“Life is hard, Enjoy it together!”
Real Talk By: Haggy
Aside from the Totally Intentional Wait to coincide this review with all the hubbub about the upcoming Netflix show, we can finally look at the RPG. Published by CD Projekt Red, and developed with R Talsorian Games The Witcher World comes to a table top near you! Ignoring the sale’s pitch, this game promises to be an in depth take on the many aspects of the world, and looks to be a not too terribly complicated game. But with the games being so good, would this be worth your time?
Starting with the presentation, the Rulebook is concise, well made and worded, and with plenty of art work to use. You’ll find yourself not getting lost in the rule book. Your reading will be accented with artwork that simply draws you in for total immersion. To further illustrate this, the provided examples with how the rules work clearly show how the more abstract features work.
Speaking of the rules, especially since as a table top RPG it is by without a doubt the most important part of the whole experience, it’s safe to say however that this game Delivers. Hard. We’ll start with character creation and an ultimately interesting take on how it’s done. When creating your character, you essentially go on a bit of a life story. It’s nothing intensely ground breaking, but the fact that each stage of your life is actually Roleplayed to an extent, and every result you get will actually give your character bonuses (With more opportunities depending on how old your character is) this will mean that once you’re done creating your character, you already have some depth to playing said character.
One of the best aspects of this game however, is the Professions. Functionally, your profession is your class, but it is so much more than that. The classes available are: Bard, Craftsman, Criminal, Doctor, Mage, Man At Arms, Merchant, Priest, and Witcher. With each having several subtypes (Witchers are a bit special) but the most important thing is aside from the special Talents, and the profession specific abilities…. There is also what is known as the Profession Skill. It is unbelievably effective at forcing literal role play. For example, a Witcher has ‘Witcher Training’ as a skill that only they can put points into, a Mage has ‘Mage Training’, Doctor’s have ‘Healing Touch’ and etc. This means that you will hardly get situations where you’ll have everyone in the party trying to do multiple things at once, and forces team work and cooperation.
Speaking of Professions, there are serious benefits to having non-combat roles in a party. With many of the subtypes specializing in Herbalism, Alchemy, Armor and Weapon Crafting, and the all important buying and selling. In either case, Each system comes with an in depth, yet accessible approach to their craft. With these in mind, any loot you end up getting, even if it’s considered garbage, Could be used for crafting… rituals.. vials, and will be a great opportunity for someone.
But of course, it wouldn’t be the Witcher without a hard, unforgiving combat system. This game delivers, but with a warning. It’s actually surprisingly easy to kill enemies (Except for like super armored people, super skilled enemies, or super bad monsters) But, this goes both ways. Without armor almost a fourth or maybe even a third of the weapons I’ve encountered can potentially drop someone in one or two good hits if it lands on torso and there is no armor. Most combat classes are fine with this however, and this just enforces the idea that any non combat classes like Merchant or Craftsman will wanna stay back, but don’t assume that this makes them less fun classes to play.
After all, aside from the thorough crafting and other systems The Witcher also introduces a ‘Verbal Combat’ System… with attack and defensive ‘maneuvers’ based off Verbal and Rhetorical ideas. This means that you can get in depth dialogues, and try to push agendas on NPCs with a Priest or the Mage’s Politician. This also helps with getting NPC followers, or helping with the party’s reputation in areas. Coupled that with the established systems in place, and you could easily run a non combat campaign.
Summing it all up, I’ve waited a while for this RPG to come out, and it certainly has delivered in many aspects. What was surprising however, is how many ideas this game implements and how many systems actually become enthralling, not to mention that they just work! There are so many possibilities, and you have so many ways to play yourself that no matter what sort of party you run, you’ll find yourselves going on one helluva journey together… Just don’t mention that I was almost completely killed by a single drowner.
The Witcher RPG Gets
4.5 out of 5
+The Way You Make Checks is Simple and Straightforward
+Every Class Pulls Their Weight, Especially With Class Specific Skills
+Combat and Non-Combat go Hand in Hand
+The Pacing is Quick, Even With The More Complicated Sections
-Improving Your Skills and Spells Can Sometimes Take Some Time
-A Lot Of Systems Can Fall Apart Without a More Experienced GM
-Class Diversity Is a Plus, But Having a Witcher is Certainly Ideal.