsh Flan as "Picts".
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