Anyone got Into the Wyrd and Wild?

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
I was interested in this product as a way to dynamically generate a deadly forest for Shadowdark games.

Then I read this brutal review by Skerples, which makes it sound largely unusable. (And he knows usability, as anyone who's picked up The Monster Overhaul can testify to.)

But I keep hearing the book mentioned, including by @Fenris-77 on these boards. So I'd like to hear from people who have it and have used it in play.

Is the book unusable? Are the rules and charts illogical and disconnected from one another? Were many or all of the issues Skerples raised addressed in the revised edition?

I appreciate any thoughts anyone has.
 

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Grinton

Grinton
I love the book as a mapping tool. It's also amazing for just combing through for ideas.
However I haven't run a game yet. I tried once but my players got too confused and I wasn't solid on the rest either.
Despite not being able to actually play it, it's still a favourite even if just for leafing through.
 

cimbrog

Explorer
I've always considered this more of a setting book. I'd recommend using your chosen system's exploration and survival rules (in this case Shadowdark) and use the random generation tables and setting from Wyrd & Wild. They work well enough.
 

johnmarron

Explorer
I ran a very fun short hex-crawl campaign using Knave as the ruleset and Wyrd and Wild to generate the setting content. Into the Wyrd and Wild worked great, and we had a very fun time with the game. I have their newish city book (Into the Cess and Citadel), but haven't given it a thorough read yet.
 


Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
The review does point to some issues with ItWW, but for me they don't really lessen my enjoyment or appreciation of the book very much. The organization is a little bit odd, for sure, and some bits can be hard to find until you're more familiar with the text. I don't have any issues with the prose personally.

Something I think that review misses is the basic fact that the book is a system agnostic toolkit rather than a rules set or a setting. The whole point is to take the bits you like and add them to whatever system you run your games in. It indexes OSR style games more directly, but things like 5E or Pathfinder are still possibilities. This is one reason there's no encounter table and also a reason why the references to skills are so vague. The monsters presented aren't supposed to be 'all' the monsters in a game they are are just possible additions to whatever bestiary is in use and a GM is free to cherry pick just the parts he wants. I've used the book quite a bit and have never used all the monsters all at once (or even close really). A similar approach explains the Rule of Gold. Different systems approach wilderness survival differently and a bunch of systems trivialize it to some extent, mostly via a combination of spells and abilities. I've used the exhaustion rules several times, but never quite as written as in each case I've folded them into other rules sets (B/X and Black Hack specifically). They are indeed punitive but they do what it says on the tin, and punitive approaches to resource management and survival are a staple of the OSR design space.

The reason I love the book as much as I do is how evocative it is. Both the art and the writing make me want to get things on to the table and into play. I have vanishingly few RPG books that have inspired me to get cracking on a game as much as this one. The bestiary, the mapping tools and the random table are all marvelous. And yes, the art, OMG the art.
 


cbwjm

Seb-wejem
Haven't seen that review but I love the book. I've mostly used it for ideas to bring into my 5e game, gave some hags some weird and wonderful spells. I think it was well worth the purchase.
 

Something I think that review misses is the basic fact that the book is a system agnostic toolkit rather than a rules set or a setting. The whole point is to take the bits you like and add them to whatever system you run your games in. It indexes OSR style games more directly, but things like 5E or Pathfinder are still possibilities. This is one reason there's no encounter table and also a reason why the references to skills are so vague.
In fairness, after Skerple's review, the author revised the text and included, among other things, and index and encounter table: reddit link.
 


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