Friday, June 5, 2020

Thieves' World Box Set - Choosing a System

I have no idea when I'll do it, but I eventually want to run a campaign in the Thieves' World setting, primarily using Chaosium's old box set. I was originally going to use LotFP with some house rules as my system of choice, but I'm honestly not such a big fan of LotFP anymore, as seen HERE and HERE and in the comment section HERE. So that leaves me with the issue of figuring out which game I want to use instead.

It's not exactly a pressing issue, since I won't be running Thieves' World anytime soon. I want to familiarize myself with the source fiction (and not just the RPG material) before I begin, and I have other gaming plans in the near future anyway. I'm also completely spoiled for choice; the box set includes NPC stats for nine different games, and some later publications (like the Thieves' World Companion and an article in Different Worlds #19) add a few more games to the mix. Besides, most of the other setting information in the box set is presented in a system-neutral manner, so I guess you could conceivably use it with almost any system.

Long story short, I made a list of game systems I'm considering for use with Thieves' World. Nothing definitive, just some ideas I had while the topic was on my mind. Here's what I've got so far, in no particular order:
I'd be glad to consider other suggestions, of course.

P.S. If I do end up using some variety of D&D, I'm also tempted to throw in a pretty crazy house rule. Originally, I was going to make all Blue Star Adepts immortal as a class feature. But what if everyone of a certain level or higher (let's say 9th level, the fabled "name level") were to become immortal, PC and NPC alike, regardless of class? My reasoning is that the gods are very active participants in the setting, and that anyone who reaches such a level of skill and importance is bound to be chosen by one or more gods as a servant or avatar of sorts, a pawn in their machinations, whether they know it or not. This wouldn't exactly be a known fact among the mortal populace, except insofar as they know that sometimes important or legendary figures tend to catch the gods' attention, which can have a variety of effects for good or ill. But if you become an experienced enough character, you're going to catch the attention of someone or something that will want to keep you around for a while as part of some ineffable scheme...


  1. I think the original boxed set supported Traveller so I suggest that because I've always wanted to see someone run a fantasy game with that system. ;)

    1. You're absolutely right: the box set does indeed include stats for Traveller...for some reason. I originally didn't include it on the list because I haven't played Traveller before (despite it's STELLAR reputation *guffaw*), and because I wasn't sure I wanted to try and run a fantasy campaign with a somewhat hard-ish SF game system.

      Still, now that you've brought it up, I'm going to go ahead and add it to the list. If my players are intrigued enough by the idea, I'd be willing to try using Traveller with Thieves' World as a sort of fun experiment. So thanks for the suggestion!

      YOU JUST MADE THE LIST! (You can thank my friends for that one, because I know next to nothing about wrestling.)

    2. Behold my power!

      Heh, I'm happy to see where you go with this, whatever system you choose. ;)

  2. And a mighty power it is! Like the article, everyone after a certain level attests to the powerful.