Story + Skirmish = Encounter
In Nightwatch Blood and Bone, a single game is termed an Encounter. Each Encounter is composed of a Narrative Scene followed by a Tactical Engagement.
The Narrative Scene is the storytelling portion. It features specific tasks and interactions that must be resolved without combat. Yes, there’s tension, challenge, and even conflict. But no fighting allowed here. Narrative scenes are there to set the stage, enhance the sense of drama and immersion, and most importantly, determine the disposition of the party in an impending battle.
Whether the party is investigating a seemingly idyllic village in the country, ancient ruins in the wilderness, or attending a war council in the king’s castle, Narrative Scenes are constructed around a dramatic situation that has clearly defined obstacles and challenges. Those tasks are then resolved by a rules-light RPG system that accommodates action by individual characters or the entire party.
The Narrative Scene ends once its scenario-specific challenges have been addressed – one way or another. This means the party goes into the ensuing fight with an advantage, on par with the enemy, or with a bad rash of FUBAR. Ready or not, here they come.
Prêt a Combattre
The Tactical Engagement is the tabletop miniature war game portion of Blood and Bone where most of the action takes place. Each battle has specific objectives, as well as searchable locations where valuable coin, supplies, and other loot can be recovered – all while waves of monsters are trying to gnaw on your face.
Blood and Bone Hunters still have their D6, D8, D10 Action Dice Pool, plus the Two Dice Bonus for Guild-related actions, but Hunters can now select a distinct sub-class within their training termed a ‘Guild Focus’. For example, melee-oriented Blades can be Warriors or Rogues; Warriors getting a TDB for their attacks while Rogues get it when they roll to Dodge Defend. Both have access to the Blade’s Rank Skills as they survive battles and pursue their quarry.
The two facets, the Narrative Scene and the Tactical Engagement, combine to make a well-developed One-Shot game, or a single chapter in a larger Long Hunt campaign. The choice is yours.
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