Online again, and Three Little Projects

Finally I have an internet connection again, only 47 days after moving in the new flat. More posts will happen in the future now that I can procrastinate again in the most inefficient way possible. For example now I’m procrastinating, writing this blog post to avoid working on the download section of the AFG site, which is at the moment glaring at me from another window.

I’ve also done a bit of writing on a Three Little Pigs Projects:

  • The First Little Project is an improvisation aid and has been in playtest for about a year. The original concept is not mine, but Jeff seems fine with me kidnapping his brainchild. I’m probably a week or two away from sending the file to the printer and get a proof done. So I’d rather show you the proof. Available this Autumn.
  • The Second Little Project is a RPG supplement about the Teutonic Order. The game will be a sandbox, featuring Crusading Murderhobos Monks spreading the Word of God, building big-ass castles and hexcrawling around the Baltic Sea. Interaction with the local population will be based on crossbow bolts, forced conversion or burning their farms. Sometimes without locking the pagans in their barns before torching them. The production status is “a bunch of tables in my moleskine” but it might materialize soonish as a cheap little booklet similar to Delta’s Book of War (get it here, I playtested it and it’s very good to play D&D mass battles). Or, as I’ll start bookbinding and printing courses later this summer, some artsy coptic-bound monstruosity. Time will tell.
  • The Third Little Project is called “The Six Cities of the Spine” and it’s going to be a writeup of the Western League campaign material. It started in 2003 as a Arcana Unearthed campaign, then moved to B/X, then to S&W Whitebox, then to AFG. The scope is yet to be determined, but might end up swell to include related material covering the Valley of Fire, the Free City of Unis and whatnot. I’m putting it together so that it can taken apart and put into a three-ring binder, with additional pages to be inserted in the correct spots. I’ll blame the utter failure of this on whoever took the decision of perforating the Moldway edition of D&D.

Also, somebody asked monsters for AFG. I’m not sure how they’ll come out, but they will.


5MORE System: lightweight task resolution in AFG – Adventure Fantasy Game

Adventure Fantasy Game (it’s out! buy it here!) is built around a task resolution system called 5MORE. 5MORE is based on the Art of Delving by David ‘Sham’ Bowman, used with his permission.  I totally took his baby and mistreated it for more than a year of playtesting and tweaking.

5MORE starts simple and doesn’t ask much.

First, describe what you’re doing. 5MORE shall not completely replace deliberate intention with a roll.

Then, roll a d6: is the result 5 or MORE? Success! Is it 1? Abject and utter failure!

There might be modifiers, of course. Kept low both in amounts and number because beancounting is not that fun.

Is the task hard or easy? Add or subtract 1.

Is the approach particularly valid or ineffective? Add or subtract 1.

Is your character generally good or bad at this kind of things (high or low strenght for example)? Add or subtract 1.

Do you have good tools, or have bad ones? Add or subtract 1.

Trying to hit heavy or light armour? Add or subtract 1. *

You might start to notice a pattern here.

By the way, have you succeeded with a natural 5 or 6? Roll again with no modifier. If you hit 5MORE again, mark the first letter from the word EXPERT next to the task name on your character sheet. If you were climbing, write “Climbing”. If you were sneaking about, write “Sneak”. If it’s ambiguous, the Referee will get your task a name.

And of course when you accumulate all the EXPERT letters for a task you become EXPERT at it, getting +1 on that task rolls. After you’re an expert in 6 tasks, pick one of them, erase the word EXPERT and write MASTER (how convenient, MASTER has six letters too). That means +2 to that task rolls. And you can’t be MASTER in more than a task.

While the handbook presents a list of Tasks and related modifiers, it’s only an optional crutch: using 5MORE characters start with no skills lists and tasks are made up on the fly. 5MORE and Impromptu Skills are the spine that keep Adventure Fantasy Game together.

My favourite example was when Max’s young knight was running, in plate armour, in forest undergrowth, on a mountain side, trying to place as much distance as possible between himself and Wulf’s bandits, and succeeded both rolls. To underline the semiserious nature of the game and the not-exactly-brave behaviour, the task was named “FLEEEE!!!!”.

While I had plans to use my other task-resolution system, 5MORE works much better. It’s dead simple to run and teach, the probabilities do not get all not wonky in extreme scenarios [**], abilities improve with practice and, most importantly, players like it.

[*]:  Yes, it does combat too; 5MAIL is a combat system that uses 5MORE and you can find it in AFG (together with FIGHTMORE, the advanced and otherwise unrelated combat system).

[**]: There are other small rules covering corner cases but they got used very rarely.