November 12, 2012

Return to Garweeze Wurld, Part I

Garweeze Wurld
This last week has been a bit busier than I had anticipated, and it isn't even Borderlands 2's fault this time.

Between being out of town for two days, a larger than normal homework load, and prep for my new HackMaster game, I was busy.

Carolyn is pretty busy herself, participating in National Novel Writing Month and I agreed to alleviate her other obligations as GM for our Sunday Night home game.  I'll be running things this month and at least once a month after.  To be honest, I haven't had to GM since last summer and I need to keep those skills sharp.  What might seem like an obligation to fill-in for Carolyn really is a opportunity to flex my GM muscles.

Kenzer & Company
Instead of running a campaign in the default HackMaster setting of Tellene, I decided it would be least for me, to run one in the old HackMaster game world setting of Aldrazar.  Aldrazar is the name of the planet and the setting itself is commonly referred to as "Garweeze Wurld".  The previous edition of the game was very much a high-magic setting and the required level of parody due to licensing issues (HackMaster 4th Edition was based directly off of the 1st and 2nd Edition AD&D rules) made some things a bit silly in Garweeze Wurld.  I know this parody really turned off some players, but most of us that loved the game ran the game quite serious and simply ignored many of the "silly" elements.

The new edition of the game is a ground-up re-write and there isn't a ounce of comedy in the entire setting.  The closest you get is some "Garyspeak" from the owner of the fictional Hard 8 Enterprises that published the game in conjunction with Kenzer & Company.  That is more of a nod to the Knight of the Dinner Table comic strip, which is largely responsible for the creation of HackMaster in the first place.

Jolly Blackburn and his Whiteboard of Ideas
My challenge here is to update the once silly, high magic game world setting to the new low-magic, extremely serious setting of the new edition.  As I was pondering this I thought of the "end" of the old Aldrazar.  HackMaster 4th Edition was really involved with tournament play.  There was this notion that every home group played on an alternative reality version of "Aldrazar Prime" and when you went to tournaments your character was pulled from their wurld by the gawds and was now playing in another reality (think Sliders).  I recall there was talk that the two "big" tournaments, Origins and GenCon, were actually held on "Aldrazar Prime", but I know the setting's creator, Jolly Blackburn, disagrees with that assessment.

The reason he disagrees is because when it became known that Garweeze Wurld was going away as the setting for HackMaster, Topher Kersting blew it up at the last official "big" HackMaster 4th Edition Tournament.  He went all out on that was.....wait for it.....EPIC.  The final battle that caused the destruction of the wurld was called Hacknarök.

It occurred to me that Ragnarök, the inspiration for Hacknarök, would be the inspiration for me bring back Garweeze Wurld #439.  Garweeze Wurld wasn't was simply reborn.

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