Racine: the role-playing game takes the framework of the award-winning and popular strategy game from Leder Games and uses it as the basis for a role-playing game focused on thieves and mercenaries trying to survive in a world at war. Located in a forest dominated by three opposing factions, all of which have their own motivations, strengths and weaknesses, Racine: the role-playing game is a new tabletop RPG from Magpie Games in which players create anthropomorphic furry animal wanderers that band together to forge their own path through life. Each wanderer has their own strengths, weaknesses, motivations and goals and can push the delicate balance of a warring Woodlands.
Racine: the role-playing game is a role-playing adaptation of Root, the award-winning asynchronous strategy game from Cole Wehrle and Patrick Leder and published by Leder Games. In the board game version of Root, Players take control of one of many unique animal factions in a tense battle for control of an unnamed Woodlands. Root has been praised both for its innovative take on strategy war games and its charming setting filled with wide-eyed fuzzy characters who stabbed, oppressed, and deflected their way to victory. Root is essentially a combination of Redwall without the delicious descriptions of the food, all the brutal parts of Ship down, Where Mouse guard but with a greater diversity of small animals trying to kill each other.
One of the four “factions” of the core Root The board game is the Drifter, an individual who thrives on aiding the people of the Woodlands while simultaneously negotiating and sabotaging the other three factions. Since the Drifter is the only “individual” found in the board game, it makes sense that Racine: the role-playing game focus on a group of wanderers making their way through the woods. In the game, players act like mercenaries or wanderers, choosing their own path as various factions clash with them. How they choose to respond to a warring Woodlands is up to them.
Those familiar with the Powered by the Apocalypse system will recognize the basic mechanics of Root: the role play. Each player uses a Playbook to create a character with several unique moves, some of which relate to combat and others to social interactions or more playful behaviors. While Wanderers are broadly categorized as “thugs” in fantasy terminology, some of the Playbooks give players the option of customizing their characters towards a more loyal defender, prowler, or force of chaotic destruction.
Like other Powered by the Apocalypse systems, Racine: the role-playing game uses a 2D6 system to determine checks. Each test falls into one of five categories, with a 7-9 acting as a hit with some kind of complication and a 10+ serving as a strong hit or a hit with an extra opportunity. Players add a modifier based on one of their five default stats (Charm, Cunning, Subtlety, Luck, and Power) along with any advantages or disadvantages granted to them based on their unique moves and abilities. The game also generally sticks to actions that are broad enough to allow players to maximize their opportunity to use their character’s abilities. For example, a player may try to “guess someone” to gain insight into an NPC’s motives or true intentions, or he may “trust fate” by trying something strange or out of the box. normal action. Players level up when they complete one of their workouts, gain new abilities, or increase their base stats. Due to the role-playing nature of this system, players have the ability to level up their character each session, although there is no issue with power loss as players will always be limited by the number of injuries, exhaustion or exhaustion they endure before passing out.
There is a slight crackle in Racine: the role-playing game not found in many other Powered by the Apocalypse based games. For example, players will need to keep track of their reputation and notoriety among other factions, and their equipment will experience wear and tear throughout a game and could potentially need to be replaced. The reputation / notoriety system is an interesting way for players to suffer mechanical consequences for choosing sides in the wars that define the world of Root. The game’s only substantial weakness is that the game insists on mimicking the clearing and route structure of the board game version of Root. While I understand the desire to bring the major visual representation of the Woodlands setting to the board game, I personally think the map doesn’t really lend itself well to the kind of fully fleshed out fantasy world that role-playing games thrive. Fortunately. , GMs are encouraged to choose which parts of the game they will use at their table, and the map / setting mechanics are not that central to the game itself.
As a longtime fan of the two Root and various novels, shows and franchises featuring rodents with swords I’m inclined to like Root: the role play. RPG uses the board game as a solid foundation, but finds ways to keep the game interesting and also focused on individual characters and faction warfare. If you are a fan of Root or want to play a raccoon with a sword who is happy to accept the coin of a bourgeois cat to kill a bunch of birds, you will enjoy Root: the role play.