Dead Man’s Land

Adventures in the Wild Wastes

Dead Man’s Land is a homebrew 3.x setting based off the best edition of the worlds biggest tabletop roleplaying game. Players form a Band or Posse who travel the ruins of Dead Man’s Land. Whether you bring Law and Order, or are simply there to loot and pillage is up to you.

Photo by Steve on

The World

The continent of Pimera has a long and torrid history of those with power abusing those without. Afterall, the gods created the people, but it wasn’t until people made Magicarms that they were equal. 

The Five Nations ruled Pimera for centuries, and warred with one another for at least that long. Only one remained neutral, and only they gained the benefits that come from the smelting pot of multiculturalism. Cardonia served as a crucible and for the world, tempering and forging the best and brightest ideas into wonders of magitech unimagined by their neighboring nations. While the perpetual motion machines, planar mappings, and illusionary operas were wonderous, the real object of envy was the magicarms. Cardonian citizens could hold their own against fully trained soldiers and warriors from a distance with minimal training. Point and click. The Four knew the impact of this invention, and none wanted to be the faction without it. The implications of this new advancement would be far reaching. No longer is self defense, and thus self determinism, in the hands of the rich and powerful or those with devoted training. The match was lit.

In a flash it began. Cardonia was invaded. The Four Nations, jealous of the wealth and innovations, negotiated a temporary ceasefire with one another and launched a surprise attack deep into the heart of Cardonia. The Arcanowar was long and hard fought. Cardonia’s magical and technological superiority held out longer than anyone thought was possible, but eventually the Four Armies were simply too much. 

No one knows who, or what triggered the explosion. Common knowledge seems like it was somehow tied to the fall of Cardonia, whether an experiment interrupted, a killswitch failsafe, or simply an accident, it doesn’t matter. Where this once great nation stood is now nothing but sand, uncontrolled magical monsters, and most likely, still active magical defenses. 

The Four Nations, their looting complete, met and settled on an uneasy truce. None were clear who was responsible for the explosion, and none wanted to be next. The terms were simple. A ceasefire, a dissolution of current alliances, and a removal of any claim to the Unified Unoccupied Zone, or Dead Man’s Land as it has come to be known. 

The truce has held so far, at least on the surface. And yet, every year, more and more settlers show up in the desert, hoping to make a living for themselves outside the oppressive rule of one of the Four Nations. The Nations keep advancing with new technologies, and new breakthroughs rivaling that of Cardonia, and the blackmarket for recovered magitech grows daily. Yet rarely does it trickle down to the common folk.

Pimera is relatively settled. It’s borders drawn, and roots dug. There are not many open tracts of unexplored wilderness left. For a time, there was an effort to explore the vast ocean, in the hopes of a second continent, and rumors abound that one might be found. All of that ended after the fall of Cardonia. The brave explorers who once sailed the ocean are now focused inward, to the central desert of Dead Man’s Land.


Photo by Julia Volk on

Ten quest seeds for Dead Man’s Land. 

  1. [Nation] wants you to go explore the site of an old battle and recover a super weapon that one of the sides used. (If their own, they want it back, and if someone else’s they want to reverse engineer it.)
  2. Bandits are demanding tax from a frontier town in exchange for protection… from themselves. It’s a shakedown, go play Magnificent Seven. 
  3. Someone found an old gold mine and needs it cleared of giant ants so they can start operations. 
  4. In the ruins of Cardonia, there was a rumored magi-thing that your benefactor wants. Go get it. 
  5. [Nation] is building a railroad to a frontier town. This is in clear violation of the treaty, but no one wants to be the nation to provoke war by stopping it. Go blow up the tracks in secret.
  6. Settlers are being kidnapped by giant bugs. It turns out someone learned how to control them, and is not a nice person. 
  7. An undead swarm has set its sights on Frontier Town. 
  8. A Marid has set himself up in the desert as the new power player. He is getting rich off water profits, and applying pressure to a friendly town. His proposition? “Buy his water or he shuts off their well”
  9. Cowgirl Marilith is the fastest draw in the center. Unfortunately for the PCs, they have a price on their head and she is coming to collect. 
  10. Someone has found an old weapon, and turned it on. Now they are just killing anyone who won’t pay them. Like a giant mech spider with rockets mounted to it or something. 

To follow along with this project as it goes on, entries have been tagged with the Dead Man’s Land Tag.

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