Friday, December 2, 2011

Role Playing Game (RPG) Week: 5 of 6

by Nathan Stout (of AccordingToWhim.com)

Welcome to the 5th day of According To Whim's RPG Week! Last time I wrote I started into the period of my life where I left the full-blown RPG world and moved into the world of miniatures and Warhammer Quest.

Before you bash me and ask why I am covering something that is not an RPG I would have to say that Warhammer Quest is partly an RPG. You start out with a character and build up its stats and battle with monsters and collect treasure. That is basically an RPG. Warhammer does vary in the fact that once you are battling a monster (or whatever) that you follow certain guidelines a little more stringently than you would in an RPG.

There are several approaches to Role Playing Games that you see out there. There are those who play with nothing but the dice and the character stat sheets. There are some who like to use grid maps and miniatures so you know where characters are in relation to other characters and/or obstacles. There are even some games that don't use dice at all (but dice are half the fun!). Warhammer is close enough to being RPG like for me to classify it so (at least for this series of blogs).

I had seen Warhammer Quest in the comic stores for a while but was always frightened away by it's $80 price tag. It comes in a VERY heavy box loaded with parts and manuals. Warhammer uses cardboard tiles that you lay down in a random(ish) fashion to construct the dungeon that you adventure through. It also comes with lots of cards that represent different treasures and of course LOTS of miniatures. There are 4 characters and tons of other creatures to battle (rats, spiders, orcs, goblins, rat-men, etc). At some point I threw caution to the wind and bought it (probably on credit, knowing me).

Warhammer Quest plays like this... you pick a character (or build one custom... very RPG like) and travel with a group of your friends to various dungeons throughout the world of Warhammer (the rules for the 2 games are mostly interchangeable). You choose the pre-made dungeon randomly out of one of the books that comes with the game. There is a short synopsis as to why you would want to explore the dungeon and you begin. The players fight and gain experience and treasures like any RPG and if successful you get what ever reward lies at the end of the dungeon and the game ends... but it doesn't.

Warhammer Quest is an ongoing game for those who want to play it in an RPG type fashion. You keep your character and you travel to the next dungeon through the dangerous world of Warhammer. One of the books with the set outlines the various locations of the Warhammer world and places you can stop to resupply and even increase your character's stats. This is where it really becomes more like an RPG. Once you are done visiting which ever village, town, or city you decide on you can then go on to the next dungeon.

James and I (and sometimes his friends) played Warhammer Quest for about 5 years (on and off... mostly off). We have played most of the dungeons in the manual and a couple of our characters are very powerful. Some have died so that sucks, but that's the way the cookie crumbles. We haven't played for a couple of years now but I am sure he will come over some time and we will blow the dust off the game again.

That's basically all as far as RPG games (in relation to me). I still haul out the Robotech RPG stuff I still have and browse though it every once in a while. It's fun to see the maps and such I created for the games we played. It wasn't until later (in the D&D years) that was let in on the fact that I was probably over-doing the whole map thing. Sometimes you just have to describe where a player is, they don't it drawn out for them. I will liked drawing them though.

One final thing I remebered. During my time shortly after my D&D phase I got a game called Dungeons and Dragons Card Master. This was a card set that allowed you to randomly generate dungeons and monsters for your D&D sessions. It was also designed to be played as a single player game (which greatly appealed to me). I spent a bit of time playing the snigle player version but I found it very difficult at times. I seemed to die way too often!

Chris has talked about getting his brother or his friend Adam together so we can play a game of Robotech. I hope that happens because RPGs are fun. They can really take you somewhere you don't go often... your imagination.

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