Monday, May 3, 2010

Reign: A Game of Lords and Leaders

I'm a big fan of Greg Stolze's work. I liked it when he wrote for Godlike (a game I will likely try to do tomorrow), and I an currently enamored of his fantasy game Reign. It uses a system known as ORE, or One Roll Engine - essentially, the idea is that you can use a single roll to resolve just about anything. You use a pool of ten-sided dice, and instead of aiming for a target number, as with White Wolf games, you go for matching sets. The number that is matched tells you how well you do, while the amount of matches tells you how fast you do whatever it is you are doing; so 2 10s would be represented as 2x10, and 4 5s would be 2x5. Being the One Roll Engine, you can also create your character this way, and while I'd love to use some of the supplementary material, I shall restrain myself and keep to the core book. For this kind of character generation, you start with a score of 2 in the six primary stats: Body, Coordination, Sense, Knowledge, Command, and Charm. Then you roll 11d10 - to ensure that you get at least one matching pair; the matching pair(s) determine the professions your character has held. So, lets roll: 7, 7, 7, 6, 6, 3, 3, 10, 8, 4, 2. 3x7 gives me a career of Canny Sage, meaning I get +5 ranks of the Student skill in whatever field I choose, as well as +1 Knowledge, +2 Language skill, +1 Lore skill, and +2 Heal Skill. 2x6 gets me Foot Soldier, so I get +1 Body, +2 Fight skill, +1 Dodge skill, and +2 Parry skill. 2x3 is Street Entertainer, which gives me +1 Charm, +2 Perform skill, +2 Fascinate skill, and +1 Jest skill. That's it for professions; now comes the fun part. for each non-matched number, I can choose an outcome on one of three charts for my character's unusual experiences. So, for 10, I will choose Diplomatic Incident: I somehow caused a diplomatic incident, and got someone's attention; I get the Patron Advantage (5 points), but also gain Problem: Enemy. For 8, I'll go with Kidnapped by Barbarians, which gives me +1 Ride skill, +1 Endurance skill, +1 Plead skill, +2 in the Language of my kidnappers. For 4, I'll go with Caravan Debacle - a caravan I was with never reached its destination, and went terribly, terribly wrong; this gives me +3 Student: Navigation, and +2 Direction skill. Finally, for 2, I'll take Escaped a Death Sentence, giving me the Fool Lucky Advantage.Put together, this gives us:

3 Body, 2 Coordination, 2 Sense, 3 Knowledge, 2 Command, and 3 Charm

Language 2 (Truil), Language 2 (Dindovaran), Lore 1, Heal 2, Fight 2, dodge 1, Parry 2, Perform 2, Fascinate 2, Jest 1, Ride 1, Endurance 1, Plead 1, Student: Navigation 3, Student: Astronomy 5, Direction 2

Patron (5 points), Fool Lucky


As I can arrange these in any manner that suits me, let's spin it like this: Myruk Orser was, in his teens, a street performer, doing tricks for all that would stand and watch. It was a decent living, at first, but then, his nation, Uldholm, went to war with the Truil tribes, and the money began to dry up. It all came to a head when Myruk had the misforutne of telling a slightly-too-off-color joke in front of one of the leading guildmasters of the land; while he gained secret praise from the guildmaster's chief enemy, he also felt it wise to take up a new profession, and so he joined the army.

He marched and drilled with the best of the mediocre, but Myruk was never cut out for soldiering; his mind was always somewhere else. This was never clearer than when he went scouting in the wrong direction and was captured by the Truils. he found they were decent people, really, but his humor was not his best quality as a prisoner, and eventually the Truils decided to get rid of him - by tossing him off a nearby cliff. Luckily for Myruk, the cliff was not as steep or as deadly as the Truils thought, and so he thought himself lucky as he rolled down the hillside - especially when he ran into the Dindavaran caravan.

Sadly, the Dindavaran caravan was terribly lost, and despite his best efforts, Myruk was not a navigator, though he picked up quite a bit fromt he caravan's navigator before he died. Lost, alone, and near starving, Myruk stumbled back to civilization, and decided to put all his new skills to work - he became a sage's assistant, learning quickly of astronomy, herbs, and even picking up some of the language of his unlucky caravan. Now, though, his feet are itching for something else, and he is inclined to listen to them.

Myruk is not the best character ever, but he's certainly interesting enough. And if you like new and interesting games, I highly suggest Reign' the game world is different from almost every other fantasy world I have seen, and most of the material, besides the core book can be found for free on Greg Stolze's website. It's an easy system to learn, and a fun game to read, so check it out if you can.

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