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Welcome To Our Club

Trial By Fire Games offers two ways to battle the long history of human warfare. Using the Tactical Skirmish warfare system, you can re-fight the house to house struggles of modern warfare, or the brutal sieges of the Middle Ages: savage, short ranged battles where an individual’s fate hangs in the time between the crack of a gunshot and the whine of a ricochet. Or, using the Heroic Saga rules of Ragnarok, story-based scenarios that emphasize the heroes of Norse myth come to life in the brutally stark world of the old Gods where the life of a hero and his stalwart thanes could be measured on the tip of a spear.

The core rules of the Trial By Fire Games' system are easy to learn because they all use the same simple mechanics driven by the twenty-sided die (D20): a percentile result with the throw of a single die, or multiple percentages resolved with a handful of dice. Combined with the use of the standardized target numbers for the D20, the effects of combat modifiers become more variable, depending upon the base value of the active character. If the characters are ordinary soldiers, the bonus of a single modifier will only change his percentage of success by 5 or 10%, but more elite characters can gain +15% or more using the exact same modifier, thus reflecting that character’s ability to exploit advantage in similar situations. The end results are a more realistic and satisfying simulation as the players see events play out driven by their characters, and the more skilled a character is, the more impact he has on the situation.

The Trial By Fire Games system maintains a high emphasis on playability and consistency within the rules. Everything is resolved using the D20, and the target numbers used on the D20-Table apply to all aspects of the game. So, once these are understood, the core of the game is already within your grasp! Simply apply a different weapon system or military training doctrine to your new scenario, and the rules will fill in the rest. The characters will be very similar indeed, just as a soldier today could look back five hundred years and see himself reflected in a veteran warrior, regardless of how weapons have changed the level of violence on the battlefield. It is the capacity for veteran soldiers to weather the storm of battle better than their less experienced comrades that will never change, be it a storm of bullets or arrows. This is the level of authenticity to the human experience of war that the Trial By Fire Games system strives to achieve.

By the same token, the Trial By Fire Games system’s realistic results do not overshadow the stirring moments of individual courage playing out as drama on the field of battle. The best moments in good wargaming are a combination of historical expectations – the reality we expect to see; and the dynamic cinematic moments we read about in first hand accounts that make everyone say both “I can’t believe he really did that” and “you could never simulate that in a game.” With all modesty aside, the Trial By Fire Games system comes as close to this goal as any our team has ever played, and we eagerly present it to you now with the hope that you, the gamer, finds as much variety and enjoyment in this system as we did designing it.

— Chris Herschel, on behalf of the TBF Games Staff

Featured Events

April 2009

Ragnarok playtest


May 2009

Ragnarok game at Kubla Con.