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Wicked Ones
by Michael B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/06/2021 18:59:51

How many years have we been adventurers? Delving into darkness, slaying found fiends and retrieving treasure to increase our heroic power. Sure, sometimes we might be more mercenary murderhobos than actual heroes, but roleplaying games are about adventure. Well, not any more!

Wicked Ones is a Forged in the Dark game about being the monsters. You are creatures of unusual ambition and intelligence, ruling over a dungeon populated by lesser minions and imps. You argue, scheme, develop dark plans, and venture out onto the surface to raid and corrupt the forces of Light that are prevent you from fulfilling your monstrous destiny. As your dungeon grows, you attract adventurers who murder their way towards your sanctum. But if you survive, you'll topple the whole region into chaos, claiming it for the forces of darkness.

Wicked Ones gets a lot of points for the reverse dungeon concept, but it's also a really nicely tuned version of the FitD system. Monsters are resilient, so they clear stress and harm automatically. There's a new level of consequence, Shocked, which imposes a penalty to the next roll using the relevant ability. Downtime and the loot cycle have also been reworked to be more monstrous, and you can bank Dark Hearts to get bonus dice by playing into moments when your monstrous appetites harm you. Resistance rolls have been reworked into a static cost. In general, having read a fair number of FitD games, Wicked Ones is one of the better implementations of the system, a clear and stripped down FitD 1.5!

The book comes with plenty of material, with three schools of magic, alchemy, and goblincore mad science to flavor the usual abilities. There are four sample regions to corrupt, lots of tables of weird items and spells, four advanced monsters with powerful abilities, and plenty of incredibly stylish artwork. The tone is horror-slapstick. You're encouraged to commit atrocities, but fiction and your base appetites will implode your plans in a funny way.

There aren't many games in this vein, and Wicked Ones is a cut above. My only problem is that it came out after my Monstrous Revolution campaign was in full swing. Maybe next time!

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wicked Ones
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Wicked Ones
by Clemens L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/19/2021 14:50:20

About the book One of the best rule books I have read so far. The cell-shading art style is superb, fitting the tone (dark but humorous) nicely (I love the imps). The typesetting and design of the pages are on point, visually pleasing and very easy to read, same goes for the writing style - rarely have I read a rule book this easy to grasp. Everything is explained in detail with refreshing clarity and simplicity, padded with hints and a gracious amount of examples from play so you always know how to apply what you just read. The book offers everything you need to start playing and more, giving you a complete guide on how to set up your first few sessions, what to be aware of when making your own content and much much more.

About the system Being evil, building your own dungeon with others and a free flowing narrative are strong points of this system - and it is a joy to play. The rules actively support and reward good roleplaying (for example staying in character for arguing in discussions). Integrating your own ideas, themes or worlds is extremely easy (you come up with your own region and its factions for example), sessions can have relaxing dungeon-building phases or tense and dramatic raids on enemy factions with your Wicked One's life always on the line. It never gets boring and there always is a bigger village to burn and pillage to further your master plan.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wicked Ones
by Zachary K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/12/2021 19:57:36

Honestly, I had a friend show me his PDF a while ago (he was a Kickstarter backer) and I ordered a copy the day it showed up on DTRPG.

The artwork? Superb! I love this more blocky, minimalist style. But the best part by far is how consistent the artwork is in both style and quality throughout the book. It gives it a sense of singular vision that just oozes personality.

But otherwise, it's a great variant of the Forged in the Dark ruleset! I love the use of clocks, the breakdown of play, the free-form spells/crafting and especially the mechanics designed to encourage you to actually make a fantasy dungeon. It's a great game, backed up by a tried-and-true ruleset. I highly recommend that you check this out if you have the slightest interest in the ruleset, the artwork, the idea of running your own fantasy dungeon or of just being the bad guy.

Love it, can't wait to play it! It's getting a special spot on my RPG shelf and to-play list :)

Also, I recommend you check out the actual play the developers made if you are interested:

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wicked Ones
by ar e. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/12/2021 01:56:15

A simply superb take on John Harper's Blades in the Dark. Unlike many hacks of the system, Wicked Ones isn't merely a fun reskin. It really does make itself its own game with its own unique mechanics, it simply takes the overarching feel of Blades and carries it into the idea of playing monsters doing monster things. It successfully does something no other game I've played is designed to do - put you on the other end of a classic dungeon romp - and does it with a rules light, narrative first system that's pretty easy for just about anyone to pick up. Another key difference from Blades is instead of choosing from a few predetermined gains as your band of wicked ones grows, you get a bit more freedom by way of actively drawing out a dungeon as you build onto it. The dungeon theme does define specific rooms, and these are your big defining rooms, but outside that there are all sorts of options for smaller rooms that don't respect a playbook. Building onto this dungeon feels like a fun way to keep everyone invested in the group's progress.

The short of it is, it takes what I really loved about Blades in the Dark, puts a brand new spin on the whole thing, and applies it to high fantasy dungeon crawling by making you the overlords of your very own adventurer magnet. If you liked Blades in the Dark and you like fantasy, I'd definitely recommend giving this a good look. If you're not sure what Blades in the Dark is, I'd still recommend it, as the system is very easy to get a handle on whether or not you're aware of the game that inspired its overarching mechanics.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wicked Ones
by Florian H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/25/2020 16:26:27

This introduction was originally released on my blog diceadventurer.

Wicked Ones is now available to the public. Before that, the supporters of the Kickstarter were allowed to hold the finished game in their hands. I had already written my thoughts on a playtest, but with the release, I want to introduce the full game.

The world: There is no fixed world for Wicked Ones and so the group has complete freedom in which setting they want to play. However, there are a few guidelines. The players are monsters and behave like that. They have enough ambitions that they can stand out from the conventional monsters and lead them. As a group, the players build a dungeon together and try to gradually expand it and increase their power. There are a number of playable origins, such as orcs, demons or goblins, and it is no problem to implement your own ideas with the system. If you want some help, you can choose between four sandboxes in the book, each of which consists of a beautiful map and suggestions for factions and possible raids and operations for the players.

The system: Wicked Ones is a Forged in the Dark game based on Blades in the Dark by John Harper. Basically, the game follows the same principles and once you have understood the concept, you only have to worry about the subtleties of the respective FitD games. The FitD games are very structured and sometimes have a lot of small game elements that I can’t all go into. I go into the main points that make up the game.

Characters are generated via playbooks. Each player chooses a calling (e.g. the brute, the crafter or the hunter) that characterize his monster. Instead of attributes and skills, there are nine actions in Wicked Ones, such as scanning, finesse or threatening, which are divided into three categories (brain, muscles and guts). The points in an action determine the number of d6 for the test (more on this later). In addition, each calling offers different abilities, similar to talents from other games. With the ability fury, for example, the brute gets the opportunity to receive an additional die if it responds with violence after an injury or humiliation. What is also important for the monsters is their dark impulse, which they should follow when the stress that they have received through failure gets out of hand.

However, it doesn’t stop with one character, the group also creates a dungeon together for themselves and the minions who help them. There are different themes for the dungeon and you have plenty options to choose from. During the game, the group draws the dungeon, its rooms and the traps, mechanisms and doors that they use to ward off or distract intruders. There are also very nice drawing instructions in the book.

The focus of the FitD games is clearly on fiction, i.e. the actual conversation of the group. The description of what and how a character does something can have a lot of influence. It is also important to say that everything is transparent at FitD, the game master and the players discuss the situation and the consequences of the action together so that everyone knows exactly what to expect in the event of success or failure. This weighing of position, effect and one’s own situation that makes the FitD games so interesting, because even a good result of the dice does not help me if I do not have the right equipment. As mentioned above, you use d6s for a roll. A 1-3 is a failure, a 4-5 is a mixed result, i.e. a partial success, a 6 is a success and several 6s are a critical success. Apart from critical success, only the highest die is used to determine the result. In addition to action rolls, there are many other rolls, such as the resistance throw. If a player does not want to suffer a consequence of a test or the circumstances (such as injuries), then he can try to resist it. He can use armor for this (it does not always have to be real armor, properties or other equipment also serve mechanically as armor in the game), which is then consumed. Otherwise, you roll the dice for a suitable action and the result of the dice tells you whether you have partially or completely resisted. By resisting, but also as a consequence or by using different abilities, a monster gets stress. If the bar fills up completely, then you become feral and you fall for your dark impulse.

The game alternates between different phases. In the lurking phase, the monsters regenerate, count their loot and take care of various projects, such as expanding the dungeon, arcane experiments or nasty plans. With raids, you can steal important objects, accumulate wealth or organize followers. The great thing about FitD is that there is no planning. You just determine the starting situation and a die roll decides your own position. Adjustments are made by using flashbacks. After a raid, other factions may want to get you back, then the dungeon has to be defended and this is where the traps, doors and mechanisms come into play. If an intruder reaches your sanctuary, then your monsters must go into battle. It is also possible that your subordinates are not satisfied with you or that unpredictable events affect parts of the dungeon. All of these are elements that dungeon owners have to deal with and the mechanics are very elegant and easy to use.

The book: Wicked Ones has 264 pages and is full color. Both the layout and the typesetting are very pleasant to read and the images are not only consistent, I personally think the style is simply fantastic and it gives a very good feel to the game. My personal highlight is the drawing guide for the dungeons, I never would have thought how easy it is to draw traps and mechanisms in such a minimalist and yet easily recognizable manner.

Who might be interested in Wicked Ones:

  • Players and GMs who like to build and manage a dungeon themselves
  • People who like to play structured, but narrative-oriented
  • Players who like to play evil characters

Who might not be interested in Wicked Ones:

  • Players and GMs who want more classic mechanics
  • People who cannot do anything with the structure of FitD games
  • Players who want classic character generation and development

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wicked Ones
by Armando O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/25/2020 03:38:49

Of all the FiTD games that I have read and played thus far this is (I dare to say) the one that is written with much care. It is very newbie friendly!

Reading a ruleset is a daunting task because the rules come one after the other but the author is very explicit and goes to great lenghts to show you how each new rule introduce fit in the overall ruleset and hiw it relates to the rules discussed already. The best part is that the examples interwoven throughout the text bring it all to life in a way that helps understand everything.

As for the game, it is so much fun! Is very easy setting up or at least that was my impression because setting everything up is quite integrated into the experience.

Also, another highlight for me was the Faction and Sandbox rules because they are so flexible, impactful and fun. Setting up the factions is something that involves all players and helps everyone get in the mindset about the world. It helpa breeds familiary with a homebrewed setting that pops up almost instantly with everyone's help.

Finally, the freeform magic system is very fun and I think quite well-thought.

TL;DR: great game, must buyiT

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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