Project Ampersand

“The Icosahedron, or as it is commonly known, d20, is for deciding violent conflicts. Its geometry and fell swings of fate appease the blood-thirsty 20 saints of battle.

“The 20-sided die is a cruel implement, prone to wild swings of chance because no matter your training and power, war is cruel. Woe to those who must roll it and glory to those who survive its use to see home and hearth again.”

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I’m not out to fix or clone anything per-se – more that I’ve got notebook pages with strange ideas. That is where I got the name:

Project Ampersand, House-ruled & Homebrewed

What is in my notes so far?

One class – adventurer. That is what you are.

But Judd, why? Let’s look at a few classes and what is cool about them. Warlock (and DCC’s Wizard) have a relationship to a troubling Power that grants them arcane abilities. Why have only one class that can do that? Why only one class that can use swords or stealth?

New character options can be opened by completing an adventure or enter into a binding oath with new folk.

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Levels go from 0-3 and then levels can be spent on other things – like training up followers, making the HQ better, strengthening bonds with a patron or an oath or create a guild. There will be rules for becoming a deity.

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Spells don’t have levels but they come from spellbooks that are linked to the world. Spellbooks have names like: Hidden Cache of Scrolls from the Mage Wars, Gifts from the Fae Queen, Wizard’s Guild Journeyman Archives, Olde Queen’s Druidaria, Fiendlands Relics, Black Market Hobgoblin Cantrips, Lake Country Family Illusions, Copies from the Arch-Mage’s Great Works

Every spell is also a dungeon; in order to truly know a spell (or maybe to make a new spell?) you have to travel to the otherworld where it was made and anchor a part of yourself in some alien landscape.

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Character creation is 3d6 in order but the 1’s and 2’s become a resource the player can use to roll on a cool table where they can get items, spells and pets. The higher you roll, the cooler the thing is but you can choose anything underneath it instead of what you rolled. Maybe you or your elder was a veteran from the Mage Wars or you encountered a Highlands Wyvern Rider or Got Lost on the Far Side of the Elf-Stones or Held a Torch for an Adventuring Party – 1’s and 2’s allow you to come away from that bit of character history with something tangible as the game starts.

Every stat is a different kind of perception. Or maybe the highest of STR, DEX, CON is noticing the physical presence of another person or learning something about how they move and what their martial prowess is built on.

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Other bits have already made it into the Thursday night game.

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Post Script

Fantasy Heartbreaker? Ya know what, let’s leave that term in its era; it was written 19 years ago. Publishing and gaming has changed.

The true heartbreaks were burying any mechanics that veered too far from the founding text was not any good. The truest heartbreak was mortgaging one’s house and selling grandma’s pearls to produce a print run that would eventually get pulped for tax reasons. Fantasy Heartbreakers should be played and discussed but they are something from another era.

What does your Project Ampersand look like?

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If you want a Project Ampersand sticker or notebook, here ya go.

https://shopofjudd.threadless.com/designs/project-ampersand

Check out these designs and more in the Tabletop Role-Playing Games Collection…

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