Secluded Grove is... BEDlAm

I started gaming back in 1979. I started working on my own world, and all of its various incarnations, a few years later. It was not until university that Dahon, my fictional world, really started to come together. There are have been many changes to Dahon over the years as I learn more about Earth's history and cultures. But the pantheon, motivations of the deities, the structure of magic, and some key races and events have survived Dahon's many incarnations.

In the late 1980's I was gaming pretty constantly with a small group. I invited three, Greg Appleyard, Jim Elliott, and Luke Bond, to join me in the endevour of publishing Dahon. We have worked, on and off, since then trying to get something worth publishing.

I have always been a strong simulationist in my desire for rules. However, my gaming style is decidedly narrativist. I rarely know where my games will go as I let the players dictate the flow. Impressions I have of NPCs often change when I introduce them and find I play them differently because the story reads better. The Forge is a on-line forum that discusses game design and theory. It was at this forum that I learned about various theories of role playing. It was also at The Forge that I found about the RPG module Well of Souls. That module, I think more than anything else, has made me take a hard look at narrativist roleplaying and seeing if I can fit that into my desire for simulationist rules.

I have been frustrated trying to wedge Dahon's magic and religion into commercial gaming systems. I have gone through many rule sets, from D&D and AD&D (both 1st and 3rd editions), to Rolemaster and HarnMaster. HarnMaster's magic and religion system is the closest to Dahon's that I have found in a commercial rule set, but the difference was still too much to feel comfortable. This led to create SQRT, a strongly simulationist ruleset. It is the rule set that I currently use.

Recently I have become interested in narrativist roleplaying. The adventure Well of Souls was my first introduction to narrativist play. It's nice when one's first introduction to something is one of the best. The adventure lead me to HeroQuest, Dying Earth, and Sorcerer. While none of these systems works well for Dahon (well, maybe a bastardized version of HeroQuest), the gaming philosophies presented in these games are being explored and are colouring my work on a narrativist version of SQRT called Esque. I hope to start serious play-testing of Esque in 2006. Should it withstand the testing I think BEDlAm will include Esque in modules that it releases.