Ragnarok: Age of Wolves Bonus Material - Adding RPG Characters to R:AW!

Clint Staples

Adding Roleplaying Characters and Elements to Ragnarok: Age of Wolves


One of the stated goals of R:AW has always been to allow players to readily translate RPG characters from their roleplaying game of choice to R:AW so that they can play out battle too complex and large for their RPG system. And a lot of RPGs really bog down with higher numbers of creatures in the action. Who wants to play a combat where each turn lasts more than half an hour and a single combat could take all night! That is often the cost of a larger encounter in an RPG.

R:AW can manage fights of ten or more participants easily and quickly. And converting your characters is pretty simple too. Because of the way R:AW is constructed, you don’t need to stress over things that a lot of RPGs do. Just follow the steps below to convert, or create, a character for R:AW:


  1. Your character is automatically considered a Named Character in R:AW. Ragnarok: Age of Wolves has a lot of roleplaying elements in it already, and one of these is the difference between Named Characters and Followers. Named Characters always roll a Wyrd Die in any check or challenge, and certain abilities rare or unavailable to followers are available to Named Characters (like being a mage, for example).
  2. Choose the Race/Background nearest that of your character, or build one. Currently, R:AW Core has backgrounds for Human, Trollborn, Frost-Giantblood, Huldfolk, even Draugar. Online, we have provided several more. Chose the one that most closely fits, or use them as template ideas to build your own. Just make sure that your “opponent” is aware of what you have done and approves your “build”.
  3. Decide how experienced/powerful your character is according to the Rank Chart on pg. 9 of R:AW Core. A beginning character (say 1st Level in D&D) might be Regular, or Levy. But an adventurer with considerable experience under his belt should be Veteran. And really potent individuals could be Elite, or Hero rank.
  4. Choose the Wargear that best fits the way your character works in play. Is she a lightly equipped mage who prefers to keep her distance? A heavily armored warrior who wants to get stuck in? A rider who employs bow and blade in equal measure? Or something else? You could also do more than one “load-out” a cavalry version for encounters in the open air, but a foot option for dungeoneering, for example.
  5. Choose the weapons your character carries and uses.
  6. Together, Your Rank and Wargear determine how hard you are to hurt by adding Defense to the Wargear Armor Bonus. So a Veteran Medium Foot has a Defense of 11+2 = 13. If you use a shield, this is noted as a 13=1, because a shield can make it harder to be hit, but not all the time. Your Defense is the base target number for the To Hit rolls against you, so the higher the Defense, the harder it is to hit.  Your Rank and your Weapon’s To Hit are added together to determine how easily you hit and damage things. Your Outright Kill (see R:AW Core for what that means) is 18- your total “To Hit”, so a +3 To Hit means you have and Outright Kill of 15, written as OK 15.
  7. Take any Heroic or Supernatural Abilities that apply. Are you a berserker? Do you have magic? Etc. If you have spells, you need to take the Ability: Spells, then jump over to “Runes Magic and Spellcasting” for details on magery and to pick your spells. Mages in RPGs have a lot of spells that are more or less inconsequential on the battlefield of R:AW Core, and many can be simulated by a Magic Success (roll, adding your Magic Rank Bonus vs. a Target Number defined by the rules, the target character’s Rank + 11, or a base TN of 12). This is how things like Detect or Sense Magic are done. Also, manifestations of elemental energy (for someone with a Fire spell, R:AW Core can assume that you have the ability to start and extinguish campfires, light candles, etc, at will). So only take spells that are at the core of a particular character. And if your character normally has multiples, as a wizard in D&D might have Lightning Bolt AND Fireball, just choose one and be content.
  8. If your character has a signature thing she does that is not reflected in the Abilities, take a look through the 24 Runes and 20 Spells provided in R:AW Core. There is no reason that something that is a rune in our setting could not be a spell, or special talent in your game. Just make sure your opponent is OK with this before play begins.
  9. You are ready to play. You might want to tidy things up and put all this on a reference card. And if you have the Ragnarok: Age of Wolves War Deck, you can select any spells from it for easy reference.


Fate Points:

Many RPGs have some exhaustible resource or mechanic for swinging fortune in the favor of the Heroes. In Ragnarok: The Great Winter, we have Fate Points, which represent the hand of Wyrd tipping the scales of fate for you. You can port that mechanic to R:AW easily.


Characters can earn Fate Points in Play, or begin a game with 1 FP per Rank.


Earning FP:

  • Each time your Named Character seizes and objective, or defeats an enemy Named Character, she gets a Fate Point.


A Fate Point can:

  • Force a reroll on a Roll that succeeded against you.
  • Grant a reroll on a Roll you just made.
  • Restore 1 Wound to you, or to 1d4 of your Followers.
  • Ensure that you survive the game when you are taken out (having lost your Final Health point). You automatically succeed on your Survival Roll if one is called for.


I will add some examples over the course of the week! Check the comments on this post for details.