I thought it was about time that I talk more about my Normans vs Outlaws project.
I give you Hood!
It's something that's been in development for a couple of years now, off the back of work done on my Dark Crucible project. Whilst quite popular amongst our gaming group, that particular project fell on its face somewhat when exposed to a wider audience. It was a great learning experience but it was time to move on. After simmering away for some time, it was Salute 2015 that gave me the kick up the backside to move Hood forward and see what can realistically be achieved.
Our story is set in Medieval England, circa 1200ad. It is a dark place and a dark time. Those in power steal and feed off the toil of common people. The populace are starving and angry.
A crusade veteran turned vigilante stalks the rich and powerful from somewhere in Sherwood Forest. No one is safe, everyone will be judged. Is he a hero for the people to follow or a dangerous criminal to fear?
A mercenary is hired to dispatch this murderous thief and restore power to those in authority. Outlaws beware the man with no mercy. Is he a protector of the people or a warmonger on the loose?
My aim throughout the project so far is to create something that I enjoy playing, something that generates a story and lots of moments to talk about afterwards. I want to play a game that sticks in the mind for years to come. I want to see moments of pure heroism and pure fear. I want players to care about the models in their army, where every casualty is heartbreaking. I want to see an ongoing story, where the game is never truly won or lost, just this chapter. Hence I settled on the story of Robin Hood.
Yet I don't want to see Lincoln green and Merry men – that all belongs in a movie from the 50s!
I want things to be dark and gritty. I want both sides to feel like they're in a real fight and it doesn't always end happily ever after. The beauty of the Robin Hood story is that it's pseudo historic, so there are no hard and fast rules to follow and plenty of resource material to soak up. Any tale about Robin Hood has to be fantasy by nature so this allows the mind to wander and creativity to come to the fore.
I wanted this story to lend itself to become a graphic novel style movie.
We've had great fun conjuring up characters for the first four factions. Some names you will know, some will be new. Regardless, you will not have heard this version of the story or these characters. The idea is that all the characters included have genuine use and that they had to be 'cool'. There are no superfluous characters here – I want players to agonise over who they will take and who will be left behind. I didn't want there to be any auto-includes or auto-excludes when it came to putting a roster together.
Now that's quite a tall order by any means. Whether it's achievable only time will tell, but stay tuned for more…
So who would you like to see in such an adventure? Any favourite characters come to mind?
Who Is Robin Hood?