Skip to main content

A First Look at Blade Raiders (still in Beta)



I was part of the Blade Raiders Kickstarter, and thus got my "first 75 pages" preview of the game, which contains the rules for character creation, combat, and magic.  I think I'll hold off on a detailed review of the game until the final product comes out, but I wanted to touch on a couple of quick rules mechanics that caught my eye.

First, there are no stats.  None. There's four background options, from which you pick three.  You then pick three talents, which represent broad abilities and skills (e.g. "fighter" or "water magic") and then there are specific skills that are developed through play.  Use your sword often enough, you'll get points in that skill.

This is an interesting aspect of the game, because what tends to be reflected in stats ends up reflected in talents.  For example, rather than have a high Charisma or Dexterity, you have the "Charmer"  or "Quick" talent instead.  But these same types of qualities share the same roster as magical spell schools or some skill-based notions like "Blacksmith" (which is a big deal, as you will see below).  I read Noism's comments regarding the use of stats in games, and immediately reflected on this game which has no mechanism for a discrete description of physical, mental, and social attributes.

The other aspect of game mechanics I found intriguing had to do with how they handle armor.  In most games, armor either reduces damage by a certain number of points (ala Champions) or reduces it completely (ala D&D).  In Blade Raiders armor is instead another pool of hit points from which the player can affect damage either in addition to or in lieu of the personal hit points of the PC.  For example, a PC hit with 6 points of damage can take 3 points to his armor, and another 3 points personally.  The 3 points taken off the armor are gone until the armor is replaced or repairs by a blacksmith (hence their value as a PC option), which personal hit points are healed by nature or magic.  This is a bit of tactical wrinkle.  Are you likely to be able to affect repairs easily by either being close to an NPC blacksmith or having one in the party, or are you more likely to be reliant on natural and magical healing?  You decide.

There's some other interesting tweaks in the game like only being able to play humans, every PC can access magic as a character build option, etc. but I will save that for my more detailed review.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A First Look at Prowlers and Paragons

For a long time I've been in the market for a new supers RPG.  Since running Marvel Heroic Roleplaying a few years ago, I've been looking at other games, including some that had been passed by the general public, e.g. DC Heroes Third Edition or Silver Age Sentinels.  This was based on the notion that supers RPG's are so niche and so under-performing as a general part of the RPG world that just because the game wasn't making a splash didn't mean it wasn't good.

Plus, I have my own tastes about what I like in a supers RPG, which I've touched on from time to time here, but to summarize I like a game that feels like a comic book, doesn't get bogged down in too much detail, but allows for PC growth and development in a tangible game-system way.  I also don't want to spend hours on character creation using a spreadsheet.  For that matter, it would be an added bonus if it could also accommodate a large number of players and didn't have glaring options…

Hexcrawling a City, an early look

One thing I've been slowly working on for the last year is another fantasy sandbox campaign.  My prior one was generally map-based, although a city featured prominently in it.  As time went by, it lost a lot of its "sandbox" quality and became more directed on my part.  In the process, I think it lost something.

So, after being away from fantasy for a solid year, it's time to get back to it.  I spent some of that last year thinking about cities.   Some fantasy RPG treat cities on a very detailed level, with maps of streets, etc.  But while that's fun "map porn" for GM's, how often would the players actually be seeing or using a map like that?  And how long would it take for them to just accrue that knowledge by exploring the city.  I've lived in my current city seven years, with a car, and I don't know how all the cities line up.  What I know are areas, neighborhoods, etc. some intimately, others not so much.  And if I was going to a new cit…

Large modular dungeon tiles

I made five 4" by 4" dungeon tiles, which is 80 square inches, almost twice my usual batch of tiles.  When added to what I've done already, this is how big a single room I can make:


14 by 14 squares, with four squares to spare.  That's a pretty big room (70 feet to a side).  If I wanted to mix it up, I could build something like this:


I'm probably going to take a little break from this project.  It has turned out well, but until I'm closer to doing a fantasy game I'm going to focus on the games I'm actually doing.
Speaking of which, it's game night tonight...