Tuesday, January 8, 2019

OSR Drama, Compromise, & Commentary - Gods, Monsters, & The Dungeon Master

This morning I got a phone call I was dreading. Over the last twenty four hours there's been some descent in Steve's group of players over if they want to continue on Clark Ashton Smith's  Zothique using the Siege Engine system by Troll Lord Games or try Sine Nomine Pubblishing's game Godbound rpg. Over the last twenty four hours I've been reading Godbound & it reads like an epic & sweeping vision of its creator like Stars Without Numbers for mythology & demi godhood. I like what I'm reading. The problem is that the ball is in play already & the players don't realize it.
Over Christmas time my wife made a great investment in the form of grabbing me the whole Troll Lord Games  product catalog. The first thing as a dungeon master I needed to do was take care of all of this from the ground up & with boots on the ground. I made a call to everyone involved under the pretense of 'the player's schedule' & began feeling out the situation. Everyone really enjoyed the game but didn't want to stray too far away from the tradition 'Pulp Dungeons & Dragons' feel of our mini holiday game. Even with 'modern elements' there was was a cohesive whole to the mini campaign. 

Some folks also didn't like the idea of straying into a brand new gaming systems & the learning curve that it put on me as a dungeon master. Thanks for the concern guys but I've been playing Dungeons & Dragons style games for forty years. The biggest thing I've learned is the art of compromise when it comes to dungeon mastering.  Sine Nomine Pubblishing's game Godbound rpg isn't simply a game based on gods & demi gods. I've been reading Kevin Crawford's games for a very long time.  I've learned that his games are whole cloth tool boxes for designing & playing around in the sand boxes of the man's imagination. So even if your playing Advanced Dungeons & Dragons first edition or even Castles & Crusades there's a lot that you can get out of his games. Case & point are fantasy religions & cults.

So with that in mind I'm compromising using Steve's forty pages of  Zothique notes & looking at Godbound. Maybe even using some of it with Castles & Crusades. But further investigation has me dusting off  Peter Adkins The Primal Order as well. I love math, gods, planes, etc. as well as combining them with super heroes & pulp elements. Its been a long & many moons since I really sunk my teeth into a good & solid campaign like this.

I surprised the players who were expecting arguments & drama. Nope that's not what this is all about. The fact is that with a little elbow DM grease this has some real potential. Back in the 90's & early 00's when players got sick of the 'angst' of White Wolf, we always fell back into an AD&D/BX game campaign with the Primal Order backing it. Time to dust off the campaign notes & see where the Hell we are. God I do so love this hobby! 2019 is shaping up to be a great year! 

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