Into The Wyrd And Wild Makes The Woods Weird

Inject some grim OSR style wilderness mechanics into your favorite fantasy game.

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The basic gameplay loop of Dungeons & Dragons and other fantasy RPGs is pretty simple. The players head into the dungeon to bring back loot. They use the loot for better stuff to go back out into the dungeon to get more loot. Some Dungeon Masters add in a third step where they must survive the wilds to get to the dungeon. Into The Wyrd And Wild is a book aimed at making that travel into something memorable and horrific. These woods aren’t lush greens with celtic flute in the background. They are full of harrowing monsters, terrible diseases and powerful forces that are all happy to use campers.as blood examples why people should stay safe in their villages. I picked this up because I enjoyed the designer's city book, Into The Cess And Citadel. Did designer Charles Ferguson-Avery put a chill into my bones? Let’s play to find out.

Into The Wyrd And Wild is a system agnostic book built to add an aspect of wilderness survival to any fantasy RPG. I picked it up to use in my Shadowdark games but it could easily be used for anything from Fifth Edition to Old School Essentials. The art, from Charles Ferguson-Avery, J.R. Felty, Alex Coggon and Alex Shrear wouldn't feel out of place in a classic World of Darkness era book. It does a lot to establish the mood and themes of the book, where the woods in this world are dark and dangerous. Magic runs unchecked in these places and sometimes that power makes the creatures untouched by civilization even more dangerous.

The biggest section of the book is the bestiary and it’s the main reason to pick up the book. There are dozens of monsters, each with a spooky illustration and a brief description of what it does. The stats are worked out in a fairly generic manner and take a little bit of adjusting to fit whatever game is being run. Each monster also includes a magic item related to them that could be used as a loot drop or potentially harvested from them should the DM use the hunting and crafting rules. Personal favorites include the Arcanis Arachni who weave spell runes into their webs to capture inherent magic in the air, the human headed crows known as the Cherubs that can taunt a person to death and the Grimmkings that embodies the glory and the death of the Wyld.These creatures are perfect for games where the Dungeon Master wants the players to yell “What the hell is that thing?” when they arrive in battle rather than recite their stats and weaknesses chapter and verse.

The player facing rules include a simple way to track supplies that interacts with the exhaustion rules. Rather than getting into the details of iron rations and flasks of oil, every gold piece buys one point of Supply. A supply point is a day’s worth of food, water or fire making materials. When the players camp, they make a roll of 3d6 with each die that comes up a four or better being a success. If all dice come up as successes, everyone had a good night’s sleep. But any dice that didn’t succeed means the players have to make a choice: dip into their supplies to make life easier or suffer some exhaustion. Players can get more supplies in the field by hunting or by cleaning and prepping a kill. I’ve seen a few folks who’ve been watching Delicious In Dungeon for rules on how to make meals out of monsters and these look like they would do nicely.

Into The Wyrd And Wyld ends with a dice drop method on how to make a wilderness dungeon. I like the idea of rolling up my own personal Mirkwood but even for folks who think their players will just hack their way through the underbrush, this section is stocked full of excellent prompts, encounters and a dungeon building technique that, with a few changes, could easily be applied to any sort of dimly lit environment.

Into The Wyrd And Wyld offers a great way to inject some grim OSR style wilderness mechanics into your favorite fantasy game.

If you found this review helpful, please consider purchasing it using the affiiliate links embedded within. Thank you for supporting your friendly local game writer.
 

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Rob Wieland

Rob Wieland


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CharlesWallace

enworld.com is a reminder of my hubris
I think I’m going to buy it, but I sure wish I could see a preview couple of pages. It’s just hard for me to buy something sight unseen. But I couldn’t see a preview on drive thru rpg or on indie press revolution. Maybe I’m just tired and still recovering from being sick?
 


Timespike

A5E Designer and third-party publisher
I think I’m going to buy it, but I sure wish I could see a preview couple of pages. It’s just hard for me to buy something sight unseen. But I couldn’t see a preview on drive thru rpg or on indie press revolution. Maybe I’m just tired and still recovering from being sick?
Here's a link to the kickstarter they ran for the second printing/update: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jiangshi/into-the-wyrd-and-wild-revised-and-reprinted

Here's a link to the original kickstarter: Into the Wyrd and Wild

You'll be able to get a sense of what you're (thinking about) buying from the campaign pages.
 

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