Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Into The Oort: Start

Some time ago I was convinced that I wanted to run a game called Dogs In The Oort Cloud. I had this idea that there was something attractive about religious peacekeepers in a far future solar system, on the edge of interstellar space, going from asteroid to asteroid, helping to solve problems and mete out justice.

(There's a whole other post that I want to write some day soon about why DitV is such an attractive proposition for me, that for the faults I find in the game's mechanics I actually found it to be one of the best campaigns that I've had the pleasure of being able to run. But another day!)

Time and life intervened. Apart from one shots I've not run a game for ages, but I keep reading, keep noodling ideas, keep on talking nonsense with David over on A Gaming Podcast About Nothing. And then towards the end of last year Paolo Greco posts a link to a new thing he is publishing by some guy called Chris. The price is right, so I buy the pdf. I flick through it for ten minutes and email Paolo asking if I can upgrade to get the print version.

Into The Odd is fantastic for many reasons: the setting is imaginative and heavily themed (implicitly), but not described through page after page of flavour text. Everything about the setting you get from the various tables. Chargen can be done in a minute, and the mechanics for various resolutions are easy for beginners and familiar for more experienced hands. It's a game that anyone could be a party of playing.

And precisely because the game is so clear, so simple in mechanics, it popped into my head that it could be perfect for combining with my idea of the Oort Cloud as a setting. Gone are the religious peacekeepers (for now, although they're in the background as one possible group in the Oort Cloud) and hello to adventurers and explorers, traders and tyrants, anyone and everyone existing thousands of years from now at the edge of everything.

This has been my creative playground for the last few months; tables and setting things are coming together, and I took a step to start sharing some work-in-progress tables for various elements. I'm a big believer in tables as a useful aid or prompt for setting generation (inspiration providers), so while some of them have been difficult to put together so far, they've always been there for a clear reason for having them.

This is the first in a series of who-knows how many posts. It's a long time since I've posted on this blog (although until fairly recently I was doing a good job of maintaining a work blog) and I hope to update a few times per week as I talk about where Into The Oort is going - ultimately, I'm aiming at publishing it - but that's a little way off yet.

Thankfully not 50,000 astronomical units though.

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