Gary checks out Wyrds first pen and paper RPG
After almost a years extra wait, my Through The Breech (TTB) Kickstarter has arrived! Now I’m not going to go on a rant about Wyrd not delivering on time etc etc because of one simple thing, they communicated! Because of the tardiness backers also got a free Arcane fate deck and a Lilith crew. Thank you very much!
In this article I will make reference to the fictional world and the actual miniature game ‘Malifaux’. If you are unaware of this amazing game and story then it’s probably worth check out Ben’s article here before continuing with this one.
I’m a massive fan of pen and paper RPGs, and when I found out that Wyrd were releasing one for Malifaux I got very excited! I was even more excited when I learnt that Mack Martin was the lead designer.
For me the two most important elements to a great RPG are mechanics and character creation. The mechanics should be smooth but not so simple that it’s not worth going through the motions, and they should never NEVER stop the story from being the star role. Character creation should be fun and get you excited about playing him/her. It’s should be clear as it’s normally new players doing it and should explain, in-game, what the stats and skills you’re choosing relate to.
So, does Wyrds new baby cut the mustard? Well, in my humble opinion, yes but with a few caveats. Character creation is very close to being perfect but it slips up on some very basic things. To me, it’s written as if you already know how to do it and the steps are just a simple summary of what you need to do. A little more detail here is sorely needed. In the pursuits section, your started talent isn’t even labeled as such. Basic stuff like this can be confusing to a new player.
Mechanics in mind, to put it very simply, if you know how to play Malifaux you can learn this very quickly. Which is fantastic! It’s exactly as any Malifaux fan would want it. They do add some extra actions to make ‘dramatic time’ more interesting. The other thing you need to know is you use cards from a communal ‘fate deck’, rather than dice like most RPGs. At times though, constant flipping of cards slows down the story and at other points the cards seem a bit shoehorned in. But these are very rare occasions, and I think the design team have done a great job. I think it must have been difficult to build the mechanics around the cards but it’s turned out very nicely indeed. Personally, I’d still rather roll some dice, but I do love dice.
Should you buy into this system? If you love Malifaux and want to get into pen and paper RPGs then this is a perfect gateway game but hopefully Wyrd will release some sort of ‘helper’ PDF for character creation. If you are already into pen and paper RPGs, don’t over look this one as it has some cool new takes on the genre. If you’re not at all into Malifaux then maybe give it miss but if there’s even a hint of steam punk love in your pneumatic bones then give it a go!
On friday we shall be releasing a mini-cast where ‘The Tabletop Project’s own Jan Proudley creates his character with Gary.
Love to your mothers