Sunday, 4 November 2012

Malifaux: A Dungeon Crawling RPG

For the few who made it out into the Malifaux wastes there was much to be gained, the further away from the Breach a person ventured the more untouched the Soul Stone mines were, the more lucrative the archaeological digs became, and the higher the bounties on Outlaws rose.

This was the reason for why the townsfolk of New Fairbank chose to settle where they did. But this far from the Breach there was little protection the Guild could provide, but still despite all of this, year after year more workers and labourers continued to arrive at the town's gates.

The truth is, everyone knew life in Malifaux would be hard, and when the town's water turned black and the dead started to rise from their graves no one battered an eyelid, they just raised the danger pay for adventurers and mercenaries.

You see back Earthside, if someone had planned to build a town on top of the buried remains of a cursed and haunted catacomb, people would call them crazy, but Breachside this just meant there were more forbidden relics to be sought!


Good Sunday everyone! I hope you liked that little bit of narrative, and I welcome you all to an introduction to Malifaux: A Dungeon Crawling RPG!

For those who have been following on twitter over the past few days, you'll have seen me posting a few comments about an RPG style demo system I want to run, and for those who listen to the Malifools Broadcast Network this will probably be of no surprise.


Ok excuse me, I'm rambling and getting ahead of myself. Let me start at the beginning:

A couple of months ago I read a Henchman Thread about using a more RPG style of demoing to play Malifaux, where the demo player only controls one model and has to work with others to take down an opponent.

This got me thinking about ways on expanding on this idea.

Fast forward to roughly one week ago, I'm looking at photos of Dungeon Rise, the new Teraclips sets and I'm thinking "I need to put them on my Christmas list", and then I saw some photos, and an idea took form:

What if I used the Dungeon Rise sets to play out an RPG style of Malifaux game?

Rather than controlling a whole crew, a group of say, 5 players each controlling a model of iconic proportions was to team up and venture through a dungeon.

The group could be made up say of:


And The Judge

And as they venture from room to room different monsters are revealed for them to kill, say in the first room they encounter a small group of Terror Tots, in the following room there's a Teddy and an Alp, etc.

Then at the very end, after fighting through all of this they then encounter Lord Chompy Bits.

It tells a slight narrative and allows for players from other RPG systems to play, learn one character well and get to grips with the game.


Fast forward to last night, I'm talking this over with my wife and she drops an idea into the mix, why does it have to be unique characters? Now I interpret this as, why not also allow other good models, such as Gunsmiths and The Executioner, and this is right, there is no reason not to allow that, and so the idea spread from there to, say, each player has a Soul Stone Cache of 10, they can then have a character from a set list and any left over stones can be used in the game. You want to play with a 9SS model? That's fine, and your stats will reflect that, but you'll only have 1SS to use in the game, and when you could be facing upwards of 20-50 monsters, those stones used for say, healing flips could come in quite handy.


It was then my mind started racing even more, why not include loot!? Something players can collect along the way to make their character better? Say The Helm of +1 WP, or The Breastplate of +1 DF etc.

All of this works to make a simple game ever so slightly more engaging.

Then came the ultimate idea...

Why not create a campaign version? One to be run in homes and at clubs. A version of the game that encourages players to retain their character from one game to the next? Why not allow players to make their own characters?


Now as said above, this would not be for demos, so if you come to a demo expecting this, don't be surprised if you're given Misaki instead.

No in this version you don't play as a known Malifaux icon, you're Bob the Gunslinger, or Ted the Mercenary. You're rank and file, only with even less abilities than a normal minion. You're a Death Marshall without his pine box, or a Gunsmith with a Peace Keeper.

But with every game you get loot which allows you to raise your stats, or gold to later buy stats, or perhaps find a scroll to learn a talent or spell, or maybe a sword to perform a whirlwind strike.

Obviously you would have a 'class' based on what you originally picked, and the weapons and abilities of that class are cheaper for you, but fancy being a Guild Guard who has access to a Customised Peacebringer that fires silver ammo? Why not!

With use of Ratty's card creator and laminating tools, a character's stats can be as permanent as the dry wipe marker they are written with, and the lowly Desperate Mercenary can rise to become the Ultimate Dungeon Crawler!

The same can be said for monsters, are your adventurers so advanced that a room full of 5 Chompies is just a walk in the park? Well go Godzirra on them! Whip out Mecha Chompy with lazer eyes! And all his stats turned up to 11!


So tell me, adventurers from afar, do you want to pick up your sword and firearm, venture through the breach, fight the ultimate evil beneath New Fairbank and get renown as the Ultimate Dungeon Crawler?


On a side note: I also have another mechanic I want to add. Remember when Viktoria in book 4 was having her future told? Remember how the cards she saw were the fate deck face cards? Wasn't that cool?

I want to do the same here. That whenever someone makes a character, be it in the Campaign version, or the Lite version, they draw a face card, the Queen of Stones, the Lady of Death, the Twister of Fate etc, and that card means something to them. Maybe it's a second red joker in their deck, I don't know yet, but I really want to find a way of incorporating that into this game.

Any thoughts?

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

1 comment:

  1. Quick correction: it was book 1 that had Viktoria and the fate cards, I had book 4 on my mind at the time