West Marches-style Sandbox Campaign

Earlier this week I read about Ben Robbins’ West Marches sandbox campaign, and I won’t lie, the concept and structure excited me.

I no longer live near my old group, in a way that makes tabletop gaming practical for me — especially when you realize I get up at silly o’clock (5:00 AM) for work each day.  Driving home from the game on a work night leaves me way too short on sleep the next day (and would require that I drive down on the day, cutting into my “doze on the bus” hour each morning).  Add in my family commitment time (Monday through Wednesday evening I hardly get home before 8:00 PM, and usually not before 7:30 PM Thursdays) it’s difficult to find time to even look for anyone more local for tabletop play.

Online, however, the audience is somewhat larger, and the tools have been getting much better in the last while.  I’ve played using a combination of IRC and maptools, and I’ve been hearing some very good things from people using google+ and related tools for gaming.  I’ve had some difficulty in the past with keeping a consistent group together, but Ben’s West Marches campaign actually accommodates that rather well.

I propose to run a sandbox campaign in a West Marches style.

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Kreshtar Tribes



Horse-riding nomadic orcs (elites ride pegasi).


  • Homeland plains are encroached on by the Empire of the Sun.
  • Blood feud with the Ssthar tribes (ancient enmity, and relatively recently the Ssthar managed to wipe out the Kreshtar pegasi – and the son of their leader, who was one of the pegasus riders


  • Regularly hire out as mercenaries.


  • Former ruling tribe over all the Thaar tribes, ‘kingdom’ collapsed under its own weight.  No longer want to rule, more isolationist (willing to let well enough alone… mostly).
  • Primary inhabitants of the Kresh Plains.

Description and Identification


Humanoids, a little taller than most humans and lean, wiry figures.  Olive skin, usually tanned rather darker.  Dark eyes, dark hair (both usually black) tied in a topknot.  Usually lightly armored, use big axes and shields (or greataxes), mounted combat by preference.  Females generally favor mounted bows (short bows or composite/recurve), smaller melee weapon (short sword or shortspear) as backup.


  • Large axe wounds, lots of arrow-filled bodies.
  • Shamanic magic and trappings (signs of rituals and/or fetishes); land more fertile than might be expected due to long practice of enhancement.
  • “Herd of horses” prints, but other evidence (such as horse dung) usually removed for later use.


Plains of Kresh (tribes), almost anywhere (mercenaries).