Saturday, 2 October 2010

The Lite Sword and Sorcery system

I dare say the whole premise of Sword & Sorcery could be distilled into two stats, I'm not sure what exactly to name them. Let's call them Death and Life, but that sounds too straightforward.

Death: law, rule, ritual, antiquity, civilisation, custom, indulgence, hedonism, decadence, technology, science, knowledge, transcendence, spirit, clothes, jewellery...

Life: honour, instinct, youth, strength, nobility, savagery, epicurean, wilderness, power, nakedness, body, skin, senses (touch, smell, sight, hearing), world, blood...

The two stats are opposed (can't raise one without decreasing the other).

The higher your Death stat the more unhealthily thin or fat you are, the more layers of clothings you wear, the richer ornaments, the more you know how to behave in social situations, the better you are with words, the more honeyed your tongue, the more vast your knowledge of secrets, magic and sciences, the more you employ tricks and the more common your use of perfumes, spices, potions. When you break a law it's only to satisfy some other system of rule, not because of your ignorance. When you drink or fuck, it's either to dull your senses to oblivion or to perform some ritual, not because you actually enjoy it. When you kill, it's by guile and wit or dark powers.

The higher your Life stat the more able-bodied and statuesque you are, the less clothing you wear, the simpler and more mundane your garb (if any), the more you're at home in the woods and on the plains. You live off the land, your words are simple, your actions straightforward. The less you know about rules and rituals and the more likely you are to ignore laws. You eat simple foods and don't wallow in the achievements of civilisation. When you drink or fuck, it's because your body wants it and it feels good, and they feel good. When you kill it's with a fist to the face.

I could go on and on, but you get the picture. Maybe one day I will write this game.

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