Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Vomorhin Experiment

A full-time job and an impending move to a new apartment haven't really left much time for idle pursuits, including Dungeons and Dragons. But all work and no play has often left Jack a dull boy, so I've been thinking about getting back in the saddle for a few weeks now. In my current situation, tabletop gaming has been a great way to both stay in touch with distant friends and make new ones in the greater Philadelphia area. In preparation for this eventual calming, I've been working on a little experiment.

The City of Vomorhin is a project that I've been planning since I put my ideas together for the Cheap Minis Project: a city setting that utilized many of the strange, common or otherwise minor parts of the Dungeons & Dragons experience in order to craft a campaign setting. There's a place in the Vomorhin universe for kenku, grimlocks, troglodytes, krenshar, chaos creatures and constructs of all shapes and sizes. Taking all of these disparate elements and making a coherent world out of them has been a blast.

As of now, I have two potential gaming groups lined up and only a limited amount of time each week to plan for a campaign. So my plan is to run two different campaigns, two different rules systems, one central setting.

My online group consists of close friends from college spread out across both coasts of the country. For rules, we're going to be using a modified Swords & Wizardry, incorporating ideas from Akrasia and the most recent D&D Gamma World into the basic S&W framework. My in-person group potentially consists of new players and a pair of local friends. That game will be run with 4th Edition rules.

I have never GMed either of these systems, so I'm looking forward to seeing how the implicit rules of each work in a big fantasy city setting. The S&W campaign is more likely to be in the 'Heist D&D' millieu, with caper planning and specialist hirelings needed to pull off huge scores, while the 4th Edition campaign will be more like hard-boiled fantasy fiction where the players unravel conspiracies, butt heads with prominent factions and change the face of the city.

The vast majority of my campaign preparation will be system-agnostic and, through Fistful of Coppers, available to readers for free. When I do stat up monsters, NPCs, magic items and the like, I will try to do so in both S&W and 4E terms. In terms of fleshing out the city, I'm starting with the overarching story of the city detailed in my most recent post and trying to fill in details as I go.

The next dispatch from Vomorhin will take a look at each of the scions of Creeshus and their place in the city. Stay tuned!


  1. Is the setting intended solely for personal use, or is this something you're eventually hoping to go commercial with? The name sounds/looks similar to Vornheim.

  2. David,

    The closest that I would ever go commercially with Vomorhin is putting up PDFs of interesting city stuff for free. I actually got the name out of a random syllables fantasy name generator and only really realized the closeness to Vornheim a day after I had first posted about it. It's frankly a little embarrassing, especially since I'm using Zak's Urbancrawl Rules for Slacker DMs to help populate the city.

    1. Well personally, I'm looking forward to hearing more about the place. You might want to change the name, but yeah if this isn't specifically meant for commercial release, I think you're fine. It's also great to hear you're using Vornheim.

    2. Thank you, David! I think this whole project is a bit like Rather Gamey's Vayniris, in that it's Vornheim-influenced but still it's own kind of thing. I'm also going to work on detailing more of the setting as I go, including other cities and regions.