Monday, 8 February 2010

Using RPG adventures to Wargame - Stage 1

Overall I have to say that the weekends experiment was fun. It definitely  felt more RPG than our normal pitch battle games. Perhaps the background story fueled this feeling. It helped that the RPG I was looking at was designed to introduce new players to D&D, so was very linear. This led to an easy set of connected encounters that could be led one to another without actually doing the roleplaying bit, which is the point. I'll looking to (skirmish) wargame here, not roleplay. Also having a small number of characters to take from one encounter straight into the next was nice. Arabiansquire enjoyed that continuity and also the smaller battles were over quicker, so the changes in scenery and opposition extended his enjoyment and attention span. He's already said he's looking forward to continuing the story next week. It won't be so easy for him this time. Surely he can't roll so many moral testing gruesome kills two weeks running???

Problems I forsee are for using regular RPG adventures and trying to follow them in a sequence of battles. Most encounters happen through the choices the players/characters have made. Without these choices the reasons for the encounters (read battles here) become strained at best. It must be said that Songs Of Blades and Heroes (the fantasy ruleset of choice with the young lad) is perhaps a bit too simple to deal with more complex interactions. It's not designed for that. I've still not managed to read through my copy of Two Hour Wargames "Legends of Araby" yet. A brief flick through would seem to have some gaming devices to put the adventurers in a situation where a battle may or may not happen. It'll have to be slightly tweeked to include the fantasy races (Stats are downloadable from the THW yahoo site) but I've really to get my reading glasses on before I can think about that. One note is that the THW site doesn't list the rules for sale anymore (although I've seen them on a pdf download store somewhere).

Another problem is there can be alot of abstact reading in RPG adventures that won't come into wargaming. Place descriptions, NPC motives, etc. I'm sure that with a bit of practice you'd be able to do an initial skim through the adventure to get the jist of it, then return to pick out the meat that you want. It's still a lot more preparation than is usual for a skirmish game (the point of which is that its quick), but I've not run a decent length set of campaign battles before so maybe no more than you'd expect.

Overall this seems like an exercise work doing. I've still a good amount of investigation to do. I suspect that my early thoughts on what the adventures will bring may change by the end. It may be that instead of following the RPG adventure to create a campaign I will be taking out the inspiration from in the pages, maps and NPC's to form a campaign.

I'll have to get reading and thinking to find out...

1 comment:

  1. Thanks AK, this looks awesome! I'm very tempted to break out the Hirst Arts moulds, make some modular dungeons and run a similar campaign with my 12 year old!

    On another topic, I really like your writing, would you fancy posting on my own blog 'A Year of Frugal Gaming?', either way, please send me PM through blogger or email me at thefrugalgamer(at)