In April I started my “Tales from Cubicle7” series, looking at the game output of British RPG publisher Cubicle7. I don’t think I could have chosen a better time to start. Why? Because in the intervening weeks, Cubicle7 has released a deluge of interesting information about its forthcoming releases. Where to start?
WFRP Starter Set is here!
I talked about the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Starter Set in my last column, but at that point, I hadn’t seen a physical set. Well, now I have (at the UKGE 2019), and it’s a thing of beauty. I can’t wait to dive into it and find a group of people to play it with. Kids, I’m looking at you!
Deluxe Enemy Within announced!
Ok, I’m extremely excited about The Enemy Within. The summer I spent playing Death on the Reik is comfortably the best roleplaying experience I ever had. I already mentioned that the whole campaign is coming back, with extra features and a new ending, so old-timers can play it again. If that wasn’t enough, there is going to be a deluxe version too! Ten books in five slipcases with special covers. That’s an adventure module with companion notes for each of the stages of the campaign.
If that wasn’t enough, everybody who orders the set will be given access to “Directors Notes,” insider details from the designers themselves. The only thing not to like is the price. You can order the set in stages but the whole shebang will cost you £600! ($750). If I ordered these, I’d be the Enemy Without (a wife).
I never imagined I would be so excited about the Age of Sigmar RPG. I’ve stated before that I struggle with the Age of Sigmar universe, but I have been cautiously optimistic that Cubicle7’s attention to detail and insistence of getting lore right means the game will take place in a meaningful, tangible setting.
Things kicked off with a launch announcement at this year’s Warhammer Fest, which included a reveal of the (by now, de rigueur) starter set and the game’s official name, Soulbound.
After reading the two latest blog excerpts on how tests will work, I can’t wait to find out more about the game. The system was promised from the outset to be a D6 based system, far cry from its Old World counterpart. I guessed this would form some sort of dice pool system, which indeed it does. For tasks in the game, characters will roll a number of D6 according to their abilities and circumstance. The number of success they roll (again the success criteria will be governed by circumstance) will determine how well (or not) they achieve their task.
I’m not au fait with a huge number of RPG mechanics, but I love the comparative simplicity of these ideas. The rules look like they can easily include simple and complex tests, opposed roles, and most interestingly, combined party rolls. Love it when a plan comes together? Make that plan, then roll fistfuls of D6 to see if you machinations come off. If that’s not Warhammer, nothing is. For more details on the mechanic, check out this Cubicle7 blog post.
Wrath AND Glory!
This press release completely blindsided me. Cubicle7 are taking over English language distribution of the Warhammer 40K RPG, Wrath and Glory. They had copies of the starter box to look at at the UKGE and it’s another lovely package. Much like Age of Sigmar, it can be difficult to imagine what general life is like in the 41st millennium. If there is “only war,” what’s the point of going out for a meal with friends? Obviously, the 40K universe has decades of backstory to fall back on, with books like the Eisenhorn trilogy looking well beyond the mass battles of the core 40K ruleset.
Step up, Wrath and Glory. This game will take you beyond Space Marines and make anything possible in the grimdark world of 40K. Handled properly, this game has the potential to be huge. Cubicle7’s track record at embellishing established and much-loved universes place it in an excellent position to unlock a grimdark future we can all look forward to.
One Ring 2.0.
Talking of established and much-loved universes, another unlooked-for announcement was that The One Ring is getting a second edition. Ignoring the oxymoronic nature of a second One Ring, this is exciting news for those of us who missed the canoe down the Anduin, the first time around.
My teenage self had a copy of Middle Earth Roleplaying, which I carried everywhere and never played. I seem to remember reading it a lot, but never quite understanding it. I have always wanted to play games set in Middle Earth and, having not been in a position to when the One Ring first came out, I’d love to give its second edition a try. Or, at the very least, have the book sitting on my shelf, imagining that I’ll play one day… because that’s almost the same thing.
Just reading through the announcement gives me butterflies of excitement (possibly I need to get out more). The game will be set 25 years after the fall of Smaug and some 50 years before the events of The Lord of The Rings, with shadow returning to Middle Earth. We can expect a 352-page core book, a new starter set, guides to Minas Tirith and Moria, and a whole lot more. I was obsessed with Minas Tirith as a teenager, so I can’t wait to see this.
It’s an exciting time for Cubicle 7, with so much content appearing for many much-loved franchises. (Don’t forget they also produce the Doctor Who RPG.) It’s great to see the company working on so many fronts to fulfill the needs of so many players. I feel the need to clone myself in order to do even half of the forthcoming material justice.
This summer I’m hoping to introduce the children to the wonders of WFRP with the starter set, and from there, who knows? I very much want to try out the D6 mechanics of Soulbound, but the call of the One Ring is strong. We wants it, precious.