Of Systems and Settings

So, I’ve forgotten to mention things I’ve intended to, but that can be a good thing, as it gives me subjects to discuss every week. This week’s forgotten item is Bare Bones Fantasy. I picked up the POD version, which was a bit overpriced for its size, but then all POD stuff it. The book is digest-sized, but very thin, only about 80 pages.

BBF is definitely riding the “simple rules renaissance” wave, and it’s not a bad set of rules, and I can see ways I could extend it for StarSea. I doubt I will, but it’s a possibility. While I like simpler rules, I almost think this one is too simple. It’s still worth considering.

I also looked at Lords of Gossamer and Shadow this week. I considered it for a moment for StarSea, but I don’t think my current players (neither my home game or my FLGS LFR group) would be up for such an intrigue-heavy setting/system. Yeah, even the system is more intrigue-biased; just look at character creation. It’s based on the Amber Diceless RPG, including the stat auction as the initial part of character creation.

This is kind of a bad thing to me. There’s nothing new here but an extremely derivative setting. I already own both the core Amber rulebook and the Shadow Knight books. They might pull in some extra stuff from the old Amberzines, but how much of that will I need as a DM or a player? Their new setting is nice, but as I said, it seems pretty derivative, so I’m just not seeing the point of buying this one, especially unemployed as I am now. I think unemployment is good for me right now, as I think I might go broke on supporting Kickstarters, and I might have supported this one if I hadn’t stopped to think about it…

Anyway, that’s all I have for this week. Hopefully, I’ll have a little more for next week.


About docryder

I'm an experienced table top gamer with an open mind to new game systems. I'm looking to explore ideas I've got. Some are pretty meta, some are pretty mundane. Welcome to my world.

Posted on April 8, 2013, in Star Wars Fantasy. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. First thanks for mentioning Lords of Gossamer & Shadow and linking to it.

    There is new stuff, in Lords of Gossamer and Shadow, Invocation does not exist in amber nor does Channeling, Warden and Master of the Grand Stair are their own things,

    There is an alternate form of character creation besides the attribute auction, we included it because Jason felt strongly that if you doing that style of play it is a huge help in setting the tone, but our Editor Perry felt we absolutely had to have a second form of creation that did not.

    Also the first unlocked stretch goal is “The Long Walk” which is an exploration adventure not heavy intrigue.

    • Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, Mr. Russell.

      I read most of your preview before I made my comments. I will offer this in response: You may want to re-examine your preview and think about who you are trying to market your game to. Of the 18 pages, three are setting, one is introduction, and the rest is the character creation system, which looks little different from the Amber system. Outside of the new explanation of the same basic system, there’s little new, the exception being referencing the few different powers you’ve mentioned above, given a “page XX” placeholder. I completely understand why those placeholders are there, but without some deeper explanation, I’m free to assume that the Grand Stair is a substitute for hellriding, and the Lords and Wardens are simply different versions of Pattern and Logrus Attunement.

      So, to me, the LoG&S preview kind of looks like your selling to someone who has no experience with Amber. To someone like that, setting isn’t as important. But for me, an owner of Amber (as I mentioned), there is not enough setting in that preview to entice me spend my money on your new game. If I was truly dedicated to the Amber system, I could make my own setting. I’ve toyed with the idea more than once.

      Therefore, my suggestion is that you might want to make available a deeper view of your setting, to entice those who might already be owners of the Amber game some reason to purchase your game. The preview you have just doesn’t seem like good marketing to me.

      Of course, I’m not a professional (presently), so my criticisms and suggestions may not mean anything to you. However, there they are, offered in the spirit of improving your marketing and increasing your sales, based on my personal experiences and views. You’re free to do with them what you will.

      • Thanks for the feedback

        Most Kickstraters don’t even do previews, and we did a preview of the first 17 pages of our game so we are actually doing better marketing than other Kickstarters.

        The people who are backing it are say 25% Amber fans, who love diceless and plan to use the new stuff we present in their existing amber games, and a number are people who have lost their copies over the years and can’t get misplacement (these are folks who just have a print out). At least half of these folks want amber 2.0 not a new setting.

        Another 25% love the Diceless system and don’t like the baggage of having a game tied down by 12 novels. And the problem f convincing people to play a book that they feel they have to read 12 novels to play. Half of these folks wanted me to do a completely new genre first time out like space opera or super heroes. These folks want to expand a dying player base (I am not talking about people who own the game, I am talking about people who play a continuous game for fun).

        The other 50% are people who have never heard of a game that has been out of print for 20 Years. Some of these folks came for a full color hardback book, and the quality modern printing offers.

        Some of these folks also want the completely new stuff we are doing with the sandbox adventure, the guide to powers series, and the deck of 52 cards, plus the other stretch goals that will open up over the next 35 days.

        Now these are all broad generalizations and people fit in multiple camps some time, I have had people join just because Jason durall is the author and his work on the Deluxe Basic Roleplaying game or his history of writing for Shadow Knight, or Kit Kindreds work at Amber cons, or Rob Donoghue’s (Dresden Files, Fate Core), as a guest author.

        Regardless though, I appreciate the fact that you took the time to read the preview and if its not your cup of tea and your happy with Amber the way it is, then that’s great. You were still nice enough to link to it.

        Also if your willing to blog about it I would happily send you a PDF copy when we release the retail copy (which would be at a minimum 4 months after the end of the kickstarter project.

        Anyway I went long, i really was just happy you took the time to examine it that closely, link to us, and care enough to blog about us.

        Thank you for your Time

        Steve Russell
        Rite Publishing

      • Well, seems you’ve got a pretty broad market. Thanks for taking the time to write, and thanks for your offer. However, I would only be reading and posting for my own edification, as I know my game group isn’t well suited for such a game. My players like their dice too much. 🙂

        Good luck with the game. I hope you are successful with it!

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