Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sales and the life of the business, and the hobby

I guess everyone have heard the news by now, how Pathfinder and D&D are tied when it comes to sales figures. Probably you have also heard how Gareth-Michael Skarka posted his view of things and how people reacted to that. There's only have one thing about this which makes me curious.

It's no news that online gaming is where people are gathering these days. What makes me curious is why people play those games instead of traditional RPGs?

For those who have never played a traditional RPG the question is easy. They don't know that traditional gaming exists, or have preconceived notions about what that entails. If those people would have become our kind of gamers had the online games not existed, then we are obviously observing our hobby fading away. There are those who have ideas how to handle that, like Skarka.

Then there are those who once were active table top roleplayers, who now exclusively play online games. I have personally met gamers who these days not play good old RPGs, but only WoW. Why?

If you have been playing rpgs and enjoyed it, why would you stop? Well, I can imagine that for some it can be hard to keep a regular group with married life, kids, full time work and all that jazz. I've seen it happen to myself. But, what then makes you come back to gaming in the form of WoW, and not traditional gaming? Fading away I can see, but phasing over to WoW?

Is it harder to find a group again? It can't be because it's cheaper. It isn't. Also, one of the good things about roleplaying is you get to hang out with your friends and goof off. Is it so that it's easier to sit down by that ever present computer? You sit by that screen all day, so it's easy to go through the motions again, this time to play the game?

Frankly, I can't see how we could ever snare those people back to the hobby. I just can't see how anyone could choose one over they other. To me they seem too different. I once tried to sway some old friends back into the fold. The lack of enthusiasm was total. What made these people shift from our kind of games to the online kind? Frankly, I just can't understand it.

Oh, and I do think Skarka is onto something. This hobby sure isn't in a healthy state.Talking about that is a much bigger subject, and I'm not sure I have anything more to say than that you should all try to recruit a gamer, and remember to teach your kids.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Watch out for James Shipman - again

I found this link today about what that bastard are up to. Beware, and spread the word.

Randomness and fun - old/new school

I just revisited some old bookmarks and found two interesting ones I wanted to share.

Compare Zachary Houghton and Vincent Baker.



Zach very aptly put the focus on what is fun. Memorable gaming is fun because of the wonder of the unexpected.

Compare that to this.

Vincent very aptly shows us how aligning player expectations using the game system to share the benefits of the effects on the characters from some action.

In one case you accept before the fact that the random effect will be endured, because it is the shared benefit will be a cool story. You have the expectations aligned beforehand

In the other case you do that which will be a cool story, because the game system helps you to align player expectations, in play.

Look at the end result. You have a cool story where some suffer and some gain, and you have agreed that this is cool, and there are ways to broker the pain.

I like how this converge.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dragons at Dawn - some impressions

I just recently ordered the biggest pile of games from Lulu yet. This time it was no less than three issues of the excellent periodical Fight On! magazine, and some other goodness. One of these other books was Dragons at Dawn.

For those of you who have missed it, this is an attempt to collate all the bits of information on how the earliest rpg sessions worked. Due to some luck with the find of an actual manuscript, postings on the web and information from the players of the first campaign, this is as close as we will get to the rules used by Dave Arneson when starting Blackmoor. This is as old school as it gets, the very roots of our hobby.

The executive summary is simple. Get this if you are interested in the history of the hobby! Also, get it if you play D&D and are interested in rules tweaking and design.

Many small details in these rules makes me ponder their implications, and many times I am amazed by how some ways of handle things reminds me of other games which have no relation to the players or designer of these rules.

I really wish that someone could make the book First Fantasy Campaign, published by Judges Guild, available legally in pdf format. I have had the opportunity to browse that august volume, but now it would be fun to see how Dragons at Dawn author D.H. Boggs interpretation compare to how things are represented there. Naturally there are lot of gaps in these rules. We have documentation of rules for subduing dragons, but it makes you wonder if those rules just happens to have survived, or if that was a common occurrence.

Within the near future I will probably post a short series of posts about Dragons at Dawn, and specific reactions to some parts of the rules.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tactical moves in combat - positiong redux

I have gotten some feedback on my last post on positioning. Apparently I wasn't all that clear, so let me try again.

One of the important things about positioning is your relation to your enemy. Do you control the area? Are you able to keep the enemy at bay? To what extent do that relation shape what actions you take? The ideal is, of course, to limit the actions of the opponent.

Considering that relation, we keep tabs on whom are engaged in melee with whom. If you are engaged, your options are limited to fighting that enemy. The same is true for your enemy.

The only things you need to keep track of is whom is engaged to whom.

If you don't want to be engaged, or you want to limit someones options by engaging him (for example hinder somebody from attacking the magic user as she is preparing her spell) you'll roll dice.

Now you just roll initiative like you usually do, and if you win you now can free your options for next turn by disengaging or you can now limit that other guy by closing for melee and engaging. If you fail, that was all you did that turn. I hope your armour will take the blow!

I hope that was clearer.

Three combat options

Here are a few more options in combat for the world's most popular frpg, and similar games.  The rules in the block below are Open Gaming Content.

Hits and Misses
  • Every time you roll a natural 1, a complication occurs. It wont necessarily hurt, but it will complicate matters. 
  • Every time you roll a natural 20, something happens that's good for you. Roll damage as usual, and then double it!
Being Hurt
After your HP reaches 0, the Hits and Misses rule no longer apply. Now you are Hurt. When you suffer enough hits to reach the negative of your initial HP you're finally dead.

Damage by level
To speed up play, especially if you have many players, roll one less die and just assume you do your level amount of damage. If you are Hurt, you do half that.

These rules came from me thinking on combat in 7th Sea. In that game you have flesh wounds and dramatic wounds. The former you can rack up as many as can be dealt, and only after failing a save do you get serious damage. I thought that maybe that could be used, in a way, to give characters in other games some more staying power.

Pairing that with Hits and Misses, you will probably adjust the power up slightly. Any kind of crits and fumble rule are going to affect the player characters most, since they are present in all fights. But if they also can take some more damage it wont be so hurtful to once in a while be the victim of double damage.

Doing damage by level might be less fun, since it is actually fun to roll dice. On the other hand it do take a while for some people to find the right die, roll it and tell you the result. Having ten players I'd imagine it would be a time saver, though.

Hate them? Love them? Indifferent?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

15 games - the list

"So, just name me 15 games you've played. The first ones that pop into your mind"
"Like, any kind of game?"
"Yeah, any kind. You don't even have to have liked them."
"I could probably mention 50 rpgs, just like that."
"But, would it be the first ones to pop into your mind?"
"Well, I don't know. My mind just wanders, sometimes."
"So, just name 15 games, any games. It could be interesting to see how many of those 50 you really could think of, eh?"
"What he heck!"

1. Tunnels & Trolls
2. Dungeons & Dragons
3. Stormbringer
4. World of Synnibarr
6. Advanced Squad Leader
7. Diplomacy
8. DBA
9. Call of Cthulhu
10. Zork
11. nethack
12. Grand Prix Legends
13. Junta
14. Hacker
15. Battletech

"That was just a mess!"
"Yeah, not the first ones you would have thought would be on the list, would you?"
"Well, some of them. Why on earth was I thinking of *bleep!* just now?"

Fancy moves in combat

After tonight's 7th Sea session I've come to the realization that there's a side effect to trying to make combat more interesting by adding options.

Now we have had a few fights where my players have started to use their fancy moves, paid for with hard earned XP. But, every time someone want to Tag an opponent, or Feint him or Riposte, we have to look it up in the rules.

Guess which move is most commonly used? The one you first bothered to look up, since that's the one you remember the procedure for.

Somebody is right now probably thinking I must have missed the whole conversation about how Feats and Powers not make combat more interesting, just take longer. Yeah, I know. Sometimes it takes a while to penetrate this thick skull of mine.

Seriously, though.

This makes me think of general resolution mechanics. It's so much easier to add options and have complexity in a system if everything you do is based on the same mechanic. D&D 4th ed. does that, but only makes it dull. I on the other hand feel the idea have merit, knowing how well the basic percentile roll works for any kind of action in RQ and other BRP based games. In 7th Sea you sure can have interesting combats, but every option is handled differently. Some people like so called sub-systems. I'm less than charmed.

A general resolution mechanic, and some more options in combat. That's something to chew on.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Update on my rules project

Today I realized I haven't been thinking on my psionics rules in a while. Some real life happened, and even though it seems like the subject is always buzzing around the web, I haven't managed to calm down and be creative. A few days like that and suddenly a fortnight have passed!

The project is still on, and I keep thinking that psionics in fantasy is a cool addition. One problem I have though, is I keep shifting back and forth between doing the traditional cloning, and new development inspired by the old sources. Some ideas from the old sources are antithetical to how I think rules should work, and still I would like to at least preserve the feel of the quirkiness of the source.

I'm definitely going to make another serious push this week. Maybe I can hash out a definitive stance at least.

Favourite combat posts

The reason I'm thinking about combat rules now, happens to be these fine posts by a Paladin from Calgary. 

I just looked back a bit at what have been written about what can be done in combat, and happened to find a few favourites.

Trollsmyth wrote about judging old school encounters.

Way back I wrote about dirty tricks in combat. Maybe worth visiting for those who haven't seen that one.

I felt like brings some good stuff to light once more. Yeah, I even dig my own contribution.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Tactical moves in combat - positioning

How about some spicy in your rpg combat? I've a few discoveries to share. Especially in light of what Michael Curtis briefly touches on in the end of this post.

Like I posted about a short while back, I visited a con, where I can the opportunity to talk to Tomas Arfert and James Raggi. One result of that meeting was that I decided to take a closer look on Tomas game, Saga (link and game in Swedish only). I had read about it before, and thumbed through it, but know I suddenly saw a few nuggest of gold I had missed before. One of those were the role of distance in combat, and positioning.

In Saga you roll you initiative, and the winner get to decide on the distance for melee. If you on the other hand want as your action, to position yourself at a range more beneficial to you, you roll initiative again and if you loose that was your action this round!

This struck me as a very neat way to handle positioning in combat without the need for a battlemap and having to know exactly in which square your dude is standing in relation to those goblins.

There is one other game that I know which have a similar idea. In Elric!, one of the most silly names of a game in the industry, there's also rules about combat range. In this game you are either engaged, or not. When engaged you can not move. When disengaging you have to dodge all the attacks one round, then you can move.

The mechanic is similar, but it feels smoother and probably more fun with an active role for the player, like rolling initiative, than to just sit there and endure duress.

I see some interesting potential in this. Thanks for the idea, Tomas!

Once again, eggs. With werewolves!

Long time readers of my blog might remember that I once posted about my wide eyed attitude toward pickled eggs. Today I once again had a close encounter with these fantastic things.

I have a lot of very fond memories of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. A lot of young gamers in the UK, and other countries where Fighting Fantasy gamebooks where sold, have started their dungeon delving careers in the tunnels under that mountain. On my way to work today I picked up my sword and entered the mountain.

Imagine my surprise after having beated a werewolf and his dog companion. He has a store room, and there's a jar of pickled eggs! It was not, like I wrote in my old post, a troll that guarded a larder with pickled eggs!

How did I managed to mix up trolls and werewolves?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Dungeon designed by 5 year old

 The best way to make sure the hobby survive must be to make sure your offspring is taught the skills early, right?

A few weeks back I took out my notes for my The Dungeon of Voorand in order to check some small detail. My daughter saw the funny drawings daddy had done, and immediately insisted on making her own in that style. She picked the best parts and invented some similar looking on her own.

She loves to draw and paint.

Can you tell which is mine and which is hers?

I think it would be so sweet to be able to hand over the reins to her and have her sit behind the screen and have her take us through her dungeon.

Maybe I need to wait a few more years.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

How to create a swashbuckling campaign in no time at all

This is one post players in my present 7th Sea game might want to avoid. I don't say that because I'm going to spoil any important parts of the plot, but because I will come across as disorganized and confused.

Many bloggers have posted about how to set up "sandbox" campaigns. Personally I'm not yet a convert to that style, so I will post something different. I'm not sure what can be learnt from my experiences, but if my suggestions are not good advice I at least hope some of it might be amusing.

So. This time I had gotten a request for a game of pirates and swashbuckling. I own 7th Sea, so I suggested that. Now it was time to think of some way to start it off. Since the theme didn't fit very well with meeting in a tavern to go off and fight monsters I decided to start everything on a ship.

Now what?

Swashbuckling means a merry chase round and round and breathtaking escapes and chases, right? Ok. Then I'll start with a fight, and let them get hold of a treasure map. Either they grab it from the villain when winning the fight, or they get hold of it because he drops it. Yeah, I know. But, I figured it kind of fit the style of story. Then they might go off and try to find the treasure and I can have someone mysteriously trying to stop them, or if the go ashore to find out more I can have people chasing them and trying to get the map back.

As you might note I had no master plan. I kind of figured they would meet the villain whose map they had gotten in the end at the treasure site, but that was it.

So what you need for a campaign are three things

1. a location that reinforce the theme, a ship.
2. a villain
3. a MacGuffin, the map and the treasure

Then it might help to have a few outs for the likely roads taken, like "Somebody chasing them if they go to A and somebody chasing them if they go to B."

After this I had no idea. I did buy a pile of adventures for Flashing Blades when they were on sale at DrivethruRPG, so I figured I could somehow contrive to place them in front of the players if they went off in unexpected directions.

Now we have just began to entangle us in a few of those adventures and I have introduced a whole crowd of conspiracies and secret societies. I have a strong suspicion it will become more and more twisted, and considering I have no idea how it fits together I wonder what will happen?

What amazes me most of all is that they still haven't tried to get hold of that treasure from the map.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ow my gawd!

B.A. Felton's game Dawg RPG is here, in front of me.

Friends, there is a game out there about roleplaying dogs!

When I thought I could imagine a game about anything, I still didn't get the idea abouts dogs. I'm not sure if it means I need some more creative energy, or that someone at Kenzer & Co are just nuts. It's probably me.

Why I don't play 55 session campaigns

I knows many of those of you who read this blog also read Grognardia. Perhaps that mean you have followed the adventures of James' groups in Dwimmermount. Then you have probably also noted that they have played at least 55 sessions in that campaign. I don't play games like that.

Tonight we had another session of 7th Sea, and we managed to play (I think) roughly 2 or maybe 2 and a half hours. This is how much time we have available after working, grabbing a bite, all assembling at my friends and just chat a bit before playing. Now, if you want to feel like you are not playing a online ply by post game where a single fight can go on for weeks, you want to focus. That focus means you want to have everything happen at a somewhat accelerated pace.

Imagine you roll up a character, and decide that his motivating factor is to find the one armed man who murdered his father. If that is not something that will just fade away, you will have to make sure it happens to play a part in a fairly short time, in game. This is just an artifact of the slow pace of our game. If two months have to pass in game before that plot start to develop, it will mean maybe 150 sessions. 150 weekly sessions mean everyone will have forgotten that part, and the player will fell like the GM ignored his interesting story hook.

I'm not sure I like this, but the alternatives are not that many when you have at most 3 hours a week to set aside for a game. Anyway. That is the reason there wont be any session report from our 55th session if this game. I'm guesstimating 5-10 sessions more and then it will be a new game.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Thanksgiving it is So, thank you!

 Today it is Thanksgiving in Canada, and I want to take that opportunity to thank all the readers of my blog. Without you I would have stopped long ago.

I also want to thank all you people out there who not only lend me your ear, but also share all your thoughts and creativity with us all online. This "echo chamber" of ours is a warm and cozy place, sometimes heated by arguments, but still homey.

Take it easy out there, and don't forget your ten foot pole!

An outsider looking in - British OSR

Are you from the US? Are you interested in gaming history? Read this very entertaining post about how the British gaming experience felt like in the 1980-ies.

Was really Maiden unknown in the US in the early nineties? Mind boggling.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A rare treat - gaming snacks

Today I found something foreign to these pagan shores, A&W root beer!

When I met James Raggi, we talked a bit about North American longings of ours, and proper root beer was mine. I was very glad to find this at a cafe me and my family visited today. Yes Jim, not only in Helsinki! Aint that grand? One can cost roughly $3!!

This of course makes me think back to what kind of snacks and drinks I've had during game sessions. Root beer, while very tasty, have never been a gaming drink of mine. Coke, Dr Pepper and black tea have been, though. When it comes to eating I have been trying to stay away from anything that can leave greasy spots on my game books.

Fatty snacks and Mountain Dew seem to be the kind of stuff gamers are "supposed to" be stuffing their face with, but I wonder how well that actually reflect reality?

I'm thinking of trying to get hold of a bunch of cans of A&W root beer and bring to my next game sessions, just because it's there!

Games - narrow, broad or both?

I was thinking the other day about something that cropped up in the comments on Grognardia. James said he prefer broader games, which made me think. I'm not sure my thinking any longer have anything to do with what James wrote, so don't blame him for what follows.

Many new school games post-forge, are very narrow. The are designed to do one thing, and just that. Compare that to T&T, which back in 1975 contain the masterpiece called Saving Rolls. With them you can on the fly whip up game mechanics to cover any situation. If your game is about killing stuff, they can help you do that, and if your game is about dealing in the dust of the blue lotus it can do that. Today if someone made a game about dealing dope, it would have rules for that and not much else. Take Dogs in the Vineyard for example. It has rules for fighting and arguing and so on, but it is a game about belief, power and consequences.

Personally I like the narrow games. Some very tight gaming can be had, but it might feel a lot less like hanging out with your buddies and rolling them bones. Different games for different feel, eh?

I know that some people, the most visible example is probably Vicent Baker and his Storming the Wizard's Tower, have tried to do a new school narrow game with an old school feel. We play tested it a bit in our group in Ontario, but I never really liked it. the mechanics felt far less dynamic than they read. It was unfinished by them, but it still made me think.

Looking at it from the other end is the narrow old school game. Is there such a beast? Is it feasible?

I know some people like to claim that D&D is such a game, since it is about defeating monsters and taking their stuff, and that's all that's in the rules. Naturally, it's not that simple. Reading the original rules from 1974 there's a lot more going on, and there are rules for a lot more. You could claim it's a game about sneaking around finding traps, killing things, leading troops in battle, establish a fief and so on and so forth. Just like T&T it is a game which can cover more than is obvious.

Now we have the last item on the list, a modern new school game of broader scope. Is there a game of the new style which focus on shared narrative or narrative control or game mechanic for internal mental and social interactions that at the same time try to be useful for any game situation?

I'm not sure what I'd do with either of all these, and if I'd like them all. Now I am just throwing those questions marks out in the wild.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Art that scream - adventure

You remember I posted a picture of the AD&D DMG when James asked what picture we associate with D&D?

This might not be D&D, but damn do it just spell "adventure" in big flaming letters, or what?

The picture is from the old school inspired game from The Sorceror under the Mountain, i.e. d101 games.

Friday, October 8, 2010

How I love and hate Glorantha

I have a fairly extensive collection of Gloranthan gamebooks, fanzines and other esoterica. Once I was totally entranced by this world, but for reasons not of that world I fell out of love with it.

Now a few days ago I once again became amazed by the enormous amount of "gameable" stuff there is in there. So many cultures are strange mixes of real world cultures, but with that extra twist that makes you want to invent reasons for how that extra twist came to be. Put that power in the hands of players, and I think you could have a jolly good time.

Since I hadn't read about things in a long while I got back on the main Gloranthan discussion list to ask about a few things which had gotten muddled in my brain. Guess what happened? I totally fell out of love of it all again.

Having people tell you from up on high how things really are, that is a killer for all kinds of enthusiasm. The world enemies of Glorantha as a game world always seems to be its official publishers...


Another cool blog!

For those who think that the OSR bloggosphere is just Americans talking about old D&D, there's a cool blog out there by a British chap. He develops new OSR materials as well, and not necessarily for the usual games. Take a look!

I just recently delved into the Gloranthan side of the web and through some loops found a revisitation of and old friends of min, the Warlock of Firetop Mountain. We are old chums, you see.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Modes of old school play

After talking to a few of my friends who are not that keen on the classic frp game setup, gaining gold and fame through spell and sword, I have been thinking of other ways to play.

Way back when I started to play rpgs, adventures were always sorted in three modes of play. Either you played dungeon adventures, wilderness adventures or city based adventures. I think that often we think of "old school" as adventuring in dungeons, even though that must not be the case. Frankly, I have no idea where that three fold model comes from, but it seem to linger on.

Those who claim not to like the old way have told me they prefer cities, and all the things you could do there. Personally being a big fan of Fritz Leiber's works of fantasy, I can see why that kind of setting would be enticing. But, what is it you do in a city you don't do in a dungeon?

Anyone who have been mugged in the dark alley ways of a medieval urban centre, or fought thugs in bars, knows that there are just as many excuses to swing a sword in a city and in a mine or abandoned temple complex. What distinguishes cities is of course the fact they are filled with people.

So, how do you play old school style among people?

I think the kind of game where you speak in funny voices, develop extravagant back stories and interpersonal relationships with NPCs are seen as quite foreign to many old schoolers. Considering we like to talk about games where the rules are more of a guideline than a crutch, older game without skills and "social combat" should be quite fitting, right? No damn skill that stop you from haggling with a merchant in downtown Waterdeep, right? Or is that so?

Having played a few of the "new school" storygames, where the mechanics is usually there to codify much of the interactions between players, and between player characters and non-player characters I wonder how that relates to games like Gamma World, T&T, OD&D and Traveller. Is something missing in those older games that makes them less useful for games in cities, where a lot of the game is about talking to people? Isn't talking to people all we do when we roleplay?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Mooks and swashbuckling

I just found this very cool rule for how to handle mooks in D&D. It could probably be used just as well for, say, T&T.

Combine that with the Arnsonian rule that you get to take another swing with your sword if you kill something and you'll have a groundwork for some truly epic wading through foes.

Come to think of it, this might be the core of a mass combat system.

Monday, October 4, 2010

How to spell stupid

I found one copy of Star Frontiers, and one copy of World of Synnibarr at an auction site, and forgot to bid. That's just stupid.

Rough and Ready - an angry young man

I heard a song by what used to be my first metal favourites, Saxon, and this prompted me to invent this NPC. Stats for Tunnels & Trolls.

When taking a ride on one of the pick up rides from Korbo's Transport, you might ride with a young man called Peter. The story is that Korbo found him on the street, took him in and gave him a job. Now he is growing into a man, but is still just a kid. Peter is a dashingly handsome young man, with dark hair combed back. Should you find him out on his own after work, you'll probably recognize his swaggering gait and him constantly whistling some tune. Many have taunted him and called him "rubber legs", only to quickly regret it when they found out that young Peter is a pugilist of rank. He is also a womanizer with a nearly magical ability to charm. Many young girl have also found out another trait of his. He never beds the same woman twice.

Peter is not only a driver, he knows a thing or two. If something happened in Town, he knows it. If you want forbidden alchemical goods or a knife fight, he can take you there.

Name: Peter  
Kindred: Human   Type: Warrior Lvl: 2
STR: 17    IQ: 12       LK: 27
DEX: 24   CON: 10   CHR: 32
[SPD:  17   WIZ: 8]
Combat/Missile Adds: +30[+35]/+42
Weight Possible/Carried: 1700/-

Height: 5'11"
Weight: 170 lbs
Talents: The Voice +3/CHA, Puglism +3/DEX

1 - Peter is actually the heir to a big fortune, but doesn't know it since he ran away from home when very young. The player characters get the jobs to try to find him.
2-3 - In one of the gambling joints there's one man who have lost one game to many. He couldn't pay when the crime boss asked him to, and came up with the lie that Peter had beaten him and taken the money. One other person who is owned money is a party member.
4 - Korbo allows Peter to sleep on the premises, but when the place get burglarized at night when Peter was out drinking all night he decide to kick him out. The next night the player characters are the ones burglarized.
5-6 - After a night out the player characters are jumped in an alley by some thugs. In the middle of the ruckus they hear a whistled tune familiar drawl.

Now listen to the soundtrack:

Tunnels & Trolls is a trademark of Flying Buffalo Inc. and used with kind permission

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Reviews of newbie friendly old shool games

I just read this review of Swords & Wizardry, the white box edition. The idea to review games that really tries to bring in new gamers while touting the old school horn is interesting. I note that the reviewer mentions nothing of the bad production quality or the uneven cut, like my copy. Damn, how lucky I got the bad copy. :(

At that site is also a review of Tunnels & Trolls! Having thought a bit about the 7th ed box I think agree with the reviewer, for a newbie this box don't work as is. Some better adventures and maybe some more thoughts about what kind of setting it can be used for. It's a bit hard to place T&T. It's solidly old school, with no setting. But, there's an implied setting which is even mentioned by name, Trollworld. That makes it resemble the newer games with a over supported setting. It would be a good thing to either drop Trollworld or explain how it differs from ye old medieval game world.

Good reviews all!

To save a king, swashbuckling style

This last Tuesday we had our latest 7th Sea session, after having had a hiatus of a week. You could say a lot about that session, but it was not event less!

After having met the rector of the university, and heard that Francis old friend now was a spy, they decided to go shopping for some fancy clothing suitable for a night at the theatre. Now they had agreed to try to help find that list of contacts for the Invisible University. Cloak and daggers!

Suddenly Juan saw his hated half-brother in the crowd! Without thinking he drew his rapier and started to run. At once someone yelled "Assasin!" and all hell broke loose.

A shot was heard, and suddenly a gilded carriage crashed down the street, mowing down pedestrians like harvesting wheat. From nowhere rushed black clad people with blue sashes, attacking and pushing people aside. Francis got pushed into an alley and beaten, until he managed to shake them off him.

Anna Maria grabbed the reins of the stampeding horses and surfed on the back of one horse, trying to make them stop. At the same time a masked figure jumped on top the carriage and gallantly greeted her as the whole vehicle at last slowed down. She got down, but as another shot ran out an arm from the carriage grabbed her inside.

Juan had, at the same time, fenced his way out of a bunch of the guys with blue sashes, using elbows, knees and sword. Now he thought he saw his brother again, this time running after the newly started carriage. Quickly he drew his gun an shot the "sash" blocking his sight. Naturally, his brother was then nowhere to be seen, but since the vehicle ahead was speeding up he must have jumped inside.

A Olympic quality sprint later, Juan caught up with and threw himself onto the rear of that horse powered mode of transport, and feet first he then entered the vehicle after having clinged onto its back for a few seconds. Suprised he gazed up into the eyes of his king.

Francis now came out of the alley, having at gunpoint gotten the information that all this was arranged by "the cardinal".

Much later they had gotten the promise of a favour of the Castillian king, and with new fancy clothes where ready to go to the theatre.

Sometimes it's fun with some political intrigue and assassination attempts. I guess this is why some people prefer games where intrigue and conspiracies about. When was this first tried? My first thought is Flashing Blades (and Flashing Blades modules are what we are playing next...), but might be wrong.

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