Devblog: The Secrets of the Outlands

Bliaron – Kalthanien Perintö is not just getting translated to English, but more like getting completely overhauled and improved in the process. The Outlands is a broad term covering all sparsely inhabited areas of Bliaron, including the Great Steppe (Suuri Aro) and tropical rainforests of Molem and Zeles. All of these areas will have a distinguished feeling, and specific theme of gameplay associated with them. The Outland cultures have hidden knowledge, myths of ancient past of humankind and connections to otherworldly powers.

Wilderness areas also greatly differ from civilized areas like Republic of Bliwon and Kingdom of Horuc, by concentrating more on the connection with nature, spirits of the world, and relationships in the traveling troupe. Something similar to what’s seen in the Cast Away movie is seen in various wilds areas, when the main character Chuck Noland starts to talk to a tennis ball, and names it Wilson, to fill his need for social interaction. Similar reactions are expected to happen in Bliaron, when players wander into the wilds, they slowly get “more in touch” with the true nature and the spirits surrounding them. Suddenly, all trees, rocks, rivers will feel alive, like they all have souls. In Bliaron, all this will become true, spirits DO exists and if there were tennis balls to intervene with, they surely would have souls.

Pondering one’s connection with the nature will facilitate questions like – where do we come from, do we belong here, and what’s our place in the universe? And not only that, there will also be some answers, although there probably is no ultimate final truth to be found. The past, the Kalthan origins, can be revealed and understood through myths of the Steppe clans. One’s place in the universe is obviously a personal decision, but the structure of the world – how the magical forces intervene and connect, and build what’s known as the universe, can be understood in various ways, giving birth to several different worldviews seen in Bliaron’s world. Shamans see the world strongly though interaction of natural spirits, whereas Sahen mages think of magic as a moving force. There are groups who see it differently too, through symbolic connections between mundane concepts (e.g. “all animals connected” or “all mountains are connected”) or some see the world via necromantic worldviews like “world is filled with souls of the dead”, not actually that far from the world view of our oncoming Grim Noir RPG. And then, there are other questions to ask when otherwordly interdimensional powers are encountered, e.g. strange spirits rising from the Well of Life in Serito will make one ask: what’s further than that, what is there we don’t really know or understand? The great ocean beyond the islands of Zeles will hint of another set of epic questions: Where are we going to? What’s beyond the ocean?

It’s not like these ideas weren’t present in Finnish edition, but as for game development, it’s now a task to bring these ideas easily approachable, and really polish the intent, and write everything out as clearly as possible. There will be boxes with extra information, example clans, npc characters, clearly written out adventure rewards and special myths to investigate. And hopefully, all this will come out as an adventure with interesting content. And we really do our best to summarize this, leaving out non-important detail as we write. For Finnish edition players though, the changes brought on by English edition can be integrated in all campaigns, and all the detail and places written out in Finnish edition and “Bliaronin reittiopas” should be still more or less valid background material for use in English edition.

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