5E World of Farland Now Embraces Asian, African, and Indian Cultures

The World of Farland has been online thoughout various iterations of D&D for as long as I've been running this website. So, about 20 years. It's a dark D&D setting, ruled by evil lords based on the Seven Deadly Sins, with an tmosphere a bit like if Lord of the Rings had gone the other way. The new Realms Under Shadow hardcover supplement introduces new locations which are not dependent on European mythology. I've been sent a few previews to share!

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The World of Farland, conquered by evil and ruled by the Lords of Sin, has been online for nearly 20 years. It's a best-seller here at DTRPG. But the setting has focused on European-style fantasy up to this point. That changes now...

The evil Wintervale has conquered the continent of Farland. But other lands lie south and east of the Wintervale. Some of these exotic realms are allied with the Shadow and some resist it, but either way, they have been affected by it. These are the Realms Under Shadow...

The Realms Under Shadow are fantastic places reminiscent of the medieval cultures of Asia, Africa (including egypt), and India. This campaign supplement allows you to play a game that is not in the vein of the traditional European style fantasy. Adventure in diverse and amazing places. Battle characters and monsters that are a far cry from your usual RPG experience. This book is compatible with the 5th edition of the World's most popular RPG and is a supplement to The World of Farland Campaign Setting, although it can certainly be used on its own.

This 235 page campaign supplement includes:
  • Detailed write-ups on many unique and diverse cultures
  • 14 new PC races
  • New player options, including 15 new class archetypes and paths; feats; and equipment
  • Calendars and gods
  • New Languages
  • Tons of adventure hooks
  • Important NPCs and locations
  • Seventeen new monsters
  • A full length adventure set in the Realms Under Shadow
  • Much more!
  • All exclusive new content that will never appear on the website.
This book comes with two maps of the geography, and it is now available in standard color hardcover and gorgeous premium color hardcover!
 
Russ Morrissey

Comments

Farland

Explorer
Is calling them 'exotic' Orientalism?

Or should I be more offended by "places influenced by evil"?
Hi Celebrim! Believe me, we were sensitive to the issues you bring up. We struggled with the word choice you mention and definitely hope it’s not offensive to anyone. The “influenced by evil” phrase, though, is just a reference to the fact that the evil Wintervale tried to put its grimy hands on the realms described in this Campaign Supplement... and failed for the most part, as the majority of the cultures rejected the evil. But that rejection, of course, involved a struggle and thus “influenced” each place and culture. We hope that if you pick up the Supplement, you’ll find that we strived to represent a nuanced, respectful (albeit fantasy) version of these cultures. We tried hard to make these cultures/societies places you’d like your PC to come from, and places you’d like to adventure in! We’ve gotten positive reviews so far, so hopefully we were at least somewhat successful. Thanks for looking!
 
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Tonguez

Adventurer
The art work looks good and nice to see some expansion beyond standard fantasy

but
when you say Asian - do you mean you will cover a wide span of Asian cultures or is it shorthand for “Japan and maybe some Chinese bits?”.just one of my peeves, since Asia is a very big place (eg somewhere like Cambodia or Indonesia is maybe better modeled by India-inspired setting elements

Also what African content are included too
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Looks dope. Were any people of color hired to make it?

Edit: to fix autocorrect’s mistakes
 
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MockingBird

Explorer
I like how most all 5e related products have a continuity to it. You know when you're looking at a 5e compatible product.
 

MockingBird

Explorer
Can you elaborate? I'm interested in this!
So I picked up on this with the Odyssey type setting created by the ex bio ware guys. The big thing is how everything is formatted. I'm not talking about stat blocks, I'm taking about how the pages look, how fluff is formatted. It is interesting, I wonder if it's a requirement from WotC to use that style or if the creators choose to use it. It works IMO. You definitely know it's a 5e compatible product. I'm sure exceptions apply but I havent see them.
 
So I picked up on this with the Odyssey type setting created by the ex bio ware guys. The big thing is how everything is formatted. I'm not talking about stat blocks, I'm taking about how the pages look, how fluff is formatted. It is interesting, I wonder if it's a requirement from WotC to use that style or if the creators choose to use it. It works IMO. You definitely know it's a 5e compatible product. I'm sure exceptions apply but I havent see them.
A big reason why I ask is because I'm working on a product right now that will likely be an exception. I think the 5E format is really good, but it is interesting now that you mention it how similar many things are!
 

RichCMidas

Villager
Hi all, Farland's pet author for this project here. Thought I'd drop a couple of cents into this mixture.

Is calling them 'exotic' Orientalism?

Or should I be more offended by "places influenced by evil"?
At worst, probably only Orientalism when it comes to the land of Yrrkune, since I believe the 'original' Orient, so to speak, was the Sino-Japanese portion of Asia; and Yrrkune takes a few pointers from there. This supplement, too, takes a look at nations inspired by far more than just part of our own world - there is a proto-Hellenic touch to the Selfhaven Archipelago, an admittedly outright post-Pharaonic fantasy Egypt in Ishia, a hint of the Vedic mythology in Badala, and more still.

So whilst you could certainly argue that calling the land of Yrrkune 'exotic' is Orientalist, you would need to apply a similar argument from Yrrkune to us, if you see what I mean. A player from China or Japan, or Korea or Tibet, would logically find the Europe-inspired lands and cultures of the continent of Farland 'exotic' from their perspective; they would also find Ishia or Badala or Jila to be 'exotic' by the same measure.

So too, I think, would a player from India or Bangladesh, for example, consider Cadocia to be an 'exotic' land, or the Selfhaven Archipelago. All this assumes, of course, that 'exotic' is a bad thing. Even if something is commonplace to me, it is not to others who are newly introduced to it. If they consider something about my culture to be 'exotic', well, to them I believe it is!

And Farland himself answered your concern about "places influenced by evil" well enough, I think. :) When writing this up, I tried to avoid falling into the trap of 'this place is heavily pressured by the Wintervale, therefore it is uniformly twisted and perverted'. The exent to which I succeeded or not, ultimately, will come down to personal opinion.


The art work looks good and nice to see some expansion beyond standard fantasy

but
when you say Asian - do you mean you will cover a wide span of Asian cultures or is it shorthand for “Japan and maybe some Chinese bits?”.just one of my peeves, since Asia is a very big place (eg somewhere like Cambodia or Indonesia is maybe better modeled by India-inspired setting elements

Also what African content are included too
The artists did do a fantastic job, didn't they?

So, regarding 'Asian' in this supplement's context...there are elements drawn from perhaps 30-40% of that vast continent. The agrabhua scorpion-folk are Mesopotamian. There is Arabic influence in the Cen-Cenlan nomads, and a hint of Persian Zoroastrianism in the dualist philosophy of the Sand Dragons. Badala is very much inspired by Indian culture. Cadocia references not just the well-known Inuit people, but also the Aleut and Yupik (who contributed most of the background rules for language and naming).

And, yes, Yrrkune is mostly Sino-Japanese; with its established coda of laws drawing heavily from the Tokugawa Shogunate era, and an entire monk tradition based upon the Confucian and Taoist principles that became the Five Traditional Virtues of China. Plus if you play as a Shenzakushan Kunese, you are implicitly allowed to overact and overemote in homage to theatre, manga, and anime; especially if going for a more wuxia-style game.

Always, however, I aimed at drawing a veil between the real and the fantasy. Just as, for example, Kelerak and Daven are inspired by the Germanic nations of our world, but should not themselves be considered a perfect fantasy representation, or critique, of them; so too should the nations portrayed in this supplement be seen as drawing inspiration from the real cultures of our world, without being viewed as an actual representation - and CERTAINLY not as either a contemporary or historical critique.

African content is a good one too. You can thank Farland for giving me a lot to work with, even just geographically. Other than the obvious Egyptian touch to Ishia, you have a hint of the Bedouin in Cen-Cenla, and the Sutherlanders of Binjala and Forola are very much akin to the Bantu peoples. Many of the words and names relating to the Forolans, for instance, are drawn from the Xhosa language; whilst one exiled celestial in the more northerly Binjalan regions has taken up a name that is entirely isiZulu.

There is, I will fully admit, not nearly as much as there could be in terms of African content, no matter how much I will defend the quality of what there is. Some of this is due to the sheer variety of cultures and options we had available to draw from - we could simply never do everything justice, and if we tried, I think what we did have would have suffered from the lack of attention. Some of it is due to, and I hold my hand up here, ignorance: I know so little about the 'source material' that most of the nuances are simply lost on me.

I did what I could.

I'd also like to formally recognise Farland here, actually, for his work on the new equipment presented in this supplement too. That section is entirely on his side of the creativity board and I refuse to claim any credit for any part of it whatsoever.


Hi Jerryrice! Not in this Supplement. We already put so much in, we just didn’t have the space. Great idea, though.
Uh...do I need to start considering a Forntol continent expansion or something? :p
 

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