Fat Dragon Games has taken inspiration for their fantasy terrain sets from Tom Tullis’ home campaign. That’s been going on for 17 years.
Now, the publisher has made the behind-the-scenes information for this setting available.
The Vallis Mortis Reference Guide is free. There are 28 pages in all.
While DriveThruRPG dates the book’s first appearance to August 2022, the file suggests it’s a far older project than that. Tullis’ introduction is dated 2020.
Vallis Mortis has been my home campaign for well over three decades now, being run on and off in various forms, using a Frankensteinian system comprised of OD&D with Supplement 1: Greyhawk (and a smattering of later supplements); Erol Otus’ legendary book The Necromican (yes, that is the correct title, it was not Necronomicon as people continually try and correct me); The Arduin Grimoire with its infamous crit tables, and various monsters, treasures, and spells from AD&D, Dragon Magazine, and other sources. With the decision to start offering Dragonlock terrain sets based on Vallis Mortis through Fat Dragon Games, I decided it would be fun to polish up my various maps, scribbles, and notes and put them into a PDF to give some background on these locations and insight into their design history and how I used them in my games. This document will be steadily updated over the coming years, with new sections added to correspond with new Vallis Mortis terrain releases by FDG.
A brief description of most major locations on the Vallis Mortis map is included with this initial release, and then more in-depth histories for specific locations follow that. At the end is my custom classic D&D character sheet and a Vallis Mortis death certificate. For those that were fortunate enough to grow up during the 1970s and’ 80s—when a little white box with three booklets were all you needed to play D&D, MTV actually showed videos, and Rush, Queen, Van Halen (true VH, not the abomination with Sammy), and Black Sabbath ruled the radio—you will recognize many of the musical and literary nods, and cultural inside jokes contained within. For those that missed out on that glorious period in American history, you will never know what you missed out on.
There’s a generous supply of art inside, with contributions from Tom Tullis, Sjoerdje DeVos, Jason Walton and Jim Wampler. There’s an impressive map as well.
Acting as a gazetteer, the guide tours the setting to detail locations. While the presentation is system neutral, the character sheets included are D&D.
It’s just the start of things as Fat Dragon promises;
As more Vallis Mortis related terrain sets are released, information about those locations and inhabitants will be added to this Vallis Mortis reference guide over the coming years.
- Download: Vallis Mortis Reference Guide
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