Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Haaaave you met Spire?

So it’s been a while, how’ve you been? Me? Oh same old same old...

Ok awkward small talk out of the way. I thought as I’ve been randomly prattling on about it to anyone who’ll listen, I’d dig up the old blog and put all my ramblings about a game called Spire in one place.

To start let’s run through what Spire is: Spire is a tabletop role playing game using D10s. If you’ve ever seen nerds playing dungeons and dragons then this is a similar concept but with different nerds rolling different dice.

The actual mechanics of it I’ll get to later, before that I’ll share the best bit the world.

Spire is a city in a tower in a dark fantasy world. Imagine if you took London and instead of having all the different boroughs next to each other you stacked them up one atop the other and wrapped it all ancient angry walls.

The entire game takes place inside this tower, and manages to never feel constrained. You could easily run a whole campaign and never see more that a couple of areas. Each area has a section in the book that gives you a few key features and major NPCs the rest is up to decide.
This is one of the first great things about this systems (and a really adjustment for control freak GM like me) if the players want to go somewhere or find something outside the main events then let them decide what they find. You work with the table to build up the world.

The core of Spire is rebellion. You are the rebels fighting against tyranny, or the terrorists destroying civilisation, depending on your viewpoint. Players take on the roles of Drow, Spire was their home until the great and holy aelfir empire decided it would be better for everyone if they took charge of it and everything else too.
It’s not hard to find real world inspiration for the basic concepts of Spire and this is part of its charm, it’s a lot easier to empathise with the plight of a family being worked to death under the rule of a greedy factory owner than it is to feel for a king that had his treasure stolen by a dragon.

Ok so to the mechanics of how your Drow pcs are going to mess with the mighty Aelfir. First up this is a system of episodes, none of that traveling and sleeping stuff. If it’s not part of the story the it’s left to the imagination. You work from event to event.
In the same vein you only roll dice when something is going to happen. Can a PC open that door? Of course it’s a door. Can a PC open that door while trying not to be picked apart by 5ft tall crows? Roll a D10.

The dice system is simple, you add a D10 for every attribute you bring to the task, and loose one for every extra difficulty the situation brings.
Roll your dice take the highest. This tells you not just succeed or fail but how well you succeeded or badly you failed.

Failure creates stress, stress is the games was of measuring how broken a character is. Get in a fight? Succeed deal damage, fail you get hit sometimes a bit of both It’s all down to the players rolls. GM doesn’t fight they just narrate it.

Now I am boil the stress mechanic right down but you should get the idea. It all leads to fallout which takes the abstract stress to game changing conditions. Too much blood stress? Fallout PC has a broken leg. Too much mind stress? PC is now panicked.
In game in takes a bit of work from the GM to keep track of but becomes easier with a bit of practice.

To finish up I recommend looking up this game you get a lot better idea of the game from people that actually make sense
Maybe head over to their website Rowan, Rook, and Decard
Take a look at their follow up kickstarter Strata
Or listen to it being played by Rusty Quill

Hopefully soon I'll be able to start the rest of the group of a full campaign of this, and if I'm awake enough I'll be able to chronicle the games here, maybe even going toward resurrecting the blog on a more regular basis.


  1. This way my pal Wesley Virgin's tale starts in this shocking and controversial video.

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