Wolfspell—a tabletop roleplaying game that will be published as the liner notes of a record album jacket.
Originally published in 2013 in issue 2 of the ezine Worlds Without Master, Wolfspell is a sword and sorcery game about adventurers who have transformed themselves into wolves in order to complete some dire quest. The game plays like a proggy metal concept album and demands a physical form to match.
How does Wolfspell work?
You gather with friends and create your adventurers, or match adventurers from another game to the archetypes provided. Who among you has tested their sword-arm against many who now wait to mete vengeance upon them in the afterlife? Who is witness to stranger worlds than most—the arcane and preternatural are to them as wolves and weather are to the farmer? Who is most at home when they sleep roofless and hunt their fare far from civilization?
Then choose your spell. Have you become wolves because the augurs dictate that only fang and claw will rend your destiny? Do relics of an ancient cult plundered from an old queen’s tomb carry with them a savage curse that can only be cleansed in distant holy fires? Or is this a family thing?
Whatever spell you choose, your immediate fate is the same. You discard your human husks and lope forth into the world as a wolves! Tell us of your coat, your size, your scent and your voice.
You are wolves of human blood. When asked to roll, you will always roll both a Blood Die and a Wolf Die. Note which is higher. This will tell you whether your wolf is guided by human knowledge and experience or by bestial instinct. The Blood Die represents the capabilities of human thought: from shaping the world around you as a farmer plows the field or a smithy forges a sword, to throwing yourself heedlessly into your task as an explorer sails past the sight of shore or a rover charges into the fray. The Wolf Die represents the advantages of lupine instincts, knowing where and how to hunt prey, and the safety of the pack.
The dice will limit your options to the side of you in ascendance, but as you behave more like a wolf, your Feral score will grow, increasing the might of your Wolf Die, turning you into a more capable wolf. But will you be able to return to human form when its all over? Will you even want to?
What form will Wolfspell take?
Back in 2013, when I was first working on issue 2 of Worlds Without Master, I wrote a short story called “One Winter’s Due.” It was the tale of two sisters, at the end of their adventuring career, who returned home to find their brother had been murdered as part of a blood feud. The two found themselves at oath-odds over the incident and could see no way to untangle the situation but to turn into wolves and quietly finish the feud. The premise of this tale inspired the core concept of the game. When the tale was published, it was illustrated by the glorious work of Shel Kahn, including the crow and swords illustration below.
I knew then that when it came time to publish the game in physical form, only one artist would do.
Playing the game has the grand, epic feel of a concept album. With a word count around 2,000, it was tight enough to fit in the liner notes of an old gatefold LP jacket. And this is why we’re here. With the funding from this Kickstarter, Wolfspell will be published on an trifold LP jacket that folds out into a single 3-foot by 1-foot panel of wolf metal art—a towering spectacle of a roleplaying game.
A Swift & Sinewy Campaign
The campaign will only run for two weeks and will feature no stretch goals. Our one and only goal is to bring this game back into the world in the form it was meant to be.
Risks and challenges
The game itself is complete. If time and space allow, some additional material may be created for it. Shel Kahn has begun designing the LP jacket and updates on that progress will be shared as the campaign unfolds. The completion of the artwork, printing, and fulfillment are reliant on the funds received from this campaign.
I have a history of publishing roleplaying games in odd forms, but this will be the first I’ve published as a record album jacket. We hope to have the project completed by June of 2019, but some delays may occur as we try to get the printing just right.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (14 days)