Archive for the ‘Dark Days’ Category

Dark Days on the Silk Road

March 26, 2020

The title seems way too apropos at the moment, but maybe that will be okay.  It is meant to suggest a setting in the kind of nebulous fantasy world of 60s and 70s stories, where the roots of the setting were much more often non-European, often a kind of spare, desolate setting, studded with rich, dense cities.  More a chain of caravan stops than the hamlets and towns between the larger cities.

When I mentioned it in the Next Projects 2019 post, I presented the concept as: “…a fantasy game aimed at a more Fafhrd/Grey Mouser kind of feel.  A recent post from Beloch Shrike aka Link Skywalker at Papers & Pencils titled “Magic Words Suck. Here’s Magic in the Moment.” seems like a good starting point for one branch of the magic system with the right kind of literary feel that this game calls for.” The other key element Thor was starting with was a completely classless system.  Everyone was a little bit of a generalist;  every bravo could also manage to pick a simple lock or cast a couple rudimentary spells if they were going to survive for any length of time.

Thor has been posting some thoughts about this over on his Facebook group (“Thor Talks About Games” – it’s a private group, but if you tell him you found it from here, I’m sure he’ll add you in).  I’m only quoting his posts here, to build the archive for it here; the whole commentary and discussion remains over there.

First post “So I’m working on a game that has an xD6 resolution system. It is an OSR adjacent fantasy game. Everything in the game works off of that except combat damage. Currently I am using polyhedrals for various weapon damage rolls.

“I don’t imagine that it will be difficult for people who find this game to come up with a set, but it seems dumb to need them for only one aspect of the game. Is that wrong? Is there some cool way of rolling D6 to come up with wider varieties of outcomes?”

 

Second post “So Dark Days, the game I was talking about this morning is a classless game where every character is a Fighter/Wizard/Thief. There are no Stats beyond assigning 1, 2, and 3 to Wizard, Thief, and Fighter in whatever order make sense to you for the character.

“The look and feel of the game is inspired by Fafhard and Grey Mouser sort of stories (there is no appendix N yet). All characters can do anything but at varying levels. the resolution is to roll a number of dice equal to your WT or F against a difficulty.

“If you are using your fighter (I need a name for the stat) you have the Ability to add more dice at a cost to your stamina. If you are using your wizard number you can roll over a number of turns to gather the manna to perform great feats. And if you are using your Thief thing you can retcon the story to make up for things that stand in your way.

“Hit points are divided up into Fatigue, Standard damage, and Critical damage. filling up the boxes for each type of damage cost you but get you a bonus to keep you moving toward success. This is why I want different weapons to make this fairly lite system a little fiddley.”

Some other things have prodded me into starting to think about this for the last couple months.  The big Kickstarter Zine Quest seemed like it might be a place to try it out, but there was a lot of other traffic, and we’re small-time.

But, with some time to work on this, I think we’re going to start to iterate it here, and try to get a rough draft that people can mess with.  Lots of people have time for games, so perhaps we can get some playtesting during these Dark Days.