Saturday, 30 May 2020

Quill scenario: Hallowed Be Thy Name

Letter profile:

- You are wrongfully condemned for murder and face the hangman's noose in three day's time.
- Your twin has framed you. He slayed a merchant called William Godfrey in the night. The crime has been pinned on you after a witness saw someone meeting your description. Your twin is not known here and you have no other family to back you up.
- You are writing to the captain of the guard to plead your case one last time.

Rules of correspondence:

- Monks/nuns gain an extra Heart die

Ink pot

Locked up/ incarcerated
Twin brother/ Fraternal twin
Merchant/ Higgler
Encourage/ Exhort
Dagger/ silvered Dirk
God/ His Holy Grace
Ambush/ ambuscade
Good/ virtuous
Proof/ verification
Noose/ gallows

Less than 5 points

Your poorly worded and reasoned letter is printed in the next day's gazette. As you're being brought to the gallows you're being mocked and jeered by the crowd. Some hold up copies of your letter and tear it up in anger. The noose is rough around your neck.

5-7 points

The next day the burly guard slips you a note from the captain. You open it feverishly, but your face drops when you read it. While your letter was considered, the captain is afraid the evidence isn't there. You will face execution, but the captain promises that if any new evidence comes to light you will be avenged.

8-10 points

Bleary eyed you see a figure step in front of the bars. The captain holds your letter in his gloved hand. He motions for the cell to be opened and he steps in. He helps you to your feet and cracks a smile before telling you that you are free to go. Your letter made him see sense and they are launching an immediate investigation into your twin.

11+ points

When day dawns you're awoken to the sound of a clinking cell door. You see the captain step in, sorrow written across his face. He apologises profusely and thanks you for your letter. It makes complete sense now - how could you have committed the crime? He is sending guards to find your twin and you will be awarded a handsome fee for the ordeal you've been through. You are let free, your head held high.

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Romance of the Perilous Land build: Diplomat

Next up in our series of builds is the diplomat, a build for the bard.

1st talent: Charming
2nd: Instrument of Valour
3rd: Leadership
4th: Improved Leadership
5th: Connected
6th: Bardic Resonance

Skills: Persuasion, bluff, perform, history, languages.

Background: Scholar

The diplomat is leader with a silver tongue. When they want information they're going to get it, usually through flattery, confidence and occasionally lies. Charming gives them increased charisma early doors and instrument of valour enhances their class features. Leadership and Improved Leadership offer the party a chance to get the jump in a fight, and Connected brings the allies out of the woodwork when you're in a bind. Finally Bardic Resonance further enhances those bard features.

Monday, 18 May 2020

Romance of the Perilous Land build: Assassin

I'm going to do a series on different 'builds' for RotPL. We're starting off with the assassin, a build for the thief.

1st talent: Shadow Flourish
2nd talent: Critical Blow
3rd: Darksight
4th: Quick Shift
5th: Fleetfoot
6th: Sprinter

Skills: Acrobatics, stealth, perception, athletics, intimidation

Background: Militia

The assassin is all about moving quickly in the shadows and getting out of harm's way fast. Shadow Flourish allows you to max your Reflex to use your blade (and throwing daggers) while Critical Blow gives you a higher chance of dealing more damage. Darksight means you can sneak around in the darkness and get an edge on your critical strikes. Quick Shift is perfect for maneuvering around the battlefield to get away from flanking enemies, or to get in a better position. Fleetfoot stops natural difficult terrain from getting in your way when you're trying to quick Shift. Finally, Sprinter speeds you up, letting you strike even quicker.

Sunday, 17 May 2020

Playing in the eras of the Perilous Land

At the end of the Age of Magic, humanity came to Ashta, which came to be known as the Perilous Land. The giants who once ruled the land had been all but destroyed by Queen Mab after her treachery, and Gogmagog the giant emperor was put into an enchanted sleep for centuries. The gods, seeing an imbalance between mundanity and magic in the world, created humans, who turned out to be determined and industrious.

While the default eras of play is at the beginning of the Age of Valour, when the battle between Camelot and its allies against The Black Lance and the Sisters of Le Fay has begun in earnest, there are several other eras that offer different kinds of campaigns.

Dawn of the Age of Humanity

This is a new frontier where much of the Perilous Land lay undiscovered to humans. This is pretty much your points of light setting: towns and cities are being built but there are only four new small kingdoms: Escose, Norhaut, Ascalon and Hutton. Magic is absolutely rife and survival is hard. Knights weren't a thing yet, they were soldiers. Cunning folk were in their infancy and few and far between. But there's a great feeling of determination and hope. Wars aren't really happening, aside from battles between the Unseelie court. The dragons, for the time being are content with their mountain empire and are mere rumours to humanity. This era has a frontier feel to it, bands of people trying to make their way in a harsh world.

The Great Expansion

At the tail end of the Age of Humanity was the Great Expansion where new kingdoms were founded. There was more war and bloodshed between humans as they vied for land dominance, sometimes even making pacts with dark creatures to do this. By this time cunning folk were found in courts and Knights had begun to be created to defend their kingdoms. If you want the players to take a role in shaping the Perilous Land, this is a good time for it.

The Age of Camelot

After Constantine had died, Uther became king before he was ready. He was young and reckless, but had to prove himself. The most exciting part of this era for stories is the lead up to the Dragonwar against the dragon Xeran and the subsequent war. Xeran demanded taxes from Uther as an easy way to gain treasure, bit when Uther denied him his riches many villages in Camelot were set ablaze by the dragon. After this, Uther gave in and agreed to the tax, leading to Camelot becoming increasingly poorer. In this era, players could easily be refugees from dragon attacks looking to scrape a living. They could be members of Uther's court as they hatch plans to destroy Xeran. They could help Uther get the enchanted shield Pridwen and the blade White Hilt which would be used to slay Xeran.

The Age of Doom

With Camelot flourishing and Uther a hero king, something had to go wrong. Uther is killed by a young Morgan le Fay, his illegitimate son Arthur pulls the sword from the stone to become king (leading to massive disquiet in Camelot) and the Knights of the Round Table are formed as a response to the growing attacks from magical creatures around the Perilous Land. The balance had swayed too far in humanity's favourite and now it was swinging back to darkness. This was the dawn of questing and the proliferation of witchcraft in the land. During this time people aren't keen on Arthur, so he faces as many struggles within his kingdom as without. This era is perfect for hack and slash monster hunting or political intrigue. There's treachery in Arthur's court and Mordred would betray him. You have the start of the Black Lance in its infancy - cells of spies throughout Camelot who look to bring down the king. Players could be a group of spyhunters weeding out the rot in Camelot, or they could be original Knights of the Round as they're just getting started.

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Romance of the Perilous Land background: Green Warden

It's time for a new background! Real quick like.

Green Warden

You are a guardian of nature, whether it's a wood, lake or mountain. You may have heard the call of the Green Man to protect the natural world, or you may have been raised in the wilderness, becoming intrinsically tied to the landscape. Those who dare to harm your domain and the creatures within face your wrath.

Background Skills: Nature (Mind) and Survival (Mind)
Starting Gear: A pouch of mouse bones, gnarled staff, rune stones.

Sunday, 10 May 2020

Romance of the Perilous Land optional difficulty rating rule

While Romance has been widely well received by the gaming world, one criticism I've had is around the unbounded accuracy of its difficulty rating. When I created this, I genuinely didn't think it would be particularly controversial - it logically allowed players to progress without being completely inept at any one attribute. That said, a lot of people have mentioned it, so I wanted to address a different option for difficulty ratings. Note that this is as of yet untested, so let me know if you use it and how you get on.

Very simply it goes like this:

Simple: 0
Regular: 4
Tough: 7
Severe: 10

This is completely untested, so if you do use it please let me know how it goes.