Ring Side Report- Preview of the upcoming Alarian, Valor and Company RPG!

a new idea every day! 

Product– Alarian, Valor and Company

System- Alarian, Valor and Company

Price– Not out yet, but coming soon!  Check here!  https://subscribepage.io/VC  

TL; DR– DnD, Pathfinder, and Poker all mixed together! 87%

Basics–  And now for something completely different!  Today I have an upcoming Alarian RPG.  It’s on the horizon, but not completely finished yet.  Let’s look at the basics, and tell you what I think of the sneak peek I got.

Stats, skills and character building- Like most other RPGs, this one has a solid foundation for a few basic stats and skills based on each stat.  When you build a character you choose which stats advance faster than others with some having fast progression, advancing every other level, and some advancing every three levels.  Skills are a simple point investment as you level as well.  What is interesting are the traits.  Traits are similar to feats in DnD but they have stat requirements.  These traits look like the main way you build a character.  The basic builds so far either give you lots of stats and fewer skills and traits, while the other build lets you have more skills, slow stat gain, but lets you ignore some trait requirements.  This lets you build a character that is not bound by a class but can dip into anything you think might be fun.

Using your skills and cards-Here is where this RPG takes a big leap.  The game DOES NOT USE DICE!  Instead players draw from a 54 card deck with jokers being wild.  Players get 1 free card per test, then cards equal to their skill and half the associated statistic.  The goal is to draw a particular suit either determined by the DM, the situation, or the player deciding before getting cards.  Players attempt to get 1, 2, or 3 cards of the suit for a degree of success.

Combat- Combat is a mix of theater of the mind and tiles.  Characters get a move and a standard action, but a stat called focus allowes players extra attacks, moves, or even determines how many attacks of opportunity a character can get. Weapons have three interesting features.  First is simple damage to a character.  Second it costs a character focus as they get smacked around and cant focus as much to do extra things.  Lastly they cause poise loss meaning the defender’s armor won’t work as well as more attacks beat on that character.  These are all amazingly technical things, but the game takes a bit of a departure as the game then moves to side based combat as one side and all its players go then the other side goes.

Ok, on to my thoughts..

Mechanics or Crunch– This is a new system, and I am intrigued.  What I see is interesting enough to get me to kickstart it.  I love some things, such as the novel card mechanic.  Some things I don’t like as much.  I would either lean more technical with movement and combat or less and have just sides smash into each other.  The mix feels a bit off.  That might be a preference thing from years of DnD 5e as well as years of PF1.  Will it work?  I think so, but it’s a new mix that’s interesting to me.   4.5/5

Theme or Fluff– I like what’s here, but I will need more. “Yeah, Ed this is a preview!”, so the traits are not a complete list yet nor is the world fully built.  That said, what we have is an interesting mix.  I’m intrigued enough to want to see the full list.  And for a preliminary copy, the world guide is interesting enough to get me to bite.  Perfect?  No, but the hook is set.  4.5/5

Execution– More grading on a curve this week.  This is a prepublish, not complete book.  There is not fancy art on every other page, nor is there a PDF.  What is here is a few books and art assets.  Those honestly are impressive.  The words need another pass of polish as a few things are pretty redundant in the verbiage.  Also, some explanations seem a bit deep for how to play.  None of that is a game breaker by any means, but all are to be expected in a preview.  4/5

Summary– The most annoying thing for me as the alpha geek at my gaming store is other geeks who don’t want to try something new simply because they have not tried it before.  This is something new.  It’s solid-new that is well done.  It’s not perfect-new, but then again, I’m getting a sneak peek behind the curtain before it’s ready for prime time.  And what I’ve seen means I’ll come back at prime time when things are finalized.  There are small things at the core that are not my favorite, like group initiative and map combat at the same time, but possibly seeing the full suite of things will make me forget any misgivings.  As things stand, I wholeheartedly recommend you also check this out when the public gets a look at this.   87%