47 – Where System Meets Setting

The Mythcreant Podcast

While Mike is at home coughing himself to sleep, Chris, Oren, and Jim discuss how roleplaying systems succeed or fail at implementing mechanics that match their settings. They describe why systems need mechanics that fit their setting, and spend ten solid minutes discussing a Pathfinder spell that removes your skin and makes it walk around.

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Opening and closing theme: The Princess Who Saved Herself by Jonathan Coulton. Used with permission.

Show Notes:

Five Great Magic Systems in Roleplaying Games

Torchbearer Is Fun – With House Rules

Anima: Beyond Fantasy

Skinsend, Pathfinder


7th Sea

Song of Ice and Fire

D20 Star Wars

Star Wars: Edge of the Empire

Cortex System: Firefly/Battlestar Galactica

Spirit of the Century

Fiasco Teaches Us to Love When Our Character Fail

Changeling: The Lost

Call of Cthulhu


Legend of the Five Rings

Treat your friends to an evening of dark ritual murder. In a fictional game scenario, of course. Uncover your lost memories and save the day in our stand-alone game, The Voyage.

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  1. AndrewR

    Re: Skinsend etc. in Pathfinder. See The Book of Vial Darkness (for D&D 3.5) for where someone probably got the idea for these sorts of spells. See also the D&D movie of the same name (available on Youtube) for an example of the sort of campaign you could run with these sorts of spells.

  2. Gary

    Please post your torchbearers house rules

    • Oren Ashkenazi

      The big one is actually pretty simple. Instead of advancing the turn counter each time a PC makes a test, I allow each PC to make either one test or give help once each turn. They don’t always have something to do, which is fine.

      This stops the weird dynamic of time advancing faster when there are more characters, and makes it so PCs aren’t super hesitant to act in fear of using up the party’s one action per turn.

      Torchbearer’s steep consequences for failure mean that this doesn’t make the dungeons any easier, just more intuitive.

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