The Wenigzustand is the most chaotic, troublesome, and thrilling place on the continent. Home to a myriad of tiny, independent nation states, and with terrain ranging from fertile plains to impossibly deep forests and steep, jagged, alpine mountains, this is where the bulk of the continent’s dragons can be found. It is also where tin-pot tyrants rule their little duchies and principalities with iron mittens, and savage goblinoids have carved out their own domains in the classically stereotypical fashion they are best known for. There are also unspeakable evils to be found here. This is where the world of Slothjemia meets the old AD&D expansion of “Ravenloft”. If that doesn’t mean anything to you, that’s quite alright. The few times I ever tried to adventure in the Ravenloft setting degenerated into a complete washout of giggles and puns.
Ravenloft was designed by the makers of AD&D to be a gothic horror setting. This is where you could encounter Frankenstein’s monster, Dracula, the Mummy, and tip-toe through the minefield of H.P. Lovecraft’s darkest writings. Naturally, everything was carefully reworded to avoid copyright issues, and that is all well and good. Ravenloft was sold as a sort of “demi-plane” wherein not everything functioned quite the way it should, so every aspect of life in the various domains was somewhat topsy-turvy. For my own reasons, I disliked the idea of a “demi-plane of dread”. But I did enjoy the notion of isolated, powerful villains that players could interact with, and defeat, in the style of a grand old-school Universal monster movie. This in turn led to the development of the Wenigzustand. Hemmed in on the west by Fanolania, in the south by Geldenreich, and in the east by Lusatia; the little countries, city-states, and what-not of the little states is fertile ground for gaming adventure.
Right now, the players in our current game are beginning to explore a few of the Wenigzustand. I’m sure they each have their own impressions, but for the first time I am able to actually spend some quality time with these little states and their quirky, wicked rulers. But don’t fear. Slothjemia is never far from the storyline, wherever it goes. Just like Tatooine.