Archive for category World Selection

The Hydra Campaign Flavour – Mmm Cheesy :)

Brief Notelet of Introduction

Shock-horreur – here’s a brief summary of the campaign setting that Hydra operates in as per a recent request from the Nth Doctor Nathan. Don’t say I never give you anything Mister!

Where is our campaign set exactly?

I decided to run our new fantasy rpg system Hydra in the world of Fritz Leiber – Nehwon – where he set his fantasy novels largely about his cult characters Fahrd and the Grey Mouser. The rationale behind this decision was blogged about very early on here.

Where can I found out more about this place?

I recommend the Scrolls website (see my off-site linkage list thing) if you want to know more about Mr Leiber’s world. Yes ‘Nehwon’ is indeed ‘Nowhen’ backwards. Fritz obviously had one of those Dylan Thomas type whimsical humours when it came to his fantasy novel writing. In case that means nothing to you Dylan Thomas quite famously made up rude place names for his writing- like Llareggub (bugger all) for example – by reversing words.

Is your campaign setting the real McCoy then? Leiber through and through?

I wouldn’t say that our version of Nehwon is particularly authentic. I’m inspired by the works of Leiber rather than constrained by him. So our Nehwon is considerably more liberal. My source materials are the 2nd Edition AD&D City of Lankhmar source material, and indeed the City is the starting place and focus of our gaming activity at the moment. I have played to my strength having found that I thrive as a DM upon city settings. It’s the constant opportunity for skullduggery, politics, and socialisation that makes my DM-ing tend to liven up when I’ve played out games in cities. They make good jumping off points for my games.

Which bit of this Nehwon world are you in? What’s it like?

And what’s not to love about Lankhmar? It’s a city of thieves – where Pratchett is alleged to have got a lot of ideas for his Thieves Guild and city based writings. It’s a murky, misty, seedy underbelly of a sort of place. It’s also a fantastic sort of place in our version of the game. It isn’t overly wrought with magic, but it’s not magic starved either. I’ve upped the magic quotient I suspect over what a true Leiber advocate would care to see. I’m also not being too shy about littering the place with non-humans. Oh, the PC’s are human (although I have no doubt that will change in due course just as soon as I’ve finished the relevant creation system chapters), but why should everyone else be so constrained? I’m using a combo of AD&D, some RQII and other more esoteric sources to inform my non-human species generation. There’s a strong touch of whimsy about my NPC’s as well.

How are you growing it?

I’m sowing the seeds of future scenarios by making the City as rich with legends, stories, big characters, and back-story as I can manage. I’m fairly junking it up with rumours and tales or derring do and people best avoided. Scattering the old myths and wives stories about. Some of this is coming from Lankhmar based material and other bits I’m stealing wholesale from sources like Greyhawk and my fetid brain. I’ll happily weave in components and variations of such things that the players come up with as long as they don’t violate the growing hopefully shared vision for the immediate world the players inhabit.

Is that all we get to know about?!

Yeah – I’m bushed and this writing malarkey takes brain energy (maybe a whole watt to write!). That’s a few broad strokes of the brush for you to give you some clues as to what we are up to – if you want more, well read the game session entries in the session journal category. You’ll get a game by game account of how our plots are unfolding. Any more specific questions – just chuck ’em my way. You know where the comment link is I’m presuming.

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A Weekend Blitz on System Creation

Ok, so I had a free day at the weekend so what did I so? Plough on with the spreadsheet toolkit for the fusion game? Oh god no. I need a break from the spreadsheet programming and design mission. So I grab my notebook and get a pen. I sit down and I write it out the old fashioned way using what I have already constructed in the spreadsheet to guide me through the process of character creation.

I document the process from start to finish, jot down notes and reference the material as I go. I swap out rules and finalise the combat system. I’ve got character creation down nicely and have played out some sample combats with my NPC’s. I nearly lost the sample NPC twice in combat, she’s already been in gaol and now has a thief on her tail.

Oh yeah and I settled on a world and have been building the system towards it now. You get to a point where you need to get more world specific – so I’m pretty much mashed up and ready to roll. Except magic – I’m currently mashing the magic system to fit the world which is a couple of days work I think.

I have also sourced a master equipment list – stole this from a HM3 campaign of old. I have sample NPC’s pre-rolled to use. It’s all going very smoothly. I’ve tweaked the creation system and because of the world I have chosen to develop the system for more specifically now I’ve cut out quite a considerable amount of work (there are few demi-human PC’s in this specific world and a lot of the conversion work has been done for me by the ¬†RPG world writers).

Note I haven’t mentioned which world yet, just so as not to jinx my decision and make myself have an anxiety based backtrack. All together though I am very excited by what I have put together so far. There are a few snags with the magic system mashing that I’ve bumped into so far to make it fit the world I have selected (mostly because I know little about the world and am learning it on the fly and also because I know little about the RQII magic systems and am learning that on the fly as well). However I feel once I’ve got that crunched I’ve pretty much got enough sorted to run games – except for the need to get very busy with the most fun bit which is sourcing game material for scenarios, building some sets (literally) and plot-devices/artifacts (literally), make props (literally) and all the pizazz I like to have for a good game.

Oh yeah – and get the players back into a room again (sigh).

Right gotta fly – I have some magic mashing to do… :)

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