Quick reminder, since I haven't talked about it much in the last few months; what is TIMISCHBURG anyway? Here's the quick summary:
- I'd been playing around with homebrewing the DARK•HERITAGE setting for quite some time. I went through no less than five versions of the setting, each significantly different from the others. As a setting, it was more swashbuckling dark fantasy with a combination Golden Age of Piracy + The Old West + picaresque Mediterranean skulduggery all rolled up into a setting that had little to do with D&D as most people traditionally thought of it.
- Because of this, I'd played around with various rulesets to represent it, gradually migrating further and further afield from D&D exactly. I started with D&D with an almost completely different selection of classes and a different magic system, and from there went to d20 Past and played around with house-ruled Old School Hack and more, before finally settling on a customized version of m20.
- Because I liked m20 so much, I played around with various other iterations of the game, including making a Star Wars version, and eventually coming up with one with which I could run CULT OF UNDEATH, a side project of mine. CULT OF UNDEATH was more similar in its basic setting assumptions than DARK•HERITAGE was, so the m20 set I made for it was more similar to D&D, obviously.
- Kinda on a whim, I thought—hey, what if I expended my CULT OF UNDEATH rules into being a full-fledged alt.D&D that exactly fit my tastes, anyway? I could probably do that without too much work based on what I already have. (Famous last words. Actually, it ended up being kinda sorta true, but of course, I ended up growing the scope somewhat and spending more time and effort on it than I anticipated.) This became FANTASY HACK, my own "My D&D" ruleset. Because I was mimicking to a certain extent the structure of the B/X ruleset, I ended up needing to include a small section of setting (like the Grand Duchy of Karameikosin the Expert book) and I took the work I'd done for CULT OF UNDEATH and turned it into the country of TIMISCHBURG and included it as a hex map with a few names and whatnot.
- And... of course, I ended up wanting to fill in some of the blank spaces beyond Timischburg per se, and that's how I get TIMISCHBURG the setting, which is bigger than Timischburg the country, although Timischburg the country is smack in the middle of it and is the most developed. TIMISCHBURG the setting, therefore, ends up being the lightly developed and only somewhat vaguely referred to "default" setting for FANTASY HACK, if that makes sense.
I always assumed that eventually I'd draw a real map for the setting itself beyond the hexmap I have for the country. Because, that's what you do with settings, right? But I'm starting to convince myself that I don't even want to and that it'd be better if I didn't. I've got this vague "bubble map" which doesn't do much other than show the relative size and positions of a few nations that I've name-dropped in so far. But what if that's the only map I ever actually come up with, unless I need to do a specific regional map like I did for Timischburg itself?
After all, before Tolkien came along, we read fantasy books that didn't have maps all the time, and it didn't hurt us to not have a map, did it? And unless you're the GM of a setting, how much of a setting map do you really need anyway? Actually, even if you are the GM, I'd argue that you can certainly do fine without one. The only thing I'd miss is that I do like maps for their own sake.
Anyway, once again, a quick rundown of what these nations are:
- Timischburg—the first developed and main part of the setting; everything else is deliberately meant to surround it. This is a kind of Medieval Transylvania or Wallachia or something like that; a pseudo-Austrian aristocracy over a more Eastern population of peasants, lots of Gothic horror influences. Because it started as the setting for CULT OF UNDEATH, it bears some resemblances here and there to Paizo's Ustalav. Certainly in tone, it should be almost the same, although almost every detail will be different.
- Terassa—immediately to the east and a tiny bit to the south of Timischburg; this is a kind like Medieval Castile, Leon, Asturias, Genoa, etc. including that they may have recently thrown out the Qazmiri in their own version of the Reconquista. If I actually care to have a place for elfs to live, they're in a forested enclave located here.
- al Qazmir—an Arabian Nights-like country south of the sea from Terassa and eastern Timischburg; home of the jann as an exotic, aristocratic race.
- Carlovingia—a pseudo-Frankish empire located to the northeast of Timischburg, and the probable source of the Timischer aristocracy. Can be seen as either a unified Carolingian Empire, or an early Holy Roman Empire, or even an analog to the Warhammer Empire, if you like.
- Lexovii—pseudo-Gauls and other Celts, directly north of the Timischburg lands. This isn't a "country" so much as it is a "nation." There could be other people who live in their lands—goblins and dwarfs, specifically, although that's more for people who need to have goblins and dwarfs in their D&D settings than for me; I'd just as soon do without.
- Vossmark—north of the Lexovii are the fake Vikings.
- Tesculum—west of the Lexovii and the northern parts of Timischburg, and even bordering on Vossmark is the quite large Graeco-Roman styled kingdom, and one where I'd like to see more expansion, actually.
- Gunaakt—the orc-lands, south of Tesculum and immediately east of the southern part of Timischburg.
- Baal Hamazi—fractured kingdom east of Gunaakt.
- Nizrekh—an island kingdom south of Gunaakt; a hybrid of Cryx from Warmachine and an Nehekhara from Warhammer, kinda. Undead, piracy, monsters, and ancient Egypt.
And, of course, the Timischburg map itself: http://darkheritage.blogspot.com/2016/12/fantasy-hack-v14-appendix-iii.html
And the CULT OF UNDEATH tag will give you a lot more information on the country, as well as a sample adventure/campaign set therein.
Or maybe this link would be easier to use. The content is the same either way. https://sites.google.com/site/cultofundeath/