Obojima Tales From The Tall Grass: An Interview with Jeremiah Crofton

I contacted 1985 Games to learn more about their upcoming setting, Obojima, on Kickstarter this August and currently over $350,000 in funding.

“Introducing an all-new campaign setting for D&D 5E inspired by Studio Ghibli & Legend of Zelda!” That description caught one of my player’s attention, so I contacted 1985 Games to learn more about their upcoming setting, Obojima, on Kickstarter this August and currently over $350,000 in funding as of this writing. Jeremiah Crofton, the company’s Creative Director, was kind enough to provide me with more details.

obojima.png

Charles Dunwoody (CD): Thanks for talking with me, Jeremiah. If you wanted to explain how Obojima captures the feel of Studio Ghibli and Legend of Zelda, how would you describe the campaign setting?
Jeremiah Crofton (JC):
In short, I’d say we’ve relied on three pillars to help guide us as we’ve built this project. The first and potentially the most important is our visuals. Both Ghibli and Zelda are visually stunning, and we’ve been lucky enough to find a handful of artists to help bring our work to life through the amazing art they’ve created. The next pillar is a feeling we try to distill and introduce into all of our world-building, and that is the distinct feeling of discovering or experiencing some extraordinary thing for the first time. In both Ghibli and Zelda, our main characters often find themselves thrust into an unfamiliar yet breathtaking world. As our audience begins to explore the island of Obojima we hope to leave them with that same feeling. Finally, we had to make sure that no matter what direction your adventure took you, you always have a safe space to return to. Whether it's the flowering fields in Howl Moving Castle or Kakoriko Village in Ocarina of Time, there are always moments in our story where our characters need to feel comfortable and safe. It's a warm feeling that's hard to describe but I truly think it makes some of the most memorable moments from these movies and games.

CD: What types of characters can players look forward to playing in Obojima?
JC:
We’re introducing eight plus new subclasses, along with a plethora of new player options. Here are some of my favorite new subclasses. You could play as the eclectic College of Masks bard and craft versatile theater masks to help you in any situation, breathe life into paper constructs and control the battlefield as an Origami Mage, or harness the potent magic that has slowly begun to infect Obojima itself as the Corrupted Ranger.

CD: What new races are available to players?
JC:
Currently, we’re introducing three new races in Obojima. Not all of them have been revealed yet, but I can tell you about the Karu, an amphibious people blessed by a nature spirit some time ago. They live short but exciting lives which lead them throughout the island of Obojima as practitioners of 1000 trades. It's a common saying amongst Karu that “A still frog drowns” and that is often reflected in their lifestyles as they’re known to end relationships, change jobs, or even move towns at a moment's notice. To many Karu, life is just a collection of experiences, so why not have a grand collection? The Karu is a lot of fun and based on some of the anthropomorphic frogs you can find in Japanese folklore.

CD: The setting offers over 130 ingredients to craft over 180 potions. These potions make the world unique. Why is potion making so important in the world of Obojima and how do PCs use these new rules when playing the game?
JC:
On the island of Obojima, everything has been steeped in magic like a fresh pot of tea. Due to the properties now found in plant life, animals, and even manmade objects potion crafting has become a widespread skill amongst many adventurers. For PCs that choose to take on potion crafting as a skill set, they’ll have the opportunity to gather ingredients as they explore the island. By taking notes, researching locations, and making new allies, they’ll be able to uncover rare and unique ingredients and combine them as they wish to create a wide variety of exciting potions.

CD: What kind of adventures can gamemasters and player characters expect to find in this setting?
JC:
Currently Obojima is a campaign setting, which means the book will offer a detailed world for you to build your own story in. That being said we will be adding several adventures to the book as Kickstarter stretch goals. One of them details a curious encounter with a witch and her pixies at the local potion shop.

CD: What tools will GMs get to help in creating adventures and bringing the world to life?
JC:
All through most of the book is spent detailing the island of Obojima and its inhabitance, GM’s looking for a place to kick off their story will be able to find adventure hooks all throughout the book as they read about new characters, factions, and locations.

CD: What items are you offering through this Kickstarter?
JC:
Besides the hardcover book, we’ll also be offering a number of useful reference cards for the potions/ingredients, magic items, and spells. You can also find two collections of pins, handmade resin dice sets, player's journals, DM screens, and more on the Kickstarter.

CD: Are there any additional books planned beyond the core setting book?
JC:
Right now we’re just focusing on Obojima. We want to make sure we give it all of the love and attention we can.

CD: Any final comments you’d like to share with the readers of EN World?
JC:
This has been one of the coolest projects I’ve had a chance to work on and I can’t wait to share it with everyone.
 

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Charles Dunwoody

Charles Dunwoody


Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
No questions about the technology depicted in the art? There are pickup trucks, vending machines and floppy discs, which aren't present in most D&D settings I know.
 

pickup trucks, vending machines and floppy discs, which aren't present in most D&D settings I know.

Actually pickups were a huge part of the first draft. In fact Gygax made the original alignment system to include the axis of good v evil, law v chaos, and Ford v Chevy.

Rangers were originally required to be both Good and Ford. There was a separate similar class called the Trail Blazer for those who chose the Chevy alignment. Unearthed Arcana saw a retooled Cavalier, the elements that tied it to Chevy alignment were removed.

This third alignment was eventually removed. As he was playtest the game in the Midwest. Many family forbid the books based on the fear there kids, even if it was just pertend play in a game, being involved with the wrong truck brand.

Vestiges can be found in Snarf quest. A comic based on his early playtest of the system.

1692331064121.png
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
Actually pickups were a huge part of the first draft. In fact Gygax made the original alignment system to include the axis of good v evil, law v chaos, and Ford v Chevy.

Rangers were originally required to be both Good and Ford. There was a separate similar class called the Trail Blazer for those who chose the Chevy alignment. Unearthed Arcana saw a retooled Cavalier, the elements that tied it to Chevy alignment were removed.

This third alignment was eventually removed. As he was playtest the game in the Midwest. Many family forbid the books based on the fear there kids, even if it was just pertend play in a game, being involved with the wrong truck brand.

Vestiges can be found in Snarf quest. A comic based on his early playtest of the system.

View attachment 292789
The Ford vs. Chevy alignment axis is easily the most contentious.
 


No questions about the technology depicted in the art? There are pickup trucks, vending machines and floppy discs, which aren't present in most D&D settings I know.

Good idea, but the kickstarter wasn't live when I did the interview and all the art wasn't available. And honestly, 5E ranges so far afield currently that I don't really have a baseline to go by anymore! However, not sure about the floppy disks and pickup trucks (sounds like an old human civilization left them) but the preview material has this which is a clever outsourcing of the magic shop idea:

1692608386097.png
 
Last edited:

BookTenTiger

He / Him
Good idea, but the kickstarter wasn't live when I did the interview and all the art wasn't available. And honestly, 5E ranges so far afield currently that I don't really have a baseline to go by anymore! However, not sure about the floppy disks and pickup trucks (sounds like an old human civilization left them) but the preview material has this which is a clever outsourcing of the magic shop idea:

View attachment 292995
Such a fun idea!
 


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