Hello everyone, the rains that have been battering Manila have somewhat lessened and my internet is back (yay!) so here I am with the next installment to the Yggdrasill Let’s Study series.
Yggdrasill has two means of simulating NPCs. Lesser NPCs are known as Extras, and are created via a simplified version of character generation. Each Extra has six attributes: Conflict, Relationships, Physical, Mental, Mystical and Vitality.
These attributes represent modifiers to various rolls. When a player acts against an extra, the attributes are used as penalties. When the extra is acting, the attributes are used as bonuses to a basic 2d10 roll.
Extras take less hits to go down, as taking more damage than their vitality attribute drops them from Unhurt to Wounded, and a second drops them further from Wounded to Dead.
Generating Extras is relatively painless, with the GM choosing a base archetype from a list and picking three Traits that further modify the archetype. It’s a quick and easy way to generate stats for extras without them all coming from the same mold. Even the extras will have certain statistical differences based on the traits chosen for them.
Equipment is found much later in the book, and Yggdrasill doesn’t skimp on the details providing the standard exchange rates for silver (“2 ounces of silver = 1 milk cow”) as well as a sidebar discussing hacksilver, which are jewelry or objects that are hacked apart and weighed to assess their value.
The weapons are fairly straightforward, with a damage bonus, encumbrance rating, hit points and price in silver. There’s a good spread of weapons, but nothing too exotic. Likewise armor is fairly simple with Armor Values, encumbrance and price.
Of course Shields are included as well, it’s as staple of the Norse combat gear after all. Interestingly, shields work differently from armor, and improve Physical defense rather than absorbing damage as Armor does. The reasoning behind it is that shields are used to deflect rather than absorb, which works for me.
In Yggdrasill, characters gain experience in the form of Legend Points. These allow characters to increase their skill levels and develop their knowledge and expertise. Advancement is similar to Legend of the Five Rings, where experience points are spent to buy up individual stats as opposed to levelling up and improving across the board.
Renown is the second kind of character reward. This measures a character’s reputation in the Scandian kingdoms, and acts as a sort of fame rating. This doesn’t distinguish between good or evil, though, what matter is that you are recognized. Renown starts at a character’s highest skill rating at character creation and is increased by performing Deeds. Great deeds performed in front of influential witnesses grant more Renown.
The Renown system is pretty neat and I feel that the Deed x Witness = Renown bonus formula is particularly inspired, and I might hack that mechanic into my L5R games in the future.
And that brings us to the end of the Let’s Study articles focused on the mechanics of Yggdrasill. Tomorrow I wrap up the series with a review of the game, and turn my attentions towards Qin: the Warring States whose Let’s Study articles start on Monday!