Lands of Magic

If you were given a world, what would you do? If it was taken away from you, what would you do? Do you have the spirit of adventure?

"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"

"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat
-- Lewis Carrol

LoM (not to be confused with LOOM) was actually originally called Alternative Action, because I started the campaign to have something else to run when the MechaZone players couldn't be assembled. The Lands of Magic title came, as great inspirations often do, a trifle late.

However, we are offering some further information on the subject:

How it all got started

All things have a beginning. So does LoM, but quite frankly I can't recall the exact dates anymore. I'm tempted to say it started in spring '95 but don't count on it -- I've been mistaken before.

As I said earlier, we were having some trouble getting all players together for a session of MZ223, so I thought of an alternative way to spend the time when someone called at the last minute saying they wouldn't be able to make it. I hadn't run proper fantasy for a long time, and the thought appealed to me. However, I hate most fantasy cliches and I really didn't have the time for a proper world-building, especially since this was supposed to be a very short campaign to fill the gaps.

I don't remember whether it came before or slightly after, but about this time I picked up Michael Moorcock's Martian Trilogy at the local library and it brought back memories from my youth when I consumed approximately one adventure novel a day and especially my favorite from those times -- Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Inspiration struck me! What a great way to reduce world building trouble! What a great way to introduce some realism! The characters are not ignorant in the ways of the world because their players were too lazy to read the source material, they're ignorant because they really don't know their way around.

Thus was born the original Alternative Action world.

For the record, this was before I had ever heard of FRUP.

Game Mechanics

I like GURPS. One of the most important reasons for liking it is that it lets me do this kind of projects.

We used 145-point characters designed as contemporary role-players. The rules were fairly vanilla, with one major exception -- no points for disadvantages or quirks.

Where is it?

Does it matter? A far-off galaxy somewhere, a parallel dimension, another plane of existance, or simply a shared dream? I don't know or if I did, I wouldn't be telling. Suffice to say, any kind of communication or transportation between the worlds is impossible, barring the highly erratic method of getting there in the first place. Tardis is the epitome of reliability compared LoM transportation.

Where's the map?

As it happens, there is no map for any of the Lands of Magic, barring real-world maps ofcourse. The simple reason is that I couldn't draw to save my life.

How to get there?

That one's a toughie, isn't it? Popular methods include

One of the most important aspects of getting there is that the first time is never intentional and it never is simple. Assuming someone returns, getting back should be a major task. To me it is very important that the travel is not trivialized. It is not and should not be easy, simple or certain.

Another world is something you have to earn.

Who is there?

Believe it or not, the gallery of characters is by no means random. I feel that at this point I'm not ready to reveal the secret though.

I have collected a HTML table of the current characters and places. You need a table capable browser to view it, though.

What to do there?

Well, that one is not easy either. And neither should it be. One of the big points of LoM is the freedom. I hate pre-ordained rollercoaster plots. Go there, do that, who needs it? Well, some of the players apparently do...

While I regard it as one of the strong points of LoM, the great freedom is also a failing. The game can easily disintegrate if the players lack initiative. And in my case, it did.

What has been happening?

A lot. Too much to tell in glorious technicolor detail. You'll have to make do with this book guide.

Further releases (?)

Watch this space, more may be coming...

Another point is that LoM is all about discovery -- if I were to put, say, a complete guide to the Fairy Kingdom here, it would seriously lessen the enjoyment of finding out about the Fairy Kingdom in game. And we all know the players never stop reading at the "For GM's Eyes Only" sign...


I'm not saying I ripped off all these, just that they may contain some interesting information.

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Maintained and copyright by Mikko Kurki-Suonio
Last update 27-NOV-97
Resurrected 19-AUG-03