April 22, 2017
I bought the original slipcase edition of The One Ring: Adventures over the Edge of the Wild (that’s what it was called at the time) by Cubicle 7 soon after its release in 2011. Much like the books on which it is based, I immediately liked it.
I read and re-read the rules, ran several one shot demos, bought all subsequent releases, formed a Meetup group, and eventually ran a 16 month campaign before becoming a player in a Darkening of Mirkwood campaign being run by my friend Marco Rafalá.
Like a lot of systems, running and playing The One Ring are different experiences. I recently sat down and wrote up my thoughts on what playing the game means to me. The results follow.
January 25, 2017
The Great Northern Inn
While I don’t pay a lot of Games Workshop games, I appreciate the level of effort they put into their settings. Being a fan of fantasy RPGs and skirmish wargames, I’m particularly fond of Mordheim and especially the apocrypha and detail developed over the run of Town Cryer magazine.
The locations, scenarios, warbands and more described in the pages of Town Cryer brought so much narrative context to the game. Even though the action at the table could be a dice-driven slugfest, you really had a sense of the place in which that slugfest was taking place.
I’ve been playing Frostgrave since it came out. And, while it aims to do something different than the Mordheims of the world by only providing a vague sense of setting, there’s something to be said for that as well as it gives the players room to tell their own stories.
Here’s one such story that I wrote about Vororte, a small settlement just outside the South Gate of Felstad.
Without further ado…
Not all fled when Felstad froze. In the villages south of the city, some remained to scratch out an existence in the frozen ground. The North was the only home they had ever known and fleeing to the South was not an option.
Centuries passed, and, while the Northfolk did not flourish, they also did not falter. In the South, they became the stuff of legend like the Frozen City itself.
When the thaw began and the Wizards returned, some saw an opportunity to rise above a hard life of mere subsistence. At first, this took the form of leading the Wizards and their retainers into the ruins. Those that made it back out were then put up in makeshift boarding houses to recuperate and plan their next forays into the city.
More wizards arrived, increasing the need for guides and accommodations. The Wizards who remained also needed supplies and hirelings to replace those who perished in the ruins of Frostgrave.
Many of the Northfolk became discontented with the seemingly endless stream of Wizards and unsavory retainers who had come to flood the villages. Recognizing this, a particularly enterprising Northman by the name of Yezdan saw an opportunity to continue to better his fortunes.
While leading expeditions into Felstad, Yezdan observed that Vororte, a small settlement just outside the south gate, was in a considerably better state of repair than the city itself. He teamed up with Kertner, a hedge Wizard who arrived with the first wave and kept Yezdan on retainer as his principal guide, to transform Vororte into a bustling base of operations for those who ventured into the ruins.
The Northfolk who relocated to Vororte to work in the inns and shops are the hardest bitten of their lot, willing to do most anything for a few gold crowns. Combine that with the temperaments of the adventurers, professional soldiers, thieves, thugs and zealots who make up the Wizards’ expedtionaries, and you have the foulest district this side of the Black Den of Amarantos.
The next step will be to name and more fully describe the homebases from Frostgrave as these make up the majority of the buildings in Vororte. I’ll post the results here to Little Wars when I get around to it.
As always, I’m happy to field comments and questions over on Twitter