Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Kingdoms of the Kithain

Ok, I know I'm three months overdue for an update (for which I apologise). The last update was supposed to be a map of the continent, but I'm having trouble getting that finished. Maybe I'll accomplish that task one day, but for now, I think it's best to move on to other topics.

So I would like some input on an issue that has bugged me in the past. I was looking through the old image files I created to develop a complete set of maps for the kingdoms in Changeling: the Dreaming. And I remembered a point of contention; the four kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula.

Here's the only thing that it says in any canonical release from White Wolf Studios:

Spain and Portugal -- Sometimes the allies of Neustria, four kingdoms comprise these lands of the Iberian Peninsula: Navarre along the Pyrennees, Aragon in the east, Leone in the Northeast, and Castille in the central and southern regions. Commoners, whether in service to a noble or not, are always welcomed; eshu and boggans are an integral part of the society.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Eiru: Part 5 - Setting

We're nearing the end of the Eiru series. This post will introduce the general setting of Eiru: magic and technology. The previous four posts will be useful in understanding the information below.

This being designed for GURPS 4th edition, it will of course describe everything in GURPS terms. Thus, the GURPS Basic Set will be useful in deciphering the gibberish below, as well as the 4th edition version of GURPS Magic. And of course, the disclaimer:

The material presented here is my original creation, intended for use with the GURPS system from Steve Jackson Games. This material is not official and is not endorsed by Steve Jackson Games.

Technology in Eiru

Eiru is a TL 2 world, but their technology is retarded in the areas of construction and warfare. With the exception of the Fir Bolg, who know how to create any of the items crafted by the other races but simply choose not to do so in most cases, all the people in Eiru have the same weapons, buildings, farming techniques, and so forth.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Eiru: Part 4 - Fir Bolg

We conclude the series of races in Eiru with our last entry: the Fir Bolg.

Again, for safety's sake, we include the disclaimer.

The material presented here is my original creation, intended for use with the GURPS system from Steve Jackson Games. This material is not official and is not endorsed by Steve Jackson Games.

The Fir Bolg are a race of humanoids, smaller than humans (around 4 feet tall), with a thin covering of fur. Although they are slightly more bestial than the other races in Eiru, they are not animals. They have a true culture and possess technology just as the other races do. They are not fully bipedal, having a stooped posture. But they speak the same languages as the other races (in fact, they have more languages than even the humans do).

Friday, August 6, 2010

Eiru: Part 3 - Fomors

As we continue to examine the land of Eiru, we come now to the third race: the Fomors.

Let's stay safe: here's the disclaimer again.

The material presented here is my original creation, intended for use with the GURPS system from Steve Jackson Games. This material is not official and is not endorsed by Steve Jackson Games.

A Fomor is an amphibious humanoid. They generally look quite similar to humans; however, they all have black hair and black eyes, except for specific individuals who are the offspring of one Fomor parent and one Human or Danu parent, who may have blonde or brown hair, and can have brown or blue eyes. They live near coastlines and seldom venture more than a mile or so inland, unless they have good reason to, and even then, they prefer to stay near rivers or other large sources of water.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Eiru: Part 2 - Danu

Continuing my description of the new fantasy world I've created, we now look at the second race, the Danu. (Danu, by the way, is both the singular and plural form).

Again, to be safe, we shall have the official disclaimer:

The material presented here is my original creation, intended for use with the GURPS system from Steve Jackson Games. This material is not official and is not endorsed by Steve Jackson Games.

The Danu are giants, standing around 9 feet tall, but otherwise, they look like muscular humans. They live underground; specifically, they live in communities called 'sheehers' which translates roughly to 'hollow hills.' They find a hill, dig a passage down to the centre of the hill, and then tunnel a massive underground city off of that first passage. In essence, they build massive underground settlements vaguely similar to anthills, but they always have a single entrance/exit, which must be bored into the side of a hill.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Eiru: Part 1 - Humans

As mentioned in the last post, I will start detailing the fantasy setting I've created. I could use this setting for a book, but I think it would be more fun and more rewarding it to make it freely available for anyone to use. Tell stories in this world, and if you like, tell me about them!

This setting is designed for use with GURPS, 4th Edition. If you know GURPS well enough, you should be able to easily convert to most other systems. Even if you don't, you should get a general idea of how it works. Obviously, I can't post the actual rules here, but you can get GURPS Lite for free from the SJ Games Website. This also means that I'm required to post the following disclaimer:

The material presented here is my original creation, intended for use with the GURPS system from Steve Jackson Games. This material is not official and is not endorsed by Steve Jackson Games.

Ok. That's out of the way. Now, to start with, I will detail the first race: the Humans.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

New Fantasy Setting

Perhaps I should have mentioned this a while ago, but I'm finally gaming again. I've joined a co-worker's D20 Star Wars campaign. I'm playing a Kel Dor Jedi. Not an ideal situation, but better than not gaming, right?

I tried to get the group to give GURPS a shot, but one of the players was adamantly opposed to learning a new system. So instead, I've begun a short game for the other two players, just as a brief GURPS intro/taster. We settled on a fantasy/supers crossover; one of them is playing a flying elf who shoots bolts of flaming spirit energy from his hands, and the other is playing a super-speed human. Much hilarity has occurred.

But this has given me the motivation to start reading my gaming books again. I recently started reading the 4th Edition version of GURPS Fantasy. Thus, I have developed two new ideas for fantasy settings.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Survey of Roleplaying Games

Ok, let's get this thing started again. We'll start with an idea inspired by this article on inkwellideas.com. The idea was this: if you had to teach somewhere between five and ten roleplaying game systems with the goal of giving your 'students' an idea of the basic ideas involved in gaming, what systems would be best suited for this 'class?'

I started thinking about this, and here's what I've come up with. I think the best way for what I have in mind is to have three groups of three: the first to cover different rules systems, the next to cover rules/setting integration, and the last to cover artwork/production. There will be some overlap.

With that in mind, we start with group one: rules systems. The three games I've chosen for this set are Dungeons and Dragons, GURPS, and the original Storyteller System.
  • Dungeons and Dragons: An example of level-based systems. Really, any edition would work equally well for this, although I think 3.5 is probably the easiest for new players to learn. Alternately, you could use almost any d20 system game, like the Farscape RPG or the d20 Star Wars. Another advantage of 3.5 is that it is a good example of the 'attribute+dice' style of game system.
  • GURPS: An example of points-based system. It also demonstrates the possibility of creating a 'realistic' game system, rather than the epic style represented by D&D. Also, of course, a perfect example of a universal system. A perfect example of the 'attribute vs. dice' style of game system.
  • Original Storyteller System: An example of a non-points skill-based system. Also an example of how rules can encourage players to focus on character and plot, rather than combat. Good demonstration of how a core system can be modified slightly to accomodate different settings without requiring a universal system, but still allowing crossover between different games. Finally, an example of the 'attributes=dice' style of game system.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Success and Failure

Thanks to the glory of the Order of the Stick, I have just learned of the existence of the Edition Wars. If you, like me, are one of the few people in the gaming world that doesn't play D&D, then you won't know that apparently there are heated debates raging across the internet about which edition of D&D is better. Personally, I don't care; if I'm going to play a fantasy game, I'd rather play GURPS.

Anyway. In googling the Edition Wars to find out more about it, I encountered an argument between two players. A minor point of the argument was one debator was saying that he feels that in 'modern' gaming (as he calls it), there is too much of an assumption that the players will succeed. He feels that at no point is there consideration that the players will fail. This is a problem primarily because the players, under the belief that the GM will not allow them to be unsuccessful, enter situations that are too risky for them to handle.

This is an interesting viewpoint. I don't know if it says more about me that I've never made that assumption, or if it's just proof that I'm an 'old-school' gamer. But either way, it seems like a silly assumption to make.