Islands in the Wilderness

Rich Baker’s latest article, Points of Light, describes a form of the D&D campaign world that really hit the spot for me. It’s also apparently the default D&D world in 4e.

Some may see this as the “Wild West” version of a D&D setting; or alternatively a “Dark Ages” mediaeval setting. Either way, it connects with me. Partly because it also evokes one of my favourite fantasy series of all time, which I’m currently rereading (read the first book last night), The Darwath Trilogy by Barbara Hambly. If you haven’t read that series, go out and get it!

  1. The Time of the Dark (1982)
  2. The Walls of Air (1983)
  3. The Armies of Daylight (1983)

Adventuring in a world such as that, where the common folk are unwilling to journey far from their homes, makes the role of adventurer that much more exciting, and often heroic. If the village is under siege from orcs, you are the only ones that can save them.

Of course, this probably won’t stop me running games in my beloved Greyhawk, but it may infuse my appreciation of certain areas of it more. The Great Kingdom, for instance, now shattered, would be a great place to run this “new” 4e style.

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