Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Shout Out: Purple Crayon Creations

For all those that might be interested there is a new blog I recently started following - Purple Crayon Creations by Liam Thompson.  He is posting about his game designs and ideas.  He is just getting started but after a few emails back and fortth I suspect there will be plenty of interesting material on his blog.  His designs are focused on playing instead of an encyclopedic knowledge of the rules so it should match the tastes of many of the gamers that follow my blog.  Instead of going through my followers and trying to narrow down recommendations I realized that it would be easier to post to get the word out. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

I'm Still Around...

Just a quick post to say that posting will resume shortly.  Putting it bluntly, the summer college semester is eating up my time since I also have work and family responsibilities.  Even thought it's been basically two weeks since I last posted, look for posts on the following subjects soon:

  1. Adventures in Fantasy: I still have the read through of Book 3 to complete the rules.
  2. D.O.T.T.: The Death of the Territories wrestling game by Eric Baker.  I have messed around a little bit with it but I need to investigate further.
  3. Quest Card: A neat little card game by Liam Thompson that has a lot of promise and potential.
  4. Perilous Journeys: I dig the crap out of this game because it makes the Lejendary Adventure rules a lot more accessible.
  5. RIFTS or Palladium Fantasy: I get the itch to run these two games every so often and the itch is coming on strong again.
Basically, I have several plans for new posts BUT real life stuff has just kept me busy.  Posting will resume soon.

Friday, June 15, 2012

(Mobile Post) Comments are now moderated

I enjoy reading the comments and feedback from everybody that has responded to any of the posts here.  The vast majority of you have been civil and well spoken - even if you are disagreeing with me.  Please, keep the comments coming whether you agree or not.

Due to a few members of the peanut gallery making rude responses here by labelling myself or others as a "dumbass", "stupid", or "idiot" I am moderating all comments now. I believe I erased all of those posts before anybody read them. If not, I apologize because we're all here for fun.  Of course, if there is a way to block a user - TaskForceGreen I'm looking at you - then I will gladly turn off comment moderation.

Sent from my HTC Inspire™ 4G on AT&T

Monday, June 4, 2012

[Adventures in Fantasy] Book of Faerry and Magic Pt. 4

Note:  I owe an apology to anyone that has been specifically waiting on me to finish this read through of the Adventures in Fantasy rule books.  I actually began this blog with the intention of completing the read through as my first series of posts.  That did not happen because I got derailed and distracted by other things along the way.  I hope to rectify that soon with a minimal number of posts to do so.  


Sorcerous Combat
This section of the rules covers combat between opposing magicians and notes that it "is conducted at a mental level" using the system detailed in the rules.  The only other restriction is that "a lawful magician will never attack another lawful magician in this manner".  Of course, there is another formula that determines the amount of damage that a sorcerer can take. 

The traditional method of sorcerous combat described in the rulebook resembles the old gun-slinger face off depicted in the typical Western movies.  There are also two modes - kill and control - described in this section and their relation to the alignment of the sorcerers combating each other. 

Other information in this chapter includes The Magician's Code, magical fatigue, and the effects of fatigue.  It seems interesting and tries to capture a quasi-medieval feel to the magical combat rules used in the game.  I am not sure how practical the magical combat rules would be in play but it would be interesting to test them out in play. 

Faerry Magic
Faerry Magic is not simply spell casting but the magic involved in the art of song and rune.  This magic can be used by Dwarves, Troll Lords, the Faerry, and Elves - with Elves being the most powerful mages of the Faerry races.  Humans may use Faerry Magic but will be severely disadvantaged unless they are Druids or raised by a member of the Faerry race.

This chapter also discusses the determination of magic points, details some restrictions about the songs and runes among the faerry races, and ends with tables listing the songs and runes followed by the description of each one.  There are 20 songs and also 20 runes; due to race restrictions only a portion of the song and runes are available for use.  The songs and runes are described adequately and are, for the most part, pretty easy to understand but there are exceptions.  For example, the Song of the Baleful Omen allows the magician to "lay on an enemy or thief...any curse intended to bring suffering or eventual death".  Descriptions such as that might bother some because there is not a lot of fine details and the outcome is likely to involve a ruling by the DM instead of hard and fast rules but this is an old school design from one of the most old school designers so it fits the period.

The Faerry Races
There are 5 Faerry races: Elves, Trolls/Troll Lords, Dwarves, Goblins, and Faerries. Unlike D&D, it is quite apparent that players are highly discouraged from using the nonhuman races in AiF: all of them are afflicted by sunlight, have a -10% penalty to hit in sunlight, and are incapable of using their Faerry Magic in sunlight.  This quick overview of the Faerry races is followed by a more detailed description of each race.  The information presented includes average hit points, movement, alignment, typical encounters with members of each race, and even details on rolling up player characters of each Faerry race.  I suspect that most players avoided the Faerry races due to the associated disadvantages.

The final section of this rulebook covers the conjuring of Elementals.  Some of the information covered includes the alignment of the elemental, a standard elemental of each type, a more powerful elemental of each type, and controlling the Elementals. 

I am running out of steam and the college summer semester started today so I am going to wrap this up.  It seems that Arneson and Snider were aiming for a magic system that had a quasi-medieval feel to it and I think they succeeded.  I think they accomplished their goals with much less attention to detail than other games like Chivalry & Sorcery.  I am not sure that the magic system and the faerry races will appeal to wide range of players.  The spells can be downright boring - one of the spells increases crop output - and the faerry races are not viable play options due to the very tough restrictions placed on them.  Of course, this is all just from reading.  I have never played the game and I am not sure I understand enough of it play.  Maybe I can get to the point of comprehension sometime during my examination of these rules.

Up Next: the Book of Creatures and Treasures