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General WYRDness...

Started by hardcoremoose, September 08, 2001, 02:54:00 AM

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Hey guys,

Everyday I'm thinking of new ways to use WYRD's stone drawing mechanics, and I know others are too; in just the past week, Jim, Ron, and Mike have presented me with previously unthought of variations on the system.  So here's my question to you:

How would you put WYRD to use?

In asking this, I'm not specifically looking for just the rules' tweaks you'd make; I'm also interested in settings and/or specific stories you think would fit the game well.  
I, for one, would like to play Stormbringer with these rules.

Take care,

John Wick

I'd use it for a mythic Scandanavia setting. Running around with Beowulf, Roland and buddies, occasionally bumping into guys who may be Thor, Odin and Loki.

But that's just me,
Carpe Deum,

James V. West

Stormbringer, for certain.

Also, I think a setting based on Tanith Lee's Flat Earth novels would be great with this game's system. That setting is very dark with a kind of wicked fairy-tale feel and a fatalist tinge.

Come to think of it, it would be perfect for King Arthur. Arthur's a great love of mine (as you'll soon see). Playing a kind of classic, romantic sytle Arthurian game with the stone drawing mechanic would be awesome.

James V. West


Oooh boy...maybe I should clarify just so I don't lose face with my publisher/editor.

Mythic Scandinavia is the default setting for WYRD.  That's the setting I've been working on from day one, and still am.  

I don't want anyone to think I'm switching gears or anything...that's not what this post is about.  It's just that in WYRD's short history, I've been approached with literally dozens of variant mechanics and settings, all of which have made perfectly good sense (like Mike's most recent Futhark suggestion, or Jim's "short game" variant, not to mention both Storyboard and GOLEM).  I want to see just to what depths the WYRD system can be plumbed, but only out of a curiousity for my own creation.

You know us wannabee game designers...we can never stroke our egos enough.

Take care,

Silent Tamatama

Well since I'm at a greater advantage than most of the others on the Forge, by having the actual game designer around to game with, I've been toying with a couple of ideas to use Wyrd with that are not the standard Scandinavian mythos setting.

1. An anime style game based on the live action Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot (1969) and of course the anime Giant Robo (1992-1995).  It would lean more heavily on the latter of the two series, but I would still want to use some of the elements from the live action show as well.  I've been trying to think of a way to allow the players to control the actions of Giant Robo through their own runecastings, even though they won't be allowed to play the character that actually controls Giant Robo.  Tragic anime. Does it get any better than this?

2. A western style setting is perfect for Wyrd.  Tragic westerns almost always rock!!

Using the Giant Robo idea I'd probably also get to test out some of Scott's ideas for magic in Wyrd, what with most of the characters probably possessing some degree of super-hero like abilities and all.



The tribalism, fatalism and braggadoccio of Homeric (pre-classical) greek epic is not alien to the Norse sensibility. A lot of passionate heroes brought low, too. And maybe more ideas of "how to play." What if the last books of the Iliad are by Hector's skald? Acchilles has been an Adversary, but Hector's skald is clever - he composes Hector's actual death while he still has plenty of stones left, then uses his Priam trapping and his remaining stones to turn Acchiles into his Trapping, the one that justifies Hector's honorable interment.

I know this site is crawling with Gene Wolfe fans, so surely we can agree that just because your protagonist dies is no reason to end the story right then and there. :wink:


Unqualified Offerings - Looking Sideways at Your World
20' x 20' Room - Because Roleplaying Games Are Interesting

Ron Edwards

I'll chime in with Jim, to point out that many of the Norse sagas and myth-cycles have the Christian conversion of the Scandinavian shoehorned in as part of the narrative. It's fun to imagine such a thing emerging as a result of multiple players' impact (shared authorship) on the sprawling thing called the "saga."

Kind of a fun way to see whether conflicting narrative goals can produce something worthwhile, or at least something that contains permissible dissonance.



On that note: The more time I spend with WYRD the more impressed I am, not least because it looks like the first narrative game that, to get all lit-critty about it for a minute, has the potential of interrogating authorship itself. Scott, this is in line with some of the metafictional possibilities in the game that we've talked about. The extra layer of structure to play - "realizing" the skald/RG relationship - changes everything.


Unqualified Offerings - Looking Sideways at Your World
20' x 20' Room - Because Roleplaying Games Are Interesting


Amusingly enough, I'm only just now realizing those things about the game.  As I told Ron, I struggled in the early going to understand the relationships between the Heroes, the Skalds, and the Ring-Giver.  In every instance, I opted for a less traditional way of representing those relationships, and I think I made the right choices.

But to suggest that WYRD could in some way "interrogate" authorship...I'll have to let that sink in.  Anyone else have any thoughts on that subject?

Take care,

Mike Holmes

Jim is right certainly. For goodness sake, you actually create a piece of literature in the course of a game. It may or may not be good, but it is structured to cause it, and structured correctly. Other systems that advocate or require writing (Falkenstien?) do not have systems that do anything to support the idea directly. Your system does.

As far as other stunts for Wyrd, if you were to have the customizable runes, I could take the following assortment; see if you can see what kind of game you think we're playing:


Heck, you can probably even start to visualize the character, and I can still add several more runes (or double or tripple some up for emphasis).

By the way in the above example, the lines of the stanza should rhyme and be metered so that they can be put to country music. :wink:

The point being, by taking Runes that are descriptors for appropriate characters, you can probably play any genre that is even slightly epic. You could probably even get away with doing some non-epic genres as well. For modern stuff, just make the stanzas into a rock ballad, or detective novel or whatever. The detective stuff like Ron likes would probably lend itself well to the sorts of narration that the system might produce. Just write in the first person but past tense, as in, "She walked in looking like a million bucks; but just by the look on her face I could tell she was trouble."

Make sense?

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