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Long story short: WotC is insane, so...no.

I want to create a dark fantasy game using Chaosium's rules. I play on Roll20. No having any kind of rules/monster compendium available is hard (although the recent ability to upload PDFs is helpful). I am mostly convinced that the Magic World character sheet is the most malleable route to take, but the BRP one is good, too.  While I do like the CoC7e rules, character sheets, and support on Roll20, the core attributes are d100 not 3d6 (because Paul Fricker and Mike Mason hate me and want me to be sad). I am hopeful (?) that in the near future, Chaosium will get the Runequest ruleset up and running, and--maybe, someday, if I am very good--an updated BRP compendium. 

Any insights, ideas, suggestions, experiences, lessons learned, wisdom, insights, warnings, portents of doom, words of encouragement, thoughtful suggestions, or dire prophecies would be most appreciated. 

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You could start with base Mythras, which has a fully-fledged character sheet in Roll20, and add any BRP stuff you like. Mythras is closer to older BRP games than CoC7e, it also has a large number of supplements.

Edited by Bilharzia
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On the subject of a Roll20 compendium - there is none currently for Mythras, or BRP afaik. For creatures, there is a way around this, which is to use the Mythras Encounter Generator https://mythras.skoll.xyz/ and build a library of NPCs and Creatures there which can be imported directly into Roll20. Foundry VTT also has support for the MEG. Hannu's https://notesfrompavis.blog/ has guidance about using the MEG, and has a huge amount of reference material for GMs.

For your dark fantasy campaign:

Monster Island - a lot more sorcery, drugs, potions, obsidian, bone, and stone weapons and armour, an animist culture, a sorcerous culture, dangerous gods, and a lot of new and strange flora and fauna.

Sorandib - Alchemy and artifice - making golems and making custom potions.

Ships & Shieldwalls - mass battles and rules for ships and shiphandling.

Luther Arkwright - sanity rules, dependencies, and low-grade super powers (more like feats) if you want that.

Any of these can be used with Mythras core rules or with some adjustment any version of BRP.

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7 hours ago, GothmogIV said:

... I want to create a dark fantasy game using Chaosium's rules ...

Let's  take a step back.
Before deciding on a sheet -- or a vtt platform -- let me ask (what I see as) a key question:

 *** Will you need or want any game mechanics that specifically support the "dark" in your "dark fantasy" game? ***

Or is it the "dark" more a matter of the narrative structure, the fluff&flavor, the kinds of monsters, NPC motives & methods, etc etc etc?

Because if you don't need separate "dark mechanics" ... well... Magic World and you're Done, for my money!

Really.

You're golden, and Bob is your uncle.

Just stop reading, TL;DR the rest of this post, and go with MW.

What, still here??!?  Le sigh.  MW is a remarkably clean, elegant, robust & adaptible mechanic for FRPG games.  FWIW:  the MW product-line began when Chaosium lost the license to the Moorcock IP (because a movie licensee wanted ALL the subsidiary rights, and they had a LOT more money to drop on their project (which never came to fruition, but the IP is still locked in Development Hell (or maybe Development Limbo)).  So, Chaosium stripped the Elric/Stormbringer/EternalChampion  IP out, and re-did that core engine as "Magic World."  But realize the MW rootstock is absolutely "Dark Fantasy."

Even if you DO want some sort of "dark mechanic," it's remarkably easy to graft such things onto Magic World.  Sanity mechanics, Corruption mechanics, Demon-summoning, etc.  At this point, however, it would be harder to make the case that MW is quite so uniquely suitable; and THIS is the point -- when you're mucking about adding "dark" rules -- where IMHO it becomes worth looking at VTT support (and online autocalc sheets in those VTTs), and other such considerations.

At that point, many other games from the "BRP extended family" of games become comparably viable:

  • The Design Mechanism's Mythras, as noted above (also worth considering is the "Mythras Imperative" product, TDM's "quickstart" but actually viable as a standalone RPG, a "lite" version of the main rules -- bonus is that Mythras Imperative is a free download)
  • d101Games' OpenQuest -- which (like TDM/Mythras) forked off from Mongoose-era RQ, but the designer I think took a "streamlined is better" stance and so it's AFAIK even-less like its MRQ-version than is TDM's game.
  • Even DwD Studios' "d00Lite" engine may be worth considering.  Although I believe it derives more from TSR's 1982 RPG Star Frontiers (but that's also a skill-centric roll-low-on-d100 engine, so... very similar!).  DwD (fwiw) began as one of those old-school fannish "keep the flame alive" endeavors, that grew into an actual publishing-house, and their "d00Lite" game-engine now powers not only Frontier Space, but BareBones Fantasy, Covert Ops, Art of Wuxia, and maybe moreI think is still growing.

I don't really know the state of any of these game-mechanicss with regard to any of the VTT platforms, however.  I do know that each of those publishers maintains their own user-forums, which would undoubtedly be better places to learn such things.

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Quote

Or is it the "dark" more a matter of the narrative structure, the fluff&flavor, the kinds of monsters, NPC motives & methods, etc etc etc?

This. The story is easy. The mechanics of playing on a VTT are hard. I am going to have to build out monsters and spells, which isn't the end of the world. It's just time consuming. Rollable monsters and spells are hugely helpful when playing online, but I will make the best of it. Thanks to all for the ideas! I have the Mythras core book and I really like it. 

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2 hours ago, GothmogIV said:

This. The story is easy. The mechanics of playing on a VTT are hard. I am going to have to build out monsters and spells, which isn't the end of the world. It's just time consuming. Rollable monsters and spells are hugely helpful when playing online, but I will make the best of it. Thanks to all for the ideas! I have the Mythras core book and I really like it. 

If it's really about the best ONLINE engine (with f2f tabletop the 2ndary concern), then I think Call of Cthulhu is your jam.
CoC has (afaik) the next-best online/vtt support, after D&D5e and (maybe) Pathfinder.

I'd look for the best online platform for CoC -- any edition -- and focus there.

Edited by g33k
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10 hours ago, g33k said:

If it's really about the best ONLINE engine (with f2f tabletop the 2ndary concern), then I think Call of Cthulhu is your jam.
CoC has (afaik) the next-best online/vtt support, after D&D5e and (maybe) Pathfinder.

I'd look for the best online platform for CoC -- any edition -- and focus there.

My brother, I started playing CoC in 1984. Great game. Trying to come up with a fantasy game. I love, love, LOVE Chaosium's system. Love. My favorite. 

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8 hours ago, GothmogIV said:

My brother, I started playing CoC in 1984. Great game. Trying to come up with a fantasy game. I love, love, LOVE Chaosium's system. Love. My favorite. 

OK, so "system mastery" isn't the issue.

What you're really looking for (I think -- correct me if I'm wrong!) is the best online support for ... any game in the BRP family of games.  Possibly "best on roll20" (as per your OP)?  (I don't know if you're open to other VTTs if you find a BRP-version else-VTT that pffers something Roll20 doesn't)

IIRC, Roll20 numbers have put CoC as their 2nd-most-played game for about a year now.
I presume this means it is (or is approaching) their 2nd-best-supported game (maybe the existing suite of support-tools for PF/*finder (from the era where PF was #2) mean it still has more than CoC?).

So why are you not just going with a re-skin/re-fluff of CoC?
What does the CoC-support have baked-in that you dislike... or lack, that you want/need?  Or is there some other criterion?
 

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9 hours ago, Mankcam said:

I would go with CoC7E Dark Ages or Mythras

He seems to not like the way characteristics are handled, so 6th Ed or Mythras would probably be better… though he could just use the /5 value (though probably not something supported on VTT systems).

SDLeary

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I think I'm just going to use Magic World as my base and go from there.  I did a bastardized Dreamlands game (like CoC characters but with a fantasy feel) using CoC 7e and it worked fine. Thanks for all of the ideas and insights. This is a very helpful, nontoxic community, which is refreshing and rare! 

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Here is my final decision: I bought some Kobold Press stuff on Roll20, but I'm going to skin it and use my Chaosium stuff as the engine. Should be interesting. When/if Chaosium comes out with a fantasy engine of some kind on Roll20, I'll happily switch to that. For now...I am adding monsters one at a time, and trying to figure out how to do magic so it doesn't slow the game down to a crawl. 

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On 8/19/2022 at 5:36 AM, GothmogIV said:

Long story short: WotC is insane, so...no.

Out of curiosity, what's wrong with WotC? Other then having mechanics that we believe to be inferior to the Chaosium RPGs?

On 8/19/2022 at 5:36 AM, GothmogIV said:

I am mostly convinced that the Magic World character sheet is the most malleable route to take, but the BRP one is good, too.

Thanks for the compliment about the BRP sheet, I didn't make it but I spent a ton of time fixing little mistakes and adding features to it.

1 hour ago, GothmogIV said:

Here is my final decision: I bought some Kobold Press stuff on Roll20, but I'm going to skin it and use my Chaosium stuff as the engine. Should be interesting. When/if Chaosium comes out with a fantasy engine of some kind on Roll20, I'll happily switch to that. For now...I am adding monsters one at a time, and trying to figure out how to do magic so it doesn't slow the game down to a crawl. 

Magic World is a good option to go, Sorcery is a pretty simple magic system to utilize. The sorcerer just says that they cast the spell and then spends an entire combat round casting it with the effects manifesting next turn. If you're looking for expanded magic systems for MW, I'd recommend looking at the Advance Sorcery book.

As for monster stats, there use to be a few unofficial D&D monster manuals laying around in the downloads section of this website, but Chaosium nixed it on account of them violating copyright. I still have the pdfs for some of them if you're interested.

Edited by KPhan2121
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You like Fading Suns? Well, I made a thing that's kinda like it!

 

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