Resten av detta inlägg blir på engelska.
One year ago, in June 2012, the Swedish RPG Svavelvinter (Winter of Brimstone) was released by Fria Ligan. Based on Erik Granström’s The Fifth Conflux series of novels, with its peculiar style of Renaissance/Babylonian fantasy, Svavelvinter RPG was a big hit – the first print run sold out in three months and it was awarded Best RPG of 2012 by both the Fenix RPG magazine and the Boningen games blog.
Now we give a taste of the game to an international audience. A compact quick-start rules document and the complete introductory scenario from the full game, The last days of Arhem, can be downloaded here, free of charge (just click the link and the download will start automatically). The zip file also contains complete character sheets for the premade characters used in the scenario. Huge thanks to Peter Larsson for the translation and to Dan Algstrand for the layout work!
So what kind of game is Svavelvinter? Ruleswise the main sources of inspiration are story-driven games like Burning Wheel, FATE, Solar System, Lady Blackbird and Apocalypse World. The game lets you choose between two specific styles of play – “character driven”, that supports a Story Now agenda, and “classical”, which is focused on more traditional adventuring.
The full 352-page game (so far only available in Swedish) also contains a complete map-based strategic conflict rules system called the Game of Shadows, as well as a comprehensive system for making and fulfilling grand prophecies that can guide the story arcs of whole campaigns.
Tracoria – the setting
Tracoria is a merchant empire in a fictional renaissance world. The four main islands are populated by a number of peoples and cultures that have tried to dominate each other throughout history. The island Paratorna is currently milking the neighbouring isles for their riches, spurred by a religion that adores money and commerce. All across the region, people despise the arrogant, false and amoral Paratornians, who, while displaying a certain charm and practice equality between the genders, are also blatant xenophobes who distrust arts and academia. When the profitable Paratornian sulphur monopoly collapses, many of their neighbours see an opportunity to lift the yoke, especially since the mythical “Fifth Conflux” is approaching, a point of destiny in time and space that is expected to reshape the world.
The Tracorian world is similar to Renaissance Europe of the early 16th Century, but with notable differences. It is an animistic world where living clouds, mountains and winds coexist with dragons and other mythical beasts. Life clings to the surface of the continental shields of gigantic beings submerged in the magma below. These shields have been forged into a world sphere in order to protect the burning Furians within. The entire world shows many signs of having been put in place according to some divine plan, but the actual work has been delegated to befuddled servants. In this way reality is a flawed and poor implementation of a divine design. Magic works, but rarely quite as expected. Magicians are feared but also suspected of interfering with the divine plans even further and are often hounded by clerics. Most powerful of all are those who know “The High Speech”, the forbidden words of the gods’ that command creation and reality.
Sources of inspiration for the Tracorian world include the Italian Renaissance, the Roman Republic and our current commercially focused age. The polytheistic religions are borrowed from old Mesopotamia.