4/21/12

THE DREAM SHELF


In Neil Gaiman's Sandman series, you'll find a library with all the books you've thought about writing, dreamed about or hoped you'll write someday, but never quite had, and probably never will.

While my own private shelf of the dream library numbers thousands of them, I'll make a quick OSR pick here and let you know what five of them are about. Since I won't do anything with them, I won't be stingy and let you all use whatever you deem cool in them. How about you do the same and post some link to your dream shelf as a comment in here?

Shades of the Sunless Realm

Concept: Post-Apocalyptic Darksun & Underdark mashup

  • There are two suns: one red and one white, that shed so little light that most of the world is flooded in complete darkness, save for the stars and the thin slice of a crescent moon.
  • It's like a surface underdark: most races, except humans, have ultra or infra vision, humans have night goggles, sunrods and lanterns.
  • All forests are mushroom or slime forests. Psionics are widespread.
  • There are rifts of ashes and silt, petrified forests and huge depressions that were seas ages ago.
  • The magic is tied to the two suns and their phases, the red one for arcane and the white for divine.
  • Grimlocks, derros, svarts, drows, etc.

Stryfe

Concept: Balkanization, Birthright at war

  • The whole world is at war with no large political entity.
  • The technology level is set at the early Renaissance stage: firearms, yes, but very primitive, a little bit of engineering.
  • Charts of alliances and connections between countries. Think Divine Right.
  • Both a wargame and a RPG: you play a RPG session, and then a wargame, and both games have consequences, a bit like Birthright, Mouse Guard or Zak's God Chess.
  • You begin by playing an adventurer's company, with alternate characters and a lot of henchmen and hirelings.

Knaive

Concept: O-level rules from Dragon, Goodman Games, Treasure Hunt and People Them With Monsters, but the game never goes to 1st level.

  • Your character never becomes a « class » character, though there's a few in the world, all NPC, like the King's champion is maybe a level 4 fighter.
  • Characters evolve, though, getting better chances at what they've been good at, and get incredible strokes of luck that no « class » character ever has, they access feats sometimes.
  • You play scullions, stable boys and footpads with a permanent beginner's luck.
  • At 0-level, an orc is really dangerous. Think of Shelob as a Giant spider and Nazguls as wraiths.

So Dark All Over Europe

Concept: Cthulhu Solomon Kane

  • The map is Europe's medieval map. Culture and society is like real medieval Europe.
  • But there's no clerical magic and no D&D standard monsters. Instead, there are spells taken straight from CoC, CoC Dreamlands and Doctor Strange.
  • Sorcerers, Bhyakees, Deep Ones and al.

The Glory of Yesterday

Concept: A The Shadow of Yesterday/Solar System hack compatible with D&D

  • Includes a « translation » system mechanic that allows you to play any D&D or AD&D adventure (pre-2nd Ed) without adapting anything
  • Uses everything in The Shadow of Yesterday/Solar System to twist it all
  • Plays in a custom Greyhawk or Mystara-like setting

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