I recently read “The Kings of the Wylde“. A bit of tongue in cheek that played on common fantasy tropes but still created a strong image of a certain type of a fantasy setting. It was an irreverent version of Ambercrombies “The First Law” series.
The commonality between the two is the concept of “Named Men” and “Named Weapons” that is integral to the respective settings. The Kings of the Wylde took this concept one step further, embracing modern trends of fame, wealth and popularity.
While I don’t have the time to embrace other settings or rule systems besides ICE/Shadow World, I find this “extreme personification” setting very appealing!
“Named” people and weapons are not just for super powerful beings or historic figures–it’s the idea that adventurers can make a name for themselves and likewise “name” their reliable weapon. They don’t have to be demi-gods or artifacts to be named. Basically it’s adopting our societal embrace of famous actors, wealthy business personalities and the Kardashians to a fantasy template.
RM doesn’t have a rule framework for “fame” but it could be easily adapted. I just like the idea of my players earning fame (and not just fortune) along with their named weapon. It feels like a superhero game system or one of my favorite movies…Mystery Men.
While Shadow World has a DENSE timeline and history, much of that depth is lost on day to day play. My players can’t recall most of the famous people, alive or dead, that are included in the timeline. I like the idea of making it more immediate and visceral. A world where even the lowliest groups give themselves “rock star” names AND give name to their favored weapons, shields or armor.
It’s a bit over the top, but what a world! If murder-hobo’ing is a reality, why not create a setting that celebrates them!