Monday, 17 July 2017

1. Core - The Fighter

Core Rules
Ideally, I would prefer no rules whatsoever for an rpg which arises from a setting, the players trusting the taste of the Creator-Judge and his sense of balance. A single die occasionally cast to perturb the interpretive outcome would be enough.

Practically, the AD&D framework offers an enduring ground of sensible abstractions for the lower levels of play which appeals to players, and cannot be overlooked by someone, me, who has learned how to conduct the game using its methods and resources.

In compromise, rules in the spirit of AD&D will be presented chiefly to draw attention to important or instructive or peculiar aspects of the Agonmayar setting.

Fighter Adventurer Explorer
All Adventurers are Fighters. All Explorers are Fighters. At least in the life of the character at the moment he claims to be an Adventurer he becomes a Fighter. That is not to say that all Fighters are Adventurers, or that all of the interesting characters in the setting are Fighters. It means that Adventurers are Fighters by definition, and this definition sheds more light on what it means to be an Adventurer than what it means to be a Fighter.

Intelligent Fighter-Adventurers may be influenced by their discoveries to get to grips with magic and they may well become Magic Users of one sort or another but they remain primarily Adventurers who explore the world for its own sake, distinct from the more learned breed of Magic User who studies magic for its own sake, the sedentary theorist. This distinction may be considered beside that between the retiring Monk and the wandering Friar.

The Adventuring assassins and rangers are very much Fighters too. There is no attempt to balance the effects and potency of the different kinds of Adventurer. As the environment is so brutal, players are encouraged to invent credible excellences for their characters in accordance with their exceptional, if any, generated statistics, and as a reward for ingenious play.

Captain -- Warrior

Fighter Warrior Captain
There are two classes of Fighter.

The Warrior concentrates solely on personal development of his martial prowess. He exercises with an iron will to attain his astounding physique which is functional rather than pretty. He masters every weapon group. He masters the fighting movements of Warriors in each land he travels through. The Warrior is not a man-a-arms for hire, nor a duty bound knight, he never serves king or no. The Warrior finds brief allies for brief causes, and carries on, the world is large and he has seen little of it. Honour is the word of some Warriors but Loyalty the word of all, and there is nothing to slow him in his world-wide stir but the discovery in another of the self-same manly humour and a loyalty proven. It is usually only then, on the minds of a trusted group that the Aione intrigue plays and drags. He becomes along the way a spectacular runner, an imperturbable climber and a determined swimmer. These are the ambitions of the Warrior and he achieves them according to his ability and the favour of the gods, Fate or the one God, whatever the Truth, ungraspable, ethereal and beyond his comprehension or care.

The Captain concentrates on extrapolating his martial influence over a widening body of stalwarts selected, scrutinized and guided for the purpose of garnering massive force for the intimidation of or domination over whole citizen groups of ever increasing extent. Intra or extra, tribal group or nation state is not important to him because the measure of a Captain's success is his Command, the number of troops who will Today risk their lives for him. the Captain's desire is to exploit a mass of men by bestowing purpose on their lives. Their purpose is silver, rape and pride and their success is measured in wine barrels, breasts and cheers. The Captain's purpose is elevation, control and fame and his success is measured in the fear and timidity of his social superiors. The Captain is, in the long term, little interested in his man-to-man dueling prowess. He tries to lift the morale, ferocity and discipline of his subordinates. He is the Leader of every group in whatever environment he finds himself. He cajoles, lauds, inspires, exhorts, punishes, humiliates. He winks, elbows, clatters, pats, salutes. In pure terms he raises and exalts a chosen band of extraordinary men he discovers or he fades away and dies.

The Olde Lond of Horrour and Dep Drede

Hmmm. In all honesty, aesthetically I prefer the black and white maps of Agonmayar and will stick with them.



  1. "Ideally, I would prefer no rules whatsoever for an rpg which arises from a setting, the players trusting the taste of the Creator-Judge and his sense of balance. A single die occasionally cast to perturb the interpretive outcome would be enough."

    The grail. I can see why you don't pursue it (it's fair; the terms in which we learn to build our worlds linger even after we've moved beyond them, and if others are to inhabit them compromise is the name of the game) but that's a great way to play. I came close once or twice. Character sheets were present to indicate capabilities and modify the single roll should that be necessary. (People seem to like the modifiers, the idea that "I am better at this than that" and its having some sort of ludic impact.) Other than that things were as you described. Shame I hadn't done it for a setting of my own invention.

  2. Any rpg rule I can think of is unrealistic, insufficient and gamey in the sense that it moves the rpg towards a boardgame aesthetic. Those who make rpg rules for actions also fool themselves into believing what they are trapping in probabilities is well understood in the real world. Well you only have to look at the evolution of MMA to imagine how little we understand about weaponed combat. So extreme abstraction and focusing on outcome makes sense to me but is only an enjoyable approach for experienced players. I think it is wise to go through a few years of rule structured play before trying to adopt extreme abstraction.