Returning to an old game after many years away from it can be both a blessing and a curse. It can bring back many happy memories of joy and excitement, but also the stark realization of how utterly bad the game was. I might be about to go on such a journey.

Siratsias vita formelbok (The white spellbook of Siratsia) is a more than 20 years old adventure for the Swedish roleplaying game Drakar och Demoner (Dragons and Demons). It is centred around the very powerful, but confused, wizard Siratsia and her plot to take control over the northern kingdom of Barbia. I have played parts of it two times before, but I only remember small fragments off it. I’m hoping that the third times the charm and that I will actually be able to play through it all this time. I’m not sure when (or if) we’ll actually get to play it, we’re still all in that early “I wanna run this sometime, anybody want in?” phase. Still, I can’t help but get excited about it and I already have a handful of interesting character concepts.

The book mentions that the adventure is suited for four to six powerful heroes, and that they should be well equipped with at least one magic item each. This made me think. Enchanted items have become a commonly accessible thing in a majority of modern fantasy games. Everybody and their grandmother has some kind of imbued gear, be it healing potions, sorcerous runes or some kind of enchanted weapon. Back in the mid 90s when we played Drakar och Demoner every weekend we were lucky if we ever got more then one magic item on any of our heroes. Times have indeed changed.

This in turn got me thinking about power levels. When we sit down to make our characters for this adventure, should we aim for balanced or highly specialized characters? Should each character be build to stand alone or should we create them together as a group? It’s possible to break the game by having one player play an artificer and create some extremely powerful magical items to hand out to the other characters. Why would the barbarian pay 40 points to max out his strength when he could just pay 1 point to have really low natural strength and let the artificer create a magical item that raises it to his racial maximum for him? If you can create amulets that grant the same level of protection as the finest armour around then why wouldn’t you make sure that everybody in your group had one? What fun is there to overcoming challenges with god mode enabled?

I don’t know if we’ll ever get this going, but if we do then I will return with an update.