Legends of Ryllia – An old and new project

I’ve added another game to my Downloads page. It’s titled Legends of Ryllia, and it was my first attempt at writing a complete game. Sorta. Anyway, I wrote this in 2004 as an experiment, as something for myself, as a chance to just… do it. It’s difficult to really go back and say why I did this at the time with any certainty, but I remember being happy that I’d done it, at least.

At the time I was part of a web board and I set myself the goal that I would write a post/essay a week about my thoughts on game design and what I wanted to accomplish. I was really excited about the prospect – and setting myself a deadline helped me to stay focused. I think the writing I did then also helped me decide later to start this blog.

But the game’s the thing, right? Ryllia had a strange origin. When I was running a GURPS Space game one summer I had a PC race that required sexual contact or they slowly went mad… it wasn’t about the sex so much – it was an experiment with the idea of being stranded in space and what kind of ships a race with needs like that would design. No solo ships, lots of crew comforts, etc. They turned into the Deliri as I started working on Ryllia. I also had been tinkering with a race of flying mice-people who turned into the Myrwinn but really, the beginning of Ryllia came from a dream I had. The specifics aren’t really important – the dream focused on the land that became Discia.

After writing the game, I had them printed as perfect-bound books and sold around 75 of them at a local con… the only time I’ve ever attempted to make money from gaming… I even got a review (mixed).

I love Ryllia. It was populated by personalities I knew and I’ve run three campaigns in Ryllia – all of which are among my favorite games I’ve ever run. It’s one of many worlds I’ve created – but the only one I designed my own game around. It’s a game that says a lot about my feelings on low-rules systems, it doesn’t care much about game balance, and it’s best when played with a group that are comfortable together.

The version I’ve uploaded is the version I wrote in 2004. I tinkered with the layout a little because it didn’t translate cleanly from my old word processor program into Word 2013. I also removed the original cover art though I left the rest of the art created by my friend Paolo. He was kind enough to do it for me.

In the 9 years since I wrote Legends of Ryllia, I’ve played and tinkered with a lot of games. Looking back at this version – I remember how amateurish it is and I realize how much I just took for granted in the original manuscript. I also remembered how much I loved Ryllia, remembered how much I enjoyed writing this game. I’ve contemplated writing Ryllia again before – even toyed with the idea here on the blog. But doing this – working on getting this ready to post – it makes me really want to work on that again. So after I finish my current project (BoL/Shadowrun hack) I’m going back to Ryllia.

For now, please download and enjoy Legends of Ryllia – and please, if you enjoy it, drop me an email or a comment, I’d be happy to know what you think of my own little game… (oh, it’s 108 pages long).

Thank you for reading, and enjoy my game.

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