So you want to convince your friends to play Dungeons & Dragons? You picked up the Starter pack, you’ve simplified the rules and character creation as much as possible. You even sold it as like being in the Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter! The date set for your first game and the preparations are all done. Then someone cancels. They just don’t get it! I’ve been there! I’ve been that dungeon master. Chances are if you play tabletop role-playing games then you have a friend or two who are interested but apprehensive. It sounds cool but it also sounds difficult and a little weird. Then you and your friends need to check out Firelight!
I’m glad you asked! The game is developed and published by HobbyHorse Games. You might have seen it featured on TheArcade.ie last year. The dev team went to Kickstarter to crowdfund the production of the game and were successful in their endeavours.
Firelight is a combination of tabletop role-playing and card games. Or rather a combination of certain elements from each! There are cards, made up of scenarios, adventurers, treasure, enemies and personality traits. These are used to help construct the world the players find themselves. There is also a single six-sided die and a compact rule-book. That’s it! You need nothing else. In total the box contents include:
- 20 JUMBO (3.75″x5.5″) Quest cards
- 8 Adventurer cards
- 35 Personality cards
- 40 Enemy cards
- 60 Treasure cards
- 1 six-sided die
- 1 16-page rulebook
One player will take on the role of the game master and help narrate the chosen scenario or adventure. They keep the story moving and hold the other players/adventurers accountable to the plot points outlined in the quest.
Everyone else draws a hero from the adventurer cards as well as two personality cards. You’ll find eight classes available to choose from warrior, wizard, cleric and bard just to name some. The personality cards are to help you add some dimension to the character, giving you some idea of who you might be in this world of magic and science.
Character cards outline three abilities as well various scores for attributes that you can use to complete actions in the game. Looking to smash a guard over the head with a vase? That’s a strength plus a roll of that D6. Trying to blag your way into a secret meeting? Persuasion plus a roll of the die! Each character has their strengths and weaknesses and it’s up to each player to decide how their character reacts to the scenario.
So It’s Dungeons & Dragons Lite?
Yes and no! That’s an over-simplification of both games if I’m being fair. There are so many nuances and details in a Dungeons & Dragons game that comparing it to Firelight isn’t ideal. Similarly just because Firelight condenses the rules of the tabletop rpg, doesn’t diminish it as worthy of the genre.
Firelight is set in a world where storytelling is fuel for the world. Every night families, friends and strangers spin yarns, tell tales and embellish stories. These stories sustain the world and the people within it. After finishing a game you can’t help but talk about how you and your players did. Recounting their successes and failures, their epic moments and hilarious fails.
Why Play It?
The game captures one of the best elements of tabletop role-playing; shared story-telling. The premise for Firelight revolves around that. It is up to you and your group of players to see the story through to the end; for better or worse. It doesn’t throw you off the deep end and into a tome of rules and checks. The game provides visual clues for those just dipping their toe into the world of role-playing. You can’t talk about Firelight without mentioning the stunning card presented on the cards. The adventurers and quest cards help paint the picture for newbies or just some inspiration for seasoned adventurers looking to make the scenario and character their own.
The game is very simple to pick up. The avid dungeon master can grab the core concepts straight away but for even the newest player, the rules are clearly explained. Each quest can run for as long as you like with an estimated time of 60 – 100 minutes of gameplay. It will depend on your and your party and just how far they go with their imaginations and their stories. With 20 different scenarios to explore there is no shortage of fables to tell and even if you play the same one a few times, I guarantee you it will be different each time!
So the next time a friend asks you about your role-playing hobby, tell them to pull up a chair and grab your copy of Firelight. Start a brand new story with them!
Editor-in-Chief, part-time super villain and hoarder of cats. If you can’t find me writing, I’m probably in the kitchen!
Questing Made Simple
Firelight might be one of the most compact games I've backed on Kickstarter but it's also one of the best! A must for role-playing fans and those wishing to explore the world of story-telling and dice rolling.