First Thoughts

  • 12 Replies
First Thoughts
« on: March 03, 2014, 03:32:37 PM »
Basic rules awesome.  I love the 7 experience concept.  It encourages characters to be well rounded and try everything.  Love the basic movies.  Some critiques of classes.  You have a lot of sort of priests.

Wicker-Wise  (unless they are more wizard?)
Dragon Herald (Cast out priest)
and Soon Bloodless priest (uknown)

3 priests could be very cool, but it leads to games with a lot of politics based on priests and various religions fighting each other.  Is there any area for politics between nations and vassals?  That might be more in the: To-Do crowned. I was just curious.

Most playbooks I really like except the dragon herald. 

It says the dragon herald summons the dragons in the MC sheet, but not on the character sheet.  It wants to be Kaleesi, but the character sheet itself should incentive it a little more.  A suggestion could be taking something from the Savvy Head Playbook.  Think of ways to send the dragon herald on quests to awaken the dragon.   Requirements for it.  That way the character has some guidance towards this goal.  I think ti could be like the savy head though where the MC gets to choose what these requirements are, but they always lead a person down a dark path.  There should be some incentive on the Dragon Herald to try and bring forth dragons.

The other issue is with the troll killer.  Having a troll killer is cool someone who can defeat monsters is awesome, but they primarily focus on cool not hard.  I see that they want to be more like the battlebabe in that way, but they have no way to really improve hard.  If they go up against monsters it seems like they would die.  The Troll Killer definitely seems plotty which is cool, but that's one type of troll Killer.  I'd create a stat block for it with Hard+2 instead of Cool so you could also be the Conan Barbarian type of killer if you wanted to.  This could be a champion of sword, but I think the class can go both ways so much, that they should not be tied down with one primary stat.  Instead they should have the option for how they want to defeat monsters.  Cool= Aragorn/Legolas stalwart in the face of danger Hard= Conan overcomes fear through brute strength and will.

Other then that I can't wait to try, and see the new characters.



  • 1293
Re: First Thoughts
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2014, 03:37:43 PM »
Thanks, kkibrick!

Re: First Thoughts
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2014, 06:24:23 PM »
The dragon can be unleashed with an advance at that was one of the first things i saw. It make me go *squeeeeeee*
Then i saw the GM advice on how to deal with them and fealt dread.

Re: First Thoughts
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2014, 06:48:14 PM »
I very much like how the Troll Killer functions, actually. They wouldn't die due to their crocodile-scale shield or elk-rib coat, or because they're Lucky, or because they're relying on their Honed Instincts. Maybe they're Fearless, and can draw a monster out and expose its weakness. Or it could just be because they rolled well on Hold Steady to stand strong against the beast, and gain +1 forward. Beowulf took his bearings, asked where he could go unnoticed, and feigned sleep when Grendel entered the great hall, then used the +2 to his rolls he got from Honed Instincts to surprise the beast and twist its arm off. He did the same thing later, but his "What does this place have to offer me?" turned up the magical sword that he cut down Grendel's mother with.

I think it's a very well-done playbook. Certainly not Conan's playbook, though, and I'm not sure it should be.

Re: First Thoughts
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2014, 12:02:47 AM »
Bryan that makes  a lot of sense, and actually makes an awesome character.  I retract my statements about the troll killer and really think it's a good class.

Re: First Thoughts
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2014, 01:04:17 AM »
My first thoughts...

So much to love here:
- XP makes you diversify without needing to mark stats.
- Ranks really give a dark ages feel.
- Go Aggro swapped around makes sense.
- Tone of Trolls is just right.
- Harm mechanic is genius.

My First Thoughts
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2014, 04:17:44 AM »
What I liked:
"Fates" are awesome. Combined morale and HP. Very nice.
"Oaths" are better than bonds or history.
The XP system is elegant, beautiful.
Some characters can even invoke their prophecy by spending XP. (Dragon Herald)

What I didn't like as much:
+1 forward is kinda boring. Have you considered giving an additional die instead? Roll 3d6, choose 2. Everyone loves rolling more dice.

The "Helping" mechanic lacks drama. Have you considered flipping it, such the the character in-need is prohibited from specifying details of how the rescuer can help?

What confused me:

It seems like the game is about social manipulation, political maneuvering and orchestrating prophecy, and that combat takes a back seat. However, I didn't see specific mechanics for negotiations, or any specific incentive for social manipulation. For example, it wasn't clear to me how a player can gain ranks or new holdings.

Re: First Thoughts
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2014, 07:50:12 AM »
Hoe do you get new holdings?


Or you order your workers to build new stuff...
This is in the rules however, p2. population.

Re: First Thoughts
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2014, 08:45:01 PM »
You can also get new holdings by increasing your Rank, yeah?

Playbooks are still descriptive and prescriptive, right? If your Wolfpack is completely killed, down to a man, you don't have a Wolfpack. And so on.

The game is about political manuevering... I don't see why you couldn't apply this to the ranks and holdings on the back of the sheet. Marry into a family, just so you step up a Rank thanks to your new bloodline or what have you, and mark off the new allies and resources you acquire from your timely matrimony...

Re: First Thoughts
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2014, 10:09:40 PM »
Thanks. I see the rules for population now.

For some reason I was expecting an option to acquire new holdings in the XP rewards section.

I see that the "Draw Someone Out" move covers covers most social negotiation situations.

Is there a system mechanic for banking political favors? eg: I helped you three times, so you owe me an obligation, but it's not quite as severe as an oath. Maybe I'll cash in that obligation for free passage through your holdings, or to borrow your war-band.

Re: First Thoughts
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2014, 06:32:46 AM »
I'm struggling to find some more useful first thoughts than "This looks great!", but I mean, it does. I love how the playbooks ooze flavour. I think wightbred has it:

So much to love here:
- XP makes you diversify without needing to mark stats.
- Ranks really give a dark ages feel.
- Go Aggro swapped around makes sense.
- Tone of Trolls is just right.
- Harm mechanic is genius.

These thoughts all make sense, and I especially like the XP mechanic.

PC-vs-PC fighting as described sounds potentially clunky - it seems to approach the old-style D&Dish fighting where people cut chunks out of each other until one side or the other dies. I mean, it's probably a reasonably good approximation to two people walloping one another with bits of poorly-sharpened iron, but I'm not sure that make for a satisfying mechanic. I've not actually tried it out yet, but it leaves me a little skeptical on first read.

Re: First Thoughts
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2014, 07:06:55 AM »
My first thoughts:
* lots to like mechanically in harm, move tweaks, xp etc
* I dislike the fact that it cleaves so close to a historical post-roman Britain and then adds a bunch of wildly anachronistic things like long-bows. This is my problem.
* I don't see the value of having so much "common knowledge" ie everything from "Technology & Daily Life" onwards. We can invent our own faux medieval/DA stuff at the table easily so why have so much foisted upon us? (Obviously there is value in the rank, religions and genealogy sections though).
* the army numbers are a bit high IMO (even for medieval), there is a famous Saxon law about up to 7 men being thieves, 7-30/35 being a band/bandits and 30/35+ being an army!
* agree that +1 forwards can be boring
* would like a bit more guidance on the map (like AW resources) eg it would be useful to have specific prompts to ensure  religion, ranks and genealogy are placed on the map in some fashion. NB I've not played yet so maybe the playbooks drive it enough. But I'm talking about some supports for the MC to ensure this gets drawn out.
* the wardrobe section of the playbook would IMO be better as a more square shape so you could do a character portrait there if you wished

Will play tonight!

Re: First Thoughts
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2014, 07:16:58 AM »
Disagreeing about the medieval infodump in "common knowledge"; that stuff, in addtion to being fun, sets the tone of gritty dark ages realism. It's not just some stuff about the Dark Ages -- it's specifically about the esthetic choice of making this the raw, disorganized dark ages, not generic faux-medieval and specifically not fantasy faux-medieval -- no raven-post, no "races", no crossbows -- and also that the emphasis is as much on children, crops, sewing, as on dragons and trolls. After reading the bit about keeping warm in winter, the number of holdings whose bounty is "furs" starts to make sense -- furs are goddamned important in this world.