The Horde RPG: Farrakanian Classes

So I’ve run RPGs set in the fictional universe of the stories I write, though they are usually modern setting superhero RPGs with an unusual twist. I’ve been thinking lately that it might be fun to run a classic Vance or Howard style sword and sorcery game set on Farrakan.

I figure for now I’d set it up using d20 3.5 edition since even though I’ve pretty much stopped using it, it won’t get out of my memory. Chances are if I actually put together a “real” Storyteller Chronicles RPG or Horde RPG I’d want to use some of the more indie RPG’s that I’ve enjoyed as inspiration such as Polaris, Dogs in the Vineyard, or Sorcerer.

All the main characters in the Horde have a larger than life quality. There is a sharp divide between the capabilities of characters like Bridan and the Beastman versus what normal characters like the bartender can accomplish. So I guess you’d have to do a heroic attribute score distribution.

However the characters also have massive deficits. In the world of d20, Oren would need to have at best a Strength of maybe 14 though likely lower. This would have to be a point buy or dice pool stat rolling system. then so you could construct characters like Oren and Astrid (introduced in the most recently released chapter but not yet named).

Class choices would have to be limited, at least for the portions of Farrakan we’ve seen. Fighters, Rogues, Bards, and Wizards would be available. Barbarians make sense though Monks and Paladins would require heavy alterations to fit in to the world. A Paladin or a Ranger using the “no magic” variant from the complete warrior might work.

Clerics and Druids simply do not fit in the setting. It’s not that Farrakan has no religion, it just the very idea of a god granting spells would not function. A powerful interdimensional creature might be able to grant these sorts of powers or by connecting with the planet, but it wouldn’t be a definitively religious experience.

I have a fairly clear design on how Farrakanian “magic” works allowing for Sorcerers, Wizards, and Bards. The big difference is that their magic is focused through “power stones” similar to what Oren used to stun the Hunter in chapter 3.

We won’t see much more of standard Farrakanian magic in the Horde but they big difference for the classes is that instead of “memorizing” spells, they would be able to cast each spell they know exactly once per day. This relates to the nature of the “magic” they use and how it was discovered by the ancient Tilean and Dameon sages.

A mage wouldn’t learn magic from scrolls in the traditional Dungeons and Dragons sense though they could find the notes of an alchemist detailing a particular recipe which they could transfer to their power stone.

I’d have to create a new class or modify a class based on Oracles and the Telempaths (which we’ve only just begun to encounter and have not been named yet). The inborn magical powers of Farrakanian natives tend to be one or two key things that increase in power as they develop rather than a colleciton of diverse abilities.

I have at least three characters who I’ve written stories set on Farrakan about- a warrior who believes himself chosen by a powerful voice he hears to start a new religion, a pacifistic warrior from the southlands, and a scholarly alchemist who is gathering knowledge. I think it might be fun to write some more of these stories explore parts of Farrakan we won’t get to see in the Horde.

If I do, I think I may use them as source material to put together a more detailed sword and sorcery game using Farrakan as a setting. I enjoy the world far too much to just let it go. Of course, maybe I’ll just put a novel together about it instead. If enough people are interested, maybe both?

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