Friday, January 3, 2014

Basement Delving: A Tale of Two Towns

Fantasy cities are always popular and I finally found two of my favorite supplements again: Carse and Tulan. Both of these were originally produced by Midkemia Press but the editions I own were redone under license by Chaosium. Carse is the bigger of the two, in terms of buildings anyway. Let's start with the cover:

That's Callistro the Magician and Ogar the Boar at the Bear's Claw Inn. Pretty awesome, eh? Well maybe only marginally awesome but hey, it's 1986. A few inside impressions:

The last shot illustrates the format for each "quarter" of the town: A short overview list of each building with a map, then a few pages of more detailed descriptions of the same area, often with additional background material. Some of the NPCs get rather nice illustrations as well, check out this lovely family for example:

It may not be what people expect from their supplements these days, but I find these illustrations rather evocative and thoroughly enjoyable. Finally a look at the overview map, ostensibly for players:

As you can see there are quite a few buildings outside of Carse proper as well, fitting for a town that's still growing. I don't want to say too much about the atmosphere and general character of Carse here because I plan to use the town in my next campaign, with slight modifications of course. I bought this thing sometime in the early 1990s and never ended up using it because we played mostly in Mystara and Harn then, both of which have several useful towns already. But in my 2014 campaign I have only sparse notes for each town, so something I can "plop in" relatively easily is most welcome.

Now for Tulan, the other town in the series: Also by Midkemia Press originally, also re-published by Chaosium, also in the late 1980s.

The format is pretty much the same, so without further ado a few examples from inside:

Yep, there's a whole village aside from the town of Tulan itself. Now my memory may be playing tricks on me, but I think some version of Tulan also included ruins of "Old Tulan" somewhere, but I couldn't find that particular thing in this version. Here's the overview map:

I am pretty sure that Tulan will also find a place in that ominous campaign I'll try to push my players through. If anyone stays around after the first TPK that is. Oh well.


  1. I love the Midkemia Press products. I wrote a post about them last spring for the Obscure RPG Appreciation Day:

  2. I've had both these supplements since Midkemia initially put them out. Although I haven't used them 'as is', I've taken quite large bits and pieces to use elsewhere. For some reason I just love all the Midkemia supplements, especially 'Cities'.
    Have fun with them.


    1. Thanks for reminding me of "Cities" I think I have the Chaosium version of that thing as well. That calls for another "delve" into my old basement! :-)

  3. Old Tulan is in the Black Tower book.