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Digital Subscriptions > Tabletop Gaming > April 2019 (#29) > Root: The RPG

Root: The RPG

Root was 2018’s standout board game: a triumph of asymmetrical design, breathtaking presentation and a stirring sylvan world. This year, Mark Truman leads the way deeper into a war-torn woodland with Root: The Roleplaying Game


“It’s very much this convergence between ‘Obviously!’ and ‘Whoa!’ These feelings of surprise and inevitability.”

Mark Truman is talking about Root: The Roleplaying Game, the upcoming RPG based on last year’s phenomenal board game of warring woodland creatures. Designed by Cole Wehrle and brought to life by the gorgeous pastel artwork of illustrator Kyle Ferrin, Root handed control of industrialist cats, aristocratic birds, scrappy rodent rebels and a lone raccoon adventurer to players and set them against each other in a battle for supremacy truly red in tooth and claw. Each side operated their animal army in a completely unique way, from the Marquis de Cat’s resource-driven expansion across the map to the Eyrie’s stringent commitment to an ever-growing list of commands that, if broken, would plunge its hierarchy into turmoil.

Truman first discovered the game almost a year after it was crowdfunded to the tune of more than $600,000 in October 2017. Playing in a hotel bar during the US gaming fair Gen Con with Brendan Conway, who would later join him as a co-designer on Root: The RPG, Truman was left stunned.

“I remember Brendan and I kinda looking at each other and being like, ‘Wow, this is really something special,’” he recalls. “The combination of the intricacy and asymmetry and the depth of it echoing wargames and counterinsurgency games – COIN games, they’re often called – but matched with this really evocative fictional world thanks to Kyle’s art and Cole’s sort of fiction. We were just blown away from minute one.”

As co-founder and CEO of roleplaying studio Magpie Games, responsible for RPGs including the superheroinspired Masks and gritty political fantasy game Urban Shadows, Truman saw the potential for Root’s setting to become the backdrop to an even wider stage.

“On the eighth or tenth playthrough we were like, ‘Y’know, what would be pretty cool here is if we could see more of this world, if we could do more with it,” he says.

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About Tabletop Gaming

Enhance your Tabletop Gaming reading experience with extra digital content, just a tap or click away! Watch gameplay videos, trailers, extra reviews, picture galleries, audio and more – for free! Root: The Roleplaying Game: Last year’s acclaimed board game of woodland warfare sets off on a new adventure. Co-designer Mark Truman tells us what to expect and gives us a first look at the RPG in a world-first in-depth interview. Era: Medieval Age: Matt ‘Pandemic’ Leacock returns with a spiritual successor to Roll Through the Ages. The designer takes us through his upcoming ‘roll-and-build’ dice game. L’Attaque: Discover the forgotten story of the strategy classic that inspired Stratego and was played by Winston Churchill. How to Host the Perfect Game Night: We put together our readymade recipes for unforgettable evenings spent with friends around a table. Things from the Flood: The sequel to acclaimed RPG Tales from the Loop is moodier, darker and deadlier. We speak to its creators about moving into an alternate nineties and give our thoughts in a full review. War of the Worlds: The New Wave: The Martians are back! As tripods invade Scotland, we get to grips with the asymmetric head-to-head deckbuilder that could save – or doom – humanity. How We Made… Space Cadets: Geoff Engelstein takes us through the frantic co-op sci-fi game he created with the help of his kids. Painting Guide: Grab your bristled wand as we make the Order of the Phoenix in Harry Potter Miniatures Adventure Game look magical. All the Jahres: Join us as we stop off on our next destination through all the winners of the biggest prize in games: Ticket to Ride. Reviews Wingspan Genesys: Shadow of the Beanstalk – the Android RPG Marvel Strike Teams: HeroClix Strategy Game Treasure Island Core Space City of Gears Vadoran Gardens BattleTech Dungeons & Dragons: Vault of Dragons Lindisfarne Swordcrafters: Expanded Edition Dual Powers: Revolution 1917 + many more!