"What is Freeport? It’s a place of grubby action and desperate adventure, where the supernatural is real but not easily controlled, where crime and greed have more sway than curses and spells, where pirates may be more dangerous than monsters, and where you live on rum and sea biscuits, not waybread and nectar. It’s horror. It’s fantasy. It’s high adventure. It’s low comedy. It’s piracy and black magic and sunken cities and mad alchemists and thievery and evil cults and political corruption and gang warfare and suspicious lumps in your fish pie.
It’s the City of Adventure. No lie."
That quote from Patrick O'Duffy about the revised Freeport setting, as presented in the systemless Pirate's Guide to Freeport, neatly encapsulates much of what I like about fantasy. That isn't however, a great description of Dungeons & Dragons, at least not as most people play it. Nor do I think that the system really supports that kind of play as well as I'd like. The low fantasy (and low comedy) angle is best achieved with a few tweaks to the system, at best, or even a new system altogether.
Anyone who's read my blog at all knows that I've actually been working both of those angles; a pretty heavily modified d20 game (my modifications are mostly complete there) and another system that hybridizes The Window with Savage Worlds, using the rules-lite paradigm of The Window with a mechanics backbone that more closely resembles Savage Worlds.
What really needs to happen again, and soon, though, is me putting my theories in action and running a game of it. My current group is hip deep in a Paizo adventure path and not likely to want to switch gears for some time (and I'm OK with that too, as I enjoy the AP.) Because of our difficulties in scheduling, we're probably playing on average about once a month, so that could take... literally... years to complete still. Hopefully not, but it's certainly conceivable.
Two, at least, of my kids have expressed an interest in some fledgeling RPGing that I've done with them, so maybe that's my avenue. Of course, one of those is my high schooler, and until football season is over, he's almost completely unavailble four nights a week and many Saturdays, making timing tricky there too.
But mostly, I just wanted to quote from from Patrick O'Duffy. I think that's a great quote.