All posts by BriH

Shadow World Game Hook: The Lair of Ozymandias

images

You slowly open your eyes, paint stabbing through your head and your body aching from head to toe. Gradually, your surroundings come into focus. Above, a smooth stone roof dripping cold water. Moving your head cautiously you realize you are in a small stone room blocked by rusting narrow bars. You are not alone. Other bedraggled figures are likewise laying on the floor. All appear to be bruised, their clothes in tatters and are moving feebly taking in their surroundings.

Rolemaster Weekend Roundup July 23rd 2016

imgres

Welcome to RolemasterBlog’s first “Weekend Roundup”. Here we will feature interesting links, stories or news items that might be of interest to RPG’ers or curious minds!

The price of fashion. Getting around in ARMOR.

What a bunch of NERDS!

Celebrities aren’t the only ones PLAYING D&D.

What every growing boy needs…the CRATE OF DOOM!

Cryptonomicon…I don’t think so. Try the CODEX SERAPHINIANUS.

Interesting article on PROTO LANGUAGES.

The Gods of Death in Shadow World. RESURRECTION discussion.

You call that a KNIFE?

Till next time!

All my players want to be Clerics.

200

You know that guy…the player that begrudgingly agrees to play the Cleric for the “good of the team”. After dispensing some essential buffs, he waits around to dole out some healing and maybe, just maybe, get a few licks in during combat. Add to that, the group leader role is usually played by the more assertive, dynamic player who is the fighter. That guy gets the glory and the bulk of combat. Oh the indignity.

There are ways to make the Cleric more interesting and even the most desirable character to play. Here is how I did it.

Rule sets and settings. The gap between Rolemaster and Shadow World.

images

A recent forum thread started me thinking about the “tensions” between a game setting and a game system. Specifically rulesets and worlds published by the same company (not like Peter’s use of FR for his RM game). Certainly Greyhawk and Forgotten Realms were designed to incorporate the full breadth of the D&D rules, but what issues are created when a game world doesn’t fully embrace the system it’s meant to support? MERP is a good example of this. The original modules used the RM rule set, but that rule set never really fit the low magic world of Tolkien. ICE eventually introduced MERP, which stripped out many of the professions to better fit the setting.

STRANGER THINGS: A tropey love story to the 80’s.

imgres

I thought I would go a bit off normal topics to discuss Netflix’s most recent series: Stranger Things. The series is a nod (actually more of a trope head-butt) to 80’s science fiction and fantasy and written and directed by brothers steeped in early fantasy gaming. The show starts with a group of boys playing D&D in their basement—the game narrative establishing the plot and structure of the rest of the series.

Revisiting Rolemaster Magic Realms

imgres

Rolemaster’s 3 realms (Essence, Channeling, Mentalism) creates conflicts and limitations. Certain spell lists never fit well in certain realms and casting mechanism were basically the same between realms even when the spell called for very different methods (alchemy imbedding, runes, circles, bard/singing etc). As part of our own Spell Law Redesign (Project BASil) we deconstructed the whole system and started from scratch. Step 1 was to define Realms into more specific parameters of effect and mechanism. During that analysis we found that we really needed to expand our system into more than the 3 standard realms.

RM Stats & Labeling. Quantitative vs. Qualitative

imgresWhile Peter is off “riding horses” and drinking Earl Gray I thought I would toss this issue out and see if anyone had some thoughts on the subject. on a side note….(Peter is off to some mysterious locale, Peter is English, all villains have an English accent; ergo Peter is a villain up to some nefarious scheme!)

Anyway, I wanted to start off with a factoid I was told years ago that stuck with me. A friend of mine in the Navy said that the nuke dept. still used analog gauges in their instruments instead of more accurate digital displays. Why? Because while less accurate, we can better perceive “rate and severity of change” with a needle than a rapidly changing digital number output.

“All that glitters is not gold”: Currency in Shadow World

images

The gold coin. Since the introduction of basic D&D, the gold coin has been the foundation of fantasy gaming. Experience is awarded based upon gp’s collected; superior equipment is bought and encumbrance rules are built around the ability to carry loot and coinage. There is broad consensus that under the gold coin is silver, then bronze, copper, tin (steel) and above are platinum and perhaps some setting specific coins (mithril or laen).

The Essaence: Thoughts for magic in Shadow World.

 

images

As we gather here, of primary importance is to answer this question: what is this “Viir”, as we now call it, this seeming essential force that permeates our planetary system?  Let us review.  It’s been almost 75 years since our orbital sensors first detected these energy emissions.  Tachyon detectors, plasma traps, electron screens and a variety of other particle shields all registered this force—all of them.  Is it all of these? Or is it something altogether new to our reality?

The Many Flavors of Shadow World

images

One of the great qualities of Shadow World as a game setting is the number of different “styles” that can be found in the various books. No matter what type of fantasy game you play, you can probably find a place or time in Kulthea that can work for you.

Cross-genre. SW’s sci-fi elements and tie in with Spacemaster were pretty novel for a fantasy setting in the late 80’s. For GM’s that like the “ancient astronaut” angle or want to run a Gene Wolfe style campaign, SW has a great back story and cool tech that co-exist with the more traditional fantasy elements.