Hacking Giants for Arthurian-like Gaming

edited November 2007 in Story Games
So, in reading a comment from Mick Bradley on the RPGPodcasters mailing list, and his geeking about how cool the Map part of chargen is for Jeff Lower's ashcan, Giants, a thought just dislodged in my brain:

The players and the GM together make the map, right? Okay, so, in a sense the reinforces the Arthurian legend around the King and the connection to the Land. (Unless I'm totally fucking up my remembering of the various Arthur legends, and I'm by no means a scholar on the subject.) So, instead of being a Giant, you're the King of your people. Okay, then you take the element of community in Giants, where your community feeds you, but you need to do things for your community in order to keep it healthy so it can keep feeding you. You twist that to be about taxation and bolstering your people, and you have the beginning of a game about the rules and war-chiefs of ancient tribes (Briton or otherwise).

That'll probably be as far as I'll go with the idea anytime soon, but I thought I would share that with others, in case someone else wants to run with it.


  • That sounds awesome to me. I can totally see the king/land connection in the mapgen process. Would you have one king per landmap, with each player being a knight overseeing an area, or a collection of small kingdoms? Who benefits from the borders, both or none?
    Neat stuff.
  • Posted By: HighmoonWould you have one king per landmap, with each player being a knight overseeing an area, or a collection of small kingdoms? Who benefits from the borders, both or none?
    Since you ask, I should make up an answer on the spot. Hmm.

    For a single kingdom: The King is dying of a strange sickness. The players are his sons. Some may want him to die, and some may want him to live. Either way, the Land is also sick, and the princes will have to do something in order to have any sort of Land left worth ruling. I suppose here, the Group Threat would be The Death of the Land.

    Or, I would have a collections of small kingdoms on an island (all the same map), more like tribal Britons than anything. The way Giants works looks to facilitate separate-but-connected story lines, so I think this could also work.

    I'm unsure what to do about borders beyond natural landmarks made in map creation.
  • Hey Ryan, it would seem that great minds think alike, unfortunately not mine though.

    At GenCon where the Ashcan was released, someone (man do I wish I had his name to give him credit) bought Giants from me at the Podcaster party. His main motivation for doing so was to use the game for something near to what you are suggesting.

    Additionally, a number of the playtesters have talked about similar things. The only reason I know this is because a few of them recorded it. I have awesome playtesters.

    That being said the final version of the game will have some "alternative" ways to use the game besides playing regular Giants.
  • Without giving it much thought, it seems that Giants lends itself as a good rules base for any game where territory and personages are intimately tied, as in the giants of the basic offering, Ryan's Arthurian idea here, or perhaps something like gangs ruling over some city turf.

    This is obviously going to be easier once Giants is done, but man, it's cool that these kind of ideas are already flying out there.
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