There’s going to be a Frostgrave 2.0

Joseph McCullough says so.

Frostgrave dudes
We’re all here.

Version 1.0

A casual perusal of Reddit this morning had this line catching my eye:

Well, the news has leaked, so I might as well go ahead and make an official announcement.
There will be a new edition of Frostgrave: Fantasy Wargames in the Frozen City coming from Osprey Games in June of 2020!

Now, as you might have picked up here and there, I’m pretty bullish about Frostgrave, or the original Frostgrave, or Frostgrave 1.0 or whatever. I feel like I’ve definitely made back my investment in entertainment. It’s fun, engaging, and based around simple concepts. I’ve always equated a game of Frostgrave as being “all the fun action its from Dungeons and Dragons without any of that pesky roleplaying to slow it down.”

This is probably over simplifying and being a tad unkind to Joe’s great design, which I have been an enthusiast of since I first bought it. With that said, I was scratching my head a bit when reading this blog post.

When I wrote Frostgrave nearly five years ago, it was my first real attempt at writing a wargame. Since that time, I have learned huge amounts about both game design in general and about Frostgravein particular. I now feel that I can make the game significantly better. So, with the blessings of Osprey, I set out to do just that.
I had two main design goals:
1.     Make the game more fun, not less.

So, here, I have to take issue. Frostgrave 1.0 is plenty of fun as it is. Joe has done better than just “keeping it alive” these past five years– he’s actively supported it with a steady stream of expansions and additions that both keep things fun but also fresh. So I say, “Ha! Mr. McCullough, sir! I defy you to make it MORE fun!”

2.     Make the rules clearer, more balanced, and more streamlined, but not at the cost of #1.
For #1, I wanted to do two things. I wanted to make every spell in the game desirable and useful, and I wanted to increase the direct player interaction. The truth is, of the 80 spells in the game, there are about 20 that are never used, or at least never taken, because they are too weak or too specialized. I have gone through each spell one-by-one, tightening the wording, tweaking where necessary, changing the mechanics in others, and, in just a few cases, replacing spells with new ones. As I did this work, I concentrated on how these spells could, and would, be used by players to interrupt and interfere with the plans of their opponents. I wanted to increase the back-and-forth nature of the game, making each scrap for treasure an opportunity for a real magical duel.

You know what, though? He’s right, here. This is a book about wizards and spells. It has a flavor to it. Each school has spells. There are strategies for playing each school, and for selecting spells. Often, I see the same spells chosen, over and over, and the same few never chosen, over and over. For reasons Joe states in his post– they are either weak or they are spells that will be too difficult to use.

For #2, I wanted to improve the whole experience of players, from reading the book and learning to play the game to running a campaign. I wanted to eliminate a few things that never quite worked right, or led to strange, unwanted results, and I wanted to increase the balance, both during a game and over the course of a campaign.

It sounds as if version 2.0 will be combining a lot of the material in the expansion releases into one big book. Which is not only fine, it’s great. As long as they make an index!

A lot of these rule changes will be immediately recognizable to people who have read Ghost Archipelago and The Maze of Malcor, but there are a few new ones as well.
I am still making a few tweaks here and there, but most of my work is actually done. While I don’t want to reveal too much at this very early date, I can say that there are no fundamental changes. The game is still its wacky, D20 self. The ten wizard schools remain in the same alignments. Most of the spells haven’t changed. The goal is still to grab treasure, gain experience, and try not to get killed by other wizards or wandering monsters.Frostgrave never cared which figures you used before, as long as they made you happy, and it is not going to care in Second Edition either.

Sounds great, since I love version 1.0. However, if there are no changes, what is the incentive to switch?

Is this going to make all of your existing Frostgrave books obsolete? No. I mean, the original rulebook probably won’t have much use anymore, but all of the supplements, with all of their optional rules, scenarios, new soldiers, new treasure, etc., will still be usable for Second Edition. There are few things that will need clarification, but not many, and I’ll post a PDF covering those when the time comes.

Now.. this could mean the original rulebook is totally superceded by version 2.0, or it isn’t. So I’m still wondering, HOW can the supplements still work in version 2? If the rules aren’t changing, why even publish this?

I will be revealing more as we get closer to the release date, but it is still a long way off, and I hope everyone will still play many games of Frostgrave before then without worrying about any changes. I mean, Perilous Darkis still to come out first, so that players can have lots of solo and co-operative fun, and I’ve got a FrostgraveImmersion Tour to attend!
So, more news coming later, but that’s all I’ve got for now.

Perhaps version two will Solve this problem I’ve seen again and again…
P.S. You won’t be able to Leap off the table with treasure anymore…

So, yeah, I’m interested. I’ll probably buy one. Why not?