Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Jaws of Tamriel - PDQ Hack for Skyrim (Part 1)

I have the opportunity to play a game with my wife and niece in the next couple of days. We live a good two hours from our niece, so the visit for a couple of days is something we're both looking forward to. We've played Fiasco, and she's had some exposure to other rules without a lot of successful actual sessions under her belt, but the wife and I are ready to change that and allow her to be a true bad-ass. There's nothing like you're first real adventure, and so I want to make it awesome.

I also have been itching to try out the Jaws of the Six Serpents PDQ rule set from Silver Branch Games. The rules are very, very lite sword & sorcery, and while the setting does sound pretty awesome, I'd like to shift it to something I understand and know a bit better - Skyrim. Skyrim's my first elder scrolls game, and I've played hours and hours of the thing (which really has no end in sight). It has the added bonus of being almost completely unknown to my wife and niece.

With that in mind, I'm putting together a very simple hack of PDQ for Skyrim, which I have titled Jaws of Tamriel. What I love about PDQ is its simplicity and ability to sculpt into what you need. That being said, I haven't had to put much effort into changing much of the rules. You will need the Jaws of the Six Serpents or at least the Nugget rules (found for free on rpgnow.com) to use these for your own game. Between Jaws of the Six Serpents, the elder scrolls wiki, and the huge, impressive hardcover video game guide, I've got pretty much all I need for not just an epic adventure, but hopefully a huge campaign as well.

Below you can find the first part that I've worked on - replaced the peoples presented in Jaws of the Six Serpents for the ten player races open for players of Skyrim. I plan on posting most in the next week, specifically my magic rules, unique item rules, and potion rules. That's pretty much it for the hack. Enemies are just as easy to make up for Skyrim as they would for any other PDQ game, so I just need to look for the source material for inspiration.

Peoples of Skyrim

Altmer – High Elves
Strengths: Hidden Knowledge, Civilized, Cultured, Wizard
Weaknesses: Snobby, Feather-Weight
Other: Open Quality ranks can be spent on Spellcasting*, especially (Illusion). Most common urges are Fire and Wind.
Known Spell: Fury

Argonian – Lizard Folk
Strengths: Amphibious, Fast Healer, Guerrilla Fighter, Mysterious, Sneaky
Weaknesses: Unrelatable, Suspicious
Other: Spellcasting* (Alteration) or (Restoration) are common. Most common urges are Water and Wood.

Bosmer – Wood Elves
Strengths: Alchemy*, Animal Companion, Camouflage, Nimble, Sharpshooter
Weaknesses: The Green Pact, Untrustworthy
Other: Bosmer have a large variety of professions with an emphasis on open Qualities related to trade. Most common urges are Earth and Wood.

Strengths: Court Wizard, Dragonskin (A Resistance to Magic), Spellcraft, Solid Peasant Stock, Trader
Weaknesses: Lower Class, A People Divided
Other: Open Quality ranks can be spent on Spellcasting*, especially (Conjuration). Most common urges are Earth and Metal.
Known Spell: Conjure Familiar

Dunmer – Dark Elves
Strengths: Assassin, Merchant, Resistance to Fire, Spellsword, Support of My Ancestors
Weaknesses: Distrusting, Gloomy
Other: Open Quality ranks can be spent on Spellcasting*, especially (Destruction). Most common urges are Fire and Water.
Known Spell: Sparks

Strengths: Calming Presence, Educated, Diplomat, Disciplined, Rich
Weaknesses: Bound by the Law, Greedy
Other: Qualities that reflect a balance between using magic and employing more traditional combat training. Most common urges are Metal and Earth.

Khajit – Cat Folk
Strengths: Acrobat, Courageous, Cunning, Night Vision, Natural Weapons
Weaknesses: Beast Race, Vulnerable to Kidnappings
Other: Spellcasting* of any kind is very unusual. Most common urges are Wind and Wood.

Strengths: Battlecry, Fair-Haired, Son/Daughter of the Sky (A resistance to magic and the cold), Mariner, Stormcloak
Weaknesses: Grim, Superstitious
Other: Spellcasting* of any kind is very unusual. Nord combat Qualities tend to favor two-handed weapons of all types or one-handed weapons with shields. Most common urges are Earth and Metal.

Orsimer – Orcs
Strengths: Berserker, Blood-kin of the Orcs, Craftsmen, Fierce, Heavy Armor
Weaknesses: Cruel, Short-Tempered
Other: Spellcasting* of any kind is very unusual. Qualities may focus further on specializing in certain types of crafting. Most common urges are Fire and Metal.

Strengths: Astronomy, Daring, Fleet-Footed, Skirmisher, Strong Constitution
Weaknesses: Fool-Hardy, Impulsive
Other: Qualities about one-handed weapon fighting are very common. Most common urges are Fire and Wind.

I welcome all feedback whether you're an Elder Scrolls fan, PDQ fan, or like myself, a huge fan of both!

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