I fancied a change of game for our weekly sunday sessions and so parked our existing Labyrinth Lord campaign, with its array of tweaks, house rules and 8-th level characters and took a break for a few weeks. During this time, I looked at a number of different game systems and even started compiling my own house rules into a roleplaying game of my own.
I was wanting to do something a little less dark. I'd spent over sixty game sessions (a year and half) creating and running adventures that took my players into dank and dangerous ruins, sewers, pitch black caverns and so forth and it had reached the point where I wanted to do something quite different to that.
The idea of injecting colour into a dark and dreary scene was a strong motivation to do something different. Switching out the dungeon for a forest was one such idea and a lot of other ideas began to flow out from that simple tweak. I began writing up custom classes based on mythical beasts, collating house rules and so forth, and that got me part way to making my own roleplaying game.
And then I came across Seven Leagues.
Seven Leagues is an intriguing roleplaying game based around the idea of shared story telling, something we are all actively engaged in, to various degrees, when we roleplay anyway. The setting was fairy tale which matched somewhat with where I was going in my own mind anyway, as I was wanting more enchantment and colour in the world I was taking my players to. As I read the rules, I became even more interested: How can players play anything they want and the game not be just not broken, but that's how its supposed to work? Some very unique and innovative mechanics support this.
I have yet to play a game, because, alas, the session I set aside for this was taken up by character creation. Imagine sitting down with a group of players who are very familiar with D&D, World of Warcraft, Whitewolf games etc and telling them... right, you can play anything you want... all you've got to do is to decide what! As a consequence, character creation took a long time and became a bit of a collaborative process, not just with me (as DM, or in the case of Seven Leagues, the Narrator) and the player in question but between the players themselves. It was very interesting.
We ended up with a party of a Scottish Dragon, an English Alchemachanic and a ghostly Necromancer. Quite a mix... and highly original!
I can't wait for the next session when I throw them into my story, set in a faerie land of dream!