Sunday, February 15, 2015

Carpe Blogiem: Musings on Sicatra, Part I

While in a haze of "What's my blood sugar at?" and being sleepy because I had to keep a eye on said glucose I got to thinking (a dangerous pastime, I know) about my blog. I said "Self, why don't you have a post series about random gaming stuff?" and I said back "Well, you're usually doing rulesy-stuff and giving advice." "Don't you think that's weird?" I asked myself. "Yeah, a bit I guess, should we have one?" "Uhhh, yes. And while you're at it stop talking to yourself. Carpe Blogiem! Seize the Blog!" So...ummm, that's kind of how this blog post got started. (If you think me talking to myself is weird you have not been reading this blog long - that is to say, yes, I talk to myself and fairly often too. Don't judge me! :-P)

Creatin 'n Drawin' and Makin' the New
So, I've been posting session reports about my new campaign setting, Sicatra, for a while now (you can find them here). Basically, it's high fantasy using GURPS Dungeon Fantasy as a framework. It actually started out as a random series of questions some players asked at a demo of Dungeon Fantasy and I just kept notes. Over the course of about a week I'd gotten a lot of feedback from some of my regulars that had played it and we'd decided to just go with it and see what happened. Well, a lot happened. My players were hooked. I realized early on that playing Dungeon Fantasy "straight up" wasn't something I really wanted to do - nor my players. But using it as a framework for a "high fantasy" campaign...well, that produced something that was not only tenable to my players and I, but something we'd been craving for a while without knowing. I set to work furiously jotting down every idea that rushed into my head. I began looking at past fantasy campaigns that had sputtered out for this or that reason. It came to me later that I could just mash everything together for a new workable whole. Out of that glorious mess came something...very interesting. I ran them through several game sessions until we stopped at a dungeon (a dungeon I intend to run at ROFCON 2015 - if you're in Virginia Beach, VA, stop by and play!). Then my co-GM, L.A., came to me with a crazy idea that was so crazy and awesome I just had to figure out how to do it. "Wouldn't it be neat if we (the players) could play the deities of the setting?" Well, shit, that would be neat. I've long wanted to toss together a framework for creating deities. I worked tirelessly for quite a while trying to balance the point costs to make everything work...but it drive me a little mad. I was stumped until L.A. (again) said "Why not just ignore the points like that article Kromm wrote?" Well, damn, why not ignore the point cost?! You're a freaking god, at that level the points kind of don't matter. And they didn't. I banged out around 12,000 words and went from there. We'll hash out the rest of the info needed (who is your god? What is his domain? Who worships them? And so on) on one of our workshop sessions. So far...I really dig the idea of running deities because at that level the stakes are so high and petty. Anyways, that's enough for now I guess. I'll let you know how it went in part II, though I do have a question: what sort of fantasy tropes do you think are neat (even if they are overplayed) and why?

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