I've got a new campaign idea in my head, because clearly I don't have enough projects to keep me busy. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it right yet. Once the plague leaves our far lands, I'm probably going to propose it as the next campaign for my home group. Or, if I ever get room for another online game I might run it as like a virtual open-table.
It's a spooky (but not horror) rustic hex-crawl setting centered around a haunted forest and anchored by a little village full of eccentric NPCs. I'm going for a kind of dream-like weirdness more than horror. it's a gothic fairytale vibe without going into full-blown Burton territory, like a Roger Corman meets Guillermo del Toro thing. System-wise I think Beyond the Wall and Other Adventures is the best fit.
Here are my vague and poorly organized concept notes...
Wyrdwood Village (Setting)Keys: Dreamlike, folktales, decay, mystery
Specifically not a horror setting, despite some of the folk horror trappings.
A small village spread around an ancient manor house occupied by the mysterious Lord Wyrd and his household.
Lord Wyrd is mysterious with vaguely-defined supernatural influence on the area. Of an alien mood, but surprisingly benign. His family has been here as long as the village has, with no records showing their origin. Lord Wyrd has been the master of the Manor as long as anyone can remember.
The Wyrdwood is a primeval, spooky fairytale forest full of strange ruins, monsters, and secrets. The village has only one path in--the old covered bridge.
People (PCs and other weirdos) just “show up” in Wyrdwood village, coming across the bridge. Sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose, sometimes by invitation from Lord Wyrd. Designed to facilitate bringing new characters/players into the campaign.
Visitors are welcome, and Lord Wyrd is quite happy to provide rooms for guests within the Manor, as long as they behave themselves.
Every week, a masked man driving a wagon comes into town to resupply the merchants and take their money to deposit “back in the city.” This "city" is never discussed in detail. Anyone who attempts to follow the wagon driver when he leaves the village never returns to Wyrdwood. None of this strikes the villagers as unusual. Wyrdwood Manor
- Many secret passages and hidden chambers
- A strange art gallery
- Lord Wyrd’s bored and lustful daughter
- The locked bedroom of Lord Wyrd’s dead son.
- Distressingly cheerful Halfling groundskeeper
- Competent if uncreative cook.
- Necromantic butler overseeing ghostly staff.
- Guest rooms available for use by adventuring types
- Library full of cryptic answers
- Family crypts
- Tavern, where hirelings and torchbearers can be hired.
- Church dedicated to a forgotten god
- General store with a very friendly proprietor (Runcible Hawk and his old dog Blue). He’ll buy pelts and monster skins from adventurers.
- Smith who can make weapons and simple armor, and can order heavy armor for you (delivered next week!)
- Several empty houses that can be rented or purchased from Lord Wyrd (so PCs can set up their own homes, temples, guilds, etc.)
- Apothecary who sells potions and buys weird ingredients from the PCs.
- Handful of farms with quarreling families.
- Maypole and old menhirs where seemingly random holidays are celebrated.
- Crusty old bailiff/sheriff who keeps the peace.
- Ruins of unknown history and make
- Dungeons of various sizes
- Creepy druid cults burning sacrifices inside wicker animals
- Talking beasts
- The tower of a reclusive, but good-natured wizard.
- Coven of sinister witches and their goblin minions
- The Parliament of Spiders
- Ancient statues covered in moss
- Small village of devils
- Bearlike hermit
- No standard “humanoid” monsters, aside from some beastly goblin-folk.