In 2004, I wrote a little game. I called it Legends of Ryllia. It was a homebrew fantasy world (called, you might have guessed, Ryllia) and a system of my own devising. You won’t find it on the web anywhere, or all that many copies of it floating around (I sold about 75’ish of them, and gave away maybe 10 more.) The project was not a complete success, problems crept in at several levels. I suppose that’s one of those things you have to take into account…
It was a simple game. I wanted it to be simple, it used only six-siders. Strangely enough, I had this idea that the game should be playable without ever needing anything except the book and raiding a Yatzhee game for its dice. Of course, unless you were already a gamer you’d never even have heard of my little game. So the dice issue was a little silly, in retrospect. More than the dice issue, the game was still very simple. Three main stats, two optional stats, a type of stat modifier, freeform skills, and a subsystem to allow a player to create a unique fighting style for their character and a subsystem for a freeform magic system. I had an experience system that was a little off the norm and a type of Luck/Fate point system (though that had a very small place – I hate Luck/Fate points). In many ways, it was very much a “rulings not rules” style of game.
Anyway, after writing it, publishing it and selling a few, I walked away. I didn’t attempt to market it further, I didn’t attempt to improve it further, nor did I attempt to run it ever again. It’s been a little more than six years and I’ve only ever gotten as far as letting one group even make characters with the system. I don’t know if anyone I sold the game to has actually run it. I didn’t keep track. The only thing I can tell you for sure is that in the intervening six years between publishing and this blog post I have almost managed to put that experience behind me.
What does it say about a game when its creator doesn’t even want to play it? What does it say about the creator?
A few months ago, I got the idea of working on Legends of Ryllia again. I commissioned art from a great artist. She’s really good. I pulled out a manuscript of the book and all my old notes. I marked those notes up and began to think in terms of systems and percentages and whether or not I could get rid of dice altogether – I really like Amber remember? I had this plan for taking the core rules of the system and creating a universal-style system. The Ryllia world would then become only an example world. Never gonna happen. I’m still planning on paying my artist, the work is beautiful. But I don’t think I’m going to be finishing a new edition of the game…
At a certain point you just realize that you’re wasting your time – that it’s time to just let pointless projects drop. Legends of Ryllia is a game that only ever meant anything to me anyway. What’s the saying, “I wouldn’t be part of any club that would have me as a member.” I know I promised to talk about Ryllia today. I’m sure this post is not what most readers who know me thought it would be. But I talked about Ryllia.