Sunday, 27 December 2009
We are Loathsome in the Eyes of Those Who do not Worship Us
Today I will mostly be talking about Pendragon and Changeling: The Dreaming.
Much as I loathe the rpg.net obsession with "doing" unspeakable and transgressive things with games which have no earthly business "doing" it (e.g. using Dark Heresy to "do" a Western) it does strike me that the Pendragon rules are rather narrowly defined given how good they are. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't want to change the game one bit, but I do think that Mr. Stafford's opus has the potential for a far greater scope of application than just knights in Arthurian Britain. There's this Japanese variant, for one thing, which appears to "do" The Blossoms Are Falling better than The Blossoms Are Falling, and neo-feudalism in space a la Dune for another.
My latest idea is to use it to "do" what Changeling: The Dreaming always should have been about but lacked the wherewithal to focus on - namely fae, living among us in the real world, with a feudal system all of their own. C:tD had the trappings (Sidhe nobles, courts, aristocratic houses, kingdoms, knightly oaths, etc. etc.) suggesting this, but its execution was so incoherent and so burdened by that White Wolf need to dress everything up as a "story" that it never came out and said it outright. Instead, the overwhelming sense reading through its rulebook is that the atmosphere is great but it isn't at all clear what you're supposed to do with it. What the game was crying out for was the sort of robust character generation system and graceful mechanics for things like Traits and Passions and winter phases that Pendragon possesses.
What C:tD also needed was the kind of focus that Pendragon offers in its core rules: as a player character you are taking on the role of a young knight from a minor family and that is it. My C:tD's scope would essentially be the same thing - newly knighted fae of whatever kith, trying to make their way in the world, slaying Chimerae and beating up redcaps. Exercising ghosts. Fighting dragons. Travelling to other realities. Questing for ancient and powerful magical swords.
And I would set it in Liverpool, natch.