Lucca Comics and Games 2018 will be remembered for many releases, one of the most important is the localization in Italian of the board role-playing game The Witcher. Thanks to Need Games, which in a few months from the international release by R. Talsorian Games brought us this masterpiece, after Lucca we were able to read and study the work.
The review you are about to read is based on the first reprint of the game, containing all the Errata Corrige released during the beginning of November and already available on the place by Need Games.
The dark world of The Witcher
The setting of The Witcher is in the period between the second and third game of Cd Project Red, with the beginning of the third Nilfgaardian war with the northern kingdoms.
È a cynical and racist world, where the different is poorly tolerated and very often brutalized and killed. In this dirty world, where often the real monster is the human being himself, the characters of the players move. Not heroes and powerful wizards but simple adventurers looking for trouble.
The setting is badly combined with deeds and characters related to epic fantasy and, even if the two meet, the union would be something gray and corrupt.
Cutthroats in search of a reward
Whether your party is dedicated to hunting monsters, or being hired as spies and assassins for some court intrigue, you will play rogues in search of a gain that is not always easy.
The chapter about character creation it is wide, varied, well structured, and allows you to procedurally generate the background of your adventurer. It is clear, going through the possible stories, that the happy ending is only a mirage. Don't get me wrong, there is an opportunity to find happiness in The Witcher, it is only very rare.
If you play a human being, you will be divided by a merciless war between the northern states and Nilfgaard itself. If you play a non-human, you will have the opportunity to experience the looks, insults and all the rest of racism. Watch out for the Pogroms, because the next victims of the angry mob could be you.
The game is full of armor, weapons of all sorts, legendary objects and magic, lots of magic. For those who want to study one build suitable, balancing the equipment according to the character's possibilities will be a pleasure.
A cornucopia of rules and potentially infinite growth
You can't lie about a single and, for some players, problematic truth: the rules are many and definitely cumbersome. The system used, played in 2018, makes the gears feel a bit slow. Especially in combat, one might feel tempted to abandon entire parts of the regulation, also in view of the punishment represented by the fumble.
Every 1 shot could be the end of your character's life, or one of his arms, or maybe a foot. Even practitioners of magic, after years of study and dedication to the cause, will find very dangerous tools in their hands. The game is lethal and precisely for this there are specific mechanics for the death of the character and how to transmit his legacy to a family member, friend or rival.
The other side of the coin to consider is that thanks to the system of Increase points and to continuous adventures, it is possible to maximize all the features and abilities, reaching to equal if not to overcome Geralt and his companions. The characters of the literary and videogame saga are presented at the beginning of the manual with relative statistics, allowing then to understand how powerful and distant they are from ordinary adventurers.
Need Games' work
The Italian publishers, Need Games, have handled the layout of the text, simplifying the tables without altering the content. Their experience in the sector, which has already brought products of sublime quality, is seen on every page and the localization is clear and not confusing.
A game to have
Although the game did not seem to have come out in 2018 but a dozen abundant years ago, I find that both for the work done and for the care shown by the authors and editors, we must give a chance to The Witcher.
The title is highly recommended, also for the honest price compared to over 300 pages. Once the rules are finished, you will find lore, descriptions, ideas and advice for each master. Even the new storytellers will find important tips, especially regarding the balance of the adventures.