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Lords of the Middle Sea RPG update: the cover art, a work-in-progress


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In July last year we announced Lords of Middle Sea: The Roleplaying Game is in development. Based on Lynne Willis's 1978 futuristic proto-Steampunk board game, set in the post-apocalyptic ruins of a flooded North America, the tabletop RPG utilizes a streamlined version of the Basic Roleplaying system.

While writing and playtesting continues, the project's creative director Jason Durall has also been working on concept art for the game. Here's a work-in-progress of the cover! It's by acclaimed Finnish artist Ossi Hiekkala (Flamme Rouge, Honshu, Eclipse, Nations, Castell). 

The figures depicted on the cover are pregens and characters from the in-house playtest campaign. 

For more about the upcoming game, see Jason's recent EN World interview.

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4 minutes ago, kross said:

WOW. Now THAT'S a friggin' awesome cover. I too was a bit skeptical before, but now you can sign me up.

And that's the power of good art!

I was also sceptical because the setting seems a little too nonsensical (and why limited to the USA? 🤨). But with the right pulpy eighties tone that the cover captures so well maybe... 

They need to nail the airship travel mechanics and vehicle combat though.

 

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4 hours ago, Sir Pom-Pom said:

was also sceptical because the setting seems a little too nonsensical (and why limited to the USA? 🤨). But with the right pulpy eighties tone that the cover captures so well maybe... 

Yes, fantastic, pulpy cover. Love it.

4 hours ago, Sir Pom-Pom said:

They need to nail the airship travel mechanics and vehicle combat though.

The premise of the setting do not grab me but the tone set by the art may very well do it, In addition, Jason describes in the interview a few mechanics in BRP that I love. Namely, I love when character creation involves background (rural, coastal, urban, etc.), professions, religious and cultural bonuses and the addition of archetypes sounds interesting. Characters will have paired personality traits, passions, contacts, reputation, etc. All positive in my book. There are also some optional mutations and psychic abilities.

Jason says the skills list is pretty light compared to Call of Cthulhu or RuneQuest. This might be positive or negative. I find the skill list in CoC and RQ quite reasonable and I suspect that a smaller list may mean that characteristics will not influence skills (no skill categories) (which is a big negative for me). Also combat is a lot faster and easier to resolve so I guess, no SR, no hit location, etc... I am intrigued by this statement. a lot faster and easier to resolve than RQ... and CoC? Combat is very light in CoC, rightfully so for the setting, but I have a hard time to see and it can be faster and easier and still remain interesting. Let's wait and see. 

The whole airship creation and personalization is very intriguing and could be a highlight. Hopefully, airship combat will be interesting for everyone onboard. 

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44 minutes ago, DreadDomain said:

Yes, fantastic, pulpy cover. Love it.

The premise of the setting do not grab me but the tone set by the art may very well do it

And here it is again, a rare thing to achieve: a cover that can sell a book. I hope they don't change it.

 

45 minutes ago, DreadDomain said:

Jason says the skills list is pretty light compared to Call of Cthulhu or RuneQuest. This might be positive or negative. I find the skill list in CoC and RQ quite reasonable and I suspect that a smaller list may mean that characteristics will not influence skills (no skill categories) (which is a big negative for me). Also combat is a lot faster and easier to resolve so I guess, no SR, no hit location, etc... I am intrigued by this statement. a lot faster and easier to resolve than RQ... and CoC? Combat is very light in CoC, rightfully so for the setting, but I have a hard time to see and it can be faster and easier and still remain interesting. Let's wait and see. 

I had the exact same thoughts. We'll see.

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59 minutes ago, Sir Pom-Pom said:

And here it is again, a rare thing to achieve: a cover that can sell a book. I hope they don't change it.

Haha! I am very puzzled when people down play the importance of cover and art of a gaming book. They convey so much flavour and communicate the tone of the setting. It canno be understated.

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Same here. Not really interested in post-apocalyptic USA ,nor airships, nor steampunk, but that cover... And a nun with a gun. I would really like to play this game (with this cover) in the 80s or so. Will probably get it anyway, I might get to like it in the end.

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I'm really curious what "streamlined" means here ... is it just a relatively slimmed down version (as opposed to RQ)? Does it try to bring more coherence to certain aspects of the game (like CoC7 did)?

The part of the character sheet we've seen in the photo looks pretty familiar - the Effort Roll being STRx5 suggests that they've kept the classic characteristics range, there are obviously fixed base chances for skills (but no skill categories). But there's a lot we haven't seen yet ... will this be Stormbringer/Magic World with passions added, or will there be bigger changes?

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  • 4 weeks later...
107796314_144809241_10158307689633178_5358346041245610593_o(1).thumb.jpg.f47a32e30980209074e2c2f544a805b2.jpg
 
Saturday evening roleplaying: Jason Durall ran another LORDS OF THE MIDDLE SEA playtest!
 
@Jason Dreports, "Tonight's session featured betrayal and a running battle in a hurricane over the Nebraska Sea between four ships: the Bella Dama, a Mexican Empire cargo airship and a gunship, and a zeppelin air-carrier out of the New Republic of California. Action packed white-knuckle suspense!"
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  • 3 weeks later...
On 1/31/2021 at 5:05 AM, Jakob said:

Jason has to stop teasing this on FB. It's killing me!

Chaosium seems to have leaned-in  hard  on these tempting/frustrating teases !

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

When I first saw the ad in Wyrm's Footnotes, I thought "a board game about the God Leaner empire and its naval and magical struggles against the East Isles, Errinoru, and possibly the EWF". While the name now is taken for this rpg, one can still hope someone will come up with a game around that topic...

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52 minutes ago, Joerg said:

When I first saw the ad in Wyrm's Footnotes, I thought "a board game about the God Leaner empire and its naval and magical struggles against the East Isles, Errinoru, and possibly the EWF". While the name now is taken for this rpg, one can still hope someone will come up with a game around that topic...

My first thought when i heared about the Chaosium boardgame (back in the eary 1990s): A wargame about who of Rome, Greece, Egypt, Spain, etc. get to control the sea? 
Middle Sea is the word for word translation of "Mittelmeer", the german name for the Mediterranean Sea, and my english was much worse by then. 

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38 minutes ago, AndreJarosch said:

My first thought when i heared about the Chaosium boardgame (back in the eary 1990s): A wargame about who of Rome, Greece, Egypt, Spain, etc. get to control the sea? 
Middle Sea is the word for word translation of "Mittelmeer", the german name for the Mediterranean Sea, and my english was much worse by then. 

Actually, I keep thinking about how I would translate "Lords of the Middle Sea" to German ... if you translate it word for word, you end up with something that's totally misleading, because the term "Mittelmeer" is already taken in German, as you said ... maybe something along the lines of "Die Mittlere See" oder "Meer der Mitte" would be possible, but all of that sounds pretty awkward.

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5 hours ago, Jakob said:

Actually, I keep thinking about how I would translate "Lords of the Middle Sea" to German ... if you translate it word for word, you end up with something that's totally misleading, because the term "Mittelmeer" is already taken in German, as you said ... maybe something along the lines of "Die Mittlere See" oder "Meer der Mitte" would be possible, but all of that sounds pretty awkward.

Very simple: 

RuneQuest is translated as RuneQuest and not Runenqueste. 
So i wouldn´t translate the name of the game et all... just end a subtitle: "Lord of the Middle Sea - Rollenspiel in den postapokalyptischen Inselstaaten" or something like that...

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22 hours ago, foolcat said:

I’d go with “Herrscher des Binnenmeers”, and then André’s subtitle.

And I still would like to get my hands on it rather sooner than later... 🙃

I STILL wouldn´t translate the title of the game. 
It´s "Warhammer" not "Kriegshammer". 
It´s "Traveller" not "Reisender". 
It´s "Dungeons & Dragons" not "Kerker & Drachen". 
etc. 

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14 hours ago, AndreJarosch said:

I STILL wouldn´t translate the title of the game. 
It´s "Warhammer" not "Kriegshammer". 
It´s "Traveller" not "Reisender". 
It´s "Dungeons & Dragons" not "Kerker & Drachen". 
etc. 

Agreed (and same comment for french).

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