Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Uncharted Empires

I'm currently working on a fantasy mash up of Unknown Armies and D&D 4th Edition, inspired by the OSR, with a dash of Cthulhu and just a hint of Warhammer thrown in for good measure.

I've been fortunate enough to come back to RPGs after a hiatus of some 13 years or so. I play in an awesome D&D 4E game - Forgotten Realms, high fantasy, it's great. But I've been blessed with a group who are willing to let me try out all my gaming experiments on them, so I've also been GMing the odd one shot of Unknown Armies for them.

For a group of Forgotten Realms players, some of whom had never been in a game before our 4E group got together - I think they took the madness meters and psychotic magick of Unknown Armies VERY well.

So I've been inspired by a number of sources, to work on something that captures a certain feel, that emphasises and encourages a certain emergent style of game play, but is also something that matches up with my particular tastes.

  • Unknown Armies: My favourite game by a country mile. I love percentile based systems, I love the obsessions, the passions, the madness meters and the universe.
  • D&D 4th Edition: For the exciting tactical combat. Some people hate grid based battle systems - I'm not one of them.
  • The OSR: For the sheer inventiveness, the seriousness of the fun mixed with the gonzo and outre elements, and the sense of danger and risk of sudden death at low levels.
  • Medieval History: Because it's so goddamn fascinating. 
  • Cthulhu: Because everything is better with the Great Old Ones.

So this is what I'd like to put together with this mash up; a percentile based system, with mechanics for pursuing obsessions and passions to the point of madness. A tactical combat system that can work with a grid and minis. A system easy to mod and play with, a system that can scale up and down to fit in all the creatures and monsters and spells and worlds that our fevered imaginations can come up with. A game that encourages dungeon delving and treasure hunting, but can work just as well for political intrigue and exploration of the unknown world. And if I can fit evil books of magic and macabre Chthonic gods in there, all the better.

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