I’m excited to announce my next ttrpg, Queensblood! Have you ever been intoxicated by the promise of high level old school roleplaying gameplay? Where you would manage a realm, reshape the map, and have player driven stories with your massively enhanced agency in the world? Great me too!
Have you ever actually gotten to that point in a campaign though?
Yeah me neither.
Queensblood is a realm based ttrpg where you play a big mover and shaker in a fallen and unstable queendom. The players around the table will take the role of the major surviving ladies and lords, as well as other influential parties, of a nation that has recently crumbled from a cataclysmic invasion. The world needs to be rebuilt and there are a wealth of opportunities to improve your standing amidst the rubble.
Depending on the preferences of the table the game can either be very cooperative, competitive, or a mixture of both. Players can band together against various existential threats or compete for resources and prestige within the ruined queendom. Player versus player wars are opt-in affairs, with both players making clear what they are willing to put up at stake. I’d considered writing a more cut throat game but considering the damage shorter games can do to your trust in your friends, it seemed unwise to make a long campaign game that demands a lot of emotional investment to be that treacherous.
Like a lot of fantasy roleplaying games combat plays a major role in the game. Unlike other roleplaying games tactical combat is a very zoomed out affair. In battle players take the role of lords and heroes alongside their retinues. The emphasis on battle is on the characters but the retinues provide an extra dynamic to the battle and another way to customize your heroes and lords.
You have a limited number of actions each round you can use to give orders to units within earshot. Once you start getting larger armies you may need to develop procedures for using banners, birds, and magic to give orders from a distance.
You can also build your character to gain a variety of special actions to use actions in lieu of giving orders. Mages can cast devastating battle magic with the proper occult preparations. Warriors can wade into enemy troops causing steady damage and panic. Leaders can embolden their troops with stirring words.
Heroes are best represented by miniatures in your collection and your units are represented by standees or paper tokens, which will I will provide print sheets for free on the itch page.
Zooming out from battles, the game has procedures to generate a compelling campaign map for the ruined queendom. Rounds represent an entire season of harvesting, building, developing new advancements, raising retinues, training skills, intrigues, and other ventures. Given the large stretches of time for the campaign rounds there are also procedures for dynastic politics: starting a family and raising your character’s heirs.
Over the years of gameplay, developed advances across the ruined queendom and from abroad will slowly shift the technology and politics of the realm. There is no eternal medieval stasis here: one of your future generations will have to handle the rise of gunpowder and the fall of castles, the rise of nations and bureaucracy, and perhaps even more radical scientific and social developments.
Valiant Quest was mostly done by the time I started writing blog posts about it, by contrast I am only 30 pages into Queensblood so a lot more of this is tentative and not set in stone. I think it might be cool to be able to see the game as it develops and I’m going to be writing more blog posts to keep you all updated.