Onward's Quests of Yore: Barley's Edition Reveals First Gameplay Details

Disney and Pixar's Onward captured the hearts of many earlier this year, partly because of the lovable duo of Ian and Barley. Fans got to know them in a major way over the course of their adventure, and during that adventure also learned about Barley's obsession with Quests of Yore, an RPG that only existed within the movie universe. Soon thanks to The Op though you'll be able to try out the roleplaying game for yourself, as The Op is bringing the film's game to life later this year in Quests of Yore: Barley's Edition, and recently Game Design Manager Pat Marino gave an in-depth look at how the game works and what fans can expect when they finally get it on their tabletops this fall.

The first thing to know is that the game is designed with new players in mind, and is the perfect way to introduce someone to the world of roleplaying games and all the fun that can be had during a campaign.

"Quests of Yore: Barley’s Edition is designed to introduce players to role-playing," Marino said. "The adventure begins with a tutorial that teaches the basic concepts and system and along with Barley’s guidance, helps players develop familiarity and confidence with role-playing adventures. At the same time, the story and system offer enough flexibility to engage experienced RPG players looking for something new to try. Like other role-playing systems, a Quest Master leads the gameplay, narrating the story and helping guide players through the trials of the adventure."

Quests of Yore also kicks things into gear right out of the box, helping to minimize the slow start of many campaigns.

"What I love about the system that Mathew created is that it is designed to get people engaged and playing very quickly," Marino said. "It also gives players the flexibility to add their own twist on their adventure as they decide how to overcome obstacles."

Marino then broke down how the game looks to streaming the process of choosing your actions, which is split into Approaches and Techniques, and it's a system that should help new players feel more comfortable about choosing what to do next.

"In short, the game works as follows," Marino said. "Each player has a character sheet that is primarily composed of Approaches, and Techniques. When taking an action, a player describes what they want to do. For example: 'I want to shoot an arrow at the lever to lower the drawbridge.' The Quest Master (QM) and player then determine which approach they will use, and which technique, selecting from the options listed on the character sheet. Approach is ‘how’ a player will act (quickly, patiently, socially etc.) and a technique is the type of action (aim, brawl, parley etc.). In the example given, a player might ‘patiently’ ‘aim’ to take the shot."

"For each approach and technique, players have a die they can roll, starting with none, then improving to a d4, d6, d8, d10 and d12 as they level up their abilities," Marino said. "After they have an approach and technique selected for an action, they roll the corresponding dice and the QM determines if they have met the required target or not, with the potential for fortune or ruin outcomes depending on the roll. Players can also use items, or request help from friends to add an assist die to help increase their odds of success."

"As play continues there are opportunities to level up your character and discover new spells, powers and items," Marino said. "The game does include 4 pre-generated characters, as well as blank character sheets and a guide to creating your very own character."

It really seems to be streamlined for those newer to the genre, and it couldn't come at a better time. There are many players who have wanted to give roleplaying games a chance, but it can be easy to lose them after attempting to take on a complicated system, and there are others who are too intimidated to try a system at all. If you know someone who fits that mold, it seems Quests of Yore will be the perfect antidote, and we can't wait to give it a try.


Quests of Yore: Barley's Edition will hit stores this fall and will retail for $49.99.

What do you think of Quests of Yore: Barley's Edition so far? Let us know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MattAguilarCB for all things tabletop!

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