The worlds of Warhammer have always been attractive to table-top roleplayers. The strange mix of high fantasy, grim-dark realism and lurking horror is simply a lot of fun to play in, and Games Workshop’s most recent setting, Age of Sigmar. The award-winning games designers over at Cubicle 7 took on the heavy task of turning this heavy metal guitar riff of a fantasy world into an actual game you can play and produced the RPG Soulbound, an accessible and high-octane table-top RPG game. It also came in a very large and heavy book and though it’s heavily illustrated, sometimes you need something a little easier to handle, hence the Soulbound Starter Set.
There’s a fine tradition that a starter set for a table-top roleplaying game should come in box, preferably one that’s crammed with components, dice and two softcover books. It should also fit on the shelf. Cubicle 7 have produced exactly that. Inside the box we get some thick cardboard counters, some starter characters on heavy-set card-stock, a load of durable reference sheets, a map, two books and dice. The game uses d6s and they’ve given us eight red d6 with the Sigmar design on the 6. They look striking and it is a lovely touch.
The map shows the city of Brightspear on one side and the Great Parch of Aqshy on the other. It’s clearly designed to be a player-aid, as most games masters find describing entire cities hard work. Either side would lovely on a wall though. The inside of the box has some rules-references printed into it and it is clearly intended to be used as a dice-tray. The whole thing is very comprehensively laid out and the art is both striking and pretty. The starter characters are designed to make it easy for players to get stuck it quickly and every effort has been made to make this game fun and straight-forward to play.
The 48-page adventure book The Faltering Light is a great starter – it takes everyone through the basics including the games master. It's a very well done 'how to play' game though you will want to pick up the core rulebook if you want to go further. Still, the game is a good length (depending on your players) and a nice intro into the Age of Sigmar setting. The other book is the 64-page Brightspear City Guide. It contains a smaller sample adventure, but really this is designed to introduce players to the world and also encourage those new to the hobby to invent their own adventures. Experienced gamers will still find this a useful resource and an excellent way to get a handle on the world.
Overall this is a great introduction to a very fine fantasy game, and if you're looking to get into fantasy roleplaying but don't like the look of Dungeons and Dragons, start here. (It's also very reasonably priced, which is nice.)