I have talked often about my love for simple game design, there is something to be said for more detailed systems. My original plan for running fantasy RPGs was to try to play D&D as close to as written. I wanted to prove to myself that the rules were viable in their simplicity. Two retro clone systems seemed like the best fit for this goal. White Box Fantastic Medieval Adventure Game and Untold Adventures. Both are based on Swords and Wizardry which in turn originates from a rewrite/update of the Dungeons and Dragons white box rules set. Being derived from a such a simple rules set I reasoned that my anxiety over remembering rules would be reduced. Yes it can be easier to run a bit but the lack of depth actually can work against my over all satisfaction. Its a little dull, uninspiring even. And I worried players would be put off. As running a RPG is as much for the players as the game master, this is a problem. I did look forward to creating a setting to explain things like race as class. Opening my players eyes to the elegance of D6 hit points and damage. Rationalizing Vancian magic. There are downsides although. The characters however are a little cookie-cutter assembly line type without any detail. The experience points earned to level up dynamic tends to direct players toward monster bashing to the exclusion of all else. True this can be moderated by XP awards for other things like role playing or exploration. All is not lost, I will simply tuck away those books for another time. Maybe I will do up a few dungeon levels for a random group that comes my way. I still plan to run a D&D based game some time. I have Mazes and Minotaurs, a D20 style game set in a mythical Greek world. I encourage everyone to check it out. Its free to download. Available on Drive ThruRPG.com.
Because of my recent tragedy of the lost hard drive, I am trying to collect hard copy of games. Taking advantage of the current GM's Day sales I purchased two game books.
Sword Of Cepheus - a fantasy version of the sci-fi Cepheus Engine rules.
If you had ever thought " I wish there was a fantasy version of Traveller", this is it. I still have to create or adapt a setting but I look forward to trying it out.
Barbarians Of Lemuria - this is a 2D6 system with a rich character creation system. I have kept an eye on this system through several editions but this is the first printed copy I have bought. A full colour book details a robust background setting based loosely on pulp fantasy novels. Included are several adventures which will help start off the players.
Given he current troubles in the world I don't know if I will get to run or play anything soon. but i can hope. And the new books generate some enthusiasm.