|By Scott Malthouse|
I was originally going to dedicate this post to a review of Malthouse's 'In Darkest Warrens' but I'm not sure if I got the chops to do reviews. Suffice to say, I think 'In Darkest Warrens' is a neat minimalist role-playing game that you could pick up and play. I think it also hits a certain sweet spot for me because, unlike other types of minimal role-playing games, everyone gets to roll. I love it when players get to roll and the GM gets to roll as well. Do I have any issues? Well magic isn't the largest selection. Warrens gives us 3 sample spells and Rogues get a dodge, but no sneak attack. So! Let's add some extra material to a charming minimalistic game, which in turn, probably destroys the spirit of minimalistic playstyle.
Sneak Attack (Rogue) - After making a Stealth test (Nimble with a -1 or -2 depending on how observant the target is) a Rogue can make an attack that deals 2 points of damage instead of 1. Penalties to Sneaking can be altered by a combination of environment or action of other players. Such as a fighter distracting the target - all of which is at GM's discretion.
New Spells (All spells are Mind tests)
Bolt: Standard magical range attack of a mage that they can do every round.
Ball: Launches an orb of energy damaging several targets in the same area. This spell can only be used once every round.
Invisibility: Can turn a character Invisible for a number of rounds equal to class level. Offensive actions such as attacking or casting an attack spell dispels invisibility.
Invisibility Sphere (must learn Invisibility first): This spell creates a wave of invisibility that turns the caster and anyone near the caster invisible. Offensive actions made by a member will dispel their invisibility. This spell is equal to 1 round per the caster's class level.
Mage Armor: Mage gains a number of hits equal to half of their level rounded up (minimum 1 hit pit). This spell lasts 1 round per class level.
Force Shield: All physical attacks made against the caster are a -1 difficulty. All magical attacks made against the caster are made at a -2 difficulty.
Force Field (Must learn Force Shield and be max level as set by the game of GM): This spell creates a dome or sphere of protection magic that lasts a number of rounds equal to the caster level. Characters inside the dome can safely fire out, but characters firing into the dome suffer a -1 penalty. Magic users firing against the dome suffer a -2 penalty. The field can be penetrated by walking through the thin energy walls, inside the dome the protections cease.