Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Blue Rose

Another game that I’ve played recently is the tabletop roleplaying game “Blue Rose”. This game was fairly unique when compared to the other RPGs out there. There are some excellent qualities about the gameplay and the rules, but there are also a few things that I don’t like. Altogether, it’s an interesting game to play and I’ll definitely play it again.
This game describes itself in the rulebook as being of the “Romantic Fantasy” genre. There are several paragraphs that explains what this means, stating that it is derived from literature from the mid-1980s. One of the qualities of this genre is a universal acceptance of other beings, without any biases. The game incorporates this into the setting by making the main country, Aldis, where no one is judged on their race, sexuality, gender, etc. The makers of the game didn’t make the entire game like that though (a little hatred does good to add conflict and plot to a game) and there are other countries and a small portion of the Aldean population that have biases. Jarzon, for example, is another country set in the same would. The people there remind me of Menoth (a faction of Warmachine) – except they don’t like magic. They’re more conservative in thinking and their entire society is based upon a theocracy. There are also underground criminal organizations, such as any good civilization has, and other villains and scum.
As far as races go, Blue Rose isn’t lacking anything. You can be a human, like in most games, but there are other not-so-common options available to players. One such race is the “Sea Folk” who can hold their breath for a long time under water and have a knack for swimming. They aren’t mermaids but they do need to be immersed in water at least once a day. Another cool race is the Rhydan which are basically intelligent animals. There are dolphins, wolves, large cats, and a few other playable Rhydan. The equivalent of an elvish race is the “Vata” and there are also “Night People” which are like ogres.
There is a well thought out history located in the rule book as well as some other neat rules and topics. For one, they mention how to play the game with romance. The rulebook covers suggestions on how to do romance between heroes, NCs, and heroes and NCs.
This brings me to another cool thing about the game – you can play it without much (or any) fighting. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good brawl with a dragon, but every once in a while I find it fun to just go investigate a mysterious crime. In the introduction game, the characters go on a mission from the Crown to figure out if a town has been cursed by Roamers (like gypsies). It’s really neat, and the majority of the mission is about talking to people and seeing what is going on with them.
On the whole, this game was great, but I did have some frustrations with it. When I was creating my character, I found that it was difficult to sort out how to do different things and where to put the information on the character sheet. Eventually, I got it all sorted out, but the rules could be a little more structured in that part of the book. Another thing I noticed is that you do your ability scores first, when I think you should do it later because later choices greatly affect your decisions.
I recommend checking this game out, as it’s really cool. Aside from needing a more organized character formation section, the rulebook was really thorough and even included short stories relating to the chapters. There were some pretty unique ideas found in the book, especially regarding the society of the Aldeans. If you’re interested in a fun RPG with less fighting than normal, I’d take a look at Blue Rose.

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