Zounds! I Had A Great Taster For A Fantasy Game

So, this morning I had a game pretty much organised around me to play in a fantasy game with a couple of friends from America.  The game is Zounds! and it utilises the SFX system created by +Joshua Macy and it is a freely available from RPGDriveThru.com.  My friend, +Cameron Corniuk has been at me and at me about this game in his own sort of way and I downloaded it but did not really get a chance to have a look.

A few people were there (including +Joshua Macy ) and we started into character generation.  We did not get any further than character generation because +Cameron Corniuk takes an individual approach to walking people through the generation system.  And the generation system is great.  I liken this experience to the time that I wandered into a FATE character generation session quite by accident.

Image taken from the RPGDrivethru website

The system offers you templates that cover a very high level character concept e.g. adventurer, wise man etc.  These are not character classes, they are high level concepts that set up the framework for the character to follow.  The character will be built up from powers and schticks.  Powers are things that you attack and defend with whilst schticks are things that you cannot attack or defend with, similar to skills and abilities.  There are also boons that allow you to add to or modify your powers, schticks or statistics (there are a few statistics).

You would think that these powers and schticks were prescribed in the book for you to pick from like a menu.  But the that is far from the truth.  In fact you make up all of these things out of your own idea for a character.  Take the character that I made, , Fast Dirk.

My concept coming into the game was that I wanted to play a sleazy, corruptible street thief who brokers in information.  He was probably caught at some stage and is working as a stooge for possibly three or four different places.  Trouble is he is good at what he does, and people cannot help but like him, unless of course they have just found out that he has betrayed them somehow.  Or stolen from them, or sold them out.  But given time they will deal with him again.  After all he knows what is going on.

So this is what I came up with.

Fast Dirk

Toughness: 2, Stamina: 2, Will: 2, Actions: 2

Defence Power: Quick Dodge @ 6. Automatic

Combat Skill: Back-stab @ 4 Boost: Armour-Piercing

Shticks: Schmoozer @ 5 Boost: Bare Handed
I Got Coin @ 5
I know a guy @ 5
Bump and lift @ 5
Locked? No, it was open, see @ 5
Like the back of my hand @ 5 Boost: Bare Handed

Battle cry: All in a nights raid

Complications: (Major) Working to stay outside the cells
(Minor) Hates being dared to do things
(Minor) Fascinated by new things


Drive: Wants to know it all, who does what with who, who is under who’s pay etc.

Given that I was thinking along the lines described above I did suck at the power of attack (back stab) as I went a little too generic.  Perhaps should have come up with something like sneaky swipe or knife in the dark and I did get a bit of a ribbing for it.  But the other schticks, boons and complications I came up with fit nicely with the character concept and they are mostly my own words.  

What is more, I create the situations that my schticks and powers cover.  So when I can fit it I can bump the mayor and lift his ceremonial sceptre or if someone is being tight lipped I got coin!  But of course if I need to get in the back door of the Castle I could use I Got Coin or I Know a Guy.  Of course I could find a way in because I know it Like the Back of My Hand.  The beauty of this is the fact that you get a character that reflects your concept.  Want a ranger that has an ability with arcane spells.  Fine, just use your schticks and powers the way you want it!  The GM seems to leave it up to you so there is no danger of not getting what you want!

Now we did not get around to playing the game so I intend to do a bit of reading this week to see what the system as a whole looks like.  It certainly seems like the character generation hits the nail squarely so I hope the mechanics do too.  Get to Drive Thru and download it (use the link in the first paragraph).  The reviews on the site are very complimentary so I think it is a time that we all take a look at Zounds!  Keep rolling!
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