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Development Blog 01

Time to Forge Your Own Legend

Like the unstoppable Steel Behemoths of the dwarfs, Kings of War the Roleplaying Game is shaping into a mighty juggernaut and gathering ground-shaking momentum. Gather your band and steel your resolve, for Pannithor is in need of mighty heroes to help shape its destiny. Welcome to the very first Red Scar development blog!

Stake your own claim on Pannithor

The Kings of War Saga

Mantic’s Kings of War sprang into existence almost a decade ago as a ruleset designed to allow mighty fantasy armies of 28mm miniatures clash across epic battlefields. The setting behind the rules has expanded in the years since thanks to multiple supplements to the rules, the fast-paced Vanguard skirmish game, the popular Dungeon Saga board game, an expanded miniatures range, new novels, and even a global campaign that reshaped part of the world. No matter which medium the fans have used to romp across Pannithor, there has always been a thirst for more knowledge and new ways to explore its dangers. What better way to do so than on a personal scale with your own heroic (or villainous) crew?

Enter the Roleplaying Game

Tabletop roleplaying games (RPGs) allow groups of people to come together and weave their own narratives as they take on the persona of the characters from the setting they’re exploring. Often requiring little more than dice, a pencil, and a character sheet, a tabletop RPG provides a framework for the players to escape into an alternate reality where they can delve into dungeons, pilot sleek spaceships, solve deadly mysteries, and more.

In Kings of War the Roleplaying Game, we’re working to offer you epic narratives that shape living legends out of characters who are already heroes. Whether you’d like to claim your own crown from a fallen enemy, take your seat at the apex of a dusty necropolis, or become the shadowy master pulling the strings from behind the throne, never has there been a better time to take control of your destiny and become your own King or Queen of War!

Fuelling the Behemoth

The system behind Kings of War the Roleplaying Game is our very own TriCore ruleset, a lightweight system that uses flavourful mechanics to both drive the narrative and encourage character development. As our in-house sysem, TriCore has now been around for a few years itself. Much like Pannithor, though, it’s been through its own reforging process during that time. We’ve now spent a good part of the year touring various conventions for playtesting and feedback, and have also gathered a tight crew of early playtesters in that time. We’re close to throwing open the doors on Kings of War the Roleplaying Game and the TriCore system behind it, but we’ll be using a series of blog posts to introduce some core mechanics and design concepts of the system before we do so.

The TriCore Concept

 When we originally sat down to conceive TriCore, we approached the design with a view to tapping into the specific strengths that could be employed by a character. We defined these as a character’s reliance on one of three core features: innate ability, trained skill, and gear. Though it’s not a hard and fast rule of the system, theming areas of mechanics to multiples of three followed naturally on from the three opening features. There’s also a historical and mythical association to the power of three, which is impressive inspiration to draw upon. A slightly cheesy naming synergy was introduced at this point based around a triplet of words beginning with the same letter — abilities, skills, and gear became Talents, Trades, and Trappings, for instance — but that’s now thankfully been left behind.

Initially, each core feature would provide a specific way for the player to interact with the dice they rolled and we specifically chose to ringfence each feature. This meant that a character who drew on their innate ability to achieve their goals would have a very unique way to manipulate their dice, which was completely different to how someone who had trained their skills would accomplish a task. The Keyword system discussed in the next blog is a direct evolution of this early concept.

Internal playtesting proved positive, so we took the system to select groups and attended a few conventions. Which is where one of our other critical design focusses raised its head: accessibility. The system worked, but it became fairly obvious that the players didn’t necessarily understand the mechanics during the introductory sessions we were running. Everyone had fun, but we gathered that not everyone understood the combination of dice they were rolling, including any factors affecting the dice and their character’s abilities to offset those factors.

Characters and their traits are fundamental aspects of TriCore

Putting the Tri into TriCore

The core mechanic for TriCore initially drew on the three core features mentioned earlier, this resulted in players rolling three dice, with each die representing one of those features. Each die would begin as a d10 but would then be downgraded or upgraded depending on any influences to the roll, such as environmental factors that could affect the outcome, or the character’s own traits. This central aspect of the triplet of dice still remains to a degree, but the initial system of downranking dice proved to be a tricky barrier to entry.

In the streamlined system, players still begin with a core dicepool of 3d10, but the dicepool itself now shrinks or grows in relation to any Keywords that the character applies. A single positive Keyword — denominated as a +Keyword — can be applied from a stat, a skill, and an item of gear. This means that a dicepool can often reach 6d10, sometimes higher if teamwork or other positive factors are involved. Each task that requires a roll is then made against a standard Target Number (TN) of 7, with every die that equals or exceeds the TN equating to a success.

At its core (pun totally intended), TriCore is as simple as that. Of course, there are a couple of peripherals involved to rolling, such as a 6 failing forward by granting a success but also generating Payback, and 1s also generating Payback, but we’ll introduce those Abyssal nuggets alongside Keywords in the next development blog.

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Kings of War RPG Official Press Release

It’s Time to Seize Pannithor’s Crown in Kings of War the Roleplaying Game

A low fog had crept over the blood-soaked field, smothering both the dead and the cawing of the gathering crows. The cloying mist had turned the moans of the dying into an eerie dirge to Gnaeus Sallustis’s ears as he sat in quiet contemplation, counting the dead and remembering the faces of his fallen warriors. Nakir stirred and growled beneath him, his harness jangling as he shifted. The goblins had been annihilated, but the pyrrhic victory had once again carried a great cost. The dark forces of the world had rampaged forth from the Forest of Galahir too often recently. The towns and villages needed uniting. Forging a realm would require someone strong to triumph and earn the crown. It was time to find a new King or Queen of War.

Ultimate Collaboration

Red Scar Publishing is collaborating with Mantic Games to bring their popular fantasy setting to life with Kings of War the Roleplaying Game. Launching on Kickstarter in August 2019, players will begin as heroes and climb towards the true powers of their realm as they complete quests across a lush, rich world. Driven by Red Scar Publishing’s ENnie award-winning Creative Director, Marc Langworthy, the Kings of War RPG draws together Red Scar, Mantic, and Winged Hussar to delve deeper into the rich lore established by the Kings of War tabletop wargame and its siblings.

Mantic’s gaming vision is to create games that are accessible while remaining immersive and rewarding, and the Kings of War RPG is no different. The innovative TriCore ruleset is a lightweight system that gives the players scope to prove their heroism without being too complex or serving as a barrier to entry.  Using a Dicepool and Keyword mechanic, characters begin with a standard Dicepool and apply Keywords from their stats, skills and gear to gain extra dice. Players can select familiar character sets and races drawn from the wide range of good, neutral and evil races found throughout Pannithor.

Early playtesting has been very positive and the game has scored highly in development with both hardcore Kings of War fans and traditional D&D 5E players.

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Announcing New 2d20 License Partnership!

Returning to Kickstarter soon! 2d20 License2d20 License Partnership

Red Scar are very pleased to announce a new 2d20 license with British gaming giant Modiphius that will allow use of their impressive 2d20 system.

It may come as no surprise to some that Red Scar’s very own Marc Langworthy has been involved with many of Modiphius‘ RPG lines, including Mutant Chronicles 3rd Edition, Infinity, and Conan. With contributions ranging from storyline and rules to content, to line management of products, he’s learnt a thing or two about the system along the way. Switching to 2d20 will be as natural as night following day.

Why the switch?

Firstly, 2d20 is not only a tried, tested, and balanced system, it’s also well-regarded within the gaming community. Secondly, based on feedback, we also feel that our own TriCore system isn’t quite there yet. Rather than hold up the relaunch of the kickstarter further, we spoke to Chris Birch (head honcho at Modiphius) and asked if we could license the system that has piloted so many successful RPGs recently; in addition to those mentioned previously, there’s also Star Trek Adventures and the forthcoming John Carter.

Devil's Run 2d20 LicenseSeamless Transition

Changing to 2d20 will not only be seamless, but also well supported. Behind the scenes, the Modiphius family are amazingly supportive and on-hand to offer assistance when and where they can. The Quickstart 2d20 re-write will be made available as soon as it clears approvals, so look forward to further news on that soon!

We are very proud to announce ourselves as the very first license holders for the 2d20 system and look forward to meshing the rich post-apocalypse of the Devil’s Run with its innovative mechanics!

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Devil’s Run gets even more Savage!

Devil’s Run becomes an even more Savage World!

We’re pleased to announce that the Devil’s Run RPG will make use of the dynamic Savage Worlds ruleset produced by Pinnacle Entertainment Group.

Devil’s Run gets even more Savage!

Full Savage Worlds rules for experiencing the post-apocalyptic mayhem of the Devil’s Run wastelands will be presented alongside Red Scar’s own innovative TriCore ruleset. Gang sub-cultures, edges and career packages will be presented that will immerse players and GMs alike into the fierce fight for survival among the broken streets of our shattered world.

More teasers that will introduce both the Savage Worlds and TriCore variants of the rules will appear over the following weeks, so stay tuned for updates!

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The Devil’s Run RPG Bonus Material!

Great news folks! Red Scar Publishing has smashed one hundred likes in the wake of our RPG announcement, all thanks to your support and enthusiasm of course! As a small bonus teaser, here is an introductory piece of prose that describes the very moment when Cadence, current High Judge of the Justice faction, decided to take matters into her own hands.

There will plenty of art and prose teasers to follow as we roll along.

Enjoy the ride!

DR_RPG_bonus page