The world of Jhendor is the product of my desire - like many other gamemasters - to create my very own setting for adventures and campaigns.
I began working on it in 1988 or 1989 together with a friend, Thomas Wagener. We used the rules and guidelines of DGP's 'World Builder's Handbook' to create the physical shape of the world and decided on some of the races that should live on it. By then we had been using RuneQuest as the rules for our adventures and wanted to keep it for our world. So I paid special attention to compatibility when I created the gods and magic of Jhendor.
We did not get very far at that time and I never actually played in the setting until I moved to Stuttgart to go to university. I had to find a new group of players - which I managed after half a year or so - and took the opportunity to set my new campaign in my own creation. Thus Joachim Gallhoff, Michael Schrick, Thomas Krause (aka Tomtom) and Christian Lentzen were the first players to set foot on the barely charted lands of Jhendor - or to be more exact on the narrow streets of Chelekar. They were soon joined by Ralf Wagner, Anja Odenthal, Florian Kudermann and - somewhat later - Frank Messicci to play the first campaign on Jhendor, named "Childhood".
Later I introduced my old group in Siegen to Jhendor and played with them a campaign called "Gathering Clouds". Stef Ehmke, Uwe Kölsch, Dirk Stettner, Georg Kipping, Mert Vuraldi, Andreas Eicker and later Heike Krämer chronicled the adventures of a band of nomads.
When I moved back to Siegen from Stuttgart I lost the opportunity to play regularly with my friends down there. Dissatisfaction with that situation finally resulted in the third campaign set on Jhendor: "Gwynneth", which is played via e-mail. Joachim Gallhoff, Ralf Wagner and Frank Messicci play their old characters from the "Childhood" campaign while Michael Schrick and Mert Vuraldi take part with newly generated personas.
Apart from small one-on-one adventures and convention scenarios I mastered one larger stand-alone adventure during my stay at UBC, Vancouver. My roommates Dan Cummings and Will Bjorkmann led two "primitive" characters into the strange world of civilization - to my lasting enjoyment.
For the future I am planning the sequel for the nomads' campaign since their troubles are far from finished, while at the moment - besides working on the PbeM-campaign - I'm concentrating on the WWW presentation of my Jhendor material and on creating maps for my world with Campaign Cartographer 2.
Jhendor is a mixture of many different elements stolen more or less openly from literary sources. One of my most important inspirations is the world of "Tekumel" as described by M.A.R. Barker in his novel "The Man of Gold" and the roleplaying game "Empire of the Petal Throne".*
*In light of recent revelations of the horrible political views of Professor Barker (see here), I'd like to distance myself from the man and his disgusting world view. That does not change that the world Tekumel had an influence on the creation of Jhendor, but anti-semitism and racism has no place in my games.
I have used many places, characters and some elements of the mythology from the stories by Karl Edward Wagner on his anti-hero Kane, who also travels my world - barely disguised as Malvin. I think of it as a tribute to one of the best fantasy writers of all time. It is a pity that there won't be any more stories from him.
Other works of fiction had a more indirect influence on the world of Jhendor, but are no less important to me. Among them are - of course - J.R.R. Tolkien's works, the "Belgariad" by David Eddings, the books on the Eternal Hero by Michael Moorcock, the Thievesworld anthologies edited by Robert Asprin, the Fionavar cycle by Guy Gavriel Kay and the Deryni novels by Katherine Kurtz - to name just a few.
Jhendor is also the product of a long roleplaying experience with different game systems and the associated worlds. Although I have never gamemastered a Glorantha adventure, the RuneQuest system has created some similarities between the worlds. Other influences come from my first RPG "Das Schwarze Auge" and its world of "Aventurien" ("Realms of Arkania" in English), from Midgard and Magira (another German RPG), Traveller and its universe, Rolemaster and Middle-earth and several others.
In creating my own world I have tried to reach a certain "realistic" feel for my world. The above-mentioned Worldbuilder's Handbook by DGP has been very helpful in this task, as the Aria "Worlds" RPG has been. There is lots of material on building worlds on the web. Links to some of that can be found under the "Links" section of this page.
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