Welcome to Ivanhoe Unbound, my little RPG imprint. I'm the sole
owner (if you can call it that) and author. My name is Kirt Dankmyer, but
my friends call me Loki. Sometimes I am called Xiombarg.
Oh, and to give credit where credit is due, I'd like to thank Ivanhoe
Productions (a LARP company I'm associated with) and Jim Olsen for a name
and a logo, tho I modified both to suit my tastes.
If you don't know what a role-playing game (RPG) is, go
here (or, if that link doesn't work, try another). If you don't know what I mean by Gamist, Narrativist, and/or Simulationist, you should read this.
By the way, I agree with Ron Edwards that system does matter, which is why I create my own
systems. If you want to discuss theory or anything else relating to my games, including potential new releases, join the mailing list...
Morality Under Fire
This is an intensely narrative game
about making tough moral
choices under pressure. Unsung works just as well for a game
where the protagonists are inner city cops,
as for a game set during the Vietnam "police action" or the American Civil
War. In fact, the game was playtested
with rookie cops as the
protaganists, and then later
using a SWAT team as protagonists.
The game uses a simple one-die mechanic,
and plays around a lot with player
control -- if your character loses it during a stressful situation, the
other players decide what happens to him. In fact, in many ways the
character effectiveness is affected by the moral choices the character
makes -- and by morally challenging other characters. The idea is to take
an interest in everyone's character, as well as your own.
This game is about the emotions invoked in
intensely dangerous situations, about personal stories often lost in the
statistical listing of crime and casualties, about what unravels during
Regrets spoken upon one's dying bed will
not return unnumbered victims dead.
As a break from Unsung, I started work on totally different game.
With Pretender, I was aiming at some familiar ground for RPGs:
creatures in the modern day. I wanted to hew
closer to the Sonja Blue series, to add something back to
the "personal horror" genre of RPGs: a sense of wonder
In essence, I wanted a game where it was easy
to play vampires in the modern day, but also were-gators,
mannequins that come to life during the night, races of immortals that
look (and act) like psychopathic children, and sentient colonies of
roaches. And more. It's all about flexibility, and lack of
focus is on extreme
personalities, grittiness, and creating the world as you go. I wanted,
however, there to be a framework for people to hang stuff onto. I also
have shifting narration, and, as I said, a very "develop in play" style --
the GM and
the players would really "create a story together".
I tried to
think what system would suit what I wanted best, and settled on a
heavily-modified version of
has been, in short, a blast, and I'm looking forward to playing some
This was my
"modern" RPG, as informed
by the discussions at the
diceless, and description-based. I had three goals in mind with this one:
Introduce Narrativist gaming to my Gamist/Simulationist-oriented
gaming group. This is the reason I maintained strong GM control, despite the large amount of player freedom: I wanted one element "traditional" roleplayers were used to.
Eliminate the worry of failure/success in favor of a different
Given that you're not going to fail at any given task, what do you do?
What is the correct action to take?
Make a game that would be easy and fun for a starting roleplayer,
very young one, while still having the possibility of being interesting to more "jaded" roleplayers.
I'm still rather fond of it, and I think it succeeds at most of its
goals. (With regard to the first goal, in retrospect, I feel the design is
Simulationist" with some Narrativist leanings, but it certainly
You can find out more about the design
decisions that went into it here.
If you want something a little more than freeform,
check it out. After all, it's free, and will remain so.
Faster, Better, Cheaper
my second description-based game, based on The Pool and a
lot of time spent at NASA. Either you're faster, better, or cheaper than the
other guy in the traits you're specialized in.
First Edition in HTML
or text |
The Simple, One-Page Live-Action Role-Play system.
Written back in '96 or so as your basic rules-light LARP system. Perhaps at
some point I will release a third edition a little more in line with my
current preferences. I still kinda like it, tho -- I like to think it was
an interesting accomplishment for the time.
Stuff For Other RPGs
A kaiju fight game... Narrativist Diplomacy... and s'more old thingies,
like my original version of the Grigori for In Nomine.