The Perilous Wilds (AWE) – Sean’s Pick, 100915

Been kind of an “Old School” week, between the themes of some games and the d20 aspect of others, so let’s close it out with one that takes the Apocalypse World Engine (aka Dungeon World) and calls back to the Classic Three books that launched all of this in the beginning. The Perilous Wilds gets down and funky with random tables that help your group build worlds to explore.

The Perilous Wilds combines Dungeon World‘s approach to collaborative world-building with the old-school RPG reliance on random tables to generate content on the fly, woven together by modifications to the original Dungeon World travel moves. The main differences between the use of tables in The Perilous Wilds and their use in older RPGs is an emphasis on exploration and discovery over combat encounters, and the baked-in methodology of using randomized results as prompts rather than facts, to be interpreted during play.

The book is 72 pages, digest-size book divided into the following sections:

  • Learn the Language: a glossary of terms
  • Draw the Map: guidelines for collaborative cartography 
  • Lead the Way: alternative rules for followers, by Jeremy Strandberg
  • See the World: new moves and guidelines for undertaking perilous journeys 
  • Weather the Storm: suggestions and moves for handling weather
  • Ask the Fates: a host of tables for generating wilderness adventure
  • Plumb the Depths: rules for creating dungeons on the fly
  • Live to Tell the Tale: five new compendium classes
  • Trust Your Gut: advice for improvising overland adventure 
  • Name Every Person: sample name lists for people, places, and mounts

The collaborative map-making guidelines and all of the tables are system-neutral (usable with any RPG rules). Although the tables are structured to tie directly into the rewritten travel moves, they can be used in any game in which a fantastical landscape is explored.  

The new follower rules are written by Jeremy Strandberg, and are intended to give NPC hirelings more substance without a significant increase in bookkeeping.

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