The World of Llowellen: Play-by-forum & Roll20 Virtual Tabletop.
“These rules are strictly fantasy. Those wargamers who lack imagination, those who don’t care for Burroughs’ Martian adventures where John Carter is groping through black pits, who feel no thrill upon reading Howard’s Conan saga, who do not enjoy the de Camp & Pratt fantasies or Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser pitting their swords against evil sorceries will not be likely to find DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS to their taste.”
-Gary Gygax (Dungeons & Dragons, 1973)
The World of Llowellen is an entire world. Many campaign settings focus upon a single continent or two, but in the World of Llowellen it is possible to travel right around the globe visiting different lands and cultures every step of the way. Due to this design philosophy, the setting can offer a playground in the traditional quasi-European setting but also in arid deserts, thick jungles, endless grasslands, frozen poles and the very depths of the world’s oceans.
Players may race across endless plains and prairie on the back of a giant ferret with the noble and nomadic halfling peoples of Cilgarren. Other players might explore the thick and sticky, ever-tangled jungles of Rajiin and worship amongst the kobolds and lizard folk at the foot of mighty ziggurats.
Players who appreciate a more traditional style of play will find the lands of Western Summan a classic environment of gnomes, ogres and fierce wereboars. In Eastern Summan a mighty dwarven empire is at war with a nation of bugbears and with the derro, their own wicked cousins. And, in Northern Summan, empire-building giants seek to conquer and enslave one and all.
Players who enjoy pyramids and deserts may want to join the lion-headed litorians of Skenfirth; and those who prefer a more dark Arabian theme may choose to ride flying carpets with the sibeccai of Farid and barter wishes from genies, if they dare.
Those who enjoy to play elves should explore the mighty forests of Anupam with it’s squabbling nations, both above and below the ground, and among, and within the trees. Other groups might choose to sail the oceans or swim beneath the waves with the aquatic Kalanese elves of the Isles of Tuyen and the ocean beds themselves.
The truly adventurous players may choose to set their games within [[Polar Regions: The Northern Wastes and The Sunless South | the Sunless South pole]], a frozen tundra where minotaurs ride flying whales, goblinoid tribes eke out a difficult living in the ice and snow, hunted by frost giants and vampires.
The World of Llowellen has massive scope. The planet is as huge and diverse as our own Earth (actually, it is a little larger). Every continent and ocean is described to bring them to life and yet, because of the grand size of the world, there is still plenty of opportunity for individual GM’s to tailor campaigns to suit their own groups.
The World of Llowellen provides an equal context and home for all races. Llowellen is not a world that is dominated by humans with the demi-human races existing as fringe citizens or as the remnants of ancient but long lost civilizations. The World of Llowellen gives each race a home and a culture that is unique to them. Players who like to play gnomes will find that they have their own continent, their own nations, and their own cultures, histories and societies – and so too, do the elves, dwarves, litorians, sibeccai and all other races.
But humans are not forgotten or neglected. The beautiful continent of Anaru is home to the humans of Llowellen; a land of arid desert, humid mountains, and stunningly beautiful coasts, dotted with islands and barrier reefs. Humans are a relatively isolated people, who share a tumultuous relationship with the Kalanese sea-faring elves, some of whom trade with them, but many of whom take the humans for slaves.
The World of Llowellen offers three different themed levels of play. Players might play traditional characters such as humans and halflings, but they might also play the Fey and Heavenborn races.
The Fey are a collection of fairy races who were once charged, by the Mother Goddess, with the stewardship of mankind. They pay little attention to the political boundaries drawn by men; they have national borders of their own drawn upon the ley lines of the planet and not influenced by river or coastline. Fey society has suffered an aggressive schism with two factions vying for political supremacy.
The Seelie Court, ruled by Queen Titiana, remains loyal to the Goddess. They seek to protect the wild places of the earth, to gently support and guide mankind to do the same, but to otherwise refrain from meddling in mankind’s affairs. The Seelie Court is held upon the slopes of Mount Anwen, the tremendous World-Mountain that rises out of the Kalani Ocean south-west of the Feyen Isles.
The Unseelie Court, ruled by The Sand King, is held in the sprawling metropolis of Ishtaduk, in the deserts of Farid. They interpret the Goddess’ will very differently, and as protectors of mankind they wish to educate them. These fairies teach men agriculture and magic, engineering and warfare, and in return they expect gratitude, obedience and worship. The nobles of the Unseelie Court install themselves as living God-Kings whose very word is the law.
The Heavenborn races are angels and devils who have chosen the World of Llowellen as a battlefield on which to fight their eternal Ever-After War, each struggling to win the hearts and souls of mankind. A Heavenborn Campaign may appeal to players who want to explore the outer planes, in addition to the Prime Material World.
The World of Llowellen has a living history. Whereas most campaign settings are designed at a fixed point in time. Llowellen is designed from the ancient days of the earliest civilizations all the way to a modern world with aircraft, mass media and the Internet. This book begins to detail the Old World and lays the groundwork for future books. This exciting world history has other benefits too: Characters might travel the Fey roads between the years and experience the different Ages from the perspective of time traveling explorers; the characters in one campaign might be the ancestors or descendants of those in another allowing the GM to plot and run an epic generational saga; players might build a castle in one campaign and then visit the ruins of that same castle hundreds of years later in another game. Players wishing to play a traditional pseudo-Medieval European game can do so in the same campaign setting that also supports players who prefer Ancient World, Victorian or Modern games – or indeed any era that you care to name.
The World of Llowellen is a campaign setting in which a group can truly invest. The world is under constant development, an ambitious project that will take at least a lifetime and a great deal of love and effort to complete.
In many ways every gaming group who uses a published setting tinkers with it until they make it their own. Their own heroes and villains, adventures and stories shape the world in different ways. The World of Llowellen is large enough that it can support many of these individual stories. Players of the World of Llowellen enjoy an open invitation to submit their own articles and adventures, their own characters and villains, their own organizations and locales. The very best of these will see print in future products or enjoy an online presence at the campaign’s Obsidian Portal site. In this way a group can own a greater sense of investment in the setting than they might have in others.
You are invited, not only to play in and explore the World of Llowellen, but also to become a part of the world and to help discover its full potential.
The World of Llowellen is built upon the very best that the Open Game License has to offer. Llowellen will offer new mechanics, races, prestige classes and the like – but its focus shall remain on providing the fully realized world within which to utilize those rules. With works like Monte Cook’s Arcana Evolved, Anger of Angels, and Faeries to name just a few, creating new and exciting rules’ options would be a difficult and daunting task. Instead the World of Llowellen celebrates those rules by thanking their designers and highlighting and supporting their existing works.
Cartography by Dyson and Ian Hewitt.