From Podcast to RPG: Ellinor’s Journey with The Lost Mountain Saga
Welcome to another exciting interview, this time into the world of myths, legends, and the haunting beauty of 19th-century Sweden with Ellinor, the creative mind behind The Lost Mountain Saga. A tale birthed from pandemic restlessness and sparked by Free League’s Vaesen, this expansion delves into the lesser-known but no less enchanting facets of Sweden’s rich history. From challenges in adapting a podcast into a gripping narrative to the role of acting in game creation, Ellinor discusses what it takes to craft a spellbinding expansion. Buckle up and this is going to be a ride filled with Nordic folklore, chilling atmospheres, and more!
GeekPost: How did the idea for The Lost Mountain Saga come about?
Ellinor: It was during the pandemic. I needed a creative outlet. I had, like so many working actors and creators, lost most of my jobs and found myself desperate to do SOMETHING with my time. That is when I discovered Free League’s Kickstarter for Vaesen, set in my hometown Uppsala during the 19th Century and it felt like a sign.
I started brainstorming ideas. A lot of them came from old scripts I had written before. I actually wrote the ending before anything else, and so it was fun to sort of reverse engineer the entire story in order to get to that point.
GeekPost: What made you choose 19th-century Sweden as the setting? How does the expansion fit into the larger Vaesen universe?
Ellinor: The Vaesen universe is set in 19th century Sweden, so they did that for me ha-ha!
GeekPost: The town of Falun sounds haunting. What kind of atmosphere are you aiming to create there?
Ellinor: Falun is actually lovely and part of a county in Sweden that’s very traditionally Swedish, and I wanted the adventurers to experience that early in the book. The rest of the book takes place in Uppsala and further north. I wanted to bring in as much “typical Swedish stuff” as possible without it feeling like a tourist pamphlet… thus all the horrible things.
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GeekPost: Are there any ancient myths, Nordic folklore, or historical events or figures you couldn’t help but incorporate into this expansion that you would like to tell us about?
Ellinor: A lot of stories about Sweden and Scandinavia that gets published internationally usually focuses on Vikings and that age, so it was great to tell stories about “the rest” of Sweden’s great history (albeit heavily exaggerated and adapted for the COOL factor, I want to make it clear that Lost Mountain is not a historical document). But I couldn’t resist throwing in some Vikings in it because it’s such a fascinating part of our culture…
GeekPost: Will players need to have experience with the base Vaesen game to play the expansion?
Ellinor: Not necessarily experience, but they do need to have the core rule book to make sense of the expansion.
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GeekPost: What challenges did you face when you adapted your original podcast into this expansion?
Ellinor: It was A LOT harder than I thought. During the podcast I could just say “That’s a secret…” and not explain certain things but this campaign is written so OTHERS can run it, which meant that everything had to make sense and be explained. I had the skeleton already but there were a lot of details that needed to be added, but I had a lot of help from Tomas and the team at Free League.
GeekPost: How did your background in acting and podcasting help in writing The Lost Mountain Saga?
Ellinor: I’m probably gonna sound arrogant but as an actor I like to think I have a pretty good understanding of the human experience. I think that helped when creating NPCs or story hooks. I wrote based on what I would think would be fun to play if I were a player.
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GeekPost: What do you hope players will take away from The Lost Mountain Saga?
Ellinor: I just want people to have a good time!
GeekPost: Do you consider yourself a geek? What does that mean to you?
Ellinor: Good question, I could probably get a bit rambly on this one but… I actually do not consider myself a geek anymore. I used to but then I met real geeks, haha! So, I’m basically gatekeeping myself from that word. Geek and Nerd to me means you have like… an almost obsessive amount of knowledge on one or a few subjects. I’m more geek adjacent. I don’t have the patience to “geek out” on one topic. But I do enjoy a lot of things in that realm!
GeekPost: Do you believe in the supernatural or folklore yourself?
Ellinor: Not at all! I don’t believe in anything, basically dead inside, and I’m quite cynical when it comes to religions, the supernatural or other “unexplained things”. But it’s fun to imagine cool stuff surrounding us!
A big thank you to Ellinor for sharing her world with us. It is clear that The Lost Mountain Saga is more than just another expansion; it’s a passion project that aims to immerse players in the mystical allure of 19th-century Sweden. This has been a fascinating look into what goes into making an experience that transcends the rule book. Whether or not you’re a believer in the supernatural, one thing is for sure: this expansion promises to take players on a journey through lore and legend that they won’t soon forget.
We are excited to dive into this book here at the Geek Post. If you want to learn more about Vaesen or this wonderful expansion check out Free League Publishing. Let us know what you think about this by scrolling down and leaving a comment!