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Title: Wicked Press Gets Wyrd
Post by: John Wick on July 26, 2001, 04:46:00 PM
WICKED PRESS is proud to announce WYRD, a new roleplaying game by SCOTT KNIPE. While fans can download a free version at http://speardanes.homestead.com/main.html and obtain an ashcan version this year at Gen-Con, Wicked Press plans on publishing a full version in the first few months of 2002.

"WYRD is one of the most innovative, original and downright FUN roleplaying games I've seen in a long time," said Wicked Press owner John Wick. "I'm proud to be working with Scott. He's got an intuitive understanding of the source material, and it shows in his writing and game design. I encourage EVERYBODY to go check out the freeware version of WYRD right now and get a taste of what they'll be getting from the full version."

The full print version of WYRD will be available in the first quarter of 2002. Further details will be made available as soon as possible.



Title: Wicked Press Gets Wyrd
Post by: hardcoremoose on July 26, 2001, 05:40:00 PM
Thanks for the glowing reviews, John. It has been a real privilege to work with Wicked Press, and I look forward to the rest of the process.  :smile:


Everyone else,

The rules are currently on hiatus from my website, but I'll have them back up within 12 hours (I'd have them up sooner, but I have to work tonight).  Of course, I can't show you guys everything, but I think I can give you a taste of how the rules are evolving on their way to publication...  

[Edited, 11:00 PM:  Okay, the site is updated now with a sneak peak at the ashcan.  It doesn't look too great right now, but I'll fix it up a bit in the morning.  Now I'm off to work.]  

[ This Message was edited by: hardcoremoose on 2001-07-26 23:03 ]


Title: Wicked Press Gets Wyrd
Post by: joshua neff on July 27, 2001, 09:38:00 AM
I would say, just froma cursory glance at the website, that Wyrd definitely fits into my category of "pushing what RPGs are & can be". It looks interesting.


Title: Wicked Press Gets Wyrd
Post by: Valamir on August 01, 2001, 06:30:00 AM
I was running down Wyrd yesterday (I can hardly wait, I love Norse mythology.  I've always preferred the viking response to grim fatalism over that of the neogoth)

But I ran into some questions (no doubt which will be clearer in the final version) that have to do with cycles and adding to passions.

If I'm reading things right, I start with a bunch of stones in my purse...say 30.  I then draw these stones a handful at a time (based on my Passion) for Runecasting.  Each cast I lose 1 stone permanently and the rest temporarily.  So assumeing a Passions of 3-5 range that means I get somewhere between 6 and 10 (call it :cool: Runecasts before a new cycle begins.  The next cycle I'll get my temporary stones back (the Hoard) which will only total 22, so I'm on the way to meeting my doom.

Assuming I have that correct, here are my questions.  If every stone spent also earns me 1 point of Passion than after the first cycle, a mere 8 Runecasts in this example, my character will have gone from initial Passions of 10 to a Passion of 40.  The combination of having fewer stones in my purse and higher Passion ratings will result in fewer casts per cycle and a lower number of stones being permanently lost (because each casting is bigger).  So the second cycle I might make only 3-4 casts before running out of stones and starting my next cycle with only 18.  But that will equal another 22 Passion for a total of 62.

Continuing on with the example, I'd eventually make 30 Runecasts (losing 1 each cast), go through 16 cycles and add 164 points worth of Passions.  That seems a little extreme to go from 10 points of Passion to 174, which is what leads me to think I'm missing something.

Also, what happens when the size of the Passion requires drawing more stones for the cast than currently exist in the purse?


Title: Wicked Press Gets Wyrd
Post by: archangel_2 on August 01, 2001, 10:23:00 AM
You only get an increase (or a decrease) for every white 'stone permanently removed. So that gives you a max Passion of 20. Period. (And pray that you never have such a thing, because that means all you've got left are black 'stones! You're hero's life, from there on in, goes straight down the toilet...) Also, you do not get to refill your bag if you run out of 'stones. Let's say you have a Passion of 12, but only 11 'stones in your bag to draw. You only get 11 'stones to draw. (Please note, when you draw a white 'stone, you CAN choose to decrease a current Passion rather than increase it. Having too high a Passion can be a very bad thing if you draw a lot of black 'stones...)

Daniel


Title: Wicked Press Gets Wyrd
Post by: Valamir on August 01, 2001, 12:31:00 PM
Quote

On 2001-08-01 14:23, archangel_2 wrote:
You only get an increase (or a decrease) for every white 'stone permanently removed. So that gives you a max Passion of 20. Period. (And pray that you never have such a thing, because that means all you've got left are black 'stones! You're hero's life, from there on in, goes straight down the toilet...) Also, you do not get to refill your bag if you run out of 'stones. Let's say you have a Passion of 12, but only 11 'stones in your bag to draw. You only get 11 'stones to draw. (Please note, when you draw a white 'stone, you CAN choose to decrease a current Passion rather than increase it. Having too high a Passion can be a very bad thing if you draw a lot of black 'stones...)

Daniel


Hmmm.  Well I'll quote the actual rules I found at
http://speardanes.homestead.com/index.html

"Each time a stone is removed from your bag, you must add a new line of verse to your Hero's Saga."  

I would interpret this as any time a stone is removed from your bag / purse includeing when it is removed for making a Runecast.  If this is meant to be removed from the game permanently it should be worded differently...which it probably is in the actual game rules.  That certainly sounds like a more reasonable number to work with


"Additionally, if that stone was Heroic, you may add 1 to a Heroic Passion, or start a new Heroic Passion at a rating of 1, or reduce a Tragic Passion by 1.  The same holds true of Tragic stones; you may either modify a Tragic Passion upwards by 1, or create a new Tragic Passion with a value of 1, or reduce a Heroic Passion by 1.  The Passion that is modified or created must be exemplified in the written verse in some way."

This indicates that its not just white stones but also black ones that result in a Passion (of some flavor.  Tragic Passions seem to be at least as useful (if darker) than Heroic ones.

But then it seems I may not have gotten the rule right to begin with.  When I read it this time it seems that you don't lose 1 stone per Runecast, you lose 1 Stone per Cycle.  Or more precisely you lose 1 stone temporarily to the horde for the Runecast and 1 permanently per cycle.

Since you lose 1 temporarily each Runecast to the Hoard, and its filling the Hoard that ends the cycle and causes the lose of a stone permanently...it would seem that the more Passionate you are, the longer you'll live.  One 8 stone casting will send 1 stone to the Hoard.  An extended casting of two 4 stone draws will send 2 stones to the Hoard.  The faster stones are sent to the Hoard, the faster the cycle ends and a stone is lost permanently...ergo follow your greatest passion if you want to live a long time.

Fascinating stuff.  I can't wait to see it finished.  Could probably be organized a little more clearly though.



Title: Wicked Press Gets Wyrd
Post by: hardcoremoose on August 06, 2001, 03:52:00 PM
Val and Archangel,

Thanks for the comments guys.  You're both right...sort of.

Originally (in the first set of rules I posted) you only earned points in Passions for Heroic stones.  Not so anymore...Passions can be good and bad, and thus you earn raises in them for both types of stones.  That revision came about as I was reworking the rules for the ashcan, and I think it's much more in keeping with the source material.

And yes, each runecasting results in the loss of one stone temporarily.  All the rest go back to your purse.  You only lose a stone permanently when it is the last runecasting of a cycle.

I agree that the presentation is a bit off.  Part of that was time constraint - I was desperately trying to get the ashcan done for GenCon, and just didn't have the time to make it as clean as I would like.  The other part was pure confusion on my part; I have never seen a game with a mechanic quite like this, and so I struggled a bit while trying to illustrate its salient points.  Examples of play will be a great benefit to the text, as will a nice rewrite of the rules.

Thanks for the praise, and now for a question:

John and I have been talking about what we should include in the book.  We have some great ideas, but what would you Viking enthusiasts like to see?  Let's get a discussion going about this baby and see what we can come up with!

Take care,
Scott
AKA, Hardcore Moose
AKA, Thrym    


Title: Wicked Press Gets Wyrd
Post by: Valamir on August 07, 2001, 11:38:00 AM
Well, here's a couple off the top of my head.

For play examples take an actual excerpt from a viking legend like the Icelandic Sagas or something (after investigating various copyright stuff, oc).  Then (perhaps in side by side fashion) illustrate how that scene could have been achieved through the game mechanics..."here Harald has called upon his Passion for X and drawn several Tragic stones".  That will serve both as mechanic examples, and mood setting.

Finding a way to incorporate actual Rune Stones into the game would be very cool.  Perhaps 1 or several runes could be drawn from a seperate bag and the outcome of the "Rune cast" would have to be narrated as some interpretation of the Futhark meaning.  I don't know how much of the Futhark Rune interpretations are historical and how much are new age spiritual revisionism, but in terms of capturing nordic flavor they would seem almost required in some form.

Question:  How much "sourcebook" are you planning on including with the game.  Is the game going to be mostly actual rules and leave the source material to actually reading the legends, or will you be including some source material.  
I would suggest including stuff that isn't readily available in the legends but that are important to knowing what your character knows.  Things like what a hall looks like, how a village is organized and what is available there.  Hierachies and duties and responsibilities, forms of address, what items of technology are common place.  

This last is often important and overlooked in many games.  We just started a Cthulhu 1920s campaign, and I was amazed at how difficult it was to discover if flashlights existed in 1920.

Immersion is often in such minutia.


Title: Wicked Press Gets Wyrd
Post by: hardcoremoose on August 07, 2001, 06:08:00 PM
>1) I know absolutely crap about the Futhark alphabet....

I know a bit about it, but not enough to add it in the game at this point.

>2) I was trying less to simulate real Viking culture than I was to emulate the literature that grew out of that culture.

And that's why I'd hesitate to add a _new_ and _different_ mechanic to an existing system. Don't try to fix what ain't broken.

>3) Who has Futhark runes laying around just to play a game?

Nobody.
Yeah, sure, there's a couple of you out there who do. But that's not a valid argument for putting a _manditory mechanic_ using an _external resource_ in a game. I wanted to use Tarot cards for 7th Sea (still have the mechanic in my back pocket), but it's just rude. "Hey, great! You bought my game! Now, in order to play it, you have to go out to an obscure bookstore (which most people don't have in their home town) and make another ten to fifteen dollar purchase, okay?"

>Of course, these are just ideas I have, and everything must get by my editor's pen first (right John?).  :smile:

Damn straight, Mighty Thrym.

Take care,
John

"Go hide in a hole if you like. The Allfather set your skein long ago."
- Skald, The Thirteenth Warrior


[ This Message was edited by: John Wick on 2001-08-08 13:46 ]


Title: Wicked Press Gets Wyrd
Post by: Uncle Dark on August 07, 2001, 10:50:00 PM
Quote

On 2001-08-07 22:08, hardcoremoose wrote:

3) Who has Futhark runes laying around just to play a game?



 
Uh... Me?  I bet Raven does, too. :smile:

One idea I had after reading the web version of Wyrd was to play a generational sequence of games.  Most likely, these would be entirely ahistorical, but still in keeping with the themes and styles of the historical source material.

First saga would be the saga of the gods.  All the players are playing gods, and creating the myths of those beings.

Next saga is that of the first humans, or the semi-divine children of the gods who established the first kingdoms, and so on.

Subsequent sagas would build upon the mythic history established byt the first two.  What one would end up with (ideally) would be entirely original worlds, created as much by the Skalds as the Ring Giver, where the players could point to a god-myth used in a session and say "Oh, Donnar?  Yeah, he's an old character of mine..."

Lon


Title: Wicked Press Gets Wyrd
Post by: Valamir on August 08, 2001, 05:57:00 AM
well I have zero knowledge of authentic historical rune lore.  But I was thinking something along the lines of the "rune reading" at http://www.facade.com used to generate some plot ideas.  Perhaps something akin to 7th Seas "Destiny Spread" of tarot, or perhaps as a device to generate a scenario or sub plot.

For example I just went there and did a three rune reading and came up with:

Quote

What do you learn from the leftmost rune, that representing the journey towards your destination?
 
Sowelu is a strong symbol, for it represents the sun. Unlike equatorial cultures that may see the sun as a harsh and imperial force capable of causing droughts, in the cold north the sun is a purely feminine force that gives life and allows crops to grow. In dark times, this rune represents clarity of sight and the victory of good over evil. Sowelu is irreversible, as the cycles of the sun and seasons are perpetual.


What do you learn from the center rune, that representing your present situation?

Tyr was the Norse god of war. It was through his sacrifice that the great force of chaos, the wolf Fenrir was bound. Here however, you have drawn the rune reversed. This could mean that a sacrifice made will not lead to the desired result. It could also mean a loss, or a victory overturned. This rune warns against entering into conflicts or negotiations, especially ones requiring that an offering or concession be made - the wolf might take your hand and yet remain unbound. Note also that Tyr was the god of law, so there is a suggestion of a wrongdoer who will avoid justice.


What do you learn from the rightmost rune, that representing your final destination?
 
Raido means to ride. In this rune, the image is not so much the riding of a horse as in riding in a cart or as cargo. As such Raido may suggest a journey, but is much more indicative of communication. Alternate interpretations based on the use of Raido as a cognate in other words give it the meaning of council, judgment, and moral correctness. Therefore, this rune is the rune of wise advice and good leadership.


Ok, so we have a strong female symbol of goodness and prosperity; followed by a lost conflict, a futile sacrifice, a unpunished wrong doer; concluding with a symbol of council and leadership.

The evenings session might therefor open with a time of peace and prosperity broken by a bloody feud.  My family was the offended party yet we were over thrown by powerful enemies.  They demanded tribute in exchange for peace and even though it meant our honor, my father paid it, though it meant impoverishing us.  Despite this our enemies sacked us anyway, burning the village and hall and riding off with our women and livestock.  I now journey to the hall of the great king to hear his wisdom and entreat him to help set right this great wrong.

just a thought I had.


Title: Wicked Press Gets Wyrd
Post by: Uncle Dark on August 08, 2001, 09:26:00 AM
That's a good use of runes for the game.  I've used tarot in games, mostly when  PC does a reading and I steal from the reading for plot elements.

For more on modern/historical runelore, check out Edred Thorsson's books, especialy Futhark: A handbook of rune magic and Runelore.

Lon


Title: Wicked Press Gets Wyrd
Post by: John Wick on August 08, 2001, 10:58:00 AM
>1) I know absolutely crap about the Futhark alphabet....

I know a bit about it, but not enough to add it in the game at this point.

>2) I was trying less to simulate real Viking culture than I was to emulate the literature that grew out of that culture.

And that's why I'd hesitate to add a _new_ and _different_ mechanic to an existing system. Don't try to fix what ain't broken.

>3) Who has Futhark runes laying around just to play a game?

Nobody.
Yeah, sure, there's a couple of you out there who do. But that's not a valid argument for putting a _manditory mechanic_ using an _external resource_ in a game. I wanted to use Tarot cards for 7th Sea (still have the mechanic in my back pocket), but it's just rude. "Hey, great! You bought my game! Now, in order to play it, you have to go out to an obscure bookstore (which most people don't have in their home town) and make another ten to fifteen dollar purchase, okay?"

>Of course, these are just ideas I have, and everything must get by my editor's pen first (right John?).  

Damn straight, Mighty Thrym.

Take care,
John

"Go hide in a hole if you like. The Allfather set your skein long ago."
- Skald, The Thirteenth Warrior


Title: Wicked Press Gets Wyrd
Post by: Jack Spencer Jr on August 08, 2001, 07:04:00 PM
Quote

On 2001-08-08 14:58, John Wick wrote:
I wanted to use Tarot cards for 7th Sea (still have the mechanic in my back pocket), but it's just rude. "Hey, great! You bought my game! Now, in order to play it, you have to go out to an obscure bookstore (which most people don't have in their home town) and make another ten to fifteen dollar purchase, okay?"


Funny.  The game store I frequent has Tarot cards available.  Yeah, it's still a $10-15 purchase, but they aren't as obscure or hard to get as they once were.

Like polyhedral dice.  When D&D first came out d20s didn't exist. Now you can get them almost anyplace.

Quote

"Go hide in a hole if you like. The Allfather set your skein long ago."
- Skald, The Thirteenth Warrior


Herger, not Skald.

Sorry to nitpick but Eaters of the Dead is my favorite book.


Title: Wicked Press Gets Wyrd
Post by: John Wick on August 09, 2001, 09:06:00 AM
Quote

"Go hide in a hole if you like. The Allfather set your skein long ago."
- Skald, The Thirteenth Warrior


Herger, not Skald.

Sorry to nitpick but Eaters of the Dead is my favorite book.
[/quote]

It's a valid nitpick. It's also one of my favorite books/movies.

Thanks for the education!




Title: Wicked Press Gets Wyrd
Post by: Mike Holmes on September 06, 2001, 12:02:00 PM
Oohh, neat thought. As you know from GenCon, I'm firmly on the "must have Futhark" side of the argument. But then I was reading Pauls new game TWTFTD, and when I came back here, something dawned on me.

In Paul's game you customize a die as part of chargen. In Wyrd chargen could include making up your character's runes. This woould be really cool, and represents to an extent the Norns building the basis of the character's life. In fact you could make an intro stanza that had one line for each rune that indicates that the characters are fated to have these elements in their lives.

The actual Futhark doesn't matter. Just have a character scribble on cardboard squares, or pieces of paper, or whatever, ideograms that remind him of the sorts of virtues and descriptions, etc. that the character should have. They can even be things that aren't asociated with the character like strength or wit, but other archtypical things like travel or war. Anything, really that the player feels would influence the course of the character's life.

Players who do know (or have a set of) Futhark could use those runes if they like. For those who are artistically challenged, just write a word. After all, aren't words our iconic representations of concepts in the modern world? Use whatever you like to make your runes just so that you can interperet them. (I see a lit of Arioch chaos runes from Elric for some characters). For runes that look the same right-side-up or upside-down, indicate a bottom with a line or dot as is done for 6's and 9's on dice. Runes drawn would be placed as drawn right-side-up or upside-down, which would determine heroic or tragic consequences. For those runes Narration would revolve around the kinds of runes drawn.

Whadda ya think?  :smile:

Mike


Title: Wicked Press Gets Wyrd
Post by: hardcoremoose on September 07, 2001, 05:38:00 PM
I actually kind of like this idea...as a possible optional rule.

If I were to do it, I would use cardboard chips of identical size and shape, but of two different color.  The colors would represent the standard allotment of Tragic and Heroic stones, and if you wanted, you could scribble a rune onto some or all of your chips.  When drawn, the rune could then be "interpreted" into your narration somehow.  Doing it this way, you are staying true to the basic rules of WYRD (which are at this point nearly immuntable), but adding some guidelines to the possible narration of the Saga.

This is cool enough, and simple enough, that I might recommend it as an optional way of playing WYRD.

In fact...

I am still thinking up stuff for what will eventually be a Ring-Giver's chapter.  I have some ideas for a reward system that include the Ring-Giver awarding temporary stones of a third color that add a little variety to a Skald's purse (for those times when his Saga is getting a little stale).  To date, all of my ideas have hinged on these "bonus stones" (which are temporary, remaining in the purse for only a single game session) giving extra Tragedy or Heroism, but there's no reason a Ring-Giver couldn't hand a Skald a stone of a different color and say "this is your dragon stone", and when that stone is drawn, the Skald must somehow work the "dragon" into his narration.  What a cool and potentially unique way of telling a story!

I'll run that one by my publisher (wink, wink, nudge,nudge).

Take care,
Scott


Title: Wicked Press Gets Wyrd
Post by: Mike Holmes on September 10, 2001, 10:00:00 AM
Wow.

That sounds really interesting. Interjection of concepts without interference in the narrative. Really cool. I'd be chucking a couple of these in for every character each session. Excellent idea. Glad you shared it.

Gives me other ideas as well. You could have rules for trading runes, especially the special ones, or forcing others to take them or something. Don't want to deal with that dragon Rune? Pass it to your neighbor. Introduces all sorts of other possibilities.

I still contend that the marketing possibilities for this are incredible. Sell them in packs like D&D modules. Like the Dragon Mountain set which includes the Dragon rune, the Climbing rune, the Hoard, the Cavern, Magma, Family (its a family of dragons, you see), Wisdom, Trap, Spear, Legend, Flight, Flame, Scales, Path, Secret, and whatever other Runes make sense. These can be selected at random, possibly replacing the runes discarded, and must be used (discarded, themselves) by the end of the session of play or whatever. If you don't do 'em can I get licensing?

Mike


Title: Wicked Press Gets Wyrd
Post by: hardcoremoose on September 10, 2001, 10:11:00 AM
Ha! No way am I giving up my cash cow!  LOL.

Not to cloud my head with visions of grandeur, but I've always thought WYRD should have its own line of custom made Heroic and Tragic runestones.  Anyone out there know how to get such things made, if only for my personal use?

Take care,
Scott


Title: Wicked Press Gets Wyrd
Post by: Valamir on September 10, 2001, 10:15:00 AM
Well, I don't know about glass or stone, but wood should be fairly easy.  I forget the name, but one of the big East German furniture companies couldn't compete after the reunification and rather than go under, they found other things to do with wood with their simple tooling.  One of the solutions was wooden game pieces...cheaply.  This is one reason why so many German cames typically come with a selection of wooden pieces.

It probably wouldn't require too much digging to discover appropriate contact info.