If you have not yet tried Narrative Play in AoS, and wonder what exactly are these maniacs doing out there, this is your jumping off point. Big M gives us the most comprehensive overview yet, of options and things to look out for.
Narrative Play in Age of Sigmar has always bombarded players (and potential game masters) with a slew of modular rules, to pick and choose to add to the game in a very loose manner. This works well when you have a small and tight gaming group, with one game master taking care of putting rules together to use, or the group of players is good at coming to an agreement on the rules. When players don’t know each other as well, its a bit more difficult.
For a long time, it all has hinged on that pre-game conversation that is required to make most of Narrative Play work. And we all know this is not as easy as it sounds: miscommunications can happen, people want to use rules that benefit their army more, often the game is played as a pick-up game at a shop with someone you don’t know every well, etc etc. A lot of personal trust is required for the conversation to go well, and the following game be enjoyable for both parties.
In Age of Sigmar 3.0, the new Path to Glory rules has finally provided a framework for everyone to play a campaign-like experience, with a set of hard rules for everyone to be on the same page, and having to rely less on the pre-game conversation. Unlike its AoS 2.0 predecessor (which had many glaring imbalance issues), this new Path to Glory not only encourages developing an army and character backgrounds, but also their tale across the realms as they accumulate territories and artefacts. Most importantly, its a set of communal rules that are clearly laid down, even empowering players to take their Path to Glory army from game to game, with other players they haven’t played before.
Likewise, the Anvil of Apotheosis at the end of AoS 2.0 also got a lot of excitement, including from some tournament organizers, as it was also a communal framework to let players create their own unique character and exercise their narrative creativity. (Hope people are still using it out there, we certainly are!)
But there is still a lot more Narrative Play content out there, that delivers amazing gaming experiences and can still used effectively in your games. And indeed it has, especially in the context of Narrative Events and local campaigns. In these, the NEO (Narrative Event Organizer) has gone to the trouble of getting everyone into the conversation, by putting together an event and ruleset, where everyone agree to play by the same rules. This way, it becomes much easier to get people on board and without much problem in deciding what to do and use.
If you have never attended a Narrative Event, and wish you could experience some of these crazy rules that keep getting released (and wondering who the hell plays them??!), have a listen to this episode of ‘Big M’s Power Hour’.
Matt Hayward (well known for designing the Champion Archetype warscrolls for the NOVA Open AoS Grand Narrative 2018, and prolific narrative player despite saying he’s not) guides us through the many options that you can try out for Narrative Play, and can come to expect if you attend a Narrative Event.
And if you need more pointers, to find out more about Narrative Events out there, explore this website and the many photos and event Rules Packs.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch with the NEON and other organizers if you need advice, or just want to find out what Narrative Events may be close to you.