Inspired by Risus Monkey’s latest foray into fantasy gaming, I have been itching to GM a sort of old school fantasy….without it really being too old school. I had stumbled upon a free RPG out of Germany called Dungeonslayers about a year ago, but fell in love with Swords & Wizardry: Whitebox at the time and focused on it. So, now itching for a fantasy, I headed back to Dungeonslayers, why you ask? It is an extraordinary modern system yet still captures a bit of old school feel. I also have been feeling that I want something more than the ‘few-sessions’ of different systems we have been trying lately. Not that variation is bad, but I have just been wanting something a little longer running than a few weeks. I just am wanting the longer running, more epic feel of some of the old campaigns that I ran as a teenager. Nostalgia is a powerful force, one that little old snik cannot ignore…
Now, I want a traditional fantasy, but I thought a bit about it (and could have been influenced by the fact I was watching Deadwood) and came upon the idea that perhaps a fantasy with a western twist could be interesting. Now, I am not talking about goblins carrying around six shooters, but more along the lines of the elements of western transposed upon a fantasy setting. Whores, miners, settlers, rustlers, gamblers, sheriffs, Indians (perhaps goblins? great idea Brennen!), etc. Apply the stereotypical archetypes we all would recognize from western films into the setting and see what happens.
Another thing I want to do is run this more as a story game than as a traditional old school game, with lots of maps of dungeons. I plan on running this using mostly Skype, possibly only using at map at my end to keep track of where they are. Part of this is speed, I know that developing a map, and using it in play will only increase my prep time, but also slow the pace of our game. Playing sans map will make our adventure much more fluid and enable the players to have a much larger input in the direction of the story.
With those ideas in mind, I set forth with this as my foundation. A western fantasy! Win! I can totally see a group of human and elven rustlers strolling into town, bringing their herd of cattle into town after loosing a few of their pals to those savage gobs out on the frontier. They ride into town and head to the nearest tavern, looking for a few sexy elven whores to shack up with and a good group of gamblers to share a few hands of cards with.
In the next few days I plan on going over my creation ideas and how I will come up with what I end up running, and with luck in a few days I will run our first session, so I should have an actual play here shortly.