Gamist Elements in Elizabeth Moon’s Sheepfarmer’s Daughter

Recently I read Elizabeth Moon’s Sheepfarmer’s Daughter, one of the most interesting Dungeons & Dragons novels I ever have absorbed. I call it a Dungeons & Dragons novel not because it contains oversized, fire breathing serpents, nor because it portrays sprawling, underground inhabitations of wealthy monsters—indeed, it contains neither of these—but because of its metaphysical system.… Read the rest

Navigator Tech

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about this article. After perusing the equipment offerings in both White Star and Spacemaster’s 1e Tech Law, I believe that Peter R probably intends to confine himself to the gear in White Star, though this might cause problems for backward-compatibility with Spacemaster products, an intention of purpose he has for his Navigator RPG.… Read the rest

“Casting” in Navigator RPG

I appreciate Peter R’s inclusion of the telepath or mentalist into Navigator RPG. As I have said before, I’m amused by the preponderance of this archetype in science fiction, that training, mutating or evolving to use the power of brain waves is somehow more believable than outright “magic.” And magic it is, demonstrated as so by Spacemaster adopting its Rolemaster magic system in toto for its emulation of psychic abilities.… Read the rest

Spacemaster and the OSR

I’m of two minds while reading about Peter R’s development of Navigator RPG. As far as I can tell, it purposes to be an open content retroclone of Spacemaster but using the convenient OGL of White Star, which is based on the “White Box” version of the Original Game. 

I fully support the mechanics of this decision.… Read the rest

Hacking Darkmaster

I’m guessing that it’s not precisely “news” to readers here that the QuickStart Deluxe of Against the Darkmaster (VsD) has been released as pay what you want on DriveThruRPG. The latest articulation has introduced some changes to my game. Most radical is a reduction of five Armours (None, Soft Leather, Rigid Leather, Chain and Plate) to four (None, Light, Medium, Heavy).… Read the rest

More Lazy GMing: Destination Spaces in My Against the Darkmaster Campaign

So now I have nudged the trajectory of my PCs wholly into an overland journey to the enemy-occupied Dwarven mountain city of Angrothrond, wherein the PCs expect to find armies of Orcs and Trolls, caverns of partially mined angril (a homebrewed substance similar to mithril) and perhaps a massive, inert stone golem and a slumbering Iron Dragon of Morgoth from the First Age of Middle-earth.… Read the rest

Race as Class in Rolemaster Games

The other day I was looking up something in Middle-Earth Role Playing (MERP), and I came across a passage I don’t recall reading before—ever before, even when I aspired to run MERP just last year!

Elves have certain advantages over the “mortal” races … , and in terms of a fantasy role playing game this is reflected by a restriction on how they assign their stats.

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Generating Fantasy Adventures for Competent Players

No plan survives contact with the players.

—Davena Oaks

After my latest session I opened up Michael Shea’s The Lazy DM to compare his advice to my emergent method of adventure generation—one that suits my current campaign, anyway. It’s from this book that I pulled the quote above, and, for the sentiment contained therein, at first Shea’s advice seemed like it would be of some use to me.… Read the rest