Thursday, 7 March 2019

omnia mutantur, nihil interit

Just thinking out loud as I grapple with a decision that's already half made...

LotFP had become one of my comfort games, in the way that Hammer Horror is comforting when I'm down and/or ill. This latest burst of real-world drama (I missed the November one) is overshadowing that now. Mr. Raggi's official statement was great -- up until the end where it went really wrong. As much as I want to support him for doing the right thing... ack.

So no LotFP for me for a while, but I'll see how things go in the future before I decide what to do with my 1601 AD campaign(s).

But this had awakened some old notions that perhaps I should change systems with my elf campaign (I still call it that, even though only 1 of the 8 is still an active PC, and the only other survivor retired from adventuring). I've mentioned more than once that as much as I love the game, it did seem a bit like the PCs' primary activities were killing things and making saving throws; this is the eternal problem with OSR games and as a solitaire player I find it especially hard to get past. The first time I thought of changing systems was right after playing through the adventure of the Château Télème. I even remember when it first crossed my mind; I was sitting outside on the terrace of a pub overlooking the river Eden (in Kent), waiting for my wife to come back from the bar with a couple pints, and speculating idly on changing over to BRP since I seemed to be veering towards CoC adventures instead of hex- and dungeon-crawling.

The pitifully small amount of BRP adventures on this blog belies my love for the system. It is not as easy to get a campaign started, though. Despite the lack of in-built setting, I can riff off D&D in my sleep, having DMed it for countless years. It always comes out as D&D, but at least there is some comfort in the familiar.

Trying to run Magic World this way made my campaign fall flat (though the amnesiac PC didn't help much either). BRP has a more intricate system, and thus demands a more thoughtful setting. I have a pretty severe aversion to too much campaign set-up, but... χαλεπὰ τὰ καλά.

I don't like changing systems mid-campaign, so I left it in the realm of speculation. It just seems weird that the PCs would wake up one day and all their powers work differently. The change from 3rd edition D&D to 3.5 was subtle enough that most of our group barely had to amend their character sheets. The only other change of rules during a campaign I've been involved in was that slow slide from Basic/Expert set over to AD&D when I was 10 (my friends and I all loved the new monsters and magic items, but we were suspicious at first of the larger hit die sizes for fighter, clerics, and thieves, as we thought they would be over-powered!).

In any case, it's going to take some time to sort the campaign out. Firstly, I need to decide which bits of BRP I'm going to use. There's a lot of options in the Big Golden Book, plus some monographs and various odds and ends I've found on the web. Then I need to convert characters. Lastly I need to decide where to start. I'll probably eliminate the rest of the dungeon crawl that immediately comes after the last post I made, since I've been dreading writing it up for a while now. It was fun to play, but it is the very one that made me decide I needed to use something more than just the DMG's Appendix A.

I'll probably find some other game to post about in the immediate future, whilst I figure this all out. I'll leave off with some more Ovid which suits my frame of mind about this now:

  nec manet ut fuerat nec formam servat eandem,
  sed tamen ipsa eadem est, animam sic semper eandem
  esse, sed in varias doceo migrare figuras.

Ov. Met. 15.170-173

(Translated poetry makes me ill, but if you need help, go here and click on either of the load buttons in the right sidebar by the English (1922 or 1957) translations. Start after the word Argos in blue.)


  1. Good afternoon,

    I've been reading your blog for a long while now and loving it. Your Traveller game inspired me to pick up Classic Traveller and discover the joys of the Situation Roll.

    I don't know how well this might help your situation especially given your stated love of BRP (a love I share - I've got 13 years of BRP Cthulhu under my belt) but I might advise you to check out Spectrum Games systems. For general use their Over the Air (themed for Radio Drama) may work as a resolution and pacing mechanism in conjunction with your oracle usage.

    1. Thanks! I'm glad you've been inspired to pick up Traveller. Some day I need to finish off the adventure I started, and/or write up some of the notes from the other Traveller adventures I've started in addition...

      I will check out Spectrum Games. I think I may have figured out how to best procede with BRP though.