Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Wargaming Wednesday: The Beards and Battleaxes RPG?

Cover art from one of the GW army books
Hello everyone, sorry for a lack of posts Friday and Monday, things were a little troubled on the home front. But here we are again, talking about gaming. After venting my frustration last week, I began thinking of a gaming project I could undertake, something simple, specific, and entertaining to me personally, while at the same time, viable as a product that can be shared to folks out there in the world at large.

So I settled on a game about dwarves.

I like dwarves. I've played them in various RPGs. The Dwarfs (not Dwarves, but Dwarfs) were my first Warhammer Fantasy Battle army. They're short, stout, and bearded, just like me, and although beer isn't my go-to form of alcohol these days, I can certainly appreciate a well-brewed pint of ale or stout. Dwarves are also usually portrayed as gruff, curmudgeonly little assholes who don't like taking shit from anyone and hold grudges far longer than rationally reasonable, and yes, guilty as charged on all counts.

A single player-race game might seem limiting, but it is also focused. It lessens the number of decisions during character creation and reduces the rules and word count, keeping the game tighter. Also, I would probably stick with tradition and limit any form of Dwarven magic to a kind of rune-crafting, coupled with perhaps some kind of holy boons or blessings from Dwarven gods. Again, it limits player choice, but also alleviates the need for a player-side spell catalogue (which in many games can be equivalent to all the other rules put together).

From a GW Dwarf infantry minis box
As for adventures, I think a lot of the major bases can be covered. Dungeon and underground exploration is an obvious go-to, but you can also have dwarves patrolling the areas around their strongholds, overland expeditions, trips to human (or non-human) lands and cities, long-distance explorations, diplomatic trips, monster hunts...with a little thought, almost any adventure type is possible.

As for the rules, I think I have a good foundation I want to build upon. Originally I thought of going with the core rules I developed for my stalled-out Tankards & Broadswords RPG, but I think for the moment I am going to set those aside and try something a little more basic, and if that doesn't seem to fit my needs, we'll reconsider. I think the rules should be simple, avoid a lot of math, and most difficult of all, not be just a generic system but an expression of the concept of the game. How we get there, we'll have to find out.

So, I'm going to leave this be for now. Next week I hope to have a few more details on this, and as time goes on, we'll build bit by bit. In the end, this is likely just going to be a downloadable PDF that anyone can enjoy, so we're keeping it as simple and straightforward as possible.

No comments: