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Midgard Top 10: RPGs to Play Midgard In

Midgard Top 10: RPGs to Play Midgard In

However fiercely dark it may be, Midgard is a setting for roleplaying games. While Kobold Press has supported different RPGs over the years, these official products aren’t the only ways we can tell our Midgard tales. Below are a list of 10 RPGs that you might consider using.

10. 5E Dungeons and Dragons. Let’s get the 800-pound gorilla out of the way. Kobold Press has created a plethora of adventures, Warlock zines, and hardback books full of monsters, spells or player options.

9. Blades in the Dark. You can use this Powered by the Apocalypse (PBTA) game to play heist adventures, which are wonderful for tales of thievery and skulduggery. It’s especially good for adapting adventures set in Midgard cities like Per Bastet, the City of Cats, and Zobeck, the Clockwork City. Blades is a great game to use with Mhalmet Heist, which you can find in Midgard Sagas.

8. Hero Kids. Lighthearted fantasy doesn’t exactly jive with the dark fantasy of Midgard, but Hero Kids does a great job at making roleplaying accessible to kids as young as four, and you’re probably not sending them to Leng, Neinheim or the Wasted West anyway. Drop your kids into the relative safety of Reywald or the Seven Cities for a few years before you set them loose the vampires of Doresh and Morgau.

7. Tombpunk. This rules-lite RPG from OSR all-star Alan Bahr leans into the economic motivation behind adventuring—poverty. In Tombpunk, characters clean out dungeons to earn enough coin to survive—and pay the tax bill. If you’re looking to play this kind of campaign anywhere in Midgard without going full Acquisition Incorporated, take a look at Tombpunk.

6. Band of Blades. This is a hack of the Blades in the Dark ruleset that replicates the feel of The Black Company by Glen Cook. This is excellent for when you want to play a heavy military campaign in the Seven Cities or the Mharoti Empire. 

5. 13th Age. This RPG received support during the early years of Midgard, adding elements of indie games and story games into your standard d20 games. The fanzine Escalation! dedicated an issue to Midgard back in 2020, and the publisher, Pelgrane Press, has announced that they’ll be Kickstarting a second edition of 13th Age.

4. Ironsworn. In this RPG, you play heroes who accept oaths to travel across dark harsh lands. This play style lends itself well to the Rothenian Plain, Parthia, or the Red Wastes. (The game also supports solo play or GM-less play, for those times that you can’t work out a regular GM.)

3. Beyond the Wall and Other Adventures. This RPG emulates the works of Ursula LeGuin, as the players are childhood friends who travel outside the walls of their rural village outside Redtower or in the Wild Ozku Hills in order to save their families. This could serve as a level 0 stepping stone to a longer campaign with another RPG—maybe Scarlet Citadel?

2. Swords of the Serpentine. This GUMSHOE sword and sorcery handles all the tropes extremely well. It would work fantastically for a campaign fighting malign wizards in Bemmea, while the aspects of the city of Eversink might substitute well for Barsella, the city at the edge of the world.

1. Pathfinder 1E. Much can be said about how important this RPG is to the development of the Midgard setting, Southlands campaign setting, and even the Midgard Worldbook. I’ll spare you the ink, but a plethora of Pathfinder products remain available for inspiration when running Midgard games.

3 thoughts on “Midgard Top 10: RPGs to Play Midgard In”

  1. You should like to the 13th Age items in your store!

    Expanding on Beyond the Wall, there are the games Grizzled Adventurers and Through the Sunken Lands. Both use the same rules as Beyond the Wall but emulate differing genres. Grizzled Adventurers is about experienced PCs out to make one more strike before retiring. Through the Sunken Lands is about sword-and-sorcery type adventures, like Conan or Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser.

  2. You should have a serious look at the new Savage Worlds Adventurers Edition (and the new Fantasy Companion) as well as Pathfinder for Savage Worlds. Both of these are excellent fits with Midgard!

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