I haven't played in Simon's role-playing world of Tefr yet, but Leo Hartas is a regular and he tells me great things about it, so next time I head over to the West Country to work with Leo on our Mirabilis comic, I'm hoping to join in a session. Tefr by all accounts is a richly detailed setting with (unusually for RPGs) a real theme and story point to it. Luckily I won't have to just plunge in unawares, as Simon has laid out a wealth of great gaming material on his Tefr website. There you can read about the world, get free ebooks of the rule system, or just marvel at Simon's frickin' awesome maps and artwork.
It makes a big difference that Tefr has been created by a skilled writer and artist. The setting isn't just a backcloth for random escapades, it's a classic story-set up with conflict and a problem for the protagonists to deal with. The hook could be the pitch for a movie or ongoing TV show:
You were born into a strange land, a world steeped in history and shaped by ancient strife, a place where rumours of magic and mythical creatures have the ring of truth to them. You'd rather not get involved in such matters; you want to stay home with your family and friends. But you have a problem; they say there is something wrong with you. You have a god's curse upon you, which makes you different: stronger, harder, scarier. Your family and friends no longer want you near them. Some would even want to harm you. If you don't want to become an outcast, your only choice is to join the Kerowan Guild and follow the only profession allowed to those cursed by the gods: become a sword for hire; expendable and despised, but better the jackal than the hare.Now, I'd like to say that none of the above has anything to do with the fact that Simon is an old friend and Mirabilis fan and he just gave our comic a nice plug on the Fantasy Faction forum. But if you doubt me, hop over to the Tefr site, grab all those freebies and give it a go. It could be just the jolt your role-playing sessions have been looking for.
(* Well, sort of - the new comic is edited by DFC helmsman Ben Sharpe and published by the irrepressible David Fickling, but in fact it's a whole new fabulous beast and nothing to do with Random House's original venture. Just wanted to be clear about that.)