Friday, May 8, 2015

Looking at Zarth

I really don't know who –if anyone– will find this information useful. I backed the Crypts & Things Remastered Kickstarter and have been looking at the beta pdf. I mostly picture this blog as a place for me to work on a few thoughts about running a game with the rules and setting, as well as about the genre in general.

Looking at the map (I don't want to post images or specifics about the beta rules doc unless d101 says it's OK). It's very evocative with its colorful names ("Drowned City", "Mt. Terror", etc.). The map and write-ups are also deliberately vague and brief, leaving plenty of room for customization and exploration.

Without delving into a lot of specifics, the overall tone of the world is one of dark & wild fantasy. It's gonzo, but not doesn't stray too far into things like genre-bending or blending. (There are dinosaurs, however!) It's a Leiber, Moorcock, Howard world. Conan would be right at home. It's a dying world, but not 100% nihilism. Zarth is a weird place: it's been weird a long time, and it's going to stay weird.

All these things make it an appealing setting to me. I love setting fluff, but I've come to recognize that overly-developed settings can be a detriment to a campaign when players aren't all up to speed on the intricacies of the world they are playing in. I'm enough decades from my school days that my group doesn't have time to pore over a new gazetteer or setting document every time we switch games.

On the other hand, I still believe that some level of setting detail is important if you want a cohesive campaign as opposed to just dungeon-of-the-week. Of course the DOTW model is fine, if that works for your group.

I think my goal with the setting would be to familiarize myself with it and develop a few hooks based around the teaser bits the rules provide. I don't want to saddle the players with a lot of setting info to digest, but maybe a bullet list with a few of the highlights in terms of history or current features.

No comments:

Post a Comment