Thursday, January 29, 2009

'09 Project Checklist: Carcosa

One of my goals for this year is to create a few projects that can maybe in their own small way give back to Ye Olde Online Gaming Communitie.

The first project along this line are a couple PDFs I've thrown together for use with Geoffrey McKinney's Carcosa. I picked up Supplement V last October and ever since I've been thinking about how I'd like to implement it in game form. A couple weeks ago I got to thinking, and suddenly it struck me that Jason Vey's Spellcraft & Swordplay, with its super old school, Chainmail-derived game engine, would be a perfect fit for the arcane, pulpy vibe of the world. The discovery that S&S is now available in three separate volumes was just icing on the cake. I ordered Book II; Carcosa itself would serve as my "Book III" and setting material. So that just left me to think about how I wanted to do a "Book I" of character generation rules.

I didn't particularly care for S&S's character classes (in contrast to the basic game system, the chargen was a bit too "modern" for these purposes), so I figured on going with OD&D, or rather the Swords & Wizardry White Box classes. Furthermore, I felt I simply had to include spells from Mythmere's Eldritch Weirdness, so how could I not re-introduce magic-users? It creates a nice, pulpy trifecta: the Hero (Fighters), the Wizard (Magic-users), and the Hero-Wizard (Sorcerers) of character classes.

So my first PDF is an 18-page distillation of the S&W chargen rules (featuring fighters and magic-users only--no clerics!) and a modified spell list for magic-users.

Now that I had my nice, shiny new Book I (which I promptly printed out in booklet form), I needed a nice, shiny new character sheet to go with it. The design came to me one evening as I was falling asleep; I sketched it out the next day and finalized things over the next few days. Although I designed it with my specific mod in mind, it should work just fine for any O/BD&D-derived system.

Anyhoo, I'm pretty pleased with how things turned out and I'm happy to share them!

(N.B. I tried to cover my legal bases with the chargen PDF, but if I'm missing a thing or two feel free to let me know. Also, I used a piece of art I found online--if you know of a source attribution, let me know and I'll put it in.)

ETA: I created an OD&D-friendly version of the character sheet that features a single attack matrix and increased room for rituals and/or psionics.
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