Nik Dot Codes and tries other things

Getting this old school world built

What I'm doing to write an OSE campaign

So, I have a weekly TTRPG group in the next town along where we do stints of 12(ish) weeks of whatever game people want to play. We’ve had a bit of everything;

  • D&D
  • Pathfinder
  • Shadowrun
  • Traveller
  • Mork Borg
  • Troika
  • The list goes on…

Now the next rounds of games isn’t until January time, which gives me a great opportunity to do what I’ve been wanting to do for a while

Run my own OSE campaign!

I’ve ran a few games now (mainly Mork Borg & Troika) but these were simply adventures that I’ve obtained over time with not much in between; which was fun and all, but I don’t feel really scratched that itch that I have deep down. So before the next series of games, I’ve decided to come up with a campaign setting, and I plan on using OSE to run it.

What the hell is OSE

OSE (or Old School Essentials) is a tidy up of the Basic & Expert Editions of Dungeons & Dragons (B/X) from back when in the 80’s. It’s a step away from the “Powerful to Superhero quest to save the land” that 5th edition has led to and is more of “Layman to Stronger & Richer Layman”; one of the key features of these older style games is an emphasis on the world over the party.

Last year I backed a Kickstarter from Exhaulted Funeral and I got so many wonderful books earlier this year, and it’s just been sitting on my shelf gathering dust.

My OSE Collection.
My OSE Collection.

Alongside this, I have amassed a number of different adventures, modules, and other bits and pieces into a nice collection.

So what do you need to do?

If I’ve got all of this stuff, then what actual work do I need to put in?

As I mentioned, there is importance in the world. General idea is to drop the party in a location, and let them decide where to go. As the GM, it’s my job to build a satisfying world with enough life and intrigue to keep the players wanting to play. These can be…

  • Locations (Map, Towns, Cities, Places of Interest, etc…)
  • Factions (Countries/Fiefdoms, Religions, Guilds, etc…)
  • History & Lore

What I am aiming for is creating a world where, in a 12 week period, a party can play their own adventure - the world can change (alliances can change, powers grow or wane, etc…) - but there’s nothing stopping or impeding another party from being able to have their own adventure in another corner of the world.

Sounds like a lot of work

And in a relatively short amount of time too. Thankfully, for a game to start, we don’t need the whole map planned out fully. Just like many video games out there, we have a starting location with limited access to the wider world out there.

And there’s many tools out there to help, in particular I’ll be starting with the Gygax 75 Challenge. This 5 week process was recommended by many of the internets and is a nice framework to getting started. Then I can start slipping in elements from my module & adventure collection, and building out the world more and more.

Or at least that’s the plan anyway.

So that’s the plan, every week I’ll post up the results of that week’s work according to the book & hopefully by the start of December, I should have a nicely populated world, ready for adventuring in!.

Until next time!