When a new TTRPG setting comes along from an outstanding creative team, I get excited. When a new Actual Play is announced with an entertaining cast packed with talent, I get excited. So when Into the Mother Lands was announced, featuring a stellar team of Black and PoC creators in every facet of production, creation, and performance, it’s safe to say I haven’t looked forward to any event or game like this.
Into the Mother Lands is set on the planet of Musalia 1,500 years after the Emperor Musa discovered the world on a strange detour to the Americas. Characters may be descendants of the Emperor himself, come from one of the myriad cultures that occupied Musalia before the Emperor’s arrival, or belong to a new culture derived from the blending of human and alien technologies. Whatever their origins, characters will navigate a strange world of action, adventure, and intrigue.
The setting is designed around the Cortex Prime roleplaying system, created by Cam Banks, lead designer for Marvel Heroic Roleplaying and founder of Fandom Tabletop. Cortex Prime builds out of the Margaret Weis Productions Cortex and Cortex Plus systems, most familiar to players of previously licensed RPG properties such as the Leverage and Serenity roleplaying games.
If you love TTRPGs, all of that would be exciting enough. But what has me truly looking forward to Into the Mother Lands are the creative teams behind the multifaceted project. Heading up everything is Creative Director Tanya DePass, founder and director of non-for-profit organization I Need Diverse Games, founding cast member of the excellent Dungeons & Dragons actual play series Rivals of Waterdeep, and co-developer of the Fifth Season RPG – based on NK Jemisen’s Hugo award winning trilogy, Broken Earth. B. Dave Walters, co-creator of the comic series Dungeons & Dragons: A Darkened Wish for IDW and Wizards of the Coast, as well as an alumnus of many actual play shows, is the Lead Developer behind Into the Mother Lands.
They head up impressive teams of creatives. The Development Team is comprised of LaTia Jacquise (Rivals of Waterdeep, Community Manager for D&D Adventurer’s League), Gabe Hicks (Founder of Mythic Grove, Developer on Hidden Treasures), Jasmine Bhullar (Twitch Partner, expert Game Master and alumnus of Relics and Rarities), and Sharang Biswas (Co-Editor Honey & Hot Wax, Creator of Feast).
And finally, Into the Mother Lands will be brought to life through an actual play featuring Game Master Eugenio Vargas (DM Guild author, podcaster), Krystina Arielle (PAX Ambassador, Cast Member Pirates of Leviathan), DeejayKnight (Twitch Partner, Extra Life Ambassador), Michael Sinclair II (Fae Forge Academy, Looking for More), and full circle back to Tanya DePass.
To borrow a sports phrase, the bench on this project has depth and breadth. Any project would be blessed to have one or two of these folx. This much skill and talent attached to Into the Mother Lands bodes well, and is bound to deliver something stellar over the twelve episode season.
And dare I say, the first season of many. A project of this scope, with this much creativity and talent embedded in it, top to bottom Black and PoC creatives, and with the sponsorship and support of Twitch; this is what we need to see now. I not only hope for the success of Into the Mother Lands, I hope this project inspires other creators, especially other marginalized creators, to work and build their passion projects.
The three hour episodes of Into the Mother Lands are set to air on the Cypher of Tyr Twitch channel every Sunday at 4pm (PST) premiering October 4th. You’ll want to catch these episodes live without a doubt, but I suspect the VOD will also be available if you can’t shake your Sundays free. A release date for the roleplaying game is yet to be confirmed, but I will update this post when a date becomes available.
And join us on Friday for a brief interview with Creative Director Tanya DePass and Developer Gabe Hicks. They were kind enough to answer some questions about Into the Mother Lands for me, and I enjoyed the chance to talk with them. See you then!