The holidays may have been a wash for the blog, but they weren't for my game tinkering. I managed to write a rough outline for the domain-level classic D&D guideline supplement I was yakking about last month.
Thinking over the initial outline—and many of your comments—I was struck (especially again by Rob Kuntz's perceptive ones) by the notion that you shouldn't try to build these kinds of things in a vacuum. Why start with an abstract rules framework and try to shoe-horn play to fit? Why not start playing and see where that goes and what comes out of it?
Skipping to the chase, I would just like to jump right in and open up a play-by-email-game to grow this bad boy organically.
Here's the set-up:
You are a lesser noble or official of a fantasy realm with a technology and culture spanning from antiquity to late middle ages. Footless roguish adventuring types have found extra-dimensional gates/portals/nexus points leading to a strange land seemingly unoccupied by sentient beings.
The ruling body of your land has tasked you with leading a colonizing/exploratory mission into this land to carve out a realm in this brave new world. With a small group of henchpeople, soldiers, and civilian colonists in tow you have passed through the gates and scouted out a place to plant your flag.
Are you up for the challenge?
How it will work:
- Each fortnight I will email you a situation report. You will then write up your actions for the coming two weeks.
- Play will be wide open and free form option-wise.
- Basic mechanics for individual situations will be provided by the B/X D&D or Labyrinth Lord rules (free download here).
- Rules for prices and other domain-level mechanics will be revealed as your actions or questions to me as game master come up.
- Players can cooperate or compete with other players to their heart's desires as they come into contact with other domains.
Requirements to play:
- Strong commitment to promptly writing your action report for each turn on a fortnightly basis. Minimum commitment to the two-month play testing period starting this week (we'll extend it indefinitely if it has momentum and critical mass enough to sustain). Thus you are on the hook for about four turns.
- A write-up of the imagi-nation that your character represents (name of the nation, government type, cultural details, religion, etc). Detail here will make it more fun and more of a world co-creation, but if you want to start with scant detail and build it up as you play that's more than fine too. If you have a buddy that wants to play you can start as part of the same “team” (this will give you a small advantage in fact).
- Roll up a character using the B/X D&D or Labyrinth Lord rules. Roll 4d6 (drop the lowest) in order for attributes—except for Charisma for which you roll 2d6+6 (hey, you are an important dude). You will start at 10,001 exp and maximum hit points. Assume that you have all the mundane equipment list.
- Provide me feedback on how the game is working (or not) in the play-test period.
- Email me at kutalik at gmail dot com with your character and write-ups.