Within any Urok company, held by Rbas lawmen, cherished by the Elders written on sacred leather are the rules to Bloodage. On tables miniature battlefields are crafted and mock armies armies placed. What is but a game can change the nation.
Before playing a die is rolled to determine the kind of scenario. Types of scenarios may include siege, naval, ambush, invasion, assault and skirmish. Once the scenario is determined the battlefield is constructed. To construct the battlefield dice are rolled many times to place strategic points; tree lines, garrisons, cities, topography, bodies of water, neutral parties, hostile forces so on. Then die is rolled to determine who is the attacker, who is the defender or if it is a combined strike. This will determine who will be assigned resources that were just previously rolled for. To play Bloodage first one must build an army. For a Goran this means to read the runes etched upon their body. Based on the merit and coverage of runes they are allocated a certain number of points. These points are used to purchase units, upgrades, advantages and remove banes from their army. All costs are listed in the Bloodage Librium. Most who play the game have multiple builds prepared ahead of time.
World modules exist for every noteworthy nation. The nations have numerous editions most a new edition every year. Whenever Goran scouts receive intel, a real world commander observes battle tatics or spies observe the inner workings of foreign nations war information is sent back to the Minthos. While processing this data for real time was strategy the information is transferred over to Bloodage mechanics. Said information is reproduced and sent back to all territories that might make contact with said forces. Goran that read these game manuals are given a direct insight to the conflicts they are likely to face.
Each figure is hand crafted. To produce a unit of superior quality a Gratok craftsman will spend hours per figure. When Goran leadership is aware a person plays Bloodage distributing figures is sometimes used as a reward. Figures may be a reward for passing a trial, surviving a conflict, creating a great work or in respect for faith. Goran will give the figures to those noteworthy in their lives. For a Goran to give a figure it would represent what they accomplished to revive it and their admiration for the one reviving it. Each Goran is unlikely to have enough figures to field an entire army. Those close with the Goran will allow their figures to be borrowed.
Bloodage can track it's roots to before the foundation of the Goran nation under the Fire God. Existing for such a period of time has created several splintering games calling upon Bloodage as their origin.
In lieu of the standard army system each player controls a single hero of their design. In addition to the standard abilities of any given unit heroes are given skills not always associated with combat. The heroes also grow with experience. In long lasting Bloodage Hero games the figure's marks or scars are painted on by the game master or local Gratok. A more hardcore modification to the game involves the purification by flames of any fallen hero figure. Typically the hero is modeled after the Chosen that fathered them however, other historical heroes or even entirely fictitious heroes can be used. Ranging from 2-6 players select their hero and one game master facilitates play. Smaller module books can be procured from commonwealth Goran resources; usually a library or military garrison. Within the modules are adventures for the heroes to embark on. Adventures may be fictitious involving magic, historical or entirely home-brew. This game variant is most conducive to a larger number of players then any other type of Bloodage game.
Considered a smaller and quicker game-play then standard Bloodage Tatics is a squad based game modification. Army points are still used just reduced greatly. The early game functions identically to standard Bloodage except some modules may be used to create a more interesting game. One controls a squad between 5-15 members with differing skills and abilities. The core mechanic of victory may not always be to eliminate enemy forces. Victory conditions can range from survive a number of rounds, destroy target unit or building, terrorize a town or village, distract enemy forces so on. Some say this game-play method requires greater strategy then the standard game. This game-play style is more conducive for younger players who do not have a full command over the rules or Goran whose marks are still small.
Only the greatest teams can function under the pressure of Bloodage Command. One player is selected as general and the others are commanders. Each player is represented by a figure this is called a rep. The general has a small section of forces typically scouts or defensive unit where each commander is effectively playing Bloodage Tatics. The general gives commands to the commanders of whom have to obey. If they don't the army is considered rogue and the player is disqualified from victory. When the rep of a player is defeated the player is required to leave the game and can no longer speak until the game is finished.
From a game perspective the only term that can describe this is epic. Like Bloodage armies are used however it is no longer one player versus another this involves teams of players including neutral parties. End Times generally takes 16 hours to fully play. Games can last months or even years depending on the scale decided. To compartmentalize leadership multiple teams may be playing Tatics in the middle of a game of End Times.
Some tire of the same setting and adventures seen over and over again and seek newer material to challenge them. Entire core rule alterations have been made to increase overall entertainment of gameplay.
Magic & Monsters
Originally an official expansion module for Bloodage Hero to give each Hero a more interesting game play element Magic and Monsters has expanded to an entire handbook with it's own adventure modules. Devotees of the Fire God are able to throw fire from their own hands as follows of the void consume the flame with magical darkness. Magic & Monsters has over the years become the standard edition of Bloodage Hero. This variant has even been adapted for army use. The only competition is the emergence of SET which involves equaly as interesting additional elements.
After the silent introduction of the Academy into Goran society unknown social trends began to emerge. Works of fiction involving a distant future where electricity is common use, apes are equally intelligent as men, all warfare is done with fantastic weapons at a distance and the Goran hordes invade the moon. The fantastic stories told around the camp fires inspire the Goran and many believe in such a wonderful future. SET (Science Engineering Technology) was an expansion module invented for Bloodage designed to sate Goran lust for a future that might never be. Where the first SET handbook came from is a mystery but, it has been mass produced by the Family Hearth despite lack of official sanctions from Goran leadership. Unofficial tournaments are held using SET involving high level Bloodage players. Official looking figurines featuring amazing armor and weaponry has even been found throughout the Goran nation and abroad.
Real World Applications
For Goran in the Arms Forces the ability to play Bloodage well is required to advance in roles of leadership. It is argued if Bloodage can be directly applied to warfare however the game does breed a strategic thought process. The fact that Goran Uroks are convinced to play anything that involves heavy thought is startling.
After the Global Trade Company officially took the Rite of the Vassal Goran have learned to accept them as Free Goran people. As Gorans the Family Hearth is welcome to join in the favored game of the people Bloodage. Some Family merchants leaned to love the game and even earned rare and valuable figures or Goran tribal tattoos while on leave to Goran land. When they return many Family Hearth merchants share their new found love of the traditional Goran board games. Most Family Hearth do not share tribal runes as the Goran do so some rules have been modified. The most major change was the setting of standard point system. They have even translated the books from Goran to the common tong. The Family Hearth began to mass produce Bloodage handbooks, modules and figurines. The figurines produced by the Family Hearth are low quality and mass produced to make quick profit. Even an untrained eye can spot the differences between true Goran Bloodage figures and Family production units. Some illegal high quality units have began to circulate in Goran land and it is a punishable offense to posses them.