A New Generation in Combat Systems (Series on Crunch – Part IV)

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The heart of combat

As we have introduced in our last blogpost, the close combat system of Knights of the Black Lily works differently from nearly all other existing close combat systems in that attacks do not alternate, This is done to faithfully emulate the dynamics of cinematic combat with its sequenced attacks – this time around, we’ll have a closer look at how it works. At the center of the combat system is the Melee Attack Resolution Table, which not only gets referenced constantly in actual play but is also short, intuitive and very easy to memorize – it’s in fact so simple that you and your players will naturally know it effortlessly from the top of your heads after the first one or two sessions of play. Following the general philosophy of Knights of the Black Lily by adding mild complexity in order to greatly adhere more to genre standards, this table is what makes all the various parts of the combat system come together… Read More

RPG Theory with Rigor, Part 2

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The problem with definitions
In the meantime, there has been a fairly lengthy debate of our first blogpost in which an old problem arose that has been marring the theoretical discussion of RPGs for a long time now: the question of how even basic terminology like games, role-playing games, story, etc. is being defined. Therefore, before continuing our efforts further below to introduce a greater amount of rigor into RPG theory, we need to have a look at these debates about definitions and the problem that definitions of even common terms pose… Read More

The King of the Hill (Series on Fluff – Part III)

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Knights of the Black Lily is what we call dystopian black fantasy, a distinctly flavored form of dark fantasy. The darkness in dark fantasy may come in many forms but for us none of them is as interesting to explore as the darkness that lies within ourselves. And as you will discover in the blogpost below, Knights of the Black Lily has more than its own fair share of demons and other common elements of horror. To us, however, none of those even come close to the terror induced by the things we do – or our own kind. That is why we have chosen the makeup of Ilethrean inhabitants the way it is and as it will be outlined to you below.… Read More

RPG Theory with Rigor (Warning: boring!)

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Rebuilding from the ground up

Role-Playing Game theory has a long, controversial history. A huge part of the problem is the lack of a solid foundation for theory – the establishment of some fundamental basics that can be considered largely uncontroversial, if not outright demonstrably true. Without such a foundation, things that should be uncontroversial become suddenly controversial in the context of heated debates about more advanced issues. This problem is being amplified by a prevalent lack of rigor in underlying one’s viewpoints or conceptions with argument: existing theories and models (or even just certain parts of existing theories and models) may or may not sound somewhat plausible, depending on your personal take, but without rigorous, compelling justification for choosing certain concepts and their relationships to each other, they have to be considered largely arbitrary… Read More