Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Fertile Crescent coming this month

Welcome to The Fertile Crescent, my own personal corner of Dom Covey’s magnificent Twisted Earth setting for Darwin’s World. Since this book has been (more or less) in the works for a few years I thought a little history might be in order as we prepare to explore a new area of the world after the Fall.

In 2002 I discovered RPGNow. Here the word “discover” is used in the same way in which Columbus “discovered” America. RPGNow was already around, making products and selling PDFs. I just had no idea it was there. I was on my way to India. Actually, I was looking for a good post-apocalyptic game for d20, something to allow me to run the Gamma World campaign of my dreams. In my googling I came across RPGNow and a book called Darwin’s World. My first PDF seriously spoiled me and my campaign was up and running.

The mainline campaign setting was a little grimmer than what I had in mind, so I decided to get all “do it yourself” and homebrew and picked the area around the Great Lakes, which hadn’t really been covered by any books to date as the location for my campaign. I decided to leave the lakes more or less intact, making the campaign area a relatively fertile region, a place where civilization might be reborn. Once I decided to get all historical and call the region the Fertile Crescent, after Mesopotamia, I knew I had a place where heroes could make a difference. Maybe even rebuild.

Around this time, I started talking to Dom and Chris at RPGObjects about my campaign and bugging them to release it. They liked the idea and although a lot of ideas went back and forth, I ended up doing other things for them, including providing some editorial help on Terrors of the Twisted Earth and Metal Gods. Eventually I would make a book with RPGObjects, then another, then dozens more, starting with Blood and Space. The Fertile Crescent was always just on the horizon bookwise but it never seemed to float up to the top of the list. In short we got busy.

When it came time for Darwin’s World 2nd edition, I provided some mechanical help and figured that was that. When I saw the map for the game though, Dom had marked the Fertile Crescent to Great Lakes region. That was my first signal that a gazetteer of the area would eventually need to be done. Eventually, Chris and I just decided to do it and the area was fleshed out. Since we needed an adventure for GenCon, I decided to use that adventure (Feeding Grounds) as an introduction to the setting. The ball was rolling.

So here we are, nearly four years later and the sun is finally rising on the Fertile Crescent. Will it be an anecdote lost to history, uncovered by future explorers? Or will it be a new beginning. That’s up to you. Beyond the occasional adventure, my part is mostly done. The Fertile Crescent is yours now and I hope it brings you as much gaming fun as it did me.

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