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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

[RPG] 'n in d6' nixed; More on the feel of the milieu-

(c) Copyright 2009 Kyrinn S. Eis All Rights Reserved

In the Dragonsfoot Workshop thread today, I presented the deciding factor in my abandoning the 'n in d6' roll-mechanic.

I then went on to describe what makes UWoM more of a love-child of Ward's Gamma World and Barker's Tekumel, than D&D.

"Opting to let everyone commingle a bit of Fieldcraft or Legerdemain, etc. into their character may, in some Grogs' minds, break down the differences between the iconic 'classes', but I'm building upon more of a Gamma World base than D&D, and a culture that reveres self-sufficiency and artifice.

Its Empire of the Petal Throne patrimony is derived from its faded, glorious Imperial past (future), and the mysteries of rediscovered complexes, tombs, observatories, and devices of the Ancients. Bizarre and inimical species of creatures that are clearly reasoning, tool and weapon users, with a long-held grudge against Humanity's past wrongs. Groups of Humanoids that aren't quite Human, but often ally themselves with Humanity against the monstrous things out in the wilds. Degenerate and insane, warped human-things living in the ruins and under the oldest cities. Terrible things that stalk the bleak lands and drive even blood-enemies to briefly band together to fight.

Oh, and honour and glory."
I was that young gamer that longed to own a copy of Metamorphosis Alpha after it had gone out of print; who had marvelled at the weird Empire of the Petal Throne ads in The Dragon; the first one in our group to find Sky Realms of Jorune irresistible through its serialised adverts in Dragon Magazine; and, the GM who always wanted to run Gamma World rather than play in AD&D if we weren't going to mix genres like the Sixguns & Sorcery section of the DMG1. Once I found Ken St. Andre's Tunnels & Trolls, I left D&D for well over fifteen years and had very little good to say about it until I re-discovered it through the Old School resurgence.

Before gaming, I had the influence of my older sister's boxes of comic books, from Green Arrow to John Carter Warlord of Mars, to the most influential one of the lot: Killraven Warrior of the Worlds. I cannot adequately describe my love and feelings for that single title and its effects on me. Throw in a little The Rook from EC comics large format publications, Heavy Metal, Gasm, 1984/1994 (especially Mutant World), and a fanzine whose name is lost to the sands of my memory that had a single issue where in a wordless or unintelligible word-bubble illustrated story featured blond horsemen who battled black-haired and bearded horsemen with remnant rifles and other tech. It wasn't until the last page and final panels that the reader realises that they are far-future post-apocalyptic survivors of earth.

Then there were Star Trek, Space 1999, The Tomorrow People, Dr. Who, the Third Eye, the Night Gallery, the Twilight Zone, the Outer Limits, the prisoner, the Rat Patrol...

I mention all of this to illustrate, in a sort of iconic shorthand, what has gone into the creation of Urutsk over these 25 years, and what one will find traces of throughout its seven millennia of history.

While my first planned volume deals with the time period roughly analagous to the Fall of Rome through to the early Renaissance, there is so much that has come before the Autumn Era of Urutsk, and much of that can only be hinted at until those volumes are published.
Suffice it that Urutsk's history has something for every sort of gamer, and that is perhaps why I am so concerned with getting a solid set of mechancal guidelines -- a chasis -- for gaming groups to use (or discard) to explore the milieu.

If any or all of these influences appeal to you, I think you just may enjoy Urutsk: World of Mystery.