thread: 2008-06-30 : A Really Good Weekend

On 2008-07-01, Vincent wrote:

The history of the game is, I was playing D&D (Moldvoy ed. 1980 Basic D&D, "blue book" I think that is) with my kids and some neighbor kids, and it was fun, but there were these couple of places where ruleswise I thought maybe I could do better. So I started tweaking it and pretty soon I just threw up my hands and decided to make a new game. In grand tradition! It's oldschool D&D my way.

Elizabeth was telling me about her D&D game, where the characters fell through a hole into Atlantis, "as happens in D&D." I said that Storming the Wizard's Tower is the OTHER kind of D&D, where the town's miners are refusing to work because something down in the mine killed one of them and bit another one's leg off, so the priest and the two violent guys go down there to sort it out.

So it's got, you know, classes, levels, alignments, 6 stats, no skills but some special abilities. None of them work quite like D&D's - for instance, individual characters improve at their own rates, but the group levels up as a whole, individual characters don't; the special abilities are linked to the stats not the classes; alignments are to magical forces, so for the most part only wizards and priests have them, otherwise people are unaligned; stuff like that.

Kind of like Trollbabe, as the group levels up the scale of the game changes. The levels have names:
Level 1: Fighting Monsters
Level 2: Storming the Wizard's Tower
Level 3: Slaying Dragons
Level 4: Defending the Realm

Level 4 is still pretty notional to me, it may not survive the design process. Levels 1 and 2 are solid and level 3 is coming together nicely in my head.

The seed for the game was its monster creation rules. You can read about them here: With combined race and class, choose from 7 unique character types! (Although there aren't still 7, now there are only 4 to start, and you have to win more as treasure.)

The dice work broadly like Sorcerer's by way of Poison'd, with setup rolls giving you bonus dice for combat or other followthrough. So, for instance, Sebastian's ranger character has the perception ability "wild instincts." Going into battle, Sebastian rolls his character's perception to get a read on the situation, and that roll's successes turn into bonus attack or defense dice. As in Sorcerer, this creates a fun momentum in play, with the cascading rolls leading and following the cascading action.

And like I say the social conflict rules are fantastic. Whether they'll serve games that aren't this kind of lightweight tactical high-imagined-content adventure gamism, I don't know, but for this game they're sweet.

Uh. So there's a bunch of stuff about it. It's my current favorite project, so if you want to know more, yay! Ask away.


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