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Vanagard RPG - Bi-Weekly Viking Mayhem
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Author:  Chall [ Sun Oct 23, 2016 3:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Vanagard RPG - Bi-Weekly Viking Mayhem

Some old friends of mine have joined me in Ottawa. We just started gaming on Fridays, last Friday I ran the RPG version of Vanagard for them. They let me run Ragnarok with Vanagard rules so I can playtest more. I made two small tweaks to accommodate:

* Rather than using Nature Cards, I shifted to Archetypes; Instead of Raven and Elk characters, we got an Ulfhednar and a Stalo.
* We tweaked the Talents, to make them a tad more regal and aggressive.

We used the DoTN lifepath tables to flesh out the characters, the players made their decisions on Archetypes, Talents, and Verses based on them. I also gave them 1 extra Essence and a starting treasure card.

Then we played. The both characters were sent to investigate a shining star, that could be seen dancing on mountains tops at night. They caught the star to find it was actually a Lois Alfar Queen who was looking for her son. A Svart Alfar had kidnapped him and was forcing him to use his magic to grow poisoned fruit. The characters found the villain, defeated him and his hounds, and returned the prince to his mother. She rewarded them with her glowing necklace and a skin of Lois Alfar mead. It's good they got the necklace, one of the dwellers promised it to Angrboda; this will lead into the next adventure.


Some highlights:
* JM's character, the Stalo, ended up lost in a blizzard and walking into an outlaw hall.
* R's character, the Ulfhednar, failed her Lead Wyrd and Queen Drifla sent a troll-blooded 'guardian' with her to ensure her returns.
* JM spent Work, because he didn't draw enough Play, when entertaining the Lois Alfar Queen. This resulted in her not listening to his story, but instead, enjoying his other 'attributes'.
* JM used his treasure, a Charm from the Vanir goddess Ran, to helped him circumnavigate the rapids and whirlpool that lead to the Svart Alfar's dark Midgard cave.
* Both characters rocked the battle with the Svart Alfar. They drove him off and defeated his hounds.

The Take Away
* The Vanagard RPG is flexible, with minor tweaks it can be made to work with other genres.
* When Wyrding difficulty I chose to leave the runes I drew on the table, rather than replacing the in the bag. This lead to an interesting aspect of play. If the player's get hosed in the beginning of the adventure they know things must get better later on, because the tough runes are being spent. However, if it's a cakewalk at first, they know that the hammer will soon come down when all that's left in the bag is the pain; it's a fun sort of tension. It also lessens the blow of drawing difficult runes, yes you have to deal with them but once they're played, they're in on the table and won't be a problem until the bag is empty.
* One of the players found shuffling index cards to be tricky, they don't shuffle well. He really wanted to draw Runes instead of cards. We discussed letting him use a character sheet instead, he'll draw one up, it'll have zero effect on the rules and increase his enjoyment of the game.
** The characters being a deck of customised cards is novel approach, a lot of players like it, though this is the 2nd time I've gotten feedback otherwise. Most folks like the cards, about a 5th do not. However, I don't see a reason why we couldn't include a character sheet for those who want them.

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