Friday, May 07, 2010

RPG for the age of sail: Beat to Quarters

I've recently been looking at the RPG Beat to Quarters from Ominhedron Games which is for roleplaying in the Age of Sail, specifically the era between 1780 and 1815. So this goes from the American War of Independence to the end of the Napoleonic era. This post isn't going to be a detailed review as I'll probably try and do one for sometime.

For  me as a fan of Patrick O'Brian's naval stories this did have a pretty immediate appeal which has been confirmed on actually reading the rules.

Unusually for a RPG the rules use a deck of playing cards as the randomising factor instead of dice, but this does give a method of having a broad set of outcomes and ranges of success by using the suit and value of the card, e.g. an ace of diamonds is not the same result as an ace of clubs. Resolution is at a high level rather than D&D style detailed approaches, for example to resolve sailing round Cape Horn you would have one test rather than navigation, seamanship, etc skill checks.

There are a number of features that I like about how the design models the social interactions of the characters and the milieu that they exist in, such as the ship they are serving on being modelled as a NPC and the ship's captain usually being a NPC rather than one of the player characters. Character generation is largely designed by the player, but includes random elements that I like as a spur to creativity.

I'll probably return to writing about this soon once I've played around with the character generation rules.

1 comment:

Vodkashok said...

Hi Dave - thanks for taking the time to write about BtQ. If you have any questions about the game, or want to share ideas with other players, we have a great little community over on the site who are always willing to help - and I try to answer any questions as soon as possible too!

Cheers, Neil (Gow)