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WRM Role Playing Game in the Ice Age

A game by Emmanuel Roudier


Published by Les Editions Icare

In this short PDF you will find a quick description of the game and details
about its game system. Herein you will also find a sample Character Sheet and a
sample Community Sheet.
Please note that if the Kickstarter campaign is successful, the core rulebook
will be available as an A4 format book of around 140 pages, with full color as well
as B&W illustrations (mostly by me, but also by other artists specialized in paleo-
lithic art and lifestyle).
Please do not hesitate to post comments on the Kickstarter page, and we will
do our best to answer promptly to any questions or ideas you may have.

Emmanuel Roudier

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WRM
Role Playing Game in the Ice Age

Les Editions Icare is proud to present All the rules you need to play Wrm are
a French role playing game with a truly included in the core rulebook, detailed over
original theme, already loved by players for nine chapters. These rules were designed to
the quality of its writing and illustrations, be simple and clear. For the most part, they
now in English language for the first time only require a few 6-sided dice. Most of
ever. This funding campaign aims to back all, they were designed to be well adapted
the professional translation of the work, and to the atmosphere of the Stone Age. For
its distribution in the USA and the United example, to develop the characters, you
Kingdom. Our publishing company, now wont need skills and stats, but a number
eight years old, has specialized in publishing of Strengths and Weaknesses that are
independent role-playing games with strong connected to specific totems. Additionally,
themes. We would therefore like to invite you Talents and Secret Knowledges represent
to discover Wrm, a role playing game that the abilities that a character will have to
takes place at the very origins of humanity, learn through initiation, such as painting,
which will surely strike a chord with both shamanism or certain combat techniques.
new and experienced players alike.
Humanity before history began, thirty five thousand The game rules have been developed
years ago, in the middle of an ice age to be as close as possible to established
archaeological sources, carefully relaying
In this long-forgotten time, many powerful what we know of the technical knowledge,
creatures roam far and wide over a vast the environment and part of the culture of
territory covered in steppes and taiga, our ancestors. However, the world of Wrm
reaching from the white mountains to the also leaves room for a touch of fantasy and
raging sea: mammoths, aurochs, buffaloes, adventure: you will therefore find rules
giant deers, cave bears and cave lions... that allow you to play with the real powers
Among these huge creatures, two species of totem spirits, as well as a whole range
of humans live in small communities of of fantastical creatures living along side the
hunter-gatherers: the robust Bear Men mammoths and the cave bears, such as fire
(Neanderthals) and the taller Long Men spirits, witches and glacier giants
(Modern Humans).
To let you dive right into the prehistoric
When you play Wrm, it will be up to you to adventures of the world of Wrm, the core
imagine what life was like for our ancestors, rulebook ends with four introductory
and give YOUR OWN vision of this time scenarios, each one providing a specific
before time. During your adventures, atmosphere, such as adventure, investigation,
whether simply surviving or going on melancholy or humor. One scenario is
perilous hunts or legendary quests, your especially designed for the initiation of
characters will gain strength, wisdom and younger players!
prestige by exploring unknown territories, So prepare your flint or bone-tipped spears,
daring to enter the darkness of mysterious and make sure your clan and your totem
caves, seeking out the powers of ancient spirits are behind you. The adventure begins
spirits, or challenging the creatures of the the second you step outside your camp
night, the ice and the fire

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Detailed hereafter are a few samples of the The Strengths
game mechanics. As said previously, the rules Hand of the Ancestors
are light and run smoothly. Majesty of the Aurochs
Knowledge of the Beaver
Song of the Blackbird
Characters Secret of the Bear
A character is defined by:
Strength of the Bear
his or her people, tribe, clan
Might of the Buffalo
his or her Strengths;
Flight of the Crow
his or her Weaknesses ;
Rise of the Eagle
his or her Experience ;
Breath of the Giant Stag
his or her Stamina ;
Speed of the Horse
his or her Talents or Secret Knowledges ;
Nimbleness of the Ibex
his or her Prestige ;
Heart of Ice
his or her equipment.
Fury of the Lion
Quickness of the Lynx
Strength
Wisdom of the Mammoth
Every adult character possesses 3 Strengths.
Softness of the Otter
Each Strength comes from a special totemic
Watchfulness of the Owl
bond with an animal, elemental or ancestor
Eye of the Panther
spirit. New Strengths can be gained through
Magic of the Rhino
the use of charms and fetishes. A Child
Inspiration of the Rocks
character who hasnt received his or her
Flame of the Salamander
initiation, begins play with only one Strength.
Swim of the Salmon
There are 28 Strengths, listed below.
Protection of the She-Fox
Grace of the Swan
Weakness
Venom of the Viper
If a character chooses so, he or she can
Cunning of the Weasel
suffer from a rather severe Weakness that
Smell of the Wolf
will hinder him or her during his or her
adventures... but may also add flavor to the
part to play. In return, the character gains The Weaknesses
one more Strength. There are 14 Weaknesses, Clumsy
listed below. Disfigured
Fearful
Stamina Feeble-Minded
Characters have a certain amount of Frail
Stamina, ranging from 16 (for kids and frail Frightened
characters) to over 40. They work like hit Half Deaf
points, and are used to keep track of injuries Individualistic
due to wounds, diseases, frostbite, etc. The Lame
game mechanics ensure that characters will One-Eyed
recover quite easily, although in case of Presumptuous
serious injuries, they may suffer residual Quick-Tempered
after-effects. Weapons, claws, fangs, horns Shy
and diseases deal damage expressed by a Weak
certain number of d6.

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Experience
Experience begins at 3. This number will
grow with every adventure. Each point
figures a die that can be used to improve an
action, whatever the task. These points are
spent during game, but are recovered at the
end of every adventure.

Talents and Secret Knowledges characters innate common sense, but rather
They are no skills in Wrm. Characters are of the experience earned through years
assumed to be strong, witty and experienced and hardships. Depending on his Prestige, a
men and women, able to face most of character will gain a number of important
the challenges of the ice age. This is why prerogatives.
they can carry out every task that needs
to be accomplished for surviving: light
a fire, cook, build a shelter, track, hunt Game Mechanics
and fight, heal wounds, forage... as well
as tribal activities of utmost importance: To succeed when attempting an action,
manufacture tools, barter, impress and a character (or creature) simply has
seduce, procreate, play music and conduct to roll 2d6, add the result of the dice
ceremonies... All of these activities are and compare the total with a Difficulty
explained and detailed in the rulebook. Yet, Threshold (DT). The action is a success
there are some specific areas of knowledge if the roll is equal or higher than the
that are not accessible to everyone. These are Threshold.
the Talents and Secret Knowledges, that require If the character has an appropriate Strength
initiation. They depend on the culture that can help him or her accomplish the task,
of the tribe, and cover areas such as art, he or she is allowed to add 1d6 to his roll.
secret combat techniques, enchantment and If he or she has a Weakness that may hinder
shamanism. A character can learn some of his or her effectiveness, he or she suffers
these Talents and Secret Knowledges through the from a 3 points penalty, substracted from
years, if he manages to convince a master the result of the roll.
that he is worthy of his teaching. Characters can also spend an experience
point to roll one more die. No more than
Prestige one point per action, though (this will often
Prestige is extremely important for any be more than enough).
character in the game, since the amount of Here are the Thresholds:
Prestige defines the status of the character
amongst his folks. Is he a youngster, a Hunt Difficulty Threshold
Leader or a Wise One? Prestige is measured Easy 3
by adding three scores: Generosity, Bravery Fair 5
and Wisdom. Generosity is earned by offering Average 7
gifts and helping others. Its a measure of Tough 9
how much a character is useful and faithful Difficult 12
to his or her community. Bravery is earned Insane 15
by facing challenges and overcoming them.
This is the score you need to equal or beat
During the hunts, of course, but also when
in order to succeed, rolling 2 or more dice.
it comes to act boldly for the welfare of
the group. Wisdom is not a measure of the

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Result Effect
All ones (two, three or more depending on the Hand) Disaster
Less than the DT Failure
Equal or higher than the DT Success
Higher than the DT by 6 or more Brilliant Success
Two 6 Critical Success
Four 6 Legendary Success
A Brilliant success means, if the effect is to be determined in number, that this number is maxi-
mized. A Critical success means, if the effect is to be determined in number, that the result will
be twice more effective than any normal success would be.

Manna
Lastly, characters may also add one more d6 death is not encouraged by the rules, though
to their roll if they request the aid of the it can happen quite abruptly (for instance,
Guardian Spirit of their community. This help when trampled by herd of buffaloes or by
is called the Manna. It consists of a pool of coming too close to a mammoth tusk). As
dice out of which characters can pick to help said earlier, recovery is rather fast, so as to
them succeed at any task, providing they will keep the game going, and also to reflect
later replenish it. Replenishing the Manna the toughness of prehistoric people. First
means revering the Guardian Spirit, be it aid, cataplasms, herbs and hot meals all
through chants, ceremonies, food or tools participate into curing injuries. Of course,
offerings... The Manna is a collective pool of the best way to cure someone remains the
dice. It is meant to measure the fervor of the use of Magic.
characters for their Guardian Spirit, and to
make them feel that they belong to a strongly
bonded group. Magic
In the world of Wrm, magic is here and
everywhere. Humans of the ice age live in a
Combat land where there are no boundaries between
Combat, of course, is an important part the mundane world and the supernatural
of ice age challenges, be it while hunting one. In order to reflect this, every character
or defending the tribe. In Wrm, combat possess totemic spirits that derive from
has been designed to be both realistic and their Strengths. And indeed, the incredible
fun. Characters can choose from a short aid that Strengths give surely is some kind
number of options when fighting, to of magic. Furthermore, characters can
add some tactics to the game. Choosing learn (through long years of study) secret
whether to spend an experience point or knowledges of magic use. They fall into
not, considering the importance of a brilliant three kind : Shamanism, Enchantment
success which maximizes results, is one of and Sorcery. Shamanism must be learned
these tactical choices. through five steps: Trance, Tongue of the
Combat is broken down into rounds, and shaman, Spirit Contact, Exorcism and Animal
is very classic in its form, so as to make it Form; Enchantment is the art of creating
really fluid. Characters attempt to hit preys magical items such as fetishes, charms,
and opponents by rolling equal or higher magical weapons and tools; Sorcery is the art
than their opponents Dodging score. of crafting magical beverages and ointments,
If the blow is effective, damage is rolled and is split into three traditions : the Taiga,
according to the weapon used. Character the Tundra, and the Marsh.

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These are sample Character and Community sheets. The Community Sheet concerning the laws and welfare of the characrers clan (or
whole tribe) can be entrusted to the group of players for them to keep track. Or the GM can keep the records himself.