Designer's Thoughts in The World of Cartyrion | World Anvil

Designer's Thoughts

The latest editions of the best-selling TTRPG ruleset seem to be focused on building complex, overpowered characters designed to take on the many published epic campaign arcs. Complex rule systems make it difficult for Gamemasters to develop their own encounters, so reliance on these published campaigns is high. These campaign arcs assume the party will continue to move through the adventure from encounter to encounter with little or no stopping (in game time terms, if not in realtime).

Because of the complex rules and hundreds of rules concerning Feats, Class Abilities, and other features that explicitly define what a character can or can't do, it can take an hour or more to build a character, and almost as long to level up an existing one.

It is difficult to keep a "new school" campaign going if real-world scheduling gets in the way. What do you do if your cleric's player can't make it, and you're in the middle of the temple complex of that evil cult? Does another player run the cleric? Does the GM? Is the cleric simply "asleep", or "whisked away"?

While having a rule for everything may seem desirable, it lessens the creativity a player can bring to situations and lessens the opportunity to invoke the "Rule of Cool" with epic, memorable results. Laurels and Loot attempts to address this.

Laurels and Loot is designed to best fit a more old-school play style where characters operate from a Safe Place. They venture out, defeat the baddies, gather the loot, and go home! After a brief recuperation, they do it again. There is an element of danger - and threat of character death - every time they venture forth. To reflect this, character creation is quick and easy, requiring as little as five minutes. If a character does die, a new one can be created in time for the player to continue enjoying the session. Real world scheduling becomes less of an issue as well. If the cleric's player can't make it, then on today's adventure, the party leaves the cleric in town and does without! Or, a "quick" NPC cleric is created and hired on to accompany the party.

Laurels and Loot attempts to appeal to those who desire a more "Old School Renaissance" flavor to their TTPRG experience.


The Laurels and Loot Rule System is published by Bob O'Brien
It is available to all in accordance with the Creative Commons (Attribution) license
(Creative Commons 4.0 International License)

Laurels and Loot Rules are derived in part from the following sources:
Knave 2.0 TTRPG System Rules published by Ben Milton
in compliance with
(Creative Commons 4.0 International License)

The banners on these pages was composed with art attributed to:
b0red from Pixabay (treasure chest image)
Gordon Johnson from Pixabay (laurels image)

The side panels are composed with art attributed to:
Evelyn Chai from Pixabay (dungeon passage)


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