Tuesday, September 10, 2013

RavenFeast: Weregeld (Optional Rules – W.I.P.)

Tried something new this week - each player was given 7 “coins”, which were plastic bingo chips spray painted silver.

Players should start off with the same number of coins. Agree to the amount before the game starts. The coins are considered to be in the possession of the figure representing the leader of each player’s force.

If the leader is killed in such a way (like missile fire) that his figure is not in the clutches of the enemy, the figure with the next highest morale - preferably a hero or the highest point value - gets the coins. Yes, they just magically appear in his purse. If it happens in melee, the player must maintain possession of the corpse to retain the coins.

Any unspent coins may be looted from a figure by an opponent if it is killed or captured. Place the coins next to the figure. At this point the coins are in limbo and may not be spent by anyone. It takes an entire turn of another figure standing next to it doing nothing else – no movement, missile, melee, etc. – to search the body for the coins. Once this is done, they become the property of the other leader, and may be used normally in the current battle.

Dragon’s Curse (Even More Optional)
The figure that successfully searched the opposing figure for coins must pass a morale roll or flee completely off the table with the coins. The figure counts as killed and the coins are removed from play. The warband’s current leader is immune to the curse and does not need to make a morale roll.

Modify Rolls
The coins could be used to modify player’s rolls of their own dice, effectively improving one stat for that roll. More than one coin could be used at a time, but the coins had to be paid before the roll was made. It could have been used for any die roll; even the initiative roll (in this case lowering the final result by one for each coin spent). Using a coin this way removed it from play. As a roll of “6” was an automatic failure, most of the coins were spent on troops with stats of 4 and below.

Ransoms and Bribes
The coins could also be used to bribe the opposing side. Say your jarl has just taken his third hit. You could offer coins to his attacker to spare his life. These coins could then be used by the attacker in the current battle to modify rolls or, later, bribe the opponent to spare one of his warband. There isn’t a set value for each figure’s ransom, so it’s up the players to haggle. The attacker can always decline the offer, and things carry on as normal.

If accepted, coins change hands and the figure that was spared is treated as if it has just failed a morale roll: it immediately makes a full move towards its starting side of the table and it must pass the next turn’s rally roll. It is not the target of free attacks. If it flees off the table or fails its rally roll, it counts as a kill. Any coins it still had in its possession are removed from the game. If figure stays on the table, the player who accepted the ransom is under no obligation to treat it differently from any other opposing figure. Yes, you can shoot it full of arrows or hack it to bits.

Another function of the coins could be to buy “mercenaries”. If there are an odd number of players in the game, both sides bid for the loyalty of the last warband. The overall leader of each side secretly places a number of coins in his hand. Other players on each side may add to their leader’s bid. The leaders reveal the amounts simultaneously. The mercenary warband must fight for the highest bidder. The coins of the winning bidder are removed from the game. The losing bidder keeps his coins. The mercenary has no coins of his own at the start of the game. The overall leader may use his coins for the benefit of the mercenary’s rolls during the game – at the leader’s discretion.

Tie Breaker
If a game ends in a tie, the side with the most coins left wins. Spend wisely.

Physical Representation
It doesn't have to be coins. Hack silver (chopped up silver jewelry) or other bits of treasure could work just as well.

Yes, it does change the game a bit, but not dramatically. At least, not that we've seen. Yet. These rules are optional, and may be used in their entirety, in part, or not at all. Or use everything, but have only a few coins per player. The less of it there is, the more its worth.

If you give it a try, please post a comment or link below!

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