Strange New World: Weird Colonial Fantasy Roleplaying
"We call the new world America but in the myths of the old world they called it Americosa, it was supposed to be a strange world full of wonders but beset from within by fearsome creatures and horrible mysteries. The myths were true, we found in the lands of the new world no shortage of danger. The land is rife with strange beasts, bogeys, spirits and horrors." -Willam van Dook, World Explorer
Strange New World is an OSR-compatible campaign setting set during the colonization era of North America (1600/1700's era) but set in a world where magic, monsters and, more importantly, strangeness have returned to the new world. Soldiers and monster hunters fight side by side trailblazers and mountaineers. Witches weave terrible magics while preachers vanquish chaos and shepherd the people.
(Strange New World content is compatible with any WhiteBox / B/X / BECMI or AD&D system, we use a hacked version of Lamentations of the Flame Princess as our OSR base. SNW content could even be used with OSR-adjacent games such as Dungeon World.)
Compared to a traditional fantasy world, the Strange New World is a points-of-light setting. Colonization of the new world has slowed and exploration in many regions has ceased after proving too risky. There are fewer settlements than there were in actual history and they are spread very thinly through the perilous frontier. The land rages against colonization, it cracks and leaks hellfire pockets of poison gas, it births powerful megafauna guardians, and summons woeful bogeys from the fey realms in efforts to protect itself. Society has instead packed itself into well-protected cities, increasing urban population above historical levels, while spending more resources on military outposts and organizations opposed to the chaos of the new world.
This is also a world where gonzo weirdness has found a home in history. Ancient alien visitation shaped the beliefs of the native people, once-mighty and now-lost civilizations that existed thousands of years ago in the new world are there to be discovered or pillaged. This is a world where fables and folk lore are not merely cautionary tales but historical accounts. A world where the mythical Underworld is a real land of the dead that can be visited. Strange New World also exists in the meta-setting of 400 Billion Suns, where "billions and billions" of possible worlds could have interacted with each other through the magical eons.
Monsters, magic and bedlam must be dealt with before man may progress in this Strange New World.
The Strange New World setting will be supported through a dedicated website that will function as an information hub and lore encyclopedia.
A living, updating, OSR compatible setting guidebook will be offered online, containing core setting information and rules hacks. Each Gazetteer volume will be available in print and feature expanded setting information, lore and rules (all OSR compatible!) such as classes, magic, monsters and adventure hex-ploration sites.
The Gazetteer will be presented as an in-universe gazette written and presented by characters from within the Strange New World itself. Such characters include Willam van Dook, renowned world explorer; Jeremiah Shagbark, famous bogey hunter with the Fang and Fur Company; Wolf-that-Sings, a Hopi warden with ties to the western world; and more!
As part of the Kickstarter Zine Quest, the Strange New World Gazetteer: Volume 1 will be released in 5.5 x 8.5 digest size, folded and stapled, with one color printing.
Page count update: Due to the zine size requirements, our page count estimate is proving to be a bit low - so expect the final gazetteer to have a higher page count than anticipated! We will have another update when we have a better estimate.
- Setting Summary / Information / Vibe-list (4 - 5 pages / art) - an overview of the Strange New World and what makes it so weird and dangerous
- Witchcraft (3-4 pages / art) - an alternate, riskier, more chaotic, spell casting system for magic-users
- Damps (2-3 pages / art) - (super)naturally occurring pockets of heavy, lingering gas. Damps can be gathered, weaponized and used in combat by throwing glass jars full of vapors.
- Fighting Styles for Fighting Men (2 pages) - New Fighter/Fighting Man battle stances for damplighters (fighting men who throw and light damps), minutemen, law-bringers, Florentine style fighters, and more.
- Warden Class (2 pages / art) - Guardians, licensed to use a narrow and precise form of magic, known as Signs, against the strange and fearsome horrors of the new world.
- Spell Signs (2 pages) - Magic spell signs for the warden class, powered by sacred tattoos containing cold iron pigments.
- Serpent Handlers of Appalachia (1-2 pages/ art) - A look at a Strange New snake-handling religious tradition starting in Appalachia
- Fang and Fur Company (1-2 pages / art) - A look at the professional bogey hunters of the New World
- New Chaos Spells / Rituals (2 pages) - New spells for witches and magic-users, including the Bind Familiar ritual and a horrible spell that turns living creature's bones into a swarm of snakes
- Buffalo-folk race (3-4 pages / art) - Noble warriors and protectors of the land. Native folklore foretold of their coming.
Check out the Buffalo-folk preview here!
- Sasquatch race (2-3 pages / art) - Hunted and enslaved. Sasquatch are uncorrupted but savage natives of the strange new world.
- Pukwudjie race (1-2 pages / art) - Small, energetic and erratic beings with poisonous quills and the ability to turn invisible.
- Fearsome Creatures (6-8 pages / art)
-Ancient megafauna like the Thousand-Point Giant Elk, the American Cave Lion, and Sabre-tooth Salmon.
-Strange beasts such as the Hugag, Sidehill Gouger and Snow Snakes
-Si-Te-Cah, a cursed race of giant cannibals
-Bogeys and spirits like the Wychglow
- Strange Materials (1-2 pages / art) - curiosities, magic items and materials, including a look at the Cold Iron Rush going on in the new world
- Silencio, hex-ploration area, (4-6 pages / art)a strange and not-so-sleepy town in New Spain, including a look at the Supreme Sacred Tribunal of the Holy Inquisition, a secret Papal order that operates as the church's fixers
- Miscellaneous Tables and Bits (1 -2 pages / art) - including new hirelings, equipment and Colonial weaponry
- Credits (1 page)
After $400 Funding Goal is Reached
- Spread The Creativity, Grow the Community 400 Billion Suns will be using a portion of the money after our funding goal is reached to back other tabletop community projects #zinequest
$600 - Odd Occurrences in the Old World
A mini-gazetteer featuring the goings on in Europe and the rest of the Old World including:
- Kelpie Race (2 pages / art) - Semi-aquatic equine mystics who have resurfaced in the Old World, can fight with their magical horn
- Old World Fighting Styles for the Colonial Fighting Man (1 page / art) - including Knights in Shining Armor, those brave souls who are donning their grandfather's plate armor to fight monsters in!
- Dragon Sightings (1 page) - they haven't been seen in over 500 years, but there are reports of dragon-like creatures are terrorizing remote villages throughout the Old World
$800 - "The Mowing Devil"
A 1700's Appalachian UFO / close encounter adventure location featuring:
- A 2 page encounter site +
- Appalachian Rumors table
- Crop Circles
- Sky Chariots
- Lightgonnes - strange alien weapons that one must first deduce how to operate
$1000 - Die-Drop Table - Strange Beast Encounter Generator
A die-drop table for generating encounters with Strange Beasts of all sorts! Ranging from giant ancient megafauna taller than hilltops to swarms of micro-sized hive beasts!
Strange New World is a passion project of 400 Billion Suns that has been in development for almost 2 years. There are hundreds of pages of reference material in the setting library to draw from. 90% of the content is already complete and merely needs to be formatted. The content has been play tested in several live games already. This will allow the presentation and production to be the main focus of this project.
Risks and challenges
400 Billion Suns has set an end goal of July for this project which we think is ample time to complete and produce. We do not expect any delays and may, in fact, complete the project well ahead of time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)