Imagine an old-school fantasy adventure world guide book and board game that captures the essence of swords & sorcery role-playing -- where you and your
companions explore the hex map, searching for dungeons to explore, dragons to defeat, treasure to loot, and secrets to uncover -- without a DM?
You can play solo, cooperatively, or even competitively. First up, we will publish the guide book, then follow with the board game. Click here to see a roadmap of what's to come.
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Book: Cyclopedia of Glatheriel
The Cyclopedia of Glatheriel is the campaign book based on Tom Termini's long-running DnD game. Started in the 1970s, this high-fantasy, high-magic setting features multiple kingdoms spanning two continents, a host of fantasy races, and mutli-planar conflict.
As a hardcover accessory to a fantasy role-playing game (RPG), the cyclopedia includes campaign-specific history and details on the fictional world of Glatheriel.
The book complements the board game, providing color and flavor to the setting. The author envisioned this campaign setting for the Dungeons & Dragons® (D&D) role-playing game way back in the glory days of the white box. Designed decades ago to introduce a fantasy world with unlimited possibilities for exploration, the Cyclopedia includes everything needed to develop character backstories and run campaigns. With influences from Robert E. Howard, Fritz Lieber, Michael Moorcock, Roger Zelazny and others, this guide to Glatheriel includes historical and cultural details of the world, along with extensive illustrations and a plethora of maps that brings to life a vivid setting.
Cyclopedia of the World of Glatheriel
- The Campaign - Why Visit Glatheriel?
- About the World
- Crossroads of the Multiverse
- Magic, Spells, and Mana
- The Various Planes
- Sandbox – Explore the Map
- Wilderness Survival
- The Player Characters
- What's in Your Backpack?
- Strongholds and Followers
- Meta-Gaming, Rules Lawyering Don’t Just be a Murder Hobo
Chapter 1 · Every Hero Needs a Quest
- Of Further Interest
Chapter 2 · Capsule History
- History of Glatheriel
- Ancient History
- The Second Ag
- The Great Awakening
- Nexus Wars
- The Present Age
Chapter 3 · Natural History
- The Calendar
- Celestial Events
- Notable Fauna and Flora
- Planes of Existence
- The Fey
- Plane of Shadow
- The Astral Plane
Chapter 4 · Ethnography
- Distribution of the Humani
- Other Humani
- Distribution of Elves
- More of the Elder Kind
- Other Sentients
- Who Speaks What Languages
Chapter 5 · Geographic Gazetteer
- Neighboring Lands
- Distant Lands
- The Empire
- The Holy Country
Chapter 6 · Points of Interest
- The Capital City
- Cities, Towns and Villages
- Other Habitations
- Portals, Gates, and Nexus Points
- Castles and Keeps
- Geographic Features of Westri
- World Wonders
- Getting to the Fey World
- Even More Strange Places
- The Underworlds of Glatheriel
- Random Other Places around the Multiverse
Chapter 7 · Common Knowledge
- Current Events
- Cultural Artifacts
- Travel and Exploration
- Everyday Items
Chapter 8 · Other Details
- Social Hierarchy
- Trade Guilds, Houses, Temples and Factions
- Currency and Trade
Chapter 9 · Rumors, Lore, and Legends
- Lore and Legends
Chapter 10 · Uncommon Knowledge
- Mana vs Aura
- Some Known Nexus Points
- Oddities and Weird Substances
- Law vs Chaos
- Dragons of Glatheriel
- The Event
- The Afterlife
- Death, Resurrection, and Reincarnation
Annex 1 · Guilds, Societies, and Causes
- Even More Organizations
- Military Organizations
Annex 2 · Religions and Pantheons
- Religions, Cults, and Sects
- Gods, Demigods, Celestial and Infernal Beings
Annex 3 · Languages
Annex 4 · Notable Personages
Annex 5 · Library of Limogés University
Annex 6 · Economics
- Multiversal Trading Company Prices
- Gems and Jewelry
- Markets and Fairs
- Trade Within Westri
- Global Commerce
Annex 7 · Inns, Taverns, and Roadhouses
Annex 8 · Strange and Unusual Items
Annex 9 · Character Customization
- Social Status
- Character Classes
Annex 10 · Multiversal Trading Company Catalog
Title: Cyclopedia of the World of Glatheriel
Author: Tom Termini
ISBN: 0-0000-0000-0 (EU edition)/ 000-0-0000-0000-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Blaur Hund Ltd
Availability: Kickstarter then Amazon Amazon UK
Board Game: Hidden Territories
Before tracking down rumors and lore, solving puzzles, and clearing dungeons of monsters and collecting loot, characters have to master navigating and surviving the wilderness. Because of this, players needed to make choices on what route to choose, juggling decisions like if they can afford to take the long way around to avoid monsters at the cost of their rations, or if dangerous terrain and bad weather pose more of a threat than random encounters.
Each character has different abilities, strengths, and weaknesses, and advance in level as they gain experience. During encounters, players interact with different allies and foes, including monsters and challenges that can appear on the map board. Game turns are marked in days, weeks, and months — each day starts with starts with players selecting actions, such as traveling to a new hex on the map. Depending on the action selected, and what is found in a particular hex, encounters are resolved with a dice pool mechanic.
Every time a player enters a hex, consult the Gazetteer for that numbered hex (500 in total). Members of the party may participate in an encounter, which may be beneficial or not, but often involve events that can be resolved with combat, negotiation, or guile. Encounter and event cards link action to the Adventure Guide, which takes players through choose-your-own-outcome sequences, different each time the game is played. For each event, one or more players, as the characters they have chosen, make decisions which will make a particular quest successful -- or potentially fatal -- and change the outcome of the game.
Rules are revealed as needed, so players explore and advance play as soon as the first encounter happens! Play time can last one or more hours, and linked quests can last multiple sessions, adding up to a satisfying campaign.
The objective of the game is to explore the Kingdom of Westri, recreating the action and discovery of fantasy adventure. The game encapsulates a small but complete fantasy kingdom — each game is a new adventure where everything lies hidden at various locations, including encounters with non-player characters and monstrous enemies. And fabulous treasures!
As players complete a series of quests, they will encounter baddies and allies, and a story will unfold; it is up to you to take on the enemies of freedom and bring peace to the kingdom. The game board is a corresponding version of a hex grid map, familiar to old-school RPGers. The players will explore the area moving from hex to hex, completing their quests and encountering all kinds of people, places, and adventures. Play extends over multiple sessions; encounters organized into subsets based on scenarios and completed quests.
Travel around the Kingdom of Westri, a place full of points of interest for the players to explore. While exploring the game board map — different story lines emerge in a milieu made up of relationships, conflicts, alliances, and plots. This is put in motion by the combination of quest, encounter, and event cards. As you play, you come across NPCs to "interact" with. Your path across Westri, your choices, and hex-specific details build a unique experience, each session. Each hex has different terrain (forest, plains, desert, mountains, hills, lakes). Some hexes have points of interest, like a town, castle, cave, ruins, or other places. Players move their characters around the board to complete quests and gain experience, lore, and loot.
The game includes different scenarios -- playable solo, cooperatively with up to five other players. Even a bit of PvP could occur depending on the players' intent. In each scenario, there are series of quests that the players will complete, adding up to a coherent storyline. When players band together into a party, or has certain items or knowledge in their possession, other options become available, perhaps unlocking certain places on the map?
Players gain loot, experience to level up, and the lore to help deal with the larger forces at work behind the scenes. The storyline has multiple branches, resulting in completely different stories and endings, depending on the choices of the players -- players can choose to complete a quest in one of a few different ways, and each decision will drive outcomes differently. Completing the scenario’s main quests unlock other quests, until they've reached the end of the storyline and finished the campaign. The game is expandable with new campaigns, characters, and foes forthcoming.
Start with the set of pre-defined characters, archetypes of the magical medieval fantasy setting. When playing the game, each player selects a character to play. You can travel separately, or as cooperatively as a party. Each character has its own strengths and weaknesses, with stats and other traits described on the card. Different strategies should be employed, based on the character selected, in order to be successful.
• Warrior or Knight
• Mage or Sorcerer
• Priestess, Pilgrim or Cleric
• Rogue or Bard
• Ranger or Amazon
• Thief or Assassin
• Paladin or Berserk Barbarian
• Swordsman. Corsair or Beastmaster
• Druid, Witch or Warlock
Each character has different attributes for moving, fighting, using magic, and other special abilities. Level up by spending XP to learn new skills -- following a skills tree based on class and other prerequisites. Different species (humanoid, elf, dwarf, etc.) grant different benefits and constraints. Stats help determine likelihood of success of challenge dice checks.
Internal division tears at the heart of Westri. Many factions, guilds, religious orders, and others try to unsettle the balance, often encouraged from forces outside the borders, and across the multiverse. The supporters of the “Pretender King” are gathering to decide issues of succession, against the hasty crowning of Griswold, supported by the lords and other nobility who are “Loyalists.” This upheaval comes at a bad time, as the forces of chaotic evil marshal to try to overrun the land.
Unearthed in the wilderlands among some long-lost ruins, an artifact was found that could resurrect the captains of an undead army, representing a struggle between gods, demons, and others. It is here that you can fight these forces of chaos, and ultimately, an even greater power. Will the darkness, pouring forth from a portal to the demon realm, spread to all the regions of the Kingdom, before you succeed?
Here's the Anthem of the Kingdom of Westri.
Players explore the kingdom to accomplish quests. When PCs move to enter a new hex, find information by hex number from the game board in the Gazetteer.
Roll dice based on the challenge rating of the hex, to trigger an encounter or find a point of interest keyed to that hex.
The PCs experience an event, encounter monsters or NPCs, or find a specific points of interest in that hex. Some encounters may be keyed to the Adventure Guide; how you resolve an encounter can shape future events.
Players’ characters can find or win fabulous treasures, magical artifacts, and gold or jewels. As players overcome challenges, their characters gain experience which can be spent on greater magical spells, skills, or other abilities. Leveling up is needed to face the more powerful bosses, as is the help of other players and NPCs.
The game board - map of the Kingdom of Westri, divided into 500 hexes.
• Easy Start booklet - Welcome to the world — overview of objectives, components, how to set up and play.
• Rule Book - A volume of rules, numbered and indexed for easy reference.
• Gazetteer - Descriptions of each hex, plus details about named places. Also reference to corresponding Points-Of-Interest in hex locations.
• Adventure Guide - The story elements, numbered and with a step-by-step guide — like choose-your-own-adventure for player agency.
• Challenge - the “treasure map” that guides each quest/scenario, challenges met. Shows party prestige/reputation, (flow chart of monsters killed, lore cards revealed, artifacts acquired, places visited, BBGs overcome, reputation and victory conditions)
• Time/event tracker (day, week, month, season, global events)
• Player record with health points (HP), inventory (backpack), experience points (XP) to level up, skills, spells, action points to allocate for movement, fighting value (FV), armor class (AC), spell mana, companions, and "safe haven" locations
• dice (to determine action point pool or the outcome of combat or other challenges)
• player markers (minis)
• coins (copper, silver and gold)
• mana crystals (gems) spend for spells, power up to modify die rolls, "fast" heal, etc
• food (fish, deer, mushrooms, iron rations, cooked meals, health potions)
• Players' character cards - race, class, traits and special abilities (warrior, mage, priest, thief, ranger,
• NPCs (benign/allies, enemies, strangers, followers, BBGs)
• Lore / rumors
• Items (mundane, treasure, magical, artifacts)
• Spells - powered with mana
• Skills and Actions, powered with action points
Chits - to be placed on the board or on the player's mat
• companions, hirelings, and minions; companions can be the dog, cat, horse, pony, mule, griffon, familiar or simulacrum
• monster markers (square) - placed on challenge mat when defeated or spend XP to buy skills
• encounter (hexagon) - accumulate for XP based on challenge rating
• quest (round) - advance the story
Watch the opening credits to the Hidden Territories campaign.
Villages, towns, cities, castles and other habitations can offer safe haven to rest and heal. Or, harbor new threats -- does the Thieves Guild want those jewels you found, or the Temple that artifact? You can buy, sell, or trade in the "civilized" areas of Westri.
Players take turns navigating the board (hexes display the terrain or habitations). If players travel together as a party, they gain certain advantages. Each turn a character may visit villages, towns, keeps or other locations (where items and allies can be found). Players may face an encounter (which provide challenges and potential enemies), or interact with non-player characters.
Hidden Territories is the hex crawl, and is filled with terrain types, cities, rivers, roads, etc. Based on a random card and corresponding guidebook, there are adventure sites and encounters in many hexes. This simulates the use of randomized content often seen in hex crawl or sandbox RPGs.
Hex crawl is a technique for running wilderness adventures in a fantasy role-playing game. It provides rules for travel, exploration and encounters and is usually paired with sandbox style play to create a truly open world game. The players experience of a hex crawl is that of uncovering a lot of secrets about an area and exploring however they want — there are story hooks along the way and knowledge gained from encounters.
When characters enter each hex, perhaps the party has stumbled upon something — either specific to the location or via an Encounter Card? Each hex can hold many secrets — villages, ruins, traveling monsters, etc. If you want to explore what the area holds, the party can spend action points and roll, modified by certain their stats. This symbolizes the party slowing down and exploring, instead of just traveling trough the hex.
Priests may call upon deities to rain down divine might, or heal a fellow character's wounds. Clerics and mages have innate powers, but true energies are channeled through artifacts or learned from ancient scrolls. Whether you're an arcane wizard or a priest of some sect, you need to acquire special cards to tap into Mana or channel divine powers.
There is an important element of wilderness survival: players need to be mindful of rations, fatigue, and items carried. Weather and other “global” events affect the party as they wander into dangerous areas. Even "safe" havens may contain threats of a different sort. The Kingdom of Westri is an open world, and many events are influenced by player-driven actions and decisions. The kingdom is filled with treacherous terrain, haunted ruins, and monsters — but players determine to investigate to complete quests.
Items grant your character extra abilities, as listed on the text of the card. Your character’s strength, backpack capacity and other encumbrance factors may limit what you carry.
Equipment and other items enable you tp add a whole new dimension to your character. Show off all the loot found during adventures, carry specialized gear, and, of course, charge up magical weapons and artifacts for added "oomph" overcoming challenges.
In the intro quest, the object of the game is to collect the necessary artifacts to defeat the Big Baddie. But who is that? Meeting with NPCs may yield Lore cards, and tracking down rumors may help unmask the evil behind the threat! Searching the wilderness can uncover helpful magical items, or trigger an encounter with a monster.
As your characters' minis advance across the game board, spend action points for movement and exploration. Flip cards for encounters, or read the hex-specific information in the Gazetteer. Did you find haunted ruins, is there a dangerous river to ford? Getting lost in the wilderness sounds bad -- during the day, you may be safe, but when you camp at night, will monsters come out to eat you? In a town you can seek a temple for healing, sustenance at an inn, or a shop to buy and sell.
Fighting and wounds are handled with a dice pool and a threshold system. That is, damage is handled by rolling a handful of dice, then count up points to meet a certain target number or higher. Remove all those that fail to meet this threshold. and the remaining dice determine how many "hits" are deduced from health points. Not all challenges are overcome with the dice-pool combat system. Skill checks are handled with a roll of the dice, modified by your character’s attributes.
Coming soon… a video of playing the game and reviews!