Wilderlands of High Fantasy

Adventuring in the Wilderlands

For those unfamiliar with it, the Wilderlands of High Fantasy is the oldest, most detailed, and perhaps largest campaign setting for Dungeons & Dragons. It was created by Judge's Guild in the early 70s. Gary Gygax even thanks them in the 1e Player's Handbook introduction. Here are a few tidbits to get you started...

Players First
From the introduction to the Wilderlands of High Fantasy:

Though there are powerful individual NPCs in the Wilderlands, the setting is designed to focus on the actions of the player characters. There are no secret groups of high powered meddlers to control the destiny of the world or save the day as in some published settings. The PCs are not pawns in a greater game, they are the game... The possibilities are endless...

In the Wilderlands, characters make their own destiny. Barbarians become kings and clerics become high priests. There's nothing to stand in a party's way except conniving despots, horrific sorcerers, and hideous creatures. Have fun with it.

Wide Open Spaces
The Wilderlands are both vast and sparsely populated. Much of the population lives in, or around, one of six large city states spread out across the realm. Outside of these areas, the land is wild and unknown, riddled with the ruins and relics of many past empires. Overland travel in the Wilderlands is dangerous and not to be undertaken lightly, but it can pay large dividends. There's possible treasure around every corner.

Crom not Cromwell
The Wilderlands was created more from the Robert E. Howard mold of fantasy than from historical fantasy. Sure, knights errant are to be found, but players are more likely to run into snake cults and barbarian tribes. Civilization often means corruption or outright evil. Slavery is prevalent in many of the cities of the land. However, good people shine all the brighter in this dark world.

For Wilderlands color, try the works of Robert E. Howard, Fritz Leiber, H.P. Lovecraft (for the creeping horror), and Jack Vance. Frank Frazetta's art is on all the sourcebook covers, and it fits the setting perfectly.

Edition: 3.5e/Pathfinder

Publisher: WOTC, Paizo, Necromancer Games

Create a campaign in this setting


Wilderlands of Dark Fantasy Setting: Wilderlands of High Fantasy GM: Kas_tinyTrey (Kas)
The Wilderlands of High Weirdness Plus Character List Setting: Wilderlands of High Fantasy GM: No_img_thumbMark (argent)