Tag Archives: Dungeons & Dragons

Enderran Agenda for 2020

Plans and Other Whimsy

I know, I know. I am great at making plans, maybe not so great at following through with them. But, contrary to what you might believe, not finishing things actually annoys me greatly.

One of the things I realized I really want to do is decluttering. Both in real life – it is amazing how much crap one accumulates if one lives in the same spot for a decade – and digitally. And Enderra.com is at the top of that list.

I started the process last year, with the big blog cleanup of 2019. I quietly continued that cleanup since then. There is more work to do, but there’s very little return on time invested after a certain point, and I’ll likely just fix whatever I find when I find it, rather than actively looking for stuff to change.

So, anyway, what’s my plan for Enderra.com?

Well, simply put, I’d like to turn Enderra into and actual thing. Something I can look at and say, “yup, this is done”. I mean, we all know that fictional worlds are never “done”. What I mean is something someone who finds their way to this site can grab and use. A complete campaign world. I will identify what “complete” means in another post.

The Future World of Enderra

From this point forth, everything that has ever been posted about Enderra is non-canonical. Enderra, in its almost 30 years history (oh boy – I am getting very old), has always gone through revisions and changes. Some minor, some major. And while I am happy to re-use old material, I don’t want to be bound by it. Times change. Tastes change. And one has to wonder if the world really needs another pseudo-medieval European fantasy setting.

(Indeed, the main reasons why I keep the “Enderra” name are a) it has history and b) I’d have to come up with a new name…)

While much remains to be worked out, and this really warrants at least one future post, I do have a general idea of what Enderra should look like.

  • D&D compatible: There are a couple aspects of Dungeons & Dragons I do not like, but in the end D&D remains popular and accessible, there’s a huge body of third party material out there, and, well, it works. (And this is an excuse for me to finally pick up D&D 5th Edition.)
  • Sword & Sorcery: Enderra has always been more of a low magic setting. Not that there were no major plots or high stakes, but the player characters were always more likely to free some prisoner, search treasure in a dungeon, fight some dark cult, or hunt some criminal than to have a tea party with the gods. Dragons exist, but are rare.
  • No Color-Coded Morals: Speaking of dragons, they’re not color-coded to alignment. Nor is anybody else. Some cultures, organisations, or species may tend towards specific alignments, but that’s it. In reality, nobody does something to be evil; villains are just as convinced they’re “doing the right thing” as the protagonists are. In the context of D&D, alignments are a tool to aid gameplay, nothing more.
  • Wilderness and Exploration: Enderra has always been reasonably civilized. Sure, with a lot of wilderness between the towns, but most of the known world was under the control of one organized, functioning kingdom or another. I’m thinking of limiting the civilized spaces a lot more, with most of the world wild and untamed. Of course, adventuring opportunities abound. Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition stipulated a setting type called “Points of Light” which is the right direction (again, I’ll post more detailed thoughts on this later), but I am thinking about “The Frontier” and a possible land rush.
  • Technology: I am very tempted to move the technology forward a little, notably to include firearms. I’ll have to see just how well it works. More technology probably moves the setting closer to a Fantasy Western. Which actually sounds like fun.

As usual, all of this will probably be refined as we go.

Last but not least – a teaser: I signed up to host the RPG Blog Carnival in February. I always enjoyed running these events, and they always spurned me on to create stuff.

Worldbuilding and me

I’ve been world building for as long as I can remember. As a child I owned many Lego bricks, and built many imaginary worlds from them – often space-themed, but there were more “mundane” worlds. Later, in the 1980s, my mother got me my first role-playing game, and I was instantly hooked. I used the prefab settings for a long time, but built my own modules and campaigns. At the same time, I began to fiddle with writing fiction.

In October 1993 some friends and I wanted to start a fantasy campaign. The system was GURPS, and the setting… well. GURPS comes with a strange fantasy setting based on real-world religions. We didn’t own the world-book, and to be honest it would not have been to our taste. After a friend failed to come up with a campaign, I took on the job of Game Master. I told the guys I’d have something ready in two weeks. In these two weeks I built a fantasy world I called “Enderra“. The first game session was, as best as I can reconstruct it 18 years later, on October 23rd, 1993.

Map of Old Enderra (pre-Demon War), circa 1992
Map of Old Enderra (pre-Demon War), circa 1992

The Enderra campaign ran at a very irregular schedule for several years and eventually died. In the late 90s, we decided to start playing again. I was again the GM. When I started to prepare for the game I quickly decided that I did not want to use any of the prefabricated worlds. But I also thought that building a new world from scratch would be wasteful. After all, I already had Enderra – there were many things about Enderra that I did not like anymore. So I fast-forwarded Enderra by a thousand years, and built on top of what already existed. The following D&D campaign ran for years, and a friend of mine actually ran his campaign using the same world.

The creation of “Enderra II” marked the point where I became interested in world building for its own sake. I drew immense enjoyment out of the creative act of designing a world, a whole universe, and over the years I built several settings of all kinds of flavors. Most of them never got used for anything.

Recently (late 2007, early 2008) I started to look for other world builders… to share experiences, to learn, and above all to have people to bounce ideas off of. This blog is part of that effort.