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Author Topic: So, a little bit about Soulbound...  (Read 2134 times)

HappyDaze

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So, a little bit about Soulbound...
« on: September 21, 2021, 07:49:39 PM »
Spinning off from another thread:

Soulbound is a D6 pool-based RPG by Cubicle 7 set in Games Workshop's Age of Sigmar world.

What's the world like? It has some common elements with Warhammer Fantasy, particularly the gods, but it's a very different setting. It's designed for mythic fantasy with high-powered heroes walking the same worlds (yes, plural--there are eight "Mortal Realms" and a few other demi-words beyond those) as the characters. Here Sigmar is literally the God-King and players could conceivably have a conversation with him or the other gods. The baseline magic level of the setting is considerably higher than the Old World of WFRP. Anyway, after the death of the Old World, the gods all got together and made the worlds better places...until their alliance fragmented. Then Chaos came and shit got bad. A long time later (no hard timeline dates) Sigmar lauches his big counterpush with his new army of Stormcast Eternals, and the results lead to the current Age of Sigmar.

The PCs in this setting are the Soulbound. Essentially, back when the gods were all buddied up, they came up with a ritual to unite bands of mortals into special ops teams. The Soulbound did some cool stuff in the prehistory but were largely gone by the time the gods broke up their club and Chaos invaded. But now the gods are again seeing the need for them, so the various factions contibute their quirky badasses to form Soulbound Bindings. This is how the game gives us ways to combine a bunch of oddballs together in one party.

Characters are built by choosing a faction, a species (many factions only have a single species), then an archetype. The archetype gives you your basic options for attributes, skills, talents, and equipment. In all cases, each archetype has certain fixed/mandatory bits and some optional bits to select from a short list. Character creation can be very quick.

The mechanics are based on a D6 pool with tasks set as X:Y where X is the target number and Y is how many successes are needed. In general, extra successes beyond the Y give a better result. For many tasks, the X is set to 4, with advantage shifting it to 3 (or 2 with greater advantage) or disadvantage shifting it to 5 (or 6 with greater disadvantage). In combat, the X is determined by comparing the attacker's Melee/Accuracy with the defender's Defence (these values are based on Attribute + Skill combos and modified by certain talents and gear, like shields that improve defence). There are lots of general combat options--even without considering the special options offered by some talents--are fairly robust.

Spellcasting provides versatility--a starting spellcaster gets 6 spells for the cost of one talent--but some of the spells are hard to cast and there are penalties to failing the casting roll (some of them are really bad too).

Miracles (used by Blessed priests of various tyoes) are rather powerful and generally provide more kick than spells. The downside is that each miralce costs a talent, so the priest typcially has fewer effects available than a spellcaster.

There's a lot more I can cover, but does anyone have any specific questions?

oggsmash

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Re: So, a little bit about Soulbound...
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2021, 07:59:38 PM »
  I would assume most adventures center around finding tools to combat chaos/investigating chaos incursions or the like?   I am curious as to how advancement works (more granular like Gurps or Savage worlds, or more big bump like a level gain in D&D or Pathfinder).

oggsmash

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Re: So, a little bit about Soulbound...
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2021, 08:03:46 PM »
 I do not know if you are familiar with the boardgames using Age of Sigmar miniatures (the silver tower, shadows over hammerfell) that are essentially dungeon crawlers.   But if so, are the themes similar for the most part in the game, or is it a bit more meta themed as compared to WHFRP (where it seemed most adventures are pretty grounded in helping or accomplishing things on a smaller scale). 

HappyDaze

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Re: So, a little bit about Soulbound...
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2021, 08:13:12 PM »
  I would assume most adventures center around finding tools to combat chaos/investigating chaos incursions or the like?   I am curious as to how advancement works (more granular like Gurps or Savage worlds, or more big bump like a level gain in D&D or Pathfinder).
Soulbound Bindings are created and initially tasked with quests of various types, but they are also allowed a lot of autonomy after that to do whatever is necessary for the cause of Order (or Death, if you have the Champions of Death sourcebook and want to play a Binding of undead).

Advancement is entirely based on goals. The Binding has a short-term and a long-term goal. When they are completed they give XP and you choose another goal. Each character also has individual short-term and long-term goals that work almost the same way. There are no character levels, when you get XP, you spend it directly to raise an attribute/skill rank (escalaing costs) or buy a new talent (each talent is 2 XP). Between adventures, there is a system of "Endeavours" that covers things like making new gear, learning new spells, training companion beasts, and a lot more.

HappyDaze

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Re: So, a little bit about Soulbound...
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2021, 08:13:54 PM »
I do not know if you are familiar with the boardgames using Age of Sigmar miniatures (the silver tower, shadows over hammerfell) that are essentially dungeon crawlers.   But if so, are the themes similar for the most part in the game, or is it a bit more meta themed as compared to WHFRP (where it seemed most adventures are pretty grounded in helping or accomplishing things on a smaller scale).
I'm not familiar with any of those, so I couldn't say if they are similar or not.

oggsmash

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Re: So, a little bit about Soulbound...
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2021, 08:46:42 PM »
I do not know if you are familiar with the boardgames using Age of Sigmar miniatures (the silver tower, shadows over hammerfell) that are essentially dungeon crawlers.   But if so, are the themes similar for the most part in the game, or is it a bit more meta themed as compared to WHFRP (where it seemed most adventures are pretty grounded in helping or accomplishing things on a smaller scale).
I'm not familiar with any of those, so I couldn't say if they are similar or not.

  Your other answer sort of covered this.   Basically a specific task to complete, but a good bit of wiggle to do other things as well.   I think I will snag a copy.

HappyDaze

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Re: So, a little bit about Soulbound...
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2021, 08:25:14 AM »
One of the key mechanics in the game is Mettle. This is a pool of points based on your character's Soul/2 (round up), possibly modified by certain talents. PCs start with 1-2 Mettle. Mettle refreshes 1 point per turn (up to the character's max). It can be spent to modify dice rolls in a couple of ways, is the fuel for certain talents (especially miracles), and it can also be spent for extra actions. We found that these extra actions were often the most effective way to spend Mettle, and thus most characters perpetually had 2 actions per turn. Only the toughest of enemies (Champions and Chosen) have Mettle, but when they do, they spend it just like PCs (meaning extra actions is usually the best way to spend it).

HappyDaze

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Re: So, a little bit about Soulbound...
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2021, 08:46:20 AM »
How do opponents work in Soulbound? Glad you asked!

There are four types of opponents: Minions, Warriors, Champions, and Chosen. Minions are just what they sound like and have pitiful skills and die after taking 1 point of damage. Warriors are competent and even dangerous in numbers, but they tend to have skills individually below that of PCs and they lack both Mettle and the ability to withstand Wounds. Champions are upgunned Warriros with (sometimes much) greater skills and the ability to use Mettle. Chosen are another step highter, can use Mettle, can withstand Wounds, and are generally boss baddies. The core book comes with a reasonable large selection of opponents, bu there is also the Bestiary which puts the vast majority of options from the Age of Sigmar wargame into the RPG.

On a side note, some Minions (usually very weak ones) can form swarms. The mechanic is simple, with the groups pooling Toughness (a swarm of 10 Grots has 10 toughness and a Grot dies for each point of damage suffered). Offensively, these guys get +1d6 per member, so the 10 Grots make a single attack at 12d6 (the base attack of a Grot is 2d6). They don't improve their Melee/Accuracy though, so it's still likely they need 6s to score hits against all but the least combat-capable of targets,

ChrisFox

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Re: So, a little bit about Soulbound...
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2021, 09:11:02 AM »
Thanks for the write up, Happy. I played Warhammer back when it was based on Rolemaster / MERP and it was a terrible system. So many players maimed literally in character creation.

This system sounds a lot cooler, and I've always liked the Warhammer world. Might give this a look.

Godfather Punk

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Re: So, a little bit about Soulbound...
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2021, 10:09:44 AM »
I only played the free Crash & Burn scenario with the starter set rules and pregens, but the players and I had a blast!

Unlike Warhammer, in Soulbound the player are Superheroes. Dealing massive damage, surviving impossible odds, ... (like crashing an airship into a forest fire).
The WarPriest on the team after his normal attack used Mettle almost every round, to Heal everybody in range (both the heroes as the commoners they had to protect), while the Kurnoth Hunter (Treeman Ranger) could rain arrows on the Minions, and the Stormcast Eternal was just a Beast in Combat, taking the 'Tank' role literally. Swarms of Ratmen or Goblins? Bring 'em on!

Definitely a contender for what we'll play next, after our current D&D campaign ends.

Note this is not he Warhammer World, ChrisFox. This is after the apocalypse wiped out the Olde World, Chaos conquered all, and after a thousand years of licking their wounds, the forces of Law are just starting their counteroffensive and have to rebuild the Mortal Realms. No more hobbits, the dwarves are either lava worshipping nudists or steamtech mercantilists, some (Dark) elves remain but most Aelves are either worshippers of Kaine (god of assassins), Treehuggers or underwater dwelling soulharvesters*. I think there are also still some humans around...

*) in the metaplot, the Light Aelves have also just turned up, so if you want to play Glorfindel style elves, and if you buy the Champions of Order supplement, you have that option too.

HappyDaze

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Re: So, a little bit about Soulbound...
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2021, 11:06:04 AM »
The WarPriest on the team after his normal attack used Mettle almost every round, to Heal everybody in range (both the heroes as the commoners they had to protect)
My players made their own characters for that adventure, and the lack of a priest (or any significant healer type) was almost certainly what led to a TPK in the final encounter.

KingCheops

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Re: So, a little bit about Soulbound...
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2021, 12:40:22 PM »
How well does advancement work?  I've gone through the rules but haven't played a campaign so I'm curious about how things ramp up.

HappyDaze

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Re: So, a little bit about Soulbound...
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2021, 01:03:59 PM »
How well does advancement work?  I've gone through the rules but haven't played a campaign so I'm curious about how things ramp up.
I can't really say. I had a session 0 and three sessions of play before we hit a TPK. Several characters had completed a short-term goal, and so had an XP unspent, but no long-term goals had been completed thanks to the efforts of the Mighty Dizzleshroom and his pet dankhold troggoth.

KingCheops

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Re: So, a little bit about Soulbound...
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2021, 01:36:29 PM »
Ah okay.

What did you find was very deadly for the group in the starter adventure?  I note you mentioned no War Priest or other healer.  Can we get a description of what did them in?  Shaman magic and/or troll vomit/smash?

horsesoldier

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Re: So, a little bit about Soulbound...
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2021, 01:41:09 PM »
I have such resentment for what GW did to Warhammer Fantasy that I can never give this game a fair shake.