Tabletop Game: On Mighty Thews
On Mighty Thews, which can be found here, is a rules-light pulp fantasy roleplaying game. It's notable for taking a heavily narrativist slant toward the pulp fantasy genre, and for allowing the players to come up with great whacking chunks of lore rather than leaving it to the GM.
Tropes present in this game include:
- Anti-Hero: Any player character with a negative D20 Trait, such as Cruel or Cold.
- Barbarian Hero: Oh yeah.
- City of Adventure: One of the sample maps, as an example of how the map-drawing phase can be used to draw up something other than just a huge continent.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: One sample treasure listed in the appendix is a quote "naked slave-girl" unquote, because such a character is a common trend among the classic pulp fantasy stories it tries to emulate.
- Fantasy World Map: You draw your own, although it doesn't have to be the whole world - you can just limit it to a city if you prefer.
- Fighter, Mage, Thief: The three universal skills are Warrior, for hitting things and associating with military types; Sorcerer, for understanding occult lore and associating with intellectuals; and Explorer, for any physical skill not based around fighting stuff and dealing with strange and exotic people in strange and exotic locales.
- Heroic Fantasy: The heart and soul of the game. It even comes with a list of substitutions to ramp up the pulp factor, such as replacing generic treasure with fist-sized gemstones or a Tome of Eldritch Lore.
- Made of Iron: There actually aren't rules for character death, and wounds etcetera tend to come up exactly once, inflicting a penalty to one roll.
- Mooks: Rules are given for designing minor villainous henchmen, which are Made of Plasticine.
- Patchwork Map: Making the map exciting is considered important. Making it make geographical sense is not.
- Planet of Hats: Part of setting up a group consists of drawing up a map, in which the defining character traits of the players are used as the keystones of what could be considered Poles of Hats - so, if a group contains a Cold nomad, a Cowardly thief, and a Mercenary barbarian, there will be a region where nearly everyone is Cold, one defined by Cowardice, and one heavy on Mercenary personalities. More varied places tend to be at something of a distance from these poles.
- Plot Armour: Characters tend to either not die at all or only die at the end of the campaign.
- OOC Is Serious Business: You pick a major personality trait, such as "Cold" or "Kind-Hearted"; while you gain bonuses for accurately roleplaying it, once per scene you can gain a substantially increased chance of success by doing the opposite...at the cost of your reroll chip for that round.
- Player Archetypes: Aimed primarily towards a mixture of Narrativists and Real Men.
- Tome of Eldritch Lore: One suggestion for how characters can learn lore.