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    Avatar photocraig cartmell

    As you may know, I am one of the two authors at The Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare. We write and publish narrative skirmish games based on a common core rules systems such as In Her Majesty’s Name, Daisho (samurai) and Blood Eagle (Dark Ages).

    We are looking forwards to what we might produce for 2017 and it is has been suggested to us that a generic fantasy game would be a good idea,
    By ‘generic fantasy’ we mean one that is not locked to a specific theme or setting so that players can create or pick their own setting and create their own forces. So you could play in Waterdeep, Lankhmar, Sanctuary, Mordheim, Shanarra, Middle Earth, Albion, Ankh-Morpork or one of your own devising.

    Our series of games come with an open points system, a full toolbox of weapons, armour, equipment, bestiary, skills and powers, along with a dozen or so example forces.

    So our question is this, would you be interested in such a game and would you play it?

    Avatar photoSean Gewecke

    This sounds interesting, but there are a few other offerings that I already make use of.  There is Song of Blades and Heroes and I recently picked up Dragon Rampant for slightly bigger games.

    I do, of course, have lots of different rule sets and am open to playing new ones.

    The best player, isn't always the winning player.

    Avatar photoPhil Dutré

    Frankly, no, I would not be interested in a generic fantasy system.

    In my opinion, a good fantasy game should be able to evoke a specific atmosphere. This does not mean the game rules should be linked to a fully fleshed out world setting, but the rules always do inspire a certain flavour of fantasy through the choice of troop types, monsters, spells, etc. E.g. a ruleset might – although not linked to a specific world – inspire a Dark Ages fantasy setting, or High Middle Ages, or  Greek&Roman Myhtology, or Horror, or Planes of Existence, etc. Good rulesets make a particular choice and then built their gaming engine around those assumptions native to that fantasy genre.

    Another approach might be to assume a certain style of game, e.g. dungeon exploration, but that in itself draws heavily on a number of world assumptions.

    I fear that a generic fantasy system as you describe it (if I understand it correctly) will always be a bit bland. Will it be anything else than the usual mix of humans, elves, dwarfs and orcs?

    Otoh, it is possible to publish a generic fantasy system, but then you have to present it based on its merits in the gaming mechanics. E.g. Dragon Rampant has a certain popularity right now, based on its elegant and simple rules system. Rather than it being fantasy, its rules are the main selling point. HOTT also did know some popularity, because it was strongly tied to the DBX gaming engine. Same goes for SoBH: very generic fantasy, but an elegant ruleset.

    So, either a good and unique ruleset, combined with generic fantasy; or a not-too-special ruleset, combined with specific fanatsy. But a ruleset that is nothing special in itself, for generic fantasy, is not a good idea, IMO.

    Avatar photocraig cartmell

    Hi Phil,

    Thanks for your thoughtful feedback.

    As with all our games, we do sketch out a background and put plenty of character into the rules and published companies. In this case, we’d be looking at a High Medieval fantasy with knights, cities, tournaments, adventurers and the regular palette of fantasy races.

    Our initial thoughts were to set it in a powerful kingdom in which the King has died suddenly and without a nomnated heir. Thus, you have several factions wishing to take advantage of this to either advance their own candidates or bring the kingdom low. Some companies will be tied to a particular faction and others to the highest bidder.

    Such a setting would allow for raids, ambushes, attempted assassinations, street-fighting, quests into ancient forests and dungeon halls to retrieve powerful artefacts or knowledge, tournaments, siege assaults and strong narrative campaigns.

    The generic component would be that our core rules have a completely open points system, advice for creating your own companies and more equipment, abilities and powers than are used in the included retinues, providing a toolbox for imaginative players. The idea being that players could ignore the accompanying setting and instead base it in Waterdeep, Lankhmar, Sanctuary, Mordheim, Shanarra, Middle Earth, Albion, Ankh-Morpork or one of their own devising.

    How does that sound?


    Avatar photoAngel Barracks

    I would like to see a fantasy system without the usual races.
    Just humans.
    I think WFRP/WFB had a really great background back in the day and whilst the rules back then suited me they would be a bit too detailed for me now.
    The setting was dark and moody and we only ever played it with humans really.
    Elves and so on were treated as outsiders and viewed with suspicion.

    I like the Elric setting of Melnibone, and that is very much fantasy but without the orcs, and elves and all that.

    I am thinking as I type hence the rambling…

    I would like a system that was mostly if not exclusively human, very little if any magic, and technology was just discovering gunpowder and flintlock weapons were new and exciting.
    However, also airships!
    Rules for airships!
    Maybe that is the magic, it enhance physics and science.
    Maybe it is super advanced science in the guise of magic.

    You know, an enchanted device that powers the airships.
    Where only sorcerers and alchemists can make them.
    Turns out it is a pseudo-combustion engine or something, but magic to the masses..?

    Avatar photoAngel Barracks

    ooooh rambling again!

    Dropzone Commander but with knights and airships.

    You can pay me the royalties now.
    It is a massive winner.
    Seriously I would play that!

    Avatar photocraig cartmell

    Airships eh? Well in one of my RPG worlds there is a tree called a Whisper-oak. In their natural environment groves of Whisper-oaks float from hill to hill, landing to take on water and nutrients before letting go with their roots and floating off again.

    People have taken the wood of these trees and created boats and even a few small ships that float on the breeze, fitted sails and suddenly we have airships but without all the faff with hydrogen bladders etc.

    This is very useful in a setting that covers a thousand islands in one long archipelago running from the frozen north to the tropics.

    Avatar photoMaff Sparkes

    Hi Craig

    just found this thread, so have not a clue if you’re still interested in comment. I’d agree that there are more fantasy skirmish systems around than you can point a 10′ pole at; one iiirc is actually called “fantasy skirmish”. That said, if you were looking at a system broadly similar to “Blood Eagle” but with a d20 TH, I think I’d be interested. The background sounds good, I think you’d have to include the usual fantasy suspects. Just as Frostgrave has nailed the ruined city aspect, this sounds good faction based fuN



    Avatar photocraig cartmell

    I’m always interested in feedback Matt 🙂

    Currently our primary goal is to get IHMN Gothic completed for an early 2017 release. Though I am tinkering with a fantasy version (I cannot leave it alone).

    Avatar photoPatG

    I would really like to see a generic fantasy mass battle game with more options than HotT but less lock-in to background specific detail than Warmaster. Second ed WHFB was nearly perfect for small battles – but I am looking for something with a few more units and unit sizes that show off the density advantages of 6mm. Warmaster is good and has a thriving community but it is locked into its own world.

    Avatar photocraig cartmell

    Hi Pat,

    Have you looked at Kings of War? You don’t have to lose figures to represent losses, which is always a pain for 6mm. The system is simple to learn and actually thrives with large numbers of figures and units.

    Avatar photoPatG

    those look very interesting – thanks!

    edit – still locked into a specific world view – unless second ed has the points algorithm included.

    Avatar photoAnonymous

    Honestly, I am good with the THW rules for 25/15/6mm games.  Highly unlikely to buy another set since I have those and Perren/Gygax Chainmail.

    But that doesn’t mean I am suggesting you not try!

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