Archive for Old School Gaming

Stars Without Number For Fading Suns?

Posted in Space Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 10, 2011 by Kullervo

Like most Fading Suns fans, I am eagerly awaiting the release of the game’s 3rd edition. I love the Fading Suns setting more than any game setting ever made, ever, forever, but the shockingly few times I have actually managed to play the 2nd edition, the system left me sorta cold and feeling like, if I was going to make a game of Fading Suns be worthy of the setting, I would have to do it with some other system.

Initially I thought of Savage Worlds, since Savage Worlds was (is?) my go-to system for high-action games for years, but I ran into a couple of bumps in trying to put together a full-game Savage Fading Suns. There are some mechanics in FS that are informed by the setting that I could never quite manage to make work exactly right in Savage Worlds. My lultimate conclusion was that, while Savage Worlds would probably work great for Fading Suns, it would probably be great in practice rather in theory. By that I mean, if I was going to actually run Fading Suns using Savage Worlds, I would do as little converting as possible. If someone wanted ot play a particular kind of character or have a particular kind of power or skill that was not already approximate-able with Savage Worlds’s existing options, then and only then would I create the necessary new content. Otherwise, I would just see if I could use Savage Worlds out of the box as much as possible.

I have also considered using Risus for Fading Suns. In Risus you define your characters by cliches, and Fading Suns is full of cliches. I’m not sure how Risus works in practice because I have never actually played it, but I have a notion it would work. It’s presented as a humor game, but clearly it does not have to be played as a humor game.

I have also recently had the odd idea that Fading Suns would run just fine with Classic Traveller, a game I already know and love, again with minimal need for the hard work of “conversion,” since as a ridiculawesomely old-school game, Taveller is much easier to tinker with on a mechanical level than, say, Savage Worlds.

This morning, though, I was flipping through Stars Without Number and it just struck me as perfect. I haven’t read the rules all the way through yet so I can’t add a lot more than that, but Stars Without Number looks like the love child of Traveller and Basic D&D, and as such it is quite possibly the One True Soul Mate of the Fading Suns setting.

Unless Fading Suns 3rd edition is awesome, in which case, it won’t need a soul mate.

Jeff Rients: The Dungeon As The Psyche

Posted in Dungeons & Dragons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 20, 2011 by Kullervo

In response to a recent open thread on Grognardia, Jeff Rients posted the following comment:

I believe that the descent into the dungeon is a symbolic representation of the rational mind attempting to understand the irrational, unconscious self. Therefore dungeons should have something important to say but they are under no obligation to make any sense.

I don’t know how seriously he meant this, but I think it might be one of the most, if not the most, important things ever said about roleplaying games. I will be thinking about this pretty intensely, so expect a more substantial post about it soon.