Sunday, November 25, 2012

WTF? Why is Santa Claus in your Appendix N

I suspect a few people wondering about why an animated kids special, evem if it is fantasy is part of my Appendix N.

Well simply, one day talked into running a short game (all thieves) and needed a town and a town ruler.

The town became Vilechia and the towns rules? Well I was spitballing so I borrowed "The Burgermesiter Mesiterburger" from the movie and rolled with it.

It worked,

and as I realized I was running enough to need a world and it inspired much later work, it deserves a place of honor. Its also not half bad either especially if you have kids.

Midrea Appendix N Fiction

I realized that I never posted my Appendix N for Midrea, the books that most inspired Midrea.

You'll note that a lot of these are late 80's and 90's . That is because thats the first time that I set out to create a game world as vs just playing the game. World building is not essential to play after all.

Also Midrea was built in spurts, a tiny bit in the late 80's and the rest in the late 90's (mostly) . Prior to that I was too young to really consider long term gaming (it was a hang with the buds thing) and for a good period I either didn't game or just bought GURPS books which I didn't play.

The real design came in a tiny spat in the late 80's than from I'd guess 1999 and up.

Here are the inspirational materials. Some will be familiar, inspired of course by the original appendix N. Other are just things that stuck with me. You'll note that few films has much influence on my gaming. I like movies well enough but none of them really felt right even the raft of 80's fantasy films. I've seen them they just didn't inspire. Same with TV

Now to the list

Robert Howard (and De Camp) Conan and Cthulhu mythos

Fritz Leiber Fahfrd and the Grey Mouser

J.R.R. Tolkien The Hobbit and less so The Lord of the Rings. This can also include the Rankin Bass animated version and the movie adaptations as well.

John Norman's Gor. Minus the excess supply of BDSM this is a fun series full of thud and blunder.

Robert Heinlein Glory Road

Louis L'amour Walking Drum and Haunted Mesa

Johan Whyss Swiss Family Robinson

Grimm's Faerie Tales

Daniel Dafoe Robinson Crusoe and other stories

Sir Walter Scott Black Arrow

Barbara Hambley: Sunwolf and Windyrose Chronicles

Katherine Kerr: Deverry stories

Kathryn Kurtz: Deryni stories

Andrea Norton: Witch World

Asprin etc: Thieves World

C. J. Cherryh Merovingen Nights

Poul Anderson: Three Hearts Three Lions

Ellis Peters: Brother Cadfeal mysteries

Steven Brust: Jehreg Cycle

Frank Herbert: Dune and the White Plague

Mercedes Lackey: Tarma and Kethry stories

Robert Adams: Horseclanst

Adams/Norton Magic in Ithkar

Rankin Bass: Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Brian Froud: Faeries (this is borderline folklore but the movie had a heavy influence so its here)

Vision of Escaflowne

Indiana Jones specifically Raiders and Temple of Doom

Sid and Marty Croft: Land of the Lost

Gnomes (book and movie)

William Goldman Princess Bride: (both movie and book)



Swashbuckler (the Robert Shaw James earl Jones movie from 1976)

Terri Windling : Borderlands

Will Shetterly: Witchblood

M.Z. Bradley Sword and Sorceress Anthology

Terry Pratchet: most Disk World especially Lords and Ladies

Saturday, November 24, 2012

So What the Heck is Midrea?

I've mentioned my game word a time or two on this blog. Its not in my or my players opinion that special, it doesn't really have an edge over any other game world. It is however mine and I suppose theirs too.

What it does do is bring home the fun in several systems which is about all anyone could ask for.

When I bring new players in, here is the sheet I offer them. Its not exactly concise or an elevator pitch but its no so long as to get the TL;DR glazed eye look either.

Welcome to the campaign and to my game worlds, Midrea

Midrea was designed around the five themes

#1 Its coherent: Anything in the game world has to make sense

#2 It has verisimilitude: This is a world where monsters and magic are real and the world is designed to reflect that reality

#3 Its open to virtually any kind of character you can imagine. Pretty much anything Pathfinder goes

#4 Its open to any kind of campaign that can be imagined

#5 The tropes are part of the game. this means that there is a reason that it is a Euro-Centric game world where everyone speaks common and different species live side by side

#6 Its a a bit wahoo, all the older science fantasy traditions, space ships, blasters, aliens, guns, psionics are all part of the world

Take a look at Appendix N and the map and you'll have a good idea about what drives the design.

Until then, lets toss some dies, eats some snack and play.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The revolution is over, we won. Lets play

I'm keeping this one short.

The OSR is over and we can cheerfully declare total victory.

I mean Hasbro is reprinting Old School material and even writing new AD&D modules (Amazon here) !

Added to the collection is an all-new fifth adventure -- A0 Danger at Darkshelf Quarry -- that you can use to kick off an AD&D campaign that pits a group of adventurers against the evil Slave Lords! Module A0, designed for levels 1-3, sets the stage for events that unfold throughout the remainder of the "A" series.

All that remains is some more recruitment (the ongoing eternal goal for all gamers) and some more play, lots more play.

See you at the party.

Back in the Saddle Old School

Well, we finally placed Old School style, in this case a pick up game of Swords and Wizardry played mostly from memory and despite my players being from the D&D3.5 and GURPS 4e generation it went well.

A little dungeon crawling, a lot of silliness mainly derived from using whatever minis we had handy, Skaven, fish people , rats and a demon clown.

The clown was not a success .

However the game was, everyone had a least some fun and they want to play some more old school.

Next time, well I bring the rules (and my house rules document) and maybe later that I talk E into running. E may be a new school player but his games (a solid campaign of Dark Heresy we just finished and some others) are very old school. He'll fit right in.

Our next goals?

Get some more players, we have three and could use a couple more , settle on a framework and play.

Sounds like fun to me.