04 April 2014

RuneQuest 6 In Italian!

The Italian company Asterion had translated and published the Mongoose RQII version of the RuneQuest rules in Italian. The book was a superb full-colour hardback with amazing illustrations. Despite its quality, and despite an original 100% Italian companion setting book based on a popular fantasy novel, the book sold quite poorly in the difficult Italian rpg market.







Despite these past difficulties, Alephtar Games, mostly known for their high-quality historical BRP settings (Rome, Life and Death of the Republic, for instance, won a Silver Ennie for the "Best setting" category at the ENnies Awards in 2010), have announced that they would be translating and publishing the RQ6 rule book in Italian.

The Italian version of RQ6 is scheduled for availability at the time of the Lucca 2014 Con, i.e.,
around 1st November 2014. Should the product be successful, other translations would follow.

Stupor Mundi, Alephar Games' very first product, originally published for the Mongoose edition of RuneQuest, should be made available anew with full RQ6 compatibility.

21 March 2014

Chronicles of Future Earth Are Back!

The Chronicles of Future Earth is a science-fantasy setting from Sarah Newton's apparently limitless imagination. Set in the far, far future of our own planet, it features a neo-mediaeval world with some remnants from the past. It is a dangerous place, with little pockets of advanced societies known as the Springtide Civilisations. For some reason, it strongly evokes Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind in me, with the small independent principalities and the big kingdoms at war, but I know that other people have different experiences.

There had been a first volume published by the Chaosium a few years ago, which used the BRP as its engine, but honestly it was too thin and poorly laid out, and the Springtide Civilisations deserved a better book.

Well, the Design Mechanism (publishers of RQ6) and Mindjammer Press (Sarah Newton) have announced this very day the Chronicles of Future Earth for RuneQuest 6th edition. The setting will be back, in an all-new full-size, 296-page hardback edition for the 6th edition of the RuneQuest game. If the book is successful, I reckon others will follow, expanding on the Venerable Autocracy of Sakara, the initial civilisation presented in the core book alongside cultures, peoples, and creatures, and histories, maps, and background rules for ancient treasures and technologies dug from the depths of the earth.

In my own feverish mind, I think the setting could be used as a basis for RQ6 adventures in the early Third Age of Glorantha, just after the demise of the Middle Sea empire, with the world of Glorantha back to a Dark Ages-like setting of fear and superstition, and courageous adventurers setting out to explore the dangerous ruins left by the hubris of the God Learners...

T&T Auf Deutsch

Despite T&T 5th ed. having been translated to German in 1983 under the weird name Schwerter und Dämonen ("Swords and Demons"), I believe Tunnels & Trolls has never been very widespread or successful in Germany — contrary to, say, the UK, France or Italy.

It seems there are talks now of re-issuing the game in Germany. What little rumour I've managed to find on German-language blogs seems to imply that the new translation will be based on the 7.5 edition (which seems like a stupid idea since dT&T is so close now to being published, at least in a draft version that a translator could work on), but then other blogs do mention Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls as the possible source. Wait and see.

Whichever the actual outcome shall be, I have found a German-language post about the history of T&T, with a good explanation of the rules, a sample combat sequence, sample characters, etc., all in a nicely put entry. It is available here for those of you who read Krautspeak.

12 March 2014

The Mother Of All Generators

There are three kind of GM bloggers. GM bloggers of the first kind copy pictures or links and say, oh, this is awesome. GM bloggers of the second kind create useful new stuff for other GMs to use. I like to think that I oscillate between the first and the second kind, depending on the inspiration of the day.

Then there are GM bloggers of the third kind (no, they're not humming aliens). GM bloggers of the third kind also create useful new stuff, but it's stuff that can be expanded, improved, and customised, not mere one-off stuff.

The kind owners of the Last Gasp blog definitely pertain to the third category. They have created not a generator, but a tool that enables fellow GMs to create generators (a meta-generator?).

Here's a sample generator that I have created in 2 seconds using their Choose Your Own Generator tool.

09 March 2014

New BRP/D100 On-Line Fanzine

With all the blogs, with all the cheap or even free on-line magazines, etc., I had a feeling that 'zines were on the wane.

Yet Cronista, the ever-productive author of the Mundos Inconclusos blog, has managed to produce a very interesting 34-page Spanish-language 'zine exclusively dedicated to BRP/D100-based role-playing games.

Issue 1, available here, contains the following:

Desde el scriptorium, an introduction, in which Cronista explains why he's started the 'zine, and what games he will be covering: first and foremost RuneQuest 6, but also BRP, Magic World, OpenQuest, and Legend.

La saga de Vinland: the first part of a campaign setting set at the end of the 10th century and at the beginning of the 11th, in which Viking colonists set foot on the New World and start exploring it, obviously encountering the Natives in the process. The sandbox-like setting, firmly rooted in history, is reminiscent of Alephtar Games products. There is a map with numbered hexes, keyed locations, NPCs.... Possibly hours and hours of gaming. This is very good work; it occupies about 80% of issue No.1 of the 'zine.

La panoplia: additional weapons for RuneQuest 6, many of them Oriental in flavour -- which is actually a pity because it does not tie in with the main theme of issue No.1.

Monstruos de los mitos: How to adapt CoC creatures to RQ 6.

07 March 2014

Random Generators Galore

Did I ever tell you I loved random generators? Hmmm.. Yes, I probably did. OK, I've just stumbled upon a web-site with random generators galore. And they're really nifty random generators; they're not powered by old-fashioned D30's like mine, they're based on various scripts, pieces of code, Markov chains, and other forbidden lore, that yield a huge array of results.

The site goes by the fanciful name of donjon.

My favourite random generators are:
  • the Random Dungeon Generator – Old School at its best
  • the Random Treasure Generator (to populate your randomly generated dungeons)
  • the Random Weather Generator (whoa)
  • the Weird Random Generator – 'cause it's weird
  • the Star Wars D6 System Generator (whoa)

You're gonna spend hours and hours poring over all the generators, you're gonna hate me :)

03 March 2014

YARG (Yet Another Random Generator)

For some reason I dig random generators. Maybe they epitomise Old School gaming, who knows. Anyway, ever since I've read this post one month ago, I've been thinking about using the cards from the game Citadels as elements for yet another random generator.

Set-Up

Separate the cards between characters and districts. Shuffle each pack of cards.

Use

You'll either want to randomly generate an NPC, or a neighbourhood for when the party is unexpectedly exploring the city, and has caught you unawares.

Random NPC Generator

1. Take a card from the characters pack. Depending on the card, the NPC is...
    Assassin > an Assassin
    Thief > a Thief
    Magician > a Wizard
    King > a Nobleman
    Bishop > a Rune Priest
    Merchant > a Trader / a Merchant
    Architect > a Sage
    Warlord > a Fighter
    Witch > a Healer
    Tax Collector > a Lawspeaker
    Wizard > a Wizard
    Emperor > a Nobleman
    Abbot > a Rune Priest
    Alchemist > an Alchemist
    Navigator > a Sailor
    Diplomat > a Minstrel / a Skald
    Artist > a Musician / an Entertainer
    Queen > a Noblewoman

2. Take a card from the districts pack. The value of the card will yield the level of the NPC:
1-3: Inferior
HeroQuest: Ability at 17
LotFP: Level 1
RuneQuest/BRP: Skill at 50%
Tunnels & Trolls: Primary Talent at +2
4-5: Average
HeroQuest: Ability at 1Ш
LotFP: Level 3
RuneQuest/BRP: Skill at 75%
Tunnels & Trolls: Primary Talent at +4
6+: Superior
HeroQuest: Ability at 5Ш
LotFP: Level 5
RuneQuest/BRP: Skill at 100%
Tunnels & Trolls: Primary Talent at +6

3. Take a second card from the districts pack. This will indicate where the NPC is coming from, or where the party has met him.

Random Place Generator

1. Take a card from the districts pack.This is the current neighbourhood the party is exploring.

2. Take a card from the characters pack. This is an important NPC the party is going to meet / the person pulling the strings in this neighbourhood. Determine per No.1 above.

3. Take a second card from the districts pack. The value of the card will yield the level of the NPC per No.2 above.



28 February 2014

Latest Deluxe T&T Update — Still Quite Worried

Wow! Two Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls updates in a row. Apparently some backers are getting angry at not having received anything (except the postcards we received last year).

Unfortunately most of the backers' anger seems directed at not having received any of the promised goodies, not at not having seen anything rules-wise, not even a very first draft of the rules. People are weird.

So Rick has written a lengthy update explaining that it would be cheaper to send everything at once (which makes perfect sense), and giving some information on where they are with regards to the rules. Now, that's where I am still quite worried.

I am quoting: Ever looking to tweak and revise, Ken has continued to make changes to different sections of the rules. He has given Liz at least three versions of combat, there were three versions of talents (the final version will be number four), and right now Ken and Bear are wrestling over a second version of the weapon charts. My translation is: they've just started writing the rules. Bloody hell, this means that they didn't have anything to start with when they set up the KS in the first place. Well, I guess not everyone is Kevin Crawford, who has started his KS when he already had an almost-finished version of the text and was mostly looking to finance the art.

Also, Rick has revealed that Liz has set the following tasks and goals for the months ahead: [...] My immediate priority: finish the core section of the rules. Er, again this smacks of not having anything at the moment.

This is not a big deal. My gaming life won't collapse because the DT&T KS is late, and I'd rather wait two more years and have a fantastic version of DT&T than receive some shitty version in 2014. Also I know that Liz et al are not-too-young now, and that they live in the Land of the Free™ where even the slightest health issue can wreck your life because of the financial implications, but honestly they could have waited until they had at least an alpha version of the rules or something before setting up the KS. This just reinforces my view that game designers are simply jumping on the KS bandwagon for the easy buck (or quid) nowadays.