Friends and foes, for your gaming pleasure, here is the official thread for my Year Zero hack, Nordsaga.
[reserved space for playtest link, when ready]
Here are some of the features (nothing set in stone yet), put into a scrollable quote-box to save space:
- The setting is medieval Europe (1200 AD) with a strong Viking feel.
- Otherworldly races from Norse myth now reside in our world (Midgard) - the Aelfar, Dvergar, Jotnar and Nissar are all playable races alongside Humans.
- There is ethereal Corruption from the Norse worlds of Ice (Niflheim) and Fire (Muspellheim).
- Professions are being replaced with Careers. There are currently 32 Basic Careers available at Chargen, with between 8 and 16 Advanced Careers planned. The idea is for PCs to move between careers over the life of a campaign. Like similar games (WFRP), your PCs don't start as heroes. They are normal, mundane people. The adventures you play together tell the story of how they advance to glory (or perish in the attempt).
- Each Career has a list of Talents and other options available during Advancement. Rather than having every Talent and Skill available to everyone, this keeps things a bit more focused on the Career at hand.
- Talents behave similarly to Aspects in FATE. Essentially, if a PC can explain how a Talent could be used in a situation, they get +1D. This removes the need to track lots of Talent-specific rules.
- To counter overly-powerful Talents, I am creating Tactics & Runes, which are basically combat & magic Talents and will have specific rules attached.
- The setting is low fantasy (it's our world after all), so magic styles will be few, but thematic (rune, blood, dark).
- Magic will be overhauled, removing Willpower Points, instead relying on more dangerous miscasting tables and ingredient/requirement lists to temper constant spell-slinging.
- There are 6 Attributes (though 2 are derived and not usable with Skills - Willpower & Toughness) and 16 different Skills (split between Basic & Advanced) which are not paired with Attributes.
- Skills can only go to a maximum of 3 points (Apprentice, Journeyman, Master), with the 3rd point only being accessible to Advanced Careers.
- Misery is replaced with two types of Trauma: Wounds and Stress. These do not reduce Attributes (players with Coriolis will be familiar).
- Weapons have critical values which (with enough successes) allow crits prior to breaking an opponent.
- Combat options will be simplified, mainly by adding Stunts back in, now requiring more successes to do more advanced moves.
- Falling prone will only happen when a Stunt is triggered (and knocking someone over is chosen), for certain Critical Injuries, or for bonus dice on a Dodge roll. Or PC choice.
- And finally, the big one - dice pools. I am only having two pools (Base and Gear), with all 1s causing Wounds or Stress when pushed. To counter the deadliness of this, and make the game more gritty, the dice used in Nordsaga are D8s. Yes, that's not a typo. Eight.
Now that's not a full list, but those are the main changes.
I will post updates here with teasers and excerpts from the book as it progresses, and I'm hoping to get the first playtest into your hands within the next coupe of months (real-life permitting).