27 January, 2013

Mordheim Lessons

Last night, my wife Leah said..."I'm bored, let's play Mordheim tomorrow".

So today we did. We dug up the old rulebook, the town criers, the annual (can you really call it an annual if there was only ever one of them?), and our assorted print outs that have sat in untouched folders ever since we moved house over two years ago. We've played other miniature games in the meantime, not many, but a few. But Mordheim was the game that hooked Leah into the hobby of lead figures (she still hates plastics with a passion, I dislike them too and we've been put off several games that use plastic figures).

Mordheim is a fun game and its design concepts have played a major influence in several of my designs, but it has it's problems.

The mechanisms of the game are heavily derived from Warhammer Fantasy Battle. Combat consists of many interconnected rolls...first a roll to hit, then a roll to injure, then a possible roll to save versus that injury, and then a roll to see what that injury actually does. It's a slow process, it speeds up a bit with some experience but it's still fiddly.

The fun I rediscovered today comes from the strategies of building and developing the warband. It's these elements of the game that I've tried to replicate in the character development aspects of Ghost City Raiders, but there is something interesting about developing a group of individuals. It's got me thinking.

Perhaps there is room for adding followers into the existing mechanisms of Ghost City Raiders. At high levels of traditional RPGs like D&D, there is the chance for a character to develop an entourage, even during dungeonbashing there is a general series of roleplaying tropes about "hirelings".

When you really delve into the side mechanisms within Mordheim, there are some great storytelling elements. These include the various outposts around the shattered city of Mordheim, each with their own flavours, variable availability of uncommon items, rules for developing encampments of your own. These could easily fit the Ghost City Raiders game as it currently stands. It could be a fun way to expand the game.

There are a few other mechanisms from Mordheim that I really like, and some of these might creep in as optional rules as well.

Since Games Workshop don't seem to care much about the product, someone might as well extrapolate and evolve the mechanisms involved.
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