With many homebrew community-made DnD classes and monsters, worlds, characters and towns being based on those from The Witcher games, it’s good to see that the universe will finally be getting some official tabletop content.
The announcement about the game being sent off to the printing press comes by way of the website of R. Talsorian Games, the creator of the new RPG manual. According to the website, the full manual will be first available at GenCon, the national annual Tabletop Gaming convention that will be going on from July 31st to August 6th in the convention center located in Ohio, with tickets available now at gencon.com. If you can’t make it to the event, no worries! A PDF version will be on sale a bit after the event has ended.
But the give-and-take of inspiration goes two ways between R. Talsorian Games and CD Projekt Red, creators of The Witcher series. The current game in production by CD Projekt Red, Cyberpunk 2077, has been credited to be a direct video game interpretation of the world created by R. Talsorian Games in their science fiction tabeltop Cyberpunk 2020. When CD Projekt Red approached R. Talsonian Games about the creation of The Witcher Tabletop game, they gave very specific instructions to the Tabletop designers that they wanted the system to feature combat similar to that of Cyberpunk 2020. For those not familiar with that Tabletop experience, that means the combat in The Witcher game is no joke.
In a Dev Log by R. Talsorian Games, a game developer goes into detail about how the developers chose to modify the combat system for The Witcher, and how they could not simply port over the combat from Cyberpunk 2020 since that relied so heavily on gunplay, and, well, there aren’t a lot of assault rifles in The Witcher.
“The first tweak was to take an in depth look at melee combat. We wanted more granularity to combat in the Witcher,” says the dev. “More than just, “I hit him, he misses me, I hit him, he hits me.” In the Witcher RPG, when using melee weapons you have specific attacks that you can use. We took this approach in Cyberpunk as well but because it was relegated to martial arts mostly it didn’t get a lot of play.”
The developer log then goes into a huge bulleted list of all the different kinds of attacks that players can choose to use at different points during a combat for different effects. We’ll give you a shortened list of a few that stood out to us as especially interesting or creative, but if you’re interested in reading everything, be sure to check out the full listing here.
Of the attacks, we liked that basic attacks were classified as either fast strikes or strong strikes. There was no ‘basic strike’ to be seen, there was either 2 attacks or 1 double damage attack. We were also impressed by the availability of a disarm; The developer log suggested that the disarm maneuver would be available to all combatants at any time, which is quite an interesting change from most other TRPGs that tend to lock away disarm maneuvers behind some kind of feat or level up bonus. There was also four – count ’em – four different defensive options available, which is more than we’ve ever seen in a Tabletop RPG, even with additional options added on later through leveling or other abilities. And we’re not counting mystic barriers or shields or other one-off pools of health to absorb damage. These are all different ways to calculate the damage roll to see whether or not you get hit by the thing. That’s some serious attention to detail.
But what’s even more exciting than what we’ve seen is what we haven’t seen. From the very little that we know about this TRPG so far, it does sound quite interesting. One of our content writers is going to be taking a trip up to GenCon this month, so if you’re not there to check the game out for yourself, we’ll be sure to share what we learned right here.
Featured Image Via Flickr / Vinny GRed
It’s interesting, but perhaps not surprising, that RPG audiences love the D&D format so much that many games are “going backwards,” so to speak, and transmuting their games into tabletops in order to cater to said audiences.