Monday, March 19, 2012

Further Thoughts About Martial Arts in Legend

Martial Arts (Vampire Slayer) in action
Let's face it, my first attempt at representing Martial Arts in Legend/MRQII didn't work very well. I've been trying to come up with something better and have been attempting to flesh out a system. As someone else had very similar thoughts, I just posted these to the Mongoose Forum, and thought I really ought to post them here. Comments etc are very welcome.

By the way, it looks like RQ6 approaches this through its new Mysticism rules, and they'll probably be much better than these anyway, but for the nonce...

Martial Arts

Each Tradition or School teaches a Combat Style, the Martial Arts skills, probably a few other skills, and a variety of Techniques that help modify the Combat Style by adding Combat Maneuvers, abilities and effects through the Martial Arts skill. It may also teach Heroic Abilities.

Martial Arts (Specific Tradition) skill (POW + DEX)

The Martial Arts skill is used to apply martial arts techniques to a Combat Style. Each ten percent of Martial Arts skill allows the martial artist to apply 1 point of technique to his/her combat style for the combat action (round?).

This skill is not rolled against when fighting. Its value merely limits how much the martial artist may modify his/her combat style.

In fantastical worlds, each Technique used may cost 1 Magic Point.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

RIP Firu ba Yeker

I was deeply upset to hear of the passing of Professor MAR Barker, the inventor of Tekumel and what must surely be the first dedicated RPG setting, the Empire of the Petal Throne. I am a proud possessor of the original EPT box set, even if it is rather more battered than the one depicted here. Some of my earliest gaming memories are of composing notes and props in the amazing Tsolyani script. And my box set still contains my version of the first level of the Jakallan underworld, made from 4 sheets of A4 scientific graph paper taped and stapled together. I even have several pages of the key. Sadly, I only ran the system for a few sessions, because then Runequest 2 came out and we all switched over to that pretty quickly (apart from a few diehards who decided Chivalry & Sorcery was their "improved" game of choice.)

I never had any personal interaction with the good professor, but the great Dave Morris did. His moving tribute is here.

Sandy Petersen, creator of Call of Cthulhu and long-time Chaosium guru, created some RQ3 rules for Tekumel, which are available at the Tekumel site. They should be convertible to Legend with a few tweaks.

As I've mentioned before, my vision of Glorantha's Kralorela has more in common with Tekumel than the official version. I shall now spend more time trying to bring Lur Nop to life in homage to Jakalla.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Whirr... Click... Resetting

Well, last Summer I had a book come out. It's about American politics from a libertarian viewpoint, so for the few of you who might be interested, the link is here. What knocked me for a loop is that since my last book came out, I had to work four times as hard to sell a quarter of the copies. Life is extremely hard in the mainstream nonfiction publishing world at the moment, and the gap between the quick (the best sellers) and the dead (everyone else) is bigger than my publisher has ever seen. Add to that new management responsibilities at my work and something had to give. It was gaming. Apart from a brief and hilarious foray into OD&D run by one of my group, and starting and then scrapping three different iterations of a Gloranthan side-campaign set in Kralorela, I have had little interaction with the gaming world. So all the rash promises made below about a fanzine and so on fell by the wayside, and I did nothing to rectify the situation when it became apparent I would have to drop them, and for that I apologize to everyone. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

Things are slowly returning to normal. So I hope to restart semi-regular updates. Here are a few brief links to begin with:

The Flamesword

  • Jamie "Trotsky" Revell has self-published his Heroquest book on Glorantha's Seshnela: Kingdom of the Flamesword. If you liked his Book of Glorious Joy, you'll love this. It treats the Gloranthan west in a much more medieval fashion than the current official interpretation allows for (and I have to admit I am somewhat disillusioned with the current direction of Glorantha, however excellent the Moon Design products are). Highly recommended.
  • Design Mechanism have made the excellent products written by Pete Nash and Lawrence Whitaker for the Second Age of Glorantha available for the bargain price of a buck each. If you've somehow missed this, dive in. The late MRQ1 and entire MRQII era of the Second Age books included some really excellent stuff, and at the very least they'll provide some great inspiration for a homebrew Legend/RQ6 campaign. I hope the Second Age is not dead and would love to see Tenets of the Inner Dragon appear at some point.
  • In OSR D&D, I'm really excited about Dwimmermount. I recently purchased Adventurer Conqueror King and between that and LOTFP, I think there are two really workable early-D&D-inspired rules systems out there that could persuade me to run a D&D campaign again.
  • And, of course, the Heroquest Pavis book is due any day now. I will be getting a copy as soon as I can, and I shall be interested to see whether it is as compatible with my vision/plans for Pavis as I hope it will be.

I thought that the way I would get myself back into gaming mood might be to review some of the great products I've picked up over the last few months, like Legend's Blood Magic and the brilliant Age of Treason. So I hope to produce one review at some point this week.

And who knows, I might produce some original content at some point too.