Greetings, today I’ll be introducing you to my new campaign setting for my future Original Edition Adventures: The World of Xôðûn (pr. Zō•thūn or Zoh-Thoon). It will be part of my ‘Multiverse of Akar’ series of campaigns, which will also include my old (slightly revised) ‘World of Skârn’ and potentially my Sword & Sorcery setting the ‘World of Mu’. What follow is a modified version of my initial post at the ‘Ruins of Murkhill’ found here.
I’ll be posting more in depth setting info there, while I’ll be posting various development oriented progress reports, as well as snippets of the world with commentary on them here. But I’ll get to the setting intro plus I’ll post some art to illustrate what some of my inspiration is art-wise.
The World of Xôðûn is my new setting that is inspired by my new found love of Original Edition of Dungeons & Dragons (OeD&D/OD&D). It’ll take elements from my old ‘World of Skârn’ setting that I used for my Rolemaster United play-test campaign. There are certain elements that never came into play & they really don’t fit into the ‘more vanilla flavored’ setting that ‘Skârn’ evolved into. I decided to take those more fantastic elements out of ‘Skârn’ & add them to ‘Xôðûn’ instead, so they can be important again and not just be forgotten window dressing that they had became.
Red Monika of Battle Chasers: Night War by Joe Madureira
I’ve been reading about Dave Hargrave’s Arduin & it struck a cord with me, though I am not sure that I want to run his system in total, I might include some of the elements from it in my OD&D campaigns. The core reason I doubt I’ll ever run it is that it is a bit too crunchy for me; but that said it did plant a few seeds that helped give birth to inspiration from which ‘Xôðûn’ bloomed.
The classic Arduin Grimiore Trilogy by David Hargrave [image from DMDavid Blog]
I’ve always been a fan of mixing science fiction with my fantasy, which might explain my love manga, anime, European comics & RIFTS. It has also fed my growing interest in Blackmoor & even the Gamma World setting. I pull inspiration from these sources, as well as the fantastic art of Vaughn Bodē, Frank Frazetta, Russ Nicholson, Dave Trampier, Jim Roslof, Simon Bisley, the comics Battle Chasers & the films ‘Fire & Ice’ and ‘Wizard’ by Ralph Bakshi. Toss in music like Metal, Punk & Hip Hop and you get an eclectic cauldron frothing with potent inspiration.
Art by Vaughn Bodē. Art by Frank Frazetta. Art by Russ Nicholson.
Though the above inspire me creatively, that doesn’t mean those influences will bleed through in total, just certain elements gleaned from them. Be it a vibe from one to flying sky sharks (Battle Chasers & the Seven Deadly Sins) to cyborgs, robots and or androids (Anduin, Blackmoor & Made in Abyss); sky islands and flying airships.
Art by Dave Trampier. Art by Jim Roslof from Basic Dungeons & Dragons.
If I ever publish this setting with House-Rules for OD&D at some future date, I know it won’t have anime/manga style art in it – I’d rather have art inspired by European sci-fi comic art or if I would even consider a cartoon-y style it would be more in the Bakshi & Bodē style. I am a very visual guy so I tend to see things in pictures than in prose. I want the ‘World of Xôðûn’ to have that gonzo feel that disappeared from Skârn as I continued to develop it. Skârn will be part of the growing Multiverse I’ll be developing for my campaigns – of which Xôðûn will be the core of as I move forward for my future campaigns.
Art by Simon Bisley. Frame from Fire & Ice by Bakshi & Frazetta.
Background frame from Wizard by Ralph Bakshi.
Well I hope this post shines a bit of insight into what inspires the World of Xôðûn. As soon as I decided to take the more fantastic elements out of the ‘World of Skârn’ and incorporate them into the World of Xôðûn – my creative engines have been on fire. I finally feel excited about digging deep & writing up a fantasy setting and do some preliminary art to help be better visualize it, so I can get it onto paper & on screen.
In my next post about the World of Xôðûn I’ll post some inspirational images that helped me figure out what I wanted for this setting & ultimately will inform my future maps for it. Beyond that I’ll post about some of the inhuman races who dwell in the World of Xôðûn with basic stats for them. See you then, fin.