Adventures in Wordplay issue 1 The Drowned Lands (D101-016)

A very brief post for this one.

The Drowned Lands was a very short sandbox for Wordplay the Big Five (D101-09), written by Paul Mitchener. It was a post-apocalyptic setting based in a near-future where the sea level had raised by fourteen metres, and the weather was constant rain. It was a nice little British Post-Apoc setting, set around Paul’s home city of Southampton, where you discovered the setting and plot through play. Oh, and it had intelligent sentient bipedal Bears 🙂

I pulled it after two months because I wasn’t happy with the art I had thrown together for it. A selection of images from Wikimedia commons which I put through a “Rainy” filter. See the cover below for an example. I got a fuller release when I redid the Big Five as the Worlds of Wordplay.

Currently, it’s passed back to Paul, so it may see the light of day again.

Me and Fate

Fate was a game that I tried for the longest time to get, in its Spirit of the Century incarnation – seeing as it was similar to HeroQuest ( a game I learnt out of necessity when I was a die hard Glorantha fan ).

I guess  I was put off by the writing since I like short direct rulesets. Then I jumped on the Fate 3 Kickstarter, went “aha I’m beginning to get this now” after reading Fate Core but was put off a bit from its Tool Set approach ( a style of gaming which I had I came to hate from playing a ton of HeroQuest).

But through sheer bloody mindedness, I sorted out a “Cowboys vs Dinosaurs” game using Fate Accelerated (which for me cut the crap and got down to the bare necessities of the system) and with a group that was a bit more knowledgeable about the base resolution system from playing it at conventions. Finally saw it sing in play after about 5 sessions! I started at this point to want a bit more flesh on the bones – especially about having Powers and Talents.

The Hollow West, cover by Jon Hodgson

So I started eyeing up Fate Cores Extras rules. It was at this point my friend Paul Mitchener came up with his 10 page version of Fate called “Fortune” (which in itself borrows some key ideas from a game called Jadepunk, with permission from its author) for his Historical Gaming Patreon . Fortune has Professions, broad skill groupings which sings out to my old Chaosium Basic Roleplaying side , which replaces FAE ‘s Approaches and Fate Core’s Skills, flattens the Stress track (so no more fumbling about thinking “I’ve taken 3 wounds, which box do I tick off” now it’s a more deadly “‘I’ve taken 3 wounds, tick off two boxes”) and an Extras system that handles not only mundane talents and supernatural powers, but also advanced professions (so, for example, you might have a Soldier as a profession then Legionary as an Extra, which gives you bonuses for the extra training and superior equipment. System wise it sticks to the core Actions & Challenge systems and doesn’t over expand from there (I can look to Fate Core or makeup stuff if I want more). Overall it helps that Paul sees Fate as a much more traditional game than some of its fans present it as.

I liked the system so much I teamed up with Paul and we released “Hunters of Alexandra” together, a A5 sized pick up and play game (literally you could be reading it on the way into work and be playing in the evening (it has a straightforward adventure + pregens).

Hunters of Alexandria cover by Peter Frain
Hunters of Alexandria cover by Peter Frain

Fortune has become my go-to system for Storytelling games, and I’ll be publishing more for it next year – for example, I’m currently putting together my Cowboys vs Dinosaurs game as the Hollow NWest , a small game about Modern Day Conspiracies called Lost Fools of Atlantis and Paul’s working on something for it too.

Lost Fools of Atlantis cover by Jon Hodgson
Lost Fools of Atlantis cover by Jon Hodgson

Further info:

Hunters of Alexandria

Upcoming Fortune games from D101 Games