Monday, January 1, 2018

Strangleparts - A "One Day" Forest Crawl For Two Systems

Image result for kids in creepy forest
If you are an adventurer from out in the wider world, Corrindi or some other Delt people or from beyond the red mountains, perhaps, then you may well adventure into the Strangle using the rules of D&D 5th Edition, hereafter VDND. That makes sense. You are wandering heroes, perhaps basing your operations from one of the nearby towns of kingdoms. Maybe you venture into the Strangle in search of strange game, or fantastic treasures, or because some lord or god commanded it be so. You may be someone dedicated to preserving the Idle. You may even be one of the strange creatures who there dwell, such as a Wolder or Mag. That makes sense. All that seems right and good. You can use these rules here in order to do so.

But that's only one side of the coin. What about the denizens of the Idle Lands? The towns and villages and farms cut off from the wider world by the god-forest? There are no Idle adventurers, that's surely some kind of moron if not an oxy one. These people have grown up in the shadow of things stranger than deaths. None venture in cavalierly. Those who have grown up here are all old enough to know better. But you're not grown up yet.

Strangleparts is an attempt to fulfill the literalization of +Pearce Shea's Monsterhearts game, stripping it of much of its novelty and invention in order to make its "attributeless D&D" something more like something on the back of a DM screen. The idea here is to end up in less of a Pennywise place and more of a Gingerbread House place. If it helps you to think of this as "perma-death Disney" or "Clive Barker's A Wizard of Earthsea" then do so.

If you want to play a campaign heading from within the Idle Lands into the dark and menacing Strangle (or through the same, trying to get out to the nations beyond) then you can use the rules on Pearce's website or buy In The Woods and get the straight dope. To summarize as succinctly as possible as not to bite Pearce's traffic or sales:

8 Simple Rules For Playing My Green Age Daughter

  1. All characters are around 11.
  2. You are each either a Toughie, a Smartie, or a Baddie. Baddies have experienced some strange secret of the Strangle and become somewhat changed by the experience. 
  3. Every Secret you know reduces your max EP. Every round you spend in the presence of a monster or some unspeakable weirdness reduces your EP. Any attempt to convince someone of a Secret prompts an immediate wandering monster check whether you succeed or fail, and, likewise, lowers the NPC's EP.
  4. Every character has a sack with a day and a half worth of spartan rations, a good knife, their Talisman against the unknown and a Nickname to protect from the known. Smarties can read and make maps, and so they begin with a map.
  5. When you're out of EP you are helpless. The Strangle claims you or something weirder happens. Toughies have the most EP.
  6. Toughies are the best at hurting creatures.
  7. Baddies are the best at hiding and sneaking.
  8. Smarties are the best at searching or puzzling.
Additionally all your characters have 2 other items in their sacks, roll here to determine..

1. A roll of canvas to use for shelter
2. Sleeping bag
3. Good luck charm
4. Small offering to the gods
5. Rope
6. A pot
7. Flint and steel
8. Shears
9. Mask
10. Fishing line and hook
11. Net
12. Torch or Lantern
13. Chalk and charcoal
14. Paper and paints
15. Yellow thread
16. Hooded cloak
17. Climbing cleats
18. Grandparent's diary
19. Magnifying lens
20. 3x food

The purpose here is to get two different game experiences in the same setting even if your table is made up of the same people, each campaign happening simultaneously and maybe bumping into one another but being very much their own thing. These aren't meant to dovetail. In fact, the VDND party may seem very much like a kind of enemy or strange secret to many of the Monsterparts kids. You can map out the track around the Ryvern and get vastly different games depending on which direction you're traveling, even if both parties hit all the same beats. They'll occur in a different order and have vastly different impacts.

I don't know. Just something I want to do if I get the chance.