Thursday, August 9, 2018

The new Hoarfrost Saga rules, and the berserkers.

I recently acquired the game Troika! (found here) by Daniel Sell, his rules are based heavily on the old Fighting Fantasy role-playing game (and the book series). I love the character creation rules and I have always been a big fan of the very basic Fighting Fantasy role playing game, so I have decided to work on a game using the same building blocks about vikings (or at least a viking-like analog). 

The new game called The Hoarfrost Saga will be developed using my blog here, and built piece by piece through posts. I plan to develop the d66 table of background character classes first, which should breathe life into the game setting as it goes along. 

The first background I have created is the berserker. My favorite description of for these crazed warriors comes from Poul Anderson's Hrolf Kraki's Saga:

“they often fought without mail, that is, in their bare sarks. They were huge and strong but ugly to behold, unkempt, unwashed, surly and bullying. In battle a madness came upon them; they howled, foamed at the mouth, grew swollen and purple in the face, gnawed the rims of their shields, and rushed forward like angry aurochs. Then their strength was such that no ordinary man could stand before them. It was said that iron would not bite on them, either. Truth was, the wounds they got, save for the deepest, hardly bled and closed up almost at once. After the rage was past, they were weak and shivery. By that time, however, most who had tried to fight them would be dead or fled. Goodfolk loathed berserkers…. and feared them.”

Huge, strong, but ugly to behold, unkempt, unwashed, surly and bullying. Battle madness,
howls and spits, bites rim of shield.

Bear skin cloak
Weapon of choice
Well gnawed round shield
Drinking horn
Impressive scars

4 Strength
3 Axes (or Swords)
2 Shield Bash
2 Brawling
2 Carousing

Berserkers can withstand massive amounts of damage while in a rage, so much so, that they can continue fighting even when reduced to 0 Stamina. A Berserker can fight until they are at -6 Stamina, at which time they die. If at 0 or less (but not -6) by combat’s end, they will die if their wounds are not treated immediately.

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