Monday, December 30, 2013

Lords of Gossamer and Shadow

I played the Amber diceless RPG as a student and I was fond of the system and it was definitely ahead of its time. Lords of Gossamer and Shadow is a revival of the system shorn of the Amber setting and with a new background that is meant to be a better playground for demi-gods of the system.

It is a good looking book and I went for an attractive print-on-demand hardback version. The revamped setting with its interpretation of order and chaos and many worlds connected by an infinite staircase and divided by Shadow feels are more appropriate to cosmic dimension-hopping and the emphasis on magic is baked deeper into the setting now.

However a lot of the issues with the previous game are still present. The attribute auction is fun but makes less sense now that characters are not necessarily a generation of celestial lords and means that you essentially need the same group of players for all the sessions for it to be much fun. Houses of the Blooded dealt with the circle of equals better mechanically.

The magic and world-hopping seems to make more sense and to be introduced better as fundamental to the game. The conflicts between the cosmic forces are also better integrated into the character's background.

I'm still fond of the game and its nice to see a modern edition of the system. However I would have preferred to see a more radical attempt to update the system.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Becoming

My Kickstarter edition of Becoming has arrived and it's very exciting. It's a game for one protagonist and the forces that are arranged against them with a fixed story structure and a victory token system to determine which of the forces have dominated the outcome.

The system seems to be an attrition against the hero with only a few ways for the hero to recover. It's not really the hero's journey game I thought it was going to be but the Blair Witch influenced scenario looks pretty interesting.