Made Men. Made Weapons. Do you run a personification campaign?

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!


3 Replies to “Made Men. Made Weapons. Do you run a personification campaign?”

  1. I admit that have not seen or read any of the cultural references but I think I get what you are saying. This relates to my ideas of consequences in my game. The party are locally getting quite well know, they have courted publicity and taken responsibility publicly for their good deeds, behind closed doors they are being associated with the local rebel leader (which is a good thing in most peoples eyes) and so their names and reputations are starting to go before them. On the other hand they did accidentally desecrate a holy site and followers of religion have been gently coerced into setting the players up for a trap that was meant to kill them. If they had not been making a name for themselves the trap would never have worked.

    So far no one has named their weapon but every member of the party is desperate for a magical one anyway so everything they are carrying is destined for the great weapons bin of history, in their eyes at least.

    1. Not one of my clearer posts…especially if you haven’t read those books I cited. So, in “Kings of the Wylde”, Kings is the name of the group of adventurers and in the setting, every group has a name–like rock bands and every adventurer has a nickname and a famed weapon. So most settings have that for very famous or legendary personas, in this book, every adventurer and group have catchy names and try to make a name for themselves. It reminds me of the movie The Warriors–where each gang has it’s own name, style and affectation.

  2. I just had another thought, does not the noble warrior spell list Noble Weapons lend themself to becoming named weapons?

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