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comment by mk
mk  ·  3343 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Wayfarers Player's Reference Book Review by Anthony Holtberg

It's a long story. I'll try to give a short version.

I started playing 1st edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons in the mid 80's when I was very young. At the time, RPGs were still quite new, and they were geared towards the college and post-grad crowd. However, the concept was just too cool, and a bunch of us young kids tried our best to figure out how to play the games too. Quickly, the games evolved, and by middle school our gaming group was playing with the second edition of D&D. In that time, the aesthetics of fantasy gaming went from this:

to this:

Today they are more like this:

At any rate, although we played a few other types of RPGs, our group's mainstay was fantasy. However, at some point during our gaming with 2nd Edition, we began to devise our own system. Actually, our GM (Greg Vrill, who created Twylos, the default setting for Wayfarers) created a skill based system based upon one that was presented in Dragon Magazine. Over the course of several years, our system evolved, and as we continued to game, we relied on D&D less and less. Fast-forward a decade or so to about 2005. Our gaming group that had been scattered across the country began a somewhat comic gaming blog that spun out of a small email-based adventure. The whole thing is preserved in majesty here. A year later all this inspired me to start building on top of the system that we once had, and I did this with feedback from the group on a side blog. From there, the whole thing kind of took on a life of its own. Before I knew it, I was commissioning artwork, and Greg had created The World of Twylos out of about 20 years of material from campaigns that he had run.

The first version of Wayfarers was released in 2008. However, in 2011, it just so happened that Mongoose publishing announced plans to release a fantasy game called Wayfarers. I contacted them and told them that we were still alive, and in short order, they agreed to publish our game. I took that opportunity to make some much needed improvements to the game, and released a revised version of it in 2012. The original game was a bit too tight mechanically, and there was unnecessary complexity in character generation. I also made combat a bit more lethal.

Mechanically, the game runs like an older version of D&D might, but the game is not D&D in just about every way. Aesthetically, the game is dark, somewhat old school, and what I'd like to call mature. It's geared towards gritty fantasy simulation, and not towards heroic scenarios or cartoonish avatars.

Creating a RPG was something that I always wanted to do, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I don't put out a lot of material for the game, but I always intend to keep working at it. Like Hubski, it's one of those things that just brings me pleasure to work on. The game (especially the revised version) actually kicks ass, however few people are aware of it. But, that's ok by me. It's a type of game whose era has long passed. I did it for myself.

squeebies  ·  3341 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Hi MK, I just read the review given about Wayfarers and it sounds great. It brings back many memories of roleplaying I did in the late 80s and early 90s. I think if I was still playing it would have been right up my ally.

After playing many RPGs, mostly AD&D 2nd Ed, I settled on playing a game called Palladium with 3 friends. Our GM loosely used the rules and we played by creating a story between the GM and the players. The main idea was we were people and really didn't want to get into fights with monsters lager than us, especially in large numbers. Fights were avoided at all costs or planned to guarantee victory. Puzzling plots and rhymes and riddles were the things we dwelt on. Dice roles were arbitrarily made by the GM, sometimes bypassed for ingenuity, sometimes results ignored as it didn't fit the plot.

The long and short of it is I reminisce about the campaign I played with my GM, which was long weekends of play that passed quickly as the story unfolded. My character got to level 5 in a year. It went for 3 years, we roleplayed hard to finish the story before I moved away from Tasmania. I finished at level 12 and I ended up playing 2 characters as one person moved away but th character was integral to the plot.

Anyway I'm rambling, just showing how much I enjoyed what we termed as 'real role playing', not dungeon bashing unrealistic dice rolling crap.

2 points. First, I love the multiple d20 system, seems a great way round the hit mechanics etc. Second, love the combat being seriously deadly, that is brilliant to me.

Well done, an impressive sounding game, if I still roleplayed I would but your books today.

mk  ·  3341 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Thanks. If you'd like, PM me, and I'll send you the PDFs.

That goes for anyone here, actually.

squeebies  ·  3341 days ago  ·  link  ·  

*buy your books ;)