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Osprey Games: Interview with Ragnarok Creator Tim Korklewski

5 Minute Read
May 28 2019
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Get an insider’s look at Osprey’s Ragnarok: Heavy Metal Combat in the Viking Age. The campaign driven skirmish game goes on sale this week.

Ragnarok comes to us with great anticipation. It’s got great artwork, a cool theme and some really interesting ideas. The book officially releases on May 30 (2019), but I know a number of people received the book early through various retailers (such as Amazon). Osprey Games was kind enough to send me a preview copy of the book a while ago. Today’s post is my second preview for the game. In my first preview, I discussed Warbands and God Powers. In this post, I conducted an email interview with the game’s creator, Tim Korklewski.

The Artwork in Ragnarok is just fantastic. Osprey Games and RU-MOR do great work together. All of the images in this post are sourced from one of those two companies.

Without any further ado, let’s get to that Interview.

Ragnarok Interview

Jacob: Hi Tim,

Thanks for agreeing to this interview. I was lucky enough to get a preview copy of your new rule set Ragnarok from Osprey Games. The book looks great. The artwork is impressive, the setting is cool and the rules are very interesting. Having read the book, I have some questions that I am hoping you can answer for both my audience and I.

My first question is – can you tell us about the setting of Ragnarok?

The Game’s Background

Tim: Sure thing, Jacob!

In Ragnarok, the world comes to an end in a different way.  Nidhogg, the Malice Striker, still escapes from Yggdrasil, but he has grown far more powerful than even the Norns imagined.  He breaks free with such a force that he rips the roots of Yggdrasil free as he flies into the Abyss. Yggdrasil literally falls on its side, smashing the realms together.  Asgard, being at the top of the tree, took the most damage. It hit with such a force that it literally exploded, killing all of the Aesir in one calamitous act.

Now all of the remaining realms are in total chaos after The Shattering.  Giants are able to just march freely between realms conquering and destroying as they see fit, legions of undead are crawling their way out of Hel and wreaking havoc everywhere.

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The undead are back from Hel. Look out!

The War Clans that each player controls start out as mere mortals, but through combat and resolve they will rise to become the New Gods of the Fractured Realms.

The Rule of Awesome

Jacob: I like your Designer’s note on page 18 of the book describing the Feel of Ragnarok. I am just going to quote the last paragraph here from that section.

The battles in which your War Clans take place are over-the-top and epic. Ragnarok’s design embraces the rule of cool – whether you slaughter your opponent’s forces or receive a savage beat-down with enormous weapons, the statement “That was AWESOME!” should be prevalent at the gaming table.

Can you talk a bit about the “that was awesome” elements of Ragnarok?

Tim:  The biggest thing to point out on this one is that as your War Clans improve throughout the campaign, your God Powers can improve as well.  God Powers allow for models to do things that “normal” models cannot, such as completely teleporting out of combat when faced by certain death, smashing your enemies across the field with enough force to knock down any other models that may cross their path, ripping terrain out of the ground and using it as a weapon and many other things like that.  On top of that, I really wanted to give a bit more of a Mortal Kombat feel on things and I added rules to allow the players to weaponize terrain- such as having the ability to impale models on sharp objects such as broken trees, sharpened tips of palisades, and anything else that the players are cruel enough to create. Overall, it gives the whole experience a much more cinematic feel than “I hit you, I deal X damage.  Remove the model from play”.

The Morpheus Engine

Jacob: Throughout the book, you make mention of your gaming engine used for Ragnarok as the Morpheus Engine. Can you talk about your development of that gaming engine? Also, can you give us any hints on future projects that will use the same engine?

Tim: The Morpheus Engine was in its inception an experiment to create a generic set of rules, a “GURPS for miniatures” if you will.  Once I kicked the idea around, it really started to take shape. On its surface, the Morpheus Engine is a very easy system to play.  However, if you just stick to the basics of the system it can come off as quite bland. Where it shines is allowing the various Special Rules from each different game to “plug in” to the Morpheus Engine and add the flavor that that particular game should have.

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Development took a LONG time on the Morpheus Engine itself.  It took about three years to get it to the point that it is now.  Like many designs, things always look good on paper but do not translate well to the tabletop until playtest.  This led to a LOT of rewrites and in many cases just scrapping portions all together and going back to the drawing board.

As far as projects, there is Ragnarok, a Fantasy Pirate game, historical mass battle, modern warfare, and a few others that I can’t talk about quite yet.  Sorry!

Jacob: That is it for this time, please join us again for part two of this article.

This post first appeared on Must Contain Minis. You can view a full version of this article (all three parts) over on that site. 

Thanks for reading and until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!

Read more about great Indy and Historical games on my site!

Again, aside from writing great gaming related articles, I am also working on compiling a list of all Miniature Gaming Conventions in Ontario (Canada). If you are in Ontario, this list should be of interest to you!

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Jacob Stauttener
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