Explore folk horror traditions by playing Dungeons & Dragons with Wickerpunk, a supplementary RPG book created by the lead writer for the video game Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade, Christian Read.
Wickerpunk is a supplement for D&D 5E that’s inspired by the likes of Princess Mononoke, The Witcher, The Mists of Avalon and other fantasy stories and series that focus on the darker and potentially more violent aspects of the genre. The fantasy roleplaying rulebook is driven by the clash created by the wyld - the ancient and sinister aspects of the world - combining with the “imperialist world of industry,” leading to a natural conflict between two opposing forces. Taking aspects of real world history and folk tales from across the world, Wickerpunk presents a world filled with mystery and dread.
The kind of characters that players create entirely depends on the kind of dark fantasy setting that the Dungeon Master wants their campaign to embrace. Wickerpunk is able to support Fighters from a pre-iron age world, Paladins who choose to worship pagan gods instead of established deities and other usual variations on classic D&D 5E classes. Many of these character classes are split by whether they are part of the wyld or industry, with each one having its own distinct design.
The world of Wickerpunk also has its fair share of monsters creeping out of its burrows and crawling along its crossroads. Heavily inspired by the bestiaries of folklore, the enemies that populate Wickerpunk can range from ghosts that haunt the sites of tragedies to the water-dwelling Redcaps of ancient legend. But players will have more than just monsters to worry about during the time with Wickerpunk, as the setting can also feature sinister organisations who are intent on enforcing their own beliefs on others - whether they’re a corrupt church or a bloodthirsty witch coven.
Besides the overview of the setting, playable characters and enemies, Wickerpunk also includes a section on potential items and equipment that can be found and used within the roleplaying game, alongside a selection of suggested campaigns that DMs can run for their players.
Apart from creating Wickerpunk and writing for Warhammer 40K: Eternal Crusade, Read is otherwise known for writing for several TRPGs such as Mythos Magic and The Cruel Empire of Tsan Chan, as well as being the lead writer for other video games like the adventure card game Hand of Fate and The Secret World.
Wickerpunk will be published by Crow Land Publishing, a studio founded by Read, with this being the company’s debut release.
The Kickstarter campaign for Wickerpunk is live until August 19th, with a pledge of AUS$ 46 (£25/$33) getting backers a copy of the physical book that’s estimated to arrive in October. Otherwise, backers can get a digital version for a pledge of AUS$ 15 (£9/$10).