Running a “West Marches” Game Links and Resources

“West Marches” game has been the rage for a while.  It’s a specific kind of sandbox game, where the players change each week and each adventure.  Developed originally by Ben Robbins, the indie game designer of Microscope, it has grown to be a very popular style of game.  In some respects, its a miniature version of a living campaign.  It also harkens back to the beginnings of the hobby, with many of the stories of David Arneson’s and Gary Gygax’s games working similarly.  I love it because then you don’t need to worry about having the same people there every week, and when you are talking 20  to 60 somethings, being able to plan a game that everyone can attend is next to impossible.

This has been the inspiration for the Fallow’s Vale campaign that I’ve been running, although I do have some interesting things happening in the town as well.  I thought as I gather helpful sites and links for my campaign, I’d post them here as well.


If you want you can read the write up about West Marches by Ben Robbins, or a summary of the components he feels is important to a West Marches game.

The basics are this:

  1. The town is a safe haven, that the players return to each week.
  2. The wilderness is unsafe, and gets progressively more dangerous the father out the players roam.
  3. Dungeons should be finishable, but not clearable in one go.
  4. The players schedule the games.
There’s more to it then that, but those are the basics.
Why a West Marches campaign needs a safe town: A blog post describing some of the pitfalls and problems when you don’t have a safe town.
Using Savage Worlds with a West Marches Campaign: Some reasons why the author will be using Savage Worlds with his West Marches Game.
My Fallows Vale Campaign: You can read about my campaign here.
Original D&D and West Marches: a great board discussion on using West Marches with Original D&D and how it actually ties into the original style of D&D game play.
Suggestions for RPG systems for West Marches Games: enworld discusses which systems people would recommend for a West Marches game.
A West Marches Style Game:  Keith Davies has gone through and created a very cool sounding West Marches game, detailing the rules and using Microscope by Ben Robbins  to jointly create the history of the setting.  Thanks Keith for pointing me to his post.
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Filed under resources, Role Playing

6 responses to “Running a “West Marches” Game Links and Resources

  1. Hi Matt,

    I’ve got a post about running a West Marches campaign myself, though it’s more in the vein of “it would be pretty cool to do” rather than actually getting scheduled.

  2. Pingback: Update to “West Marches” Resources | North of Nowhere

    • I just want to let you know, people lost their job over that mistake. :)

      Sorry about that. I thought I remembered it right, and of course I had it wrong. Thanks for the great links!

      • No worries, let him have his job back. He otherwise does good work.

        I get tagged as ‘Kevin’ (or ‘Steve’, I’m guessing because it’s close to a homophone) pretty frequently, really.

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