Ride, fight, wench and kill! The usurper king must die, the lands be freed, the prophecies fulfilled! This is the world of Broadsword, a game designed to play out the sword & sorcery movies of the 80’s. And the character creation rules all fit on one page.
If you haven’t heard me shilling the various 1PG games from Deep7, then you’ve never been at one of my one-shot or pick-up games. The entire 1PG line uses a simple system to create characters and to handle all conflict & skills. The game runs smoothly and simply, but in my opinion it doesn’t really hold up to prolonged campaign play – which is fine for a beer and pretzels fantasy game.
Each game is designed to emulate a style of movies or classic adventures – and each comes with at least half the page-count of the book being adventures, at one adventure per page.
Broadsword is the 1PG sword & sorcery game to play out the classic 80’s S&S movies like Krull, Conan and the BeastMaster.
Not designed as a replacement for Dungeons & Dragons, Broadsword is a “beer and pretzels” sword & sorcery game. I’m going into character creation without a solid idea as to what I want, so we’ll roll dice and see what the game gives us. So I’m not calling the character “Fred” in my head as I roll it up, I’ll start by naming her “Daria” and we’ll see where the dice take us.
Character creation for 1PG games is basically random, with the player getting to modify the character through skill selection. Unlike most of the 1PG line, there’s a full section of “advantages” for each character that help fill out the fantasy movie roles including characters like the beastmaster.
The four ability scores in Broadsword are Brawn, Personality, Perception and Knowledge, and we get a d3 for each one. Daria has a high personality and perception, and a low knowledge. Probably not going to turn out to be a wizardly type. A d6 roll for Presence gives her a 4 – this is used for her mental and physical bearing (and is used as Charisma in most 1PG games, but this game has Personality which should take up most of that roll) and also tells us how many advantages she’ll get to pick. A roll of 1 gives her the lowest Guts possible, probably labeling her a coward. She gets 3d6+10 Blood (hit points), ending up with 22, just above average.
Then we roll against each of her stats in turn to determine her reputation. For each stat we roll under or equal to, she has one point of reputation. She rolls under her Perception, but no other stats, so has one reputation point, probably having something to do with her perception or perception skills. Then her background roll comes up a 6… A Magic User. Oi. This gives her +1 Knowledge, Perception & Reputation and we’ll have to look into the magick rules later in the booklet.
With four advantages to select from, we’ll run for the real classic fantasy tropes. She’ll be Good Looking (giving her +3 flirt and generally good first reactions from people), have the Chainmail Bikini advantage (counts as two advantages and gives her 3 Armor Value when nearly naked – she’ll wear a sharp cape/cloak, nice boots and gloves, and a gold-trimmed bikini), and a Beast Buddy (a hawk that sits on her staff).
For skill points, Broadsword gives us d6+3 points to spend, with a max of +3 to any one skill and we can reduce skills to get additional points (as long as stat + skill is at least 1 after taking a negative skill modifier). As a magick-user, Daria immediately loses two skill points, so she’s got d6+1 and a roll of 5 makes this 6 points. Right off the bat, three points go into the Magick skill so her low Knowledge for a magick user doesn’t completely bite her in the ass. Her exceptionally high Perception of four allows her to bank some skill points there by being next to useless at gambling and thievery.
With a total Magick score of 5, Daria starts with 6 spells. To cast a spell, she has to roll her magick skill or under on a d6, with additional penalties if she tries to cast spells with an intensity greater than 5. She picks up some offensive spells and one spell that will be difficult for her to cast (intensity 6, so she needs to roll a 4 or less) that not only damages targets, but can target their presence as well.
In the end, Daria the Beautiful is a classic fantasy sorceress, underdressed and scary.
Daria the Beautiful, Sorceress of the Ilse of Ul
Background: Magick User
Area Knowledge: +1
Legends & Lore: +2
Good Looking: +3 Flirt
Chainmail Bikini: +3 AV when not covered up
Beast Buddy: Hawk
Ice Shard | Intensity 5, 10 damage | Throws a single blade of ice at a target
Spy’s Eyes | Intensity 4 | Allows the caster to share the senses of a single animal target
Summon Shadow Imp | Intensity 5 | Summons an Imp with abilities of 2 and a +1 Stealth skill
Word of Binding | Intensity 5 | Target must make a Guts roll or be immobilized (or move as if his Brawn were reduced by 5)
Flames of Terror | Intensity 6, 8 damage | Throws flames at the target, who must make a Guts roll to retain his presence
Cloak of Shadows | Intensity 4 | Grants +1 on Stealth & Intimidate checks