Get Introduced To RPGs Through Harvesters From Troll Lord Games


One of the reasons to keep up with the Bundle of Holding is because you never know when you're going to find that interesting new game that you didn't know about before. As a case in point, I follow the games of Troll Lord Games, and I still wouldn't have known about Harvesters by John Seibel without the Bundle of Holding. Admittedly, a game where you play small animals in a fantasy would is outside of what I would normally be interested in playing, but I have also played in fun games of Bunnies and Burrows at conventions in the past.

In light of the recent death of Richard Adams, some people might be looking for a game that will let them play small animals.

Harvesters came to me through the Family Friendly +2 bundle at the Bundle of Holding site (in its last couple of days at the time of posting this). If you are looking for games to play with your children, both Harvesters and this bundle are games to check out.

On the surface, Harvesters is "just" a simplified version of the Castles & Crusades rules already published by Troll Lord Games. Instead of the standard fantasy races you can instead play rabbits, squirrels, river otters, mice and badgers. Rather than just recasting the rules, or scaling them into something different, the game uses the same rules that you might already be used to playing. By making the small animals the default, play isn't any different than it would be if the assumption was that humans would be the default. Giant spiders are still giant spiders, after all, whether you're a human or an otter.

The game doesn't feature humans as antagonists, but it seems to me that they wouldn't be any different to the animals than giants would be to humans in a regular game of Castles & Crusades. There would just (likely) be fewer special powers afforded to humans.

The Harvesters role-playing game is a self-contained game. You don't need Castles & Crusades to play it, but if you have the game it can be used to expand your Harvesters game.

The character classes available in Harvesters includes fighter, ranger, cleric, druid, knight, wizard and rogue. Each class goes up to six levels and outline all of the classes special abilities. This isn't a game that you're going to play to expand genre horizons, or experience new emotional depths. It is a game where you kill things and take their stuff, while you're cute little fuzzy animals.

This isn't a game about furries. The animals are, more or less, animals. The differences being that they can talk, think rationally, cast spells and use tiny swords. Outside of that, there isn't any anthropomorphism to the animal races.

No RPG is perfect. There are some typos in the book that look like they are the result of copy/pasting typed sections. For a game with two editors, and a minimal page count, that is unfortunate, but typos are a way of life with role-playing games. As unfortunate as it is, we all seem to dismiss typos as unavoidable in role-playing games.

I get that the "fuzzy animals" part isn't going to appeal to everyone, which is fine. However, as this is a reskin of the existing Castles & Crusades rules, boiled down to the important parts of the rules. If you are looking for a condensed and simplified set of fantasy rules, you might want to look at Harvesters. As someone who is a fan of the simple in RPGs, Harvesters is right up my alley. Using it to run a more standard is as easy as swapping out the animal races for the ones that everyone is used to in their fantasy games. Don't have Castles & Crusades? Check out the quick start for the game available through the Troll Lord Games website. Combine the two and you have everything that you need.

Harvesters has a complete set of spells for the classes, up to third level in cleric, wizard and druid spells. It has a complete equipment list (unchanged from Castles & Crusades rules), which means that it is completely compatible with any costs from any Castles & Crusades book that you might want to plug into the game.

There is a serious lack of decent introductory games in RPGs. While Harvesters may not be a game for everyone, the fact that Troll Lord Games has made a game that can bring young, and new, gamers into the fold is a good thing to have. Whether geared towards younger gamers, or those who have never gamed before, I would like to see publishers do good introductory games.
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Comments

thorgrit

Villager
Yay for introductory games, and getting new people in the hobby!

This isn't a game about furries. The animals are, more or less, animals. The differences being that they can talk, think rationally, cast spells and use tiny swords. Outside of that, there isn't any anthropomorphism to the animal races.
So apart from them walking on two legs, being able to talk and reason, being able to hold objects, wearing clothing, and having a society advanced to (I assume) roughly medieval technology including forged weapons and armor, they don't have any human-like qualities at all? Sorry, I'm just not sure what this bit is supposed to mean.
 

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