The roll of names: explorers of Godsbarrow

Now available: The Unlucky Isles

The Unlucky Isles [affiliate link], the first system-neutral guidebook for my Godsbarrow fantasy campaign setting, is now on DriveThruRPG!

Many, many thanks to the folks who have played games in and explored Godsbarrow, designed elements of this setting, and infused it with their creativity, quirks, and experiences!

Unfurl the scroll

  • Greg Mumford: additional design; player of the Witchblade Dabr de Aaust; our Dungeon World campaign started on June 7, 2022, on the island of Bal Acar (the first Godsbarrow campaign)
  • Lark Ralya: additional design; player of the goblin beast master Hapishnei Tuθineσ; our Old School Essentials campaign started on November 25, 2022, on the island of Brundir in the Unlucky Isles (the second Godsbarrow campaign)
  • Rustin Simons: additional design; player of Auderna, witch of the Bleating Horde; our Dungeon World campaign started on June 7, 2022, on the island of Bal Acar (the first Godsbarrow campaign)

List updated: November 25, 2022.

First session in Godsbarrow

The first session of the first Godsbarrow campaign was on June 7, 2022 — character creation a some collaborative worldbuilding for a Dungeon World game with me in the GM’s chair and two of my best friends, Rustin Simons and Greg Mumford, as players. Our first session of in-character play was on July 5, 2022, with Dabr de Aaust (Greg) and Auderna (Rustin) embarking from Drem Kallow to the Market in the Woods.

The Google Jamboard map Rustin, Greg, and I created for our first session (July 5, 2022). The dotted line heading southeast from Drem Kallow is the party’s path for their first day of exploration, heading for the Market in the Woods.

We wanted to play a hexcrawl, so before the first session I created the largely unexplored island of Bal Acar (situated north of Kadavis, east of the Arkestran Dominion, and northeast of the Unlucky Isles) for us to collaboratively develop through play.

Greg and Rustin created the Keepers of the Thousandfold Chains, a coven of witches who both bind and exploit the Bleating Horde, an infinite evil — a deity whose every aspect contains part of the whole. The coven tasked them with exploring Bal Acar to seek the truth behind prophetic dreams and the irrational, unnatural scratchings of sages which spoke of that strange place.

The second Godsbarrow campaign

On November 25, 2022, my kiddo, Lark, and I started up a solo Godsbarrow campaign using Old School Essentials. I’m beyond excited to get to run some old-school D&D (OSE is B/X reorganized and tidied up a bit), in Godsbarrow, for Lark!

Lark and I talking goblins, OSE, and gaming during our first session (November 25, 2022)

Session one was character creation, and Lark rolled up Hapishnei Tuθineσ, a goblin beast master who lives in Brundir’s deadly, haunted Ockwood. Hapishnei is the first Godsbarrow goblin; from a worldbuilding perspective, that’s going to be fascinating.

We’re starting with the OSE adventure The Hole in the Oak, and I can’t wait to see where this campaign goes.

The alchemy of lived-in RPG settings

There’s a strange alchemy to gaming, and from Greyhawk to the universe of The Expanse (which began as an RPG campaign) settings which have been lived in, filled with the quirks and twists and perfectly odd elements introduced by the groups that have gamed there, are fascinating in part because they’ve been infused with that alchemy through play.

From the moment I started writing about Godsbarrow, it has been important to me that I eventually run (and maybe, someday, play) games in this setting. RPG settings come into their own, taking on weight beyond words on a page and becoming more deeply connected to the roleplaying hobby, when they’re developed through play.

Godsbarrow came out of my head, and that ongoing process of creation is a source of joy for me. But Godsbarrow feels more real, more tightly connected to the shared joy of this hobby, because my setting has seen actual play.

If you’ve played a game set in Godsbarrow, I’d love to add your name to this list! Please drop me a line.