Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Luck Child

Sometimes I get lucky and when an idea hits me, it hits all at once, bringing the theme, setting and mechanics with it in one fell swoop. It is like being buried in an avalanche of coolness.

Yeah. It's like that.

With The StoryTeller RPG it was very much like that, although granted, it didn't start that way.

Actually, it started something like this...

Search for the right Fantasy Game - Get frustrated - Keep searching - Get frustrated - Consider making my own - Keep searching - Get frustrated  - Wait... POP! BOOOM! The StoryTeller.

So here's what I have so far...

Basically, the game is mechanically very similar to The Muppets RPG, which is in turn based on Risus, Sketch! and a number of other RPGs. In addition, some ideas from my Smurfs RPG have snuck in here as well. Since I designed that game with a heavy faerie folklore emphasis, a lot of the same concepts can be applied here (it also goes with the type of game I want to run and the stories I want to tell).

Above you will see the character sheet I designed for the game. It begins with, "Once There Was A...", where you list the type of character you are. Preferably, make this either as descriptive and folklore related as possible or as simple as you can. For example, The Luck Child could be identified as A..."Seventh Son of a Seventh Son" or A..."Luck Child".

Next is "Named", where you write your character's name. In our example, "Lucky" is the The Luck Child's name. Fancy that, eh?

"Who Sought Out" defines your character's overarching goal, quest, purpose or just what they really want in life. It need not be epic but it certainly could be.

The Luck Child did not initially seek anything, being happy to live life as the adopted son and bookkeeper for a Miller and his wife. After being discovered by the cruel and greedy King of the land to be the child prophesied to one day claim his throne, Lucky was told to head for the castle with a written, royal proclamation. Little did Lucky know that the proclamation told the Queen that, upon meeting the boy, she was to have the guards seize him and chop him into a thousand pieces.

Since Lucky did not know this, what he "Sought Out" could be listed as "His Fortune" or "The King's Castle".

This is where "Despite" comes into play. You could say, Despite "A Cruel and Greedy King" or "The Plans of a Greedy King".

Much of the interaction between the PC and the game mechanics and game universe (though not all of it) will come from trying to seek out what you want despite a thing trying to impede you. In the story of Fearnot, Fearnot is a young man "Who Sought Out" What It's Like To Be Scared "Despite" Being Incapable of Fear.

Finally, the opening of our sheet ends at the beginning with "And So Begins Our Story..." in which you give the title of your particular folktale. You see, each PC is a folklore character in a legend all their own. Not only will you be going on adventures of a mythic nature but you are also always on your own, personal mythic adventure. 

How are you liking it so far?

What's that? Hit points? Where are the hit points and armor class you ask? What is the Luck Child's strength? I don't know. Haven't the foggiest. Hmm? Initiative? Don't worry about such things right now my friend. We're here to tell tales by fire light. If it's important I'm sure we'll get to it.

You old schoolers getting a bit uneasy? Keep calm, read on and Fearnot...

Barking Alien


I don't want to depart for today without acknowledging a few items of interest and importance.

Today commemorates the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech and the March on Washington that let it be heard. We could use an ounce of that fire in today's world.

On a personal note, I want to say Happy Birthday to another 'King', Jack 'King' Kirby, born this day in 1917. Born Jacob Kurtzberg, a native New Yorker, Mr. Kirby passed away at the age of 76 from Heart Failure in February of 1994.

He is remembered by comic book fans every day they look at an image or read a story featuring any one of the dozens upon dozens of characters he created or co-created for Marvel and DC Comics including The Fantastic Four, Black Panther, The New Gods, Mister Miracle, Galactus, The Silver Surfer and of course, Captain America.

I neglected to make mentioned on the 23rd that it had been one year since the passing of musician and Muppets puppeteer Jerry Nelson.

In loving memory.



  1. I've played Risus a couple times, but never actually owned/read the rules...there's quite a few fans of the system floating around Seattle.

    What you have here is a fairly cool start to a little indie game of the "Story Now" variety...and by "cool" I mean "I like it" (so take my statement with a grain of salt). That being said...

    The major issue I see right off the bat is how does this work as a GROUP role-playing game. That is, if you have three or five players sit down at the table and create their characters (and set-up their own individual stories) there seems no weave the character's stories together, so that interactive play can happen. Grok what I'm saying?

    You need a couple more lines in your character sheet, methinks.

  2. Not so my friend, as that which you seek is on there.

    Now granted it may not be obvious and I have only scratched the surface of my ideas and intentions for this game.

    Although currently working out the details on two more immediate projects, I intend on divulging the complete rules for The StoryTeller before too long.