Monday, June 3, 2013

Inspiration for a Fantasy Campaign

Fantasy lends itself well to the thrill of exploration (Skyrim)
Its funny how things influence you.  I've been playing a lot of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow and Skyrim, thinking a lot about the old classics like Zelda and Castelvania 64, and watching my husband play a fair bit of Darksiders 2.  This has gotten me inspired to run a different sort of fantasy game and pushed me to create a system that would better express the type of game I have in mind.

Oh sure, Pathfinder does a fantastic job (I know, very punny) with its Golarion setting.  D&D 3rd edition had its various fantasy settings as well and 4th edition is pretty modular.  It's just that the plethora of magical items takes away a little of the "Yay!  A new magical item!" which is a pretty big deal in most fantasy stories and videogames.  There's nothing wrong with making magical items a bit more of a common resource for players.  Its just that it removes something I'd like to play with.  Also, my players know a lot about what the system can do and what the monsters they're facing are capable of accomplishing.  Besides which, we already have a fair bit of baggage in terms of what a D&D-style game is about.

So what about going with a regular urban fantasy game like Changeling?  Changeling is in a system designed to deal with a darker side of fantasy where human beings are dragged into an otherworldly realm where they are used as toys to callous entities known as the Fae.  One could even play a game set purely in Arcadia.  Well, it would make for an interesting campaign to be sure but I don't much feel like doing a Pan's Labyrinth-style game just yet.  While that's bound to change it's just not what I'm after at the moment.

So I took the hard / easy road of developing my own system.

This system borrows a lot from World of Darkness.  Incredibly heavily, in fact.  This is more of a mod than a full game, so to speak, so you'll want to own the World of Darkness corebook, Armory and Armory Reloaded, Second Sight, Changeling: the Lost and Rites of Spring.  Sorry but its true.  Those are pretty cool books, though, so it's no big loss.  There are other books referenced as well as White Wolf sure like to spread their mechanics around but you can find most of the page references either referenced within or found within a particular wiki (more details to come in the Character Creation page).

While you will still get the usual programming this week, next week I'm going to take a break from my regular Tatters of the King and Vampire posts for the next eighteen weeks to post these articles.

Monday: Setting and Rules of the Fianyarr World

Character Creation & Basic Rules
Relic Rules, New Merits & Pledge Rules
Common Relics
Potions & Magical Fruit
Mundane Equipment
The Hisil
The Underworld
The Hedge
The Dreamscape
Home & Sanctuary Merits
Adding a touch of mysticism
Invoking Wonder in Roleplaying Games
Designing Traps & Fortifications
A Tale of Five Villages
A City of Marvels
Seven Ruins Aplenty
Fantasy Inns & Taverns

Wednesday: Races of the Fianyarr World

Origins of the First Races
Origins of the Touched Races
Cultural Customs - Aasimar & Beastfolk
Cultural Customs - Dhampyr & Djinn
Cultural Customs - Elf & Gremlin
Cultural Customs - Human & Nixie
Cultural Customs - Tieflings & Yuki

Thursday: Monsters of the Fianyarr World

Guide to Creating Monsters
The Angelics & Demonics
The Animal Companions
The Animate Dead
The Bugbears
The Changed
The Defenders
The Dream Invaders
The Fae
The Ghost
The Golem
The Magical Beast
The Mounts
The Plants
The Spirits
The Vampire
The Werewolf

Friday: Classes of the Fianyarr World

Summary of the Ten Classes
Mundane Jobs
Class Specific Relics, Alchemists & Rogues
Class Specific Relics, Exorcists & Priests
Class Specific Relics, Brawlers & Fighters
Class Specific Relics, Bards & Witches
Class Specific Relics, Guardians & Rangers


  1. Well, I'm looking forward to watching this progress and if you end up running this either IRL or online I'm definitely up.

    1. Good to see you're interested! The more I look into this system the more I see a lot of benefits and flexibility. I'll probably run the occasional one-shot for awhile until we've wrapped up the current campaign (which ends at level 20 so, uh, there you go).

    2. Hey, with enough source material I'm happy to play anything. As you filter bits through just let myself, your lovely husband and some ring in's play test.
      I'm sure it'll be really hard to find willing individuals to play test a fantasy based, simple (d10 system really is simple, I likes it) and skyrim/dragon dogma/castlevania feeling system.

    3. Yeah, I know. Where will I find the ring ins? ;)