Thursday, 29 August 2013

Briefly: Genre-hacking in Icosahedrophilia

Just a quick note this time. Icosahedrophilia is a 4E Actual Play podcast I've been listening to for years, using a homebrew setting with various Wizards elements plus a ton of other inspirations, most notably the works of HP Lovecraft. I certainly wouldn't go so far as to say it's a horror campaign, but it plays around more than many games with things like forces far beyond the PCs' direct capabilities, rather grim reveals, and other horrorlike elements.

In the latest episode, Chris announced that he was going to experiment with a Sanity mechanic, based on the PCs' existing mental characteristics, which will degrade through exposure to things that Should Not Be and other classic Lovecraftian tropes. I'm really interested to see how this one goes, and what he does with it. Will a Sanity mechanic really work out in 4E, with its heavy tactical focus and optimisation, or will it simply be frustrating for players in the way that stunlocks and other effects can be? Chris has played around before with various canon mechanics, like Fortune Cards and some rules for the effects of long-distance travel, sea voyages, or exposure to other planes. This one is so far only a stat on the character sheets, and hasn't been brought into play, but I'm curious about it. Perhaps something based on Ravenloft's emotion and madness rules? More of a Call of Cthulhu take?

So yeah, that's basically it - this post is at least partly to prod Shannon, as I know she's interested in hacking horror elements into other genres. But I'm hoping it'll be something worth checking out for anyone interested in mechanics.

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