Friday, November 29, 2019

Big Swords

One thing I forgot to mention when I talked about Dungeon World in this post was that the way Moves are described and named reminded me of some game designs I had in the notes folder back in 2002-2005. Specifically I had this idea for a game I was calling "Big Swords: Badass Fantasy" (working title only!), which was one of the many attempts I made to emulate my beloved old school D&D. This was way before I even knew there was a slowly growing DIY D&D trend happening that would eventually take on the name "OSR". If I had been clued in to this trend I think it would have been a revelation for me.

Big Swords worked like this. Characters had a couple of stats, such as Power, and then they had a series of traits that I called FX. The FX were related to a Way (class). Then individual PCs would have SFX... which were invented by the players. Stuff like this:

Break Face
Strike a Terrifying Pose
Summon a Salty Devil
Blow a Kiss
Why Does This Keep Happening To Me?

And so forth.

Each of these FX basically gave you some + to your d20 roll, which was an opposed roll. They were very specific, as the names imply. They were like Dungeon World's Moves, in a sense. And I think these kinds of ideas were rampant in RPG design during that time and beyond. Hell, D&D 3e had already started exploring this territory with Feats (back off! I'm not saying Feats and Moves are the same). And D&D 4e certainly explored it more with all the various Powers that characters could use x times per day/encounter.

What I mean by that is Moves were not an entirely new idea and my use of a similar concept in the un-fulfilled Big Swords game idea was certainly not a new idea. The specific implementation of these ideas was clearly unique in each case, but RPG design was just kinda going that that way in general, wasn't it?

BTW, here's the opening spicy text for Big Swords. And no, I have zero plans to actually develop this game, though the setting concept as described below lives on in my work-in-progress Dead Wizards:

Civilization. Labrynthine, sprawling, decadent, and lecherous.

Theirs is a world of corpulent priests who cry doomsday to their sheep-eyed masses while sycophants skitter at their sandaled feet. Theirs is a world wherein tyrants rule from white towers and slave-masters crack their whips in the street. Theirs is not a real world.

Your world lies beyond splendor and squalor. Your world is a place of reality where a man or a woman can carve a name in the very landscape and drench it red with blood or wine. Your world is a place where enemies wear the faces of conjurers, demons, and lusty deceivers whose fingers slip into your purse while yours are still having their pleasure.

This has been yet another rando post spilling out of my brainpan half-formed and ill-conceived.

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