Sunday 13 January 2013

Welcome to New Tilia

I've just been putting the finishing touches on the WFRP Border Princes sandbox I've been working on (Renegate Crowns really IS the Rolls Royce of Sandbox Generator products).  Our group just wrapped up our latest adventure and it looks like I'll be running the next one.

New Tilia's recent history started only a score of years ago, after reports reached the Empire of settlers there finding gold.  The Gold didn't last, but Silver and Copper have been found in abundance.  Since then there has been a steady influx of prospectors, as well as tradesmen, farmers, mercenaries, and petty criminals, all wanting a piece of the action.  Most of them don't strike it rich, but the stories of the few that do keep the immigrants coming.

Like many of the Border Princes, New Tilia is a dangerous area.  Besides the desperate people, wild animals, and the strange shapes seen prowling the unexplored ruins, there have been numerous problems with roving bands of mutants.  Antonio Calabrese, a Tilian Mercenary, quickly gained dominance among the various gangs offering protection to the locals.  Pretty soon, his was the only gang in town and he founded the Principality of New Tilia, appointing himself "The Boss".

With the competition gone, The Boss got apathetic and  trouble began in New Tilia's somewhat isolated Western province a couple years ago, an area known as Neualtdorf.  A cross-dressing Bandit and his gang began giving the locals a lot of trouble and even collecting protection money.  When The Boss caught wind of this and sent over his men to take care of the upstart, they were ambushed and the bandit declared himself "Viscontess of Neualtdorf".  Since then, the two Principalities have officially been in a state of war, occasionally sending raiding parties on attempts to assassinate one another's leadership.

Besides 21 Towns, Villages, and Interesting Homesteads, the Ruins and Adventuring Locales in and around New Tilia include:
  • The Volcano of the Damned
  • The Locked House
  • The Ghost Village
  • City of the Dead
  • Dwellers by the Sea
  • The Tomb that Must Not be Opened
  • In the Halls of the Goblin King


  1. Renegade Crowns sounds like it might be a useful tool for Old School-style gaming.

    1. I'm definitely a fan. It seems like a pretty unique product, certainly as far as WFRP adventures are concerned. Usually it seems like WFRP is into giving you detailed setting info and a step-by-step plot.

      And this was published quite recently in 2006. That said, judging by the prices on Amazon, I'm guessing it's out of print, probably due to WFRP 3rd edition being released a few years later.

      Anyway, it has very little edition-specific material. In fact, much of it could be used for other fantasy systems.

    2. "Anyway, it has very little edition-specific material. In fact, much of it could be used for other fantasy systems."

      That's what I was thinking. I've been toying with the idea of running a WFRP sandbox campaign in a more D&Dish, or at least Titanesque world. But I'm convinced that for sandbox play, system does matter - at least complexity of system matters. The advantage of D&D is that you can pluck the 'mechanical' aspects of NPCs, monsters, and locations from thin air without breaking the game, or even breaking any rules. I've a feeling that running a WFRP game on the fly - to accommodate player/character freedom - like that would be a lot more work/require a harder to obtain system mastery, for WFRP.

      Nevertheless, my 1e books call to me, and my new PoD 2e rulebook looks very shiny. Let us know how your sandbox WFRP gets on, please.

    3. Hmmm. Yeah, you make a good point about simplicity--not WFRP's strong point.

      I reduce this problem a bit when I DM WFRP by using a simplified stat block(rather than flipping to the half-page-long stat block every time). The stat block in my sandbox spreadsheet has 12 columns: name,m,ws,bs,i,a,w,sb,tb,armor,trappings,select skills/talents. That already brings me to a level of detail closer to DnD's and if a monster has to make a skill roll with a stat/skill I didn't write down, then I just make-up the stat value on the fly.

      It's also easier to invent/re-skin a new monster with this simplified stat block to base yourself on.

    4. And, to mitigate my doubts, from a player [character] perspective, the WFRP1e/2e are begging to be used in a sandbox game - the career system isn't much cop for a linear, plotted game - PC get to be what the DM lets them be. But in a sandbox game, sure a PC can be a merchant, a duellist, an agitator, whatever, and being that is part of the game, not simply an excuse to increase stat X before part Y of the 'plot'.

    5. That's a good point.

      I always thought that the career system was a bit weird, since it's detached from what the PCs are actually doing. I guess you're right, that this is a chance for the players to roleplay their career more.

      Though in practice, the group dynamic might still get in the way. Just because I choose to become a merchant, doesn't mean that the rest of the group wants to play my bodyguards while I brings goods cross-country.

    6. I think you'd have to have a lot of non-adventuring 'downtime'/single player sessions. In Pendragon, Player Knights have one adventure each year, but might 'do' a whole lot of stuff connected with their family, their manor, their feudal obligations during the 'Winter Phase'.