Red Mists: Swords against Sorcery released

May 9th, 2016

Gulf Road Games has released Red Mists: Sword Against Sorcery, a new fantasy RPG that puts you in a realm where magic is generally evil, and you and your adventuring group need to make sure that such evil doesn’t spread across the land.

Sword & Sorcery gaming has never been so fast and visceral! In Red Mists, you play an adventurer in the mold of Conan, the Gray Mouser, Moonglum, and Fafhrd. Your hero ventures forth to do battle with evil sorcerers, bestial man-apes, and winged horrors, all the while plundering long-forgotten vaults and rescuing captive lads and lasses. Red Mists focuses on the steel-wielding heroes of the genre, portraying wizards and sorcerers as foes to be feared and hated.

Characters are defined as much by their predilections for slaughter, debauchery, and self-preservation as they are by their reflexes, and instinct. Mechanics are simple, evocative, and fast in play. Creating a character takes a matter of minutes.

The mechanics are inspired by the Freeform Universal RPG. You start with a base die, add a number of d6 based on a relevant stat, then subtract a number of dice based on difficulty. You then roll the pool. Assuming your stat was higher than the difficulty, your result is the highest die. A 6 means “yes, and”, a 5 means “yes”, a 4 means “Yes, but”, a 3 means “no, but”, a 2 means “no”, and a 1 means “no, and.” If your stat was lower than the difficulty, the result of the roll is the lowest die. One of the notable mechanics is DICEing your opponent. DICE stands for Dismember, Impale, Crush, Eviscerate. Basically, you’re trying to hack your opponent to pieces, as in classic S&S fiction. Every NPC/creature has a DICE rating. If you deal damage in a single blow higher than their DICE rating, you have severed/crushed (etc) a body part. The location of the body part is determined by any dice left over after in your pool. Combat is very fast and fun. Characters do not fall victim to DICE, as that doesn’t reflect the source material. While this may seem unfair at first blush, it makes combat a blast since characters are more willing to dive headfirst into bloody conflict, again, as in the stories. Characters do not practice magic; they fight against it. You have five attributes: defiance, guile, instinct, reflexes, and thews. You have five impulses that you can use to improve rolls: slaughter, self-preservation, debauchery, plunder, and obsession. Players roll all dice. You gain experience by completing adventures (failure or success), gaining wealth and blowing it in colorful ways, and using your impulses.