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Everything You Need to Know About WARHAMMER’s AGE OF SIGMAR RPG (Exclusive)

Everything You Need to Know About WARHAMMER’s AGE OF SIGMAR RPG (Exclusive)

What does life look like in Warhammer Age of Sigmar‘s Mortal Realms and what do people do? Is there room for the archetypal roleplaying game party in a setting tailor-made for huge armies and powerful warlords? Can I play a Skaven?

Those were the questions I had in mind when I sat down with Emmet Byrne and Dominic McDowall, producer on the upcoming Age of Sigmar RPG and CEO of publisher Cubicle 7, respectively. They were gracious with their time as I babbled on about what a convert I was and, more importantly, at least as excited as I was. McDowall, a lifelong devotee of Games Workshop’s worlds, was particularly buoyant about the prospects of working on an Age of Sigmar RPG.

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“Back when we started Cubicle 7, I remember being really cross that the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay license had come up then,” McDowall recalls. “Just a few years on we’d have been in a position to bid for it and it would’ve been so great! So when it became available again, I was very intrigued. Games Workshop came and approached us about working on some of their properties and they thought that it would be a good fit for us and, yes! They were also really interested in the idea of getting us involved in the Age of Sigmar side of things as well. They were well aware that WFRP contributed an enormous amount to the worldbuilding of The Old World and they were interested in working with us to do the same thing around Age of Sigmar.”

Both men take the charge of fleshing out the Mortal Realms seriously. It’s easy to forget if you’re not of a certain age just how much depth the early WFRP stuff added to a setting which was super-focused on the battlefield. WFRP made the Old World feel intimate, smaller, and easier to comprehend by following the adventures of its wanderers and heroes.

“As far as introducing the game and the world to new players, I can’t go, hey, there are eight realms that are essentially infinite, read up on all of these before you can start a game,” says Byrne. “Making that a bit smaller will help.

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The game will have a more epic feel to it (picture starting out at level 5 or so, with fireballs ready to go, and you’ve got an idea, according to Byrne) and it won’t use the WFRP percentile system. Instead, it will rely on d6 dice pools; if it’s epic in scale, “it’s always satisfying to throw more dice,” says McDowall. With dice in hand, you’ll traverse all eight of the Mortal Realms, the setting of Age of Sigmar. Think a universe of infinite dimensions, each flavored by a particular type of magic and linked by magical gates which everyone is fighting over and you’ve got the idea.

Factional organizations loom large in the Age of Sigmar RPG. In the core book, players will take on the role of agents of Order (though this will be expanded to other factions eventually, like my beloved Skaven). Most of the quests will come from the various groups vying for influence within the forces of order, who need errands to be run.

“We have things like the Swifthawk Agents who go out and find these lost Realmgates,” explains Byrne. “Well, they can’t do that on their own, so maybe you’re going in and leading the way ahead or showing up after, cleaning up what’s leftover because the Stormcast are stretched so thin they can’t hang around after kicking Chaos out.”

That sounds really cool and the type of campaign I’d play for a good long while. Transdimensional troubleshooters find themselves stuck between the machinations of the Swifthawk Agents and Order of Azyr? Sign me up. And when? By the end of the year, according to McDowall, though I couldn’t find a clever way to get more specifics than that. There’s more information coming, with the company teasing how the factions come into play as the next tidbit for fans.

AoS_Marketing_Branchwych G&S March 2019

How To Be A Tree

Cubicle 7 graciously provided me with an exclusive look at one of the playable archetypes, the Sylvaneth Branchwych. The text of the description is below, but the very short version is that the Branchwyches are both healers and caretakers of the dead. They slot in neatly with some of the weirder parts of Age of Sigmar, but are presented in a grounded, accessible way. And there’s mystery, as well, particularly for the new player. I’m jealous of it, learning what a bittergrub is (a forest spirit in the shape of a mean caterpillar) or how Branchwyches serve the forces of life and order.

Mostly, I’m just glad there’s confirmation that Cubicle 7—a group of developers who, in my opinion, are doing some of the best work in RPGs today— are focused on bridging the small gap between the weird and the accessible. I’ve slowly become an Age of Sigmar nut, but I admit it can be tough to communicate just what you would do as an adventurer, particularly if you happen to be a resurrected quasi-divine master of lightning. It looks like everything is falling in place to make Age of Sigmar something special.

Branchwych Text

Excited for the Age of Sigmar RPG? Tell us why in the comments!

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Image Credits: Cubicle 7, Games Workshop

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