Sunday, September 13, 2015

Reconsidering The Crimson Dragon Slayer Rpg System For Long Term Campaigning

Crimson Dragon Slayer has been on the market for a couple of months and its gotten some solid reviews and press but in some quarters I heard that the game needs a bit more support, today I'm going to talk about one idea for long term campaigning in the world of Venger Satanis's  Kull. So don't touch that dial folks.

Grab It Right

Crimson Dragon Slayer is a d6 based old school style emulator clone of the world's most popular fantasy rpg. The game is built on Eighties fantasy and horror through an LSD lens. According to Venger's Drivethrurpg bit -
'This is my own contribution to the OSR / fantasy heartbreaker genere of paper & pencil roleplaying games.  Crimson Dragon Slayer is heavily inspired by the 1980's.  The parts of it that are god-awful are god-awful on purpose (mostly).  Your adventuring party might contain a robot ranger with laser sword, infernal elf wizard with machine gun, and crystalline / pixie fairy princess hybrid brandishing a two-handed dagger, all tooling around in a Mel Gibson interceptor... looking for cyber crowns, magic items, and bodacious bimbos.  Can you bring Lord Varkon down before his crimson dragons rip Thule a new one?    
So, what's in it?  A self-contained system that's not d20, yet mostly compatible with the original fantasy roleplaying game and all the clones published since.  You roll multiple d6s, the higher the better, relying on improvisation more than defacto results.  There are several classes and many races to choose from.  Also, strange yet eerily familar spells, magic items, monsters, and the mother of all name generators!'
But as one of the reviewers has stated that its short clocking in at only forty pages, this is fine because its a stripped down system that packs in a lot for its seven dollar price tag. The ideas behind the gamer are to take all of the Eighties Monty Haul game campaigns and actual make them work. Because its stripped down to the essentials this makes CDS ideal for rpg convention play and as a fast pick up game for a weekend or a Sunday beer and pretzels game. But there's potential here for long term campaigning by pushing the time meter of Kull forward about ten years to the 90's! There's a cultclassic movie that fills that gap from 1992, that's stars It starred John Ritter, Pam Dawber, Jeffrey Jones, and Eugene Levy. Stay Tuned has all of the right ingredients to fill the gap by having a party of adventurers falling victim to a demon lord who controls a other dimensional cable and VHS fueled Hellish empire.

The plot of Stay Tuned goes something like this  according to wiki -

The film's primary protagonists are Roy Knable (John Ritter), a couch potato, struggling Seattle plumbing salesman and former fencing athlete, and his neglected wife Helen (Pam Dawber), a senior vitamin product manager. After a fight (which involved Helen smashing the family television screen with one of Roy's fencing trophies as a wake-up call to reality), Mr. Spike (Jeffrey Jones) appears at the couples' door, offering him a new high tech satellite dish system filled with 666 channels of programs one cannot view on the four big networks (CBS, NBC, ABC, and Fox). What Roy doesn't know is that Spike (later referred to as "Mephistopheles of the Cathode Ray") is an emissary from hell who wants to boost the influx of souls by arranging for TV junkies to be killed in the most gruesome and ironic situations imaginable. The 'candidates' are sucked into a hellish television world, called Hell Vision, and put through a gauntlet where they must survive a number of satirical versions of sitcoms and movies. If they can survive for 24 hours they are free to go but if they get killed then their souls will become the property of Satan (the latter usually happens).'
Ironically, this would make an awesome party adventure campaign element . The main PC's get sucked into the Hellish demonic TV and every game adventure  is a new TV show.  The PC's leap from show to show trying to escape their circumstance nearly dying each and every time. There occasionally needs to be two part mini series for a PC's death's but there's lots of potential for over arching campaign play. It could however get very tiresome as the PC's are trapped in the television plane of the Abyss. But should the PC's escape they could become trapped in reruns as they try to rescue fellow NPC's who blunder into the Hellish rerun laden horror of this plane. So repeat visits might be required to free such damned souls.
Suddenly, vistas of adventure open up for the DM through the entire history of television, time, space and more can be accessed enabling a DM to blur the lines between adventures and cult entertainment.

Since CDS is made as an addition  to the other products of the imagination style systems a clever Dungeon master could use the television plane as a meeting point for other adventurers from other campaign points enabling network style crossovers and lots of potential for mayhem and weirdness. This is one of the strengths of the CDS system. Your not going to break the systems and material by letting your imagination have free reign to take in some new and exciting ideas for play. The world of Kull is meant to be played in and with the right group of players could sustain a long term game quite easily.

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