Friday, December 2, 2016

Magic in Arihmere

Inspiration for a loose magic system that avoids the spell-lists and spell-points approach, and is best suited to rules-light, skill-based, or free-form gaming.

On Magic

No one learns magic to become kindly and wise, or to save the kingdom. As nobles rely on land, treasures, retainers, and swords for their power, wizards rely on spells and secret knowledge, which they guard just as fiercely. Hence, there are no colleges of magic or schools for sorcery. Wizards hoard their knowledge, and choose their apprentices carefully, never revealing the whole of their learning.

Magic can do terrible and strange things, certainly, but it cannot alone rule the peasants, reap the harvest, or lead men into battle. For this reason, magic does not claim kingdoms or domains, although the aristocracy often seek out the wise for counsel and aid.

Although there are almost as many traditions of magic as magicians, certain principles are constant:

  • Nothing will come of nothing. A wizard cannot create something from nothing, or effect change without consequences. Hence, a wizard cannot conjure flames out of thin air, although magic can persuade a smoldering ember to spark and leap and burn.
  • Sympathy generates effects; follow the nature of things. Acquiring a personal item makes it easier to follow or charm someone. Dropping a grain of sand into a lock makes it impossible to open, touching a flint to a blade can make it razor sharp.
  • Magic is not orderly. Magic disturbs nature, and hence a spell cannot be recited by rote and expected to work in the same way every time. The effects of a spell cannot be calculated exactly, and all spells must be part invention and circumstance. By the same token, all charms are mutable, and no magic cannot be undone, although the right way may be obscure and surpassingly difficult.
  • Terrible powers have terrible consequences. The more powerful the magic, the sharper the peril. A spell of bear-form may lead the caster to becomes solitary and bearish. A spell for viewing from afar may make the caster obsessed with spying. The Fell Lords know well the price of the hunger for power.
  • There is always another way: wizard's deceive nature, and even where one spell fails, another trick may suffice.
  • No spell is perfect or entire.

Using Magic in Your Game

First, a character must have the second-sight (which means they can always see ghosts and the fey, by the way, and are not easily fooled by appearances) and they must have some schooling in practical magic. It helps to have been an apprentice, or belong to a tradition (witchcraft, sorcery, and so on).

Second, each magician should have at least one study: an area of magic that they have devoted care and attention to. Studies are individual, like skills. Smoke and fire could be one area of study, or luck and chance. A witch might study curses, or the ways of the deep woods (the language of beasts and plants included).

There are, of course, far too many spells to enumerate or list, but when the time comes to cast a spell, an appropriate study always makes bringing a spell to mind more likely.

In terms of working magic, spells fall within at least four categories: tinkering, tampering, bending, breaking. All of these categories show how hard a magic is to accomplish:

  • Tinkering: anything that could seem like exceptional skill or luck: the knot that won't slip, the herb that heals and just happens to be at hand, the object that disappears as though by sleight.
  • Tampering: spells that manipulate probability or temporarily subvert the natural order. The lock that springs open, or the buckle that slips in combat. Easier if the magician can leverage natural conditions (the icy ground becomes deadly slippery, a horse shies, the door jams), luck (the dagger that is not found in a search), or unusual facility (throwing the voice to trick pursuers).
  • Bending: Distorting or temporarily suspending the laws of nature. Drawing a flame out of dry wood, assuming the looks and manner of another individual, lulling a target to sleep or friendship, raising a breeze or a mist, soliciting the opinion of a tree.
  • Breaking: Magic that sets aside nature; things impossible by all other means. Speaking to the dead, causing an object to take flight, stepping into another mind or dream, changing form.

In play, magic should be like any other character action: the player should specify the magic and the effect the character wants to achieve. The GM should decide on the difficulty (from tinkering, which will be of medium difficulty, to breaking, the most difficult) and rule if the spell is possible, based on the character's intentions and study. Bending or breaking spells usually require some study.

When the spell is cast, it takes effect, and the results are described. There are no magic points to consider, but there are always the consequences of magic. In Fighting Fantasy, for example, a failed spell might require a Test for Luck to avoid some dangerous fallout.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Crossing the streams

The Tinkerage is all for adapting and combining the best of different systems, hence BRP Middle-earth and other rules hacks, but here are some recent wild ideas for combining systems and settings.

Magic World & Dragon Warrior's World of Legend

Magic World, although it has some faults, is an excellent BRP-based system customized for gritty, medieval fantasy. Dragon Warriors, the classic British fantasy RPG, has a gritty medieval background with plenty of intriguing details, an authentic sense of the Gothic, and is rich in faerie and folktale lore. The adventures, providing for scenarios and campaigns, are excellent.

Dave Morris, who authored Dragon Warriors with Oliver Johnson, remarks that the essence of the game doesn't lie in the mechanics but in the world itself. So, Magic World's tested, accessible rules could be a perfect match for the world of Legend.

The only rule I would change directly would be limiting the skills of new characters to something near 75%, perhaps by limiting skill point allocations to around +50 at most during character creation. As written, it's possible for a new Magic World character to have at least one skill of 80% or more, and this doesn't fit with Dragon Warrior's characters at Rank 1 being capable but far from over-powered to meet the supernatural foes that inhabit Legend.

BRP & Advanced Fighting Fantasy and Allansia

Thinking along the lines above suggests a step further. BRP is the quintessential rules toolbox system. Advanced Fighting Fantasy, featuring the perilous lands of Allansia in the world of Titan, is the essential eclectic "dungeon and wilderness" fantasy adventure system and setting combined.

Advanced Fighting Fantasy is a great introductory system with a wide array of options, and like BRP it's a skill based system. So it's possible to see a way to quickly create or convert Fighting Fantasy style characters that will use BRP rules and mechanics:
  • Generate the basic characteristics, damage bonus, Magic Points, Hit Points, and so on as usual.
  • Assign skills and skill percentiles using the AFF rules and skill list as guidelines. In AFF there are only four skill "categories", so these could be based directly on one attribute. For example:
    • Combat: STR
    • Movement: CON (representing general fitness)
    • Stealth: DEX (with the exception of Awareness skill, which should be INT)
    • Knowledge (includes Magic): INT
  • Characters in AFF start with either 1 or 2-point special skills. For a 1-point AFF skill, add 30% in BRP, and for a 2-point skill add 50% to the category modifier above. Allocate three 2-point skills and six 1-point skills on this basis.
  • With a little tweaking, the GM can also assign AFF magic styles as Sorcery (a single skill, fixed list of spells) or Wizardry (a skill for each spell, but no limit to the spells that can be discovered or learned).
These ideas are completely untested — cross the streams and who knows what might happen?

Friday, August 12, 2016

Sword Peddler's Sword & Backpack - mini review

A while back, the Tinkerage attempted an XD20-style hack of the minimalist d20 RPG Sword and Backpack.

The Sword Peddler has, without a doubt, done a much more elegant and concise job.

For the purposes of a review, the Sword Peddler's Sword & Backpack rules can be summarized as:

  • To do anything, roll higher than a target number (or your opponent) on a d20.
  • If the roll relates directly to your job, add 5 to your roll.
  • A PC can take up to 5 "hits" – failed rolls – in combat. NPCs and Monsters can take more or fewer "hits" or "rounds" to be defeated.
There's more color and guidance than this, but that's as minimalist and flexible as an RPG can be, while providing a systematic framework for play. 

Friday, June 10, 2016

Notes for BRP Encounters

Encounter profiles, or "stat blocks", can be a major stumbling block in scenario design for the busy GM. You're trying to ready an adventure. You have a location, you've sketched out the situation, considered the options and flow of events, and then you have to set up the details of the encounters.

RuneQuest is a fine game, but for any version of RuneQuest this would mean stopping to fill rows of characteristics, skills, and AP and HP for every hit location.

Even for BRP (without hit locations) or Magic World, if you go by the book you complete something like this:

Hill Bandit

STR 12
CON 10
SIZ 13
INT 10
DEX 14
APP 10

Move: 8
Hit Points: 12
Damage Bonus: +1d4

Attacks: Hand Axe 35%, 1d6+1+1d4, Recurved bow 35%, 1d8+2
Skills: Hide 50%, Move Quietly 50%, Ride 75%

Armor: 1d6-1 points leather

Notice the space it takes on the page, and the need to note every detail for a bandit who might be taken down by one or two hits. Of course, you could rely on a bestiary or a published scenario, but you're still scanning and copying out details when the encounter starts.

Now, in an old issue of White Dwarf, you might come across a Stormbringer encounter profile somewhat like this:

Hill Bandit
STR 12  CON 10  SIZ 13  INT 10  POW 9 DEX 14  APP 10  HP 12
Attacks: Hand Axe 35%, 1d6+1+1d4, Recurved bow 35%, 1d8+2
Skills: Hide 50%, Move Quietly 50%, Ride 75%
Armor: 1d6-1 points leather

Which is certainly much more efficient and easier to create. We can work with this to create an encounter notation that takes a fraction of the time a full stat block requires.

The Encounter Note

Here's the format for a compressed BRP note-style encounter line:

Encounter: description
HP x, DEX x, STATS x, Mov x
Attack % (damage), Armour (x)
Skill x%

Which for the bandit above might look like:

Hill Bandit: Tough, sneaky ambusher
HP 12, DEX 14
Hand axe 35% (1d6+1d4), Bow (1d8+2), Leather (2)
Sneak & Hide 50%


Encounter = basic title: description = how this encounter will be played and described

HP x = Hit Points come first; they matter most (and they also show roughly how tough this encounter is)
DEX x = DEX, because the next thing you need to know is the DEX-rank for actions in a round
STATS x = any other characteristics (STR, CON, SIZ, INT, POW, APP) that are significant in this encounter or exceptional for the character; if they're average or not likely to be used, leave out and make them up on the fly
Mov x = movement, but only if faster or slower than standard

Attack % (damage) = combat skill and (damage + damage bonus), Armour (x) = armour type (points)

Skill x% = any significant skills (don't worry about the right name; you know what they're for)

Notes = any other plays/notes that are relevant

The idea in this format is to keep the most important information foremost and minimize clutter and unnecessary detail.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Roll and Read advanced version

This post picks up on the system for Roll and Read solo play, with a different die and extended for group RPG play. It's also based on a micro-system submitted for the 200 Word RPG Challenge.

Roll and Read

The key to Roll and Read is that, however you set up the character, the player and the GM agree on the expected outcome of the action before the die is rolled. If the die comes up high, then things go better for the character; if the roll is low, things are worse.

In this case, a warrior is expected to hit a foe, a wizard is expected to cast a spell, a scout is expected to pass unseen through cover. If the task is harder for some reason, then only partial success can be expected, and the character needs a lucky or even exceptional roll to do well. On the other hand, if the task is easy, then only an awful roll will have an effect on the outcome, although an unlucky roll may cause complications. There are no modifiers, ever, because the circumstances are already built in to the range of expectations.

The system also heads off the effect of pure dumb luck. A novice won't necessarily fell a master because of a lucky critical; a master won't necessarily foul up utterly because the die rolls low.

The advanced system uses a d10, because the range of results can be split into five categories, and centers on the expected outcome.

When you meet danger (skirmishes, traps, natural hazards), discuss the expected outcome, take action, and then roll a 10-sided die. The GM will determine the consequences accordingly.
1-2: Awful/Poor
3-4: Unlucky/Weak
5-6: Expected/Middling
7-8: Lucky/Strong
9-10: Advantageous/Exceptional
As before, if the character seems to hold a great advantage in terms of skill or circumstance, then roll two dice and take the best.

And, if the roll seems like sheer bad luck or runs against expectations for the character, then the player may spend a point of Res to reroll (representing the character's effort and resolve). If this roll is Exceptional (9-10), then the Res point is not lost.

Characters in Roll and Read

Characters can be generated free-form, with a short list of skills, abilities, knacks, and characteristics. 

They have one common score, Resources/Resilience (Res), a measure of resourcefulness, resolve, level, luck, and even hit points. If you want to take an experience levels approach, then character can begin with Res [1] and gain Res as they adventure. If you want characters to have a better chance of survival from the start, begin at Res [3]. Res should be used to represent character ability by gaining rerolls on critical efforts.


Combat is a matter of rolling, comparing, and reading a result. Hence, a squad of attacking gremlins might pose a slight threat for an armed warrior. In combat against these gremlins, if you’re Unlucky, you’re hit. This character would stand on equal or slightly better terms with a ragged goblin, and so probably wound with an Expected/Middling roll, and a Strong roll would read as a vital hit. But even an armed and armoured knight would have to be make an Exceptional roll to hurt a powerful dragon.

Where the roll is low enough that the character is wounded, deduct a point of Res. When the last point of Res is lost, the character is out of play for the rest of the scene. The player can then decide whether the character continues on play or is discarded.

[This section updated 11/23/16]

Encounters and Hazards

For the sake of comparison, encounters, and hazards, can be ranked on the Poor to Exceptional scale. Encounters can also have individual or group Res.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The old, old world

It has been remarked that Arihmere, like the rest of the Harrowmarch, has a patchy and chaotic history, subject to the rise and fall of empires, and the whims of kings, raiders, and would-be conquerers. Sometimes, glimpses of an even older history can be caught, necessarily partial and sometimes contradictory, a patchwork of legends and surmise.

Elemental Age

Elementals, the titanic primal forces, carve the world out of the First Matter. Many of the more elaborate pantheons mark out their myths of origin at this time.

Serpent Age

The Eldest Serpents rule and squabble over a primitive world. Notable creatures of this era are massive and reptilian: wyrms, drakes, serpents, and so on.

Ourgarth Hunts

Honed to ferocity in the shadow of the greater wyrms, the Ourgarths (giants and trolls), worshippers of darkness and strength, march out to rule the world. They herd massive aurochs, stalked by dire wolves and long-toothed lions.

Fae Domains

The otherworldly and magical creatures collectively known as the fae overcome the ancient rule of the giants and carve out their own domains. The fae claim to have learned magic, amidst their endless quarreling, from the dreams of dragons, which merely shows how little they may be trusted on any matter.

Others say that spirits, severed from the Earth during the Elemental Age, creep back across the borders of the world with the help of the Fae.

Fae Wars

The normally feuding fae raise their war-banners against the Ourgarth, betraying an uneasy peace and beginning a long series of wars.

Circle Builders

Ancient human clans (now remembered only for their enigmatic stone circles) join the battle ranks of the fae in confronting the Ourgarth. Human claim to have learned magic from the fae, in return for the mastery of iron, but the fae assert that their arts were stolen.

Rise of Marass Grim

A Dark Lord of the fae betrays his lineage and joins with the giants. The simmering war turns into an epic confrontation.

Arak Amay

Loosely interpreted by all sides as "The Battle Lost by Winning". The Fae-Garth War ends in disaster. The fae shelter within their  fortified mounds and the deep forests, while the giants and trolls sulk in the Unterdaerk.

Elder Folk

The human survivors of all the above found kingdoms around the seas, river plains, and northern forests. They are later known as the Ellfolk.

What follows is loosely called history, from the austere and wolvish empires of Earduath and Kees, to the campaigns against the Reaver Thegns, to the various struggles of the Sundering Wars. Occasionally, a beast or monster out of one of the elder ages slithers into view, but only the dragons know the whole truth of what went before, and they are not inclined to share.

Friday, March 25, 2016

On Magic World

Chaosium has now reclaimed the rights to RuneQuest and Glorantha, and we're given to understand that these combined will become their banner fantasy RPG product, while a new BRP Essentials becomes the root system for a loose constellation of BRP inspired games. This leaves the Basic Roleplaying book (BRP) as a sort of attic collection of rules, and Magic World, previously the core rulebook for the nascent BRP fantasy line, is left out in the cold.

We have plenty of time for RuneQuest as a rules set, but Glorantha is not our fantasy lozenge floating on an infinite sea. Its massive timeline, overlapping pantheons, entangled myths, and cultural melange are fascinating but too hard to buy in to, like a club whose rules are too obscure to encourage joining, especially when we're looking for a world of our own to create (which is probably a slipstream version of Middle-Earth and the world of Firetop Mountain, illustrated by Russ Nicholson). Consequently, it might be time to take a closer look at Magic World before it slips out of view.

In many ways, Magic World exhibits the strengths and weaknesses of the recent BRP era at Chaosium. Its rules are a compilation of some of the best of the BRP percentile, skill-based system: smooth and easy to pick up, especially if you're familiar with any other iteration. Character generation in particular is probably one of the easiest tasks in the BRP family: roll Characteristics, calculate secondary scores (HP, MP, damage bonus, skill category modifiers) and then add set percentiles (60% at most) to a specified number of skills. Combat, once you decode the wonky presentation, is also quick and intuitive (there are no location hit points to slow you down, and only one kind of special or critical). Overall, it's a highly playable system and probably an excellent place to get into your own version of Middle-Earth or Allansia.

On the other hand, the rules are clearly recycled from earlier systems: the Chaosium Stormbringer RPG in particular and RuneQuest III. This leaves us reading some eerily familiar passages, and tumbling over rules that don't apply, such as references to fatigue in the bestiary. Of course, there are errata, but the point is that the errata are too long. And the wider point is that the presentation suffers from this copy-and-paste approach. The BRP combat sequence, for example, has a fair few steps but they all flow fairly cleanly: declare intent, set initiative, roll, compare attack and parry/dodge, assign results. But the "Combat" chapter is unnecessarily long, and the effect is somewhat scattershot. Skimming headings, you see "Actions in a Round", then "Resolving Combat", then "Order of Actions", then "Actions", then "Resolution" and yet the next section resumes "Hand-to-Hand Combat" with "Game Procedures" – how many times are we told about actions and resolution? Compare this to the tight presentation in the BRP Quickstart, and you realize that the whole chapter should have been thoroughly adapted and revised, especially for new players.

The reused artwork, a mishmash of styles and settings, similarly does not always capture the intended feel of the game, and although the sorcery magic system is serviceable, since it's based on the spells from Stormbringer, which were themselves added on to a system mainly designed around summoning and binding Moorcockian demons, the spell selection is not particularly inspiring. To play a sorcerer, your choices revolve mainly around spells that enhance or diminish effects (such as damage, armor, or characteristics) or a number of nasty offensive magics, reflecting the chaos influence of Stormbringer magic. That's not especially a problem if you want a low-magic campaign (there are no fireballs or lightning bolts here) or to grab your spell ideas from other sources, but the book is called Magic World after all, but offers only a few interesting or engaging spells.

The sample setting, the Southern Reaches, is more like Roman Britain than medieval Europe, a former frontier where first supernatural powers ruled before retreating, and where an empire has now replaced the roaming tribes of humans and orcs. It's effectively a colonial province, and designed with plenty of built-in conflict, with the return of the shadowy, shape-shifting fay and tensions between the two ruling houses presenting the most potential for adventure. The Southern Reaches are therefore an excellent sample setting, but they sit only lightly on top of the main rules. The rules for Allegiance between Light, Shadow, and Balance, for instance, would work nicely in heroic fantasy but it's not clear how they apply in the Southern Reaches, or to the fay. It might have been better to explore how the Magic World rules could be used to run a variety of different fantasy settings with varying themes and tones, as per the excellent guidelines in the "Settings" chapter of the BRP rulebook.

Given time and more design and editing, Magic World could have been an excellent product, but it now sits uncomfortably between being the "Fantasy BRP" and a minor game due to be eclipsed by RuneQuest and Glorantha. Depending on the quality and design of the new BRP Essentials, it could remain a fine go-to game for fantasy adventure, but its chance to capture the high ground among fantasy RPGs has passed. Not a fumble by any means, but a hit, parried.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

A quick conversion - XD20 and Sword & Backpack

Not too long ago, the Tinkerage mentioned the ultra-light Sword & Backpack system. The rules of Sword & Backpack are minimal: roll a d20 and decide what's fair. But with a little tinkering, Sword & Backpack could be adapted to XD20, or my still nameless D20 adventure rules.

Here's how it goes. In Sword & Backpack you can play as either a Warrior, Rogue, or Sorcerer. These are types rather than classes, but we can all guess that the Warrior excels in combat, the Rogue in subterfuge and skill, and the Sorcerer in magic. Hence, we can map these to XD20 stats, or Fighting, Skill, and Magic.

Warrior (WAR) = TAC/Fighting
Rogue (ROG) = PSYCH/Skill
Sorcerer (SOR) = WAH/Magic

Assign the three scores (WAR, ROG, SOR), takes the best score as the character's primary role, figure out hits and what-not (possibly a simple three-strikes-and-you're-out system), and you're ready to play. Each character type will be able to do a little of what other types can: a sorcerer can engage in light swordplay, a rogue can read a magic scroll.

Once you have your characters, why not try the scenarios in the Lanternport adventure setting, because, really, nothing can beat delving into a vast, magical library guarded by traps and bookwyrms, and patrolled by eerie undead librarians.

Art by Sam Mameli
Library Revenant - Art by Sam Mameli

Sunday, February 7, 2016

A handful of skills for FF

One of the nice things about basic Fighting Fantasy is that most of what an adventurer would want to do is described in the section on common adventuring situations. There's no need for a comprehensive system of skills (as opposed to SKILL) as these situations describe what most adventurers will actually want to do in the confines of adventure: search, sneak, bribe or persuade monster, snaffle loose objects, break doors and chests.

There a plenty of skill-based systems (like BRP) with extensive lists of skills, but a few common skills could be a good way to add variety to your Fighting Fantasy character without adding much more to the rules.

Adventuring Skills

Stealth: The first thing you want to try is sneaking past that guard.
Tricks & Traps: Finding the location of that hidden latch, tampering with a trap, opening a stubborn lock, detaching a tempting purse.
Persuasion: A bluff, a clever lie, or a call to a higher purpose, even striking a good bargain, all require persuasiveness.
Bind Wounds: Any form of rough healing, or first aid after battle.
Strength: Not simply training and endurance, but knowing the point of leverage, or where to exert pressure when you break open a chest or smash down a door.
Hunting & Tracking: There's always game to pursue and tracks to follow in the wild.
Wayfaring: It's useful to know the hidden paths, the landmarks, the places of safety and concealment.
Learning: Reading is one thing, but this character knows how to decipher an ancient script, the name of that demon, that crucial fragment of old lore. Speak, friend, and enter!

How to use the skills

Skills are not just training, they're habits, strategies, approaches. In a simple FF game, offer characters three skills when they're created. Then, if the conditions are right, the skill confers a +1 or +2 bonus to action. This can be added to SKILL (or WITS, if you use that option), or even a probability roll.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Darkness in the North

The Withered Lands in the north-east are where Arihmere takes a dark turn, a region of wilderness and ruins held by the deadly and enigmatic Fell Lords, servants of a usurper who many believe was slain decades ago and revived by his scheming wife. These lands are the perfect setting for a gritty, or gothic, adventure, oriented towards exploration, treasure-hunting, and avoiding (or stumbling upon) old evils. The terrain would fit the open-ended possibilities of a "West Marches" style campaign or sequence of joined adventures. One could even imagine a campaign to reclaim a ruined manor and surrounding lands, in the style of "Darkest Dungeon".

Begin with an outpost:
  • A mere cross-roads, with a broken and enigmatic sign-post
  • A ruined manor-house, haboring grim secrets, and with a view of the cursed fens
  • An embattled city, the last to be recaptured may be the first to fall to the Fell Lords
  • An outpost around a ramshackle keep

Then there is the terrain. Start building and detailing the campaign map, situating both perils and rare treasures among the moors, fens, overgrown pathways, and tangled woods:
  • Tottering watchtowers, where sly grimelocks and lumbering grolls lurk. These monsters raid the borderlands and return to hide behind a multitude of crude traps.
  • Deep ravines (ideal for hiding treasure), infested by wyrms and naggs.
  • Spider-haunted woods, the perfect retreat for a half-mad witch.
  • Battlefields, haunted by sorrowful wraiths, where every unbroken blade has a name and a story.
  • And the decaying piles that once belonged to any one of the Fell Lords...

As the characters uncover and meet more, you might introduce one of the Fell Lords as an antagonist or hovering threat. These are powerful characters, corrupted by their service to an undead tyrant, living an unnaturally extended life and warped by their service. Their ultimate number and identities are a matter of speculation, as are their plans and true powers, but the unique nature of each of the Fell Lords subtly informs his or her domain:

  • The Necromancer: a sorcerer on the threshold of life and death, served by wraiths and shadows
  • The Sword: a fearsome warrior, and the tyrant's most hated enforcer, served by faceless armored warriors
  • The Intriguer: a spy and informer, served by crows and traitors
  • The Rider: the swiftest of the Fell Lords, served by spectral horses and their swift riders
  • The Artificer: the smith and craftsman, served by strange mechanisms and guarded by subtle traps
  • The Poisoner: a master of assassination and poisons, in his service are vipers and spiders of all kinds
  • The Hunter: a stalking terror, relentless in pursuit, served by wolves and other predators, mistress of the wild places
  • The Equivocator: the Fell Lords' spiritual advisor and preacher, master of guile and deception (you will never guess who your real enemy is)
  • The Prowler: a withered dwarf, the Fell Lords' tax-collector, greedy and clever, offering bribes with one hand and stealing with the other, and served by treasure hunters and ghouls

Ready to explore? Then grab some rules of your own or try the nameless d20 adventure game, and set to it.