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Convention Schedule 2002

You've lived your whole life within sight of Treverre's snakey walls. You know the look of a field of opal roses, the smell of Lake Laicrane at dawn, the sound of wherriwheffle calling to their flocks at sunout, the humming feel of a thousand spells as you walk by the magic academies. But you can't know what the world is like until you've leaned over the bow of a skyboat and felt the wind in your fur, looking at the whole World Tree spread out beneath you, green branches going forever, wiggling trails of rivers and mountains along them, the ancient cities just little patches like civilized lichen. I can sneak you on to the Crown of Leaves! We'll sail away, see the great courts and the vertical wilderness, meet wizards and heroes and bakers and professors and monsters and gods, and experience everything.

World Tree is a tabletop role playing game (RPG) written by Bard Bloom and Victoria Borah Bloom. The game is set in a unique fantasy world, a giant tree peopled by eight prime species which can be played by participants in the game, and by numerous other sentient species, animals, and plants.

The world is an immense tree, under a crystalline sun rolling on a track in the sky. Its branches are fifty miles wide and thousands long, and their flat upper sides are the home of civilization. The sides of the branches are tangled and untamed; wilderness is never far from even the greatest city.

The godlings who created the World Tree made the eight prime species the focus of attention. Four primes are the most common:

  • Cani are dogfolk, social, tangled and strengthened by their complex webs of loyalties.
  • Herethroy are anthropomorphic crickets or beetles: agrarian, six-limbed, musical, strong.
  • Orren are otterfolk, wild and excitable, picking up new interests quickly when the old ones become boring.
  • Rassimel are raccoonfolk--clever, devoted to a few life-long interests that border on obsession.

The four other primes are much rarer:

  • Gormoror are bearfolk, brave and heroic.
  • Khtsoyis are floating air-octopi, violent and often criminal.
  • Sleeth are non-anthropomorphic panthers, predators and loners, feared by many.
  • Zi Ri, rarest of all, are small immortal dragons, and the old ones bear much force and much lore.

A thousand other species oppose, befriend, trade with or ignore the primes.

The eight species live together, and their civilization is advanced--most like 18th-century Earth, with occasional bits of far future, neither utopian nor dystopian. Countries are typically city-states strung like beads along the branches.

World Tree magic is as sophisticated as any terrestrial technology, as widely available, and as practical. Cley, the currency of magic, is available to everyone in a limited daily supply. A baker might have spells to bake a loaf instantly, to clean hands--or to scorch a mugger. Professional wizards can do considerably more: chains of teleport gates are vital to commerce; enchanted city walls keep the wilderness at bay; sentient illusions are masterpieces of art.

The World Tree rules system is skill-based, and tuned for flexibility and ease of use. The character creation system gives players the tools they need to build complex characters from every walk of life--mayors as well as mages, fisherwomen as well as fighters, unconfined by arbitrary character classes. The structure of the setting allows for campaigns geared to both the sophistication of cities, and the wildness of the frontier. The magic system includes both a large arsenal of standard spells, and a full system for spontaneous improvisation of new spells. The basic combat system can be learned almost instantly, but advanced tactics are available to the experienced warrior.