Posts Tagged ‘fantasy’

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.

Modeling a scene

March 12, 2017

CataX-8

Here’s an image for the next adventure project I’m working on.  It’s a quick and rough model in SketchUp of the space where the adventure starts; this is a view looking into the chapel yard from just outside the wall.

 

The Adventurers’ Guild

January 4, 2017

One of the features that was introduced in DragonQuest is the Adventurers’ Guild, which is a relatively high-powered and complex organization. An entire section (rule 79) is entirely devoted to the Adventurers’ Guild, and lays out things that the Guild can do. But almost none of it is a clear benefit to the ordinary adventurer. The characters in my original campaign were never AG members because the players looked at it and came to the conclusion that there was very little benefit received for the 5% of their earnings that the Guild would charge.

There is certainly precedent for the Adventurers’ Guild in history. The Hanseatic League (which arose in the 1400s) was an exploratory and trade organization with outposts throughout the Baltic region, the northern coast of Europe. The Medici Bank (and other banks of the period) were complex business entities with networks and business interests across much of Europe. Guild structures were also well in place among different groups of artisans and craftsmen during the Renaissance period.

This is an old, draft outline that seeks to expand on the general idea and explain some of the benefits of Guild membership. The fee was reduced to 1%, although a real completist might want to run through the expenses and see at what point the Guild is turning a profit. That might also help in determining how prevalent Adventurers’ Guild halls are and how strong their reach is. The following are the draft of services available to adventurers who were in good standing with the Adventurers Guild, in addition to those other benefits outlined in Rule 79:

  • Membership fee is 1% of all earnings and failure to pay results in blackballing.
  • Guaranteed arbitration and enforcement free to members.
  • Guild contracts free to members.
  • Guild lodging available to members at reduced rates:
    • MODERATE:
      • Guildmember 5 sp — 35 sp/week
      • Nonmember 11 sp — 65 sp/week
    • COMFORTABLE:
      • Guildmember 7 sp — 45 sp/week
      • Nonmember 15 sp — 85 sp/week
  • Guild sponsored feasts after successful (profitable) parties return.
  • Guild members are given priority access when hiring is done either by Guild- or non-members.
  • Special Guild vintage wines and ales served and sold to members only.
  • Access to Guild facilities (meeting rooms, halls, etc.) for members only.
  • Guild retained healers (where employed) give priority to Guildmembers (after life-and-death cases {a healer’s first oath is to alleviate human suffering, not to the Guild}).
  • The Guild network provides quick access to most any service, especially to services difficult to reach otherwise (mages, scholars, etc.)
  • Guild mail service (Guildhall to Guildhall) free to Guild members.
  • Drafts for money allowed to members (Guild checking).
  • Two weeks rations supplied to each Guildmember adventurer under Guild contract at the beginning of an adventure.
  • Hiring hall in the entranceway of virtually all Guildhalls.