Trudvang Chronicles was elected the most anticipated rpg in 2017, following a successful Kickstarter campaign. The game is based on Drakar och Demoner, which is a Swedish roleplaying game, one that has been published since 1982. Trudvang Chronicles is published by Riotminds. 

Ever since I backed the campaign I’ve been waiting for this roleplaying game. It looked really well and since the game has already conquered the local market, it’s easy to imagine that Trudvang Chronicles is a well-established roleplaying game.

Riotminds was formed in 2005 and the company has released two roleplaying games for the Swedish market, Götterdämmerung and Drakar och Demoner. The former game is a mystery roleplaying game that takes place in the 18th century. Götterdämmerung has a dark and mysterious mood and focus is on the above-mentioned super naturalities and secret associations of different kinds.

Drakar och Demoner (DoD), despite the name’s likeness to Dungeons & Dragons, was originally based on Chaosium’s BRP. DoD was originally published by Target Games but after suffering financial problems in the 90’s, the license to DoD was handed to a subsidiary Target Interactive, which later became Paradox Interactive. DoD was licensed to Riotminds in 2000, who published a new version of the game. The 2000 version, which was the seventh edition of DoD, had a new setting, Trudvang, which was heavily influenced by Nordic mythology and many different artists, e.g. John Bauer. In 2006, Riotminds bought the rights to DoD and published the ninth version of the game, one where the rules of the game took many changes.

Trudvang Chronicles is based on DoD, both system and setting. You could say that the game has been playtested not only for years, but by thousands of Swedish roleplayers! It’s easy to see why many roleplayers wait eagerly for this game.

It’s also obvious that Riotminds are very ambitious, eager to create a great roleplaying game, e.g. they announced last week that the writer Steven Savile will write a 3-part campaign set in Mittland for Trudvang Cronicles, but Savile has written for games Doctor Who, Stargate, Warhammer, Pathfinder and Arkham Horror.

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Setting

Trudvang is a place of magic, wilderness and ancient traditions, where trolls and other monsters lurk in the night. Trudvang is a place of mystery and adventure, yet the world is getting old, sad and weary. The setting is influenced by Nordic and Celtic mythology, folklore and history. The art of John Bauer is also paramount, along with the epic Kalevala and, of course, Beowulf.

There are three territories in Trudvang; Stormland, Mittland and Westmark. Each has its own features, societies and politics, e.g. the eastern part of Mittland is deeply influenced by the Eald tradition, a complex set of myths and traditions, connected with nature and the four seasons. Each of the territories have many different parts where heroes can find adventures and danger.

Stormland is the eastern most part of Trudvang. It’s a place of snow-clad mountains, dark and wild forests, roaring white water rivers and treacherous alpines. It’s a land where nature still rules supreme and the Stormlanders have learned to respect it, keep a strong connection with nature, as it’s their only hope of surviving. The summers are short and the winters long, cold and barren.

Mittland is a land of heroes and great heroic deeds. A land where deeds speak louder than words and being sung about by bards and skalds is an honour, and an objective in itself. Mittlanders define themselves by their battle prowess, no matter what gender you are. But Mittland is so much more, the land is fertile and considered the greatest farmland in Trudvang. Mittland is on the other hand divided by religion, in the east the Eald Tradition still holds sway, but is slowly giving in for the Tenet of Nid, which is strong in the western parts.

Westmark is a place of wisdom and knowledge, home of knights, philosophers, great rulers and holy men. The Tenet of Nid is the main religion in Westmark and perhaps the strongest one in all Trudvang, as it daily converts more followers to its teachings. The people of Westmark, the Viranns, believe that they are the chosen of Gave, the sole deity of the Tenet of Nid, and the Viranns are united and strong.

Races

There are a few races; humans, elves, dwarves and crossbreeds between these races and, and subraces among each of these. Then there are persons who are crossbreed between any of these races and trolls.

Humans are a diverse race, ranging from wild barbarians to learned scholars who have never set foot outside the city walls. There are few nations of humans, Mittlanders, Stormlanders, Virann and Wildfolk. There are also a few crossbreeds of trolls, each of which has their own name based on the origins of the crossbreed’s parents.

Elves supposedly came from the dark void, led to Trudvang by the gods on rays of light. There are two subraces of Elves, Illmalaini, a sort of high elves, and Korpikalli, which resemble wood elves. There are also half-elves, but there are no crossbreeds between trolls and elves.

Dwarves live deep under the mountains of Trudvang, tolling endlessly beside hot furnaces and heavy anvils. Their origin is lost in time and female dwarves are just as mysterious. There are two different subraces of dwarves; Burjata who live deep in the mountains and seldom venture out, and Borjornikka, who are the most common dwarves in Trudvang. Then there are the Zvorda, the offspring of a troll and a dwarf.

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Religion and magic

Religion and magic plays a huge role in Trudvang Chronicles. The Dimwalkers and Weavers of Vitner are an important part of the many societies of Trudvang, even more so in some part of it.

There are many gods in Trudvang and each has their own following. The Stormlanders believe in Whote, the maker of Yggdhraasil and the father of all mankind, the dwarves venerate the great maker and shaper Borjorn in their own way, and in Westmark the Tenet of Nid reigns supreme, which revolves around the One god, the Allfather, who created every living thing and the World, leaving no room for other religions in that part.

The Dimwalkers are the clerics and priests of Trudvang. That name, Dimwalker, is due to the fact, that the humans of Trudvang believe that the gods hide in the fog and that it is a manifestation of their presence. There are six main religions to follow; Gerbanis is mostly found in the Stormlands, the Eald Tradition is slowly losing its grip on Mittland, the Tenet of Nid is strong in Westmark and its influence growing, Haminges which is a dark faith of wildfolk, trolls and other beings that live far from civilization. Finally, the elves and dwarves have their own religions, Toikalokke and Thuuldom.

Magic is ever present and the Weavers of Vitner, which is the name of the magical energy, are found in almost all societies. The Vitner is divided in three parts; White Vitner which is the benevolent part, Dark Vitner which is the malignant part and Vaagrivitner which is a combination of both energies. It’s easier to see and evoke the Dark Vitner, but the White Vitner is harder to see.

The Vitner forms sort of ley lines, called Njord fires, where there are places where it’s it so powerful that even the Weavers are overwhelmed by it. At points where the Njord fires cross, creating central spots of power, immensely important to the Weavers of Vitner.

All wizards must choose what kind of Vitner they use to power their magic. Their choice determines what kind of wizard they are. Those who choose white Vitner are called Hwitalja or the Ones who bring Light. Those who choose dark Vitner are called Darkhwitalja, the dark weavers. Finally, those who choose Vaagrivitner are called Vaagritalja.

Conclusion

Trudvang Chronicles’ setting is rich and vivid, perhaps especially for those who grew up reading the Icelandic Sagas and other Nordic medieval literature. If you like Vikings and Viking culture, if you like high fantasy, if you like Beowulf or Lord of the Rings, you will find this setting to your liking. The setting is accessible and well laid out.

Stay tuned for our Part II: Trudvang Cronicles – System.

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Thorsteinn Mar

Thorsteinn has for long sailed the Astral Sea, eager to broadcast his heretical gospel to the uninitiated.
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