So I’m bouncing around the house with a ton little projects nipping at my heels and didn’t have the time transition some wonderful thoughts into coherent posts. But I did have the time wander around and catch up reading some nifty blog posts and something struck me.
The OSR isn’t afraid to be weird. I’ve noticed a lot of folks aren’t afraid to color outside the lines. It may be a little bit of the old timers doing the “been there done that” mantra. But much of it I think that so many OSR projects aren’t burdened by having to market to the masses. You can just to whatever crazy place your little imagination takes you. And that’s really cool. That’s not saying that other folks aren’t creative or imaginative. It’s just that quirky oddness. Maybe, it’s the same reason I like low budget independent movies.
I promise to hold your attention a little better later on.
If you’ve kept an eye on the RPG world, you should know by now that M.A.R. Barker, creator of Tekumel has passed away.
I have to admit that back in the day I never actually played the game but it’s concepts and ideas greatly influenced my formative years of gaming. This was the first game game that slapped me upside the head and said, “Everything doesn’t have to be Tolkien.” It taught don’t be afraid to let your own imagination and creativity take over when creating worlds and settings. Go ahead make things memorable and interesting.
Thank you, Professor Barker. Rest In Peace.
First things first. Long ago, I grew weary of half-races. Basically, half-elves were just sort of human but elf and vice versa. Half-orcs just became a way for players to play orcs without being orcs. So what the hell just play play orcs. Yeah, there has been some move to do this but the usual method is go with the noble savage stereotype. Once again, I say blah.
Orc weapons aren’t pretty. They’re effective. Orc leaders lead or they are replaced. Fallen foes are assets that can still be used some how. Mercy for the weak, only weakens the entire tribe. Orcs will do whatever it takes to survive and not feel guilty about it. They don’t consider themselves evil but they do consider the other races weak. By the standards of the “civilized” races, this makes the orcs savages. Something to be feared and purged. The orc response is simple, “Bring it on, bitches!”
Great orc leaders are a combination of Nietzsche, Sun Tzu, Machiavelli and Beowulf.
Dwarves. They’re beer drinking fight-loving master smiths. They like killing giants and goblins. They’re tough. Blah. We’ve heard it all before. Let’s twist these little suckers. This isn’t so much about game mechanics but just looking at them a little bit differently. Let’s take your common every day boring dwarf and make them a just a little bit more interesting.
So let’s take this as a bit of lore. In ancient times, they were master smiths and brewers. They had massive cities under the earth filled with wondrous stone work. They kept to themselves and got just a bit inbred. They sold their weapons and beer to the surface races and demand quickly exceeded supply. Quality suffered. Dwarven society spiraled downward over a few generations.
Their underground cities were quickly overrun by orcs, goblins or worse. They moved above ground into small isolated villages. Their beer got you drunk if it didn’t make you go blind. Their weapons looked good until they broke. They remained proud, xenophobic and violent. Basically, they became a bunch of hill billy bikers.
Yeah, something different. I just thinks it’s something we could all do to our campaigns. It’s nice to have the good old standard stuff. But after a while it’s a bit boring. It’s OK to shake up things, every now and then.
Oh yeah, the English version of 4th Edition Dungeonslayers is going to hit the virtual streets soon. Now don’t confuse with it the 4th Edition of that other popular game. (That’s just a joke. Don’t start sharpening your pitchforks.)
I have to admit that is is one of my favorite rules lite games and it should get a lot more notice than it does. Personally, it’s my go to game when a someone who is a complete newbie to gaming asks, “What’s a good game to start with?” Simple rules. Simple math and not a lot of heavy math. A butt load of support and free adventures. And the best is that the PDF is free.
But this is also about how they finally struck a deal to have a dead tree version released. I’m not sure how easily it will be to get your hands on it if you happen to live this pond. It’s good news all around.