The Local Helm

filed under game design and layout on 01 Jul 2021
tagged design, duet, and solo

While I’m terrible about announcing these things, I finished my RGAME-prompted game, The Local Helm, right on schedule, and soft-released it on July 1st. And then promptly forgot to actually formally release it, or to let people know, or to, you know, talk about it at all. Largely due to stress about Mixam, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.

It was originally prompted as “a tabletop role playing game designed for playing fantasy stories set in a small community”. I riffed on the ideal of a funnel, but one step back. I also drew all the art, and I’m gonna go out on a limb and say you’ll be able to tell. It was fun as heck.

The final product is a solo-ready, sprawling village or crew simulation game with few rules, told almost entirely through procedures for play. It is also a funnel, in that characters die often and quickly, once you put them in harm’s way. It should be playable out of the box, and also usable with any lite/OSR-ish system you prefer, being a collection of layered procedures and meters, along with a bunch of tables.

It’s inspired by a post on Dungeons of Signs, an old game (wayback link) called Wuthering Heights Roleplay, and a result from the generator here. You may find the NPC emulators in Scherzo useful, or the PET, in conjunction, though I’ve included a simple NPC emulation process in this file.

Enjoy! It felt good to complete a challenge again.