Interview: Red Scar Publishing’s Kings Of War Roleplaying Game

August 28, 2019 by brennon

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Come and join us for a chat with Red Scar Publishing as we learn more about the Kings Of War Roleplaying Game which is on Kickstarter now.

Interview: Red Scar Publishing's Kings Of War Roleplaying Game

Check Out The Kickstarter Here

If you read through this and think that the game might be for you make sure to check out their TriCore Quickstart and 5E Quickstart downloads (for free) and give the game a try.

Ben: First off, could you tell us a little bit about who Red Scar Publishing is and where it all began for you in the industry?

Red Scar: Red Scar Publishing has actually been around as a company for five or so years now. I initially began it alongside an artist called Toma as an outlet for our creativity. Life has taken us both in different directions, but Toma and I have become very good friends across the years.

KoW RPG Logo

We both took on work with Modiphius on Mutant Chronicles, which I eventually took over as Line Developer. I then began helping out with the Infinity RPG and was also very honoured to receive an ENnie for my work on Conan. I've definitely gained a lot of experience in five short years!

B: You are currently working on the new Kings Of War Roleplaying Game based on the Mantic wargame, how did you come about being involved?

RS: I'd bump into Ronnie Renton at most conventions and we'd always have brief conversations about making an RPG for one of their settings. I'd even said the same to Chris Birch at Modiphius, but none of us ever really followed up on it.

KoW RPG Cover

Fast-forward to Essen 2018 and, with ENnie medal in hand, I tracked down Ronnie at the Mantic stand and we both got buzzing about the idea and the rest flowed from there. One of the many things I love about the gaming industry is the support that creatives are happy to give to each other. I've had a lot of encouragement from Mark (Word Forge Games) and Chris Birch.

B: Can you tell us a little bit about what is going to be included in the core rulebook for the game?

RS: We'll be including some of the expanded lore from the new version of Kings of War that's getting released soon, plus some exclusive content there in the form of the timeline for Pannithor. Character creation and character abilities are a must, a small bestiary, magic, guidance for Gamemasters, and crossover rules relevant to each of the Kings of War-related systems (Dungeon Saga, Vanguard, and Kings of War).

B: The game runs using the TriCore system. Could you tell us a little bit more about the mechanics and how they are used in the game?

RS: TriCore is our own in-house system that we've been playtesting for a good number of years now. At its core (pun totally intended!), the system uses a dicepool of 3d10 which are then added to using a selection of Keywords drawn from a character's abilities and skills.

KoW RPG Player Characters

While Keywords add to the game mechanically, they also inspire great roleplaying and really help players get into their character. We're very proud of them! The system really allows each player to feel heroic, but drawing on that heroism can sometimes come back to bite a character in the form of Payback. If Payback is generated on a test, enemies or the environment can use that karma to slip a dagger past the character's guard or start raining on their parade. The dynamics really keep the game fresh and avoids static situations of swinging swords and missing repeatedly.

B: What were some of the challenges of bringing across the characters and factions from Mantica and Pannithor into a roleplaying setting?

RS: With the Keywords being so flexible but also providing a mechanical effect, it's actually been fairly straightforward. The factions and classes of Pannithor have their own unique flavours but also some familiar elements, which has been pretty exciting to develop. Magic has needed a little more work in terms of balancing but we've definitely made progress. If anything, I probably erred on the side of underpowering it though we're now ramping it back up.

B: Do you have any particular combination of characters and classes that you really enjoy playing?

RS: I don't really have a personal go-to combination. I always try to make a different character each time. The last real character that I developed to any real depth was a Transmuter in Pathfinder 1E, which was particularly fun as he ended becoming a were-leopard, which we totally rolled with as it fits perfectly with his body alteration magic!

B: Did you get to build up much more of the mythos behind Pannithor and the developing world by Mantic or was this a collaborative process between the two companies?

RS: It's actually been more of a collaboration between three companies! Those being Mantic, Winged Hussar and ourselves. Mantic have undertaken a lot of lore development for the newest version of the core rulebook for the wargame, which has happened alongside our development of the RPG and Winged Hussar's novelisation of the setting. It's been incredible to be part of the process and we make sure to pass information around so that it can be incorporated elsewhere as necessary.

B: You must have run quite a few play sessions of the game so far in testing; what have been some of your adventure highlights?

RS: Lots! And there have been so many. I've really enjoyed watching each player, without being prompted, take hold of the Keywords for their characters and using them to drive their roleplaying. Then there's the defining moment that actually led to a piece of artwork being produced for the introductory adventure.

KoW RPG Half Elf Vs Troll

I asked the players to flex the system and one of them pushed it to leap from a wall onto the shoulders of an undead troll, spearing it through the skull with an arrow as they did so. It was very reminiscent of a certain wood elf taking out a cave troll in the Mines of Moria. The image it spawned is absolutely stunning too.

B: One of the cool elements of the roleplaying game is the possibility of transferring these heroes into other Mantic Games like Dungeon Saga, Vanguard and Kings Of War itself. Is this something you might consider in the book?

RS: Most definitely. The game will run perfectly well as a traditional pen-and-paper RPG, but Mantic produce such a beautiful range of miniatures and enjoyable rules to use them with, it would be a real shame not to support that. Each adventure and campaign we produce will offer opportunities for players to crossover to some degree if they want to, so it'll be essential to include those rules in the corebook as a reference.

B: With the Kickstarter in the works what else are you bringing to the campaign that you'd like to talk about?

RS: We can also tell you that we're bringing a free 5E conversion of the quickstart, plus the potential within the campaign to undertake some more conversion work if that's where it takes us. There will also be some very exciting news about the pre-generated characters.

KoW RPG Viusal Logo

It was cool to find out more about the world of Kings Of War being brought to the tabletop in a new and interesting way. We're very much looking forward to how the Kickstarter goes so good luck guys!

Make sure to check out the Kickstarter HERE and explore the world of Pannithor with your friends.

"I've really enjoyed watching each player, without being prompted, take hold of the Keywords for their characters and using them to drive their roleplaying..."

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"...explore the world of Pannithor with your friends"

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