Monday, 17 June 2013

the Bektaşis

This is a companion blog entry to the Janissary.

The Bektaşi Sufi order is a syncretic Sufi order that originated in Persia but is now firmly established in the Empire of the Crescent Moon. The order emphasises the esoteric aspects of the Way of the Crescent Moon; as a result, it is viewed with much suspicion (if not downright hatred and/or fear) by the average cleric and faithful of the Way of the Crescent Moon. As with other Sufi orders, the Bektaşis go through a secret initiation ceremony; once accepted, they must swear total obeisance to the leader of their tekke (fortified shrine), called the baba.

Hakikat, which means 'Truth', is an essential element in the esoteric teachings of the Bektaşi Sufi order. In gaming terms, Hakikat is the ability to see the Truth through God, e.g., invisible beings, illusions, etc. This is an action that requires a minor effect on a WIS action check.

Mârifetullâh, which means 'Knowledge', is the term used by the Bektaşis to describe the mystical intuitive knowledge reached through ecstatic experience rather than revealed or rationally acquired. In gaming terms, Mârifetullâh is the ability for the PC to get information about some unknown topic through a mystical trance. This is an action that requires a major effect on a WIS action check.

The Bektaşi Sufi order as a role-playing clerical cult:
Temple traits: Protect the order, Obey the baba
Worshippers' Alignment: Lawful Good, Lawful Neutral, Lawful Evil/Worshippers' Allegiance: Crescent Moon
Temple Weapon: Scimitar.
Spheres of Activity: Loyalty, Mysticism, War.
Powers: Hakikat (see above), Mârifetullâh (heroic scale, see above), Mind link with fellow brethren and with the baba (epic scale)
Holy Symbol: Open Holy Book.
Spells: Followers of the Bektaşi Sufi order favour spells that are useful in war (damage, protection), and knowledge-related spells.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Monsters & Magic Is Out!

Monsters & Magic is available at last! For me it is the fantasy role-playing that bridges the gap between the 'Old' and 'New School' types of play — types of play that are complementary and not irreconcilable, by the way. I actually wonder why no-one had thought of such a system before.

The game is only available in PDF format on DriveThru at the moment, but again it's definitely the ruleset I recommend to everyone in the OSR movement, even if they prefer dead tree (the hardcopy version, by Chronicle City, should be available in August). I let the author, Sarah Newton, present her work:

Monsters & Magic is an “Old School Renaissance” fantasy role-playing game with a difference. Combining the atmosphere of classic fantasy games with modern RPG mechanics, it lets you use old school fantasy gaming material with little or no conversion [賈尼— basically: armour class and, in some cases, hit points] with a new and innovative set of rules [賈尼— this is actually the genius idea: it's a brand-new system, but it uses the well-known tropes of the most famous classic frp]. Battle giants, defeat dragons, explore deadly dungeons and mysterious wilderlands — and bring your favourite adventures, supplements, spellbooks, and bestiaries to brilliant new life!

This complete fantasy role-playing game features:

✠ the Effect Engine, a modular open-licence rules system
✠ action-packed adventure from 1st to 20th level and beyond
✠ rules for castles, kingdoms, guilds, and warships
Silvermoon, an introductory adventure for levels 1-4
✠ new rules for alignment, hazards, encounters, treasures, epic and mythic gaming, and more!

I have posted two blog entries with regards to Monsters & Magic: a new cult, and a new sub-class. You may have a look at them to get the gist of the system, plus there are almost 20 pages of preview on DriveThru.

Also, check out Sarah's great interview here, with a good view into her vision of the game, and a few hints at future products!