Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Sword Ferns & Salmon Flesh (one-stat GLOG hack set in the Great Bear Rainforest)

I hacked GLOG-style magic dice into the game Palace Run, which is by Ian over at the Benign Brown Beast. I have also been working on a setting inspired by my home in the forests of southwestern British Columbia, called the Great Bear Rainforest. I have now combined those two things into a full one-stat GLOG hack based on Palace Run, with an explicit setting in the Great Bear Rainforest. 

Cover image by me. 

I've managed to cram in everything to five pages—including two pages of spells. So the rules only take up three pages. The setting is found mostly through the "folk" which are like races you can choose, the Starting Equipment, and the spells. I might add more to this over time to imbue it with more setting. 

Design Notes

  • I wanted to keep it super simple. The longer I play role-playing games of any kind, the more I find myself in disdain of rules. For me, they simply get in the way. This is why I've chosen to simply port Into the Odd combat straight in, practically. There's no fussing about: you simply get killed or kill your foes really quickly. Anything else requires engaging directly with the fiction. 
  • I read a few blog posts about lo-fi production and they really swayed me, so I've used monospace Courier font for this project. I think it looks great but I haven't research its readability or accessibility, so I may change this if I receive any feedback or learn anything new. 
  • Hacking GLOG magic into the classless one-stat system was certainly the most difficult part. I discuss that in more detail on my full post about the magic. I think spending STAT is an elegant solution; however, it certainly needs playtesting because surely something will crop up about which I haven't thought. I'm proud of the new spells I've come up with. 
  • I've decided that magic power emanates from salmon and therefore all wizard-failures should be salmon-themed. The final Doom of a spell argillite user is turning into a salmon permanently. This means that anyone else who catches and eats a salmon might be consuming a doomed magic-user. Very concerning.
  • I've reused a lot of rules from the generic GLOG hack I've been working on, which I've all stolen completely from Arnold's original GLOG, Skerple's two wonderful GLOGS (Rat on Stick Version and also Many Rats on Sticks), Type1Ninja's excellent hack of GLOG and Into the Odd: Moonhop, and various other blogs and OSR discord conversations. I also stole the Usage Die from the Black Hack. 
  • I think this is the best version of my Wilderness Travel rules that I've put together so far. They're about as simple as it gets before you have no rules at all. 

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