Archive for May, 2011

Poor Brendan’s Almanac [DragonQuest Supplement]

May 20, 2011

Since it has come up in discussion again recently, on the DQ-rules Yahoo group, it finally occurred to me that I ought to post a copy of Poor Brendan’s Almanac to make it more widely available. Although I don’t think it’s going to be lost from the Yahoo group, maybe it will be useful to have a copy available that wasn’t locked up in a members-only group.

Poor Brendan’s Almanac is a supplement for DragonQuest that I authored and edited a number of years ago. If you aren’t a DQ player, it’s probably worthless to you. [It’s a 1.86 Mb PDF]

However, if you are a DQ player, and you haven’t seen it yet, I invite you to take a look. It adds some new weapons and some extra combat rules, some additional magic rules and two new Colleges of magic (College of Witchcraft and College of Time Magics), rules for minor skills, as well as three new Skills (Diplomat, Herbalist, and Hunter) and a number of other rules to add detail to your campaign. Comments about Poor Brendan’s Almanac are welcome, either here or at the DQ-rules group.

More Microscope

May 7, 2011

Haven’t played it, but I did take the step of buying the game, so I’ll do something Microscope-y at some point (I hope. Despite all my best intentions, I’ve never been able to do anything with The Riddle of Steel, so maybe nothing will happen with this, either.)

A number of the reviews have talked about the world-building aspects of Microscope. Reviewers who generally like this kind of thing seem to like Microscope. (Some new reviews and discussion are at Story Games.

I had a conversation with Thor about the idea of incorporating some kind of mapping in with the history. The short of it: he talked me out of it (and for some good reasons). Much of it comes down to managing the technical problem of keeping maps.

We’ve used historical volumes as references for games before, and we’re well familiar with the kind of book that has 20 different maps of the same area showing the ebb and flow of borders or migrations or the like over time.

But since the game can move back and forth in time, if it is late in the game when it is suddenly now established that there is a range of Mountains out in the Western Plains, then there’s a problem. Now you have to add a feature to all the maps, since those are going to be timeless. But what about a pass through those mountains that was discovered only many years after the mountains were first discovered? What about a railroad that was now cut through? And when you get to the case of a small trading post that was set up a few miles away from an outpost fort that later came to be an important regional center before the wells dried up and it faded back to being little more than a ghost town, then you have your work cut out for you. It’s not impossible, but it’s awkward and unappealing.