Midgard Setting Lore


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion


I am prepping for a camapaign set in the awesome world of Midgard by Kobold Press.

I'm making this thread to discuss some of the lore with other people who may enjoy this setting.

In particular there have been a few points where I could use some clarification. There's a lot of product out there spanning multiple systems and I know some of you have been collecting it and using it for a while.

I may return to this thread periodically as questions arise in my research. Hopefully it can provoke some discussion.

I have the 2012 setting book in PDF and the more recent Midgard Worldbook in hardcover. I also have the 5e Zobeck Gazzetteer. I'm hoping to tie together the upcoming Margreve hardcover with Courts of the Shadow Fey. I have not settled on a system yet.

My first question is about the timeline. If ten years have advanced between the two hardcovers, have the events of Courts of the Shadow Fey already transpired? Is it therefore impossible to run CotSF in a campaign set in the up to date Midgard?


Another question: in the history of Zobeck I see that the Moonlit King made an alliance with House Stross to help defeat the kobold miners who were squatting in the Rosehaven Lands. Where was the Stross family based at that time? Was Zobeck already a thing? Was Stross already it's ruler?

(I hope this is in the right forum)


Hi Grimmy
I don't know anything about Midgard, but I'm interrested.
Can you explain how the setting is special? What sets it apart from, say Golarion?

thanks:-)


This is the right subforum, but I don’t know how good your odds are that a Midgard expert will happen along. Maybe try Koboldpress’s forum?


GRuzom wrote:

Hi Grimmy

I don't know anything about Midgard, but I'm interrested.
Can you explain how the setting is special? What sets it apart from, say Golarion?

thanks:-)

Well, from what I've heard it started out as the home campaign of a guy named Wolfgang Bauer. It departs a bit from vanilla western european medieval fantasy and Tolkien-esque tropes and dials things a little more towards a dark pulpy folkloric vibe.

It uses a lot of real world analogs but in a very different way than Golarian or Forgotten Realms do. I don't get the feeling that everything but the kitchen sink is present, with a convenient locale for each of the fantasy sub-genres. Instead it kind of lives and breaths. People who know a bit of history and geography will easily spot the influences of the cultures and regions but in a funny way the familiarity makes it even more otherworldly and surreal.

The first thing people usually tell you about it is "Eastern Europe" and that kind of is the glue that holds it together and the stand out difference from every other fantasy setting you've played, but it also spans more than just that. The core dark fairy tale thing at it's heart is set in a big, detailed, believable world so if you want to know where exotic spices are coming from, you'll get an answer and you can go there.

It's awesome.


Asmodeus' Advocate wrote:
This is the right subforum, but I don’t know how good your odds are that a Midgard expert will happen along. Maybe try Koboldpress’s forum?

Thanks for the friendly reply. I've been gone awhile and don't have the lay of the land like I used to.

Has enthusiasm for third party publishers wained? It used to be not uncommon to see a lively discussion thread with GM's comparing notes for product lines such as Frog God Games Lost Lands setting.

Anyway maybe Marc Radle will happen by if nothing else. Worth a shot.


More that traffic in this forum in general has waned, the Playtest forums are getting all the attention.


That makes sense.


Grimmy wrote:
GRuzom wrote:

Hi Grimmy

I don't know anything about Midgard, but I'm interrested.
Can you explain how the setting is special? What sets it apart from, say Golarion?

thanks:-)

Well, from what I've heard it started out as the home campaign of a guy named Wolfgang Bauer. It departs a bit from vanilla western european medieval fantasy and Tolkien-esque tropes and dials things a little more towards a dark pulpy folkloric vibe.

It uses a lot of real world analogs but in a very different way than Golarian or Forgotten Realms do. I don't get the feeling that everything but the kitchen sink is present, with a convenient locale for each of the fantasy sub-genres. Instead it kind of lives and breaths. People who know a bit of history and geography will easily spot the influences of the cultures and regions but in a funny way the familiarity makes it even more otherworldly and surreal.

The first thing people usually tell you about it is "Eastern Europe" and that kind of is the glue that holds it together and the stand out difference from every other fantasy setting you've played, but it also spans more than just that. The core dark fairy tale thing at it's heart is set in a big, detailed, believable world so if you want to know where exotic spices are coming from, you'll get an answer and you can go there.

It's awesome.

Thanks, that sounds awesome:-) This is something I will check out.

Is there a good starting point, a specific book, perhaps?


Yeah there's so much. They've been developing it for so many years across multiple systems and with tons of input from fans.

The flagship hardcover campaign book right now is dual system. Whether you play 5e or PF1 you get the same book. I'd definitely say it's system agnostic enough to use even if you play PF2. It's just called Midgard Worldbook.

Then for your player options you do have to pick a system, there's one book for PF and one for 5e.

The current monster books are Tome of Beasts and Creature Codex. Really top notch. Up to WOTC and Paizo standards easily.

You can also get Gazetteers for whatever region you like and so much other stuff.

I'll do links later I'm on mobile and kinda have a headache.

They advanced the timeline 10 years with this new batch so some of the older supplemental books will be a little out of sync now, which is ok with me because there was an overwhelming amount of stuff. It's easier now to see what's in the current product line.

Kobold Press is who publishes it.

I'm happy you think it sounds cool. I'm running it for my little nieces at home and planning a PBP campaign with it here online.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I've PMed Mark with this thread's URL...

'Cause I only got onboard with the recent Kickstarters, so I'm in no position to answer your questions, but I'll bet he knows...

Liberty's Edge

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Hey everyone! Cool thread!

I can certainly offer some info and provide some links. I can also see about summoning the REAL expert of Midgard ... :)

The Midgard campagin setting did indeed start out as the home campaign of "a guy named Wolfgang Baur" :)

As in the Wolfgang Baur who worked at TSR and Wizards of the Coast, worked on numerous D&D projects, has written many things for Paizo, and was editor of Dragon magazine, etc. :)

For those of you asking about Midgard and what makes it interesting and unique, here's a good synopsis:

Midgard is our dark fantasy roleplaying setting of deep magic, inspired by the myths and folklore of Eastern and Central Europe. Here, the age of heroes is dead, and the bridge to glory is broken—Bifrost fell long ago. Midgard is in an age of war, of dark wilderness and lost empires sunk beneath the waves. Only magic and the warmth of hope keeps lights aglow when dread things prowl and priestly wardings shake, bent by demonic rage.

Now, sinister forces are forming new and terrifying alliances throughout the world. The roads to the shadow realm are open again, and the fey have returned to claim their ancient tribute. In the north the giants prepare for Ragnarok, while the goblins in the west grow restless. In the Crossroads, the shadow of the vampire princes falls across the land. The World Serpent is stirring—and not even all-knowing Baba Yaga can say what will happen next.

It is a dark time. But a new breed of hero is coming to stand against the dark, driving it back with spell, steel, and cunning!

The above comes from This Section of the Kobold Press Website. Be sure to click the link - there is a more detailed overview of the various regions of Midgard!

Here are links to some of the main books to check out:

Midgard Worldbook

Midgard Player's Guide (PFRPG)

Midgard Heroes Handbook (5E)

Deep Magic (PFRPG)

Southlands Campaign Setting (PFRPG)

Zobeck Gazetteer (5E)

... and HERE is the full Kobold Press product line available on Paizo.com so you can explore as you like! :)


Grimmy wrote:
Yeah there's so much. They've been developing it for so many years across multiple systems and with tons of input from fans.

Thank you for your answers - I've just ordered Midgard Worldbook from my local gamestore. hope they can get it:-)

I'm sticking with PF, not going to the new edition, so it's really nice that there's a lot material to explore!


Cole Deschain wrote:

I've PMed Mark with this thread's URL...

'Cause I only got onboard with the recent Kickstarters, so I'm in no position to answer your questions, but I'll bet he knows...

Thanks!


Marc Radle wrote:

Hey everyone! Cool thread!

I can certainly offer some info and provide some links. I can also see about summoning the REAL expert of Midgard ... :)

Thank you!

Lots of meat on this:-)


And thank you to Marc as well:-)


Well this is going swimmingly!

The Exchange Kobold Press

Grimmy wrote:
My first question is about the timeline. If ten years have advanced between the two hardcovers, have the events of Courts of the Shadow Fey already transpired? Is it therefore impossible to run CotSF in a campaign set in the up to date Midgard?

We're preparing to release the Courts of the Shadow Fey for 5E play in 2019, so the advancing timeline hasn't necessarily assumed that the events have already occurred. However, the new edition of the Worldbook does make it clear that the shadow fey are more active than before, and Pathfinder v1 resources like the Advanced Races Compendium deliver stats for the Shadow Fey as a playable race.

So... They're lurking around, and any GM who wants to assume those events have already happened could do so without trouble. Given that the adventure takes place primarily in the Shadow Realm, giving the timeline a nudge is not difficult.

In my home campaign, those events are some distance in the past.


That's awesome to hear. I guess I was unnecessarily feeling like I had to adhere to some canonical timeline.

I'm ecstatic to hear that Courts is coming. It will be perfect to follow my Margreve campaign.

Mr. Bauer, I am also wondering about what the status of Zobeck was prior to Sarastra making a pact with Stross. Was it already a settlement? Was Stross already ruling it or was it under some other form of government? How did the Holly King and fey feel about a settlement on their Rosehaven lands prior to their exile and return from Shadow?

Liberty's Edge

Grimmy wrote:

That's awesome to hear. I guess I was unnecessarily feeling like I had to adhere to some canonical timeline.

I'm ecstatic to hear that Courts is coming. It will be perfect to follow my Margreve campaign.

Mr. Bauer, I am also wondering about what the status of Zobeck was prior to Sarastra making a pact with Stross. Was it already a settlement? Was Stross already ruling it or was it under some other form of government? How did the Holly King and fey feel about a settlement on their Rosehaven lands prior to their exile and return from Shadow?

I can tell you that Courts of the Shadow Fey will be awesome! I've seen it and it's going to be a blast!

(oh, and just as a friendly FYI ... it's Baur, not Bauer :)


Thanks Marc. You guys are making really high quality work.

I guess some of those minute details we can fill in for ourselves anyway.

I'll definitely write some reviews once I've gotten further along running this stuff.


I just finished running a full Mythic Adventures conversion of Courts of the Shadow Fey. I am going to try to answer your questions about the backstory. The information is spread across a few sources.


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Page seven of the Zobeck Gazeteer (PFRPG) is probably the best place to start as it has the most concise breakdown of the Stross/Zobeck/Shadow Fey timeline.

Sarastra and the Fey ruled over the Margreve and the area that would become Zobeck for thousands of years.

Choryodni, a lammasu in service to Sarastra, tricks the Holly King into performing the Heartwood Pact which curses the Shadow Fey to the plane of shadow where they are forced into servitude by Sarastra.

600 years later, the kobolds construct Brandor's Keep on Rosehaven Hill, which eventually becomes Castle Shadowcrag.

200 years after the construction of Brandor's Keep, the fey formed an alliance with Adrastus Stross to drive out the kobolds and enslave them.

The Stross were responsible for the rise of Zobeck during their six hundred years of rule.

There was no human settlement prior to the deal with Stross. The Holly King and the fey were jostling for possession of the Rosehaven Hill until the Heartwood Pact. The Moonlit King used the Stross family to drive out the kobolds and convert the settlement for human use. The Moonlit King felt that using the Stross to claim the area for the Shadow Fey would give him leverage to use in his machinations against Sarastra.


OK that's fantastic. See I knew these kinds of threads worked.

I'd be absolutely over the moon to hear any notes you'd want to share about Courts. I'll be running it in 5e but I'm curious why you chose mythic.

Most of my doubts are around the implementation of skill challenges and creating some kind of flow chart for the story events.


My campaign is mythic, so I had to convert it to run it. It's such a sandboxing adventure, that it can really go in a lot of different directions. The skill challenges were fine. It just became the sub-system we used throughout the adventure. The players even managed to do the skill challenges rather than fight at the end.

If you can Google Rich Green's Livejournal, he wrote session reports for his campaign. It serves as a good outline to give the adventure some form.


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There is an important subplot in the adventure that it never quite spelled out, but you need to understand it in order to fuel the intrigue in play at the Courts.

Main plot spoiler:
The Queen brought Akyshygal to the Courts to poison the King. Akyshygal poisoned the King and drove him mad. Maraya helped chain the King to keep him in the Tower of the Moon


Very helpful. Thank you.

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