A Fantasy for Your Kingdom!

Groups are wonderful things — hell, we’ve been forming them ever since one monkey picked up a rock to hit another one only to find the other’s ‘crew’ were ready to go ape shit on his ass. They keep us protected, they keep us company, and they keep things interesting.

The one thing groups do have to put up with, though, is different opinions. They can’t just easily brush them to the side! And it would seem that Fandible has fallen onto this pit of despair.

We, Fandible, have conflicting opinions on fantasy.

Two of us love it. Two of us are neutral. One of us hates fantasy.

As you might have noticed, Fandible has not done fantasy frequently. Yes, we’ve tried a few games but they never went anywhere. And some of us feel that’s a bit strange seeing that fantasy is the genre that was sort of the beginning of table top roleplaying. Why haven’t we had a multi-session adventure? Why have we kept to space orks and not just orks? Why haven’t we found our ring to take to Mount Doom?

But that is changing. We at Fandible have decided to make a New Year’s resolution (aside from the ones our characters made). And we need your help! To appease all of the group’s feelings on fantasy, we’re looking to you guys to help us out.

First, we need an easy system. One of the problems we’ve faced with running fantasy is that we keep on trying it out with ‘unique’ systems. And so far, these systems have kept our focus instead of the game itself. An example of this was Fortune’s Fool. I found Fortune’s Fool to have a very well thought-out system. It was unique in its delivery, and I had fun. However, the system was what I mostly focused on instead of the story. Why? Well, perhaps because it was just so unique, using tarot cards as the randomizing element as opposed to dice or even regular playing cards.

We need a system that is pretty straight forward. We also want a system that isn’t number crunchy. We roll a die, look at it, and can safely know if we made it or not. No calculus please.

The second thing we need is a system that has magic but doesn’t make it so… in your face? You see, some of us like magic in games and some of us hate it. So, as you can imagine, this step is going to be hard to fulfill. We need a system of magic that isn’t difficult to grasp but isn’t an ‘I win’ button like it tends to turn out. We’re also not opposed to hacking/home brewing an existing system if it doesn’t quite fit our needs as-written.

The last thing we need is ideas from you! What sort of adventures do you want us to try? Do you think the world should be multi-raced or are we ‘Game of Throne’sing this biatch? Should our party be moving around or are you hoping to see more of a static location like we have in Unhallowed Metropolis?

We want to try magic! We really do! We want to slay orks and goblins, save princesses from dragons, and I personally wouldn’t mind having the chance to get into an airship like I’m Cecil in Final Fantasy II. But we need your help! If you have a system in mind, a suggestion for a campaign, or just a comment, leave us a comment or contact us via e-mail!

You have our podcast. And our characters. But we need your ideas!


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About the Author
Billy started out his roots like many roleplayers - D&D. Playing it and then Vampire all through highschool and college, Billy picked it all up again when he made the move from Michigan to New York. Now working in publishing, Billy does what he can to view roleplaying games through a narrative's lens. Does that sound classy as balls? It should.

6 comments on “A Fantasy for Your Kingdom!

  1. Ron says:

    You could try Fate Core.

  2. Will says:

    Savage worlds? Straight forward set of rules with bennies,exploding dice, ads/disads and really flexible. Good if you were going to come up with your own setting. Which you really should.

    H P Lovecraft and R E Howard inspired low fantasy is always fun if you’re up for Conan vs the ink monster (actually pretty likely going by the books) where magic is malign, rare and in the hands of the bad guys.

    Post magic apocalyse world would get a vote too. As would magic that makes your head explode/bad things happen a la dark heresy. But more so.

  3. Have you considered playing Warhammer Fantasy? Not quite rules-light, but given that the players are already familiar with the rules and setting of the 40k version, it shouldn’t pose much of a problem. The magic system is relatively low-key, given that wizards are rather rare and need to watch out for the constant threat of miscasts and incursions of Chao… err, Chris. 🙂

    There’s tons of rules-light fantasy RPGs dispersed through-out the interwebs; for example, Dungeon Squad, which is 6 pages long and available freely on Scribd:

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/14107694/Dungeon-Squad

    It was designed for children (or child-like grownups), so it’s very simple and straightforward, which means you could easily tack it onto any campaign setting you desire.

    Homicidal Transients has serious amounts of grimdark humour, but it approaches the nature of RPGs in a no-bullshit fashion: you play murderhobos, who wander around, kill people, and take their stuff.
    According to some of the reviewers who’ve played it, even though the rules appear somewhat clunky and confusing when you’re reading them, they are very intuitive once you start playing, and never require you to look up rules mid-game; sounds like the perfect game for Fandible. 🙂
    Plus, you had an ace time with the Atomic Robo game, and according to Brian Clevinger, Homicidal Transients = 8-Bit Theatre, the RPG.

    http://geekthis.blogspot.com/2012/01/gaming-for-grownups-homicidal.html

    http://www.nuklearpower.com/2012/01/09/nerding-it-up-with-homicidal-transients/

    Critical!: Go Westerly is a beer-and-pretzels-style humorous fantasy RPG that only costs $5 for a .pdf download, and seems like it might be of interest:

    http://www.robotviking.com/2012/02/01/critical-go-westerly-is-a-light-and-lighthearted-fantasy-rpg/

    BareBones Fantasy has gotten good reviews:

    http://www.stargazersworld.com/2012/10/30/first-look-barebones-fantasy-role-playing-game/

    http://irontavern.com/tag/barebones-fantasy/

  4. “The last thing we need is ideas from you!”

    …Wait, what? 😛

  5. Gazetteer says:

    You could check out Dungeon World. You all seemed to like Monster Hearts, and DW is another Apocalypse World hack that’s received really good reviews. I don’t know if you’d consider the magic there too prominent, though, but it’s probably worth checking out.

    I would also second Savage Worlds — I’ve not actually played myself, but the system seems pretty elegant and it would be great for low fantasy. There are plenty of settings to choose from, too, or you could create your own — the corebook even has tools for doing that. Most of what Pencil Monkey suggested seems viable to me too, though, and I’d be interested in listening no matter what you picked. Fandible goes a long way to making my hours spent at a rather tedious filing position not mind-numbingly dull.

    Personally, I’d like to see more games like UMet. Keeping a campaign in a single location like that gives you a lot more room to develop places over time and have recurring places and NPCs.

  6. Thelastarchitect says:

    Having played the A Song And Ice Of Fire RPG by Green Ronin Publishing I have to say that might work really well for you guys. Since in most cases Westeros is a near zero magic setting it’s not too ‘in your face’ but might be so minimalist that it only counts as ‘magic positive’ on a technicality.

    In my experience playing a noble house trying to get ahead can be great for continuous group play.

    I’ve played Warhammer Fantasy Role-playing 2e and 3e but neither are systems I’d recommend under your conditions. 2e as it’s a little number crunchy, 3e just because I didn’t find it particularly fun.

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