Thursday, 24 September 2020

Hired services of the Perilous Land

Art: Alan Lathwell

It only takes some coin to gain the services you might need on your adventures in the Perilous Land. Whether you're in need of a sword for hire, an invigorating musician or simply someone to cook your meals, this list of hirelings will offer you some help along the way (for a price).

Where to find hirelings

Services for hire can usually be found in larger towns and cities, where they're more likely to be able to play their trades. The local tavern is sure to have a few knocking around, particularly sellswords, pipers and thieves. Scouts are generally found nearer to vast areas of rugged wilderness, with travellers paying for safe passage through dark and perilous places. Torchbearers are ten a penny, often young whippersnappers who are eager for a taste of adventure, while healers often hawk their services on the street, or come recommended in smaller villages. Scribes are learned folk who tend to frequent more up-market drinking establishments and can be found in royal courts. Cooks are many, but cooks who would risk life and limb on a quest are few and far between. Sometimes local inns will advertise cooks for hire, but few like to venture further than their own kingdom without large recompense.

Paying hirelings

The listed prices below are guides. Some well-to-do scribe may only venture out to record the heroes' exploits for 20gp per day, while some desperate waif might bear torches for 2gp. Generally, hirelings will up their prices for danger pay, or if they're required to travel to another kingdom. Most wish to be paid a sum up front, such as if they know they will be travelling for four days, they will want at least half right away.

Disgruntled hirelings

If a hireling gets hurt, at the end of combat they must make a Mind check. If they succeed, they become disgruntled. A disgruntled hireling is in danger of leaving. They will question orders more and may cause issues in the party. If a disgruntled hireling takes damage make another Mind check. On a success they leave. Characters may try to placate the hireling by increasing their fee by 25% or succeeding a Persuasion check of tough difficulty. Placated hirelings lose the disgruntled status.

Hirelings may also become disgruntled every day they don't get paid. Use the same process as above, but at the end of every day they haven't been paid.

Cost: 10gp per day
Might 8 Reflex 10 Constitution 10 Charisma 13 Mind 12
HP 10
Talents: Wilderness Expert
Skills: Nature, Survival

Cost: 14gp per day
Might 10 Reflex 14 Constitution 11 Charisma 12 Mind 12
HP 11
Talents: Shadow Flourish
Skills: Stealth, Perception, Thievery

Cost: 9gp per day
Might 8 Reflex 13 Constitution 9 Charisma 15 Mind 12
HP 9
Talents: Leadership
Skills: Persuasion, Perform

Cost: 13gp per day
Might 11 Reflex 12 Constitution 10 Charisma 8 Mind 13
HP 10
Talents: Trapper
Skills: Perception, Nature, Survival

Cost: 14gp per day
HP 13
Might 15 Reflex 10 Constitution 13 Charisma 9 Mind 9
Talents: Critical Blow
Skills: Athletics, Intimidation

Cost: 5gp per day
HP 8
Might 9 Reflex 9 Constitution 8 Charisma 12 Mind 10
Talents: None
Skills: Perception

Cost: 10gp per day
HP 9
Might 8 Reflex 11 Constitution 9 Charisma 13 Mind 16
Talents: Master Healer
Skills: Healing, Nature

Cost: 8gp per day
HP 7
Might 8 Reflex 11 Constitution 7 Charisma 14 Mind 17
Talents: Sharp-Witted
Skills: History, Languages

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Explore your roots in Heroic Origins for Romance of the Perilous Land

Backgrounds help flesh out your character, giving them extra flavour, as well as skills and equipment. Now you can download the first supplement for Romance of the Perilous Land - Heroic Origins, which contains 20 brand new backgrounds.

Become an heir of monarchs with the Royalty background, which brings with it both privilege and enemies. For those who want a character to have a touch of the wonderous, the Feyborn background allows you to play as a hero from two worlds - the mortal world and the fairy Otherworld. Your origin could even be that of the Wytchguard, fearless undead slayers from the city of Beyonne.

Heroic Origins is available for $3 from DrivethruRPG and

Thursday, 17 September 2020

The future of Romance of the Perilous Land

I wanted to give all of you an update on plans for Romance of the Perilous Land going forward as I'd imagine some people will have been wondering.

First off, there is an adventure in the pipeline. It's all written and it's just awaiting publication. This will be a free pdf starter adventure (one that of you came to my UK Games Expo or Gen Con games you will have experienced). Secondly, errata is also on the way soon - all with Osprey right now.

I've been incredibly proud of Romance and the reception it's had over the past nine months and it's been a joy to work with the talented team at Osprey. I'm also very keen to get more material out there because I have a tonne of ideas for adventures and supplements.

Right now these aren't something Osprey can facilitate, so I'm happy to say that Trollish Delver Games will be publishing the official material for Romance going forward. This is a really exciting time for me - the core book is out via a major publisher but I also now get to release material on my own schedule. This means zines, books and pdfs with more frequency.

The first of these releases will be a supplement of 20 new backgrounds. In the near future I'll be announcing the first print book supplement of the series.

All in all, an exciting time for the game, so watch this space.

Friday, 28 August 2020

Merry Outlaws print + pdf available

Merry Outlaws is now available in pdf and print from Itch.

What's Merry Outlaws? I submitted it as part of the Folklore Jam - essentially Robin Hood is dead and you're continuing his legacy.

Henry III is on the throne and the baronies are running unchecked. Greed and corruption is rife in England and the heroes of old are gone. Friar Tuck burned for heresy, Little John gone into exile and Marian a travelling sellsword.

Players are Outlaws forging their own legacy. Each adventure is a stanza in your evolving ballad, an actual poem you write as you advance in fame. A simple d6 system powers the game, with players doing all the rolls.

The pdf is pay what you want and the limited zine is $10 (plus $5 if you're outside the UK). Go check them out.

Sunday, 23 August 2020

Five new classes for In Darkest Warrens

Knight: 5 wounds. Valiant Shield: you may stop an amount of damage to you per combat equal to half your level rounded up.

Skald: 4 wounds. Orator: You may get +1 to Person a number of times per day equal to half level rounded up.

Scholar: 4 wounds. Studious: You may get +1 to Mind a number of times per day equal to half level rounded up.

Reaper: 5 wounds. Reaping: After slaying an enemy, regain a wound. Do this a number of times per combat equal to half level rounded up. 

Apothecary: 4 wounds. Salve: You may create a number of healing salves per day equal to half level rounded up. Each salve heals 2 wounds.

Monday, 10 August 2020

Lore of the Perilous Land: The Burning Chapter

It's another lore post time, and this time we're talking about them loveable scamps The Burning Chapter.

The Burning Chapter are unique to Lyonesse - a band of disgruntled magic users with a vendetta against King Meliodas' anti-magic rule. Meliodas has strict laws against the use of magic in his kingdom - namely that magic can't be used under any circumstance. Those who are caught practising it are either imprisoned or burned at the stake.

So the Burning Chapter are sympathetic to the Sisters of le Fay, who often work together in their plots to cause chaos in Lyonesse and ultimately bring Meliodas to his knees (of which Morgan le Fay is more than happy to assist with). The group is organised into the following structure:

The Grand Veil
The Bishops of Blight
The Dread Abbots
Sentries of Flame
Doom Acolytes

Their patron deity is Morrigan, though a warped and twisted version unknown to the rest of the people of the Perilous Land.

Each member of the Burning Chapter has a grasp of magic to some extent. Some are hardened warriors with a cursory knowledge of the arts, while others like the Grand Veil are seasoned cunnig folk specialising in offensive, sinister magic.

They meet in secret forgotten temples, the cellars of sympathetic taverns and even in the houses of nobles who wish to use the Chapter to gain even more power. They sometimes hire mercenaries as guards, and bend vicious animals like bears, snakes and wolves to keep people out of their business.

Sunday, 26 July 2020

English Eerie 2nd edition coming soon

I'm releasing a brand new edition of English Eerie, my narrative game of rural horror set in the English countryside. Patrons can download it right now.

English Eerie allows you to create your very own tales of terror based on English folklore and the horror writings of writers like Algernon Blackwood, M.R James and Arthur Machen. The Eerie Engine powers the system, using story element cards and scenario prompts to create a narrative. Whenever a Grey Lady is drawn the tension rises. The higher the tension, the more goes wrong for the protagonist. Simple resource management gives some strategy to the game, deciding how to spend your Resolve, knowing that the ending is determined by your resources.

The new edition is expanded and tweaked from the first, with a shared focus on both solo and group play. Not only are there more scenarios, there is a section on creating your own. Plus, the game is being released under a creative commons license meaning anyone can make English Eerie games and scenarios.

There will be a pdf and print edition, along with a special English Eerie Story Deck that will be available from DrivethruRPG.

Look out for further details in the near future.

Thursday, 23 July 2020

The Black Knights of Castle Cart

In Romance of the Perilous Land there isn't just a single Black Knight - there's a host of them, all serving Queen Eleanor of Eastland. These are the elite of the elite - Knights that can best most of Arthur's lot.

The Black Knights are unnatural beings. They don't need sleep, nor food or water. There are many stories of where the Black Knights came from. Some say they are beings of the Otherworld, warriors of the Unseelie Court. Others believe they are undead - an army of revenants somehow bound by Eleanor.

The truth is much worse. Taken as children, Black Knights are subject to magic that rids them of their earthly needs - hunger, fatigue, love. They must undertake a strict, gruelling training regime. Only 10% of trainees survive. They are torment incarnate - their personalities and future destroyed. Now they are shells that exist for war and to serve their queen.

Black Knight
HD 9 (19)
HP 40
AP 11
Attacks: Longsword/Longsword
Damage: d10+9/ d10+9
Special: The Black Knight regenerates d6 HP per round as long as it has over half its initial HP left.

Sunday, 19 July 2020

Adventure site: The Chapel Perilous

With that he saw by him there stand a thirty great knights, more by a yard than any man that ever he had seen, and all those grinned and gnashed at Sir Launcelot. And when he saw their countenance he dreaded him sore, and so put his shield afore him, and took his sword ready in his hand ready unto battle.

The Chapel Perilous is a doomed place. Once a building of sanctity, dedicated to the healing god Nodens, a place where travellers could rest their weary legs, is now a corruption of stone. The witch Hellawes now resides here, cast out from Camelot for attempting a spell of lust on the knight Lancelot. In her exile she has grown cruel and all around her callous roots grow and brambles slither around wretched stone. She has made a deal with Arawn, the ruler of the underworld, that should he give her a retinue of warriors, she would bring him Knights of valour. True to his word, the monarch of the spirit realm gave Hellawes a group of warriors to aid her on her foul quest.

The Chapel also serves as a final resting place for Sir Gilbert the Bastard, entombed in the lower level with his sword and wrapped in a crimson shroud. Legend says that the sword and shroud can be used in tandem to heal the gravest of wounds.


1. The Chapel Yard

A grave site and haunting place of two spectres (see ghost for stats), sisters who died after deserting their post when battle went sour. Two shields hang from a withered tree. Cutting a shield down reduces the HP of a spectre by half.

2. Chapel entrance

Within the entrance hall are two lit braziers, emitting an eerie green glow. Three Warriors of Arawn stand guard here, their eyes hollow and their tongues blackened. They are mindless for the most part and will attack intruders.

Warrior of Arawn
HD 5 (15)
HP 22
AP 6
Attack: Mace (melee)
Damage: d8+5
Special: Bladed weapons do half damage to a Warrior of Arawn.

- Wytchfire Braziers: When a Warrior of Arawn hold their mace over a Wytchfire brazier, the mace becomes a Wytchfire Mace. The next time the mace deals damage, the Warrior regains that much AP. After this, the mace becomes mundane again.

- Font of Blessings: A stone font containing corrupted water. Usually this would be used to heal, but touching the water does 1d3 damage, burning the hand.

3. Sanctuary

Lined with stone pews long lost to the grasping vines of the wood. Hellawes often waits at the altar for her prey, sensing their arrival and preparing herself. Stone columns hold up the cracked ceiling etched with tales of those who the chapel has healed. Two more Warriors of Arawn guard their mistress. Two Wytchfire Braziers burn close to the alter.

Hellawes will attempt to seduce her opponent, usually going for the strongest-looking in the party or a caster.

HD 7 (17)
HP 29
AP 7
Attack: Dagger (melee + ranged)
Damage: d8+7
Spells prepared: Restrain as if with Invisible Rope, Imbue with a Miraculous Enchantment, Conjure Fire from the Air
Special: Twice per day as an action Hellawes can attempt a magical seduction on one target she can see. The opponent must make a Mind save or be unable to harm Hellawes for 10 minutes.

4. Tomb of the Bastard

A door near the altar (locked - tough difficulty) leads down into the cold tomb. There are several coffins nested into the walls. At the end is a sarcophagus, the lid carved into the likeness of a praying knight. Herein lies Sir Gilbert with his shroud and sword. From the coffins crawl two Leanashes who speak of hungering for new flesh.

Sir Gilbert's Sword
Damage: d8 (d10 against undead)
Special: When placed on the skin of the wounded with Sir Gilbert's Shroud, the wounded person heals 2d8 HP. This can be used once per day.

Sir Gilbert's Shroud
Special: When placed on the skin of the wounded with Sir Gilbert's Sword, the wounded person heals 2d8 HP. This can be used once per day.

Saturday, 18 July 2020

Romance of the Perilous Land: Rhongomiant

Rhongomiant is Arthur's spear (shortened to Ron), forged in the celestial fires of Gofannon's forge when the world was younger. The spear passed to Constantine, who used it in the Petty Wars at the beginning of the Age of Camelot. In turn it was given to Uther, who kept it locked away in the castle vaults.

Ron is a weapon of the valorous. In order to use its abilities, a valour point must be spent each daytday activate them for 24 hours. Otherwise it becomes a regular spear until a valour point is spent. Ron had the following properties:

Type: Spear
Damage: 1d8+1
Armour points: 2
Special: Ron ignores armour when dealing damage. When it's it's owner calls for it, the spear will return to their hand as long as it's within 100ft unhindered.

Monday, 15 June 2020

Maps of the Perilous Land

Tim Bolton has been beavering away lately on a series of fan maps of the Perilous Land, covering all 11 kingdoms and he's done a wonderful job!

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.

Saturday, 9 May 2020

Lore of the Perilous Land: The Host of the Unforgiven Dead

Some battles never end. During particularly bloody battles there's a chance of warriors coming back as ghostly slaughs, rugged soldiers who join the Host of the Unforgiven Dead to continue to wage the wars that have been over for centuries.

Slaughs are driven only by battle - it's all they knew in life and in death it's all they crave. The Host is always marching and always fighting. There can be many hosts belonging to different undead generals and kingdoms - the Host of Escose marches to the eerie sound of bagpipes, emerging from the mist, while the Ascalonian Host shimmer with ethereal shining armour, spears proudly held aloft.

Most recently King Ban of Benwick has waged war against the Host, with the climax being the bloody Battle of Wandleton where the Host was joined by the ghost of a green knight that resides close to the nearby village. Ban's forces were nearly routed before a soldier called Barda rode in with the blade Gorfinnion, forged in fairy fires by the Seelie Court. The Host feared the light of the blade and retreated, but not before Barda slew the slaugh general. Barda has become a local hero, with a statue erected of her in the village of Wandleton.


A Host has reclaimed a nearby abandoned fortification to build up their forces. How? They have a mortal spy within a court who is advising their leader into battle.

A wandering slaugh has returned, but rather than join the Host, her battle is more personal. She's hunting down the king who waged war with her people.

A Host is mounting and soon they will meet a Kingdom in battle. The PCs must find Barda and her blade - but it's been stolen by the Black Lance, who are orchestrating a proxy war with the undead.

A local peace loving leader has been possessed by a slaugh (under the magic of the Sisters of le Fey). Now he is raising a force of mortals and ghosts to invade Camelot.

Sunday, 3 May 2020

The City that Writhes Beneath

Akkarik City is a forest of limbs formed from the gargantuan parasitic worms that feast off the earth. On the surface, the smooth appendages have calcified, with those who dwell there hollowing out and residing within them. Far below the surface, though, the wriggling wretches are a smooth and sticky as they were when they came here 1000 years ago - in a liminal state of half-deadness. The surface dwellers call these the Hungry Roots. Occasionally a Hungry Root will devour something other than the rock and magma in the veins of the earth, like a millennium old magical ore system. When this happen the dead appendage buildings can alter. Sometimes they wrench themselves free from their near dead state. Sometimes they just up and turn into gas or blood. Akkarikians call these events The Writhing.

Writhing Table
1. The Hungry Roots release a pheromone that attracts the undead
2. The roots begin to sing a discordant hymn. D100% of the population starts to dig in the ground in search of relics
3. A building crumbles to dust
4. A building explodes into congealed blood. Anyone it touches suffers parasite nightmares for 1d10 years.
5. The sewer system becomes tainted with magic. Time starts to slow down.
6. A building reforms as a writhing appendage, lashing out in a 300 yard radius.

Who are the Akkarikians? They could pass for human in some places, but their purple mottled skin and yellow pupils show them to be something else. They were once human, but through centuries of Writhings and proximity to the parasites they have become People of the Worm. Each morning they bathe in the great Pool of Tothannon, a slick black sludge made of parasite feces, but is consecrated holy ground to these people. The Bishop of Knowing blesses all with a wash of this awful ichor before they begin their days. Visitors MUST cleanse themselves in the pool if they are to stay. Doing this for at least a week will give them nightmares of the Hungry Roots. For more than a month their complexion becomes increasingly purple and sore. They feel an affinity with the city.

Monday, 20 April 2020

Squamous out now

I finally went and did it. Using the In Darkest Warrens system I've created a Lovecraftian rules lite d6 game called Squamous: cosmic horror roleplaying. Because it's the IDW system you get an entire ruleset and mythos bestiary on a single sheet of paper. Not only that, I've included a mystery (the Squamous way of saying scenario) too: The Dreaming House, where something has gone magically awry on a farm.

Oh, it's pay what you want, too!

Thursday, 16 April 2020

The Impossible Pub

Pabst Blue Ribbon Ad

The Impossible Pub is purely patronised by magic users. Anyone who can cast a spell is able to enter the pub via one of the shadow doors that shift around town. Only magicians can see and enter through these doors and they only remain in one place for 7 minutes.

Inside is what can only be described as a visual and aural cacophony. Tankards or Abthug-ar's eyeball mead float from the bar to he table, interdimensional beings of impossible structures rub shoulders with human and dwarf as they place bets on miniature gargoyle races; demons occasionally appear in the ketchup.

Normals (magicians call them 'dulls') aren't admitted. In fact, without a Tristan's Cloak of Brilliant Magnificence any dull would fade out of existence, appearing in a random location back in town.

Nobody knows the proprietor in the flesh, but they call her Mandy because she appears in wizard dreams to de-mandy they play their tabs. Wizards love crappy puns. She appears as literally anything she desires, but usually likes the traditional 1000-eyed Seraphim look (which can land her in bother if she accidentally enters the dream of a dull - that's how religions tend to form).

Every night the beer of the day switches:
1. Gagmore's Ale: hoppy, sweet. Hangover symptom: you hear the confessions of cats within a block.
2. Ribald's Country Pale: crisp, light. Hangover symptom: you can only speak the language of mountains for an hour after waking.
3. Infernal Stout: hearty, strong. Hangover symptom: a devil wrecks your house and attempts to nick your clothes in the morning. It can be banished by throwing the beermat used to rest the stout at it.
4. Venkmoor's Curdled Mead: Sweet, thick. Hangover symptom: you experience your most cringe worthy memories all at once.
5. Bud-wiser: basically brown water. Hangover symptom: you wake up with a clone of yourself, but they're an infuriating know-it-all. They vanish after three hours.
6. Void ale: nothingness with a hint of elderflower. Hangover symptom: you wake up as the mouthpiece for the dread god Maduleth. When you speak it speaks, proclaiming the world of mortals to be doomed. It speaks mad prophecy. This lasts two hours or until exorcised with a hair of the dog (literally).

Penalties for not paying the tab are to appear over a vat of acid in the hollow dimension, become tied to the rotating spit of a blue giant, or be flogged through the streets of Abonen, the city on the edge of hell.

Money has no place here - coins are mundane. Wizards pay with a sacrifice of a tiny fraction of their power. The worst drunkards can do nothing but conjure a penny behind your ear. The magic goes back to powering the pub and helps charge Mandy's powers. Because if this, she's thought to be the most powerful magic user in the multiverse.

The Impossible Pub can occasionally be subject to magical invaders hoping to steal the mystery magic object kept in the cellar. Nobody aside from Mandy knows what this is. Time for a rumour table:

1. It's a pickled monk whose power was said to be unrivalled in life. Drinking his briny blood will offer immortality and true power

2. It's the last remaining Axe of Desolation, a mythical object that can raze entire cities.

3. The cellar is a labyrinth, of which at the centre is a sandtimer that controls the flow of all time.

4. The grimoire of Little Peter is locked down there. The incantations within will resurrect the gods buried in the Triforneon Graveyard under the control of the wizard.

5. The cellar is a doorway to the Last Land - a place 10bn years in the future run by the machine warlock.

6. The last bottle of Grim's Whisky, aged through time travel, is down there. It's worth more than the economic value of major countries.

Monday, 13 April 2020

On non-variable weapon damage (and why it's cool)

In the game In Darkest Warrens every weapon does 1 damage, no matter whether you're using a dagger or a goblin skull tomahawk (a weapon a current player is using). In the same way, OD&D has 1d6 weapon damage for all weapons.

So how does a weapon differentiate itself? If you think about it, most weapons are designed to kill or maim, they just have different ways of doing it. Your warrior can't slit a throat with a hammer and can't crush a kobold's head with a dagger. Either way, the weapon is destroying its target in some way.

Even with non variable damage, every weapon is different and there's a different reason for a PC to choose one over another. One is the roleplaying potential. An elf may prefer using an ancestral elven blade than a human-forged sword. A dwarf's axe may be the only thing tying them to their family. Full sized bows may be impractical for halflings so they opt for a sling.

Then there's use in play. A dagger can be more easily secreted away on your person, so getting in to that masked ball just got a whole lot easier. Polearms can reach objects and switches out of reach. Axes can better cut up logs for the campfire or break down wooden doors. That goblin skull tomahawk might shake the morale of goblins you come against. The flat of a sword can slip under a door to slice the feet of whoever's listening on the other side.

So that's it. You don't need variable damage to differentiate weapons. There are some real practical and roleplay situations to consider when choosing a weapon for your character.

Sunday, 5 April 2020

Vulpana, People of the Fox

The Vulpana are fox people. They used to be humans but now they can converse with and, occasionally, become foxes.

The Orinian wilds are mainly forested and the only place the Vulpana can be found. Only at adolescence do the children of Vulpana begin the 'scrutting', their eyes becoming more sly and their features more angular. Every Vulpana is born with a fox kit. The kit becomes an ever present companion to the Vulpana, and the Vulpana will defend it with their lives. Fox companion funerals are more elaborate and sad than for humans.

During scrutting, the child gain their foxname. Here are some examples:

- Bristlewish
- Redclaw
- Prickler
- Danceshine
- Dashsnout

Their beforename is based on the plant nearest to their birth.

Vulpana shamans are venerated. They hold the secrets of the fox connection to the Vulpana, but speaking this out loud would force them into exile to the Brashlands (a name for a literal physical hell on earth beyond the mountains). Only one shaman has been exiled for this, as was the person they told. Shamans are the only ones able to fully shapeshift into foxes at will after 3 hours meditation. Others are able to shapeshift at dusk at a new moon.

D6 objects you'd find in the Vulpana village:

1. Wooden icon of Vultis, the foxgod. Ten are made per year before being burned in the winter as an offering.
2. Brushles: while Vulpines have fox features, they do not grow tails. Brushles are imitation bushy tails. It's deeply disrespectful to touch another person's brushle.
3. Skulkstones: Each stone is polished and carved with the name of the owner. They are sacred and if lost the Vulpana compare it to losing their soul.
4. Painted fox skull: bright plant dye covers the fox skulls (like sugar skulls). They are used at funerals and scrutting ceremonies.
5. Pot of insects: Vulpana are omnivores, enjoying an insect meal with vegetables. Visitors are always offered a pot of insects called a skitterbowl the first night they stay.
6. Shrave: a spear tipped with foxbone and covered in poisonous bile.

Sunday, 29 March 2020

In Darkest Warrens Ultimate Edition

I hope you're all staying well at the moment. I spend a lot of my time writing RPG stuff, so this quarantine has made this even more extreme.

I was contacted by a lovely chap in the military who's moving around a lot, so created a kit bag for In Darkest Warrens - it's seriously cool. He also inspired me to do something I've been meaning to do for ages - an In Darkest Warrens Ultimate Edition. 

So, here it is! A cleaned up, expanded version of In Darkest Warrens with some super rad art from the Stinky Goblin folks. It's 5 pages that include the basic rules, a referee guide complete with rules from supplements, and a brand new setting - Darkholme.

I've made some little tweaks to the rules here and there. Most notably, monster special abilities are no longer ALL actions. This allows for more variety and creativity with foes. I've dumped some problematic rules too (I didn't like two weapon fighting - not clean enough). Barbarians and mages can only wear hide armour now (I like the thought of a cool rogue decked in plate armour, maybe a faceplate too, so I'll allow them to keep that).

Anyway, it's pay what you want, so go grab it and enjoy. 

Stay safe.

Friday, 20 March 2020

The Realms Between Playtest Released

You can now pay what you want for The Realms Between Playtest document, a game inspired by the Jirel of Joiry stories by CL Moore.

Doors are everywhere and behind every Door is a dreamlike realm ruled by eldritch god's and mad sorcerers. Heroes of faith living in a place akin to medieval France embark on perilous adventures into these infinite realms.

The Realms Between features:

  • A unique card-based system that drives the story, creating easily improvised challenges
  • Character advancement is directly tied to their fortification - the more the heroes grow the more sophisticated their fortification becomes
  • Foes use a keyword system that allows for quick creation, putting storytelling first

It's a departure from my usual design, so I'm interested to hear what people think.

Saturday, 7 March 2020

Solocubes solitaire RPG engine

I recently posted an actual play report on MeWe around my last Romance of the Perilous Land solo adventure and there were a few questions about the engine I used.

In the past I've used Mythic, but since I like to play and note everything on my phone, particularly while travelling, this could be a bit clunky. Instead I used my owned janky system I call Solocubes. There are two main components: Rory's Storycubes and a d6. This is how it works.

1. Objective setting

You first need to figure out what the hook is - why you're playing the game. To do this, roll 3 Storycubes. Try using cubes themed around your game. For instance, with RotPL I used a mix of medieval, enchanted and mythic. You can interpret the results how you like. You might choose just one image to run with, mix images together or use all images to create a single objective. I rolled a treasure chest and a maze, so I decided a bugbear has nicked treasure from a local village and it was hanging out in a hedge maze. Simple.

2. Scene setting

The adventure is split into scenes. This is based on location and time. If location moves or time skips, consider it a new scene. Roll 3 Storycubes to define what happens in the scene. This could be an NPC you come across or a clue you find. Do this at the beginning of every scene. If you're not happy with what you've rolled, roll again! I tend to use random tables online to come up with names.

3. Consult the d6

The d6 is for asking questions to build out the scene. When you roll, the results are as follows:
1. No, and
2. No
3. No, but
4. Yes, but
5. Yes
6. Yes, and

Whenever you get a but or and you can make up what's logical (Yes, but there are TWO enemies instead of one) or roll 3 Storycubes and determine what the additional or exception could be.

That's pretty much it - easy stuff and it works for me. Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

Sunday, 1 March 2020

Hrunting, the Sword of Beowulf

In Beowulf, hrunting was meant to be a sword that never failed. The problem was that in the fight against Grendel's mother the sword totally failed. The blade had been passed to Beowulf by Unferth who had failed to destroy Grendel with it, so it's thought his failure had been passed onto the sword itself.

To reflect this, the Hrunting sword gains power when dealing killing blows, but reduces in power if a day goes by without the blade slaying someone. I think this presents some interesting roleplaying opportunities. If it comes to evening and the wielder hasn't slain a for, do they just accept that Hrunting will be less effective or do they go on the hunt? Maybe they track down a petty street thief and gut them. Do they convince the rest of the party to venture into the woods to clear out some redcaps? Basically, does the blade drive the wielder to bloodlust? Surely this desire becomes worse on the second day when the sword is reduced to a mere d4 weapon.

Short sword (d8)
Special: If an enemy is dealt the killing blow with Hrunting, the sword gains +1 to damage for the remainder of the day. Hrunting can have up to +3 per day in bonuses in this way. However, if a day goes by without hrunting dealing the killing blow, it is reduced to a d6 weapon the next day, and a d4 if this happens the next day (it cannot go below a d4). As soon as a killing blow is dealt by hrunting, it returns to a d8 weapon.

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Quill now out with JellyMuppet Publishing

This is a very exciting day. The wonderful JellyMuppet Publishing is putting out a print run of Quill, my solo letter writing roleplaying game. The print book is available via Melsonian Arts Council in the UK and Exalted Funeral in the US.

I really think Quill is a one of a kind gaming experience that straddles the line between LARP and storygame and JellyMuppet is the perfect partner for the game. So, like, go buy it and stuff.

Saturday, 22 February 2020

Dungeon Gits second edition is out now

I decided to give Dungeon Gits a bit of a refresh and release it as a second edition. Not a tonne has changed - I've clarified some rules, added a section on troupe play and expanded some items. The layout and imagery has been overhauled too.

If you don't know what Dungeon Gits is, it's a hyper lite fantasy RPG (but easily porter to other genres) with a system designed to be hacked and built on.

Patreon supporters will shortly find it available to download. Everyone else can get it at Drivethrurpg.

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

The racism jumped out

Some of you may have seen a bit of a furore on Twitter after Varg Vikerness had a flap about PoC depicted in Romance of the Perilous Land and so set his white supremacist cronies on me Twitter is such a fun place.

Unfortunately for these imbeciles, the brigading just served to promote the game and as a result a load of people bought it. I was super happy to see all the support I got from my online chums and I really thank them for it. Osprey Games came out with a statement of support, of which I'm grateful.

The thing is, I'm pretty lucky. There are people - minorities and women - who face this shit on a daily basis. I don't know how they do it and those people will have my constant support.

Folklore is inherently inclusive. Countries thousands of miles apart share similar stories and traditions. Folklore is a map of human relationships, of beliefs and customs. Sure, some of it will have been transferred by force (invasion, colonialism etc), but much of it is benign.

Also, fuck racists.

Sunday, 2 February 2020

Romance of the Perilous Land Appendix N

A recent interaction on the oft volatile Twitter which prompted me to put together an Appendix N for Romance of the Perilous Land.

  • Le Morte d'Arthur by Sir Thomas Mallory
  • The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle
  • The Lore of the Land by Jacqueline Simpson and Jennifer Westwood
  • King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table by Roger Lancelyn Green
  • Slaine by Pat Mills
  • Merlin, the BBC TV series
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  • The Pendragon Cycle by Stephen Lawhead
  • The Mabinogion

The following are gaming inspirations in one way or another:

  • The Fighting Fantasy gamebook series by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone
  • Tunnels and Trolls by Ken St. Andre et al
  • BX D&D by Tom Moldvay and Zeb Cook
  • D&D 5th edition by Mike Mearls et al
  • D&D 4th edition by Rob Heinsoo et al
  • The Black Hack by David Black
  • Swords and Wizardry White Box by Matthew Finch et al

Saturday, 25 January 2020

My Tunnels and Trolls house rules

I just wanted to note down my house rules for T&T and thought you good folks might want to see them. You'll see that I've collected a mish mash of different editions (the D&D 5e of T&T, if you will).

  • Warrior gets double armour. Increase adds per level.
  • Level is based on highest primary stat. Ep spend increases a stat. 
  • Rogues don't have to become a warrior or wizard. They also start with one spell. They can learn spells up to level 7. 
  • Magic comes off Wiz
  • Speed increases adds
  • No minus adds. 
  • One Talent per level. Rogues gain Roguery automatically.
  • Missile combat: Archers have a choice: Make a Dex SR. On a hit the missile does direct damage to an enemy regardless of whether combat is won. Or, they can have the total add to the HPT if they're firing into a group. They needn't make a SR here, just roll as melee. No matter which option, for every 6 rolled they do a spite damage to an ally in melee. In the second option, for every 6 rolled, they also lose an arrow. 
  • Damage is allocated by the players if they lose (as long as it makes sense in context of the fight)

Art: Liz Danforth

Saturday, 18 January 2020

BX to Romance of the Perilous Land conversion guide

The general guts of Romance of the Perilous Land owe themselves a debt to my favourite edition of D&D - B/X. There are obvious differences between the two, but it's actually easy to run a B/X adventure with Romance of the Perilous Land rules if that's something you want to do, so here's a simple conversion guide.

Attributes: The equivalents of these are below:
- Strength - Might
- Intelligence - Mind
- Wisdom - Mind
- Dexterity - Reflex

Saving throws: Romance has saving throws for each attribute rather than the standalone throws of B/X. Covert these thusly:
- Death/Poison - Con
- Wands - Mind
- Paralysis/Petrify - Con if mundane, Mind if magical
- Breath Attacks - Reflex
- Spells, rods and staves - Depends on spell effects. Usually Mind, Reflex or Charisma.

Spells: Spell effects will be largely the same. Should a PC or NPC need to cast a BX spell, they must be of the same level and the spell point cost is double that level. E.g. A level 2 spell costs 4 spell points to prepare.

Monsters: This is largely simple. Just use the HD rules for monster creation in Romance instead of the B/X monster stats. You can include any special abilities. Minimum HD is 1 (so 1/2 is rounded up). Maximum is 11.

Armour: Just use the armour types in B/X and substitute AC for the relevant armour points. Anything that would offer a bonus 1 to AC gives 2 armour points.

Weapons: Similarly, just substitute the relevant weapon dice. There will be fairly similar anyway.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Exploring why Wildemount makes sense with D&D 5th edition's design philosophy

Dungeons and Dragons 5e has just launched a prerelease for The Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, a setting book that covers the world of Critical Role campaign two. I've been mulling over for a while about what the design goals of 5e were, particularly after I wrote about 4e being a daring triumph of design last month. The news of the Wildemount book, a setting based on an insanely popular streaming series with dedicated fans and hard-line haters, quite sums up what I think Wizards are doing with 5e design-wise, and I don't think it's the philosophy they started with.

Let's first travel back to the heady days of 2013 when Wizards put out D&D Next, the public playtest of what would become 5e. Through interviews and running the game (set in an updated version of Caves of Chaos) it was understood that Next would be making some specific and drastic design choices from 4e. The watchword was modular. Next would have an old school feel familiar to OSR fans, but allow those who wanted a more modern game to bolt on rules. This build-an-edition mindset was , as I understood it, to be the bedrock of 5e design. A D&D for all seasons.

" I want to do for DMs is create a flexible core of rules that they can apply and modify as they wish," Mike Mearls told Wired before the playtest. 

What fans got when 5e released wasn't really the modular OSR-tinged game that Next was shaping up to be. Sure, you can have feats if you like, but I don't think they really ended up with a truly modular edition. Of course, that was a possibility due to the nature of playtesting and feedback.

I stoked some conversation on Twitter about what people thought 5e's design philosophy was and broadly received the following answers:
- System simplification
- Decrease new player barrier to entry
- Taking elements of previous editions
- Keep PCs alive longer
- Get more money

There was a clear consensus that 5e was designed to get new people playing and that was the primary focus. Likely that and winning back those who didn't like 4e, and bringing backed lapsed players from the AD&D days. Whereas the design of 4e was about refining mechanics, customisation, mechanical transparency and a modular approach to adventure design, all what I would deem 'in-game design elements', 5e was looking at the 'meta-game design elements', those principles that weren't necessarily concerned with primarily how the game worked, but how the game could have the widest cut-through. This is why it ended up as a grab-bag of design inspiration from Basic through to 4e, picking the elements that made the most sense to attract the most players. In essence 3e would look to do something similar, refining and streamlining certain mechanics, but ultimately it would still be made for the core D&D player.

Mearls also stated early on that he wanted to put the power in the DM's hands. By this he was talking about allowing the DM to make rulings, which meant intentionally not including certain rules that perhaps 3.5 may have included in order to keep some ambiguity. While this was designed to help the DM get on with the job of being a DM, it took the spotlight away from the encounter and adventure creation philosophy that 4e had, which was arguably much more DM friendly than 5e. However, for players brand new to the roleplaying game genre the streamlined system lifted a barrier to entry. An in-game design innovation had been usurped by a meta-game philosophy.

Which brings me to Wildemount and Critical Role's, er, role, in 5e, and what the core of that design philosophy came to be. Wizards knew that to be popular, the game design wasn't just about the players at the table anymore. It became about how those players could influence others to play. The game became the perfect design for streaming play, which was part of Wizards' marketing strategy. The company specifically said:

"It was the Acquisitions Inc. live game at PAX Prime in 2010 that first suggested the potential for livestreaming D&D. The popularity of that game and its followup games in 2011 and 2012 made it an easy decision for the Dungeons & Dragons team to start streaming D&D games online back in July of 2013, debuting Against the Slave Lords as part of the D&D Next playtest process."

Critical Role would become the most popular D&D stream ever, influencing hundreds, if not thousands of people to pick up the dice and play. They could see that the barrier to entry was low.
Making a setting based on a stream is exactly in line with 5e's meta design philosophy, moreso than re-imagining Planescape. It's a culmination of the exact tactics they were going for - game design that seeps outside of the game itself and into its marketing activity.

Look, this is obviously my opinion on the matter based on what I've read and Wizards' actions starting in 2013. But it's interesting to delve into either way.

Sunday, 12 January 2020

Campaign report: Legacy of Dragonholt

I'm doing a different kind of campaign report today. Rather than talking about my home Pathfinder 2e or D&D 4e games, I wanted to start a report on my newly acquired Legacy of Dragonholt. This is basically Fabled Lands lite in a box - a purely narrative programmed RPG that you can play solo (I actually see few reasons to play it any other way).

Dragonholt is set in Terrinoth, the Runebound setting from boardgame Ubermensch and lay-off merchants Fantasy Flight Games. It's bog standard high fantasy, which is totally fine. Gimme them tropes.

The idea is that you create a character and run them through a campaign. The campaign itself consists of a fistful of books, including a sandbox location - Dragonholt village. Your actions have consequences and it uses a box check-off system like the codewords in Fabled Lands to track this. Unlike Fabled Lands, there are no dice. It's a purely skill bases system - having certain skills opens up new options in the narrative. This also means the game is light. Very light, which is my taste. You track stamina, fame, items and time.

So I wasted no time creating a half catfolk thief called Eldon. Characters are defined by their skills, backgrounds and personalities. Only skills have anything resembling a mechanical effect, the rest is fluff to help you roleplay. Fair enough, I tend to do this anyway when it comes to gamebooks. Eldon only trusts himself, he dislikes others because they ostracize him for the way he looks. He also wears a floppy hat. Anyway - to the campaign!

Oh, obviously spoilers ahead for the game.

To New Roads

Right, so apparently I've begun the campaign with a couple of travelling companions. I try to ignore the fact that Eldon doesn't do companions and rationalised it as he needs protection in the wilderness and if they die he can nick their stuff. There's an orc called Braxton and a gnome called Miriam. Unbeknownst to them, they're my meatshields. We're all travelling to Dragonholt village. I've specifically been summoned there from a old friend via an obviously coded letter (a nice feely you get in the box) and something about a murder. We're going through the Eventide Forest which is full of bandits apparently (Tony Braxton won't shut up about them). I chat with them both, building up a false friendship that one day I hope to exploit for cash, and find that the gnome is an alchemist looking to open up a shop. An entrepreneur! Braxton is her bodyguard of sorts.

We have to clamber over a load of felled logs which properly did my back in and when night drew in we decided to camp. Because I'm a cat I climbed a tree to see what I could see. Aha! The lights of Dragonholt in the distance. I also found a wooden badger or something. Some sicko's been hoarding wooden nonsense toys up this tree and gluing them onto the branches. Whatever, I'll take what I can get when I'm up a tree.

We take turns with watch duty (well, me and Braxton because Miriam is lazy as all hell). On my watch I hear bushes rustling. I decide to wake everyone up because obviously bandits are around here. And yes, it's bandits. A bunch of them. After a classic brawl where I stab a few and chuck one in the fire with glee, more show up so we high tail it. CHASE SCENE.

We manage to lose them due to my deft use of voice throwing and excellent senses. The others pretty much held me back (the gnome actually threw some alchemist vials around which I guess helped). We're all super worn out by this point, but what ho! Dragonholt. We have arrived. We go and meet Miriam's aunt who gives us a free breakfast, which I'm grateful for, but I'll probably find a way of burglarizing her at some point.

And there we have it. Session one of Dragonholt. What will happen next? Will Eldon be rid of these two laggards? Will he be chased out of town because he looks like a digitally malformed Cats extra? Find out next time on ELDON'S WILD CAT ADVENTURE!

Saturday, 4 January 2020

Lore of the Perilous Land: Wytchguard

I wanted to start a series that delves into some of the inner workings of the Perilous Land - the people, places and beings that inhabit the 11 kingdoms. Hopefully these will add even more flavour and hooks to your Romance of the Perilous Land campaign.

Today we're looking at Wytchguard, the elite fighting force of King Ban who rules over Benwick. This is a kingdom where the threat of the Black Lance is strong, Mordred has allies installed within the king's court and has gained the support of the powerful Red Magisters. The Red Magisters have recently discovered the mystery of raising the dead back to life in a manner of undeath as vicious revenants and monstrous ghouls, who in turn descend on unwary villagers as they sleep in their cots. Seeing the rise of the Red Magisters, King Ban pit together a group of undead slayers called the Wytchguard to defend the city of Beyonne and its outlying settlements.

Jarin Dempster is the captain of the Wytchguard, an honourable and seasoned warrior who quickly rose through the ranks of Ban's army and gained the notice of the king. With his longsword Crusader Jarin has slain hundreds of undead beasts in his short time as captain. He leads a force of 50 Wytchguards, posted within the walls of Beyonne and further out into Coyne and Wandleton. They can easily be recognised by their uniform: a silver cloak bearing the emblem of the Wytchguard, a sword through a skull; black armour; and blood red gauntlets. On their pauldrons elaborate prayers to Gofannon are etched in silver. They each carry a longsword (each named by the owner - a name given to them in a dream by Gofannon upon initiation), a silver dagger and a shortbow. They also carry wooden stakes in their packs.

Members of the Wytchguard must be proficient in the teachings of Gofannon, so each member goes through a year of priestly training before they don their cloaks. Attending morning prayers is compulsory, even if they're camping out in the middle of nowhere. During the prayer, Gofannon is asked to bless each of their weapons in turn with the words:

Gofannon, whose anvil is divine
Bless mine weapon with thy wisdom and virtue
So that the enemies of light are destroyed by thy magnificence
And the darkness is driven from this fair land

If you want to use a Wytchguard in your game, use the stats for the knight, but of HD6 (increase TN to 16, AP 6, damage d8+6, HP 34), and add a  silver dagger weapon. If the silver dagger is used against any member of the undead, it does an additional d6 damage. Jarin Dempster is the same, but HD8.

If you want to create a Wytchguard as a character, use the following build:

Class: Knight
Background: Priest
Deity: Gofannon
Key attributes: Might and Mind
Skills: Athletics, Perception, Survival, Religion, Healing
Starting talent: Monster Hunter
Other talents: Armour Expert, Armour Recovery, Swift Recovery,  Sharp-witted, Darksight

Romance of the Perilous Land: A Roleplaying Game if British Folklore is now available in all good places you can find roleplaying games.

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Looking forward to 2020

Happy New Year, folks. A year of possibility lies before me and I'm already getting stuck into some projects for the coming year.

A very quick announcement: El Refugio de Ryhope will be producing a Spanish print version of Quill. These guys did a fantastic job with English Eerie, so I'm really looking forward to seeing what they're going to do with Quill.

But what about playing stuff? D&D 4e will continue this year with the low level campaign I'm running. I'll also be running be running Romance of the Perilous Land and I'd like to get my teeth into Legend of the Five Rings if I can. Other than that, continuing playing in my weekly Pathfinder 2e game.

Oh, I want to play Alien, too. Hmm.