Blood & Bronze Mechanics

crossposted from Detect Magic, Daniel’s RPG blog that hasn’t been updated in a thousand years but has tons of mostly useless stuff on it

Someone on G+ was asking about Blood & Bronze, a newish fantasy adventure D&Dish game set in the Ancient Near East.

TL;DR: if you like the historical setting, worth a buy. If you like Apocalypse World / D&D mashups, probably also worth a buy. Mechanical callouts in bullet points below.

The ANE is my jam; so of course I’d already purchased the book. (Note that links to drivethrurpg are affiliate links for my podcast, gg no re.)

You can get it here: Blood & Bronze @ drivethrurpg. Here’s the website for the game: https://bloodandbronze.com/. Proper review by Swords & Stitchery here: http://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/2016/02/review-and-commentary-on-blood-bronze.html.

For D&D remixes like this, I usually buy if they have some sort of interesting simplification of the typical mechanics or if they mash up the old school formula with new tech. B&B does both, but not really in a way that I care to adopt.

  • Stats: 2d6  to generate ability scores, from which you consult a table for a rating from 1-6. Scores are for checks and saves (roll under); ratings are for skills. Fighting uses skills.
  • Skills: use your ability ratings to determine how many d6 to roll. You need at least 1 die to have a 5-6. The effects are Apocalypse World style, with bad stuff happening on misses. There’s quite a few, and you gain more by leveling.
  • HP: set by your class. Used both as trad hp and as a stat that other mechanics interact with.
  • Character generation: AW style character gen (hard eyes, young eyes, etc.), with rolled stats as Gygax would have wanted, starting gear, and a selection of skills (AW-style moves) per class.
  • Encumbrance: endurance/hp stat is softcap. For each 3 items past your endurance (round up), +1 point fatigue.
    • Fatigue: temporarily reduces all stats 1:1. When a stat hits zero, you’re weary.
    • Weariness: If you’re hit when you’re weary, you’re out.

Very barebones though written apparently for beginners (lots of talk about having paper, dice, how to roll and calculate things). However, not enough procedural stuff and thorough examples to really be suited for beginners. Organization unintuitive to me.

Nevertheless, the game has a ziggurat on the cover; so I love it.