Avlis is a roleplaying campaign setting of the classic high fantasy flavor with mostly Medieval and Dark Aged civilizations. It boasts a rich and deep narrative history with an extremely detailed geography.
The Pen and Paper Origins
Starting as a 1st Edition D&D campaign in the late 1970’s, Avlis was homegrown by Dungeon Masters in the back woods of New Jersey until being introduced to Orleron as a teenager in the late 1980’s.
Orleron quickly began to revise and add to the world, making the players of the old into the deities and immortals of the new while forming an original mythology partially from their exploits around the role-playing table. Slowly over the next couple of decades, Orleron and his friends added lore to the world as it was gradually written.
During these first 20 years, however, Avlis was unknown to anyone outside of Browns Mills, NJ and Rutgers University.
Neverwinter Nights Takes Off
Fast forward to 2002, when a game called Neverwinter Nights allowed the creation of graphical MUDs (Multi User Dungeons). Being a MUD enthusiast, Orleron and best friend /college roommate, Silk, were extremely excited and immediately began bringing Avlis to this new platform.
Almost overnight, the world was a major success and became one of the most successful Persistent Worlds (PWs) for the Neverwinter Nights (NWN) platform ever, reaching a peak playerbase of over 2,000 active players.
This brought Avlis mainstream and the world became well-known and loved by many fans, including dedicated builders and Dungeon Masters. The team grew beyond Orleron and Silk, allowing Avlis innovations that contributed crucial additions to the NWN community.
Contributions, like the Neverwinter Nights Extender (NWNX), allowed external databases to store persistent data. NWNX evolved into a full fledged plugin hook framework that allowed external modules to interface with the NWN internal world. One popular Avlis-grown plugin, VaultSTER, enabled players to travel between other persistent worlds with their characters completely intact seamlessly.
The Future of Avlis – Shards Online & Other Games
During the middle of 2014, an ambitious group of ex-Ultima Online (UO) developers began a project to become the spiritual successor to NWN while also incorporating everything that was good about UO at its peak. The game is now in full development and is about to reap the rewards of a successful Kickstarter campaign. With this platform, The World of Avlis will be born anew. Stay in touch with this site to find out more about development.
In addition to Shards Online, there will likely be other games in development, ranging from IRC interfaces up through full MMORPG productions using Unity 3D. The beauty of this is that all of the games we plan to make will be linked such that a single character can persist through all of them.
About The Avlis Campaign Setting
As a setting, Avlis is a classic high fantasy world with mostly Medieval and Dark Aged civilizations. It is meant to be an alternative to the stock D&D campaign worlds (e.g. Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk, Krynn, Ebberon), with some special emphasis. On Avlis, the nine alignments come heavily into play, much as Good, Evil, and Neutrality do on Krynn, but at a more complicated level. The line between what is Good, Evil, Lawful, Chaotic, etc. is not always clear, and often Avlissians will find themselves as strange bed fellows with opposing alignments chasing the same goals for different reasons. Almost as a rule, alignment on Avlis is internal, for it is the sum of moral interpretations by the individual, not the outward means or ends of a goal.
This means that Good vs. Evil more often equates to whether an action is being done for selfish or selfless reasons, not the actions’ outward appearance. The implications are the same for actions that do or do not follow the local laws and societal norms, which change drastically every several hundred miles. Mix all of this together with the fact that each alignment’s philosophy has a Greater Deity and powerful Mage Order associated with it, as well as numerous smaller churches, guilds, nobles, nations, and adventurers, and things can become epic in short order.
With over 30 player character races that stereotypically conform to certain alignments but almost never do in practice, the politics and adventures of Avlis get even more diverse. For over 30 years, this campaign setting has been loved and nurtured with new lore, new rules, and new blood. We invite you to become part of the story.