Tuesday, January 03, 2023

I'm Back, FKRs!

 ...ha ha ha ha, that is a joke. I will explain it, in case it's not funny.

But first...

...yeah, it's been a long time since I updated this damned thing. You wanna know why? It's because I really haven't had much to say about gaming that I hadn't already said, or that I wasn't saying on Reddit, or that merited a full blog post and stuff. Oh, sure, I coulda written blog posts about other stuff -- but you don't wanna know any of that stuff, because frankly it's mostly personal drama stuff and not gaming stuff. 

You dig? Yeah, you dig. 

Having thus dug, I'll get back to why I'm all of a sudden posting again. As you may have surmised, it is because I now have stuff to say about gaming again. You clever, clever person, you.

So long story short, in this new year of 2023, I'm fixin' to get ready to run me one of them fancy FKR games that the kids are talking about.

What's that? You don't know what I'm talking about? And you wonder if I do, to start with? Well...okay, let's go slow. HIT THE, THE, JUMP THE BREAK, DO THE, UM, CLICK!


Ha ha haaaaa, yeah, no. "FKR" stands for Free Kriegspiel Revolution. Unless it's me saying it, in which case it means "Free Kriegspiel Ruckus", because that one worked for Jeff Rients and I still remember it. 

So that's what it stands for, but whuzzit mean? Well, I direct you to this here blog post by Jim Parkin over on d66 Classless Kobolds, but here's kind of a gloss of what it's all about:

Numbers don't add up to a game. Many FKR games are based entirely in description and realistic intuition, and have little commerce with numbers, "stats," and the like. A character might be "strong" but they don't have "STR+3." A keyword description suggests a relatable and diegetic meaning, while a number with a plus sign does not.

If the fiction fits, try it. The game and its world are responsible and internally consistent, not because they are constrained by regulation, but because they are enjoyed by earnest and thoughtful people. It requires buy-in and willlingness. Players trust the referee to make rulings. Referees trust players to be bold and clever.

You play worlds, not rules. Have you read Brideshead RevisitedThe Wizard of EarthseaFoundation and Empire? Any captivating novel, regardless of timeframe, setting, or genre? Well now you can run a full FKR game based on that book. You don't need an RPG sourcebook because all books are now sourcebooks. All television shows are sourcebooks. All movies and songs and comics and memes and medical brochures are now sourcebooks.

I could elaborate, but to do so would really just be to repeat what Jim has already said, and he already said it, so if I were to do it, it'd just be repeating it.

So anyway, FKR games -from what I can tell- tend to be really rules-light, and that's a thing that kind of appeals to me right now. Oh, no, I'm not gonna drop my other games, no no no. I just want to explore something I've barely attempted before, and to see if I can make it sing. 

Plus, I've got this setting I wanna try out.

For a few years now, I've had a fantasy realm/campaign/vibe bumping around in my head. I call it 


because it's meant to sound kind of, I dunno, medieval fantasy jive somethin' somethin' Lyonesse somethin'. Rovainne is what happens when I throw D&D into a bucket with Excalibur, sanitized Medieval Times crap, early 80s fantasy, fairy tales, and those rad Schleich toys, then dump the whole thing on the floor and pick up only the parts that I like. Making this world come alive at the table is kind of important to me, not only because it's a world that I want to bring to life but also for personal, mental health reasons.

...yeah, I'm on that bullshit again. Hey, at least I'm dealing with it constructively and creatively and not with, like, murder and drugs and shitty music, right?

Aaaaaaaanyway, while there are plenty of game systems that I can twiddle and tweak and moofle and hack to make 'em do what I want Rovainne to be about, I eventually decided that, no, Rovainne wants to be an FKR experience. 

So. An FKR experience it will be.

There's lots more I could say about all of this: how I started thinking about running it this way while reading Jon Peterson's The Elusive Shift, how Rovainne has changed and mutated over the years, why it's all mental health jive, how important Enya is in all of this...and I will, I will. But not right now. Not right now, because it's a lot to go over, and it's an expansive enough...thing that it merits a series of blog posts, and also because I'm at work and I have stuff that needs to get done. 

But anyway. That's the joke. 

...you remember the joke I made, right...? At the, in the, the, the title...?

...yeah, I forgot, too.