1/31/13

Fate Core Kickstarter a Success

The Fate Core Kickstarter ended yesterday. Evil Hat Productions did a great job prepping for and running their kickstarter. I received a daily email with updates and stretch goals. They even provided a spreadsheet to help keep track of personal pledges. Here are their final results:
  • 10,103 backers
  • $433,365 pledged
  • 14,445% funded
I like Fate and have almost played Fate-based games on three different occasions, only to have something interfere each time. I ended up pledging $50...I started at $30 (hardcopy Fate Core plus some PDFs) and then upped it by $20 to be at the GADGETEER level to get a hardcopy Fate Toolkit.

1/30/13

Hafling, a Haiku (Haiku 4)

hairy feet hobbits--
or, dyno riding shorties;
tolkien kin watches

A repost from my old blog

1/27/13

Being the Cool Dad Once Again (Thanks, D&D Next)

I was a playtester during the opening rounds of D&D Next playtesting. It turns out that the best outcome of my D&D Next playtesting is that I am now the Cool Dad among my daughter's college friends (they are the Dr. Who crowd at her university).. I am well aware that the Cool Dad title lasts but a short while. I was the Cool Dad with my son's friends for span of time, thanks to playing in a couple of rock bands. But the coolness wears off quickly when you have to say Read Dad stuff like "Get a job" or "You'll put an eye out" or "Eat all of your brussel sprouts" or "Holy Crap, your girlfriend is hot!" or "The UPS man is your biological father, ask him to cosign your student loan documents." Yes, I know something will happen along the way that will bring shame to my children and I will just be regular Dad again. But I will enjoy the Cool Dad title while it lasts.

1/25/13

Five For Friday #5: Medieval Urban Fantasy RPG Resources

Pic Source: Kobblestone Miniatures
I continue to work on Onyx, my embryonic medieval urban fantasy setting. Below are five gaming resources that I am using for information and inspiration (in alphabetical order):
Are there other resources that you would recommend?

1/24/13

Monday Night Gaming Prep (Montporte)

We are taking a few weeks off from our current Majestic Wilderlands GURPS campaign, due to family commitments and work-related travel. I offered to run an AD&D 1e session this coming Monday for any players available from our usual Monday night gang. I gave the following instructions:
  • We are using AD&D 1e (PHB & DMG).
  • Use Method I in the DMG for ability scores.
  • Give yourself max hit points and max gold pieces.
  • No need to determine your alignment, unless you are a paladin or druid (then it is automatic).
  • If you are a cleric, create your own religion (as much as you feel you need to play).
Tim (Gothridge Manor) already created his character, Adzeer Mattiu, Hunter of the First Circle.

I wanted to create a quick setting that would support one session, but I also wanted enough for more (just in case). I didn't want to spend the session shopping, gathering rumors, or finding something to do. So I decided to get a bit railroady and created a simple scenario so that the action starts right away. Here is what the players are getting:

The Captain of the Guard of Montporte (pop. 1,028) has his hands full. Bandits have holed up in the castle ruins to the south, orcs have been harassing the mining village of Wootspil (pop. 106), the wildlands to the east continue to spew forth all manner of foul creatures (most recently giants), and a rebel force commanded by the Duke’s upstart brother lies between Montporte and help to the west.

The Captain has enlisted your aid to track down and eliminate the orcs. You have followed their path north from Wootspil through wooded foothills and you believe you have found their lair (the star on Map 1). The orc trail ends near a stream bed, amidst steep rock outcroppings, dense forest, scrub, and brambles. The Captain has sent two young soldiers with you, Spensol and Ian. He also sent veteran forester, Holat, and his son, Anders.


I used Rob's Points of Light I (the Southland setting) and his Points of Light II (the Amacui setting) as inspirations.

1/23/13

A Historical Vancian Analog? The Art of Memory



There are a lot of caveats I could offer here at the start, but I will restrict myself to two: (1) I have not done any research on the Art of Memory (Ars Memoriae) and (2) I am not making the claim that Jack Vance borrowed this concept to use in his Dying Earth novels (maybe he didn't, maybe he didn't, I don't know). I first ran across this idea in Frances A Yates' book, The Rosicrucian Enlightenment (which I read after reading Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco). Yates makes several references to the Medieval and Renaissance use of the Art of Memory (she has also written a book on the subject, The Art of Memory...clever title). I have not read that book, so most of this information comes from the Wikipedia article on the Art of Memory.

The Art of Memory is first found in existing ancient documents as a set of memory tools for rhetoric and oration. It is mentioned by Aristotle, Cicero and Quintilian, among others. Early Christian monks, who generally had some familiarity with the classical tradition, transformed the Art of Memory into a way of remembering and meditating upon sacred texts, Psalms, prayers and the writings of the early Church fathers.

With the rediscovery of Aristotle during the later Medieval period, the practice of the Art of Memory was reinvigorated. Thomas Aquinas was a proponent, claiming that the Art of Memory was useful for meditation upon the virtues and to examine one's own spiritual state.

The weird groovy part of all this comes during the Renaissance with folks like Giordano Bruno and Ramon Llull, who took the Art of Memory, Christian mysticism, occultism (mainly the Hermetic tradition), and some emerging scientific thoughts and mashed it all together. To quote Wikipedia (the universal authority on everything): According to one influential interpretation [of Ramon Llull], his memory system was intended to fill the mind of the practitioner with images representing all knowledge of the world, and was to be used, in a magical sense, as an avenue to reach the intelligible world beyond appearances, and thus enable one to powerfully influence events in the real world.

See any similarity between the Art of Memory and the Vancian magic system? The Art of Magic has given me something to hang my hat on in terms of a gaming concept without having to monkey in anyway with game system mechanics. At the same time, I never really felt like I needed to have an explanation for how the D&D spell system worked. I learned it back in the 70s with Dr. Holmes and it works for me. I am also fine with how FATE (e.g. Dresden RPG) and GURPS each approach magic. I am too much of a gaming pragmatist, so I only worry about whether it works "in game" or not. I find the Art of Memory mainly interesting as a student of history, not as a gamer. Even so, I thought the similarity to Vancian magic was very cool.

Thoughts?

Note: The accompanying image contains three "memory seals" of Giodano Bruno (source: Wikipedia)

1/22/13

Word Verification Name Generator (A Repost)

This is a repost from my old blog (now defunct and off-the-air). It is also an product of an idea I mentioned a week or so ago in a previous post:

I think more than one person has suggested using the Word Verification pseudo-words as character names. Here are some that I have collected, put into a handy random name table (1d4 and 1d10).

1d4=1
1.    Beddram
2.    Beneledl
3.    Caringen
4.    Contli
5.    Delband
6.    Deousn
7.    Deque
8.    Dierseer
9.    Dogenzy
10.    Dogyr

1d4=2
1.    Dounives
2.    Ervelo
3.    Eterses
4.    Excal
5.    Goeness
6.    Holat
7.    Ilime
8.    Imityp
9.    Inessick
10.    Inghh

1d4=3
1.    Isher
2.    Kulasie
3.    Latomotl
4.    Michanel
5.    Mictne
6.    Montabbe
7.    Nemids
8.    Nickbra
9.    Ourindee
10.    Parsetch

1d4=4
1.    Racettec
2.    Reeli
3.    Ressesto
4.    Reutiot
5.    Roxiess
6.    Scencal
7.    Spleuki
8.    Tethr
9.    Thean
10.    Tibiona

1/21/13

Monday Moodsetter 5

Pic by De Es Schwertberger
RPG Rorschach: What is the first gaming thought that pops into your head?

1/20/13

Combat Tactics (A GURPS Newbie Post)

Despite the difference in system mechanics, our current GURPS campaign in Rob's Majestic Wilderlands feels very much like our Swords & Wizardry campaign of a few years ago. Same setting, same GM, same players (with a few new additions), and same lousy weather.

GURPS is very different from S&W, yet the gaming sessions feel much the same. That makes it easy for a GURPS newbie like me. I have noticed, however, that GURPS does play differently in combat. Of course, the list of tactical options in GURPS is much greater than in S&W. However, even taking that difference into account, I have noticed a difference that I will illustrate by recounting a recent encounter in the Majestic Wilderlands. But, before I do that, I need to reference a recent post by Patrick at Renovating the Temple.

In his post, "Maintaining Encounter Balance", Patrick notes the following differences between GURPS and AD&D (and, by extension, S&W):
  • AD&D is about managing resources (in combat, managing hit points) while GURPS is about managing actions.
  • AD&D characters increase in defensive capacity faster than in offensive capacity. In GURPS, characters generally increase in offensive capabilities faster than they do in defensive capacity (I am not sure if that holds true for magic-users).
  • In AD&D, one really powerful bad guy is a greater threat than several weaker bad guys. In GURPS, the opposite is generally true.
The above is my summary of Patrick's post and I could be misunderstanding his point, but as I never let facts stop me on this blog, I'll continue.

My epiphany came after reading Patrick's post and thinking about a recent Majestic Wilderlands session involving a fair amount of combat. Our characters are a group of low-powered mercenaries who most recently have been engaged in a series of border raids. As Tim Shorts puts it in a summary of one of our sessions, "Kill the lords, free the slaves." (or, for us, "kill the conquering Scanadians, free the peasants").

In this particularly session, our characters are attacking a small Scanadian manor house at the edge of a small village. The manor offered just enough defensive works to slow us down (low stone fence surrounding it, sturdy stone walls, and stout wooden doors). Our group attacked the few guards we could see posted on the outside of the building. As we overpowered the guards, I (Delvin the dwarf) took a peek over my shoulder to see what was happening in the village. Behind me, I could see about a half dozen armed Scanadians scattered around the village doing whatever Scanadians do in their conquered villages.

At this point, I had to make a tactical decision: Do I dismount and continue with my group on the assault of the manor house or do I turn my horse around and go after as many of the Scanadians in the village as I can get? In S&W (and AD&D), it doesn't really matter which I do, at least from a tactical perspective. I might be worried that a Scanadian will escape and get help, but that is a strategic worry, not a tactical concern. In AD&D, being outnumbered is not good, but it is not usually a significant tactical disadvantage.

In GURPS, however, being outnumbered is a bad thing. Although I didn't really know why at the time, I realized that we could be in big trouble if the Scanadians in the village were able to mount a counter-attack from behind us. Intuitively sensing the danger, Delvin wheeled his horse around and rode down the Scanadians, killing, wounding or scattering them as I traversed the length of the village.

That is one of the things I have come to enjoy about GURPS. Tactics matter in a way that they do not in some other systems.


1/19/13

Who Can Tell The Difference? Goblin, Kobolds, and Orcs

Illustration Source (butterfrog)
Goblins, kobolds, and orcs. Over the years, I have created my own spin on these guys and have found it particularly useful in dungeon settings. I have found that players have been able to differentiate these races in play, so that goblins are not just weaker orcs and kobolds weaker goblins (from a player perspective).
  • Goblins: Goblins are the economic driving force in the upper reaches of world below. They are a combination of organized crime mob and used car salesmen. They move goods and services between the surface world and the world below via trading partners and caravans. Whatever you may need, they "know a guy." They will fight if they have to, but they prefer to wheel and deal and hire gnolls and other tough guys as their muscle. Player characters find they have to come to some sort of "arrangement" with goblins in order to remain in the dungeon, but there are benefits, such as the ability to buy provisions and information (for a price, of course). I have swiped some good gobliny stuff from James Mishler's Monstrous Menaces #2.
  • Kobolds: As the weakest of these three groups, kobolds have been forced to develop some badass attitude and serious survival skills. Kobolds rely on stealth, missile weapons, traps, ambushes, and tactical sophistication to protect themselves. Woe to any player character who is careless in scouting or unprepared to use missile weapons. Player characters have learned to fear the kobold. Kobolds do not surrender and they have no mercy on opponents surrendering to them.
  • Orcs: Orcs are my biker gangs and the bullies of the upper levels of the dungeon and wilderness areas. They love to beat up goblins for their lunch money whenever they can. There are just as prone to fight one another and inter-tribal warfare among orcs is a common occurrence. Orcs are very religious and differences in religious opinions often start and fuel their tribal conflicts. As they are not very bright, these religious battles are more about ignorance of their own religion as opposed to actual doctrinal differences. Orcs are simple-minded bullies and, as a general rule, they will charge into battle against any foe or prey that appears weaker than themselves. Like many bullies, orcs will typically flee or surrender, once it is apparent that they are losing. They are excessively cruel to their own captives, however, so it is a rare orc that will surrender to an orc from another tribe.
How do you differentiate between various humanoid races when you are gaming?

1/18/13

Five for Friday 4: Holmes and Nothing But Dungeons (My Early Gaming)

Here is a list of five of my early gaming influences. Back in the 1970s, gaming for me was all about the giant homemade dungeon. Here is why:
  1. The Detroit News (one of two daily newspapers in Detroit): There was a big article in the Sunday edition of The Detroit News (probably in the Accent on Living section) that described Dungeons & Dragons. This would have been 1977. 36 years later all I really remember from the article is a description of a giant homemade dungeon where the game took place. It was the dungeon idea that captivated me.
  2. Holmes Basic D&D (with the dungeon geomorphs): I’ll get to the Holmes ruleset itself in the last point. The key point I want here were the dungeon geomorphs. We took their presence as a sign that we should be making giant homemade dungeons as the setting for our game.
  3. No Modules: My Holmes set did not include a module and we never bought any. We didn't have access to a store that sold modules and so no one in my group even knew about them.To this day, I do not own any of the classic D&D modules. I have not played them nor have I read them. I am a freak, I know, and my eyes glaze over in incomprehension when gamers my age talk about their favorite modules of yore.
  4. Rules Mash-Up: Most of my early gaming involved a ruleset mashup of Holmes, the AD&D 1e Monster Manual, the four Original Edition supplements (Greyhawk, Blackmoor, Eldritch Wizardry and Gods, Demi-Gods and Heroes), and Judges Guild Ready Ref Sheets (which gave us hours of fun with the Buffoon Class). The present retro-clone that comes closest to our early games is Swords & Wizardry Complete, which has a special place for me among the recent reiterations of the game.
  5. Other Games: All four of us in my original gaming group had played Avalon Hill war games and Strat-O-Matic sports games. I am not sure we could have deciphered Holmes otherwise. We did not know any other gamers, so we probably would not have tried to play had we not been comfortable decoding Avalon Hill rules.
A couple of years ago, the original four guys in my gaming group reconvened (after a 28 year break) via GameTable and Skype. We started another dungeon-only campaign, using Castles & Crusades, but it fizzled after about 8 or 9 sessions. We were only able to meet online once a month and if we had to cancel, we couldn’t reschedule. Playing once a month and skipping some months altogether did not make for good gaming. I think we were also finding that going back to the dungeon (albeit a different dungeon) was not nearly as satisfying the second time around. There is only so much monster lunch money you can take until the fun wears off.

What (or who) influenced your early gaming? How has your gaming changed from that time?

1/16/13

The Purpose of It All

"ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS is first and foremost a game for the fun and enjoyment of those who seek to use to use imagination and creativity... ...the reader should understand that AD&D is designed to be an amusing and diverting pastime..." AD&D 1e DMG p. 9


I don't usually quote Gygax as Holy Writ, but I do find this little gem to be useful when I find myself getting sucked into gaming as more than gaming. I try to game with the intent of finding fun, enjoyment, amusement, and diversion. It is why I don't waste time or energy in gaming polemics or edition wars. Life is hard enough without fighting about a game with elves, flumphs, and funny dice (There is a Wikipedia entry for Flumph...how groovy is that?).


1/15/13

Thoughts on Medieval Urban Fantasy Settings

So, the first thing to note is that I have a name for my embryonic medieval urban fantasy campaign: Onyx (which likely reflects my recent rereading of Black Company and my list of two syllable words for naming RPG things). My second choice was Twerpshoppleville (which likely reflects the fact that there is a short circuit north of my neck).

I've noticed that there are two main approaches to urban-based fantasy RPGs. One approach is to take the typical D&D style fantasy game and sets it in an urban setting. You get the medieval tech levels, magic, elves, dwarves, etc etc.

The second approach is to take a modern (or near-modern) urban setting, like the Dresden RPG, that is based on the real world. The magic or fantastical elements, that represents true reality, are hidden from the majority of the populace. To be sure, there are many other approaches (clockwork, steampunk, horror, pulp, etc), but I do think that there exists two sets of tropes that are commonly used for urban fantasy--the medieval D&D approach and the modern hidden reality approach.

My intention is to take the modern approach--with magic and the fantastic mostly hidden from plain sight--and use it in a medieval urban setting. It means that +1 swords will not be available at the corner store, unicorns will not be for sale at the city's livestock auction (sorry, Tim), and humans will be the only race available as player characters. I think this sort of setting lends itself to systems like GURPS and FATE. I could see using a very stripped down D&D retro-clone, like Swords & Wizardry (maybe a slightly tweaked Crypts & Things would work well, with the mages having to operate in secret).

Conceptually, I am starting with a real-world city (Constantinople), creating a realistic fictional city based on it (so I don't have the cloud of historical accuracy lingering over my head), and then infusing it with magic and the fantastic (much like Jim Butcher does with the Dresden Files). I think it could create a very different feel than starting with a standard fantasy setting and creating a city for it.

I would be interested to hear what you think.

1/14/13

Monday Moodsetter 4

"Industry" by Jason Stokes
RPG Rorschach: What is the first gaming thought that pops into your head?

1/11/13

Five For Friday 3: Methodologies for Creating Names

Word Verification--A handy way to create names for RPG characters, places, and things
Ever struggle to find just the right name for your __________? (campaign, city, character, child). Who hasn't hit that roadblock of naming things? Yes, there are books of names, program macros, online random generators, and plenty of examples from fiction. But sometimes they don't scratch that itch, so here are five methods for generating names for people, places and things in your games. At the risk of exhibiting symptoms likely to be found in DSM-IV, I will confess that I have used all five of these methods (plus some others that I may mention in future posts).
  1. Boggle Dice: Anyone else discover this one? You see the dice. You see the letters. How could you not roll for names? When I was in high school, we had a multi-year AD&D campaign with Boggle-named characters and places. Rolling the "Name Dice" (as we called them) became another step in the character creation process. It often determined the character's class or race.
  2. Word Verification: This is a favorite. There are awesome names waiting for you when you have to type a fake word online.
  3. BabelFish (and other online translators): Not only you do get some interesting words, you get an education as well (kind of the RPG version of Dora the Explorer). It adds educational value to gaming.
  4. Pharmaceutical Names: Cymbalta the Sorcerer, Benecar the Brave, Demser the Dim, Dulera the Dexterous, etc etc (and if your gaming leans in the bawdy direction, you will have a field day here). No one is better at coming up with non-words that sound like real words.
  5. Two Syllable Words: This is my current method. I have no idea why. I have a list of city and town names based on semi-precious gems, plants and flowers, minerals, elements, food ingredients, and automobile models. I think I came up with this while reading the Black Company novels, but it could have been while leading an executive leadership meeting at work or while on a date with my wife.
How do you come up with names?

1/10/13

Blades of Glory (Game Session Report)

Our Monday Night Gaming Group was back in action this past Monday, after a month off. We were again hounded by technical difficulties that threatened to TPK the session, but switching to Roll20 redeemed the evening.(1)

Our cast of characters currently serve as mercenaries who have been assigned the task of raiding Scanadian manors. We started the session by dropping off a group of refugees that we had escorted back to our camp. We also had to deposit our haul of coins and such. We were then going to head back out into Scanadian territory, but we were delayed by the disappearance of one of our henchmen, Bob. Given that he is only a human, my character (Delvin, a dwarf) was content to leave him behind but the others in the group felt compelled to search for him.

After checking with the local tavern and finding out that he was last seen in the company of lady of the evening, I was again ready to leave him to his fate (stupid humans are worse than rabbits) but again the group continued the search. Our tracker guy followed Bob and his companion's tracks out into the woods where it was obvious that they were intending to engage in a business transaction. We found the where they did the nasty (ewww) and then discovered a serious of insect/arachnid tracks all around. No humans but lots of giant creepy-crawly tracks. Truly a case of being caught with your pants down.

My lack of enthusiasm for risking my precious dwarven flesh to save these two humans was overcome by the joy of brandishing my battle axe against spiders. Delvin is at his best when he is moving forward and going all in with his axe blade.(2)

Notes:
(1) We have been struggling with fatal instabilities with Fantasy Grounds. The funny thing is that I (Delvin) always asks for a weather update at the beginning of the day, an inside joke that goes back to our GM (Rob) and his love of Harn weather charts. However, my last two weather queries are being blamed for our technical difficulties (as evidenced by this post and this post).

(2) I am thoroughly enjoying my first experience with GURPS. While there are lots of fiddly bits, the overall mechanics are very simple and I like the options we have as players both in character creation and as our characters are in action.

1/7/13

Monday Moodsetter 3

Ayutaya, Thailand
RPG Rorschach: What is the first gaming thought that pops into your head?

1/5/13

Adventures in the Unnamed City 3: Restrictions & Limitations

Pic by Alan Lee
One of the draws of a medieval urban fantasy campaign is the potential for a very different approach to gaming than the usual wilderness and dungeon setting. In the typical dungeon or wilderness, players are typically limited only by character ability and by resources. Fireball a cave full of trolls? Sure, if you have the ability to do it, then go for it. There are usually no legal or social consequences for toasting up some trolls. You may wish you had the spell when you meet the army of giants ten minutes later, but that is a resource consideration. Legal and social considerations matter little deep underground.

In an urban setting, player characters are not so much restricted by resources as they are by other factors. Unlike the remote wilderness, legal and social consequences loom large in a typical city. For example, if I am use Constantinople as my historical foundation for the campaign setting, there are a couple of legal items that are big deals:
  • Most Forms of Magic Are Highly Illegal
  • Being Armed and/or Armored Is Illegal for Most People
This urban setting creates a very different set of circumstances than the troll-infested cave under the mountain. Imagine the consequences of tossing a 10d6 fireball into a crowded market to kill of a couple of thugs near the basket weaver's booth. The characters would be pursued to the ends of the earth in the name of justice.

To be clear here, I am not trying to do a historical simulation as I create my setting, so I do not feel bound by these two provisions. However, the idea of keeping some of these restrictions and watching how the players work around it might end up being one of the best aspects of the setting.

I can really see how this would work well with the system like GURPS. There might be a premium on unarmed combat, stealth, social skills, creative spell selection/use, and socio-economic status. Reputation and connections become critically important even as the importance of a shiny suit of armor fades into the background.

I think the challenge is in the implementation. I do plan to keep the setting as simple as possible, particularly at the start of the campaign. I also think it would be great to have the players participate in the creation of the setting. This assumes that they are interested, but that is a topic for another post.

1/4/13

Five For Friday 2: A Modern Literary Appendix N

Here are five books that I have influenced how I think about gaming that fall outside of the sci-fi and fantasy genres (with the possible exception of Bones of the Moon, which could be shelved with the fantasy books at your local bookstore).
  • Bones of the Moon (by Jonathan Carroll): A whimsical dreamworld gradually turns creepy (a Carroll hallmark). I discovered Jonathan Corroll through his first novel, Land of Laughs.
  • The Historian (by Elizabeth Kostova): This is one of my all-time favorite novels, right up there with The Name of the Rose and To Kill a Mockingbird. Creepy turns to horror in this historically detailed literary suspense novel. I read it one sitting...at 720 pages, it was a bit of a sit for me.
  • The Lock Artist (by Steve Hamilton): An award-winning suspense novel that will have you rethinking your lockpicking characters. A plus for me is that much of the action takes place in Milford, Michigan, one of the places where the teen-aged Rusty Battle Axe used to hang out.
  • The Night Circus (by Erin Morgenstern): A dark, dreamy, and evocative tale of magic and romance, set in western Europe and North America (c. 1900) that has me rethinking all sorts of gaming things.
  • The Shadow of the Wind (by Carlos Ruiz Zaf√≥n): A dark literary suspense novel, set in post-WW2 Barcelona. I was able to sleep soundly until I finished the book.

1/3/13

Adventures in the Unnamed City 2

Astute readers will note that the title of this post reads "in the Unnamed City" rather than "in an Unnamed City" (in my last post, I used an, not the). I decided that that city for my in-the-works medieval urban fantasy campaign setting does not have a name. The city did have a name long ago, but then it was Unnamed. How and when and why that happened, no one can say. These are questions that are best left unasked and unanswered.

Image source: http://www.scenicreflections.com/files/DIVE_INTO_FANTASY_CITY_Wallpaper_70tj3.jpg

1/2/13

Adventures in an Unnamed City 1

So I have started my working on my urban fantasy campaign setting in earnest (wherever earnest may be). It feels a bit daunting, but deciding to use Constantinople (c. 1150) as my point of departure helps considerably. I have a decent collection of books on Byzantium, plus I just picked up the GURPS PDF on Constantinople. Starting with Constantinople has at least moved me out of the starting blocks.

My original thought was to use Constantinople juiced up with a bit of magic and weirdness. While I still might do that, I am now thinking of creating a fictional city with a lot of elements lifted from Constantinople. I am also thinking that I want a setting that I can use with multiple rule sets--GURPS, FATE, and Swords & Wizardry--so for now I am mainly thinking about setting and not system.

What has worked well when you have run a medieval urban fantasy RPG setting?

1/1/13

2013 Gaming Goals Intentions

Goals for gaming seems a bit grandiose to me, and also a bit of a fun-kill. It is not like I will keep score. So these are nothing more than my gaming intentions-at-the-current-moment. Here are my three gaming intentions for 2013:
  1. Run a GURPS campaign. It would be my first attempt at running GURPS. The Monday Night Gaming Gang would likely be the victims.
  2. Run a FATE campaign. This, too, would be my first attempt at FATE. I am hoping to get our scattered in-house-face-to-face group together for some seasons. It is tough when half the group are college students, although the parent half of the group could threaten to withhold funds to get them to all come home on the same weekend once a month.
  3. Create an medieval urban fantasy campaign setting I can be run with GURPS (see #1 above), FATE (see #2 above), or an OSR d20 game (probably Swords & Wizardry).
What are your gaming intentions for 2013?