Postmortem on Pugmire

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So we just finished recording our first year of shows for the “Knights of the Tabletop” podcast, which means that we’ve ended our first campaign, which was in “Pugmire”. If you play tabletop roleplaying games, and haven’t tried this fine fantasy RPG from Onyx Path, you’re missing out! That said, I’d like to take a look at some of points of interest (at least to me), in regards to the game.

First of all, I really like how “Pugmire” takes the D&D5e rules, and improves upon them in several ways. The level cap crunch from 20 down to 10 makes campaigns feel more condensed overall, but also perhaps a bit more pressing and urgent. As a Guide, you have less room level-wise to get your story told, although one can continue the game once the characters reach 10th level. I prefer to see that as a bit of a hard cap, though, as the game suggests.

Another fine improvement over 5e is the Luck system. When players do awesome or funny things with their characters, the team earns Luck Coins, which can then be spent by players when they need a re-roll, or a get-out-of-death-free option. It’s an interesting way to reward players for saying and doing things that make everyone laugh, for excellent roleplaying, etc. It also gives players who are about to lose their character to the fickle gods of RNG a way to avoid prematurely having to roll up a new character.

But that all said, “Pugmire” is far from perfect.

The book’s layout is less than optimal. Many rules can be hard to find. Some of the rules seem a bit contradictory sometimes. In short, it’s a game based on 5e, and it inherits some problems from its sire. That said, it could be worse… a lot worse, in fact. “Pugmire” could be based upon 4e, or another system entirely, such as the Palladium system.

So I guess it isn’t all that bad, after all. Just know that it isn’t all wine & roses, either.

After running “Pugmire” for a year on the podcast, would I do it again? Sure, it’s a good game. My players found it easy enough to grasp after a couple of sessions, and we didn’t have to homebrew the Hell out of it, to make it work for us. So, yeah, I’d do it again. That said, I think I should have had less “break months” during the year (we played something else every third month, as a change-of-pace or for a holiday special), which would have given my campaign more time to develop overall. So that’s something I want to instill next ‘season’, starting in July. But we’ll get to that later in the year, obviously.

TL;DR: Buy “Pugmire”. Play “Pugmire”. Listen to “Knights of the Tabletop” podcast.

 

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