Thursday, May 14, 2020

Welcome to Brechewold

Saints preserve us, I'm writing a book. The map I posted the other day is from that. I don't quite know how to feel about joining in on OSR oversaturation and commercialization except to say that I don't feel this is a play for "relevance" or "hype," and certainly not for "money." I just think it's a good idea that I can do well.

It is called The Yellow Book of Brechewold unless I can think of something better. It will detail a small campaign setting: a school for magicians (the titular Brechewold) and its environs in post-Arthurian western Britain. It will include:
  1. A completely keyed big (what's the cutoff for "mega?") dungeon: the school and abandoned, haunted levels beneath including tombs, a zoo, a body farm, a giant orrery, portals to other planets and fairy pocket-dimensions, a goblin diploma mill, seniors growing drugs, and more!
  2. Detailed faculty with personalities and goals, and a more sparsely detailed student body
  3. A small keyed enchanted forest surrounding the school including knights, giants, witches, elfs and other fairies, a unicorn, a relic from the Last Supper, religious hermits, anarcho-atheist bandits, &c
  4. A chapter on the conflicts between factions and individuals to facilitate sandbox play
  5. A chapter summarizing the treasures found elsewhere in the book, for ease of reference
  6. Full color player-facing maps and illustrations, black and white DM-facing maps and illustrations
  7. As many of the best practices of OSR design as I've been able to absorb
Here's a portrait of the headmaster and the introduction. It will be ready when it's ready.

1. Introduction

You may have heard, old chap, that wizards are wise. This is untrue. Don’t let their robes, beards, or pig Latin fool you. Wizards are lazy, greedy, vain clowns who would rather spend a lifetime in a library looking for shortcuts around reality than do a single honest day’s work. The only thing worse than a wizard is two wizards, and the only thing worse than that is a damned college of them. Welcome to Brechewold.

The first wizard who got it into his head to teach magic on this rock in the woods was that hoary necromancer Merlyn. Yes, the Merlyn who made a right mess of England because he thought he knew best of all how to pick its ruler. I’m not saying I would have done better in Art’s place, mind you, but I am saying that I’ve never slept with my sister.

Merlyn, knowing as he did that his time among the men of Albion was nearing an end, hung a sign on the old Celtic fort at Brechewold Promontory that anyone who wished to learn a few tricks and incantations in defense of the realm was welcome. A nest of knaves coagulated, and the old boy left this world to let the living sort out his mess.

A brief scuffle for succession followed, and Gertrude Malory of Newbold Revel became the school’s first headmistress. As the years stretched into centuries, the school grew like a layer cake into the current Brechewold Castle. Wings now exist which have lain unoccupied for decades. The castle squats like a great cephalopod above Lake Hart, its lower tentacles fallen into disuse.

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