Saturday, September 11, 2010

Gutters & Goblins, Zeppelins & Zombies

I don't know where this is coming from, but I've been thinking about how some fantasy settings - especially D&D clones and subsettings - like to orbit some central monster. The most famous such game is Tunnels & Trolls, in which, at least at the time that I played it, trolls really were the big, scary monster. There's also Ravenloft, which is sometimes described as "D&D with vampires."

So, amuse me. Take a fantasy setting, wrap it around a less common monster, and tell me what you get. I'm looking for something that, like Ravenloft, is thematically coherent. That means no fair just saying "it's like bog-standard D&D fantasy except everyone's really scared of owlbears." You've got to write about why the thing you pick is important and the consequences of that choice.

Alliterating titles are purely optional.



Christian said...

I know it's not D&D, so I will lose points for my answer, but Ron Edward's Sword and Sorcerer is a neat idea. Take fantasy and tack on humans with the ability to summon and bind demons to do their bidding. With that system you can really pull off some great, well, swords and sorcery style play a la Conan.

Mark said...

Nah, that's a totally point-worthy answer. Sword and Sorcerer is a great idea for how to twist a fantasy setting around a single idea - in this case, the idea that the only really powerful magic in the setting is humans binding demons.

The only thing that might cost you points is that I'm not a big fan of Ron Edwards ;-).

Christian said...

I noticed that you are a fellow teacher. I wrote my response while taking a mental break in my classroom. I'm trying to get ready before the onslaught on Monday.