Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A little Romance?




Are you ready for a roleplaying challenge? I mean some serious role-playing? In “Idyll”, Heyoka Studios newest addition to the 1PG system from Deep7, Players enter the world of Romantic Fantasy. Idyll pays homage to the writings of authors Mercedes Lackey, Tanith Lee, and others.

This is a very well defined genre of fiction with a very loyal fan base. But to be honest at first glance I wasn’t too sure how it would play out with a table of gamers. However, the more I considered it, the more possibilities I saw. Romantic Fantasy has all the requirements of your standard meat and potatoes fantasy adventure- the struggle of good versus evil, rousing combat, evil villains, deadly traps and perils, the supernatural- with the addition of a story line more substantive than: “We go to Ork mountain to loot the Warlocks tower.” In Romantic Fantasy the characters are driven by more than material desires, they are driven by passions both good and bad. Revenge and betrayal can play just as central a theme as true love.

There are two requirements that must be fulfilled for idyll to work for you.
The first and foremost requirement of playing in this genre is that you have to buy into the idea of heroic romance. And there is nothing weak or emasculating about romance. Heroes throughout history have done the impossible in the name of love. Men have crossed seas, led armies and toppled empires for the love of a woman.
The second requirement is that when playing a game of romantic fantasy, you must be mature about it. While a little goofing off is a healthy part of any gaming experience, when dealing with Romantic Fantasy the giggling and off-color comments should be kept under control. The payoff is the opportunity for a real intense roleplaying experience.

The game makes good use of the 1PG rules system. There are rules for magic, advice on setting the mood, sex, and love. Plenty of hack n slash equipment; swords, daggers, pistols and muskets, as well as poisons, garrotes and nooses. Skills include: seduction, oratory, shooting, and spell-casting. Included with the 1PG sheet and refereeing material are six individual adventures, each one ideal for an evenings play.

Now remember, this is a 1PG game. Which means that everything in it is dealt with very briefly- roll some stats, get some skills, grab a sword and a brace of pistols, name the character and start playing! And by the way, this is a great way to introduce gaming to a spouse or significant other who may enjoy Romantic Fantasy but never made the leap to roleplaying, not only that but with a little tweaking and imagination Faerie tale adventures for young children could easily be created using Idyll. Adventures like Sleeping beauty or even modern faerie tales like Shrek would be perfect for this fast playing system.

My only minor quibble with Idyll is the absence of any skills or background for the Rogue/ Bandit type character. Skills like climbing, thievery, acrobatics, etc. would have been very true to the genre. But as I said earlier this is a 1PG game and there is only so much you can fit on a page.
look for Idyll at RPG Now.