Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Or Another Of Your Own Creation

The expected market for Vincent Baker's 'The Seclusium of Orphone' is (Choose 2 or 3)

  1. People in the OSR who like posh books and can choke down dodgy design choices.
  2. Those on old White Wolf forums who know who Jack Vance is.
  3. People who don't roll their eyes at the use of the phrase 'Stormy Eyes'.
  4. People with LOTS of free time before games.
  5. People who really enjoy drawing their own detailed maps for a product they just bought.
  6. That guy who thinks Baker is part of a conspiracy to destroy gaming by perving it up.
  7. People who would quite like access to alleged above conspiracy
  8. People who own d7's.
  9. Those people who used to be the forge but I think they're storygames now?
  10. A strange new circle of people who may slowly crystallise around the book over time, it being neither one thing nor another, it may generate it's own subgenre. Vornheim might so this might.
  11.  Basically nice people who want a go at being 'dark' and 'edgy' in controlled circumstances.
  12. Maybe literary people? the tables being fucked makes it look less like a game, so people too up themselves to read Vornheim might potentially read this and think they've discovered and whole new thing and get all up on the lit blogs with it. Could there be an article in Forbes? Gasp.
The first parts of the book were designed; (Choose 1 or more)

  1. For those who like random tables, but not 'too' random.
  2. Specifically to irritate a small circle of OSR bloggers.
  3. For people who would rather put one egg in a pre-bought mix and call it cooking, instead of buying a pre-made pie or cooking it from scratch.
  4. To maximise the pleasure of flipping back and forth in a hardback book. Endlessly.
  5. Not to scare hippies.
  6. To maximise white space.
  7. To show off the cool flower designs on the paper stock.
  8. Because if you can't cram pseudo-magical glyph designs into an rpg book any more then we may as well burn down the whole enterprise and go home.
  9. Because we paid for a special font for the chapter headings and were damn well using it.
  10. Badly.
  11. Cryptically.
  12. Mysteriously.
  13. To annoy people who know the last three options are all true but they can only pick one. (OR ANOTHER OF YOUR OWN CREATION)
  14. Because its a book of random tables, so if you just give people the tables and a fully completed Seclusium with a fucking map they can use straight away they will feel robbed somehow?
  15. To keep the scum out.
  16. To instill wisdom in the reader through suffering, so they have the self knowledge to fully appreciate the good stuff at the back by the time they get there.

 The lists in Seclusium contain; (... and choose 2-4)

  1. Useful things
  2. Good things artfully seperated to ensure maximum flipping back and forth.
  3. Pretentious things
  4. Many things neither 'boring and useful' or 'poetic and energetic' but a strange blur between the two.
  5. Many cases where it would be better if you just used all of the available choices.
  6. Awkward numbering.
  7. Reassuring repetitions of the statement that you can choose or create your own thing, presumably because some fucking idiot somewhere wrote a blog or forum post saying 'this product does not explicitly tell me I can think for myself while using it? How them am I to know if I may do so???'
  8. A lot of good stuff.
  9. Some really interesting rules for magic item creation.
  10. A lot of Bakerism's if you are (choose 1 or 2) into/offended by/amused by/vaguely reassured by them
  11. Some good monster motivations.
The house rules at the back are; (choose as many as apply)

  1. Effectively a whole new game.
  2. Better than Dungeon World.
  3. Lacking options for clerics.
  4. The best use for the soft stats I've seen yet.
  5. How I should have been DM'ing already.


  1. What are the back-of-the-book houserules like?

    1. They are like Apocalypse World structured questions that let players work out stuff about the environment. They have no negative consequences though which makes them a bit shit and turns them into a bit of an auto-hit sonar ping.

      They could work quite well with Magic Users I think as it gives them a kind of extra-weird sense.

    2. Could add a negative easy enough: on a 2 the DM lies. For this to work the DM has to roll though.

      It is a funny book.

      They could have included maps and highlighted the things in the seclusium lists that are in the map and listed the page number of the thing on the map.

    3. In apocalypse world anytthing 6 or under is a fail which is how I would go

  2. What on earth do these tables even look like?

    1. They look more or less exactly what Patrick just wrote in the entry.

    2. That sounds frustrating.