Ragnarok: Age of Wolves Bonus Material - Barrowlands Playset Material!

Clint Staples

A few days ago, we were madly demoing Skirmisher Publishings offerings at GenCon! Three of us had boots on the ground and so each of us took on a different product line to showcase to the enthusuastic gamers at "The Best Four Days of Gaming"! My part was to run session of the brand new playset for Ragnarok: Age of Wolves, which we call Into the Barrrowlands!

 "Into the Barrowlands" is a fast and furious game of Competitive Viking Tomb-Robbery (TM) in which each player takes command of a smalll warband delving in the Barrowlands - a vast expanse of grave-mounds, tombs, and other lesser burials that exists as a massive themed (undead if you need a hint as to the theme) adventure complex that exists in the Ragnarok: The Great Winter RPG (which Brendan Cass introduced to great effect via three scenarios for jam-packed sessions of gamers at the Con.

Of course, in the Great Winter RPG, each player controls one hero for the most part, as in many other RPGs. In RItB, each player commands a warband of between four and seven models (totalling 10 Health in the game). I used the tyemr models because RItB is a miniatures game like its parent Ragnarok: Age of Wolves. But where RAW gives you control over a larger force of twenty or more warriors, monsters, thegns, and spellcasters, R:ItB concentrates the action - and sets each warband against the others AND against threats inherent in the setting - currently that comprises a lot of Draugar (Norse Undead) because "Barrowland".

There are a few other changes between RAW and RItB. Where RAW is a full-on skirmish game, usually between two sides, RItB has many of the aspects of a Board game, while stlll staying close to its roots as a Skirmish game. So like a baord game, as counters (in this case, models representing the warband members) moved through the Barrow complex, they generated encounters and enemies according to a draw at the beginning of each turn. They were then free to pursue those encounters or foes (or in the latter case be pursued by them), attempt to explore onward, or act against other warbands that they came upon. Success was measured by Victory Points, which could be gained from amassing gold, Artifacts (like the Gilded Warcoat, or the Firebrand), by defeating enemy Named Characters, or fulfilling certain conditions on "Warband Cards" that they could play.

Each warband gets a deck of 8 Warband Cards, which grant them certain abilities specific to the "personality" of their warband, and can be played to gain advantages, and sometimes Victory Points. They help to give a warband a distinct feel and play style on the table, and no two cards, or decks, are the same.

So the Nord warband, led by Haeke the Splitter, has a card called "Never Leave a Companion". It reads: "Play in the End Phase. If you have not yet lost a Nord, gain Victory Points equal to the Number of the Current Turn." This reflects the heroic mindset, and the sense of fellowship and loyalty that pervades Nordish Warbands. The Outlaw warband,having forsaken such beliefs if they ever shared them, is motivated by other factors, like "Loot: As long as this card is in play, Outlaws may commit at least 1 member, who must spend one Turn Searching a Zone they have not Searched, for loose valuable, gaining 1 Victory Point."

There are seven Warbands at the present time: Nord, Outlaw, Bergjotnar (Stone Giantblood), Trollborn, Ulfhednar, Huldrfolk, and Wyrmfostren (sometimes known as the Ormlatr), each with its own Warband deck, and its own membership.

(Anlath Skullsplitter stands before the Barrowlands with his warband of Ormlatr).

 

Over the next few weeks I will provide everything you need to play Ragnarok: Into the Barrowlands, including the Barrow Deck, stats for the warbands, the Warband Cards, Rules and a Quickplay sheet. The games uses just about all of the rules from Ragnarok: Age of Wolves, so you WILL need that to play. Today, I am going to provide the Quickplay Sheet (which is a handy reference for each player to have at the table), The Warband Decks and the Warband composition table. If you have the RAW book, and/or have read other posts in the Ragnarok: Age of Wolves series, you can probably find many of the statsblocks for the warband members.  At a later time, I will post these on handy play cards as well. Of course, the War Deck provides stats for spells and runes, as well as for many of the characters and followers, so that is of terrific help as well!

Designer's Note: Technically, there are eight warbands, because it is possible to the play the Draugar as a warband - with their own Warband Deck, and goals that are, as one might expect, at cross-purposes to those of the ones looting their Barrrows. But the rules for this are still very much in playtest, so we will come back to the that at a later time. Similarly, there is plenty of room for expansion: allowing for Ljosalfar, Dokkalfar, Dvergar, and other warbands, as well as recruiting from other warbands, all of which are currently under consideration and playtest as well. So Stay tuned!

Next Week: The Barrow Deck!