The Midderlands is an old-school game setting with bestiary for use with old-school role-playing games. It is based on Swords & Wizardry Complete, but could easily be used with other old-school systems and even non-OSR systems such as D&D or Pathfinder.
It is a green-hued, dark-fantasy, late-middle ages, early-renaissance view through grime-smeared spectacles. The setting itself is based on an area in the middle of England near where I live called The Midlands. Many of the locations are loosely based on reality, but others are pure fantasy from an addled mind.
The setting part of the book contains something I call "game-juice". Not heavy of history and monotonous detail, but enough to get the game-juices flowing and let the game master twist and tweak as they need to in order to fit their campaign.
There is also humour and occasional swear words.
Book contents include:
- Information on the Hamlets, Small and Large Towns, Points of Interest, Rivers & Lakes, and Woods & Forest of the Midderlands.
- Oddities - 13 Items, 5 Spells, 4 Flora and 6 Fauna
- Creatures of The Midderlands - 24 Monsters, with 24 NPCs, and 18 Playable race-as-classes
- Spies in the Sewers Adventure
- 6 Adventure Hooks
- 29 Fixed Hex Locations (for The Midderlands map)
- 3 Random Hex Locations (for The Midderlands map)
- Festivals & Gatherings Table
- Weather Table
- Insult Table
- Names & Trades Table
- Additional Hamlet and Small Town Names Table
- Crap You Find on Midfolk Table
- Front Endpaper includes a Midderlands-themed character sheet
The Midderlands Expanded:
More green-hued, twisted, dark-fantasy, old-school mini-setting. Now expanded to include the whole of the British Isles and beyond.
The first book focused on the land-locked Midderlands, an area I know well. In terms of a campaign area, it is small – approximately 45 miles by 35 miles – which allows for a feeling of close ties and for the actions of the player characters to have a tangible influence. I have been to Haven’s End, Ill Faircombe, Blymouth, Great Lunden, Windsour, Caer Oldenwale, Bellthorp… the list goes on. I realised that I know quite a bit about some of the other locations around my fair island home. I love the sea, the rugged hills and mountains of Oldenwale, and I frequently take trips to Bear Maw. I realised I could use the same approach as I used in The Midderlands to twist and mould other locations, and finally make my way to the seas and discover the other landmasses at its borders.
Ports, shipwrecks, Gaulandia, Scrotland, Oldenwale, Emeraude, and the Serpentlands could all be used to make the setting larger and introduce more alarming horrors and threats to the safety of not only the midderfolk, but havenfolk at large. Sea monsters, threats of invasion, countrywide travel, island enclaves, ship combat to name a few. An expanded setting gave more opportunity for adventure and who doesn’t love adventure?
Book contents include:
- Information on the locations, islands, towns, and forests/woods to be found in Havenland, Oldenwale, Scrotland, and even mentions about Gaulandia, Emeraude and the Serpentlands.
- More Oddities - 19 Magic items, 4 Spells, 3 Flora and 6 Fauna
- Cults, Guilds, Lone Wolves and Pirates
- 3 New Classes
- 28 Monsters
- The RatDog Inn Adventure
- Beneath Brig Tor (a markeplace built under a rocky tor)
- 8 Adventure Hooks
- 9 Hex Locations (for The Haven Isles map)
- More Superior Beings
- List of all the Dukes & Duchesses of Havenland
- The Midderlands Relationship Diagram
- Using the Gloomium Randomiser Chart
- Hidden Signs & Symbols
- Personlising Your Equipment Tables
- Burgling Table
GM Screen & Gloomium Randomiser Chart
The Midderlands GM Screen is a 4-panel, 400gsm card, A5 landscape format folding screen (A5 size when folded). It features a Midderlands-themed artwork across the player-facing side, and Midderlands-specific tables for play to the Gamemaster-facing side.
It also comes with a seperate A5-sized die-drop 400gsm card called the Gloomium Randomiser Chart (or GRC). The Open Gaming License text to the rear. Instructions for its use are found in The Midderlands Expanded.