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madprofessor

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About madprofessor

  • Rank
    Junior Member

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  • RPG Biography
    GM of 35+ years. Designed, and wrote "The Overlord's Tower" miniatures rules a long time ago. Obsessive rules tinkerer. Professor of medieval history.
  • Current games
    Currently running Stormbringer/BRP Classic Fantasy Hybrid set in a Harryhousen/Frazetta inspired Atlantis.
    Also, occasional one offs using Crypts and Things.
    Working on Swordbearer/Dragonquest/BRP rules hack for mythic dark ages.
  • Location
    Collorado
  • Blurb
    Currently reading "The Broken Sword" by a young Poul Anderson. Its like R.E. Howard edited the Lord of the Rings down to 200 pages.

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  1. Man, I just stumbled across this treasure trove of awesomeness. Thanks for sharing. I'll make good use of it.
  2. Well, I don't know how much of a market there is for it, but I for one would be happy to see more history and myth themed products for Mythras or d100 style games. I think the system(s) suits the genre well. I woke up the other morning with an idea for a REH style swords and sandals campaign based around Zama and the Destruction of Carthage complete with stolen treasures, dark Poeni gods and a trek through the Sahara to the "troglodyte" civilization of the Garamantes. RQ6 jumped to mind instantly as the system of choice for such a campaign - thus I started looking for Pete's Rome.
  3. Awesome, Loz. I'm of course wanting it yesterday for a game I am starting up so I'll pick up a used copy as quick as I can, but I will certainly pick up the Mythras version as well, when it is available. I am a little shocked that I let this title pass me by until it was oop. By the way, Mythic Britain was phenomenal!
  4. Will do. I take it, it is not in print then. Thank you.
  5. Is BRP Rome: Life and Death of the Republic available in print anywhere? I would prefer a print copy, but I can't even find it in PDF. I am sorry if this is a redundant question, but I do not seem to be able to find it anywhere. Thanks.
  6. Thank you for dropping in to answer my question! Very kind of you. It sounds like the book will fit the bill perfectly with the setting included, a starting point (the city of Korantine), and adventures to get the ball rolling. I guess the title threw me off a little bit (not a criticism) as it only suggests a localized setting. From what I have read, "Age of Treason" seemed a great concept for a setting, visceral and real, with enough of the fantastic to keep things interesting. I am a big fan of Hyboria and mythological settings, which are quasi-historical with weirdness. It may not be a perfect analog, but the vein seems similar. Magic and fantasy seems to have greater impact in my mind when it is placed into a believable context. I got that vibe from reviews of Age of Treason but have been unable to obtain a copy. Anyway, I am very glad that the general setting will be included. All that said, I rarely buy settings and generally prefer RPG products that are immediately usable at the table, and it sounds like the city, adventures, and ship rules will fill that role nicely.
  7. Wow, what a list. I'm gonna be broke! The quality of DM products thus far have been absolutely superb. As a GM I often get excited about a genre, story, a set of mechanics, or a milieu. I'm not a brand kind of guy, so it's something else entirely to be excited about a publisher and a group of writers. I'll likely buy most everything on this list. Mythic Constantinople should prove immensely interesting. Byzantium is such a bizarre yet familiar place. It should be perfect as an RPG setting full of religion, war, and intrigue. I'll have to pick up "Red Rocks" as I am currently running a campaign based on the Book of Quests. I'm also a fan of Classic Fantasy, and have had a great time with that game, though I thought it was going to Legend rather than RQ6 (essentially the same in terms of mechanics). About the only book on the list that I am not interested in is Glorantha. With respect to Greg Stafford (Pendragon is my desert isle RPG) and all the Glorantha fans, its just not my thing. I am also excited about the Shores of Korantia, as I have heard great things about Age of Treason, though unfortunately, not until it was OOP. I have to say though, that my deepest anticipation is for Mythic Britain. As a medieval historian and long time d100 GM who has run Celtic, Viking, and Arthurian campaigns (and sometimes mixed them all together) - this is a book that I have longed for.
  8. I missed out on the previous release of 'Age of Treason: The Iron Simulacrum,' but the setting got great reviews and sounds simply excellent for gritty swords and sorcery (just my kind of setting). I am glad to see that the setting has new life, especially via RQ6. I think the city book with adventures is a great idea, but I would like to get my hands on the overall setting, and I was wondering how this would work as a stand-alone or intro to the setting, and if there are further RQ6 plans for the Age of Treason?
  9. I have hybridized RQ and Elric!/Stormbringer (along with a bit of WFRP and Harnmaster) without problems. In fact, I've been doing it for years. I played so many different d100 systems that they started to run together. There are things that I prefer from each system, and I never seem to be completely happy with a system as written. For example, like you, I prefer stat derived starting skills, and total HP/major wounds for combat. I now have pages and pages of house rules typed out to codify my hybrid from chargen to combat to magic, but really my Frankenstein just evolved over time - it wasn't something I planned. The beauty of the BRP family is that it is all 90% compatible and/or modular. I see no reason why you couldn't play RQ with Elric! Combat and elemental/demon summoning without major surgery - it worked fine for me.
  10. I did not mean hyjack this thread, but while we are on the subject... Though the setting material for Numenara and Cydoria may be similar, I think they appeal to very different markets. Numenara has targeted the mainstream crowd of D&D and pathfinder players as well as the "Indi" crowd, a much wider market than the more "old school" BRP group that is fairly deeply fragmented in their gaming preferences, and would as soon play a set of rules from the '80s with their own setting, as buy a new monograph. I think there is a lot of love for BRP out there - I know nobody who dislikes or even has any complaints about the game - but I think it is a little hard to generate new interest for an old system. As great as any monograph may be, BRP has an uphill climb to get out of a niche market. I think that is the sad reality of it. BRP has a respectable % of the old school crowd as a diehard following; expanding beyond that is tough. It would require slick (and expensive) marketing, as well as some fresh and innovative ideas, though tampering with the game and streamlining carries the risk of alienating a fairly dedicated audience. On the other hand, BRP does have a market. I respect Monte's marketing and some of his design innovations. I bought Numenara as a curiosity, but truth is, I'll never play it. Despite the innovations and slick presentation, BRP is still a better game, in my estimation. I could go into the reasons why I feel this way, but it is nothing that hasn't been said before. I agree with fmitchel that in some regards BRP is showing its age, but I disagree that it is any more difficult for GMs to innovate on the fly than games that have come after. Numenara may be an exception, I don't know, but the ease of use for the GM is one of BRP's great strengths. I also agree with Mankam that a few refinements would help. A stronger relationship between skills and attributes is a great example (I prefer and use the RQ stat combo). BRP and Chaosium has tended to be conservative in terms of mechanics. Changes from one addition of a game to the next have traditionally been slight. Magic World is a case in point (though there are some innovations in MW). On one hand, why fix something that isn't broken? on the other, my favorite monographs are those that dared to break the mold - like Classic Fantasy. This may be a bold statement, but I think the somewhat conservative, though effective mechanics of MW makes it an unlikely "flagship," at least in terms of carrying the game into Monte Cook type markets (whether or not that is the goal or even desirable is quite another question). As it stands, MW is more of a battle standard for the old guard. I will always support Chaosium, but as far as flagships go, my greatest hopes for pushing the game engine further into the market are with Design Mechanism and RQ6. I probably derailed this thread far enough, as all of this is to say that I sure wish I could get my hands on a print copy of Cydoria. Cheers
  11. Thanks, Tal. I'll keep my eyes open. However, it looks like Conkle is taking Cydoria in a new direction in terms of the Game Mechanics/system. I'll just keep my fingers crossed and hope that Chaosium will continue to support the monograph.
  12. I am late to the party and just discovered Cydoria. I'm usually not a sci-fi guy, but when I get the urge it is usually the Flash-Gordon, Thundarr, sword and sorcery variety of sci-fi. This game looks perfect for that particular itch. I can't believe it slipped under my radar. Are print copies still available? I couldn't find them. I am not a fan of PDFs.
  13. I have used the old TSR Worldbuilder's Guidebook for years. It has what you are looking for including advice and tables for building believable landforms and weather patterns. It also has charts for the shape of the earth, the layout of the cosmos, cultures, kingdoms, religion, races, history, technology levels, trade routs, and just about anything else you can think of. The writing is pretty dense. There is advice, but the focus is on usable content. It also has a complex mapping system that moves in successive layers of detail that I have not used. It covers the possibilities of fantasy worlds from gritty/realistic to silly/gonzo pretty thoroughly. It is a second edition thing from the silver age when many TSR products weren't too good, but I have found the book useful and the charts entertaining food for thought. I have consulted the book at least a little bit in most of the settings/worlds I have created, though I have never used it exclusively to create a world. Surprisingly, it is also system neutral. Its not perfect, but it is one of the more useful TSR products that I own. It seems to fit the bill for what you need - if you can find it. Personally, I think the KOBOLD stuff is a lot of hype and very little content. Yes, there are some famous game designers as authors, but I found the information to be extremely basic, abstract, and not very usable. There is a lot of advice but nothing to sink your teeth into, and the advice was all stuff I already knew or understood through common sense. The articles are inconsistently written, which is to be expected, considering that they were written by different authors, but I found the majority of them to be hastily thrown together, and frankly quite amateurish. There is a lot of excess verbiage and nothing that can be directly implemented and used. The KOBOLD guide to worldbuilding might be good for beginners, I don't know, it seems like it would just confuse them. As an old hand GM, I would be hard pressed to find anything of value in it for the gaming table. I was lured in by the reviews, but I am thoroughly disappointed in the content. It might work for you. Obviously, some people like it. I just fail to see why.
  14. Mankam, I did a system very much like what you described for you pulp game in my last fantasy campaign and it worked quite well. I made a big list of traits (advantages and disadvantages) from a number of games (mostly WFRP talents, SW, and BoL) and wrote a 1 or 2 sentence explanation for each. What made it work was assigning a Power Point cost to activate advantages and allowing characters to earn PP by playing their disadvantages. Like you said above, I did not treat them as magic powers but as special abilities. The PP mechanics made for an interesting resource management game within the game and encouraged players to roleplay disadvantages. It also gave non-sorcerers something to do with Power Points. I also used slow PP recovery (using some of the suggestions in RQ6), and made the special abilities somewhat expensive relative to actual spells. Finally, I was careful to omit advantages that could be duplicated by skills. It worked remarkably well and gave the game a somewhat cinematic flair. In any case, I think that using PP as a balancing mechanic, as you have done, is a good way to go for character traits in BRP. It worked for me and my group. However, I should say that the absence of character traits is one reason why I favor BRP for most of my games. Character traits can be fun for certain types of of high-flying adventure games, but I don't necessarily think that is what BRP is best at. So, even though I worked out a pretty good system for adds and dis-adds, I don't suspect I will use it often. For gritty games (most of what I run), I find the lack of character boons and flaws, or whatever you want to call them, to be a feature.
  15. Russia, 1812... Maybe not for a setting, but for a scenario? Whoa. I may have to write one myself. Of course, its probably already been done (I haven't kept up on CoC releases in 20 odd years). We have a hollow victory followed by the looting of Europe's most exotic capital, fire, retreat, starvation, the army's disintegration, frostbite, cossaks! half a million dead, an unparallelled disaster ... and the great old ones. Also, tons of historically colorful characters. Hetman Platov was known never to go into battle without his personal sorcerer - a perfect antagonist. If it hasn't been done, there is tremendous potential here. I realize it is a little late, but I would love to see a Napoleonic setting at some point. There are a lot of us old Napy's gamers who are role players too.
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