Fearsome Wilderness: The Roleplaying Game

Marooned on an overgrown planet choked with forest and wildlife, you’re forced to hack out your existence by the sharpness of your axe. No people live here, no civilization. Only you, woodland animals, and other things lurking just outside the edges of your perception. Creatures of legend and folklore, their shapes dart between the darkened trees. You can’t help but tremble as their unwholesome howls fill the night.

Fearsome Wilderness: The Roleplaying Game is launching on Kickstarter October 20th, 2022!

Click here to visit our Kickstarter project page

In October of 2020, Fearsome Wilderness: the board game and miniatures collection launched on Kickstarter and during the campaign we announced that, as a future project, we would be creating a roleplaying game set in the same world. Since then we’ve been hard at work delivering on that promise.

The upcoming RPG is based in the same world and has similar themes. There are still fearsome critters lurking in the night, the characters struggle with nightmares, and wilderness survival is at the forefront, but unlike the board game, the RPG allows you to create original characters with greater depth.

Your characters begin the game as prisoners aboard a transport spaceship who have recently awoken from long-term hibernation. In the prologue scenario, the prison transport ship crashes on a densely wooded planet inhabited by unnatural fearsome critters of American lumberjack folklore. The horror is compounded by the fact that waking up from such an extended period of hibernation can do strange things to the mind.

The creatures in this game are inspired from these public domain works:

  • Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods, with a Few Desert and Mountain Beasts – 1910 Written by William T. Cox
  • Fearsome Critters, Written by Henry H.Tryon – 1939
  • Yarns of the Big Woods, Written and Illustrated by Art Childs – 1922


The game uses the beloved Year Zero Engine which means the game is story driven, player-centric, and easy to learn. If you’ve ever played Mutant Year Zero, Forbidden Lands, Coriolis, Tales from the Loop, Things from the Flood, Alien the RPG, or Vaesen, we hope you’ll feel right at home.

The night is at its darkest, and you can hear every leaf that crunches under your hastily mended boots.

Even after adjusting to the darkness, your eyes struggle to make out shapes in the forest. The woods go silent for a moment as the wind stops and you stand perfectly still to listen. 

Impossible creatures of the night are watching. You feel a hot breath on your neck and then fur brushing across your back. Hesitation sets in as it starts to rain…

Welcome to Fearsome Wilderness 

It’s funny how quickly life can change.

Take what just happened to you. You were peacefully hibernating in suspended animation, your prison sentence on pause, while civilization figured out what to do with you in its increasingly overpopulated communities. 

Your hopes of one day waking up in utopia were dashed as you found yourself groggy and aboard a dingy prison transport ship, handcuffed, bound for a penal colony planet called Xanathia. 

There were no miraculous technological advancements solving the woes of overpopulation. No newfound resources or means of sustaining humanity’s addiction to consumption. And there were certainly no amnesty agreements made for lowlife prisoners like yourself. Before entering hibernation, you’d felt a keen despair and sense of loss. You doubted you’d ever walk free again. It seemed that may have been true.

Then just as suddenly, the spaceship starts to plummet. Sirens and alarms blare and red lights flash all around the interior as guards race through the aisles shouting. The descent grows more rapid–screams fill the air as your spaceship plummets towards the ground. Out the window, a tranquil wilderness seems to welcome you with an ever so subtle smirk.

One Book with over 250 pages

Choose your archetype, decide why you were imprisoned, pick a dark secret, settle on a name and begin your adventure. You begin with no gear. You are stranded in the wilderness and night approaches.

Fearsome Wilderness: The Roleplaying Game is launching on Kickstarter October 20th, 2022!

Click here to visit our Kickstarter project page


Survive the Crash

Explore the Wilderness

Find a way to work together…

And live to see another day

Written by Matt Cross and Ian Baaske
Design and Layout by Matt Cross
Art by Willis Harrower, Bud Wheeler, Johan Aberg,
Juan Francisco Fonseca Hernández, and Tony Midi

Get the Free Trial Version now on DriveThruRPG

We’ve created a trial version of the game so you can test it out. The trial version includes 6 pre-made player characters as well as most of the rules for playing the game.

Solo Rules Coming Soon!

We are proud to announce that Peter Rudin-Burgess of Parts Per Million will be creating solo rules that will allow this game to be played in a solo mode.  This will be sold separately from Parts Per Million after the Kickstarter launch has concluded. Peter has created over sixty solo rules supplements for some of the biggest games in the hobby, including many games using the Year Zero Engine, and we are grateful to he is working on a Fearsome Wilderness compatible solo mode. Please note, solo rules are not part of the Kickstarter and will be sold separately.

The Basic Tenets of Fearsome Wilderness

1. You are a convicted criminal who’s awoken from extended hibernation to be transported to a new prison facility. Hibernation has done strange things to your mind and you often find it difficult to discern what is real.

2. You’ve crashed on an unknown planet and your spaceship is destroyed. Escape is impossible. No one is coming to rescue you. The Fearsome Wilderness is your new prison.

3. The planet is covered in forest and survival will be difficult. You will need to make tools and live off the land by foraging, hunting, fishing, trapping.

4. Strange mythical cryptids called fearsome critters lurk in the shadows. The planet itself feels unwelcoming. Even the tree and plant life seem hostile.

5. Your shelter is crucial and will need to be upgraded. Whether you plan to live in the crash wreckage, find a cave, build a log cabin, or an epic treehouse, you need a secure home base.

6. The wilderness induces nightmares. Every night, there is a chance you will experience terrible dreams of hideous creatures and unhappy endings. The game plays in both worlds of sleeping and wakefulness. The lines between the two often blur.

7. Life is brutal in Fearsome Wilderness. Resources are constrained and the elements are harsh. Your character can starve, dehydrate, suffer grievous wounds and even die. Be warned.

8. Relationships, humor, and horror are more important than plot. Players will develop close relationships with each other but they will not always be friendly. Like a movie or tv series, some characters may start out hating each other but may reluctantly grow to be friends over time.

Fearsome Wilderness: The Roleplaying Game Includes:

  • A player-centric, story driven experience
  • Easy rules based off the Year Zero Engine
  • 16 different Character Archetypes to choose from
  • A world map to explore with hexagons designating Sectors in the wilderness
  • A prologue scenario which introduces players to the characters and setting
  • 12 location scenarios that include story elements, mysteries to investigate, NPCs to interact with, maps to explore, as well as a countdown of events and hooks to lead the characters on their adventure
  • One major plot twist which leads the characters to a climatic 2-part ending scenario
  • 25 fearsome critters that players may encounter in the wilderness each with their own unique stats, descriptions, weaknesses, and attack styles
  • 36 interaction nightmares for players to experience while unconscious, along with unique rules associated with the characters’ Nightmare Levels and instructions to create your own nightmare encounters
  • Over 50 potential projects to upgrade your shelter
  • Quick reference charts and general information about wildlife, animal threats, hunting, fishing, foraging, trapping, filtering water, starting a fire, and many more details to inspire your wilderness survival roleplaying
  • An easy guide to randomly generate wilderness Sectors offering limitless possibilities


Optional Dice Add-On

Get the Free Trial Version now on DriveThruRPG

We’ve created a trial version of the game so you can test it out. The trial version includes 6 pre-made player characters as well as most of the rules for playing the game.

Download the Character Sheet and Player Handouts

Fearsome Wilderness The RPG – Character Sheet

Fearsome Wilderness The RPG – Player Handout

Quickly jump into the action with our automatic randomizers.

Random Sector Generator, Random Fearsome Critter Selector, and Random Lost Cargo Finder.

Scribble notes about your adventures in the Wilderness Journal.

Fearsome Wilderness The RPG – Wilderness Journal

Use our custom cryptid template to add your own creatures to the game.

Fearsome Wilderness The RPG – Custom Cryptid Template

Create your own compatible content.

Fearsome Wilderness: The Roleplaying Game Third Party License

Third party publishers are allowed to associate their unofficial products with Fearsome Wilderness: The Roleplaying Game but not to reproduce the art and content included in the book. We recommend you use the Fearsome Wilderness Compatible logo and you are not permitted to give the impression that your work is an official Fearsome Wilderness product or that we endorse or sponsor the product without permission. We take no responsibility for any legal claims against your product. The following text must be included in your product “[Product name] is an independent production by [Author] and is not affiliated with Fearsome Wilderness. It is published under the Fearsome Wilderness Third Party License


Get the Free Trial Version now on DriveThruRPG

Coming Soon.

Fearsome Wilderness: The Roleplaying Game is launching on Kickstarter October 20th, 2022!

Click here to visit our Kickstarter project page