Weird North (2020)

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Publisher: (Web published)
Year: 2020
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44 pages
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WEIRD NORTH is a role-playing game for one referee and a handful of players. Players take control of wandering sellswords and adventurers, exploring a huge and curious world in order to claim great wealth, expand their renown, and achieve personal goals.

What This Is
- An RPG is a conversational game where everyone at the table plays in a shared world of imagination.
- This game centers on questions, creativity, and nuance, all of which form an emergent story.
- Player characters are empowered, but vulnerable. The world is huge, and filled with places to explore.

Who You Are
- The referee is a neutral arbiter of the world, presenting information and circumstances clearly.
- The players take the world at face value, treating it as real, consistent, and full of both risk and reward.
- Together, you trust each other to engage with a shared setting, objectives, and consequences.

Sword & Sorcery
- The universe is decadent, mostly dead, and without vested interest in cosmic good and redemption.
- Any given world is rent apart by ancient machinery, fell magicks, and intervening godlings.
- Humankind bands together to manage a living, but tensions are high and threats are everywhere.

Picaresque Adventure
- You play as and compete with daring scoundrels, out for treasure, power, and reputation.
- Opportunities abound for high-stakes expedition. Your context is dangerous, but you have grit.
- Fair fights are bad odds. You need to negotiate, plot, haggle, ally, and deceive to survive.

Inspiration
- Howard's Cimmeria, where Conan slogged against petty rulers and snakepeople for profit and renown.
- Vance's Dying Earth, where Cugel crossed through portals to far sanctums while his own world rotted.
- Lieber's Lankhmar, where Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser fleeced nobles with bounties on their own heads.

Thanks goes to Chris McDowall for creating Into the Odd and Electric Bastionland, David Black for The Black Hack 2nd Edition, the Bastionland Discord for remarkable ideas and feedback, the yawning sea of pulp fantasy and science fiction authors of the 19th and 20th centuries for their communal wellspring of weird tales, and my young son who daily pores over Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea.

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