Being in the Main the Mouth of Olde House Rules

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

A Barons of Braunstein Update!

Today we've released an updated and expanded Barons of Braunstein, adding two new appendices to round out the game, especially in the realms of combat and historical magic, because each of these was central to the medieval mindset... 

So first off, the new and improved Appendix II (Tactical Combat) offers alternate rules for greater lethality reminiscent of what we attempted in Opherian Scrolls, but also a table of situational modifiers tied to specific weapons when wielded in certain ways.  Now combat is faster and more deadly.  But only when the characters (and their enemies) can position themselves for maximum advantage and stay alert.  Thus, individual weapons matter more and without sacrificing the game's trademark simplicity and ease of play.

Next, Appendix III: Diving Spirits, introduces period-specific divination, whether reading entrails or casting runes.  And even Christian characters might receive visions in the mystic tradition.  Now this is a historical game, so every effort has been made to ensure that this can be interpreted as mere coincidence (much as it doubtless was in the real world) or taken as the real thing.  And if true sorcery and witchcraft are allowed, the new appendix goes into greater detail about culture-specific spirits and the limits of their knowledge when questioned, whether talking to the dead, foul demons, or immortal faerie spirits.

The expansion adds simple rules
to make combat faster, more lethal, and better
tied to the weapon(s) used...  

So there's history.  And magic.  And now there's historical magic; and here, the judge is encouraged to hit the books and build the sort of chronicle they want in the best game setting imaginable.  Real history in the real world of flesh-and-blood toil and intrigue. 

Now, we'd thought about adding a bestiary because, after all, these were considered scholarly truth back in the day.  But every time we tried, it ended up feeling like a fantasy game, and we've already published three pure fantasy-themed RPGs.  So a passing mention of magic and witchcraft?  Sure.  It's always possible that all the magic, faith, and appeals were little more than coincidence.  But even full-on sorcery is limited and understated, putting real history front and center.  And if you really want monsters, the gameplay mechanic is roughly compatible with Blood of Pangea, and we could totally see taking its monsters for a Game of Thrones-styled setting with ease!  In fact, some are already doing so...

After playtesting and putting it all together, Barons now feels complete, although we do plan on releasing a special hardcover edition complete with additional resources for discerning collectors wanting something special for their bookshelves (and their tables).

This is an update, so if you've already bought it, this is a FREE expansion to your OBS library.  But if you're new to all this, it's a great way to spend your $2.49.  Barons of Braunstein is Licensed by David Wesely, creator of the original Braunstein game and one of the founding fathers of the role-playing hobby.  So if history's your bag, check it out here...

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