by Delos

Tavern Tales: A Read Through

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Yesterday I came across a RPG project called Tavern Tales. I read through most of it (skipped over all the monsters and items but read the rest) and I came to the conclusion that I need to try this.

The elevator pitch that I came up with is: Tavern Tales focuses on the three aspects of fantasy RPGs: combat, exploration, and interaction with NPCs. The system gives you the tools to build your own character however you want (no preset classes or races) and everyone has skills and abilities that give them powerful options in all three realms of fantasy RPGs.

Further pitch: The system is fairly rules light (as of now the whole thing is 160 pages as opposed to D&D’s 400+ pages for the complete system) and has some fantastic elements that encourage role playing. For example there are lots of moves that say “Describe how you do XYZ”=>You create (example) and it is awesome.

So the system tells you how to role play doing your moves (much like the *World games) as opposed to simply “I do XYZ” without any flavor. I’ve become really partial to this kind of role playing after reading and playing DW so this clicked with me very quickly. It gets old after a while just listening to my players say “I hit it again” throughout a fight.

Furthermore there a player moves that literally say “You gain creative licence to describe XYZ”. A direct example is from the Undeath Theme:

Death Curse • Action

Once each session, describe how you invoke death → Gain creative license to kill a creature within a far distance that isn’t significantly more powerful than you.

How great is that? Granted with any open moves like the above there will be interpretive differences between GM and player, but giving the players a toy like that just has a “That’s awesome” factor that you don’t get from a move or spell that says “If you target a creature that has 26 hp or less you may kill it with a minor action. Usable once an encounter.”

The system can be played either with both sides rolling dice (DND) or just players (DW). There are rules and examples for both styles of play within the system. I’ve seen house rules for all sorts of games that allow either way to be played, so it’s nice to see it just rolled directly into the system.

It’s a very well thought out project and is in open beta at the moment. Hopefully I’ll be able to give this a go in the near future.

The author is looking at doing a kick starter but that’s still in the future. Thanks for reading, and please support your “local” indie rpg makers.

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