Tabletop Game: Winterweir
is a 2009 RPG setting that was released by CT Phipps
and Michael Suttkus for the Savage Worlds
system. Winterweir is set on the grim and gritty fantasy world of Teth-Ammon, a world that was colonized millennium ago by a draconic race called the Terra'ssar who proceeded to import all manner of species to the planet before promptly enslaving them. Eventually, the Terra'ssar destroyed themselves in a series of wars and left the survivors trapped on a planet filled with their failing genetic experiments.
Despite its science-fiction origins for a lot of the setting fluff, Winterweir is a fairly straight fantasy setting in terms of what the locals know. Psychic Powers and Weird Science are treated as forms of magic or alchemy, respectively. One element that the authors repeatedly emphasize is that the setting is not a particularly nice place to live and the violence inherent in living on a 'typical' fantasy world makes the locals pretty damn fatalistic. Most either embrace hedonism as a way to escape or become intensely grim.
Winterweir attempts to present itself as a fantasy game for older gamers, highlighting adult themes like sexuality and the racial tensions that frequently explode across the setting. Complex moral issues are also somewhat touched upon with the fact that there are no concrete good or evil solutions in the setting. The Honor/Integrity System
is a centerpiece designed to encourage characters to adopt the somewhat bloodthirsty mindset of typical Winterweir inhabitants.
The stories contain the following tropes:
- Abusive Precursors: The Terra'ssar.
- Affably Evil: The Shadow King is a honorable and pleasant chap, despite being explicitly an Expy of Sauron.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Subverted. No one is innately evil but the creatures of the Netherdeep and it's arguable they're just batshit insane.
- Black and Gray Morality: The books repeatedly drill home that there's no good answers in the setting.
- Cataclysm Backstory: Once, Alacarn was a mighty Empire before the Demons came and killed everyone
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Priestly magic works on this. Actually, all magic does. Wizards acknowledge their sorcery charts and spells are just concentration aids.
- Crapsack World: Inverted. The continent of Alacarn is horrible but no worse than the real-life Dark Ages. It's also implied to be coming out of it into a Industrial Age/Renassiance.
- Well, barring the demons...
- Crystal Dragon Jesus: The Divine Covenant. The Church of Kaalon to a certain extent. Amusingly, the two hate each other with an intense passion.
- Dark Lord: The Shadow King.
- Darker and Edgier: Perhaps a little too much effort goes into separating Winterweir from your typical campaign setting.
- Deadly Decadent Court: All of them.
- Demonic Possession
- Demon Slaying
- Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: Ether stones
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: It's entirely possible to slay Demon lords and lesser gods in Savage Worlds.
- Averted in the Drakkath and Greater Gods who are given the "X" stat. Which makes them effectively omnipotent and invincible.
- Dirty Communists: The Free Republic of Amania seems to combine Stalinism and the French Revolution.
- Eldritch Abomination: The Drakkath.
- Fantastic Racism: Humans hate Nonhumans and vice versa. Ironically, neither side is evil. They're just bigots.
- Don't forget Mutants. They're pretty much hated by everyone.
- Flat Earth Atheist: Averted. Religion works differently in WR. Nobody knows if the Gods actually exist.
- Something very MUCH * LIKE* Gods exists, though.
- Gadgeteer Genius: The Children of the Divine Spark.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: The Turlon Empire's monarch is like this.
- Honor Before Reason: The Honor/Integrity system encourages nobles to be arrogant jerkasses in addition to great warriors while the Integrity system encourages peasants who screw the system.
- Karma Meter: The Honor/Integrity System.
- Magitek: Alchemy.
- Medieval Stasis: Averted. It's taking a while, but the world is coming out of its Dark Age.
- No Bisexuals: The Social Taboos section acknowledges that the people of Teth-Ammon have a wide range of sexual tastes, just like in the real world. It's not a big deal on the world.
- Order Versus Chaos: The central conflict of the setting is between the Netherdeep and the Celestials. Basic human nature also is set up to war against civilization and anarchy.
- Our Monsters Are Different
- Our Angels Are Different: The Celestials are a bunch of mind-controlling lawful and Order obsessed manipulators.
- Our Demons Are Different: They're actually just a corrupted race of mortals that has been modified to be nasty by Malaxas.
- Our Dragons Are Different: They're a hyper-technological society that used to rule a vast space Empire. Wyverns are more traditional cavern-dwelling treasure horders.
- Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Bathas, despite being called differently. Are quite obviously dwarves when given even the most minuscule of glances. True their habits and ethics are similar to duergar but a rose by any other name is still a rose. Only in this case it's a dwarf.
- Our Elves Are Better: No Elves in the setting per say. The closest thing are the Half-Celestials, who are occasionally immortal and the Valken. The Valken are the typical woodland dwelling nature lovers who live a long time but they're also half-animals.
- Our Orcs Are Different: There's a couple of races that qualify. The Half-Jotuns who are former slaves and rather irritated by that fact, the Slythin who are Lizardmen with attitude, and the Trow who are pretty Orcish but mostly just irritated by the fact they're treated as target practice by humans.
- Point Build System
- Psychic Powers
- Religion of Evil: The Crimson Oath. The Immaculate Doom. Arguably the Divine Covenant.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: The Psyche system results in a lot of wizards and other psychic individuals going stark raving mad.