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Custom setting - the frozen colony

Frostpunk is a town management set in a frozen world. The town is built around a furnace and you have to carefully manage the heat distribution in order to survive. I haven't played it, but the promotional material gave me a "Blades in the dark" vibe. I like BitD but it is a bit too gonzo for me. I wanted to design a fairly grounded setting based on Frostpunk. Ghost may exist but are not a constant threat for everybody.


The Australian colonization seems like a good source for inspiration. It is far from civilization. There are some institutions there, but the population is mostly outcast and the distance are so vast that the law is probably not enforced that much where you live. Deadly beasts in all size are lurking around. Some ancient tribes are already living there and are quite unhappy to watch their sacred lands being exploited for resources.

Combining the two seems interesting so here is my shot. I imagine something like the 15th century. In some part of the world, a bunch of kingdoms are waging a low intensity war. Some crazy adventurers have succeeded in gathering enough funds to mount expeditions around the world. They have promised new lands full of riches and some have been discovered. Silberland is one of them. Although its conditions are hostile, it contains a few key resources that makes it important for the kingdom of Rowia.

Players are outcast that had to choose between the death sentence and forced exile. They can pay their debt to society if they can gather 10 000 Gp. They each have a failed (A few things have been borrowed from Electric Bastionland here).

I think of the kingdoms as an alternate medieval europe. I don't want to expand the "old world" here. If players succeeded in coming back home, this is the end of their campaign.

Those resources could be:

  • rare earth metals that enable better alloys
  • chemicals used in firearms that are more stable or more powerful
  • animals / plants which can be used to produce powerful medicines
  • a lot of people are interested in studying the aboriginal tribes. Most are interest in their magic rituals.
  • very rich jewel seam

The kingdom has created a commercial organization which goal to make sure that anything of value found by anyone is collected and securely sent home :

  • explorers are followed closely. If they find something, they are coerced into selling their information for almost nothing to the company.
  • if you are on the market, be prepared to explain when your wares are coming from.
  • the local economy is tightly controlled thanks to a custom currency and a monopoly on imported goods (see below)

A local currency called silbercoin has been created. Most regular jobs are paid with it. Most official shops only accept it. Prices are artificially balanced to maintain regular folks in poverty. It is impossible to get out of this place honestly. Useful things will be only found on the black market. People will laugh at you (in the best case) if you try to pay them with silbercoins. (this part is inspired by the East India Company)

Given the harsh conditions a lot of products have to be imported (food, fabric, etc). Anything produced locally is either a valuable that should be sent home or a threat to the company.

Iberium is the main port of Silberland. It is the biggest concentration of "civilization" of the continent even though it doesn't say much. The law an order is maintained but the city has also many gangs and black markets. The coast is hard to navigate. Iberium's bay was built at the cost of many lives and is the only place were boats can berth safely.

Some villages are scattered around the land. They are more camps used by miners or other extraction activities.


Players may have multiple goal. They may want to go back home and thus are willing to earn money. They may want to start a new life in Silberland and find their place in this harsh society.

Here are some things they can make it:

  • rumors abound about a forgotten temple. Depending on the supposed location some financing might be required to mount a proper expedition. Pre made dungeon modules may be reskinned and used like this.

  • Some foreign camp has stopped giving news. They have missed on their delivery & resupply for the second week in a row. The company sends the players to investigate.