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 – Pen and Paper / Other Games
As a setting, Avlis is versatile and there is room to apply it to many different media. This is an ever ongoing process. The NWN Avlis server exists to this day in an unofficial capacity run by private managers unaffiliated with the official Avlis campaign setting. There are also currently two official Avlis campaign setting games, as well as a Pathfinder published rule book and a Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition one-off adventure. More details on these games are here:
In the old 1980’s single player RPG style, this game takes the player back in Avlis history to play as one of its greatest heroes: Myleah. As a young woman growing up in the female-dominated society of Jechran, Myleah finds cruelty and division among her people and with the diverse nearby populations. Follow her on her journey to unite the tribes of Jechran and make peace with the Eshallah and fairy races. Employ her friends and companions along the way as they bring their valuable skills with magic, healing, and thievery to bear. Navigate her through joy, pain, betrayal, and victory as she works to found a new city that will one day be named for her.
This game is free and downloadable, but is also playable inside the web browser, download-free.
From the early 1980’s through the early 2000’s, hundreds of thousands of college students played multi-user dungeons (MUDs). These text-based games were the pre-cursors to the online MMORPGs that are so popular today. In the years prior to “graphical MUDs”, text was the only way to go. “Mudding” became the act of playing MUDs, and at least a generation of college students partially “MUDded” their grade point averages straight into the sewers! Addictive, immersive, and clever, MUDs provided hours of fun without the extensive downloads, updates, and graphics card hassles.
AvlisMUD is a revival of these old style games. Without the constraint of graphics and 3D modeling, development on this game is swift. Features are rich. There are tens of character classes, with more on the way. Players can own mounts, ships, houses, caravans, and other items. Crafting is fully functional with hundreds of recipes using resources gathered from around the MUD.
The MUD uses the Avlis Campaign Setting, particularly around the western coast of Negaria in the Confederation of The Seven Cities. In plain English, this makes the MUD setting a diverse place with many races interacting in a relatively small area so that anything is possible.
For those that play around a table on pen and paper, this is the Pathfinder 1st Edition setting rulebook for The World of Avlis. It is full of “crunch”. There are new classes, races, and spells to use in just about any campaign setting desired. After years of development, this book has formed the basis of most Avlis campaign information and is now in its revised edition.
In a small village in the Protectorate of Blandenberg, news arrives that contact with the nearby abbey has been lost. The abbey of The Order of The Blue Flowers houses some strange inhabitants, and they are currently under attack by a force of magical constructs whose makers accuse the abbey monks of being undead abominations.
The party that takes up this task must find out who is attacking the inhabitants of the abbey and decide how to address the conflict. Are the attackers justified in their aggression? Are the monks really undead? Is something more mysterious than a simple undead infestation at play here?
Three to five characters of third level are optimal for this one-off adventure.
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.