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Liberal Weirdness


Introduction to Knave

Posted by bob on July 14, 2020 at 10:30 PM Comments comments (841)

Introduction to Knave

We started this game with dnd 5e in a setting of our own devising. After the first few sessions, I decided to switch the system to an OSR because I found the aesthetic spoke more directly to the type of game we decided to play in our session 0.


As a group, we wanted high lethality and gritty lower fantasy. Magic is out there and folk magic is widely present but Wizard is not a common career choice or widely known to be an option. Monsters are there but mostly in the form of rumors. The world at large is currently unknown as, since a large-scale natural disaster a generation ago, maps are known to be unreliable at best.


The OSR system we chose is Knave because I felt it provided the latitude in customization we wanted and the classless system looks like it will serve us well.


As I mentioned, we had started a campaign in this setting with a group of Dnd characters. That story was going very well but we had a hiatus and during the break, I found these OSR games and was inspired.


I told the group what I was thinking and they all agreed to try it out. My group is super great for attitude, always up to try things out. I’m often grateful to them for that quality. I briefly was thinking we would adapt their existing characters to the new system and carry on their story where we left off. They had just finished the first “Arc”.


After discussing the new system though and looking at character creation we opted to just make a new group in a new town in the same setting and see where it goes. It was a good choice, we had a huge amount of fun generating the characters at the table along with everybody making a backup in case of KIA.


We took advantage of the tables in the toolkit for generating all the traits and physical features. The players were falling in love and really inhabiting the characters as they watched them come together. I was surprised by how much they enjoyed this part, it was the most fun I’ve had helping a group generate characters and it seemed like the most fun they’ve had as well.


With three players, we generated six unique, three-dimensional characters. Complete with their own outfits and starting gear and appearance. No money in their pockets but ready for adventure. Including a read-along with the booklet the whole process of getting started took less than an hour. Any given character could be generated in a few minutes easily. Straight up, it was so fun.


Referee preparation is subjective so I won’t say too much about that except that the flexibility of the toolkit makes it easier and more intuitive than any other game I’ve run or prepared to run.