Campaign Backdrops give you, the busy GM, all the tools you need to run a campaign set in a particular wilderness environment. Each instalment brings together—for the first time in one place—previously released material into one handy, GM friendly package. Featuring wilderness dressing, detailed random encounters, fully fleshed out villages and even a place of power all ready for immediate use in your campaign. Campaign Backdrops are the perfect accompaniment to your wilderness campaign.
The once quiet and quaint halfling community of Underdell rests along the Old Road near the Salt Mire. Steeped in tradition and idleness, the Underdellians found themselves unprepared to deal with the horrors of the plague outbreak in nearby Ashford. Terror gripped Underdell, tearing apart the strong bonds of family and friendship. Fear and paranoia took root in the halflings’ hearts as they tried to escape sickness and death. As Underdell falls apart, a vile halfling bandit has used the chaos to take control of Underdell, enforcing a strict martial law. As neighbour turns on neighbour, a group of bandits terrorize merchant caravans traveling through Ashlar, raiding with impunity and aided by a rich noble. The Underdellians, their smiles and laughter turned to tears and hopelessness, live in fear of another plague outbreak and the harsh punishment of the bandits who insist they are protecting and enriching the village.
Places of Power are short, richly detailed supplements that each present a flavoursome locale such as a remote temple, borderland fort or reclusive wizard’s demesne. Ready to be plugged into almost any home campaign, each installment can be used as a waystop on the road to adventure, the home of a powerful NPC or even as a mini-adventure site in its own right.
As night falls and the moon’s pale light begins to shine, an aging knight takes up watch on the walls of a humble fort. Silver figures drift through the clearing below, shining brightly amidst shadow and vanishing in the moonlight. The waters of the nearby lake turn black as the darkened sky, but the stars on its surface are not the same as the ones above: these stars are a path of shimmering dust, and a woman shrouded in grey walks them, emerging from the lake to extend her hand to the vigilant knight far above.
Memory walks the streets of Gulls’ Roost, a constant presence in a village that was all but forgotten before it was born. Envisioned as a summer retreat from crowded city life for the kingdom’s elites, Gulls’ Roost looks the part, a glittering jewel nestled in unspeakable beauty. But dismayed by tales of dangers during the village’s costly construction, the nobles never came, and Gulls’ Roost instead became a permanent home to the labourers who built it.
Dreamden is debauchery disguised as enlightenment. Here, wealthy aristocrats exchange gold for false visions, misplaced purpose and distorted truth. In return, they invariably go mad.
Promoted as a rustic resort, Dreamden provides rich city-dwellers the opportunity to get in touch with their more primitive side. Here, the wealthy aristocracy feign connection with their ancestors and, after smoking a range of exorbitant narcotics, go on self-aggrandizing sprit quests. The whole thing is a scam, run by an enchanting elf named Dreamer. As customers stumble about in a stupor, Dreamer syphons their mental energies to feed the demon-king to whom he is indebted. Dreamer guides the dreams of his clients, introducing them to highly addictive substances and securing their life-long annual patronage.
Storied Languard—capital of Ashlar and its greatest city—stands hard against Hard Bay’s turbulent, stormy waters. To the north lies the Mottled Spire’s brooding spray-drenched mass, the curse-haunted ruins of Greystone and Gloamhold’s doom-wreathed halls. Ashlar’s greatest—indeed only—city, Languard is a noisy, dirty place. Here, amid broad, muddy streets teeming with life and shadow-mantled, danger-filled alleyways there is little beneath the sun that cannot be had somewhere—for a price.
Few Languardians overly concern themselves with the brooding terrors lurking within Gloamhold’s halls, but for others, the legendary, benighted ruin draws them to Languard as a moth to a flame. For within Languard’s stout walls live, plot and scheme a surprising number of adventurers, freebooters and mercenaries all lured here by the treasures said to lie but a scant few miles to the north.
The village of Laewas is inhabited entirely by ghosts. How did the inhabitants of Laewas die? You can ask them, but even they aren’t sure. From a distance, the village looks completely normal if a little ramshackle and decayed. Farmers, carpenters and housewives roam the streets, carrying baskets of apples or shepherding packs of dirty children. They laugh, gossip and greet outsiders under the heat of the sun. It’s almost easy to forget everybody here is dead. But as the days roll by, the ghosts lose their memories. They are stuck in an endless loop, doomed to constantly relive their final hours. These shades are totally unaware of their current plight. They are convinced they are still living, breathing creatures in a perfectly normal farming village.