Complete Newbie's Guide to the City-State and Wilderlands?
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Post Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 3:00 pm 
 

Hi, folks,

    I'm extremely curious about the Judge's Guild stuff, specifically the Wilderlands of High Fantasy and City-State of the Invincible Overlord settings.  (As I understand it, they're linked, correct?)  The reviews on the d20 retreads have been extremely positive, but I don't play d20.  (I run either 1e AD&D or HackMaster, depending on the campaign.)  I'm completely green, here - so tell me, if you have a minute, everything I need to know.  ;)

    What's the basic gist of the setting?  What are the "basic buys" I need to get started?  Is it at all feasible for a "casual collector" such as myself to track down copies of this stuff in good condition, or should I go with PDFs?  (I'm interested in running actual games with this stuff, not letting it moulder on a shelf.)  And, lastly, I understand Judge's Guild is offering PDF downloads of the original material on their website - what has your experience been with this service?  

    Any and all feedback is welcome and appreciated,

     DYA

  


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Post Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 3:06 pm 
 

Addendum:  What are your recommendations for some good entry-level modules?  Is there a "classic campaign" (a la Temple, Slavers, GDQ for Greyhawk)?

  

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Post Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 6:28 pm 
 

Your question is quite a large one, DestroyYouALot.

First...go to the Judges Guild Subweb (from the Acaeum Home Page) and start studying there.

There are at least three dozen products included in the Wilderlands Campaign, as well as magazine articles and adventures, maps, etc...

Many Judges Guild D&D and AD&D products are located on, or related to, the Wilderlands Campaign.

Wilderlands items are, in fact, still being published.

Eostros has some Judges Guild pdf materials on their website.

Much Wilderlands stuff is also available for very low prices in pdf format at DrivethruRPG.com

Necromancer games also has some stuff on their website.

IN my opinion, the Wilderlands campaign begins with the City State of the Invincible Overlord.  That is a good place to start.  The Wilderlands first appeared to the gaming community as a map,of the City State of the Invincible Overlord sold at GenCon in 1976.

Tarantis is also a good publication to acquire, since that publication includes a map of the entire wilderlands.

The Wilderlands of... products give details about the overall setting, scattered over four publications and a number of maps.


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 10:04 am 
 

FormCritic wrote:Your question is quite a large one, DestroyYouALot.




Well, thanks - that's at least a start.



As for the collector aspect - I'd like to get, at the least, a pre-Mayfair copy of the CSotIO map.  Is there any one version that has more info than another?  Is it going to run me a ton to get a copy in decent condition?



Edit:  It appears, on further digging, that what I'm looking for is the "City State of the Invincible Overlord Playing Aid."  (Assuming I'm not going to run into any Gen-Con '76 copies on the cheap.  ;)  )  Is the book in the following auction what I'm looking for?



http://cgi.ebay.com/3-JUDGES-GUILD-RPG- ... dZViewItem

  


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 10:20 am 
 

I know I want to pick up Tegel Manor, although I can't look at it, yet.  (The GM for our 1e play-by-post game over on Dragonsfoot has dropped hints that we may end up there.  ;)  )

  

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Post Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 10:42 am 
 

DestroyYouAlot wrote:I know I want to pick up Tegel Manor, although I can't look at it, yet.  (The GM for our 1e play-by-post game over on Dragonsfoot has dropped hints that we may end up there.  ;)  )


DYA: i DM'd Tegel Manor at GenCon in august - well a small portion of it. there is a thread somewhere relating to an actual episode from it. go look it up - lots of fun.

IMHO if youre going to delve into JG products and use them, i would grab the following and youre good to go.

CS of the invincible overlord - get a 5th/6th print. they are easier to acquire than older prints and wont cost you anything like the others.

Tarantis: fantastic city setting, with literally everything you need and then some.

Verbosh: easily available and can prb snag one for $5 easily. this is a great setting.

book of treasure maps: again reasonably easy to acquire and gives you a number of ready adventures to instigate.

any of the wilderlands adventures/settings, i would leave just for now as they will normally all cost you a fair amount. i would utilise one/some of the above first to familiarise yourself with it and then pursue potential options from there.

for me, there is nothing better than the original maps. i think you lose a lot of the essence of the product acquiring it in PDF format, but hey its your cash dude :)

Al



  


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 12:17 pm 
 

What, you're not recommending Under the Storm Giant's Castle? :lol:

  

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Post Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 12:23 pm 
 

Dark Tower is a good one to get, and so is Caverns of Thracia.


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 12:33 pm 
 

serleran wrote:Dark Tower is a good one to get, and so is Caverns of Thracia.


they would be serl, but as they are a little off the beaten track, i wouldnt particularly use them to play unless i have a battered/used copy.

Al



  

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Post Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 12:48 pm 
 

Necromancer Games has a Judges Guild section ( http://www.judgesguild.com ).  Some (all?) of the Wilderlands articles from Pegasus are located in the free Downloads area:

. . . http://www.judgesguild.com/downloads.html

Fan-authored downloads are not locked, but some of the downloads for the recent Necromancer Judges Guild products are password-protected.

Downloading, printing, and reading the above PDFs may distract you from understanding the basic Judges Guild setting/product line.

  


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 1:16 pm 
 

DestroyYouAlot wrote:     What's the basic gist of the setting?  


Exploration.

In the old version there are 18 maps with a series of lists in a standard chart format listing pertinent facts about specific hex locations.  Some of the lists have short one paragraph description. It is up to you to figure out how they connect together.

The impression you will walk with after reading what is there is that is vaguely swords and sorcery with a sprinkling of high tech items. The value in its format. The stats make it easy to come with things on the fly, remain consistent and remember for future.

In the new version again there are 18 maps. Each map is own chapter and all the lists have been combined into one master list. Each location now has at least one paragraph sometimes two, three or more. The geographical features of each of the map is detailed in the first section each chapter. All stats are presented in a minimal format (Arthur, Ftr11, LG) that makes it use with other system a snap.

Many of the advantages of the older products is presented in the Boxed Set. There is more detail so less work is needed to run a given location 'on the fly' or prepped. There is a mountain of detail and the longer lists makes it harder to cross reference everything you need. The price is pretty steep as well. But the added detail and the standardized format makes this a order of magnitude better. If you can stand the price I would get both the PDF and physical products.

DestroyYouAlot wrote:What are the "basic buys" I need to get started?  


Old
Wilderlands of High Fantasy
City State of the Invinicible Overlord

DestroyYouAlot wrote:Is it at all feasible for a "casual collector" such as myself to track down copies of this stuff in good condition, or should I go with PDFs?  (I'm interested in running actual games with this stuff, not letting it moulder on a shelf.)  


PDFs at RPGnow is the way to go for a DM using this in actual play. The major exception is the physical maps. If you are not collector laminate the suckers and they will last years and look good. (Mine have survived twenty years of abuse being laminated)


DestroyYouAlot wrote:And, lastly, I understand Judge's Guild is offering PDF downloads of the original material on their website - what has your experience been with this service?  


I buy everything at RPGNow. http://www.judgesguild.com has various fan and official free downloads.

Rob Conley
co-Author Wilderlands of High Fantasy (Necromancer)

  


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 3:45 pm 
 

killjoy32 wrote:as they are a little off the beaten track, i wouldnt particularly use them to play unless i have a battered/used copy.


True, but DT is such a great concept that everyone should play it. CoT is just a dungeon crawl.

  


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 4:01 pm 
 

I'm seriously beating myself up over the fact that, maybe six months ago, I passed up very playable copies of DT and CoT in the used bin at my FLGS (for around $10 a pop).   :oops:

  

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Post Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 6:00 pm 
 

DestroyYouAlot wrote:I'm seriously beating myself up over the fact that, maybe six months ago, I passed up very playable copies of DT and CoT in the used bin at my FLGS (for around $10 a pop).   :oops:


Okay you can stop, give the bruises time to heal, then commence again :)

All very good suggestions though from others in this thread.

ShaneG.


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 12:04 am 
 

DestroyYouAlot wrote:I'm seriously beating myself up over the fact that, maybe six months ago, I passed up very playable copies of DT and CoT in the used bin at my FLGS (for around $10 a pop).   :oops:


I've done worse: I had CoT and Temple of Ra, then traded them away for next to nothing.

  


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 12:36 am 
 

Judges Guild is just cool.

Take the description of Dacil Vonidar

Dacil Vonidar is a place that is a place that isn't. its walls are black, its surface white; its walks are paved yet never trod; the voices even, the aura odd; most by day and known by night; its echoes sound a distant knell; its treasure vast, is hid from greed - its finder dies to birth the seed; and far is near but near is hell.  Dacil Vonidar is a dream that was, a hope that is, and an impossiblity that will be.

CSoWE (Guidebook Map 6).

That's what makes it interesting.  See the comment on Tegel's book in the Tegel thread.

  

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Post Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 2:04 am 
 

DestroyYouAlot wrote:

 Is the book in the following auction what I'm looking for?

http://cgi.ebay.com/3-JUDGES-GUILD-RPG- ... dZViewItem




Yes, but that is ONLY the book for sale...the actual product has multiple maps added on.  There is a reason that this particular Buy-It-Now sale has been lingering on Ebay for months.


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 2:18 am 
 

Actually, the gist of the Wilderlands setting is....no gist.

The setting is an ecclectic mix of time periods, genres and fantasy themes...pirates, amazons, vikings, elves etc...all getting along very well in their own fruit salad game world.

The brilliance of Judges Guild was in their early commitment to styles of gaming (outdoors or on the sea, for instance, as opposed to dungeons) and themes (cities, chaotic neutral goverment) and unique settings (tunnels in a cloud, buried towers, haunted house, etc...) that were simply not being explored by TSR at that time.

A good start to a Wilderlands collection would be to collect all the cheap Judges Guild commons on Ebay...possibly in a batch...or get them from Al (Killjoy) at ASGI.com.
 
Verbosh is a must.  So is The Book of Treasure Maps (volume one).  Both can be had for little money.

The Book of Treasure Maps gives you a nice couple of useable adventures, including The Moon Tower (I think that's its name)....one of the best AD&D scenarios ever...as well as some generic dungeon settings and one creepy demon prince prison.

It is no coincidence that Dark Tower, Caverns of Thracia and The Book of Treasure Maps were all the work of one designer...Paul Jaquays.  He was the Charles Stross of Judges Guild.

If you intend to run Dark Tower as a module then go to DriveThruRPG.com and buy the pdf for...what...$3?  You cannot get even a playable copy for that price and the electronic format will allow you to print and reprint at will.


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Post Posted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 2:39 pm 
 

Well, I took my first plunge into JG:  Went down to the FLGS and scored a damn-near perfect copy (bagged and everything) of "Prey of Darkness" (which looks like a REALLY fun module) for $8.  (Not a "rare," I know, but I was psyched.)  Also got the Mayfair "Raiders of Ironrock" and "Deception at Dasa" boxed sets for $3 each - I can confirm the "meh" quality that I keep hearing about, but they'll be good for an idea here and there.  Look nice on the shelf, anyway.  ;)

  

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Post Posted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 3:30 pm 
 

A word of caution.  The Mayfair products have almost nothing to do (beyond sharing names) with the original Judges Guild material or the d20 Necromancer Games and Eostros/Goodman Games updates of the original JG material.

While I have shrink wrap copies of the MayFair material, it is merely for the collectors aspect and not suitable playability.

  
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