Saturday, March 8, 2014

Drowning and Falling

It's just after 9am, Paraguay time (that's 4am in least until Daylight Savings Time tightens its damnable screws again) which means my family should be "rising and shining" pretty soon. In other words, I ain't got much time to post at the moment.

I was reading back through my old blog posts this morning (I've been up for a couple hours) with the intention of writing something at least semi-B/X related (and not wanting to be redundant again), when I got distracted...what else is new? As such, that post will have to wait for the nonce. I will say, I am really missing my B/X books and am wishing I'd brought them along with me. Yes, yes...I know the PDFs are available for purchase at the moment (and at a very reasonable cost), but it's not the same as having the printed book open for reference next to you when you're trying to do something computer-related. At least it's not for me.

[by the way, the superhero stuff will be coming back, too. I've still got to talk about Aquaman and Black Manta! and yes, my son has finally imprinted Rhodey in his brain...I've been Rhodey for at least two days now. On the other hand, D is giving himself even more license with his character...yesterday, walking around barefoot in blue jeans and a wife-beater tank, he insisted he was wearing his "Tony Stark" clothes. I'm not sure which universe's Tony Stark he is referencing]


The distraction was I just spent the last hour or so reading the text version of Drowning and Falling, another indie, GM-less RPG by Jason Morningstar and Bully Pulpit Games. This is Mr. Morningstar's version of D&D Mine (i.e. his closest thing to a retroclone/OSR/D&D-knockoff offering) though it is satirical in nature and pretty damn funny. It also looks like it has a completely workable game system that would be highly entertaining to play...I might pull this out one night when I'm back in Seattle.

The title says it all...
You can check out the free text version here, at their download page but you might consider purchasing the full version as A) it's supposed to have a lot of good artwork and B) all proceeds go to ORBIS, a worthy charitable organization.

Okay, that's as much of a shill for another dude's game company as I'm going to get today. However, what I wanted to say is that, despite the satire (not that there's anything wrong with humor...I like that, too, sometimes) there's the underpinnings of what could be a pretty neat little game here. I really like the way he's approached the classes of the characters, his "two alignment" system, and the spells that are tied to the GM'less method of creating a "dungeon" using a pack of playing cards. There's a lot here that I wouldn't mind adapting to a "more serious" D&D-ish game, one that involves challenges unrelated to drowning and falling.

How derivative is too derivative?

I am, probably, missing the entire point of Morningstar's game. He is clearly lampooning certain stereotypes, though not with malice (see his designer notes at the end...but even if he was, so what?) and for me to steal bits for a knockoff of a knockoff would be an absurdity of epic proportions, right? Yeah, probably.

Still, I've yet to make an RPG with dwarves and elves as a default class/race (they're included in 5AK only as an "optional" thing in the DM's book). And no, Cry Dark Future doesn't count, since it ain't published yet...and may be being reworked anyway.

[I wonder how much it costs to do a print-run of books in Paraguay?]

Anyway, more later. Happy sabado folks!
: )

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