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Fan Expo 2016 Playtest

Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 4:11 pm
by Chall
I had the pleasure of being able to run Vanagard at Fan Expo in Toronto. There were no pre-gens, we made the characters while we played. This went smoothly and by the end of the session we had a party of wily Van-Folk:
• Racoon, a playful racoon, now with a golden beard
• Skipper, a monkey who clashed with the Aesir and held his own
• Eventually, a goat who knocked the legs out of a giant spider.
• Patience, an elf eating vulture
• Briar, an old badger who was the level head of the group

In the first game we ran three stories:
• Gullveig tricked/bullied some Light Elves into stealing from the tombs of Phantom Wood because she enjoyed hearing them scream when they ran into ghosts. Our heroes sniffed out her plot but not before the Light Elves disturbed a tomb with links to Niflheim.
• The party found, and fought, an ancient spider to plug the Niflheim portal before Freya returned from the Vanir Congress.
• Immediately after, while Freya was out ‘having a talk’ with Gullveig, the Van-Folk gave permission to Frey to allow him and the Aesir to hold a rowdy party in his sister’s domain. A teenaged Frig took this opportunity to steal a chest full of Freya’s tears. Our heroes, with young Odin’s help, managed to outmaneuver her and re-secure the tears before their mistress returned.

• The Van-Folk singing an ancient song to calm the spirits of the forest and delay their decent to Niflheim
• The party convincing a moderately drunk Frey (this was a mature group of players) they never gave him permission to party in Freya’s domain. This was all on him.
• Monkey, in a gambit to delay Frig, convinced her that a Monkey dance was required to return to Asgard


The second session used the same characters from the first but new players got to add their own twist to them.
• The Van-Folk were sent to Frey to tell him that Freya was very angry that he caused a rowdy party in her domain. They ended up attending a separate celebration with him that ended up in a clash with Angrboda and her wolves
• The Van-Folk were sent to catch a golden fish for Freya. At first it seemed that several mighty powers wanted it BUT in the end, it was all a test. Freya wanted to see if they were fit for an important mission.
• The Van-Folk were sent to secure more of Freya’s tears from the Dwarf King Ivaldi. This was made easier by the sudden visit from his brother, ‘Ugly Dan’.

• Summoning the spirits of goats everywhere to knock young Angrboda flying
• EVERYONE wanting that darn fish
• Racoon disguising himself as a dwarf, using Patience the Vulture as a beard, and then Ivaldi mistaking him for his long lost brother ‘Ugly Dan’. The party used this ruse to secure Freya’s red-gold tears.


These sessions allowed me to test how Vanagard works as a story game, a GMless game, and a standard RPG. They went really well and I got some stellar feedback. We’ll want to have map cards that are very evocative and provide plenty of ideas to players. We’ll want to push the dual nature of the game (Story Game, RPG). The difficulty level, so far, is good.

I had awesome players, I am thankful to them and Toronto Area Gaming, in allowing me to run Vanagard; thanks to such it will be a more awesome release, worthy of FoTN’s other amazing products.