Sunday, May 13, 2018

An OSR experiment - The rose petaled road with a small but vicious smiling dog [1]

Resultado de imagem para small but vicious dog

I love reading about settings, and adventures – but what I love the most is when those settings seem alive as if reading them is not a ‘how-to’ for creating your campaign, but a journey in itself. Like when reading a story, when reader and text become an amalgam of interactions. So, an idea came to mind:

The rose petaled road with a small but vicious smiling dog – a book of rules, scenery and a short story adventure for classic rpgs

I’ve been having the idea to write this thing for some time. It’s a simple principle: writing old school rpg as if writing literature. There would be different takes on rules, commentaries about design and an adventure that reads not as a sequence of steps, but as a short story or short novel. Overall, a book for classic roleplaying games that is closer to prose than to a manual.

Yes, this idea did not come from nothing. Yoon-suin, Veins of Earth, Carcosa, Vorhein, Isle of the Unknown – all of these amazing texts come to mind as inspirations for this idea. Worlds, settings, and adventures with prose and weirdness, strange and interesting rules and a myriad of bizarre creatures.

But still, they are not exactly what I intend. I guess the one that gets closer is the unbelievably beautiful Maze of the Blue Medusa. This masterpiece uses both painting and writing to weave a dungeon that reflects itself and its themes. The painting echoes with the maze museum, and the Medusa, and the fragments of forgotten history and the amazing characters and much, much more. I wanted to do something like that. But still, something that is not exactly it.

So, what would this idea, this experiment exactly be? Well, I think of dividing it in 3 parts:

Of Rules and introduction, where I would talk about the idea behind the book and ideas for new takes on rules. In this book, I’d like to talk about stats, some different ways to roll (using a form of balancing random rolls) and use of primary and secondary stats.

A promise-wish made in pink, this would be the short story adventure, a mix of prose and rules telling the story of the rose pathway and the small dog sitting in there.

Of things left to say, where I would comment on the story and how to use the book as an adventure for your campaign.

I plan on showing some bits of these in the next few days, as I finish writing and reviewing. Today, I will leave you with the introduction:

Out in the wilds, far away from the ruins of old Saboath, although close to the banks of River Enyong, there lies a stretch of trees with tall trunks and sleepy branches. A path created naturally, with ample space for feet and hooves. Petals, always fresh, kiss the leafed pathway. For many roses, embedded in vines thin and thick alike, grow as serpents in the trees' bark.

There, sitting calmly, a small but vicious dog smiles.

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