Saturday, May 15, 2021

Warpland Review

I was given the opportunity to review a prerelease version of Warpland by Gavriel Quiroga that was funded as a Kickstarter.

Before I dig into the material I just have to say that this is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read. I have a degree in graphic design and I am mesmerized by the art and the layout. Beyond that, the whole package makes you feel like you are wading into the setting as a traveler who might be weary of what they will face.

The art is a beautiful combination of illustrations and photography—full disclosure I rarely own printed games anymore but I will have a print copy of Warpland in my collection. It could easily sit as a coffee table book for your friends to discover when they visit. Its’ a magnificent thing of beauty and wonder.

Warpland is designed as a setting for any set of RPG rules and there is useful lore and plenty of brilliant charts to help you settle in. You can flip to nearly any two-page spread and have some nugget be the focus of that evening’s adventure or even your whole campaign. Seriously, let’s say you are running any RPG you own and you just need an idea, just open the book and you will find a description or chart to help you move things along.

What makes the work even cooler is the sweet rules system Warpland includes for you. Characters using this system have Agility, Might, Lore, and Wits as Attributes, and they start at 5 as a default and you can distribute 8 points among them. To perform an action you roll equal to or lower than your Attribute. If you don’t have the appropriate skill you have -2 modifier. Additionally, the Game Master can apply other modifiers ranging from +1 to -3.

For each point of Lore you have above 5 you gain a skill, however, these are broad and closer to professions and include things such as Technocrat, Warrior, Beastmaster, or Fool.

In combat, you roll at or below the appropriate Attribute to hit your enemy. If you roll two 1s you barely succeed and gain a combat Complication (a handy chart with 6 options which you are encouraged to roll randomly) and if you roll two 6s you will utterly fail and gain a Complication. Damage is determined by choosing the highest rolling d6 and a modifier that each weapon grants, for example, a +1 for dagger or +3 for a maul, and subtracting it from your target’s hit points. If a player succeeds and rolls an 8+ they gain an additional effect based on the type of damage slashing, bashing, or piercing. The system is player facing so the GM doesn’t need to roll and the player will roll to dodge against any attacks that target them. Each NPC is defined by a Level, which is a modifier to a player’s roll when interacting with them, the armor they are wearing (which deducts damage), Hit Points, weapons, and any special abilities. It's a straightforward and flavorful system that pairs perfectly with Warpland’s setting.

Character options include Gifts from the Void, powers of a demonic nature, and Mutations, strange alterations based on the nature of the Warp.

The system presented is well developed and has an old-school sensibility.

Beyond the game system any two-page you open randomly is filled with killer artwork, facts about the location, organization, or dweller within Warpland and generally has a table to roll upon for some cool twist.

I loved Gavriel's other work Neurocity and this is even better.


David Rollins said...

How do we order this thing if we missed the Kickstarter?

Cross Planes said...

That is a great question and we will pass it on.

Alexandre Hamelin said...

It's on DriveThru RPG

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