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Default Frayed Knights - The Manual: Background

July 29th, 2011, 01:28
The latest Frayed Knights post at Rampant Games has some background lore material from the manual. A sample:
The Wizard War
The Wizard War ended nearly three hundred years ago, but it is far from forgotten. The arch-lich Nepharides – an undead wizard of incredible power – gathered a force so powerful that he nearly conquered the entire world. Those cities he didn’t conquer he destroyed. He laid waste to those castles that followed the traditional design of being well-protected from the ground but nearly defenseless from the air, driving his enemies into deep underground fortresses hastily constructed by magic.
The war spanned over a generation. When it was over, little remained of the previous world’s civilizations and kingdoms but ruins. In the decades that followed, humankind and allied races have partly recovered, but it may be many more generations before they return to their former glory.
And what of Nepharides? Was he truly destroyed, forever? In spite of brave and confident talk that this is so, the secret terror is that one day he will return, an army in tow, and finish the task of destruction.
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July 29th, 2011, 01:28
Man, that excerpt sounds so dramatic and serious! That's weird, man…
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July 29th, 2011, 14:51
I actually never know whatever or not to take this game seriously…..
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July 29th, 2011, 16:03
It's sorta like Dungeons of Dredmor (dang them for beating me to release) in that way - kinda fun and goofy on the outside, but a pretty serious game on the inside.

As a game, take it seriously. While many of the spells, items, and attributes are named humorously ("brains" instead of "intelligence"), it's still a pretty hard-core, detailed (maybe too hardcore and detailed, I dunno…) game system that is designed to be entertaining to old-school CRPG fans even if the entire story and humor fell flat.

As a story, expect it to be (usually) light-hearted. But the style of comedy I'm going for is not quite the ridiculously goofy make-fun-of-everything style of humor that you might see in, say, that Mark Leung game. Or even Dungeons of Dredmor. While that's fun, for me it gets to the point where I can't really get invested into the setting or characters at all.

It's more the style of humor you get in a good (I hope) sitcom or romantic comedy, where the characters actually matter (again, I hope) and the situation just interesting and believable enough that you can be invested in them.

My guiding star has been a vision of an inexperienced but completely earnest Dungeon Master, aged around 14, trying very hard to make a compelling and fantastic world (and generally playing it straight), as described by several jaded players who can't help but put their own humorous spin on things.

Maybe it's me making fun of my younger self, even as I look back fondly at the experience. I dunno.
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July 29th, 2011, 16:11
Well, I am going to buy on release anyway so you don't need to sell it in to me

But that sounds good, exactly as you said if things are too cheesy I can't really invest in them. But some light heartened humor mixed in a serious system and world… well that sounds much better already. Especially if there is a lot of interesting loot to find…. I really really miss that in all the new RPG's.
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July 29th, 2011, 16:15
The setting's description sounds very well and has a good athmosphere, imho.

It reminds me from afar of the Stonekeep setting (as described in "Thera Awakening"), but that thing with the Necromancer and his armies lets shine some serious horror through - it is just not described with "horror words", so to say.

What I especially like with this description is that it sounds light-hearted on the surface - and that one has to think a little to get to the gist of it.

I could imagine tons of interesting (and not-so-interesting) details on that … For example tiny groups of skeletal warriors who got entirely lost & forgotten within this war - and maybe they are buried somewhere, and - because they are undead, they cannot die, even under thousands of tons of stone over them.
Which must frustrate them, because on the other hand their bones are too weak to allow them to dig through masses of stones …
And what does this frustration to their minds and their morale ? I think it'd be interested to let a few dwarven diggers find a tiny bunch of highly-frustrated and depressive skeletons … Who themelves are highly irritated because in the world of "now", they cannot ind the tiniest trace of the armies they once belonged to … All of their search must be in vain - and they know it.
So, what would this group do, then ? Remember that asian veteran of the vIetnam War they found several yearas ago ? He lived so deeply in the JUngles he had entirely forgotten about time, lost contact to the outside world - and still believed war would be still going on …

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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July 29th, 2011, 16:34
This background is also - if you know me - a pretty obvious misdirection. I can't pretend to be a great writer / storyteller, but I wouldn't let the story be just another "ancient evil rises" foozle plot. It has to have a few more twists and bends than that.

But the background does provide a nice backdrop that explains why human communities are relatively sparse, why there are so many monsters and ancient ruins everywhere ripe for the picking, and also justifies the existence of all these giant, otherwise impractical underground dungeons.
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July 29th, 2011, 22:12
Originally Posted by RampantCoyote View Post
But the background does provide a nice backdrop that explains why human communities are relatively sparse, why there are so many monsters and ancient ruins everywhere ripe for the picking, and also justifies the existence of all these giant, otherwise impractical underground dungeons.
Yes, that does it pretty well, imho.

Apart from that, there imho should be on-human settlements as well, as your introduction hints to.

But on the other han, everything non-human might be some more work, so I'm okay with what you did (judged from what I know about it so far from here).

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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