What is Untold?

Brannon, the creator of the “Untold” Card-based role-playing game dropped by for some guest posts to talk his game  “Untold.”  Just to make things  more interesting, he threw in a discount coupon code on your initial purchase of the game!

Trask

What is Untold?
Simply put, Untold is a CBRPG, that is, a Card-Based RPG. It is a game both familiar and foreign, but most of all it is fast, flexible, furious, and fun! Created and developed by Wandering Men Studios, Untold’s primary goal is to provide you, the gamer enthusiast, with a fast-paced, intuitive, and flexible gaming platform that drives role-play and story creation to its outermost limits. So, is Untold just another card game? Absolutely not! Untold is, however, an RPG that uses cards INSTEAD OF character sheets, rulebooks, and other mechanics. In Untold, the cards are simply tools, not the engine that drive the game; the engine of Untold is, just like other RPG’s, the collective story composed by the participants in the game. While Untold was created initially as a role-playing (RPG) game, its extreme flexibility allows for it to also function as a Trading Card Game (TCG), called Untold: Battle ™. Below is a quick table that explains both styles of play at a glance.

Why Play Untold?
Why should you want to play this game, after all? You’ve got plenty of games already, right? Well, that may well be true, but be warned, because once  you play Untold, you may never WANT to play anything else. Untold is very intuitive: the system is so fast, flexible, furious, and fun that once you play one time you’ll find yourself wondering: “Why aren’t OTHER RPGs this easy and intuitive?” Here are some of these qualities explained in detail:

FAST: Compared to other RPG’s, Untold is blisteringly fast. When was the last time you created a 6th level character in under 6 minutes? Once you learn simple and straightforward Untold’s rules, you can create multiple characters in a fraction of the time normally allotted to character creation. Further, in terms of combat, Untold is quicker than just about any system out there – even some “rules light” systems! Also, leveling and advancing characters takes seconds – yes, literally seconds – and there’s no other RPG anywhere that can make that claim. Changing or altering your character (like taking “negative levels” or “ability damage”) happens just as quickly – in seconds!

FLEXIBLE: Untold is amazingly flexible – in fact, flexibility was one of the core concepts that WMS had in mind during the game’s creation. From the basic fundamentals of character creation and game play to the complex elements of setting and rules compatibility, Untold is unlike any other game on the planet! If you want to change even a major portion of your character – such as your core attribute scores, for instance, in the middle of the game (or even in the middle of a combat round) you can do it with Untold; and it’s utterly simple to do so! Also, Untold was crafted to be easily retro-fitted into any campaign setting with ease. Do you have that bookshelf of worlds that you’d love to explore, but no time to learn the rules? No need to wait any longer – grab those books and use your Untold cards to have a blast!

FURIOUS: Untold is not your grandpappy’s RPG! It’s hard-hitting and brutal – if you like combat, you’ll love Untold! We’ve done the unthinkable – thrown away “saving throws” and ramped up the magnitude of the things your character can do. It’s like playing a game set in the middle of a Hollywood action movie – if you have the power, you can use it! Furthermore, our unique system for handling damage is unlike any other RPG out there: innately visceral and vicious – you literally see the parts of your character being torn away as they receive damage! Don’t think that role-play has been wiped from the map, however, as fundamental mechanics of Untold also ramp up the role-play and many even require it! We fused drama, action, and excitement into every Untold card to make it more thrilling for you!

FUN: Untold’s purpose can be distilled into a single word, – fun! The underlying task of Untold’s designers has been to take the toil out of playing RPGs and put the fun back in. As such, every single design element has been driven by this maxim. Gone are the endless hours of flipping through rulebooks, searching for an obscure rule or reference or the long wait until your turn comes back around in combat. Also, our unique story-telling mechanics inspire and fuel that “collaborate story-telling feel” that got you into RPG’s in the first place. There’s no doubt that this core design philosophy shines through in the actual play of the game. When you play Untold, it’s easy to have fun again!

FAN-BASED: Untold was crafted with the fan in mind. What does that mean, exactly? Well, Wandering Men Studios conducted a ton of market research, talked to gamers all over the globe, listened to what gamers were saying on their blogs, in forums, and on the ‘net – and we took it all to heart. One of the biggest complaints that we heard in the realm of card games was that of blind packaging, and so Untold doesn’t utilize it. All our deck contents are listed on every pack and online. Another complaint was randomization and card glut, so Untold doesn’t utilize that either. Every card that you’ll find in an Untold deck is useful: there’s no commons, rares, or super-hard-to find cards; just good, wholesome RPG-goodness. Another big complaint was fan involvement and so Untold solves that issue too. We actually allow fans of the game to submit new card ideas and if they make the cut, we give the fans the credit – right on the card! What’s more, we’ve also just opened up our Open Campaign Setting, Splintered Serenity, to fan development too – something that you’ll be hearing more about in the weeks ahead!

So What are the differences between an RPG and a CBRPG?

According to Wikipedia (http://wikipedia.org), a role-playing game is defined as:

“A role-playing game (RPG; often roleplaying game) is a game in which the participants assume the roles of fictional characters. Participants determine the actions of their characters based on their characterization, and the actions succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines. Within the rules, players have the freedom to improvise; their choices shape the direction and outcome of the game.”

I shall adhere to the above definition for RPG for the purposes of this article, but allow me to expound for a moment. RPG’s are primarily played via spoken words and subtle actions and are usually driven along by a common, or pre-defined, storyline. Most RPG’s require the participants to assume one of two roles in order to play the game: either a Player, or the Game Master (GM). The GM sets the stage and defines the parameters of where, when, how, and why the story is talking place; it then falls to the Players to assume the roles of a character (like acting, or playing pretend) and react as that character within the story. Thus the game continues as a delicate to and fro between the Players and the GM, with each participant acting in their respective “in-game” persona.

Generally, there are physical “tools” associated with an RPG: rulebooks, character sheets, and dice being the most common. Rulebooks are simply compendiums that comprise all the written rules that govern the imaginary worlds in which characters exist and act. Character sheets are lists of written (or printed) statistics, numbers, and words that represent a character’s skills, abilities, appearance, and so forth. Dice, as in most games, come in various shapes, sizes, and numbers of sides, and are used to insert randomness into the game.

Now, a CBRPG is exactly the same as an RPG, but the primary physical “tools” of the game are different. Instead of rulebooks and character sheets, the tools you’ll use in Untold are cards! Cards which are used to construct characters, represent their skills, abilities, and items, as well as contain all of the rule references necessary to play the game! In Untold, there are no required rulebooks, gazetteers, or guides to purchase, read and try to remember. While we do offer free rules, primers, downloads and such online, these rules become completely unnecessary after an initial play session. This is because characters and creatures are not comprised of a character sheet, but in fact, a deck of cards! All the information you need to know is displayed on beautifully crafted and illustrated cards. Untold combines all the best parts of Trading Card Games (TCG’s), Collectible Card Games (CCG’s) and role-playing games (RPG’s) into a single, simple system. All you need to play Untold is a deck and a die!

I hope you enjoyed this quick glance into the world of Untold and I hope that it’s sparked some interest. Feel free to check us out online at http://www.untoldthegame.com, join our community and ask us anything you’d like. Be sure and tune back in soon for my next article, where we’ll discuss the process of Character Creation in Untold!

If you are interested in getting a 5% discount on “Untold,” just use the coupon code “TRASK” (case-sensistive) at checkout!

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trask

Trask is a long-time gamer, world traveler and history buff. He hopes that his scribblings will both inform and advance gaming as a hobby.

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