Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Small but Vicious Rules

If you haven't seen it yet, go check out Chris at Vaults of Nagoh's Small But Vicious Dog. It's a mashup of BX and Warhammer fantasy.  I know nothing about Warhammer fantasy but there are several really interesting subsystems you need to see here.  A social status system that affects combat, saves versus poison that have varying degrees of debilitation, and probably the most elegantly simple rules for addiction I've ever seen.

I'm leaving on a trip in a few hours but this has got me excited about tweaking this to come up with poisons, drugs and diseases for my own campaign.  I think I'll be able to fit each on a single page or less.  And that, my friends, is right down my alley.

p.s.: I think folks could learn a lot from the voice of his rules, too, not treating them as if they exist in a vacuum or as if an abstracted corporate voice is necessarily the easiest to understand.


  1. Seconding your opinion about the voice of the rules. If you can't, don't, but if you happen to be an entertaining writer, and you can write in a voice that suits your rule set, use it.

    Small But Vicious Dog is worth reading for the gimlet-eyed descriptions of the old standard fantasy races alone. Hilarious.

  2. Yep, he does a great job. I was thinking of how he reveals some of his design thoughts too, and isn't afraid to mentions the rulesets he's building off of.

  3. social status system that affects combat

    have you ever seen GURPS Goblins? It's the single best gaming supplement I've ever read, and chock full of stuff that's adaptable to any other game. I haven't read Vornheim yet, mind.

  4. That's exactly where Chris has adapted his rules from. I'll have to see about getting that supplement.