On Christmas Day, 2021, I tested positive for COVID-19. My symptoms were mild-to-nonexistent, but I kept testing positive forever. So, being a responsible person, I stayed home for ages, until mid-to-late January 2022, and waited it out until I got consecutive negative tests. I even managed to avoid infecting my family – I stayed masked day and night, while sleeping even, to avoid giving it to my wife who unfortunately had been most exposed to me in the window before we knew I had it, so she quarantined with me.
This was unnatural amount of time for me to spend at home. Usually I work a preposterous amount. I hardly knew what to do with myself. Over the course of this extended stay at home, I worked on a number of role-playing projects with all my new-found free time. One such project was this throwaway toy I wrote up one afternoon:
Sword & Sorcery 200
A 200 Word RPG by Dungeons & Possums, 2022
Players take the role of Howardian cutthroats, adventurers, champions. The GM sets forth a discrete quest, foe, or challenge they must overcome, setting the stage for pulp adventure.
They have two stats – SWORD, SORCERY. Assign a d6 to one, d8 to other. The GM determines the difficulty of non-trivial tasks and players must roll over using the logically relevant stat – or argue in favor of creative use of the other. Characters have six inventory slots. Any major article may take a slot, such as armors, weapons, spells; begin with two in consultation with the GM. Wounds each take a slot; if no free slots exist, the character must drop an object. Weapons add a bonus of +1 to SWORD attacks. Spell effects/bonuses are determined by GM. Armor can be dropped without taking the wound to occupy that slot. Seventh wound slot slays a character.
To wound, roll a contest of attacker’s d8 stat vs defender’s d6 stat. Winning an attack inflicts wounds equivalent to the margin of victory. Winning a defense earns a bonus on your counterattack equal to the margin of victory. Wounds can be recovered by rest or magic.
Win your quest, slay your foes, or die trying!
Writing inside the strict word count limit was a fun challenge. It’s not deep or terribly useful, but hopefully this goofy, unbalanced nonsense game is fun for someone this 200 Word RPG Contest season anyway. While it is nothing much on its own, it inspired another small project which I’ll put up in a little bit.
Anyway, this was a project I cooked up back then and sat on and now it felt like something “concrete” which I could return to the blog with. This marks the first post I’ve written or posted since I took a bit of a sabbatical from late February onward in order to concentrate on arranging tranches of time-sensitive and critical support to some friends overseas, which took precedence. It’s nice to be back!
Hopefully everyone out there in D&D-land is having a good summer despite, y’know, everything. Please check in with me here or over on Twitter or Instagram and say hello, I’ve missed many of you very much! I am certain to mess up and skip saying hello somehow to at least one of my lovely friends out there, either because the social media algorithms make it tough to see your names or because I am a goof with the memory of a gnat, but I would super enjoy catching up, so please say hi!