Grey Anatomy…

This basically follows on from my last piece, which sort of left us at a very small cliff-hangar of creating a new system. Clearly that’s what I did. I had a few basic wants. I wanted a generic fantasy system such as is found in literature or films (at least partly inspired by the late magnificent TP). I liked the idea of guilds of character classes where you are, for instance a level 4 warrior, because otherwise the numbers make no sense at all. How do you go up levels, and who decides? In my system by doing good stuff, possibly eliminating rivals, and being formally advanced by the head of your guild. Magic – I liked the idea of memorising magic words, which are neccessary to cast the spell. I wanted a range of non-human playable races. I wanted a world filled with humour, violence, greed and goodliness. Lots of sterotypes, with a few schticks to confound the cocky. There may have been something out there which ticked all these boxes, but I wasn’t aware of it. So I made my own, ‘borrowing’ chunks from other worthies and gluing it all together.
I’ve just started only my second campaign with it. The first went on haphazardly for quite a while, and I feel if someone sat that original group down, at least most of them would continue. Basically the group have to agree on a guild, because it would be very difficult to play if they were from more than one. You must have read Pratchett, think of his guilds. After surprisingly little negotiation, our heroes settled on Thieves. I have a pretty well detailed generic fantasy city, complete with basic maps, lists of temples, taverns, guilds etc etc. So we dump our newly enrolled Thieves in it (the capital T is because there are a heck of a lot of thieves in the city, but only about 400 Thieves). The idea is that it’s pretty competitive in this guild, and a very acceptable way of progressing levels is if rivals ‘disappear’ around you. The group are told, look, you are a small group, sharing a room. United you may survive, divided it’ll be all over by teatime.
One of my game mechanics is a small table. How did you get accepted by the guild? Guilds are a bit like universities or public schools. There is a massive advantage in going to one, at least in my world. It’s an education, apprenticeship and status symbol all in one. So they don’t let just anyone in. Clearly as a PC you have to have been accepted, but was that your raw talent, nepotism, or money? A roll on the table determines, and gives a hook. One PC, hugely playing against type as an attractive elven female (with a whip?), turns out to have caught the eye of a very senior guild member, a hobbit. To be honest it all went downhill from there. Given 2 other PCs are playing short hairy males as well, I can see this degenerating. Still, we all laughed muchly, and it’s supposed to have a fair amount of humour…


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