Ragnarok Playtest

Darin Hamel

Play Test 2/12/2018

            Ragnarok is a table top RPG that is nearing the end of it’s development period. It takes place in semi-historical 1000 AD, Northern Europe. The Gods of the Norse are real and Ragnarok is fast approaching. That is the main theme of Ragnarok. Times are tough and getting tougher. It doesn’t play like any other RPG I am familiar with. The rules are intuitive and very realistic, but basic concepts are challenged. Do you want that fancy plate armor? Nope. Iron is scarce, and for that matter so is food. You go on an adventure and turn your booty over to your local king, called a Jarl. That takes some getting used to. As does the morality of being ok with killing just about anybody, as long as it is not in secret.

            I’ve played three sessions and the first few were with a pre-generated character. It was a descendant of the fire giants with the power of fire spells. When I got my mind around the new system, I made my new character who is a Seidrmadr named, Allin. That’s a male Seidr mage. Usually they are women, and when men practice Seidr you are considered a girly man. I’m OK with that. My guy is a badass with some killer divination and glamour powers. The other magic type is called a Galdr and they use Runes to make magic staves, cast spells, and they can even cast them to get simple answers about the past, present, and future.

            What is really new to me is the d6 system. You get 2d6 for unskilled rolls and 3d6 for skilled rolls, with derived attributes added onto that. One of those die is also a different color and it is called a Wyrd die. If that one matches your other two something special happens. You don’t want double 1s. That’s a critical fail and the Sagamaster gets a bonus die to use against you. If you get a matching pair other than 1s, you get a bonus die to use or save for something more important. I was dubious about the added complexity at first, but after playing a few times I really like it.

            Another thing that is different about Ragnarok is you don’t start out as a weak first level character. You start out as pretty powerful and are already considered heroic with a story. Everything in Ragnarok is story and reputation driven. If you want to advance your character you need to have worthy deeds to brag about. If you want to increase your bow ability, then you need to do some great action with your bow. Same thing with magic or anything else. You advance by doing great deeds, not collecting experience points.

            The first session of my new character started out with me being tied up by some people and getting rescued by the normal party members. The majority of the party attacked from the front, but one of the party is a dragon in disguise and he attacked from the rear. During the battle I only saw the dragon fighting and was impressed. After the battle it was discovered the people who had me tied up were just mostly desperate displaced villagers. My opinion of the party is mediocre at best, but I am really impressed with the dragon. This is Allin’s diary:

 

Allins Diary, Day 1

Dear Diary, I was rescued from some bandits tonight by a dragon. There were some people there who helped him. Turns out the bandits who kidnapped me were just normal villagers, except for that Berserker lady. Wow, she was tough. The dragon tore through a few people who scared me the most and left after the so-called other “Thegns” slaughtered half of the villagers instead of just trying to talk to them. I help as much as I could by casing a curse on one of the bad guys. What a bunch of brutish thugs. They’ll definitely need me to guide them or they will get in all sorts of trouble. I think I will travel with them a bit and keep them from slaughtering more innocent villagers and maybe I can see that heroic dragon again.