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Wayfarers: Just One Humble Opinion.

 
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SigilWraith
Ecclesia


Joined: 13 Apr 2010
Posts: 11
Location: The Southlands

PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:30 pm    Post subject: Wayfarers: Just One Humble Opinion. Reply with quote

I don't quite know exactly why I had picked up a copy of Kobold Quarterly at the bookstore around the corner. I have never truly been a fan of d20 or 3.X, and will even go so far as to say, for ME at any rate, that the 3rd edition of The Game was singlehandedly responsible for a saddening and sudden distaste for and disinterest in the RPG hobby/industry as a whole. Then Paizo came along with Pathfinder and made the whole thing much more presentable, but IMO no more palatable... it goes down sweeter and easier but still doesn't quite settle in the stomach. 4th was supposed to simplify and streamline the whole experience, and perhaps to some degree it did, but I returned my 3 "core" books to the store within the first week of ownership, not because of some sort of anti-fanboy disgust or hatred, but because a) the initial read-thru didn't resonate with me, for whatever reasons, b) I realized that for all the love the creators had crafted their iteration with, they did so at the behest of a big corporate business, and soon my 3 core books would turn into 7, into 12, into 19 if I desired to keep up with the times, or even with my players.... and c) Healing Surges??? But I digress (please don't start with me, I really don't care quite enough to argue about it).

So why, then, did I pick up an issue of Kobold Quarterly, a magazine which caters specifically to 3.X, Pathfinder, and 4th? Simple... I love to pick and choose and extract setting ideas and adventure hooks off of the crunchy bones of the mechanical bits, and the aesthetics of the simple black-and-white art pieces... oh, and the tons of ads for the lesser-known gaming companies.

"Got a great character idea, but no game that supports it?" read one such ad, with an old-school b&w art piece of a gnome, looking bored and taking a rest under a leaf. The name of the game it was advertising passed into and right back out of my brain at the time. It was forgettable because I chose to make it forgettable. "Ah, here's probably a game so free-form, point-buy and abstract that its rules couldn't possibly be cohesive" thought I, "rife with all those point-scoring disadvantages everyone conveniently forgets to roleplay... like One-Legged or Enemy (Mild) or Ugly Facial Scar". And so I dismissed it with a mild and fleeting disdain.

And then I saw the ad again, in a newer issue of the same magazine four months later. "Okay, it wouldn't kill me to Google and research it, just for five minutes of amusement". I was online anyway, and the ad was so vague that it took on an intriguing quality somehow. What I found from my Googling had me downloading the preview, and then the $4.95 PDF, followed by a hardback copy, all within 2 hours of each-other.

One of the things which immediately impressed me is that I felt like I already knew how to play this game just from reading a few of the various reviews available. Indeed, the meat of the game, the first 40 pages, flew by in the blink of an eye. Heck, even just reading the character creation section leaves you feeling like you already know the system inside and out, and that the reading of the upcoming rules sections is merely a confirmation of what you already know or guessed at from perusing the various attribute charts, disciplines and skills. And in that regard... that very rare and refreshing regard... it's almost as if the player-character IS the game. The rules system and the choices made during character generation are so closely knit together that they are inseparable, and each explanation of each new stat-block from the record sheet brings you one step closer to knowing how to pull up a chair at a game in progress.

And yet, this is not to say that the game feels unnecessarily "lite" or incomplete. On the contrary, all the minutiae I would ever want to include in my campaign is present and accounted for: swimming, low-visibility penalties, off-handed weaponry, encumbrance, sneak-attacks... and the list goes on and on, and even includes farming! But the difference between these details of Wayfarers and the details of other games is, well... it could be two different things. First of all, it could be that this game makes them simple enough to keep the details memorable and manageable. Memorable? Yes, one of the problems I have with 3.X is that the crunchy little details are so numerous and irritating, IMO, that I have an aversion to them that makes me not WANT to commit them to memory. Which brings me to the other reason Wayfarers feels different: In the Foreword, Vrill asks that instead of reading the book from cover to cover, you browse the tome and see if it personally resonates. It does. It just does.

And it resonates in such a way that it makes me realize that this is what I've always wanted a fantasy RPG to be. And it's not that it's point-buy (I can take or leave that)... it's more along the lines of the feeling I get from reading it: it just feels right. From the way stats are derived from other stats to the way progression is capped at 20 points per level to the way Dodge and spell resistance work in tandem with armor impedance, this game just makes sense to me and makes me WANT to gather my players for an evening of rolling some dice! This is the direction D&D could have gone in, had it not been so bogged in the mire of a business model.

But it's more than that. It also makes me (and I realize everyone's mileage will vary) want to put my other games on the shelf for an indefinite period of time. Wayfarers takes me back to a time when D&D was the one and only game I wanted to play... a time when I didn't need dozens of different games to scratch each itch with the way various rules-sets handled different things. This feels, to me, like the only rules-set I will be needing for a good long while... it handles every situation just the way I would want a game to handle them, and it does so with a grace and simplicity, yet with a depth of character customization that seems unrivaled. Does anyone else remember back to a time when three hardback books were all you really needed to create thousands of scenarios of endless adventure, and supplements were just that: supplemental instead of necessary? That's the feeling I get once again with the Wayfarers RPG... that sense of wholeness begetting wonderment and fascination.

Now if you'll excuse me, I am off to create a William Wallace (Braveheart) type of fellow, complete with Agriculture, Leadership and Inspire. After all, someone needs to lead the countryside in revolt against the tyrant-king and his sorcerers and minions, right? And that's just one of the many worlds inspired by reading Wayfarers. It's an endless kind of game, with endless possibilities.
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JimmySwill
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Joined: 02 Jan 2008
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Location: Torsche

PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow those ads do work. Smile

Glad to hear it, SigilWraith. I wouldn't say that Wayfarers is a perfect game, but do I hope it enables you to play the way like. To be honest, if we were reprinting tomorrow, there's a few tweaks I'd like to make. But that's part of what it's all about; and it's also why we have the Wayfarers Guild Journal.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
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Gregory Vrill
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Joined: 06 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, thanks. I mean, this is why we made the damn game. For all of us.

Meant what I said there in the foreword. There's an army of people, dating back probably before any of us were even born, self-publishing, working weird hours, living their dream. Been ripping off all that stuff since day 1. Felt we had to give back, so that we can get ripped off in return. That's how culture keeps going, especially gaming subculture.

Seriously, thanks for this. Cheers, I'm glad you found a little something in our book.
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SigilWraith
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Joined: 13 Apr 2010
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Location: The Southlands

PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, Vrill (isn't that the name of Gene Hackman's character from Enemy of the State?), I found a little something in your book... and I plan to give a little something back.

I know this isn't much, but it's what I can and will do: I am in a financial situation which allows me to comfortably purchase two or three hardback copies a month, which I will give to various and sundry gaming friends and also leave lying around (kinda like a coffee table book) at the various local gaming stores within the state (yes, Alabama has gamers too). Those friends have other friends, and those stores have curious-by-nature types. And whenever I am traveling for business or on vacation, I will Google for gaming stores in that area and try to do the same thing there as well. I figure there's nothing quite like seeing the product in person and holding it in your hands to get a true sense of the thing.

So that's what's up... that's what I intend to do for YOGC, who has finally ended untold years of "searching for that system"........
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JimmySwill
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. I don't know what to say about that, except that such guerrilla promotion is deeply appreciated.

Alabama, huh? Well, judging by our web traffic, amongst your neighbors, Mississippi seems to be the least interested in Wayfarers.


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SigilWraith
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Joined: 13 Apr 2010
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Location: The Southlands

PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh shnap! Looks pretty challenging.... good! If the Southlands were all a deep green, I wouldn't feel like my help was necessary, and then I couldn't get that warn-n-fuzzy feeling of doing something cool Laughing

"...rewards become empty, victories ring hollow, and accomplishments feel pointless."
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Dartavian
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Joined: 31 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I know this isn't much, but it's what I can and will do: I am in a financial situation which allows me to comfortably purchase two or three hardback copies a month, which I will give to various and sundry gaming friends and also leave lying around (kinda like a coffee table book) at the various local gaming stores within the state (yes, Alabama has gamers too). Those friends have other friends, and those stores have curious-by-nature types. And whenever I am traveling for business or on vacation, I will Google for gaming stores in that area and try to do the same thing there as well. I figure there's nothing quite like seeing the product in person and holding it in your hands to get a true sense of the thing.


Cheers SigilWraith, That is AWESOME!
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SigilWraith
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Joined: 13 Apr 2010
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Location: The Southlands

PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And cheers to you, Dartavian! Just doing what I can.

I will be gathering my group the first weekend of May to launch our campaign and build characters. And then a week or two after that, we will start things off by playtesting an adventure module I am currently crafting: Harrowed Halls of Odenflame, which I will be submitting to Swill and Vrill so that they or I may do something with it... maybe a section of a future Guild Journal or something, who knows?

I believe Wayfarers is going places, and call it kindness or selfishness, but I want a hand in all this Cool
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JimmySwill
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SigilWraith wrote:
I believe Wayfarers is going places, and call it kindness or selfishness, but I want a hand in all this Cool

We do our best.

Harrowed Halls of Odenflame sounds good. There's lots of options: totally independent pub, YOGA attribution, WGJ piece, etc., we keep things flexible at the YOGC. I look forward to hearing about it!
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