Roleplaying Fatigue Syndrome

After years of playing sci-fi RPGs and struggling with countless high-tech contraptions, complicated automatic fire rules, vast item lists, rule-bending implants, impossible stardrives, death-defying body swapping and detailed, complicated storylines, I desperately felt it was time for a breather and a return to the basics.

With "basics" I meant improvised basic fantasy roleplaying basics!

The following criteria were therefore vital for this RPG breather:

- Dungeons & Dragons simple and classic fantasy world setting with a Nordic atmosphere

- Fantastic and heroic rules system, with options to make good or bad combat choices

- Absolutely improvised adventures, which could possibly develop into a campaign

- Alignment, virtues and quirk system to enhance roleplaying

- No complicated magic user characters!! (leave the magic for NPCs and evil henchmen)

Although not a big fan of the Swedish rules system for Drakar & Demoner I had fallen in love with the beautiful game setting called Trudvang and decided to adapt this Nordic feel while mixing in classic fantasy.

The world setting

Although not a big fan of the Swedish rules system for Drakar & Demoner I had fallen in love with the beautiful game setting called Trudvang from RiotMinds and decided to adapt this Nordic feel while mixing in classic fantasy - complete with beholders, big green orcs and weird unneccessary dungeons.

Thus was the world setting I named Widewater born. It is a setting centrered on and around the gigantic Widewater River and its tributaries. Fantastic realms - young and old, vastly different cultures and races, untamed wilds and always present and meddling, scheeming gods make Widewater both exciting and dangerous. Within a very short area the geography varies greatly between scorching deserts, ancient dark moss grown pine forests, steaming wet jungles, high snow-peaked mountains, festering swamps, magical woodlands and a vast sea archipelago. The slowly receding Elder Races such as the mortalizing elves, the stubborn nordic dwarves, the hillfolk (Nordic trolls), goblins, ogres and giants provided the Nordic feel and sense of ancient mystery, while the younger races of ambitious humans, green Warhammer orcs and silent rarroc represented the classic fantasy input.

But added to this world was a devious Grand Design theme of beings who had in ancient times ascended to godhood and the eternal struggle to ascend and usurp them. The land is littered with arcane ancient artefact known as Artefactuals which can be combined into powerful Legacies. These items, ancient ruins, mythical clockwork creatures and strangely sculpted or designed world details (such as irregular movements of the sun and stars, artefact ghosts residing or backed-up in devices etc) hinted to a more high-tech past or surreal truth beyond the veil. 

Over the two years we explored Widewater the world setting grew as my notes collected in various Google Drive files shared on this site.


The rules created for this campaign I referred to as RetroFantasy. They were developed from the Codex Jorunis rules I had once created for our Skyrealms of Jorune setting but was further spiced with a "Hero System" of fantastical rules tweaks, luck rolls, hero attributes, fame & reputation as well as a classical alignment and virtue and a foldable name-sign-like character sheet. 


The fantastic Widewater world setting which grew during the campaign would never have been possible without the fantastic artwork I hunted down across the internet to inspire myself as well as my players. The incredible artwork of Paul Bonner, Justin Sweet, Alvaro Tapia, Ola Larsson and many, many others would often captivate me and sew new seeds of adventures or even change ongoing adventures. I want to share this amazing inspiration in the files below. I have only praise for these artists, but if anybody feels offended, unmentioned or otherwise bothered by me sharing their artwork - let me know and I will further link, credit or remove the artwork.


Nexus (Home)


Desti - Du - Tra - GobeyShal - Ebba - Launtra - New Ardoth Newsweave 

Other RPGs

Fading Suns - Eclipse Phase - RetroFantasy

Other stuff

Earth Boy - Stunder att minnas




This website and the material here are works of fiction. They contain names, characters, places events and incidents that are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. 

The material is inspired by the amazing game Skyrealms of Jorune by Andrew and Amy Leker and Miles Tevez, as well as other RPG games, such as Fading Suns, Eclipse Phase, Vampire, Call of Cthulhu etc.

Several images are from or inspired by these game and created by various talented artists. They are all used in a purely non-profitable manner and any request to remove them will be acted upon immediately.

Copyright @ James Mansell