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Wands, Redux

All wands and staves have a number of charges, which is rolled when a character takes possession of the item. Typically, a wand has 1-8 charges and a staff has 1-12 charges. Discharged wands accumulate 1-4 charges per week in the hands of a magic-user, or 1-2 charges per week in the hands of any other class that can use wands.

One charge can be spent to cast a memorized spell with a 2-in-6 chance of retaining the spell after casting.

In addition, many (but not all) wands and staves also have a secondary power, which is rolled … Continue Reading

Spells for The One Ring

I know what you’re thinking! “Geez, man, this has already been tried by like a dozen people and it always kind of sucks.” Yeah. Well, here we go again.

First off, let’s clear up this bit of etymology: Dwimmer-craft (or more properly Dweomer-craft) means Dwarf-craft. So magic that falls under Dweomercraft ought to be the Dwarf-charms, i.e., the ones listed under the Broken Spells virtue for Dwarves.

Right. As might already be apparent, I intend to subsume the Elf-charms and Dwarf-charms from the Adventurer’s Book into my system — they are examples of spells that fall into the two aforenamed classes. It … Continue Reading

Broken Lance

Over on the Plus, an gaming friend posted some cool-looking, vaguely post-apocalyptical military art. It immediately made me think “Twilight:2000 with mechs.”

(Artist credit: http://alex-ichim.deviantart.com/)

It also made me think: Hey, I could do a short-form RPG for that. I already have the rudiments of a resource-hungry system that I started developing for a spy-themed RPG called Double O. (Which, by the way, I might go back to now that I have a better idea of how … Continue Reading

Lessons in Type B

I do tons of session reconstruction in my head for a day or so after a game. I am becoming totally convinced of a session strategy that I call “Type B.”

Type A play is where nobody talks about character internals, or where character internals are a secret. The idea is that since we aren’t mind-readers, we shouldn’t be aware of such things. All we can see are actions. So we try to express what’s going on inside the character through outward actions.

Type B play is where there is extensive discussion about character internals. We lay open our character’s heart and … Continue Reading

Character Pages from The 53

I recently got wildly inspired to work on a spy game, principally because I listened to Adele’s “Skyfall.” This game, tentatively called The 53, is an RPG that tries to recreate the feel of the James Bond 007 Game from back in the 80s. I didn’t have the chance to play it when it was actually in print (I was too poor to afford multiple games back then), and looking at it now, the mechanics seem awfully dated. Also wordy.

In any case, here are some pages for character creation. More to come.


The One Ring Quick Start Rules

Seeing how Cubicle 7 has so far declined to release their own Quick Start Rules, and seeing how I feel the need to have them, I wrote it up. As a matter of fact, I think I quite like what I made here, because it illuminates certain strategies for playing the game.

There’s no way to play the game itself using only what I’ve written. You’ll still need a GM (aka Loremaster) who has the full ruleset. If you have the same profound affection as I do for both Tolkien and RPGs, you will go out and buy a copy of … Continue Reading

Building Beliefs from MG Recruitment (Pt 2)

Here is the second part of what I began with the origin-skill-trait chart. The idea here is to go through the “lifepath” to borrow Burning Wheel term of your guardmouse, building up a history as you go.

Not every decision point gets fleshed out. Telling the story of every single skill acquisition would get stale, and would take forever too. So it’s just the main points, although it focuses a lot on the early stages of life. There are many other questions I might try to add to these charts over time — we’ll see.

The charts don’t take into account Nature, … Continue Reading

Mouse Guard: Setting and Conflict

I studied literature in school, in both French and English. It may not be apparent to an English speaker who didn’t study French literature, but to do any reasonable criticism you need to change mental gears and come at the book as a French speaker would. Language is more than just a code for ideas. History and worldview are part of language, and if you don’t understand that you won’t understand the book. You might pick up the basic plot, but so much of it will make so little sense that you’ll come away with just a hazy concept of … Continue Reading

Revised Mouse Guard Conflict Cards

I download the Mouse Guard playing card set (available from here), scrubbed all the text off the conflict cards, and put my own text on instead. I did it for two reasons. First, the text was rasterized, and as a design professional this offends my soul. (Just kidding, I don’t have a soul. But text through a JPEG meatgrinder like that. Ouch, man. I appreciate why it was done, but I can still hear a sad little dirge for every artifact-laden letter-halo.) The second reason was because I didn’t find the text entirely helpful. I … Continue Reading

Building Beliefs from MG Recruitment (pt 1)

I think the Mouse Guard recruitment section is well done (as is all of MG) but it is missing two things to make it really great. First, it’s not apparent from the text that this should be a collaborative process. Nobody should be making this stuff up in a vacuum. You bounce each piece off the other players and the GM, everyone contributing. Second, I wish there was more guidance, or at least a set of questions, to turn character-building choices into roleplaying backstory.

My inclination is to build some of this second part. We’ll see how it goes. … Continue Reading