Sunday, January 25, 2009

Storming the Wizard's Tower: I can't wait for more

The fellow behind Lumpley Games and my favorite role-playing-game-I-haven't-actually-bought-yet, Kill Puppies for Satan, has a new game he's working on. It's called Storming the Wizard's Tower. 

Unlike Puppies, this game seems appropriate for all ages. It's only out in beta form, with only the first part of the three-part rules available, and I'm already super excited about it. There's already a web site for it, and you can download a PDF of the first part of the game for free.

I figure I'll likely post more about it when I actually manage to play it or something, but I'm too excited about it to wait to at least mention it. 

It's got something ever other game I've read lacks: a clear outline for how to run a campaign in such a way that the players have a kickass time. Reading it, I see now how much you had to infer to play every other role-playing game. 

Back when I saw my first Dungeons & Dragons set, the blue-and-white rulebook, the game was practically unintelligible. I looked at that slim booklet full of spells and monsters and I was enthralled, but I had no idea how to actually play the thing until someone explained it to me.

Later versions had better play examples, but none of them had a clear overview of how to run a series of interlinked games like this one. "Storming" talks about preparing for each game session by creating a new monster. It assumes that each of the game sessions in the first chunk of the game will be about defeating one challenge.

I love this because I always talk about how most of our childhood D&D sessions would take two hours just to resolve the random encounter with a monster on the way to the dungeon...and then the pizza would arrive and we'd never get to the main event.

Who ever thought a random encounter monster was a good idea, anyway? 

The text seems to have more of what I'd call metarules, or gamemaster guidelines, than actual rules. The combat system and other systems, at a glance, seem simple and elegant, not terribly detailed. And at this stage of my development, I have a lot of interest in that. I'm not going to sit around and memorize the Player's Handbook like I did when I was ten.

Ok, like I said, I'm sure I'll have more to say about this one, but I hate the thought of waiting to post about it. If this sort of thing interests you at all, give it a look. 


  1. Wow, where have I heard of this game before? :-)

    It does seem to solve in a neat fashion the question of how everyone fits together in a standard party. They all know each other and their roles fit into a social framework. No worries about how the assassin fits in with the paladin or the barbarian with the wizard. There might be tension but they all come from the same place and cultural context, so they shouldn't be at each other's throats and they should have a common motivation to solve the problem facing them.

  2. Heh, Doug, I failed to give you credit for pointing me to this one, didn't I? But this way I can take the pose of benefactor from on high to my fans. Wait, you're like half my fanbase, so that won't work.