Midlands Low Magic Sandbox Setting – Sean’s Pick, 121417

Many who know me know there are certain kinds of games and settings that just aren’t my cup of tea. Extremely low magic, grim-and-gritty fantasy settings fall firmly into that space, but doesn’t mean I cannot appreciate excellent work when I see it. At the same time, I know there are lots of you who love that kind of thing, and Midlands fits that bill to a “T.”

Though it’s designed around Low Fantasy Gaming’s d20-driven house system, the entire book is intended fully to work as a setting-first product that can be used for any game you might be running. This makes it a fine addition to Rules Don’t Matter Week.


The Midlands PDF is 365 pages of low magic, low prep, customisable sandbox, in a “points of light” medieval fantasy realm. The setting is written for the Low Fantasy Gaming RPG system (free PDF at the LFG site), a d20 variant under the OGL, but is easily adapted to any fantasy RPG.

The Midlands is half setting, half DIY toolkit (per the Contents in the preview); filled with tables and tools to assist the GM to run an improvised sandbox, including fifty Adventure Frameworks to sprinkle around the region (mini adventures with enough meat to kickstart an adventure, but enough flexibility to expand/adapt to player choices).

The Midlands’ main themes include:

Grim Cities

Humanity shelters behind six isolated, walled cities, struggling for opportunity.

Deadly Outlands

One hundred leagues of trackless wilderness, plagued by skorn, thuels, & monstrous beasts.

Dangerous Magic

Sorcery was not meant for mortals; magic is rare, dark, & inherently dangerous.

Silent Gods

Deities are ineffably distant; offering no miracles, nor intervening in the world in any obvious way.

Ancient Mysteries

Despite the dangers, the wilds beckon with crumbling ruins, lost treasures, & forgotten secrets.

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, much more
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!


  1. Mitch W December 15, 2017 3:37 am  Reply

    The Low Fantasy Gaming rules seem incomplete and at a certain point in character generation to just make a class skill/ability up or steal something from another system. Does this setting book have the same type of limitations?

    • spfannon December 15, 2017 5:59 am  Reply

      The book is far less about rules and intended to serve as a fairly complete setting that you are meant to use how you choose. That’s really the point of all my Picks for this week.

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