Lunarius
 member, 403 posts
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 pax ex tyranny
Sun 8 Apr 2018
at 01:23
Gritty Fantasy Game?
I'll admit, Vermintide 2 has really scratched an itch I didn't realize I had -- but it also uncovered another one.

The Short List:
  • Gritty/Grim Fantasy.
  • 'Immortal' races are rareish and powerful.
  • Mid-to highish power at start.
  • Plenty of mooks to burn through when we're out in the killing fields.
  • A setting we build together.
  • Mechanics as an underpinning and a backbone.
  • Individuals are thrown together, and are quite different in personality and tastes.
  • Adult game preferred so we can get as gritty and grim as we like within rpol's rules.


Those Also Interested:
  • GreyGriffin - Burning Wheel - Player(?)
  • tusken eldritch - WFRP - Player
  • sbodmann - ďdungeon punkĒ/eberron - Player




The Poorly Worded Description:

What I'm looking for is a gritty/grim fantasy with similar elements: seemingly insurmountable odds, individuals from wildly different backgrounds thrown together (whether they like it or not), and a slowly building camaraderie despite it. System (5e? pf?) should be a backbone and background; plenty of one-shot mooks to fill the hordes with and characters that are already near the 10-ish level would be preferred. An Adult rating would fit the setting, I feel, but Iím maliable.

Specifically I'd like three to four other like-minded players and a GM that wants to test us without tearing us down -- or do, whatever, as long as we're all having fun. :)

I'll be doing my best to keep an eye on any responses here, but rMail will definitely get my attention.

Thanks for reading!


edited for some clarity. :)

This message was last edited by the user at 00:06, Thu 12 Apr.

GreyGriffin
 member, 187 posts
 Portal Expat
 Game System Polyglot
Sun 8 Apr 2018
at 05:18
Gritty Fantasy Game?
... is this a call for Burning Wheel?  Because I am down for Burning Wheel...
Lunarius
 member, 404 posts
 eadem mutata resurgo
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Sun 8 Apr 2018
at 12:31
Gritty Fantasy Game?
Nope! But now that I've googled Burning Wheel a little bit, maybe? I'm not opposed to it, but I don't currently own any of the materials. :)
Dgorjones
 member, 62 posts
Sun 8 Apr 2018
at 15:23
Gritty Fantasy Game?
A couple system suggestions that might meet what you're looking for:

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying
Shadow of the Demon Lord
Lunarius
 member, 405 posts
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Sun 8 Apr 2018
at 15:36
Gritty Fantasy Game?
I'm not overly concerned with system, and I realize I must've been unclear in how I was trying to stress that.

Whatever the system is should exist only for the mechanics; I'm looking for a fantasy setting that isn't tied to any particular franchise or series if that makes sense. I'd like us to build the world together, with the mechanics providing the underpinning.
GreyGriffin
 member, 188 posts
 Portal Expat
 Game System Polyglot
Sun 8 Apr 2018
at 22:58
Gritty Fantasy Game?
The mechanics of a game reinforce the tone in a lot of important ways. A game like D&D has a hard time carrying a gritty tone because the PCs are very empowered - they can easily overcome their opposition, they recover quickly from injury, and aren't challenged by the situations that create a gritty tone.

Played straight, the system can actively subvert the tone you are trying to establish. Trying to create a game of intrigue and distrust? Cast Zone of Truth. Trying to create a game of harsh survivalism and scrambling for resources? Play a Ranger with Goodberry. Trying to create a game where the world is threatened by a deadly plague that strikes without warning?  Paladin spends 5 HP from his Lay On Hands allotment.

Sure, you can build your setting and then rapidly gut out all the mechanical "fixes" for it, but you're cutting against the grain just for the sake of cutting against the grain.

Other systems reinforce gritty tone.  Burning Wheel, for example, creates (relatively) weak starting characters who have to fail in the process of pursuing growth and change.  The game's fundamentals focus on deeply personal struggles and the cost and benefits of compromise, rather than on the grand, overarching sweep of high adventure.

Warhammer Fantasy RPG (Green Ronin's 2nd edition, as I've played it) reinforces your characters' low stations and mortality, using a deadly combat system and starting your characters into relative material poverty, while presenting you with clear and discrete steps you can take to grow from a Servant or Farmer (literally starting classes in WFRPG) to a renowned Assassin or Master Wizard.  All the while showing that vast gulf between your character and what might be his dreams (or his destiny!) will require some real blood, sweat, and tears to bridge.  And sometimes, you'll get sidetracked on the way.  Or just killed by a lucky Goblin.  You're encouraged to start small, dream big, but are constantly presented with the harsh realities of life in its unfair universe.

In both the systems above, high powered characters can really rock the setting to its core, but they still have plenty to fear. There's work involved in getting to where they sit, and there's work involved in staying there. They aren't guaranteed to get to level 20 just by showing up and making most of their saving throws.  They've, pardon my english, seen some shit.

A 6-lifepath game of Burning Wheel or a 1200 (2-3 career) XP game of WFRP will provide you with characters that will meet your criteria easily - characters who are colorful and diverse, who have their own history and their own idiosyncracies, but they haev enough power to start standing on their own merits and actually changing the larger world around them through their own mettle.  The Warhammer world is much more defined than the setting of Burning Wheel (or D&D), but there's still plenty of wilderness and frontiers of plot to explore.

Using D&D at that power level creates characters with virtual impunity over their environment. Characters don't really struggle unless faced with increasingly big and bad monsters, meaning that a lot of the truly existential questions of what makes a dark, grim, gritty game/setting go out the window, or take on Exalted-level meta-questions (You have all this power to do as thou wilt, now what?)

However, if you're looking for a game that is "grim and gritty" in that 40k fashion, where it's just spikes, decapitations, and high body count, well, D&D would probably work with that.

This message was last edited by the user at 23:00, Sun 08 Apr.

Lunarius
 member, 406 posts
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Sun 8 Apr 2018
at 23:37
Gritty Fantasy Game?
Thank you. :)
tusken eldritch
 member, 16 posts
Tue 10 Apr 2018
at 14:19
Gritty Fantasy Game?
I'd be interested in playing, if this turns into WFRP!
Lunarius
 member, 408 posts
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Tue 10 Apr 2018
at 16:07
Gritty Fantasy Game?
I've updated the first post with a list of those who have so far shown interest to help along any prospective GMs.

Even if we don't all end up in the same game, I'd love to see you guys get into a game you'll enjoy. :)
sbodmann
 member, 92 posts
Wed 11 Apr 2018
at 14:36
Gritty Fantasy Game?
I'd be interested in a "Dungeon Punk" game, which would seem to fit the requirements in the OP. Dungeon Punk as I'm envisioning it would replace the "cyber" in cyberpunk with magic and keep the punk part. From TVTropes (emphasis added to punk):

quote:
Cyberpunk is a Speculative Fiction genre centered around the transformative effects of advanced science, information technology, computers and networks ("cyber") coupled with a breakdown or radical change in the social order ("punk"). A genre that is dark and cynical in tone, it borrows elements from Film Noir, hard-boiled Detective Fiction and postmodern deconstruction to describe the Dystopian side of an electronic society.


Eberron is the seminal dungeon punk setting, and one that's pretty well-known. But I think it's a bit thin on both the dungeon and the punk. Both could be cranked up quite a bit by just  giving the Dragonmarked houses a good dose of steroids. They already control a lot of the things that we'd consider modern fundamentals (e.g. the gnomes control the "internet", the halflings control healthcare, House Denieth IS the police, House Cannith is Apple+Microsoft+GE wrapped into one, etc). Crank up how much those things affect the regular person, and how much controlling those things sets the houses above the regular person, and you've got a pretty good "punk" set up.

It doesn't have to be Eberron; it's just a good example. I'd be happy to play in a homebrew (and/or to contribute to one). GreyGriffin's description of WHFRP sounds pretty spot on too.
tusken eldritch
 member, 17 posts
Wed 11 Apr 2018
at 19:19
Gritty Fantasy Game?
I know you listed the building of a unique setting as a preference, so sorry for coming in with more Warhammer Fantasy stuff!

But I think a game set in Mordheim could be cool!

The players can play higher level characters (the leaders and veterans of the warband), with some NPCs added in as new and inexperienced (and replaceable) members.
Lunarius
 member, 409 posts
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Thu 12 Apr 2018
at 00:14
Gritty Fantasy Game?
Youíve been polite about it, Tusken. No worries. :) While I would really enjoy a setting we all build together, if thereís not enough interest in re-skinning whatever the mechanics are tied to thatís fine. Iím sorry i havenít been very good at expressing myself.

I love the banter between the heroes in VT2; I enjoy their dynamic & I like the odds and risks they face. I think that sort of story can be told in a lot of ways, but the characters and their struggles are my primary interest.

sbodmann, I added you to the list of interested. :)

This message was last edited by the user at 00:17, Thu 12 Apr.

sbodmann
 member, 95 posts
Sun 15 Apr 2018
at 12:48
Gritty Fantasy Game?
I have an idea for a supportive rule set... Start with Fate Accelerated, but replace the standard approaches with the seven deadly sins to emphasize the darker side of humanity. Hubris, lust, greed, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth instead of careful, clever, flashy, forceful, quick, and sneaky.

So you'd use the soon-approach most appropriate to what motivates the action you're doing (similar to in the Smallville Cortex game). Consider a swordsman...

... A 'barbarian' could easily be motivated by any if these things at any particular time (a cultural side effect of both the source of the sins and barbarians). But if you stick with the stereotypical rage power, you'd use wrath or lust (battle lust) a lot.
... A 'fighter' would most easily fit into greed, making him a mercenary. I could easily see any of the other ones as applicable in certain situations.
... A 'rogue' likewise easily fit these, probably going greed and sloth.

This makes for some really interesting angles when you go against type:
... A 'paladin' is going to be really challenged, which is as it should be in a gritty game. He's probably highest on hubris. Everything else is pretty obviously against the code, so he'll probably be compelling himself a lot. That also works really well because then he'll have lots of Fate points to fuel miraculous stuff.

Yeah. Your trouble aspect could work really well as a traditional virtue. Generous, sense of fairness, defender of the weak... All those things are going to get someone into trouble in a gritty game!
Lunarius
 member, 411 posts
 eadem mutata resurgo
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Thu 19 Apr 2018
at 14:51
Gritty Fantasy Game?
Hi Mods! This thread can be closed up. Thank you! :)