CSotA: New rules set…

Much like Scott at Huge Ruined Pile I may be moving away from S&W to Lamentations of the Flame Princess Weird Fantasy Roleplaying Game as my default system.

Why? Two main reasons:

1. His system for thieves is the perfect solution to the “what, fighters can’t search?” question. I might modify it a bit but in general it’s the thing.

2. Only fighters get better at fighting. This is so simple and so obvious that it takes a genius (and Raggi is clearly a mad genius…we really need to buy him a castle).

Or I might just port them over to S&W.

Either way I’ve been loving the boxed set. Expect some more commentary (I’m too lazy to do a real review) soon.

A Far Warning

One product of using The Devil’s Day as the key point in the past of my setting is it assumes the truth of real world Christianity and then, depending on your POV either turns revelation (upper and lowercase ‘r’) on its head or supposes it to be much more complicated than any school of Christian thought I’m familiar with understands. I’ll admit I intentionally changed from the initial direction (and even name) for The Hierarchy because I was troubled by the theological implications for myself (as in, my soul) of the direction it was going (hewing very close to the close of the novel).

I’m pointing this out as my artistic inspiration feature is going in some new directions. One, it’s going beyond visual art into a more general set of inspirations. More to the point, starting today it’s going to take as its inspiration a key idea of Western Christian thought (I’m not sure of its status in the east) and art drawing on it. It is mentioned (in reverse) in the novel and I think it is a huge source of inspiration for what dungeons in the World After/City States of the Apocalypse are like. I also think it might provide imagery for the more unnatural areas of the world.

So, I guess this is my version of the “adult content” warning. I take my faith fairly seriously (one does not move from a major branch of Christianity to another on a whim) and understand why this might not be appropriate fodder for a game. I believe I walk inside the line, but I understand you might believe otherwise.

Random Campaign Idea: Marvel Star Wars

Sure, Star Wars campaigns have been common since 1977, with many a version of Traveller twisted to fit the first episode of Lucas’s space epic (or vice versa). Since the late 80s with the first (of 2-4 depending on how you count them) official Star Wars game, a ton of novels, the prequels, and expanded universe (which the original WEG version helped create) it’s hard to not see Star Wars as a fully developed setting with fairly known eras, places, and plots.

But as Space:1970 recently reminded me there is a cannon that you can build on that is mostly superseded. Marvel had a long running Star Wars comic. While the original Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back were both in the mainline of the series The Return of the Jedi was not, being relegated to its own miniseries. I’m not sure why, but given the dates I suspect it was simply a product of the comics industry at the time. Dark Horse has republished all these issues. That said, Wookiepedia reports the comics are marginal at best in terms of continuity. To me that spells opportunity.

So, the second Star Wars idea to make it to PtG,PtB (the first was my take on an old RPG.net thread) is to use this simpler Star Wars. Much like a Brian Daley oriented corporate sector game this would be more a classic space opera game set against the back drop of the first two movies (you know, the good ones). The cannon would be Star Wars, The Empire Strikes back, their novelizations, and the Marvel comic up to issue 80. For a system I’d hunt down the old WEG Star Wars (any edition) and the free version of D6 Space.

While not a campaign for the hard core Star Wars fan for a GM looking for an easily explained universe for space opera in either the heroic or scoundrel mode this is a fine background. Plus, the research: reading some cool if obscure comics and watching the best two Star Wars movies, would be great fun.

Monday Pointers: August 16, 2010, the back from vacation edition

D4:Artifact, My Artifact
Jeff takes a new look at magic items in D&D by getting rid of all the charts in the DMG except the artifact table. Coming out about the same time I got my copy of LotFP Weird Fantasy Roleplaying I think this is one of those ideas where the OSR can be the road not taken. A campaign without any generic magic items, but specifically placed weapons with background, strange powers, and consequences is an idea worth exploring.

D6:Trolls on the Odyssey: A Podcast
Listen to the gamemaster and player of a very interesting one person campaign in the old school style. I’m generally not a podcast person, but I enjoyed this. While I realize GenCon spawned it and is the primary subject (or at least frame) I’m hoping this will become an irregular occurance.

D8:New Cover Art
The Metal Earth has new cover art. The most important part of that is it means The Metal Earth is back from summer hiatus.

D10:The Pyrologist Transcribed
A “lost” OD&D subclass of the MU, the Pyrologist appeared in a fanzine edited by Len Lakofka in the 1970s and was written by Gary himself. Now it has been transcribed for the web.

Monday Pointers: August 2, 2010 Edition

D4:The price of being popular
Great thoughts from The Sorcerer’s Skull about the affect comics being mainstreamed again has had on comics.

D6:All you need is a couple of XP and a lucky die
This is a very interesting idea from Lord Kilgore: roll to advance. It takes an idea that gained traction in the mid to late 80s: that just being in a session should be worth a fixed amount of XP (although the first time I saw it was in SPI’s Dragonquest when it raised more than a few reviewers’ eyebrows). Lord Kilgore combines that with a die roll (if you’re not rolling for it it can’t be old school 🙂 ) to make advancement semi-random while lowering book-keeping.

D8:Sometimes food poisoning just makes you sick
ChicagoWiz takes on one of my least favorite parts of D&D, especially older version: save or die poisons. Take special note of his cool ideas both in the post and comments.