Secrets of the Dead Lands released!

Secrets of the Dead Lands is live on! Thanks to our newly minted Templar @neujack for bringing this home along with all the great volunteer designers, developers, editors, artists, and cartographers! Thank you!

Official Announcement:


We’ll use this thread as a discussion of the document. If you find anything amiss feel free to post here.


Thank you raddu.
I wanted to thank the hard corps who have have been working together with me to make this whole series of books happen.


This is your amazing work, and proof of what we can do when we all join forces.

I also wanted to thank Charlie, @Grummore, @redking, @Xelu and @Bdmdragon for their support and assistance over these past 14 months.

Finally, I wanted to extend a thank you to the Templarate (Flip, Band2) and most especially abutcher9819 for their contributions and for keeping the faith on this monster project.

But we’re just getting started here. Onwards!


I have two responses to this:

  1. Huzzah! New product! Happy anticipation! promptly downloads
  2. … to be addressed in another thread.

So I humbly reopen my inquiry to the Overcouncil and Templarate as to how I might be allowed to accomplish this? @raddu @flip @Band2 @neujack


Feel free to jump on board our crew, headed by @neujack


To not get off track I’ll answer you in another thread.


Boom! It happens. The kaisharga rises!


Great job to all involved! Amazing accomplishment!

I haven’t read it in its entirety yet, but is there a section that addresses why the Dead Lords never left the Black Basin other than they didn’t realize there was life outside the Dead Lands? If not, maybe include a sidebar for possible explanations in a revised release?

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Thank you for the suggestion.
I actually added that section myself (right at the end) based on conversations from this forum. I collected the best reasons I could come up with based on the forum comments, the book, and my team’s speculations. I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to have some more detail though. I’m open to suggestions as you have them.

There is some of that detail already kind of woven into each individual factions’ story anyway IIRC. They all experienced the Obsidian Flow differently, and either made assumptions about the world being destroyed or became busy elsewhere.

At any rate, that lack of knowledge about the outside world has been broken with the Emissary Adventure anyway, so it’s kind of academic.



Thats always been one of my bigger gripes with the original unfinished 2e draft. Its a hard pill to swallow that after 2000+ years the Lords never thought to explore or scry outside the Basin.

IMO the simplest explanation is the properties of the negative energy-infused obsidian interferes with scrying and teleporting into or out of the Dead Lands.

That said, providing a sidebar with options for GMs to pick from would be a nice addition.

Just my two bits.

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Add a traditional ghostly effect: that they are tied to the place of their death for some reason, or perhaps must fulfill some undone task before they can depart from the area?

That could be another option.

Could be tied to the Emissary adventure that Dregoth will lift whatever supernatural force binds the dead to the Basin in exchange for their allegiance.

We came up with a list of (what we think are) logical reasons that would keep the undead in the Deadlands.

For instance, the obsidian was already described as infused with negative energy and the Deadlands are filled with (no longer quite) mindless skeletons and zombies, so we suggested that ones of the reasons the lords of the Deadlands haven’t left with their armies is that the skeletons and zombies become mindless again and harder to control when off the obsidian…

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Good reasoning, but wouldn’t that limit their usefulness to Dregoth? That is unless thats part of the Dread Lord’s inevitable double cross, usurping control of the now mindless undead.

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It might, but the Deadlands are largely unknown, so he wouldn’t know that going into negotiations. And the Dead Lord his Emissary contacts plans to double-cross him as well, so…

Anything past that becomes an adventure problem/hook, really. Maybe the Dead Lords and big D can craft big, cinematic, mobile negative energy items to maintain the troop’s marginal intellects off the obsidian. Or it’s all turn out to be just a big mess.

The list is stuff we came up with that wasn’t all mutually exclusive reasons, but we were careful to let them be possibly true, not definitely true. There’s a LOT of writing history in Secret’s 25+ yrs of existence, and while we polished it up, we didn’t want to rule out other ideas that DMs might have.


Check the last chapter.

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Oooh maybe they can carry a piece of the obsidian, or use it in their weapons. Proximity might be enough to not become mindless.

(Shrug) Yeah, maybe - give it a read, see what occurs to you. :smiley:

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Got it and read it.

I like most of the reasoning other than the Dead Lords not knowing what would happen if they left the Dead Lands. I’d imagine they would have tested those waters with lesser minions over the centuries. The risk is worth the reward of gaining new corpses and other magical or psionic resources.

Other than that, I agree with the other conditions. :+1:

You’re right that risk on its own wouldn’t be enough, but they have noticed a weakening/dumbing down of undead that leave, which has made them quite cautious about their efforts to reach out to the other lands.

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Keep in mind the Deadlands are basically just the Ulyan basin and there’s only a few ways up those cliffs, so routes north east and south are pretty sparse, and there’s pretty much nothing to the west, so opportunities to test “off the obsidian” theories aren’t super common.