Tweaking Frostgrave campaign rules

FrostgraveI’m on a bit of a Frostgrave kick as of late and it should be no surprise as I’m a fan of the game. One big draw is the campaign system and it really has that Mordheim feel of progression. You slowly accrue power and wealth, tricking out your wizard and warband. It’s fun.

But I think there are a few stumbling blocks with Frostgrave’s campaign game. The first is the focus on wiping out the enemy. Sure you can scramble to try and take off treasure, but you get more experience for your wizard personally wiping out enemy troops. Plus if you kill every soldier to the man, you get all the unclaimed treasure. Lastly, there is no turn limit. So you can take your damn sweet time hunting down the enemy rather than trying to scoop and scoot all the treasure in the field.

The other issue is the snowball effect with winning. You get to do a lot out of game. Open recruitment, buying any desired magical items, upgrading your base as you like, it all allows players to do so much which is great. But if you are slipping behind in gold and XP, you start trailing. Sure a few games it’s okay to lose some. But eventually if you’ve gotten the snot beat out of you for a few games, you aren’t ever going to catch up.

I’m certain other folks have noticed this. In fact a few people whipped up their own tweaks to the campaign system. Much of what has been circulated around is great stuff but sadly have gone the way of lost files and broken links. So I went ahead and compiled some changes I liked and added my own.

One big change was the experience system. Too much emphasis was on wiping out the other player. That’s been removed and instead casting XP for any in-game spell has been increased. I didn’t want to completely remove the impetus for killing troops though. You end up getting experience from your warband survivors. So while you no longer get experience for killing enemies, you can certainly curtail the XP your opponent gains after the battle putting their soldiers to the sword (on making them a smoldering pile of ashes).

The other big change was awarding treasure XP. Having limited game turns and XP only guaranteed for yourself by taking treasure off the table, now it’s more of an objective-driven game. Standing treasure on the board now awards XP to both players, so if wanting a bigger share of the booty you’ve got to haul that gold off the board.

Another small tweak was the loss of wizards. Now they can’t be permanently killed. They can be bloodied and saddled with permanent injuries, but they’ll always manage to crawl back to camp. With the game being so centered around your wizard, the option of them being wiped out due to some bad die rolls left a bad taste. Having a chance to let them redeem themselves just fits better.

Lastly, the out of game actions are better structured and curtailed some. Buying magical goods is no longer a free shopping experience and the stocks are limited. Even more so, you are limited to choosing a few actions out of game. This makes the whole campaign experience a little more strategic.

Much of these changes are from the community in general but I’ve added my own bits as well. You can find a complete document in the downloads section. Hope folks find some use from them for your games.