I learned two things at our Sword Noir game last night.
1. One must enunciate correctly. “Contact” sounds very much like “contract” in the right conditions.
2. While Sword Noir has a magic system, it is possible to do “low level” styles of magic without using the magic system.
Last night, we had both a pyromaniac alchemist and an engineer styled as an early 17th century MacGyver. We didn’t use the magic system. I was thinking about it, but passed on it, as the alchemist was a new player who had been away from RPGs for a bit, and while I tried to keep it simple, magic tends to add complexity to any game.
Thing was, given that in combat their intent was to incapacitate or kill their opponents, there was no need to do anything differently than if someone was using a weapon. Whether a character uses a knife, a sword, a flintlock, a spinning chandelier affixed with table legs or caustic powders, the effect was the same. So the characters simply used different Qualities with different narrative descriptions of the action. No problem.
The alchemist also whipped up a fantasy version of sodium amytal to aid in the questioning of prisoners. And why the fuck not? Everyone had fun and the characters got to be awesome.
I’m interested in seeing where this will go. I’ll let you know more after our next game.
Third lesson learned thrown in for free: I can totally run a game from one sheet of paper with an outline of the situation, 2 special locations, 3 plot points, and 5 narrative characters, as long as I have the whole of Everthorn to back me up. I’ll bet you can too. Using the information provided for Everthorn in Sword Noir, the Kheufer Scrolls, and Crossing the Millers, you’ve pretty much got a fair chunk of Everthorn outlined, if not described.
More on Sword Noir one-pagers to come.
You can find awesome Sword Noir stuff here.