Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Swords & Sorcery

On a whim, I opened up the PDF of the play test version of my complete S&S RPG, Age of the Sword.  And then, on another whim, I decided to use Adobe's "booklet" printing feature, and print the thing out.  I now have in my hand (well, on my desk, as holding it would make typing difficult) a 5.5" x 8.5" RPG, just begging to be played.

It currently sits at a whopping 23 pages, plus covers, Introduction and Forward pages, and a blank character sheet.  The only section that is still empty is the "Sample Characters" which I never got around to building.  And the whole thing is laced with pencil and ink drawings by Frazetta and other fantasy artists, with a legal disclaimer at the front stating that they are just there for illustrative and place-holding purposes, please don't sue me.

So, now I am trying to figure out what to do with the dang thing.  The layout is pretty nice, and the whole thing looks pretty good (though there are some big, blank spaces that could use some text or illustrations).  In order to finish it properly, I would mainly need to fix the art issues; replace the copyrighted art with original art, and do a full-color cover image.

The game was designed to be minimalist, and bare-bones.  But, I think there is some room for expansion.  Maybe some more detailed options in game-play, a few more monsters and foes to fight.  And the world I created as a setting is intentionally vague and abstract (without even a proper name, it's simply called "The World").  There are defined nations and regions, but each just gets a gloss over, with a general description and not a lot of detail.

The mechanics are based on a dice-pool system that uses d6's exclusively.  You're basically looking to roll over a target number for any given task.  There is a lot of leeway for how to employ that mechanic, as the whole thing was based on a universal system I wrote ages ago called EGO.

Over all, I like the game.  And I think fans of the genre that Howard built would like it too.  I think I might dust it off, polish it up, and see what I can do with it.

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