Monday, September 23, 2013
Weekend R&R: Yarr!
But we're not hear to talk about Dagger...
Yarr! It be that pirate game we be talkin' about.
First and foremost, Yarr! is a class based system and there are five to choose from: The Atlantean, Captain, Marine, Rascal, and Sailer (they are all pirates). Each class has their own set of special abilities, but the Atlantean has access to spells and the Captain has access to special feats.
There is next to no complexity to the system though and, given the game's roots, it shouldn't be expected either. There are, for instance, no stats to worry about. Yarr does provide an optional skill system which encompasses eight skills such as Agility or Sneak. By choosing to use the system, all character get all the skills but half of them are essentially things the character is good or trained at and thus have a better chance at succeeding. These will improve as a character goes up in level.
Character advancement also increases their ability to fight (an increase in hit progression) and the number of hit points they have. Rules for combat and gameplay are few and span a mere 7 pages or so. Beyond that, the game provides a bestiary, rules for ship to ship combat, a variety of spells, and a glossary of pirate terms.
Of course, this game wasn't necessarily made for the typical gamer. Being wonderfully simplistic, like Dagger, it's easy and simple enough to introduce to children. That's not to say that older people wouldn't be able to get a kick out of the game, I think the optional skill system does well enough to add some variety to the game and something like this could be worthwhile to do a one-off for friends who don't necessarily game all that often but are open to the idea and open to some laughs.
That said, with a game as simple as this, these could be just as well suited to a Dungeon-type or Hero Quest-like board game proving once again, it doesn't have to be complicated to be fun. As simple as it is, the book (65 page digest release) does seem to have everything you need to get set up and running. The game is not a bunch of needless flash and polish but it gets the job done and it can be yours for $5 HERE.