Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Rome if you want to

Very light posting this month... not sure why.  I can't blame quantity of work; that hasn't been bad.  But maybe the quality is such that I'm feeling the mental resistors starting to smoke a bit.  :-)

I've been slowly pondering and planning my April A-Z posts, and I hope to have an official announcement of my topic sometime soon -- probably whenever they get ready with the official 2013 sign-up gadget on the main site.

The other day, I caught the bug with another blog challenge.  William Dowie of Ramblings of a Great Khan is hosting a contest to come up with an awesome old-school D&D adventure with an ancient Roman theme.  It took me a while, but I did eventually come up with the kernel of something that could be cool.  It won't be a traditional "module" type adventure; more like an outline of ideas and first steps for setting up Roman-era characters in a sandbox setting with OSR-ish D&D rules.  Unlike my other project for a fantasy type RPG setting (which I think will have gravitas to spare), here I'm aiming for light-hearted and fun.  Can it work with the general high-lethality "murder-hobo" assumptions of low-level D&D?  We'll see!

Of course, if you mention fun characters and the ancient Roman era in the same sentence, many peoples' minds are drawn to the oeuvre de Goscinny over there.  I've actually never read these comics, though.  I may be unknowingly reinventing his wheel with some of the tropes... but we'll see.  I'll definitely cite my sources for some other blatant pop-culture borrowings.  I just hope it's finished by the end-of-month contest deadline...  :-)


  1. Sometimes when we aim for light-hearted and fun, we have gravitas to spare. Wouldn't it be cool if sometimes when we aimed for gravitas, we'd end up with light-hearted and fun to spare? Which would mean, of course, that we were fools. But there's something to be said for as much. Maybe yes? Maybe no?

    I'd like to see someone reinvent a trope. :)

    1. "Aiming" has different meanings when it comes to writing fiction versus planning a role-playing game, but yeah... who knows what "emergent behaviors" will spring out, Athena-like, out of our heads, when we start the process rolling?

      "Is there not joy ineffable in this aimless winging?" (Crowley's Liber LXV)

      Last year, Porky's A-Z posts were all devoted to inventing wild new storytelling genres. Tons of new takes on tropes in there, I'm sure. See his roundup post here.

    2. What a beautiful quote from Crowley, C.

      My take on Athenas: they gestate -- quite unsung -- in the head, before springing with apparent suddenness and waging mad, sublime war!

  2. I don't know much about D&D, (i.e. I know NOTHING) but it'd be funny if you incorporated characters similar to those in a Mel Brooks movie. Miss you in the False Start Friday this time around. Maybe next month...

    1. Thanks, Susan! History of the World Part I is now officially added to my list of pop-culture swipes. Weirdly, the other ones I initially came up with weren't ancient Roman at all, but the thought of adapting them to 100 AD or whatever is what got the ball rolling!

      (I think I'm also pretty sure that I'll miss William's January 31st deadline... so no prizes for me. But I'll publish it on the blog nonetheless!)

      I'll do FSF in February. However, I'll warn y'all in advance that it may be poetry time... and mine definitely isn't as cool as Geo's!