Last Saturday, we had our first game of Otherworld Fantasy Skirmish. What a fantastic game system! We only played the introductory scenario, which is a good old fashioned Barroom Brawl. This uses very basic, low level characters to introduce you to the principals of the Otherworld rules. Each side had the same characters, a Veteran, Pickpocket, Worshipper and Beserker. The rules are designed to be played by two players, so we had to develop a way to allocate initiative and fate to three or more characters.
In a game of Otherworld, Initiative and Fate are very important. You do not get to activate every model, every turn, but if you spend two fate you can buy an additional activation. At the start of each turn, in the standard twio player game, both players roll a D6 to determine starting initiative and fate counters. The higer score goes first and the lesser roll is subtracted from the higher roll, the result is halved and rounded up and this determines the amount of fate the starting player has. Anything left over from high roll minus low roll is the second players fate. What I did to take a mechanism that would work for any number of players, was to write down all of the combinations of two dice rolls and work out how much fate would be allocated. Their are 36 combinations possible, so a number from 1 to 36 was engraved on the top of a counter and the amount of fate on the bottom half of a counter. This gives the same odds / distribution as rolling the two dice. These chits were then drawn from a bag to determine order of activation (lowest first) and number of fate points.
At the start of the game all of the characters are unarmed. The Innkeeper has wisely decided that weapons should be kept in a chest in the backroom behind the bar. A sensible precaution. This of course made the area of the bar and the room behind it awash with blood!
In Otherworld Fantasy Skirmish you always have hard decisions to make as you never have enough resources to go around so you need to be continually thinking about what your priorities are and focussing your resources there. To start off with you can only get enough activation counters for half of your models each turn, so the first decision is who to activate, secondly Fate tokens are very scarce, if you get one or two a turn you are lucky. You can spend one token to adjust a dice roll by one or two tokens to buy an extra activation.
Combat is pretty straight forward, what you need to roll to hit is determined by your skill with a particular weapon. If you have scored a hit you check to see if you have inflicted any damage by comparing the strength of the weapon you are using with the defense attribute of your opponent. If your opponent is wearing armor they are entitled to roll a saving throw. This is a simple but fast, effective and enjoyable (because it is easy to use and remember) system. Most characters have between one and three hit points.
The quick reference sheets that Otherworld supply as a free download are very handy and have pretty much all of the tables you need to reference during the game.
We made up some character cards that fit inside deck protectors with a photo of the character and all of it's stats for easy reference during the game. If any one is interested in having some of these as I design them let me know and I'll get them added as a free download from our website.
Our bar-room was put together with components from the Terra-Block terrain system. The pieces we are using are standard pieces that come pre-painted and just need gluing together with PVA glue. In the future we are planning to make a set as part of our 'Old School Dungeon' range which will have downloadable medieval stone cover sheets, like the dungeon sets.
The Otherworld system worked smoothly, and with the addition of our initiative / fate chits supported multi player gaming really well. Next weekend we will be playing a more advanced game to check out how the adventure deck and wandering monsters etc. add to the gaming experiance.