Category Archives: Beyond the Wall

Barbarians of the Ruined Earth Campaign Kickoff- World Building

barbarians statue colours 150dpi 554x800

Art for BotRE- by Kelvin Green

My online group and I have decided we wanted to take a break from Death is the New Pink: Going Medieval on Yo’ Ass and play some Barbarians of the Ruined Earth.

We played for a few months back and moved to GMoYA, but now with the book in the beginning parts of layout (being done by the awesome and sexy Matt Hildebrand), I’ve really been craving the heroic science, sword, and sorcery vibe again (it also doesn’t help I’ve started rewatching all of Thundarr the Barbarian AGAIN).

A few weeks ago I bought a Nintendo Switch and the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and was inspired by how open the world is (and approachable) and wanted to capture that with this BotRE campaign (I may have to do a post on BotW and lessons/takeaways for tabletop gaming…).

When you first start BotW, Link runs up to an expansive vista, showing the beautiful world.  Everything you see you can travel to.  That is exciting and is a perfect example of show, don’t tell.  I want to avoid info dumps…  We play once to twice a month and sometimes info gets lost, forgotten, etc. and that’s wasted effort on my part.

I decided that I would take a page from Beyond the Wall‘s Further Afield and do some fun and exciting collaborative world building with my group.  I figured this would be as close to show, don’t tell as I could get for a campaign kick off.

Only three of my six players could make the session on Sunday, but we came up with some great ideas and I’ve sent the info to the three who couldn’t make it to give them a chance to create a few things.

First I asked each of my players what state this was taking place in.  After each pitched their idea, they talked and decided on New Orleans, super swamps, mutated rednecks, etc.

Then we rolled characters.  John is a Sorcerer (alternate spell casting rules here), Liam is a Death Priest, and Fletch created a Vek (raptor people).

Sorcerer

Sorcerer Art for BotRE by Matthew Adams

 

Barbarians of the Ruined Earth- Death Priest

Death Priest Art for BotRE by Matthew Adams

 

After the group made their characters I had them each create two interesting NPCs that they have each developed a bond with and what that NPC does.  I’ll roll some secret stuff about them that the players will discover (i.e., ar they in a cult, selling people to raiders/slavers, do they have perpetual RBF, etc.).

After each group created their NPCs, I had them roll on a table that I lifted (and only altered slightly) from Further Afield to generate an interesting thing nearby their village.  Each of my three players did this twice.

Roll 1d8: 1) Major city; 2) Ancient ruins; 3) Human settlement; 4) Recent ruins; 5) Inhuman settlement (roll 1d3: 1) Vek; 2) Beastman; 3) GM Chooses from bestiary); 6) Monster’s Lair; 7) Source of power; 8) Interesting location (i.e., mushroom forest, natural canyons, etc.)

With these, I’ll roll to see how accurate what they came up with is.  Is it true, is there a twist to this location, or are they WAY off base.

Finally I had each of my three players come up with a descriptive term or phrase that would guide me in the creation of the town leader.  I told them that if it something was too off base with another descriptive term, we would discuss until we got to a happy medium/compromise.  Thankfully that didn’t happen at all.

The members of the group that made it to the session start with a magic item/piece of Stupendous Science.

The three players that didn’t make it will make their characters when they play, but I am allowing them to create a single interesting location (I rolled for what it is) and a NPC.  The town and leader are already determined.

Here is what the group came up with.  Once I get the entries from my other three players, I will do all my rolls and map out the village, layout the surrounding locations, and add a few myself.

Environment

New Orleans- Humid, swampy, mutated rednecks.

 

Settlement
“Mardi Grass”:
Semi-floating landmass of junk and soil/silt.  Just slightly outside of New Orleans.

 

Town Mayor

Kane: Kane is known for his rambunctious spirit and ability to fight (Barbarian, 2nd level).  He has defended Mardi Grass many times.  He always carries his prized spear, The Man-Splitter- a remarkable piece of Stupendous Science with an electrified, motorized blade.  Kane constant rubs himself with baby lotion to keep his skin moist and shiny.  He has a collection of Ancient Earth action movies and a working entertainment center.  He is obsessed with Chuck Norris and John McClain.

Interesting People

Cobb: A gardener who has some sort of innate magical abilities, but not a sorcerer (John).

Mama Cleo: A voodoo priestess who can speak with spirits and create strange alchemical concoctions.

Birch: Owns/runs the general store.  Became mutated early in life and has gills and webbed hands and feet (Fletch).

Nomi: Guard of Mardi Grass.  Decent fighter.  Escaped mines with group (John).

The Undertaker: Undertaker of Mardi Grass.  Scrawny and lanky.  Androgynous (Liam).

Jean: Junk dealer.  He is mad as a hatter, but smart and ornery (Fletch).

Nearby Locations

Monster Lair: Vicious and savage frog-dog creatures lurk in rudimentary huts (John).

Settlement: Strange Ones (sky blue skin and bulbous heads) inhabit an abandoned Ancient Earth television station.  They worship Ancient Earth technology (Fletch).

Source of Power: Giant undead rats run endlessly on hamster wheels to generate electricity (Liam).  Rumored to be created by Tygham the Fearless, the Sorcerer of the Swamps.

Crystal Towers: These crystalline towers are made of soft gems (ruby, etc.) and attract large beetles, the size of dogs, which feast on the structures (Fletch).

Lair of the Croconator: Massive crocodile monster that lurks in the swamps.  A few days travel from Mardi Grass (John).

The Ruins of Bourbon St: Mostly underwater.  Aquatic people live here.  Underwater ruins and avenues exist (Fletch).

Magic Items

Liam: Liam has a teddy bear named Balfour, which he found on the mummified remains of a small girl from Ancient Earth- The girl’s name is Maggie and acts as a spirit guide. Liam can speak to her as spirit (Death Priest ability) or increase Luck range from 4-6 to 3-6 once per day.

John: John has an attack drone that looks like a sphere with a giant lightbulb eye.  The drone hovers around him and attacks a target designated by John.  6HP, 1 RP, 1d6 damage, uses John’s stats to attack.

Fletch: Fletch has a shield that can be activated to absorb damage.  When turned on, roll 2d4.  That is how much damage it will absorb.  Once depleted, deactivates and take damage as normal.  Recharges when the sun rises.

Advertisements

Blood Magic for Beyond the Wall.

I’ve always really liked blood magic from Dragon Age.  I’ve recently started re-playing Dragon Age: Inquisition (elf female, dual-wield rogue build– I actually grew bored with this build and am now trying an Archer build- liking it much more.

Anyways-  I love Beyond the Wall and was thinking that it would actually make a great system to play Dragon Age with (more so than I enjoyed the AGE system).  It’s got character backgrounds (much like origin stories from Dragon Age Origins) and it only has the three classes: Warrior, Rogue, and Mage.

So I thought it would be fun to create blood magic rules for Beyond the Wall.

Blood Magic

Blood Mage 3

A mage who dabbles in blood magic is able to empower their spells, becoming an even more dangerous and powerful adversary.  Mages who use blood magic must be wary for this power comes with risk; gaining the notice of demons and other malevolent spirits.

Cantrips

A mage who uses blood magic on a cantrip can:

  • Automatically succeed on a cantrip (the mage must sacrifice 1d3 HP from themselves or another target).
  • Do max damage or extend the spell’s duration to max time limit (the mage must sacrifice 1d4 HP from themselves or another target).

Spells

Blood Mage 2

A mage who uses blood magic to cast a spell can:

  • Do max damage with a spell (the mage must sacrifice 1d6 HP from themselves or another target).
  • Be considered 1 level higher for purpose of “caster level” (the mage must sacrifice 2d4 HP from themselves or another target).
  • Cast another spell even after they have cast all spells for the day (the mage must sacrifice 1d8 HP from themselves or another target).

 

Rituals

Blood Mage 1

A mage who uses blood magic to cast a ritual can:

  • Reduce the casting time of the ritual by a desired number of hours (the mage must sacrifice 1d6 HP per hour from themselves or another target). IE- a 3rd level ritual can be cast and take effect immediately, but the mage (or another target) takes 3d6 damage.  The mage still needs to roll for success and needs all required components.
  • Automatically succeed on a ritual (the mage must sacrifice 1d10/ritual level HP from themselves or another target).  IE- a mage uses blood magic to automatically succeed on the 6th level ritual, Contagion, but they (or another target) suffers 6d10 damage after doing so.  
  • Forgo the ingredients needed to cast a ritual, instead using their own blood to fuel the spell.  (the mage must sacrifice 1d10 HP/level from themselves ONLY).

The Perils of Blood Magic

Demon 1

Each time a mage uses blood magic they must make a savings throw VS spells or attract unwanted attention.  The mage suffers a negative modifier to their save depending on the type of magic used.

Cantrip: -2

Spells: -3

Rituals: negative modifier is equal to the level of the ritual (IE- a mage using blood magic to enhance a level 10 ritual would only not attract attention on a 20- as should be with using such powerful magic.

If attention is attracted roll 2d20 and consult the table below:

2-5) Possession- the target becomes possessed by a demon for 1d4 days.  The demon merely wants to explore the world and will gladly venture forth with the party.

6-8) Possession- the target becomes possessed by a demon for 2d4 days.  and desires freedom and to spread corruption far and wide.  It will attempt to flee the party.

9-12) The mage is wrapped in delusions and cannot distinguish reality from fantasy.  The mage rolls 2d20 for all perception and thought-based rolls and takes the lower of the two.  This lasts for 2d4 days.  

13-14) Magic is siphoned from the mage.  They are unable to cast any spells for 1d3 days.

15-16) Magic is siphoned from the mage.  They are unable to cast any spells for 1d6 days.  

17-19) The mage is drained of all vitality.  Their physical attributes are halved for 1d3 days.

20-22) The mage is drained of all vitality.  Their physical attributes are halved for 1d6 days. 

23) The blood that was sacrificed was not enough.  All targets within 45 ft of the mage must make a save VS spells or suffer 1d3/level damage as blood is sucked from their body into the realm of shadow.

24) A demon (GM’s choice of type) (BtW, pg 78) appears and attacks the party.

25-28) A hellhound (BtW, pg 85) appears and attacks the party.

29-32) An insect swarm (BtW, pg 86) manifests around the mage and begins attacking them.

33) A monstrosity (GM’s choice of type) (BtW, pg 88) appears and goes for the mage.

34-361d4 skeletons (BtW, pg 91) appear and attack the party.

37) A spectre (BtW, pg 91) appears before the mage and attacks them.

38-40) 2d4 zombies (BtW, pg 99) rise from the ground and attack the party.  


The Witch Hunter- A Beyond the Wall Elder Playbook

Here is a new playbook I just created for Beyond the Wall.  I used the Elder rules for this one.  I figured a Witch Hunter would have already suffered through some horrible shit, so it made sense to start them at level 2…  This one is a bit darker than any of the other playbooks I’ve done- or that I’ve seen for BtW.  I used some of the Occult Slayer 5e Martial Archetype I created awhile back for inspiration.

The Witch Hunter- Elder Playbook

Witch Hunter 1

You have been touched by the darkness that lurks in the hearts of humans, and it has shattered your life and left you a shell filled with a desire for vengeance.  You fight tirelessly against mages and witches who have let their hearts and minds become consumed by darkness.  A witch hunter is not afraid to dive into the depths of an old ruin, or plunder through a haunted mansion if it means bringing a rogue mage, or evil witch to justice.

 

Here’s the PDF version- The Witch Hunter- Elder Playbook

 

1d12 What did your parents do in the village?  What did you learn from them? Gain
1 They were the town drunks.  “You can only depend on yourself.” +2 Str, +2 Int, +1 Con
2 Your father was an outcast, rightfully or not +2 Int, +1 Wis, +1 ConSkill: Survival
3 Your parents were fishermen and you grew up by the river. +2 Dex, +1 Str, +1 WisSkill: Fishing
4 Your mom was an oddball and said she could read the future in the stars. +2 Wis, +1 Int, +1 ChrSkill: Astronomy
5 Your family worked a small farm outside the village. +2 Con, +1 Wis, + 1 ChaSkill: Farming
6 You spent much time in the mountains foraging for food and supplies. +2 Con, +1 Dex, +Wis, +1 Str
7 Your parents own the local inn.  You grew up meeting travelers and hearing their tales. +2 Cha, +1 Int, +1 Dex, +1 Wis
8 Your father was the local smith and taught you both hammer and bellows. +2 Str, +1 Dex, +1 ChaSkill: Smithing
9 Your father or other kept the old stories.  Your head is filled with them. +2 Int, +1 Cha, +1 WisSkill: Folklore
10 Your mother is the local constabulary.  She is fair and well respected. +2 Str, +1 Wis, +1 ConSkill: Investigation
11 You went on journeys into the woods with your father to gather herbs and berries. +2 Wis, +1 Con, +1 DexSkill: Herbalism
12 Your father was a local merchant.  You learned to name yoru price and charm your customers. +2 Cha, +1 Int, +1 DexSkill: Haggling

 

1d8 How did you distinguish yourself as a child? Gain
1 Children often fight, but you never lost. +2 Str, +1 Wis
2 There wasn’t a game you couldn’t win. +2 Dex, +1 Int
3 You were the toughest kid around. +2 Con, +1 Cha
4 No secret escaped you. +2 Int, +1 Dex
5 Your empathy made you a sought after confidant. +2 Wis, +1 Con
6 You never met someone who didn’t like you. +2 Cha, +1 Str
7 You solved everyone else’s problems, and never mentioned your own. +1 Str, +1 Con, +1 Cha
8 Everyone has something to teach, and you learned a little from them all. +1 Dex, +1 Int, +1 Wis

 

1d8 The other player characters have become your closest companions.  Aside from this ragtag group of kids, who else in the village befriended you? Gain
1 The village elder taught you patience and calculation. +2 Wis, +1 Int
2 The local blacksmith took you in and kept you out of trouble. +2 Str, +1 Cha
3 You spent time with the hunters tracking game +2 Con, +1 Wis
4 You are set to marry the daughter of the local priest. +2 Cha, +1 Int
5 You’ve taken a local orphan girl under your wing.  Many in the village whisper she has magical powers. +2 Int, +1 Dex
6 You broke someone’s heart, or maybe they broke yours. +2 Wis, +1 Con
7 You spent most of your time alone in the wilderness. +1 Str, +1 Int,+1 Wis
8 The grizzled mercenary who settled in town taught you a thing or two. +1 Dex, +1 Con, +1 Wis

 

You traveled the lands of men and seen the horrors that lurk outside these village walls.  You have come to the village for a reason. You become a level 2 Warrior-Rogue. You gain the class abilities Knacks and Highly Skilled, and the skill Occult Lore. You follow the warriors HP, BAB, and can wear any armor.  Also choose one of the following: Rage, Shield Master, Two Hander, The Archer, Valiant Protector, Two-weapon Fighting, Artful Dodge, Improved Initiative, or Ledge Crawler (wrathofzombie homebrew rules- see below).  The tables below will further define your class abilities. What do you have to teach this motley group of kids?

1d6 When did you first encounter a witch? Gain
1 A witch killed your mother in a ritual to summon a demon.  You managed to slay her before the ritual was complete. +3 StrSkill: Stealth
2 A witch enticed you and your sister into her house and attempted to bake you into a pie.  Only you escaped. +3 DexSkill: Escape Artist
3 A witch cast a curse on your village, causing many to develop a terrible sickness.  Many died, but you survived. +3 ConSkill: Healing
4 A witch bullied her way into your village and subjugated the entire population.  Many died in the mines, but you survived and managed to escape eventually. +3 WisSkill: Mining
5 You were kidnapped by a witch and treated as a slave for years.  Eventually you slit the hag’s throat while she slept and were able to find your way out of her swamp. +3 IntSkill: Survival
6 You heard tales of the witch that lived in a house with chicken legs and you decided to try and find her.  You did, and you still sometimes see her horrible visage when you close your eyes. +3 ChrSkill: Alertness

 

1d6 What was your most recent encounter with a witch? Gain
1 A witch had taken the guise of a beautiful young woman and was luring men to her hut and eating their flesh.  You found her and killed her. +2 WisSkill: Tracking
2 You found a witch counting the finger bones of the dead in a cemetery.  You slew her, burnt her body, and salted the ground.  The dead are now at rest. +2 StrSkill: Stealth
3 A witch actually saved your life, making you question your black and white view on all witches. +2 ChrSkill: Persuasion
4 You saw a witch summon a storm in a town you were passing through, nearly ripping everything apart.  She hopped on a broom and fled into the storm- you still seek retribution against her. +2 DexSkill: Weather sense
5 You were captured by a witch and whipped and tortured for days before a friend rescued, but lost their own life in the process.  The witch escaped justice that day, but you will still find her. +2 StrSkill: Survival
6 You know not all witches are evil and gross creatures.  You helped the local town witch gather herbs and heal a blight that was affected the local populace. +2 WisSkill: Herbalism

 

1d6 What caused you to choose your pupil?  The player to your right immediately gains +1 Wis, -1 Con and shares this event with you. Gain
1 A witch came to the village to seek revenge for you killing her sister.  The youth was with you and took up arms against the hag.  The bravery of the youth shone through, they immediately gain +1 Str. +2 Str, Knack: Defensive Fighter, Skill: Poisons
2 You wandered into the town, badly injured after fighting a witch on the outskirts of town.  The villagers feared you were cursed and left you alone, however the youth was brave and helped you tend your wounds.  The youth’s kindness saved your life, they immediately gain +1 Chr. +2 Con, Knack: Resilience, Skill: Athletics
3 The last winter was brutal and lasted longer than normal.  You agreed to venture out to find food in the storm.  The youth snuck out with you to help.  The youth was able to help you spot herbs and game, instantly gaining +1 Wis. +2 Dex, Knack: Fleet, Skill: Hunting
4 It was rumored a witch who could speak to the dead lived deep in the woods.  You ventured in to find her and discover her intentions.  The youth accompanied you, eager to learn.  The youth listened intently, instantly gaining +1 Int. +2 Wis, Knack: Defensive Fighter, Skill: Burial Lore
5 The village elder did not want you in the town, fearing you would bring a blight upon everyone.  The youth spoke up for you, speaking of your strength and valor.  The village elder agreed with the youth’s words, instantly granting them +1 Chr. +2 Chr, Knack Resilience, Skill: Persuasion
6 You came to the town to slay the local village witch.  A fight broke out and as you were about to deal the killing blow the youth stayed your hand, explaining that the witch was kind and had helped out the villagers for decades.  The quick actions of the youth stayed your hand and saved the witch, instantly granting them +1 Dex. +2 Str, Knack: Great Strike, Skill: Listening

 

1d6 What memento do you keep with you that brings you luck? Gain
1 The silver longsword of your father. +2 Str, silver longsword
2 Your mother was a shield maiden, you carry her shield. +2 Con, reinforced shield
3 A book of strange fairy tales. +2 Int, book of fairy tales
4 A silver necklace with an hourglass pendant. +2 Wis, hour glass necklace
5 A sign of victory. +2 Str, shriveled, shrunken head of a witch
6 A sign of tragedy +2 Wis, the small toy of a child who died at the hands of a witch

Witch Hunter 2

 

<choose one of the following>

Rage– For the duration of one combat the warrior gains + 2 to attack and damage and + 2 Wisdom saves against mild-altering and fear effects, but suffers -2 to AC.  After combat the warrior is exhausted and suffers -2 to all rolls and AC until they rest for one hour.  This ability cannot be used again until the exhaustion has passed. (Thanks to Crypts and Things for the cool version of berserk- I modded it slightly).

Shield Master– The warrior knows how to use a shield effectively.  They gain an additional + 1 to their AC when wielding a shield.  Additionally a shield master can absorb two blows before their shield is shattered (http://trollsmyth.blogspot.com/2008/05/shields-shall-be-splintered.html).

Two Hander– The warrior can wield a two-handed weapon more effectively, dealing maximum damage on their first attack in combat if the strike is successful.  All subsequent damage from successful attacks are resolved normally.

The Archer– The warrior has learned how to use a bow very effectively.  If the warrior doesn’t take another action in a round they are able to fire two arrows in a row.  Each attack must be resolved separately.

Valiant Protector– The warrior is trained to protect their companions, and can even risk their own life to save a threatened ally. Once per fight, when an ally within 30 feet is struck by an attack, the warrior may instantly move to interpose. They may choose to do so after the attack’s damage has been rolled. The original target takes no damage and the attack is re-rolled against the warrior instead.  The warrior can defend only against physical, tangible attacks, and not against magical afflictions or environmental damage (thanks Dawn of Spears).

Two-weapon Fighting– A rogue wearing light armor and holding a small weapon can make one additional attack a round.

Artful Dodge– A thief wearing light armor and no shield gains +2 to AC (again- nod to Crypts and Things).

Improved Initiative– The thief knows that those who are quickest to act usually live longest.  Add +4 to Initiative rolls.  (I am not using the static initiative bonus.  I’m doing Dexterity modifier + d20 rollif you are using the BtW static rules- just increase the rogues Initiative bonus to +2 instead.)

Ledge Crawler– A rogue’s movement is not slowed or hindered when walking along tight ropes, ledges, or cliffs.


Beyond the Wall Session Recap- A Fog Descends and a Three-Headed Monkey is Lonely

Yesterday I kicked off my Beyond the Wall game (whether this will just be a one time thing or a sporadic get together, time will tell).  I had eight players, only three of which had ever RPG’d before.  I tried to make everything as easy as possible for everyone.  I described the three classes (rogue, warrior, and mage) and gave the standard descriptions of “warriors run up to stuff and go stabby stabby; rogues go sneaky sneaky and skilly skilly and sometimes stabby stab; mages are all stuck up and intellectual and cast spelly spells that hurt shit.”  With that intelligent description of everything I also let them know about multi-classing (which in BtW is SUPER simple) and then I asked them which of the classes each would like to play.  Once that was determined I read off the playbooks (think 5e backgrounds) for each class and let the players choose.

Here’s the roster we ended up with:

Players

Kevin- Rogue (The Woodsman background)

Sammie- Rogue (The Untested Rogue background)

Michelle- Warrior (The Nobleman’s Wild Daughter background)

Tyler- Warrior-rogue (The Cursed background- one I wrote up)

Kelly- Warrior (The Village Hero background)

Jamie- Warrior (Dwarf Adventurer background)

Raymond- Mage (Self-taught Mage background)

Katrina- Rogue (Forgotten Child background)

I totally dropped the ball and even forgot to mention my Exiled Monk class and playbook– oh well.  I’m sure someone else will want to play or one of their characters will die.

With those decisions made we started rolling up our characters.  I did deviate from how BtW wants the characters done and nixed the create the village stuff.  I did this purposefully because A) we had a very short amount of time to play and creating the characters with 8 players was going to take a bit of time (took an hour and a half in total); B) the adventure I have written has the village frozen in time and covered in a thick mist- so they can create the village together once that bitch is free; and C) I’m not sure if we’ll get to really play again as all of us have busy fucking schedules…  so if it’s a one off- no point in creating the village.

The Beginning

I opened with the group being out in the wilderness doing a hunt.  I asked Kevin what they were hunting, as he was the woodsman- he said “Boar.”  Michelle said, “Oh that’s perfect!  I saved someone from a boar attack and that’s how I made my name in the village!” So that was a cool little thing right there- perfectly random, but it enhanced everyone’s experience right there.

So the group had a successful hunt (through narration) and went to bed.  When the woke in the AM there was a thick fog obscuring everything further than 10′ away.  The group did some thinking and questioning about the fog, but decided it would be best to head to the village.  They spend half a day walking back to the village.  When they got to the outskirts they realized that they heard no sounds- no villagers, no animals, no tools, etc.  The group took a few more steps into the village and could make out three silhouettes about 10′ away.  Kevin, Katrina, Sammy, and Tyler all stealthed up to take a look while Raymond did Sense Magic in the area.

The rogues came up on the two shapes and saw it was the local town herbalist and her son, completely still as if frozen in time.  It looked like they were playing a game- the son was running from his mother, looking back at her with a smile on his face… The herbalist’s face showing adoration for her child- frozen and unmoving.

Kelly went into the nearest building, which happened to be the blacksmith.  He was standing over his anvil hammering on a horseshoe.  The shoe completely cold- small embers that flew from the shoe after the hammer struck frozen in mid-air, small little bits of ash and dust.

The group met back up and divulged their findings to one another.  The group decided to head further into the town and heard a humming in the distance.  Someone in the party said, “Does this town have a local witch?”  Another player said, “Who do you think is singing…?”  So the group went to investigate the singing and went to the eastern outskirts of the village, and the rickety shack of Druscilla- the village’s witch.

DruscillaDruscilla was sitting on her porch, stroking her fat black cat, and watched the group approach.  “Well I see not ALL the village idiots were frozen in this fog.”  Michelle puffed up at once, “what do you mean idiots.”  “Those weak enough to succumb to this magic.”  Another player called out, “Is that why you’re not affected?”  Druscilla merely shurgged.

The group began asking her questions about what caused this fog and how to remove it.  Druscilla snorted deeply and coughed a big snot ball on to the porch and began playing in it with her long, broken big toe nail.  “Hrm… Let’s see- this is fae magic.  Something has angered the fae and it won’t go away until solved.”

“What do we do?  Where do we go?”

Druscilla made an incision on her forearm and let the blood drip into her snot ball and then continued toeing it, “You must find the prophet of the swamp- two days travel to the south of here…  He’ll have answers for you.  Look for the giant weeping willow where the hang virgins.  That’s where you’ll find him.”

The group gathered up their stuff and headed south.

Along the way they were ambushed by five bullywugs.

Bullywug

Three threw slings at the players, when they charged in, two others appeared from under the peat and began pelting the PC’s with slings as well.  This was a fun fight and several of the players took pretty good damage.  Both Michelle and Kelly (I think) rolled natural 20’s and were very excited to cleave the shit out of the bullywugs.  Michelle was on her horse and had charged one- piercing it through the eye, lifting it off the ground, and taking it with her and she maneuvered to make another charge.

After the fight the group decided to make camp.  That night Kelly was visited by a woman who was coming out of a dead tree stump.  Her flesh looked like wood, and she had branches and vines for hair.

Dryad

 

The dryad thanked Kelly for their help in chasing off (or killing) the Bullywugs, as they have been hunting the animals in the area.  For their help, the dryad gave Kelly a bag of eight Good Berries (restores 1 HP when eaten).  She then disappeared back into her log.

That morning Kelly told the group what happened and they decided to move on.  After a few more hours of walking, the group found the weeping willow in the distance.

Weeping Willow

The group carefully approached it, scouting out around them.  Sitting in a thick branch was a monkey juggling three stones in one hand…  He was making deep guttural sounds.  Next to his neck on each side were two flaccid stalks that both hung sadly onto his chest.  One of the party members cleared their throat, “Ummm.  Hello?  Are you the prophet of the swamp?”

Three-headed Monkey

“Indeed I am the prophet of the swamp…  What do you want?” Aside: In a split moment decision I decided to give the three-headed monkey the voice of Benecio Del Toro when he had a gun in his head in Sin City.  I don’t know why, but the players dug it and I had fun giving a small chimp a really deep, gravely voice. 

There was a quick role-playing part here and the group found out that a evil bastard named Cy’nar came and stole the prophet’s other heads and now he’s lonely and that’s why the fog appeared… and it won’t lift until his friends are with him again.  The group asked where Cy’nar was and he told them he was to distraught to know or care.  Go check with the Swamp Mistress and she’ll guide you.  She’s just a mile to the west.

The group asked for help for getting his heads back and he gave them the three stones he was juggling, with no explanation and the group moved on.

The group walked for a short time and then heard a strange inhuman scream and several shouts.  The group crept on on the disturbance and saw three figures pulling a large bag and shouting, “You’re lucky Cy’nar wants you alive you freak!  Otherwise I’d skin you and wear you as a hat.”  Several of the rogues attempted to sneak up on the figures, but Katrina failed- instead sloshing loudly in the swamp water.

They could see three bandits clearly and a figure (a fourth) obscured by the fog in the distance.  The men were wearing black leather armor, had swords and bows, and were wearing leatherface type masks.  Both Sammie and Katrina shouted at the men, telling them to surrender or die (Sammie failed, and Katrina succeeded).  I rolled an opposing roll for the men, giving them negatives because of the sheer number of PC’s VS them.  They failed and immediately surrendered.  The whole group cheered (this was really cool- because it was minor, but for them it was a celebration- which makes it fucking awesome).

The group went back to the bag and opened it up, figuring the Swamp Mistress was within.  What popped out was not what they expected.

Swamp Mistress

 

The mistress thanked them and the group had a quick talk about why Cy’nar would want her (and all the Mistress said was it was probably because she knew exactly where he was, when everyone else didn’t).  So the Mistress sang a song and teleported the group to the outside of Cy’nar’s lair.

This is where we left off for the night.  Everyone had a great time and got a feel for RPGing.  Hopefully we’ll play again soon.

After Thoughts

This adventure was fun to write and fun to run.  I still have the whole dungeon created and ready to go.  I admit that this adventure was much more linear than I normally do, but I had a very short amount of time to play and I was treating this as if we were never going to get to play again and this was my shot to show 5 people what RPGing was like.  I think I succeeded as everyone told me that it was a ton of fun… so we’ll see if it every happens again:)

 


New Beyond the Wall Cantrips, Spells, and Rituals Ported from Pathfinder

Btw Magic Book 2Recently I’ve been doing posts about Beyond the Wall.  It’s a great Neo-OSR style game.  I really dig its simplicity, its enchanted fairy tale approach, and I really enjoy the magic system that’s been created.

For my upcoming game I decided to go through the Pathfinder Core Rulebook and select spells I would like to convert to cantrips, spells, and rituals (because I apparently like punishing myself….)

So what’s new…?  How about 6 cantrips, 25 spells, and 23 rituals?!

I have NOT edited or proofed this document.  I was going cross-eyed just to get this thing done last night.

Oh well! Here is the PDF-Beyond the Wall Homebrew Spells

Hope you enjoy!  It was fun, but hard work!

Here is the houserules I’ve created for BtW

Here are the playbooks I’ve created

The Cursed

The Exiled Monk

The Pious Priest

The Foreign Diplomat


Beyond the Wall- New Character Playbook- The Foreign Diplomat (Rogue)

Here’s another playbook.  I made this one to kinda fit in with who might not be there for the initial village creation session or maybe their original character has perished and they are adding in a new one.

 

Anyways, enjoy.

PDF version- The Foreign Diplomat

The Foreign Diplomat

Diplomat 1

You come from a far away land as a representative of your people.  You are here to establish relations and explore the world around you.  You have trained in diplomacy and the ways of the court.  As with anything political, nothing is as what it appears on the surface.

 

People respond well to you and you are always quick to act.  Your Dexterity and Charisma both start at 10 and all other attributes start at 8.

 

1d12 What is the history of your people? Gain
1 You value the purity of body and mind above all else. +2 Wis, +2 Con,+1 Str
2 Your people are deeply philosophical and seek knowledge. +2 Wis, +1 Int, +1 ChrSkill: Ancient knowledge
3 Your people are war-like and expansionistic. +2 Str, +1 Con, +1 DexSkill: Tactics
4 Your people live in an ancient rainforest. +2 Dex, +1 Wis, +1 IntSkill: Herbalism
5 Your people are known for their great endurance and skill. +2 Con, +1 Str, +1 DexSkill: Athletics
6 Your people celebrate life and worship the sun and a divine being. +2 Chr, +1 Con, +1 Int, +1 Wis
7 Your people say they can hear the whispers of the dead in their dreams. +2 Wis, +1 Int, +1 Con, +1 Chr
8 Your people are known to be hired as assassins +2 Str, +1 Dex, +1 IntSkill: Stealth
9 Your people herd sheep and large birds. +2 Int, +1 Wis, +1 DexSkill: Herding
10 Your people are great hunters of terrifying beasts that plague far away lands. +2 Str, +1 Dex, +1 ConSkill: Tracking
11 Your people worship animals and believe each carries omens and portents. +2 Wis, +1 Int, +1 ChrSkill: Animal lore
12 Your people serve as elite guards to a grand emperor. +2 Str, +1 Dex, +1 WisSkill: Alertness

Add a location that is being built since your arrival.  It should be complete in six months to a year.

1d8 Why did you become a diplomat for your kingdom? Gain
1 You seek fortune and power. +2 Str, +1 Con
2 You wish to understand the various cultures of the world. +2 Int, +1 Cha
3 You have been banished from your homeland and this is your punishment. +2 Con, +1 Str
4 This job was an amazing opportunity and you couldn’t pass it up. +2 Cha, +1 Dex
5 You believe in the glory of your kingdom and want to strengthen its reach into foreign lands. +2 Wis, +1 Cha
6 You hope to build your own keep and militia far from your lands. +2 Star, +1 Dex
7 You seek forgotten lore and knowledge. +1 Str, +1 Con, +1 Int
8 You enjoy the twisted games of political intrigue. +1 Con, +1 Int, +1 Wis

 

1d8 Many of the villagers are suspicious of your intentions.  Whom among them have you established a connection with? Gain
1 The village elder has been gracious and supportive. +2 Wis, +1 Int
2 The witch on the outskirts of the village has been quite happy to hear tales of your land. +2 Cha, +1 Wis
3 The barkeep at the inn enjoys your conversations. +2 Con, +1 Cha
4 The blacksmith hopes to get some of the various metals your people work with. +2 Star, +1 Con
5 The retired adventurer enjoys talking to you.  It reminds him of his younger days. +2 Dex,+1 Str
6 The priest of the local temple debates religious philosophy with you. +2 Wis, +1 Con
7 The caretaker is oddly loquacious.  Perhaps he’s just lonely. +1 Str, +1 Chr,+1 Wis
8 The small orphan girl follows your around, idolizing you. +1 Dex, +1 Con, +1 Wis

Add an NPC from the village to the map.  It doesn’t have to be the one rolled on the previous table.

You have trained to be a skilled diplomat and are able to negotiate and moderate tense communications.  You are now a level X rogue.  You gain the class abilities Fortune’s Favor, Highly Skilled, Back Attack (wrathofzombie houserules) and the skill Diplomacy.

1d6 Who taught you your diplomatic skills Gain
1 Your father was a court advisor and knew the political game. +3 WisSkill: Politics
2 Your mother knew how to read people extremely well. +3 ChrSkill: Persuasion
3 You learned how to read people and communicate from a traveling minstrel. +3 IntSkill: Flattery
4 You are self-taught.  You’ve always relied on your own wits. +3 StrSkill: Intimidate
5 A noble took you in and taught you everything he knows. +3 ConSkill: Etiquette
6 A con artist taught you how to read and scam people. +3 ChrSkill: Sleight-of-hand

 

1d6 What secret task have you been set to do? Gain
1 Obtain information on the local lord that will give a strategic advantage to your kingdom. +2 WisSkill: Deceit
2 Assassinate the local lord to plunge the area into chaos. +2 DexSkill: Poison
3 Seek out the fabled “Ruins of the Undying Sisters” and obtain the treasure within. +2 StrSkill: Trap-finding
4 Establish trade routes that favor your kingdom. +2 IntSkill: Trade-routes
5 Hunt down an exiled political figure and silence them. +2 DexSkill: Tracking
6 The daughter of a member of the high court was kidnapped.  Find her and rescue her. +2 ChrSkill: Interrogate

Location- You have set up a small market stand to sell the wares and goods of your people to those in the village.

1d6 What difficult situation have you defused?  The player on your right was present. Gain
1 You got caught breaking into a person’s house to find damning evidence.  The player to your right was with you and helped talk you out of trouble, gaining +1 Chr. +2 ChrSkill: Lock-picking
2 The village was attacked by a goblin raiding party.  They threw a strange box into the middle of the village.  You figured out it was a trap and disabled it.  The player to your right was there to wipe the sweat off your brow, gaining +1 Dex. +2 DexSkill: Disable Device
3 You stopped a mob of angry villagers from lynching the town drunk.  The player to your right was there and fought off several villagers, gaining +1 Str. +2 StrSkill: Persuasion
4 You bartered a great price for trade goods for the village from a traveling merchant.  The player to your right helped you persuade the merchant, gaining +1 Wis. +2 WisSkill: Haggling
5 You delivered an impassioned speech and elevated down-trodden mood of the villagers.  The person to your right pitched in and enhanced your speech, gaining +1 Chr. +2 ChrSkill: Oration
6 You didn’t, you snuck away so you wouldn’t get hurt by the angry mob.  The person to your right was right there behind you, gaining +1 Dex. +2 DexSkill: Stealth

 

1d6 The local lord was impressed by you and gave you a gift.  What was it? Gain
1 A fine garment of silk. +2 Wis, a perfectly tailored outfit
2 The leather armor of his father. +2 Dex, leather armor
3 A faithful dog that will serve as companion and protector. +2 ChrA faithful dog
4 The ceremonial blade of one of your ancestors that had been in the lord’s vault. +2 Str, ceremonial blade
5 The deed to a small plot of land and a forgotten cabin in the woods.  The area is overrun with goblins. +2 Int, small land and cabin
6 A battle horn to aid you when you’re in need A magical horn

Add an NPC that accompanied you on your journey from your kingdom.  What are they doing in the village?

 Diplomat 2

Class Abilities

Hit Dice: d8

Initiative Bonus: +2

Armor: Rogues can wear any armor lighter than plate.

 

The Rogue
Back Attack
– A rogue that successfully sneaks up on a target can make an attack at a + 2.  If successful the attack deals an additional 2d6 damage.  (normal back attack rule will be no “+” modifiers and only an additional 1d6 damage).

<Choose One>
Two-weapon Fighting– A rogue wearing light armor and holding a small weapon can make one additional attack a round.

Artful Dodge– A thief wearing light armor and no shield gains +2 to AC (again- nod to Crypts and Things).

Improved Initiative– The thief knows that those who are quickest to act usually live longest.  Add +4 to Initiative rolls.  (I am not using the static initiative bonus.  I’m doing Dexterity modifier + d20 rollif you are using the BtW static rules- just increase the rogues Initiative bonus to +2 instead.)

Ledge Crawler– A rogue’s movement is not slowed or hindered when walking along tight ropes, ledges, or cliffs.

For the rest of the rogue stats and abilities consult Beyond the Wall, pg 11.


Beyond the Wall- New Character Playbook- The Pious Priest (Mage)

Here’s another brand new character playbook for Beyond the Wall.

PDF Version- The Pious Priest

The Pious Priest

Pious Priest 1

You have always had a deeper connection with the occult and the ethereal world than most.  You swear that the dead have spoken to you in your dreams or you’ve seen spirits move just in your peripheral vision, only to vanish when you attempt to get a better glimpse.  Eventually you heard the greater calling of a particular god, and you answered.  Now you are blessed with spells to aid you in His/Her mission.

 

You are highly intelligent and motivated.  Your Intelligence and Charisma both start at 10 and all other attributes start at 8.

 

1d12 What did your parents do in the village?  What did you learn from them? Gain
1 They were the town drunks.  “You can only depend on yourself.” +2 Str, +2 Int, +1 Con
2 Your father was an outcast, rightfully or not +2 Int, +1 Wis, +1 ConSkill: Survival
3 Your parents were fishermen and you grew up by the river. +2 Dex, +1 Str, +1 WisSkill: Fishing
4 Your mom was an oddball and said she could read the future in the stars. +2 Wis, +1 Int, +1 ChrSkill: Astronomy
5 Your family worked a small farm outside the village. +2 Con, +1 Wis, + 1 ChaSkill: Farming
6 You spent much time in the mountains foraging for food and supplies. +2 Con, +1 Dex, +Wis, +1 Str
7 Your parents own the local inn.  You grew up meeting travelers and hearing their tales. +2 Cha, +1 Int, +1 Dex, +1 Wis
8 Your father was the local smith and taught you both hammer and bellows. +2 Str, +1 Dex, +1 ChaSkill: Smithing
9 Your father or other kept the old stories.  Your head is filled with them. +2 Int, +1 Cha, +1 WisSkill: Folklore
10 Your mother is the local constabulary.  She is fair and well respected. +2 Str, +1 Wis, +1 ConSkill: Investigation
11 You went on journeys into the woods with your father to gather herbs and berries. +2 Wis, +1 Con, +1 DexSkill: Herbalism
12 Your father was a local merchant.  You learned to name yoru price and charm your customers. +2 Cha, +1 Int, +1 DexSkill: Haggling

 

1d8 How did you distinguish yourself as a child? Gain
1 Children often fight, but you never lost. +2 Str, +1 Wis
2 There wasn’t a game you couldn’t win. +2 Dex, +1 Int
3 You were the toughest kid around. +2 Con, +1 Cha
4 No secret escaped you. +2 Int, +1 Dex
5 Your empathy made you a sought after confidant. +2 Wis, +1 Con
6 You never met someone who didn’t like you. +2 Cha, +1 Str
7 You solved everyone else’s problems, and never mentioned your own. +1 Str, +1 Con, +1 Cha
8 Everyone has something to teach, and you learned a little from them all. +1 Dex, +1 Int, +1 Wis

 

1d8 The other player characters were your best friends.  Who else in the village befriended you? Gain
1 The village elder taught you patience and calculation. +2 Wis, +1 Int
2 The local blacksmith took you in and kept you out of trouble. +2 Str, +1 Cha
3 You spent time with the hunters tracking game +2 Con, +1 Wis
4 You are set to marry the daughter of the local priest. +2 Cha, +1 Int
5 You’ve taken a local orphan girl under your wing.  Many in the village whisper she has magical powers. +2 Int, +1 Dex
6 You broke someone’s heart, or maybe they broke yours. +2 Wis, +1 Con
7 You spent most of your time alone in the wilderness. +1 Str, +1 Int,+1 Wis
8 The grizzled mercenary who settled in town taught you a thing or two. +1 Dex, +1 Con, +1 Wis

 

You have found a patron deity and now preach sermon far and wide to any of those whom will listen.  You become a level 1 mage.  You have the class abilities Sense Magic, Spell Casting, Successful Cantrip*, Magical Reserve*, and Counter Spell* (*wrathofzombie houserule- see below).  You also gain the skill Religious Lore.

1d6 The deity reached out to you.  How? Gain
1 Through strange signs that appeared in your hearth fire. +3 WisSkill: Gossip
2 A passing priest brought the message of the deity and converted you to the faith. +3 ChrSkill: Persuasion
3 You had a vision of sitting in the court of the deity. +3 IntSkill: Musical Instrument of your choice
4 You fell in combat doing battle with goblins, but miraculously survived.  You saw your deity revive you. +3 StrSkill: Alertness
5 You’ve had several disturbing dreams of bad events to come and that with your devotion, your deity could prevent it. +3 ConSkill: Religious Lore
6 Your family has always been pious to this particular deity. +3 ChrSkill: Etiquette

 

1d8 Which deity were you drawn to? Gain
1 God/dess of the Sun.  You learn the following magics: the spell Flash of Brilliance, the ritual Circle of Protection, and the cantrip Mage Light. +2 ConSpells to left
2 God/dess of Healing.  You learn the following magics: the spell Healing Touch, the ritual Circle of Protection, and the cantrip Second Sight. +2 WisSpells to left
3 God/dess of War.  You learn the following magics: the spell Word of Courage, the ritual Staff of Might, and the cantrip Hexing. +2 StrSpells to left
4 God/dess of Death.  You learn the following magics: the spell Reanimation, the ritual Mage Armor, and the cantrip Hexing. +2 ConSpells to left
5 God/dess of Shadow.  You learn the following magics: the spell Conjure Darkness, the ritual Gather Mists, and the cantrip Glamour Weaving. +2 DexSpells to left
6 God/dess of Nature.  You learn the following magics: the spell Entangle, the ritual Good Berry, and the cantrip Druid’s Touch. +2 WisSpells to left
7 God/dess of Travel and Adventure.  You learn the following magics: the spell Swift Step, the ritual Wanderer’s Luck (Btw: Further Afield)- if don’t own take Witch’s Watchman, and the cantrip Mage Light. +2 IntSpells to left
8 God/dess of Trickery.  You learn the following magics: the spell False Friend, the ritual Bind Familiar, and the cantrip Conjure Sound. +2 ChaSpells to left

 

1d6 What are some challenges that you’ve encountered since you became a priest?  The player on your right was present. Gain
1 A troubled spirit of a village that passed on began haunting you.  The player to your right was with you when you banished the spirit, gaining +1 Chr. +2 IntSpell: Abjuration
2 You saved the daughter of a local farmer from a nightmare that lurked in the woods.  The player on your right was there to see the might of your deity, gaining +1 Wis. +2 WisSpell: Sanctuary of Peace
3 A local lord came and demanded high taxes of your town.  You were able to persuade him to leave.  The player on your right was there to aid you, gaining +1 Str. +2 ChrSpell: Commanding Word
4 Several bodies of loved ones rose from their graves and wandered into the village.  The player on your right was there and helped you combat these horrors, gaining +1 Str. +2 StrSpell: Banish Undead
5 Your neighbor’s house was ablaze.  You selflessly ran into the house to save their son.  The player on your right ventured into the flames with you, gaining +1 Con. +2 ConSpell: Brave the Flames
6 You lost track of time in the old graveyard and when the sun set undead rose from their graves.  You barricaded yourself in the ruins of the old church.  The player to your right was there with you the whole night, gaining +1 Wis. +2 IntSpell: Evade the Dead

 

1d6 A priestess passed through your village.  She presented you with a gift.  What was it? Gain
1 The holy symbol of your deity. +2 Wis, an expertly crafted holy symbol made of gold
2 A beautiful ceremonial dagger and a vial of acid. +2 Int, silver dagger, vial of acid (1d6 damage)
3 A beautiful handheld silver mirror. +2 ChrSmall silver mirror
4 A very mysterious tome +2 Int, Spell: Forgetful Mind
5 Her trusted staff. +2 Str, a wizard staff.
6 A strange book with a cover made of horse hair. +2 Dex, Ritual: Steed of the Sorcerer

 Pious Priest 2

Class Abilities

Hit Dice: d6

Initiative Bonus: +0

Armor: Mages may not wear any armor.

 

The Mage

Successful Cantrip– The mage can burn a Fortune Point to cast a cantrip successfully (no rolling needed).

Magical Reserve– Once per day a mage can burn a Fortune Point to regain a spell that they have already cast.  This will work even if the mage has expended all magical power (IE- failing a cantrip roll).

Counter Spell– A mage is able to counteract a spell of another caster by sacrificing the energies of one of their spells per day.  This cancels the energies of both spell-effects.  This cannot be used on cantrips or rituals.

 

For the rest of the mage stats and abilities consult Beyond the Wall, pg 12.