Saturday, May 21, 2016

The curious anger against The Forge

I read a post earlier this week that was one of those that makes you wonder what world the poster lives in. The thrust of the argument was that The Forge has ruined indie publishing, and that the theory discussions there were pretentious, and that Ron Edwards hates old school.

The last point is fairly simple, as Ron have posted a lot publicly about games he has played and what he has liked or not. That he wrote a essay about D&D and used the words "brain damage" doesn't prove much. I have myself used those words when talking about alignment, many times. I have played with Ron, read his actual play posts about e.g. T&T, and know how ridiculous that claim is. But, even if it's true, what does it matter? How does Ron and The Forge threaten you?

I wonder, why do some people who feel affiliated with OSR sensibilities feel so threatened by The Forge and its inheritance? I can understand how an approach to gaming that focuses on actual play to see how it works, can feel theoretical underpinnings and that kind of talk to be pointless. Let's disregard for the moment to what extent a theoretical conversation means you do not play. I know I found some of the jargon sometimes obscured the experience of play, so I see some point with that criticism.

But, apart from that, what is so threatening? Is it the thrust towards cooperative storytelling, where the DM no longer reigns supreme, the big threat? I know some people don't care for player narrative powers and just want to explore the world and roll dice. I can sympathize with that approach as well, even if I don't see it as a threat.

This leaves me wondering.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Covenant Items from Midnight for BRP

I've started to play a basic BRP based fantasy game at home, and the first adventure we did was a small crypt crawl. Naturally they found a magic sword.

Before you start to groan, let me tell you the kids have already started to ask for dragons and maybe a demon or two. They want fantasy to feel fantastic.

So, what can you as a GM do with the proverbial magic sword to keep it fresh and interesting? Well, I remembered the Midnight campaign setting for D&D 3rd ed. It might be a little to grim for children, but there was a few rules ideas in there I could steal. I'm thinking of Covenant Items.

Covenant Items are magic items that "grow" with the wielder. It's a neat solution to the question of what to do with the simple +1 sword when you find a +2 one.

Since we play in the Kingdoms of Kalamar, this sword is blessed by Brovandol, of the Knight of the Gods, and thus its powers are themed to that.

  • +5/+10   -  Lvl 1 - Countermagic
  • +10/+20 -  Lvl 1 - Sharpen
  • +15/+30 -  Lvl 2 - Protection
  • +20/+40 -  Lvl 2 - Countermagic
  • +25/+50 -  Lvl 2 - Sharpen
  • +30/+60 -  Lvl 3 - Protection
  • +35/+70 -  Lvl 3 - Countermagic
  • +40/+80 -  Lvl 3 - Sharpen

The idea is to have the weapon develop with the character, so the first column is how many skills points have been put into the weapon. The first value is for those who like me uses a d6 for skill advancement, and the second if you use a d10 (like modern CoC does).

Just as a random fact the levels happens to match with the different levels of the Halls of the Valiant, as the church of the Knight is knows as.

The powers are names of Magic spells from the Big Yellow Tome edition of BRP, and roughly correlate to familiar RQ spells like Bladesharp, Shield and Spell Resistance.

Now I have adventure hooks and a money sink ready for the character to develop those powers!
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