Written by Nofatycoach
Translation and Editorial modification by Dalcor
Any skirmish game receives warm welcome from me. About Frostgrave, I also invited Capella and red carpet. In my wargaming past I very much enjoyed hunting for the Chaotit shards from within the Mordheim. When I learned a game, so called „Mordheim on Ice“ is coming, which is more abstract, then descriptive I really jumped with joy.
The story is pretty simple. There was s city of Feldstadt once, build in the centre of the magic. It was famous not just because of its architecture but of its citizens as well. All the magi from the world joined within the city and the city became the centre of all magical creation in the world. When there is more power than knowledge, something terrible happen sometimes. In this case it was a blizzard which entombed the city with all its magical laboratories within its frozen grasps.
After thousands of years the fear from the terrible secrets are all forgotten, new magi came into the city to search for knowledge, to save, or to plunder – whatever you like.
Actually those story mentioned on the one page on the beginning of the story is all the fluff you will get. Except for some pretty quota scattered between the pages. So if you were waiting for tomb of history, better to get the Legend of the Five Rings or Warhammer. I don’t see the problem here.
The hardcover book is of the size of the ten inch tablet, something around B4, with 150 pages it’s around half-an-inch wide. Osprey Publishing high standards with coated paper and lovely art really makes this book a jewel.
What about the rules. Short and Easy. Wonderful!
Ten schools of magic each containing eight creative spells, one wizard and five hundred gold crowns to employ apprentice and henchmen up to the group of ten. The wizard can learn 8 spells, three from his home school, three from the aligned and two from schools neutral from your domains (editor: ehm – ADnD 2nd Edition anybody?)
This system is nothing amazing; however it’s a tool to have really unique character. Do you want your witch to be druid or to see to the future and beyond? No problem chronomancy is neutral school to you. Or do you want your witch to be a healer? No problem as well, even Thaumaturgy is neutral to your domain. You can really lose yourself in this creative paradise.
You can truly imagine from this spell system how your wizard will behave in the ruins. Offensive Elementalist with destructive magic will be more-or-less interested in raw power of the said elements, where Chronomacer will use time management to support his henchman, or Petrify yours.
You can see a lot of designers creativity and Joseph McCullough, writer of the book bring a lot of amazing ideas in it. Even the Spellcasting brings really and interesting opportunities for the player. Every spell has its difficulty, you roll d20 and your roll has to be equal or greater than the casting number. If you screw the roll, your life is screwed as hell as you lose the hit points. Or you can empower the spell – either to reach the difficulty threshold or just increase the damage. In that case you lose your life force as well. And you know what – you know the Lady Fortune and the dices. I don’t thing I will ever roll 18 to cast the most powerful of spells…Its quite a good idea to empower your spell to borrow a templar nearby opponent magi who just empowered his spell. In that case to lose your life force could be win win condition.
Campaign? Lovely! Nothing against on timers, but the real fun came with the campaign. Levelling system is straightforward; every hunnerd of experience came with level. For every level you get +1 to ability or decrease difficulty for one spell, or learn a new spell from grimoire or scroll you have in your camp.
Henchmen are not that lovely, they are pawns on the checkboard of the powerful. They are not entirely bad, but mainly for the campaign there could be some improvement. No levelling for them, they have their one inventory slot and equipment and abilities and that’s all. Thief will not improve your climbing, Tracker will not increase you movement. The names are just titles for some abilities.
You can give them magical weapons or armours found within the city premises, but it will be very interesting to save the wizards level just to give the thief opportunity to trap the chest or the templar cast some protection charm.
|What has Tom Brady common with Frostgrave? See bellow|
Maybe in the future. Ferrari does not make their 250GTI first day and Tom Brady did not get his 4 Super Bowl rings in the first season (Editor Notice: Nofatycoach coaches this silly American „football“, please excuse him ;-) )
What to say?
Within two hours you learn the rules, build the group and go exploring. I like that. You don’t need some fancy suitcases to carry your army. If you have the opportunity to have a place where the terrains are stored you really need small box for 10 models, two d20 dices and some measure stick, pen and paper. Wonderful.
Even the newbie will be able to fully understand and use the rule and enjoy his first game ever. Amazing.
95 of 100 Points. The five points are for the poor henchmen.
Looking forward to test it with Dalcor (Editor: Me, why Me…MUHEHEHEHE). Hope we will show you some photo or video.