So: I've been absent for a loooong time from this blog, with the effect that it DOEd just after its birth. Never been good at keeping up projects.
Today I was taking a look at old posts, mostly idling, and I thought: I have to write something about Gabor's new game. A game I'm currently playing with Gabor as a gamemaster, which is not only a privilege but an incredible lesson in superb gamemastering. Gabor, even within the limitations of online rolld20 gaming, brings new meaning to the "old school" experience. But this post is not about his skills as a narrator, it's about his new game: Helveczia.
Helveczia is a fantastical take on Europe, and in particular Switzerland, in the late XVII century, driven by an OD&D-inspired rule system which is tailored on the setting. Easy, fun, deadly and absolutely different from everything else on the market.
Why different? Have you ever wanted to play picaresque adventures where Munchausen-like braggadocio meets Grimm-like macabre fairytales? Where you can actually play cards with the Devil or randomly quote the Bible to obtain in-game benefits? Where your virtue may be so high as to give you saving throw bonuses or so low as to help you in sinful violence? If you have this is your game.
First you choose your nationality (every nation comes with pros and cons), then your class: vagabond, military, priest (with miracles,) or student (with access to magic). Then you can plunge in one of densest hexcrawls in memory, fully detailed in the supplement that comes with the boxed set. And what a boxed set! Hardcover manual, regional supplement, a deck of Hungarian cards, maps galore, screen, sheets, calendar and some more.
This is an incomparable resource for playing any pseudo-historical campaign, high on folklore and adventure, with plenty of striking and grotesque situations which can turn funny or horrific, depending on your tastes.
In our ongoing campaign I already lost two characters: a wildly mischievious italian vagabond and german priest who started as coward but ultimately became an heroic devil hunter. I'm already thinking at how good it could be to set the game in Southern Italy or Venice: with its canals and masked intrigue. Possibilities are endless and easily attainable, thanks to the vault of advice that Gabor writes in the second part of the book. Advice that doubles as a must-read OSR guide on gaming.
You can find it through the Beyond Fomalhaut blog and related store. Miss it at your own risk.