Monday 16 February 2009

The Game I Thought I'd Never Write

Well, it was bound to happen. After working on games with relatively original concepts for so long I've finally given in and designed something where your fighter or wizard kills orcs for treasure, under the temporary name Underworld and Overworld. It took a while for me to decide what exactly I wanted out of this project, but I finally found the answer below.

What is this game?

There is nothing new or shocking in this game. It is intended to be a very simple base system for a GM and group of players wanting a game with deadly monsters, huge armies and characters that gain fame and become Kings. It is perfect for a group wanting to quickly have a fantasy adventure as there are very few rules to learn and the document is free.

From this foundation a GM can create their own monsters to break from the classic examples given, using them to populate a world straight out of his imagination. It could be as simple as a one-off dungeon crawl or it could be a full world with empires and warring gods. With this in mind the rules are intended to be as straightforward and open to modification as possible to aid creation of new content and keep the amount of calculating, memorising and paperwork at the game table down to a minimum.

The game is mostly inspired by my happy, younger memories of Fighting Fantasy books, playing Ultima Underworld and enjoying board games like Heroquest and Dungeon. 

You can see the game as it stands here.



  1. If it's actually simple, I think I'd be interested. I've seen ideas like this before but I never enjoyed the way they went about it.

  2. Your dual wielding is too powerful; I see no reason to use a shield if I can engage an additional opponent per round AND my second weapon counts as a shield.

  3. Recursion King: Thanks for the reminder! Dual wielding is very much something I threw in the optional rules and then forgot about. I'll get around to balancing it some day.

    Viriatha: Simple is one thing it certainly is. Let me know if you decide to give it a try.

    All feedback is much appreciated, of course.

  4. Just a note to Recursion King, I've noticed the mistake now. The extra weapon should, of course, only count as a shield in melee and it shouldn't gain any bonuses from the Shield Specialist perk. Still not completely balanced, perhaps, but at least there's a reason to stick with a shield!

  5. Very intriguing. I like the very light feel you've given the game, and your selection of monsters seems to fit your themes perfectly. I'll be watching this with interest.

  6. I haven't had a chance to run a game yet, but I like what I've read so far, especially how lightweight it is. Sometimes you just want to play a tabletop adventure but by the time you've rolled up characters and gotten your sh*t together there's no time left. I'm really looking forward to seeing how this develops. Great work!

    Is it possible to add the Google doc to my Google docs so that it will automatically update as you change it? I don't want to edit it, just get your game updates without having to think about it or do any work at all myself. :)

  7. With google docs you'll automatically get the most recent version whenever you click on the link.

    Of course this means if you're planning on running the game you should print out a version beforehand and stick with that rather than running it striaght off the link. This way a new rule change won't surprise you in the middle of the game!