Ring Hack: The Hobbit in Fictive Hack

Like many of you, I have tried unsuccessfully to run a game that felt Tolkienesque in a variety of game systems. Here is how it would work perfectly in Fictive Hack. (And here’s a new template. Dhengellin)

DM: Okay, so let’s make some characters and do this thing. What do you want to make, and what do you want for an adventuring goal?

Hank: I want to be a bad-ass old wizard with a magic elf ring that lets me live forever.

DM: …okay, sure. So everybody else will get something really cool too. ::Hands Hank the wizard template.::

Carl: Awesome, Hank! You scored us mad starting loot! ::Awards Awesome Point::

Laura: Yeah! ::Awards Awesome Point:: And Carl, good reminder. ::Awards Awesome Point:: Now, I want to play a Viking dwarf.

DM: Great. ::Hands Laura the stonach template:: How about a name?

Laura: Thor!

::Hank laughs and hands over an Awesome Point::

DM: Whatever. Hank, you think of a name?

Hank: Gandalf the Bad-Ass.

DM: Okay, Gandalf. Carl, what do you want to play?

Carl: So all these characters can fight and stuff, right? I mean, nobody is all like, “I can’t figure out how to use a sword!”

DM: Right. All the characters have the same rules for fighting, but talents can improve your options.

Carl: I want to play a little fat bastard.

DM: You can make your character look any way you want.

Carl: I want to play a midget.

DM: Okay, you can make a midget out of any of these templates.

Carl: Is there a midget template?

DM: ::Wordlessly hands Carl the Dhengellin template::

Hank: “Midget template.” You rule. ::Awards Awesome Point::

Laura: I want to be a king. I want a dwarf kingdom.

DM: A kingdom of dwarf Vikings.

Laura: Yeah!

DM: Tell you what. You can have 1d10 dwarf minions traveling with you. How is that?

Laura: Okay. And I can add more any time, right? Any time we find dwarves, they’ll be my followers?

DM: Okay, yeah. Roll it.

Laura: Ten!

DM: …and you have to name them.

Hank: Okay I did my rolls. I want the “Menace” talent. Can I make people pee themselves?

DM: If you spend an Awesome Point, sure.

Hank: But does that mean I can’t, like, attack with magic? Even though I’m a wizard?

DM: Sure you can, for 3 Awesome Points. If your attack is awesome enough, the other players might give you more Awesome Points for doing it.

Hank: Like if I make a pine-cone grenade? Dude, can I make a pine-cone grenade?

DM: Yes. You might have to toss in another couple Awesome Points to make your magic attack do something cool.

Hank: Can I shoot out of my mouth and eyes?

DM: It can look however you want. Carl, how are you doing? Did you figure out what cool extra thing you wanted for your character?

Carl: Hah! My little dude can totally sense magical stuff. I’m going to get the best loot.

DM: So what do you want to start with?

Carl: I don’t know yet, I’m still figuring this guy out.

DM: Got a name?

Carl: Yeah. Dildo Bagsack.

Everyone: …

DM: Well… you can name him that, but all the monsters will attack him first.

Hank: Dude, just rearrange it. Like Bilbo Dagdack.

Laura: Or Dong Baggins. We’ll know what you mean. You’re playing a midget tool.

::everyone laughs and gives Laura an Awesome Point::

Carl: Bilbo Baggins it is.

Laura: My character needs a good last name. I’m thinking “Inthethaddle.”

DM: “Thor in the thaddle?” Really?

Laura: “Thorin” for short.

::Awesome Points clatter to her.::

DM: Don’t give it all here. You still have ten dwarves to name.

Hank: I don’t need no stinking backpack. I do want a reach weapon. Like a magic staff!

DM: Would you rather have a magic staff than an elf ring that lets you live forever?

Hank: Hell no.

DM: Well, maybe a magic staff could be your adventuring motive.

Hank: Uh, I’ve got a busy month coming up. I’m not going to be able to make it all the time. Is that cool?

DM: We’ll work you in and out.

Laura: My adventuring motive is to kill a dragon and take its loot. With my army of dwarves.

DM: That’s very ambitious of you. The dragon is actually sitting in your mountain kingdom on all your stuff. Your bigger-than-I-expected band is the last of your subjects.

Laura: Scaly bastard.

DM: Apparently dwarves are fattening. The dragon is sleeping it off on your family loot.

Carl: My adventuring motive is to get a gem the size of my head! But I’m like this humdrum guy, this midget dude who likes his food and his house and doesn’t really want to go adventuring. ::thinks:: Actually, my adventuring goal is to get home alive.

DM: Noted. How about you, Hank?

Hank: Ride a giant eagle.

DM: Good one!

::Awesome Points slide to Hank as people laugh::

DM: Everybody got your attributes rolled? Picked out your starting talent? Got your starting gear?

::general agreement::

DM: Okay. Bilbo, you’re sitting in your house in Bag End.

Carl: Nice. Oh, wait. What about my super-cool thing?

DM: Do you want to get it later in the adventure?

Carl: Only if it’s cooler than everyone else’s.

DM: Yeah, I can work with that. You’ll get the coolest magic thing, and it will be later in the adventure. We ready to get started?

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4 Responses to Ring Hack: The Hobbit in Fictive Hack

  1. All games should start like that!

  2. fictivite says:

    Glad you liked it. =)

  3. Tim D. says:

    I agree, OSH/FH seem like the easiest way to meld Tolkien into a game. I remember the crazy arguments about what level Magic User Gandalf was, as old school D&D was simply too restrictive to make it plausible. 4E doesn’t even seem right to contemplate making a Tolkienesque campaign…

    But with this system, I think it might just work.

  4. fictivite says:

    I loved how Gandalf used a bad-ass magic sword. Not until 3E could you do that in D&D, and even then you had to take a feat. Then I found Warhammer. =)

    There are lots of entertaining theories about what LotR characters are what D&D class and level and why. Fun, perhaps, but also exhausting; the systems just weren’t made to contort around to fit such a different paradigm.

    I think one of the great things OSH/FH has to offer is paying APs to use talents you haven’t bought. I mean, why would Gandalf throw magic pine cone grenades in one scene, but not any more? If he’s entitled to that magic, like D&D, then he’s holding back for some reason. If he has to go out of his way to use a fringe ability, that makes more sense.

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