This, by far, has been the most challenging blog post for me to write. I’m not usually one for reviewing things in any solid format; more putting my thoughts down for the blogsphere to read. So when it comes to penning out my thoughts on Guildforged – an RPG I’ve had the pleasure of playing with my Tuesday group written and hosted by our usual GM Ben Redmond – I’m not overly sure where I should begin.
I think it’s only fair to state from the off that I am not a Guildball player, so I am certain that players of the table top game will get more out of Guildforged than I ever could.
That’s not to say it’s a bad system I very much enjoyed playing as ‘Big Al’ from the Butchers guild and probably as hard hitting as a character gets in the Guildforged / Guildball setting. I am all about the hard hitting, guys!
What Ben has done by taking the world of Guildball and creating an entire RPG around it is actually pretty amazing. Expanding the world to those who aren’t familiar with the table top game and making it more accessible to people who don’t play the table top game – at one point I even toyed with the idea of getting a Guildball team as I was so inspired by Guild Forged; I didn’t mostly due to time and money constraints, but my husband plays. From what I know about Guild Ball, Ben has also expended on the other Guilds, allowing them to be played whereas you cannot (yet) in the Table top game, picking up the Seamstress’, Messengers and Hunters guilds (Though I do believe the Hunters Guild models were released while we were playing?) And there may be others that I cannot currently recall.
Although when we played all our characters were from different Guilds they all seemed to be brought together for the storyline of the campaign; which was something that went in Guild Forgeds favour, the party wasn’t limited to one specific guild unlike the table top game (with the exception of Union players.) And the clever adaptation of Influence and Momentum worked really well and added a dynamic to roleplaying that I’ve not yet come across in other games – allowing your character to have more than one ‘turn’ at doing an action during combat or allowing another character to jump the initiative cue. So if you needed to catch up to someone quicker you’d allow a faster character to move more. Or if you needed someone beating in, you allowed your more combat focused characters to take more turns (up to their influence cap) Adding bonus dice to your poll via the use of momentum also made you feel really epic!
It’s all looking pretty positive.
However, I did come across some light critique for the game as a non-Guildball player.
And that is the damage table.
Stating that you get to do a “Momentous, one damage.” Just seemed nothing short of sarcastic! Momentum is a dynamic in the table top game, just so we know. Now, doing one damage in Guild forged/ball isn’t a bad thing. It’s very good, actually. But, one damage just sounds and feels a bit crap! Big Al, could get up to four damage per turn, which is (as far as I know) the highest amount of damage going. It still just sounds naff!
And after speaking with the husband about pushing and dodges; they seem to work better for the tabletop game. I believe that pushing someone out of the arena/ring/board does more than just pushing them about the pub/combat area in the RPG.
Yet, as I have stated, this is because I am a non-guild ball player. From the other point of view, I can see that your character having their own playbook is a really great nod to the Tabletop game rules – and it would be great if you could get the template for the games cards and be able to make your own with your own picture of the character.
Seeing as Ben Redmond is an Award Nominated RPG writer, the game itself is pretty exeptional to begin with, but if you’re lucky enough to be able to get a game with him as your GM as well, then you’re really getting your monies worth from Guildforged. And seeing as it’s all free it’s totally worth it! I urge everyone to give it a go, be them a Guildball player or not as I really enjoyed the system and the campaign. I look forward to playing it again with the Tuesday group sometime.
You can read Bens write up (so far) of the groups adventure here