Würm is a system-lite RPG set in the last period of the Ice Age 35,000 years ago. Characters don’t have Attributes or even Skills, but they are instead described by Strengths like Secret of the Bear or Eye of the Panther and Weaknesses such as Fearful or One-Eyed. The nature of the game is at your discretion - you may play a game that’s more historically accurate or you may decide to incorporate fantastical elements like magic and the spirit world that are discussed in the rules.
In Würm you will find adventure in the prehistoric past of our own world. In this long-forgotten time, many powerful creatures roamed a vast territory covered in steppes and taiga, reaching from the white mountains to the raging sea: mammoths, aurochs, bison, giant deer, cave bears and cave lions. Among these huge creatures, two species of humans live in small communities of hunter-gatherers: the robust Bear Men (Neanderthals) and the taller Long Men (Cro-Magnon, or Cavemen).
When you play Würm, it will be up to you to imagine what life was like for our ancestors, and explore your own vision of this time. During your adventures, whether simply surviving or going on perilous hunts or legendary quests, your characters will gain strength, wisdom and prestige by exploring unknown territories, daring to enter the darkness of mysterious caves, seeking out the powers of ancient spirits, or challenging the creatures of the night.
All the rules you need to play Würm are included in the core rulebook, detailed over nine chapters. These rules were designed to be simple and clear. For the most part, they only require a few 6-sided dice. Most of all, they were designed to be well adapted to the atmosphere of the Stone Age. For example, to develop the characters, you won’t need skills and stats, but a number of Strengths and Weaknesses that are connected to specific totems. Additionally, Talents and Secret techniques represent the abilities that a character may learn, such as painting, shamanism or certain combat techniques.
The game rules have been developed to be as close as possible to established archeological sources, carefully relaying what we know of the technical knowledge, the environment and part of the culture of our ancestors. However, the world of Würm also leaves room for a touch of fantasy and adventure: you will therefore find rules that allow you to play with the real powers of totem spirits, as well as a whole range of fantastical creatures living along side the mammoths and the cave bears, such as fire spirits, witches and glacier giants.
So you may dive right into the prehistoric adventure of the world of Würm, the core rulebook ends with four introduction scenarios, each one offering a specific atmosphere, including adventure, investigation, melancholy, or humor. One scenario is designed to introduce younger players to the game.