Sunday, January 10, 2021

GYGAX 75 Challenge; REDUX: Week 1

Alright, lets try this again. 2021 Edition.

Mid-last year I tried (and failed) to do the Gygax 75 Challenge found here. I got to Week 3 (The Dungeon), fell behind and gave up. In short the challenge asks you to make a small campaign setting and everything you would need to get a campaign going in 5 weeks. Including a stocked 3-level dungeon, which to me screams classic od&d--b/x. Rebooting this should be the perfect opportunity to do some creative writing for an OSE campaign I've been wanting to run. I'll be stealing some stuff from my first attempt since a lot of what I wanted to do back then I still want to try out.

[Note: I assume you've downloaded and read the challenge going forward.]



  1. Get a Notebook:
    Done. I'll be using Google docs. It's quick and easy and I can jot some notes down while I'm at work if I get particularly inspired.

  2. Develop Your Pitch:
    Write 3-7 well developed bullet points that will sell the campaign to your players. See below [2].

  3. List Inspirations
    Gather your sources of inspirations and what they bring to the campaign setting. Annotate them See below [3].

Pitch Development [2]:

  • POINTS OF LIGHT -- A grand span of time has passed since a forgotten cataclysm smote the civilized world. Now, only a howling emptiness remains. A few walled settlements have risen from the dirt and stand as a monument to the stubbornness and tenacity of sapient life. I want the few pockets of civilization to feel far from another, it should take a day or more to move between the larger settlements. Extremely small hamlets should be a bit more common, just a bit. 

  • DUNGEON x DEVILS -- Beyond the walls of man lie sanctuaries of chaos people call Dungeons. The dungeons are inhabited by monsters, cultists and sometimes devils themselves, beings of pure chaos. Adventurers delving into these dungeons hope to surface richer, stronger and intact.

  • FEAR INCARNATE -- Humans used to claim the title of apex predator but now a new threat has emerged, the Dragon. Dragons stalk the land hunting and proliferating fear wherever they go.

  • THE OTHER'S RETURN -- Ancient tales tell of fairies and other folk who once lived alongside humanity. They disappeared during the zenith of man's age but returned when they fell. The Ancient Dwarven furnaces are lit and the primordial world tree of the Elves cast it's shadow once more.

Mostly going for a "vanilla" d&d campaign. Well, vanilla with a bit of weird chocolate swirls.

Campaign Inspiration [3]:
  • The Original D&D Setting written by Semper Initiativus Unum 
    My main inspiration for wanting to run a "vanilla" fantasy campaign. Talks about the assumed setting for Od&d. Free to download, give it a peek. 

  • Princess Mononoke written by Hayao Miyazaki
    A classic tale of Man vs Nature. Tribes of different beast species worship a forest god that the humans are hunting for, reasons. No spoilers! Go watch this if you haven't!

  • Berserk written by Kentaro Miura
    One of my favorite examples of weird od&d strongholds in non-gaming media is the Tower of Conviction. The tower is a religious stronghold whose occupants believe pain and torture can cleanse one of their sins. Berserk in general is a great example of pockets of "light" fighting against the approaching darkness.

  • Dorohedoro written by Q Hayashida
    My current favorite manga. I love the way Dorohedoro depicts Magic-Users and Devils and want to sprinkle some of that weirdness into this campaign. EVERYTHING in this manga is insane, check it out if you haven't. 

  • Swords Against Chaos [Actual Play] written by Age of Dusk
    A black comedy campaign report written for the author's mostly RAW b/x campaign. I believe most of the players in the campaign were new to rpgs so it's very interesting (hilarious) to see their metamorphosis into murderhobos. Also the later siege on a fort is so deliciously grim and grimy.

Extra Credit: Make a mood board

This is the mood I'm going for.
"Hmm, that's weird."

I'll be posting these every Sunday afternoon until complete. If you don't see it by Monday it means I have failed again lol.

Read Week 2 here.


  1. Good on you for using Kentaro Muira and other weeb stuff (if I talk too much about animu I get kicked out of the clubhouse by the grogs) and good luck on the GYGAX CHALLENGE. Happy newyear!

    1. Ha, there's too many good ideas to steal from weeb stuff to not use'em. Thanks for reading! and Happy New Year to you as well.

  2. Now this is a great idea; never heard of it until now but I'll definitely give this a go sometime. Good luck with this attempt, the inspiration sources alone are making me root for it to succeed!

    1. Thank you! You should try, it's a fun challenge.