Wednesday, August 21, 2013

It's A Kind of Magic

Things have been pretty crazy around Barkley's Den lately. August is never great for my business, plus I've been kinda sick, so posts might be light until after Labor Day as I try to survive the end of summer.

As in the past, I look forward to Autumn when things should get back to normal.


Now in gaming news, I am still thinking about Fantasy. Strange right? I know. I can't believe it either.

Speaking of Fantasy, have you seen this...

It's pretty darn cool. Hyrule Historia is basically the Encyclopedia Zelda. It has everything from the various 'Legend of Zelda' video games, including but probably not limited to: characters, locations, storylines, a timeline of events and of course, the monsters and villains of the series.

I can't afford to grab it right now but wow, it is definitely on my list. Looking it over in a book store today I was even more inspired to run something in the vein of Zelda and Final Fantasy, perhaps with a touch of Oz and a side order of Ryuutama, The Dragon Egg.

It's very difficult to put into words how much I want to run Fantasy and how little I want it to be like D&D. It's not that I don't want combat or treasure or magic items or any of those things. It's that I want...

I want the setting to seem truly medieval and yet truly fantastic. The PCs should start poor, maybe even downtrodden. Their decision to go on an adventure or quest isn't for glory or riches, it's because it's their only hope. Perhaps it's more of a Jack and the Beanstalk situation. They sold their only cow for magic beans. When the beans grow into a huge beanstalk, what have they got left to lose?

It is my goal to create a campaign where there is more to (a PC's) life than just killing monsters and taking their stuff. There is a greater calling than finding gold and getting more powerful.

I want magic to be magical damn it. I want it to be dangerous and unpredictable, difficult and perhaps costly to use. I want cheap, simple spells to be relatively easy and safe to conjure up but powerful magics to be tricky at best and far worse than death at their worst.

I would like monsters to matter. I want Players to be unsure of their survivability when facing things that make them go WTF! is that. At the same time, I want to employ creatures of legend and folklore.

Honestly, this one should be easy or at least not that hard. D&D has made monsters so run of the mill, they are no different from seeing a horse or a cow on a drive through the countryside. Taking one of the dozens upon dozens of mythical beasts and faerie creatures D&D has ignored and painting a picture of them that most gamers haven't yet seen is something I know I can do regardless of system. Though, if something in the system helped with that it wouldn't hurt.

I want longevity. I would like my next Fantasy game to last a while. This may not be as simple as it sounds. I tend to get bored with Fantasy easily these last few years. Add to that finding a system that doesn't raise the PC's personal power up too fast or too slow (such that they get frustrated) makes this the most difficult element of all in my opinion.

Well, there you have it...a good idea of what I want and no decision as to what will do all this.

It's starting to feel like I need some real magic to conjure up the game I'm looking for since no such game exists.

Take it home Freddie...

Barking Alien

Oh, forgot - This is the 666th post on Barking Alien. Wild right? I am so metal.


  1. Dude:

    I've had this very same thought...many times...over the last few years. Parts of that concept is what led to certain choices I made in Five Ancient Kingdoms.

    If you don't like what's out there, you need to write your own. Or encourage someone else to do so (though you're less likely to get something exactly like you want that way).

  2. Well said JB. As it turns out, I am do just that. I am creating my own based on...well, you'll just have to stay tuned. ;)