Smithy of Sacrilege

Smithy of Sacrilege is inspired by Tunnel Goons but gives the original a British OSR spin in the form of Fighting Fantasy. The game originally appeared under the name Tunnel Puffins which presumably referenced the original children's publisher of the Fighting Fantasy series.

The key attributes are the familiar Skill, Stamina and Luck which all start at zero. The game's single mechanic is a 2d6 roll against a standard difficulty of 8 (very WSCA). The difference between the target and success drives damage in "dangerous situations" such as combat.

Advancement is based on treasure acquisition and gives a bundle of increases across your character stats.

The game's essence is simple and is a riff on familiar systems. It all seems unsurprising and a good take on the Fighting Fantasy system.

It uses a Health stat instead of Stamina, presumably to avoid a downward spiral on related checks. Inventory is based on a fixed Equipment score with one significant item being a point. Going over your score results in a penalty to your stat checks which is a nice little push your luck element. I also liked the directive to the player to describe their character's backpack.

Healing is based on resting but there is a mention of Provisions (which heal in Fighting Fantasy) but no attached rules which might be an oversight.

Backgrounds is where things are a little weaker. The culture names in the random backgrounds are suitably Allansia-esque: Rockspan, Darksilt, Birchrift but where as Tunnel Goons tables gave me a surprise twist on the world the Occupations here are uninspiring and the Aspirations are a bit generic. I do like the way that your Aspiration gives you a piece of equipment though. That's fun.

The biggest issue with the tables though is that with just six entries in each you need to be broad but also leading. Caravan guard is good, as is Soothsayer (but how many are there in this world? Implied setting?). However the alchemist feels in need of the prefix "failed" and the Publican is just quite dull particularly when there is also the more interesting aspiration to open an inn.

This looks like a successful mashup of Fighting Fantasy and Tunnel Goons with just enough rules to be engaging but light. It's implied world is a bit of bust for me but feels like a flaw the reader can correct in their own take on the game. 


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