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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

[RPG] Discussion of the Nature of the Game & What to Expect-

Today, I hope to write-up a few of my Life Lab random creatures for Friday's game. I know the simultaneous and interlaced 8 die set of tables has worked well enough, but by cranking out a few critters I hope to put a first polish on the thing. The decision to allow the Referee to create their own creatures wasn't solely based on the fact that I don't anticipate writing up two and one-half score monsters to make the book 'complete' any more than I plan on writing my own versions of spells -- you folks have plenty of critters and spells available to run this in your own ways. However, I think that the Life Lab will prove more useful in the long run to the Referee than simply including an initial large list of critters. I try and help others 'empower' their games.
That isn't to say that I won't be producing setting-specific spells and creatures, but rather, that it isn't as high a priority to meet the same standard 50+ monsters and 5+ levels of spells for two caster classes as have the recent Retro Clones and Simulacra.
It is perhaps best to think of UWoM as an Arduinian sort of bolt-on accessory to your existing rules set, although, like Arduin, it will contain my own rules-set as a sort of variants offering to the community -- just like it used to be in the olden days when I was but a youff'.

Likewise, since my vehicle rules use a slight variation on my creature format, it means that I have less work to do when the time comes to write-up the Morrenhom Stryders and what few war wagons exist in the early Autumn era.

Also, unlike the recent bout of games in the Classic/Old/Disco/Punk-era vein, and much more like beloved Empire of the Petal Throne, and Skyrealms of Jorune, it has a very distinct setting to it. While I can understand and appreciate the mentality that setting-less-ness is a hallmark of the Punk-era games (again, Tekumel a conspicuous exception), by the time I really was in full omnivorous RPG swing, there was an increased tendency to include more details of a setting with/within games. I would argue that the Starship Warden and even Gamma Terra were settings, and these are almost as old as the hills, as they say.

Is there a story to the setting? Yes and No. In my fiction, it is all pointing to a specific 'big picture', but I have intentionally not pinned the play of the game in any specific direction, as the setting is literally galactic and multi-dimensional in nature, all there for play-groups to explore and define and create as they please. In essence, I've opened a scrying pool into another reality and left it up to you, the reader, to do with as seems best to your sensibilities.
While I hope to continue to expand the material into the latter Autumn era and into Winter, Spring, and Summer, I very well may never complete that work, and it still wouldn't hamper the game. Although new rules/guidelines for dealing with the changing technology and other assorted things that mark the setting's progression would appear, it will all be modular and capable of being used independently in your established games, regardless of which rules-set(s) you employ.

So, ultimately, I'm neither concerned with UWoM being 'OS' (or whatever), nor it possibly being labelled 'too exotic' as has been the case with both EPT and Jorune.