D&D 5E Interview with Travis Legge for Scarred Lands (Onyx Path Publishing)

Travis Legge (Onyx Path Publishing and Aegis Studios) reached out to me with a press release for Scarred Land’s Vigil Watch and Yugman’s Guide to Ghelspad. Around this time last year, Travis spoke to me about becoming an official freelancer with OPP. His position has blossomed since then, and when he reached out, it morphed into an interview about the Scarred Lands, Pugmire, and his other work.

Scarred Lands Creature Collection for 5th Edition RPG.jpg

EGG: Scarred Land recently completed the Creature Collection Kickstarter, yes?
: Yes! Handiwork Games, our partner who is handling Creature Collection 5e ran an incredible campaign and have really put together a fantastic book. We will be bringing Creature Collection to Backerkit soon. Lots of exciting stuff for Scarred Lands. Had a pretty good Kickstarter (421% of goal) but would love to see it grow further on Backerkit. Lots of the 5e audience still doesn't know what Scarred Lands is.

EGG: Like you said, D&D 5e fans don't know that Scarred Lands is for 5e. Do you think they just don't know about the setting or do you think that they believe it uses the Storypath System?
: I think they are largely unaware of it. Whenever I mention Scarred Lands to folks, I generally get one of two responses. It is either "I LOVE Scarred Lands and I had ALL the books back in the 3rd Edition days" or "What's Scarred Lands?" This was one of the things that prompted the collaboration with jorphdan on the Scarred Lands Explained” YouTube videos: he has an established audience that plays 5e and he does a fantastic job of giving a bird's eye view of the setting.

EGG: That's fair. For 5e fans, what's the secret sauce, so to speak, that makes Scarred Lands stand out? I know you're a fan, what about SL inspires you?
: Personally, what I love about Scarred Lands is the grimbright nature of the setting. Everything is f****d, but there is hope, and that hope is you: the player characters. The world is shattered in the wake of a very recent war between the Gods and the Titans, which only ended 150 years ago and was fought on the ground. If you are playing a human there is a good chance that your grandparents or great-grandparents fought in this war, in battles next to actual gods. If you are an elf or a dwarf YOU might have fought in the war. It is an apocalypse within living memory. As the people of Ghelspad, the continent on which the game is set, rebuild, new nations and alliances are arising and many of them are not exactly good. The age needs heroes.

EGG: Who are some of the iconic bad guys of this setting?
: Well, the titans are all iconic, of course, and while you won't be fighting them (hopefully) you will feel their presence everywhere. The Blood Sea, for example, is an ocean stained red by the blood of the titan Kadum who lies chained at the sea floor, bleeding from the wound where his heart was ripped out. The Hornsaw Forest is warped and twisted by the blood of the titan Mormo who was eviscerated and scattered across the land there. These events warped and twisted the creatures in the area, creating titanspawn monsters such as the Hornsaw Unicorn, whose horn is mutated into a serrated blade by exposure to Mormo's corruption, or the Flayed Giant who is twisted and mutilated by swimming in the depths of Kadum's blood. There are also thousands of titanspawn who were created as soldiers during the Divine War and are now basically left to roam Ghelspad with no purpose and a whole lot of rage. Creatures like the Arcane Devourer who eat the magic of spellcasters and the Gluttonous Trolls who hunt hills and moors by night, seeking to sate a never-ending hunger passed on to them by Gaurak, the titan of gluttony.

EGG: That sounds epic! Do the titans have stats? (It's D&D so you know the “rule,” if it has stats...)
: The titans do not have stats, nor do the gods at this time. They were given stats in 3rd edition, and I did convert one god for the Vengeance of the Shunned community content campaign as the big boss fight of the "bad" ending. That god being Vangal the Ravager, god of War and Destruction.

EGG: That's in keeping with 5e, so I can dig it.
: Indeed! If there is demand for that high end content down the road, we may pursue it, but for the moment, we are focusing the setting very much on providing content for ground level starting characters to welcome in new players and provide robust experiences for the first three tiers of play. Which is not to say we don't have some high CR baddies waiting in the wings. We do. Even the small selection of Titanspawn in the Scarred Lands Player's Guide has CR 10-19 represented.

EGG: That's awesome! Circling back to systems, are there any thoughts of making this Storypath System?
: Nothing that I am aware of at the moment. Speaking purely as a player and writer who loves both systems, I think there would be a way to do it that would be very cool, but if it were to happen it would require no small amount of work and would have to be more of a re-imagining of the setting than a straight conversion or port.

EGG: That is fair. Pugmire's Community Content Program just setup one of their community-generated books as a Print On Demand book (Pugmire‘s Canis Minor project: Morty Corgi’s Scroll of Mysteries!). Scarred Lands has its own Community Content Program, are any products available POD on it? Any plans to offer that?
: Thanks for mentioning that. As one of the contributors to Morty Corgi's (and the player of the fabled wizard), I love any opportunity to talk about my favorite fictional pup! Morty Corgi's Scroll of Mysteries is the first Onyx Path Community Content product to get the POD treatment, which is flattering, and awesome, and cool! I would imagine the folks at Onyx Path will want to see how it goes before making any choices regarding further POD ventures, but I know there is interest in it. The best way to open those gates for more POD is to run out and fetch a copy of Morty Corgi's ASAP!

Morty Corgi's Scroll of Mysteries.jpg

EGG: Since we're on the subject, what's the pitch for Morty Corgi's Scroll of Mysteries? Who is involved?
: Morty Corgi's Scroll of Mysteries is a love letter to the Realms of Pugmire from some of the top creators working in the community content space. Framed as a collection of notes from an elderly and wise wizard who seeks to maintain the balance in the Realms of Pugmire – and whose voice sounds an awful lot like me doing an impression of Sam Witwer doing an impression of Gary Gygax – Morty Corgi's Scroll of Mysteries is an expansion for Realms of Pugmire and includes:
  • New Breeds, Callings and Houses
  • New Backgrounds
  • New Masterworks
  • New Enemies and NPCs to populate your Realms of Pugmire campaign
  • Dozens of new Tricks, Secrets, and Spells.
It was written by Celeste Conowitch of the Venture Maidens, Alex Clippinger, who has done a TON of incredible stuff at the DMs Guild, including Skullport: Dragon Swindle, Ben Eastman and Matt Dunn who publish on the DMsGuild as EastmanDunn Press, Christopher Walz who, in addition to his prolific community content career is now an editor for Cubicle 7, Jen Vaughn of Very Very Spaceship, Jeromy Schulz-Arnold who worked on Mordenkainen's Lost Notebook for DMsGuild, Jessica Ross who you may know from d20 Dames and from the Uncaged anthology, Rachel E. Judd of By NIght Studios and Mighty Narwahl, R P Davis who is one of the most prolific creators on DMsGuild, and Jessica Marcrum, who, in addition to her awesome community content work is the Guide on Paws and Claws: Lost Tails of Pugmire every Tuesday at 8PM EST on the Onyx Path Twitch channel.

Scarred Lands Player's Guide (OGL 5e).jpg

EGG: Going back to Scarred Lands, with 2020 on the horizon, what can you share about next year's plans for SL?
: In 2020, we begin releasing Vigil Watch and Yugman's Guide to Ghelspad, which will be released on a rotating schedule beginning in 2020. Currently, six releases are planned for each title, along with a compilation for each that will feature exclusive content later in the year. Vigil Watch explores six different locations across Ghelspad. From the bloody shores of the Toe Islands in the east to the Sweltering Plains of the West, Vigil Watch provides an in-depth look at a variety of locales and cultures. This release will contain:
  • Expanded information on the culture of the Ironbred and their nomadic home, the Iron Court
  • A detailed view of Leoni, the center of the Manticora Confederacy
  • The frontier settlement of Mansk, home to human and orc wolf-riders under the leadership of Warlord Klesh
  • The terrifying deadlands of the Festering Fields
  • An exploration of the Library of Lokil
  • A detailed discussion of the Toe Islands in the Blood Sea including the pirate operations that operate from within the dangerous archipelago.
Each location includes an overview of the people, cultures, traditions, and enemies. I'm particularly excited about Vigil Watch as it gives us the opportunity to delve into and flesh out some of the cultures and locations that are only touched on in the Scarred Lands Player's Guide. With the tight focus of each section we can really strive to give a rich, immersive overview to allow the location and its inhabitants to be integrated into a Scarred Lands game, and as the systems are 5e compatible, a DM could easily tweak these materials to fit into any 5e setting or homebrew.

Yugman’s Guide to Ghelspad offers new insight into heroes and villains, as well as the tools they use to rise to power, through the eyes of Yugman the Sage. This release will contain:
  • 21 new Social Backgrounds expanding the sects & societies introduced in the Scarred Lands Player’s Guide
  • 23 new subclasses, with each base class represented
  • 6 new Races including Broadreach dwarves, and a revised Hollow Legionnaire
  • New Spells, True Rituals, Magic Items and more!
While I am excited about Vigil Wath, I think Yugman's Guide is going to melt people's faces! It is filled to the brim with expanded options for players and GMs and the setting lore is presented through in character communications written by prominent NPCs in the setting, such as Yugman the Sage, who is tonally very similar to a cross between your standard wise old man, and Bill Nye screaming at everyone about climate change -but if climate change were evil governments, titanspawn monstrosities and dark magics.

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EGG: We're toward the end of the interview, so I'll ask what should have been the first question: For those who do not know, what's your position with Onyx Path Publishing? And what projects do you have in the works (beyond OPP)?
: So, I am the Scarred Lands Line Developer for Onyx Path Publishing and am also the Twitch Programming Coordinator, so I handle scheduling of actual plays and manage logistics for our showrunners. I have also recently taken on some development duties for Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition which has been a literal dream come true. In the past year I've gotten to work on my two favorite game lines, so life is good!

As far as beyond Onyx Path, I have my OSR setting Odysseys & Overlords that I publish via my own label, Aegis Studios, at DriveThruRPG, as well as several other lines that have been on a bit of hiatus in the back half of 2019, but might be seeing some love come 2020. I also have a Patreon where I give little sneak peeks at my non-Onyx Path work, insights into game design, and I share an exclusive monthly RPG supplement for backers only. And when I am not running games on the Onyx Path Twitch channel, I run them on my own channel as plasticageplays!

EGG: Travis, you stay jumping! Congratulations on all of the work! And thank you very much for talking to me! 😀
: Thank you very much for the opportunity. I truly appreciate it and it has been a blast!

NOTE: This article includes affiliate links to DriveThruRPG. As a DriveThruRPG Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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Egg Embry

Egg Embry

At the moment, Gauntlet of Spiragos is the only Scaarred Lands 5e content on Fantasy grounds.
That was the very first FG conversion I did and is on sale for a low .99 (hard to do free on their store). When the player’s guide came out it was far behind my skill level to do, but they significantly changed and made character classes easier since then.

i am well buried under converting Tegel Manor over to FG at present ...

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That was the very first FG conversion I did and is on sale for a low .99 (hard to do free on their store). When the player’s guide came out it was far behind my skill level to do, but they significantly changed and made character classes easier since then.

i am well buried under converting Tegel Manor over to FG at present ...
Feel free to message me, I know we are looking into ramping up VTT content.

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