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Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Tavern's Free Pick of the Week - Blackmarsh (Sandbox OSR Setting)

In case you missed it, the suits over at RPGNow have no idea what a quality free RPG product actually is. Their last weekly pick was the antithesis of what such a highlighted product should be. It might even be consider an insult to anyone of average intelligence or higher.

So, how do we rectify such a miscarriage of gaming justice?

With a Free RPG Pick of the Week here at The Tavern. In this case, I'll be including PWYW in the mix, as they are free with the option to tip.

What's out first Free RPG Pick of the Week?

The OSR classic - Blackmarsh by +Rob Conley 
In the days when man knew only the working of stone and fought for their existence against the orc and the goblin, the sky turned to ash and down fell the fiery mountain onto the land. The world tore open and the grey waters rushed in. 
Those who survived the impact were lost as boiling clouds rushed out in all directions leaving a wasteland in its wake. 
The Mountain That Fell left a gift; magic. Near and far, those of learning and strong of heart discovered new powers to shape the world. In the desolation around the Smoking Bay the adventurous found viz, magic in physical form. And there was more, scattered amid the landscape were strange artifacts and stranger creatures that survived The Mountain That Fell. For a time men, dwarves, orc, goblins, and other races braved the dangers and fought each other in the wastelands. Then the elves came into Blackmarsh expelled the feuding races, drove the monsters out, and healed the land. 
In the present day, many come to Blackmarsh to harvest viz, kill monsters, or seek the strange artifacts left by The Mountain That Fell. The only force that stands against the wilderness is the Blackmarsh Rangers. Anyone who is willing to defend the land and its people are welcomed into their ranks. Powerful kingdoms outside of Blackmarsh are beginning cast a covetous eyes toward the land's riches. Will the adventurers of your campaign become wealthy and powerful? Or will their bones join the many that have sunk into the swamps? 
Blackmarsh is a complete, ready to run setting for your campaign. It can be run as its own setting or an expansion of your existing world. Contained in Blackmarsh are 17 geographical entries, 78 described locales, and one detailed town; Castle Blackmarsh. Each entry provide one or more adventure hooks to use in your campaigns.
Blackmarsh is free in PDF and a mere $4.95 in print. I've run it in the past and will probably do so again in the future.


  1. I will be happy to see an D&D5 adaptation of Blackmarch...

    1. Blackmarsh is really very lite on stats and game rules - a 5e conversion should be doable on the fly.

  2. It's not wrong ;-)
    I suppose that i can use the lin below to translate Deeping Delver monster' HD to 5E

    But for character level, what is the golden rule ? For exemple the Governor Tyrilas (Elf Ftr4/Mu2) will be Ftr 4 / Wizard 2 or Fighter Eldritch Knight level 6 ?

    1. Just did a conversion of a 6/5 Fighter/MU from S&W to 5e for an upcoming con game of A Dwarven Fiasco - I went with Fighter (Eldritch Knight) 3/Wizard 5 (even the levels don't match because of the different ways of allocating XP). Story-wise, it's a fighter who got interested in magic as he got experience, so that worked nicely. In general - no golden rule it seems as there are so many options. Heck, it even matters whether it's fighter first or MU first.... It may depend on whether you are trying to maximize some sort of effectiveness, or have any backstory available to help guide the translation.

  3. Yup, Blackmarsh is nice little setting.

  4. I have purchased this long ago, and it is worth purchasing.