|Pick a Door, any Door (art by the amazing Jason Rainville)|
Whew. Seven weeks into the semester, and I finally find some time to post here. My fantasy literature students just took their midterm (covering Dunsany, Tolkien, Vance, and Le Guin), and my global performance in the Middle Ages class has just started Yuan zaju after finishing medieval English drama. Had to give up running Tales of the 13th Age because I'm taking part in my daughter's dance recital: I'm playing the non-dancing part of the evil Spanish Governor in Pacquita, and rehearsals for the actors are on the one night all my 13th Age players could make it. Luckily, one of those players has assumed GM duties and is now running the game on Thursday nights; I'm playing a dragonspawn paladin named Sule whose One Unique Thing is a congenital allergy to god.
But the primary reason for this update is to discuss my latest RPG purchase, Rite Publishing's Lords of Gossamer & Shadow (LoG&S). I've been eyeing this system for some time, partially because it comes highly recommended by such respected folks as Rob Donoghue and Bruce Baugh and partially because its original setting removes the primary obstacle to my enjoyment of the late Erick Wujcik's Amber DRPG: Roger Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber setting. (Don't get me wrong—I have nothing against Zelazny's books; I just read them far too early in my adolescence to really appreciate them.) When DriveThruRPG's GM's Day Sale dropped the price of the PDF/softcover combo to $30, I decided to take the plunge.
Still making my way through the rulebook, but I like the overall cut of the game's jib. Mechnically, I appreciate the clarity of the rules and the utility of the worksheets for player-generated Artifacts, Companions, and Domains. As an old Everway hand, the diceless side of LoG&S doesn't bother me at all: between attribute ranks, Stuff, and player tactics, I have more than enough information to adjudicate conflicts. I still can't get my head around how to integrate PCs and NPCs on the Attribute Ladder (do I need to create all the NPCs at the start of the game? if not, how do new NPCs get worked into the ladder?). I'm also thinking that there's a bit of an Amber DRPG remnant in the strange advice on p. 15 that players not be able to establish their characters' parentage—that makes sense in the familial hothouse that is Amber, but not in the more wide-open environment of the Great Stair. So far these are my biggest problems with the game.
In fact, I liked LoG&S enough to go ahead and grab all of the game's mini-supplements while the sale was still ongoing. The Addendum: Blessings & Curses powers add-on is a particular favorite of mine; look for a follow-up post test-driving those rules.