Tuesday, August 9, 2011

We Didn't Start "The Secret Fire"

At some point I'm going to run out of witty blog post titles for this never ending review of The Secret Fire RPG. ;)

Anyhow, back to the game - or rather, the reading of the game.

This definitely has an Old Ones / Cthuhlu feel to it, which helps it read as well as it does.  As I said earlier, it seems to out weird LotFP's Weird Fantasy without straying too far from the fantasy tropes we already know.  I still have an issue with the artwork as it attempts to draw upon satantic imagery when it can (with the exception of the cover art and a few other).  There are much more effective, and potentially less alienating ways to draw upon the Old School RPG style of art.  Not a huge issue to me, but I could have done with less of it.

Saving throws - replaced by a Luck Roll.  Luck Rolls do not change with level, what you need to roll at level 1 is the same as at level 10 (baring the choosing of certain trademarks/abilities or finding an item or such).  I believe you need to roll a 7 or better on 2D6 but I can't find the rule at the moment.  Bookmarking the PDF would have prevented this issue.  Yes, the lack of bookmarking is becoming a real PITA.

The Montage System - a random way to hand wave certain situations.  Well, really its more then that, but in other games, it would probably be a hand wave with maybe a die thrown to see in generally how well it goes for the PCs:

However, there may be times when the party (or the Master Creator, TSF speak for DM) may wish to speed up play and instead call for a quick resolution. Rather than simply handwaving the situation (which is, of course, a perfectly acceptable option), the MC can instead employ the simple universal method outlined below. Note that this system works for multi-aspect events (such as parley, wilderness travel, etc.) rather than single actions (such as picking a lock — use a Skill Check in that situation). You can even use it for combat, especially when wandering monsters appear, if you are trying to speed up play for one reason or another. But note that, depending on the roll, the outcome could prove extremely beneficial, wildly disastrous, or anywhere in between, for the player characters. Which, of course, is what makes it fun. 
The Montage is a way to “play” through events that would take a lot of real time, even though they may take anywhere from a few minutes to a few days of game time; yet everyone agrees these events should only take a short amount of real time. The system can be used for random engagements, and everyone rolls using their prime stat (Critical Failure means death, Complication means wounded, etc.).
Is it something I would use often?  I'm not sure.  Generally speaking, if something is worth resolving, it's worth playing out, either via combat or role play.  Still, this may fit well for certain groups.

More later, with another bad blog post title ;)


  1. Don't forget to title one The Secret Fire down below. I have not come to the montage section yet, but I can hear the song in my head from Team America: World Police.

  2. I may need to rewatch that next weekend with a few beers in me ;)


Tenkar's Tavern is supported by various affiliate programs, including Amazon, RPGNow,
and Humble Bundle as well as Patreon. Your patronage is appreciated and helps keep the
lights on and the taps flowing. Your Humble Bartender, Tenkar

Blogs of Inspiration & Erudition