Sunday 29 March 2020

In Darkest Warrens Ultimate Edition

I hope you're all staying well at the moment. I spend a lot of my time writing RPG stuff, so this quarantine has made this even more extreme.

I was contacted by a lovely chap in the military who's moving around a lot, so created a kit bag for In Darkest Warrens - it's seriously cool. He also inspired me to do something I've been meaning to do for ages - an In Darkest Warrens Ultimate Edition. 

So, here it is! A cleaned up, expanded version of In Darkest Warrens with some super rad art from the Stinky Goblin folks. It's 5 pages that include the basic rules, a referee guide complete with rules from supplements, and a brand new setting - Darkholme.

I've made some little tweaks to the rules here and there. Most notably, monster special abilities are no longer ALL actions. This allows for more variety and creativity with foes. I've dumped some problematic rules too (I didn't like two weapon fighting - not clean enough). Barbarians and mages can only wear hide armour now (I like the thought of a cool rogue decked in plate armour, maybe a faceplate too, so I'll allow them to keep that).

Anyway, it's pay what you want, so go grab it and enjoy. 

Stay safe.

Friday 20 March 2020

The Realms Between Playtest Released

You can now pay what you want for The Realms Between Playtest document, a game inspired by the Jirel of Joiry stories by CL Moore.

Doors are everywhere and behind every Door is a dreamlike realm ruled by eldritch god's and mad sorcerers. Heroes of faith living in a place akin to medieval France embark on perilous adventures into these infinite realms.

The Realms Between features:

  • A unique card-based system that drives the story, creating easily improvised challenges
  • Character advancement is directly tied to their fortification - the more the heroes grow the more sophisticated their fortification becomes
  • Foes use a keyword system that allows for quick creation, putting storytelling first

It's a departure from my usual design, so I'm interested to hear what people think.

Saturday 7 March 2020

Solocubes solitaire RPG engine

I recently posted an actual play report on MeWe around my last Romance of the Perilous Land solo adventure and there were a few questions about the engine I used.

In the past I've used Mythic, but since I like to play and note everything on my phone, particularly while travelling, this could be a bit clunky. Instead I used my owned janky system I call Solocubes. There are two main components: Rory's Storycubes and a d6. This is how it works.

1. Objective setting

You first need to figure out what the hook is - why you're playing the game. To do this, roll 3 Storycubes. Try using cubes themed around your game. For instance, with RotPL I used a mix of medieval, enchanted and mythic. You can interpret the results how you like. You might choose just one image to run with, mix images together or use all images to create a single objective. I rolled a treasure chest and a maze, so I decided a bugbear has nicked treasure from a local village and it was hanging out in a hedge maze. Simple.

2. Scene setting

The adventure is split into scenes. This is based on location and time. If location moves or time skips, consider it a new scene. Roll 3 Storycubes to define what happens in the scene. This could be an NPC you come across or a clue you find. Do this at the beginning of every scene. If you're not happy with what you've rolled, roll again! I tend to use random tables online to come up with names.

3. Consult the d6

The d6 is for asking questions to build out the scene. When you roll, the results are as follows:
1. No, and
2. No
3. No, but
4. Yes, but
5. Yes
6. Yes, and

Whenever you get a but or and you can make up what's logical (Yes, but there are TWO enemies instead of one) or roll 3 Storycubes and determine what the additional or exception could be.

That's pretty much it - easy stuff and it works for me. Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

Sunday 1 March 2020

Hrunting, the Sword of Beowulf

In Beowulf, hrunting was meant to be a sword that never failed. The problem was that in the fight against Grendel's mother the sword totally failed. The blade had been passed to Beowulf by Unferth who had failed to destroy Grendel with it, so it's thought his failure had been passed onto the sword itself.

To reflect this, the Hrunting sword gains power when dealing killing blows, but reduces in power if a day goes by without the blade slaying someone. I think this presents some interesting roleplaying opportunities. If it comes to evening and the wielder hasn't slain a for, do they just accept that Hrunting will be less effective or do they go on the hunt? Maybe they track down a petty street thief and gut them. Do they convince the rest of the party to venture into the woods to clear out some redcaps? Basically, does the blade drive the wielder to bloodlust? Surely this desire becomes worse on the second day when the sword is reduced to a mere d4 weapon.

Short sword (d8)
Special: If an enemy is dealt the killing blow with Hrunting, the sword gains +1 to damage for the remainder of the day. Hrunting can have up to +3 per day in bonuses in this way. However, if a day goes by without hrunting dealing the killing blow, it is reduced to a d6 weapon the next day, and a d4 if this happens the next day (it cannot go below a d4). As soon as a killing blow is dealt by hrunting, it returns to a d8 weapon.