Friday, December 14, 2018

Blackwood: Getting Paid in the Elder Kingdom

Magu (literal trans. "Hemp Maiden"), Taoist immortal
The 7 Errants is winding down  with only a few more characters and organizations left to detail. Also I'm going through SWADE behind the scenes, putting together an unofficial Borchardbriar Jumpstart and a kung-fu quickstart. In the meantime here's three sources of trouble and adventure for the Blackwood Codex.

Rare Herbs - The Blackwood paradoxically sustains and threatens the Kingdom. Average folk brave the Wood's dangers every spring to harvest the natural bounty of wood, Dark Ladies(1), forage, game, but -most importantly- medicinal herbs. Harvest festivals provide warmth and relief in the present age of chaos, the Vosserlin Picking draws woodkin, riverfolk, and Errants from around the region and can set the common folk up for the rest of the year. Various rituals anchor the festivals, for example the village Drachenkissen holds Lou's Pursuit. The festival begins as prospective hunters re-enact the folk hero's desperate search for the Elder Root King, setting off into the Blackwood armed with only a staff, a gourd and a small dog, ending the festival when over half the hunters return while the others, hopefully, trickle in later. Errants could go looking for missing persons, follow Lady Ceryneia's lead by providing some security, or enter the Pursuit themselves to find the Elder Root King themselves.

Lost Techniques and Wisdom - The Kingdom didn't spring forth fully grown from the Elder King's brow. It was built on the bones of Old Kingdoms. From Kingdom of Light to Winter Kingdom to Elder Kingdom, inheriting centuries of accumulated wisdom still used today. Ancestor worship, clockwork, herbalism, and numerology are all cultural products handed down alongside a wide range of folkways. The nobility quickly dismiss the more immaterial customs as superstitious, cultural mores gone vestigial in need of trimming. Sages argue this perspective stems from a place of cultural ignorance, an imperfect transfer of knowledge robbing the Kingdom of context. Both nobles and sages will pay well for cultural artifacts and art objects from the Old Kingdoms, moreso for the truly rare and exotic. Lost martial manuals and living weapons(2) command the highest price. Less scrupulous Errants may opt to steal rare objects from a collector's wonder room.

The Post - North of Grand Delving, the Kingdom quickly unfolds like an untamed, green quilt. Civilization and settlements strewn across the Blackwood with only Hedges and rivers connecting them.Combine distance with elves and pagans and that's an obstacle insurmountable to your common subject. Luckily Errants aren't common subjects. Though some fellowships will act the courier, bitter rivals Thurn & Taxis and Tristero's Bravos exclusively transport mail. You won't find a work shortage any time soon, someone will need a letter delivered to Grandma's house and who knows what dangers might lurk beneath the boughs.

1- I'm not sure if Dark Ladies are run of the mill silkmoths, pack hunting carnivores, or Mothra. We'll figure that out.

2- Other living weapons could be figurines of wondrous power, pagan menhirs, and living taxidermy.

The 7 Errants are a fellowship of heroic martial artists and wanderers for Eli Kurtz' Blackwood setting - a mash-up of Wuxia action and frontier fairy tales. You can find the book for sale here and a free quick start bundle here

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Blackwood: This Little Light

When folks talk about the Hartsworn you hear the same tired things - an Errant fellowship lost to the Wood, the spitting image of heroes past, and gone too soon. Composed of masters and their apprentices, their deeds were the stuff of legend. In a short time they defeated the Six Eared Howler, turned a Lonely River (1) away from swallowing Talbrand, and brokered peace with the Scarlet Child. Set on reviving the Kingdom of Light's lost secrets to pacify the Blackwood. Falcon Master Wulf Schafer spearheaded the expedition into the Eastern Wood and the fellowship was never heard from again. Until now.

Two years ago folks on the Margin gossip that one of the Hartsworn's returned from the Elven Deeps. Not long after terror stalked the streets of Talbrand. First the chandler apprentices formed the Ghost Light Gang and carved a bloody swath through the local underworld, claiming the Tenderloin district. Then Pigeon Hawk, a crackshot and fearsome fighter, was found skewered with pagan arrows in the village square. Glistening in the morning light.

Now the Gang spreads to town and city while the list of skinless masters continues to grow.

CULTURE - Riverfolk - Raised by big cities and bustling river markets, the Butcher gains the Dirty Fighter Edge.  
BADGE OF ERRANTRY - A necklace of large prayer beads. The only thing he has left from his previous life.
STATS - Strength D8 Agility D10 Vigor D6 Smarts D6 Spirit D10
SKILLS - Fighting D10, Intimidation D8, Notice D8, Persuade D10, Shooting D10, Stealth D10, Streetwise D8, Thievery D8

EDGES - Acrobat, Dirty Fighter (+2 to Agility Tricks), Frenzy, Improved Frenzy, Martial Artist, Prospective, Worthy, and Master of Falcon School, Worthy Student and Master of the Firecat School, Prospective and Worthy Student of Red Bear School, Versatile Student (Fang can benefit from 2 Schools at once)
HINDRANCES -Driven (Major, It will take blood and great violence to pacify the Blackwood. The Elder Kingdom would be better prepared for the task if the fighting arts were wider spread.), Vengeful (Major, Frog's shortcomings shamed Wulf and failed the Hartsworn. He will kill his failed student.)

THE CLAW - STR+D6, +1 damage for each successful attack. AP 1
NAILSPITTER - 2D6+1, Ranged weapon, Wound penalties apply to Pace. AP 1

LIGHT OF KNOWLEDGE - The Butcher learned how to conjure the dead and bind them to their skin. With these grisly materials he crafts lanterns and interrogates the trapped spirits when the lantern is lit. Wulf is stalking masters to learn the secrets of their fighting arts, disseminating them among the Ghost Light Gang.
OGRE MASK - Double the bonuses from Wild Attacks, ignore Wound penalties, and Armor 4.
SHEDDING DEATH - Put him down and he just keeps coming. When the Butcher gets his third Wound he exits the scene, suggesting his death but not leaving a body. He can't do this in his workshop. Or can he?

The Ghost Light Gang's brand. From Wikipedia.
The lines between cult, secret society, and criminal organization are fuzzy on the Margin, the Ghost Light Gang plows right through them. Initially organized among apprentices, under the Lamplighter's tutelage their membership and activities quickly spread. Their distinctive take on the ancestor lantern marking their turf is now a common sight in major cities. Inductees often come from trades with secret knowledge and initiations of expertise, the Lamplighter exploits their frustration and impatience as avenues for recruitment. He gives them a sense of belonging and control over their lives, equipping them with weapons and guidance.

Tactically the Gang harries their foes, using the rudiments of Falcon School to stay out of reach and pepper their opponents with arrow fire. Baiting or driving them into dead ends where the Lamplighter has become the Butcher, lying in wait. Within the Gang's mythology the Lamplighter and the Butcher are two sides of the same coin. The Lamplighter kindles the flame of secret knowledge among the Gang, while the Butcher demonstrates his lessons. Unleashing them on hapless criminals and the occasional Sentinel who gets in his way.

STATS - Strength D6 Agility D8 Vigor D6 Smarts D6 Spirit D6
SKILLS - Athletics D6, Fighting D8, Intimidation D8, Knowledge D6, Notice D8, Shooting D8
EDGES - Prospective Student of Falcon School (They can run through the air.)
HINDRANCES - Mean (Major,  Rule #1 - The Wood does not know mercy, and neither do we.) Delusional (Minor, Rule# 2 - The Light has chosen us. We serve the Light.)
Axe Str+D8
Bow 2D6, Ranged
LIGHT THE LANTERN - On the second round, one of the Ghost Light Gangsters lights a sky lantern. 2D6 more gang members show up at the end of the round.

1 - I first mentioned Lonely Rivers back in the Blackwood Giants post. They're roving bodies of running water that rove the Blackwood and swallow things whole. What if the River Lethe was a sandworm?

The 7 Errants are a fellowship of heroic martial artists and wanderers for Eli Kurtz' Blackwood setting - a mash-up of Wuxia action and frontier fairy tales. You can find the book for sale here and a free quick start bundle here

This particular entry was inspired by the film Human Lanterns, you get a great summary and discussion by the Jianghu Hustle guys here on episode 19.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Blackwood: Our Dear Mother Night





Just a few names woodkin parents invoke to terrorize their children, "If you don't go to sleep; She will draw close, scoop you up in her sack, and steal you away." They warn, "Talk back to your mother again and the Beldame'll introduce you to Her knife, Leech." Stories of collecting tongues and eating fingernails craft an ogreish semblance. Something too absurd to be real and forgotten with age. But all these nightmares stem from a very real figure, the witch called Mother Night.

Mother Night sealed her first pact with her right eye when still a child. She traded her birth name in the second. All doubt flees when you see her: wearing a skirt of Elf totems, her right hand tasting the air, her left gripping a leaking sack, and bogles clamoring 'round her feet. This one-eyed pagan rivals the 7 Fair Consuls with her ire for the Elder Kingdom. She blames the Elder King for stealing her only child. A child prophesied to cast down the reign of phantoms. If she had her way a pagan horde would sweep the elderfolk and their allies from the Blackwood. Held in check by 4 of the 7 Consuls who hold sway over segments of her soul, the Leech-queen has her agents among the outcast and the elf touched probing the Kingdom for any rot within. She also charged them with finding her lost, little moth should they still survive.

CULTURE - Elf Touched Mother Night has an additional 5 Power Points and the Outsider Hindrance. Her right hand ends in a copperhead and the scale pattern covers her skin.
STATS - Strength D8, Agility D8, Vigor D8, Smarts D6 Spirit D12
SKILLS - Fighting D10, Healing D8, Knowledge (Elves) D10, Notice D8, Pact D12+1, Persuasion D10, Research D6, Taunt D10
EDGES- Additional Power Points, Arcane Background (Elf Pact), Dark Sight, Elan, Leaf Step, Luck, New Power x 3, Witch (Mother Night has one additional power of your choice)
HINDRANCES - One Eye (Major, Cut from her head when she was still a girl. Her first sacrifice to Elven lords), Outsider (Minor, You can't mistake Mother Night for anything but a pagan), Superstitious (Major, Having accrued so much arcane power, she has a dozen little taboos she will not break), Treebond (Major, Everyday Mother Night must spend time in contact with a tree)

LEECH - STR+2D4 Damage, recover 1D6 Power Points on a successful hit. Double the Power Points recovered if you hit with a raise.
ADDERHAND - STR+D6 Damage, Poison (Roll Vigor at -2, causes petrification) Only make this attack when someone engages or disengages in melee with Mother Night.


FONT OF MAGIC - Mother Night can use the mega-powers from Savage Rifts.
NEVERENDING BAG OF BOGLES -  A gift from one of her fey lovers, 3D4 bogles pour out with Mother Night is hit (use cats from the core book, adding Athletics D8 and a tendency to Grapple en masse).

POWERS - 25 POWER POINTS- armor, barrier, boost/lower trait, greater healing, intangibility, puppet, quickness, telekinesis

It's a bogle.

The 7 Errants are a fellowship of heroic martial artists and wanderers for Eli Kurtz' Blackwood setting - a mash-up of Wuxia action and frontier fairy tales. You can find the book for sale here and a free quick start bundle here

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Savage Worlds: Going Loud

Check out Jackie Droujko's delightful short - Bang Bang!
In crime fiction and RPGs, things go wrong for 1 reason - a perfect job is a boring job. While a flawless heist/operation is good for a thriller once or twice, I love a character instigated pell-mell far more. Reservoir Dogs and Heat are great examples of a careful and thought-out heist spinning into chaos because of poor impulse control/inability to plan for everything. Here's some mechanics to create incentive for PC's to stir up trouble.

Each Wild Card starts with 5 points of Noise. You may spend Noise to roll an additional D10 to any Trait or damage roll. this die can Ace like any other, and if a Benny is spent to re-roll the action then re-roll the D10 too. As you spend Noise you'll earn a reputation. This comes with benefits and drawbacks. You get the benefits immediately, while the drawbacks should show up when they'll royally screw things up.

5 - Just your average yegg.
4 - Thing are looking a little hairy. Earn a Benny if the action is particularly public/violent.
3 -One of the crew is approached by law enforcement and pressured to flip on you. Who is it?
2 - A dogged investigator nips at your heels. Gain the Enemy (Major) Hindrance and an Edge of your choice, ignore requirements.
1 - You're a loose cannon, too dangerous to keep around. A kingpin puts a bounty (worth an Advancement) on you.
0 - The Bureau and the Great Machine is watching out for you. Gain an Advancement.

In counterpoint, GMs should keep a tally. Let's call it Cacophony. Better yet, Racket. Every time they spend Noise. Every time they use brute force. It builds up Racket. The higher the Racket, the more force Law & Order responds with. This is should dovetail with the new SWADE Chase rules you can find here.

2 - A squad car shows up to check it out. The officers attempt to take the characters alive and arrest them. Private security shoots to kill.
4 - Police forces converge on the characters, multiple squad cars and long guns start popping up. Officers shoot to kill (Shooting D8). Increase the penalty from complications by 1.
6 - The Department tries to contain the incident. Roadblocks and spike strips are deployed to hinder vehicles while a helicopter keeps them in the spotlight. Sharpshooters aboard take their shots (Shooting D8, ROF 2).
8 - Here come the SWAT (or NOOSE or The Sweeney, etc). Riot vans, ARVs, and multiple helicopters swarm the Crew and let the bullets fly (Shooting D10+Wild Die). The crew now suffers chase complications on Clubs and Spades.
10 - Every conventional way out of the city is blocked off, the roads barren of any civilian vehicles. With civilian bystanders minimized, things look grim as law enforcement really cuts loose (Shooting D10+Wild Die, ROF 3).  The crew has to egress in an unexpected manner or lay low, otherwise it never ends.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Blackwood: Heart of the Web

For 14 years the Elder Kingdom has staggered forward headless. Provincial governors, burgomeisters, and chief sentinels find their interests overlap and conflict with no Elder King to sort it out. Conflicts of interest and jurisprudence only serve to atomize and isolate resistance to the Kingdom's greatest internal threat - the Jeweled Fan Society. By all appearances a trade organization heavily focused on herbal harvesting and refinement, the Society's true activities concealed. The Society's true purpose? The steady, upward redistribution of goods, assets, and favors from the fringes of the Blackwood to the City Astride the River, Span.

Barring a buffoonish nephew, the Brandts are a respected and well-heeled family with bloodties to Span's founding. Their oldest estate rests atop catacombs housing their oldest ancestors. It was here Renata found the Judas Silver, rolling free from funerary clothes. A trinket associated with her great-great-great-grandfather and thought lost. The coin's true nature was made apparent when Renata touched it. The relic emphasized her worst self and allowed her to control others, bringing their shadows to the fore as well. With this power she created the Society and spread throughout the Kingdom. Controlling what she could and destroying what she could not.

By pulling taut her web of influence, she will form a new kingdom. The Jeweled Kingdom. Her Kingdom.

STATS - Strength D6 Agility D8 Vigor D6 Smarts D10 Spirit D10 (D6 without the Judas Silver)
SKILLS - Athletics D8, Gambling, Intimidation D10, Knowledge (Battle and Business) D8, Notice D8, Persuasion D10+2, Riding, Taunt D8, Thievery D8
EDGES - Command, Hold the Line, Luck, Great Luck, Merchant, Noble 
HINDRANCES - Curious (Major), Decadent (Minor), Greedy (Major)
FLIT OF THE FAN - Use Persuade instead of Fighting to Defend. She can also use either Perfume or Smoke.
FLICK OF THE WRIST - 3D4 Damage, ROF 4. Thrown, 5'/10'/15'. A hail of needles fly from her fan. If she has Polish, it's been applied to the needles.

ENTOURAGE - Renata is accompanied by at least 5 bravos. Some are hired muscle and others are suitors
FEARLESS & HARDY - See the core Savage Worlds rulebook.
YOU WOULDN'T HIT A LADY, WOULD YOU? - Calculate Parry using Persuade, instead of Fighting.

PARLOR TRICKS - Through the Jeweled Fan Society, Renata has access to herbs that would make a witch jealous. She always has some botanical tricks up her sleeve. Choose 2.

  • Powder - All the makeup and perfume hides her Undead nature. (+2 Toughness, can't be Shaken)
  • Polish - A nail lacquer made from beeswax, egg whites, gelatin, and vegetable dyes. It's bright red hue a warning. Contact poison. Touched characters roll Vigor at -2 or suffer a Fatigue level. 
  • Musk - Perfume made from the 40 Wink Orchid, renowned for its soporific effects. Targets roll Vigor at -2 or become Shaken, uses the Large Burst Template
  • Smoke - A case full of  hand-rolled cigarillos made from Ulix' Nightmare. When Renata exhales a cloud of smoke opponents fly into blind panic. Targets roll Spirit vs Fear -2, use the Cone Template


The relic has 15 PP and can Awaken Darkness (puppet) and Call For Help (summon ally).
Puppet - Use Persuade as the arcane skill. The subject also gains a Major Hindrance for a lunar cycle, possible amplifying a Minor hindrance to to Major.
Summon Ally - Summons 2 constructs resembling a houndmaster and his mastiff (treat as ogre and dire wolf in the core rulebook).
DRAWBACKS - Holding the Judas Silver inflicts a Major Hindrance, highlighting your worst trait. Prolonged use has other side effects.

The 7 Errants are a fellowship of heroic martial artists and wanderers for Eli Kurtz' Blackwood setting - a mash-up of Wuxia action and frontier fairy tales. You can find the book for sale here and a free quick start bundle here

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Savage Worlds: Catch As Catch Can

Grappling has vexed RPG design for-seemingly-ever. With good reason. Grounded styles are complex and difficult to parse without firsthand experience. Hence BJJ's emphasis on live sparring. But.
It seems Savage Worlds may have cracked the code.

In case you didn't know, there's a new edition of Savage Worlds on the horizon and with a new edition there are previews. Adventure Edition has some cool new Multi-Action rules allowing characters to use the same Skill multiple times in a round. Combined with Savage Flash Gordon's elegant Grappling and new Conditions, ground and pound seems really cool. It just needs a little help. Here are some new Edges trying to capture the feel of rolling and clinching with the new Savage Worlds rules in mind.

REQUIREMENTS: Athletics D8, Fighting D8, First Strike
Once per turn, you get a free Trick (Strength or Agility) against a single foe who attacks you in melee and misses. Use the failed attack as the Difficulty. If successful, the opponent is Vulnerable.
If you have the Martial Artist Edge then you can use Fighting instead.

REQUIREMENTS: Athletics D8, Martial Artist, Seasoned
Ignore the first Multi-Action penalty when you Grapple an opponent.

REQUIREMENTS: Chess of Limbs, Veteran
If you have Grappled an opponent and they are Bound, you can make an unarmed damage roll with their Toughness, ignoring Armor, as the Difficulty. If successful, deal damage as normal and the opponent suffers the One Arm (Major) Hindrance until they receive medical attention.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Borchardbriar: The Skinner

From the Far South, where the land is scorched by 2 Suns, the Skinner walked. He chased a vision, a prophecy whispered in his ear by the Ant Seers. The Wheel of Seasons was stuck and the World sickened as a result. The Skinner had a part to play in the Great Story- to bear a blessed blade North and excise the rot. He crossed the Shuddering Sea and slipped through Clowdertown unseen by Autumn's Hounds and Resistance alike. The Land trapped in harvest turned the Skinner's stomach and still he walked with purpose. Undetected through Borchardbriar's uneven halls he stalked the canker, stealing up to the 4-Sided Throne room. Too bad Old Mad Craw was waiting for him amidst the spoil and bones. The Skinner met his match and lost his name.

Leashed to the Foxlord's will, the Skinner stalks Reynard's foes and steals their hides.

Now the Skinner's part is played by someone else. Walking North from the Burning Lands and bearing a blessed blade.

STATS - Strength D8 Agility D10 Vigor D8 Smarts D6 Spirit D8
SKILLS - Athletics D10, Fighting D10, Intimidation D6, Notice D8, Performance D10, Stealth D12, Taunt D10
EDGES - Thief, Trademark Weapon (Fortune Cleaver), Quick, Extraction, Improved Extraction
BITE - STR+D6 Damage. The Skinner can go for a Grapple after a successful BITE attack.
FORTUNE CLEAVER - +1 To hit. STR+D8+1 Damage, Ranged 30', Blessed, returns to hand.  When a Wild Card spends a Benny to soak add that Benny to the GM's pool.

MADDENING GIGGLE - When the Skinner is hit but not Wounded, all other characters in the scene must make a Spirit test at -2 or become Distracted.
ONE THROAT, MANY VOICES - The Skinner is a skilled mimic and ventriloquist, he gets a +2 to Trick/Test opponents with  Performance and Taunt.
REGENERATION (FAST)- The Skinner's flesh pulls itself together, regardless of trauma. Per the core rules.
STUDENT OF FLESH - The Skinner knows how close to death everyone in a scene is. When he hunts the wounded, their Wound penalty is a bonus to hit. (Example: If you are suffering a -2 Wound penalty, the Skinner is +2 to hit you).
THICK HIDE - Armor 3

WEIRD POWERS - Choose 1 or 2
BONESNAP - Biting with a Raise deals +D10 damage, and inflicts the Crippled (Minor) Hindrance.

CULLING SONG - The Skinner croons a low song of slaughter. If the Skinner hits a Distracted opponent he rolls a number of additional D6's equal to raises on the attack roll.

TERMITE'S COUSIN - The Skinner bears wyld gifts from the Burning Lands. With a successful Spirit roll his little cousins cause a building to collapse under its own weight.

Borchardbriar is a Savage Worlds setting I've been working on since May 2017. It owes a lot to Brian Jacques' Redwall series and Garth Nix' The Old Kingdom. So hopefully if you enjoy those, the you'll enjoy Borchardbriar.
You can find the initial outline here. All posts can be found here

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Blackwood: Constant Vigilance

The Winter Kingdom predated the Elder Kingdom, and before them was the Kingdom of Light. Led into destruction by Mad King Ember-Eye, ruins from the Days of Light persist in cities, on the road, and in the Blackwood. Ember-Eye pressed deeper into the Wood than any before or since, the fortifications were known as the "Burn Line". Instrumental to his success were the Stone Lions - unnatural beasts of worked stone, cold iron, and cinnabar.

Always present in pairs, a manifestation of Firmament and Fundament, the female representing the River and the male representing the Heavens. From their bronze collars the males bore an orb representing the world under the watchful gaze of the stars. The females' collars were functionally identical, except their collars had a cub symbolizing the cycle of life. No elfin glamour could fool their eyes and elf flesh cringed at their touch. When the Burn Line served its purpose and was discarded, the Stone Lions wouldn't leave. Tireless and vigilant, they still stand guard over empty buildings and jagged foundations.

STATS - Strength D12 Agility D8 Vigor D8 Smarts D6 Spirit D10
SKILLS - Fighting D10, Intimidation D8, Notice D8
EDGES - Frenzy, Improved Frenzy

CURSE - When a Stone Lion hits with a Raise, they can forgo the extra damage and lay a curse on an opponent instead. The curse leaves a physical mark on your body.
  • MALE - Attention of High Places - All the powers in the world are against you. Gain the Wanted (Major) and Enemy (Minor) Hindrances. 
  • FEMALE- End of the Line- Fortune and family are forever out of your reach, your name dies with you. Gain the Poverty (Major) Hindrance and you are infertile.

ELFBANE - Elves double the wound penalty when damaged by Stone Lions.
HARDY - Additional Shaken results do not result in Wounds.
LIKE A STONE - When the beast is hit, reduce the damage die size of a weapon one  step. (D12>D10>D8>D6>D4>D4-1, etc.)
TRUE SIGHT - Ignore penalties for darkness and dim light. Magic provides no concealment.
MOMENTUM - Stone Lions aren't light on their feet but they are dangerous when they get going. If a Stone Lion is able to move 5" before attacking they add +4 to their damage total.

The 7 Errants are a fellowship of heroic martial artists and wanderers for Eli Kurtz' Blackwood setting - a mash-up of Wuxia action and frontier fairy tales. You can find the book for sale here and a free quick start bundle here.

Special thanks to Michael Barry for notes about the symbolism.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Blackwood: Stretched to Breaking

14 years since the Elder King went missing.  Through all the hardship and uncertainty, the Kingdom's subjects held onto hope. Believing that the King would return in due time while the Hedges and Errants stood firm against the ever marching elven forest.
Then the Giants marched.

Striding from the deep Woods and walking through the Hedges like cobwebs, no one knows precisely where they came from. There's always one person in a village who swears their missing nephew looked just like the Giant that came through last week. Traditional folkways, effective against elvenkind, don't bother them and the deadliest Errant finds them a stalwart foe.

STATS - Strength D12+3 Agility D6 Vigor D10 Smarts D4 Spirit D6
SKILLS - Fighting D8
EDGES - Brute, Nerves of Steel

LARGE - Attackers add +2 to hit.
SMASH - Str+D8 Damage Whether or not you hit, enemies nearby need to roll Agility or get knocked prone.
SNATCH - Str Damage Roll Strength vs an opponent's Strength or Agility roll. If the Giant succeeds, they're grappled.
CHEW- Str+D12 Damage only available if it successfully grappled someone.

WEIRD POWERS - Choose 1 or 2
Corpsemaker - The Giant doesn't require a raise on its damage roll to begin inflicting Wounds (ex: if your Toughness is 8 and the Giant deals 8 damage, you are both Shaken and suffer your first Wound.)

Footless - The Giant lacks feet, walking on the wind. The Giant gains Stealth D8 and imposes a -2 penalty to detect via sound.

Handfuls of Teeth - The Giant has two additional mouths on its hands. They gain Improved Frenzy and their BITE no longer requires grappling.

100 Hands and 50 Heads- Instead of two conventional human arms, the Giant as two massive multi-jointed appendages comprised of standard human limbs, opponents now roll at -4 to avoid/escape grappling. In addition the Giant has 360 degree vision from a plethora of standard sized heads sprouting from a Giant-sized neck.

Maddening Giggle - When the Giant is hit but not Wounded, all characters in the scene must make a Spirit test at a -2 or gain the Distracted status. The Giant titters at their feeble efforts.

A Glandular Problem - Whenever the Giant is successfully hit, its Size increases by 1. This also  increases their Toughness by 1.

Pukey - The Giant can hork up a gut full of Lonely Riverwater. Place the medium cone template, Errants have to make an Agility check vs the Giant's Vigor to avoid the spew. Which Lonely River is it? Roll 1D4 - 1-Misery (Draw 2 Action Cards and take the lowest) 2-Hatred (Turn on their allies) 3-Venom (-2 to soak rolls) 4-Terror (Roll on the Fear table)

Walking Wound - The Giant cannot be killed or knocked unconscious with damage. It only slows down and stops when it's exhausted. Then they nap.

Witches' Eyes - The Giant's eyelids are full of normal human eyes, bunched together like grapes. Or compound eyes. Gain Fear -4.

The 7 Errants are a fellowship of heroic martial artists and wanderers for Eli Kurtz' Blackwood setting - a mash-up of Wuxia action and frontier fairy tales. You can find the book for sale here and a free quick start bundle here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Blackwood: Stone Lion School

Impetuous action and refusing to weigh the odds - traits shared by the suicidally brave and adherents of the Stone Lion. Named for the fearsome beasts guarding ruins from the bygone Days of Light. Their dense flesh blunts the mightiest blow and heavy claws crush the toughest foe. Several stand guard over the legendary Red Gryphon Court. Wielding great blades like the Autumn wind sweeps leaves, the Elder Kingdom has been lucky Lord Manu's graduates are engaged elsewhere.
For now.

REQUIREMENTS: Vigor D8, Intimidation D6, Taunt D6
CORE PHILOSOPHY: Wood (+1 vs River)
ASPIRING - Ferocity- Aspiring students roll a Wild die along with their normal damage, add the die's result to the total when the Wild Die is even.
WORTHY - Valor - Worthy Students gain their opponents' Gang up bonus when the student is outnumbered.
MASTER - Unbreakable- Masters of Stone Lion fight through wounds that will cripple lesser men. Reduce wounds penalties suffered by -1. This stacks with Edges with similar effects.

The 7 Errants are a fellowship of heroic martial artists and wanderers for Eli Kurtz' Blackwood setting - a mash-up of Wuxia action and frontier fairy tales. You can find the book for sale here and a free quick start bundle here.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Blackwood: The Misplaced Prince

"Rumor has it the Elder King and the Crown Prince disappeared together, on the same night. What if I told you that was a lie? Not a deliberate falsehood but an accident of happenstance."

"How would I know? Because I took him, you loiter-sack. Swapped him for a bundle of sticks and mud convinced it's the Prince. I had to. My Lord doesn't take "NO" for an answer. Really the boy hadn't been in the Palace for a month."

"The lump fooled everybody, even the King though he could've seen through it if he'd cared."

"Don't look at me like that! It's no revelation the King was disappointed in Prince Gareth. Just ask around the Palace, the servants are TERRIBLE gossips. I can't blame the King though. He thought the boy was softheaded. Really I did Gareth a favor, when you think about it."

"14 years is a long time, longer in Red Gryphon Court. You've heard of it?"

"Aye, the Light's Lost Stronghold turned sword seminary and slaughter-ground by King Ember-Eye's immortal foes. My Lord sharpened the boy into a fearsome swordsman and turned him loose. Goes by the name Rikar now."

"Why am I telling you all this? Can't help it since you offered me a meal; geas & all. Now drink up. That Blissberry juice you've been sipping for the past hour won't work on its own. Give it some help."

- Rustle, notorious Pagan Childthief

CULTURE -Human - Rikar begins with the Aspiring Student (Stone Lion) Edge from his time in Red Gryphon Court.

BADGE OF ERRANTRY - A cloak clasp of autumn leaves forming a lion's face.
RANK - Seasoned
STATS - Strength D8 Agility D8 Vigor D8 Smarts D6 Spirit D6
SKILLS - Fighting D8, Intimidation D6, Knowledge (Battle) D6, Notice D6, Persuasion D8, Riding D6, Taunt D6
EDGES - Aspiring and Worthy Student (Stone Lion), Brave, Command
HINDRANCES - , Code of Honor (Major, He's a Disney Princess- Have Courage. Be Kind.),  Enemy(Major, From his time as Lord Manu's fosterling, Rikar made an enemy - the Bantam Knight, Sir Ironside.), Emotional (Minor, The state of the Elder Kingdom pulls Rikar into bouts of melancholy.)
Greatsword (1D8+1D10 Damage), Plate armor (+3 armor to torso, arms, and legs), Kettle Helm,  Badge of Errantry, Hearth Bread, Errant's Kit, His father's signet ring

The 7 Errants are a fellowship of heroic martial artists and wanderers for Eli Kurtz' Blackwood setting - a mash-up of Wuxia action and frontier fairy tales. You can find the book for sale here and a free quick start bundle here

This backstory was generated using the Ultimate RPG Backstory Guide by James D'Amato. You can find that here

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Blackwood: Frog's 5 Scars

In sharp contrast to Cannibal Ox and Dust, the taciturn Frog rarely discusses his past or his problems. His story's only clues? The scars he bears, new & old. A favorite past time among the fellowship when he's out of earshot is to speculate and spin yarn.
How did he get them? How long did they take to heal?

A long scar on his brow lends a serious look. Since its nearly faded away, Pin thinks he received as a child. Whatever hit him, hit him hard. His parents were River folk, that's why he's called "Frog".

A ragged swathe of shiny tissue bands his forearm and a missing pinkie finger are surely the sign of a struggle for survival. Cannibal Ox swears up and down that he was raised by wolves. The marks came from a fight for dominance- or fighting a Howler!

The opposite shoulder bears a spearpoint's puckered kiss. Obviously saving his wolf pack from foul hunters. "No good deed goes unpunished" Dust chimes in, "he's obviously called "Frog" because he has no fur!"

Kestrel recognizes a tattoo across the meat of his palms - the Brand of the Hartsworn. A band of Errants dedicated to finding the cairns of Wulf Ember-Eye and his Last 13. They hadn't been heard from in some time.

A burnt orange mark, crooked and deep across his thigh, draws the wildest stories. It's shape and color are ready fuel for Ox and Dust's over eager imaginations. Tall tales tattled aside, Ceryneia suspects the blemish's true origin. The Sun-Eater, a beast chronicled in books written shortly after the Kingdom of Light's fall. Fed bonfires and firecats by Fair Lords should man's dreams of flame encroach too deep.

But they're all just stories anyway.
CULTURE - Woodkin- Keen Ears- Growing up in the Blackwood, Frog gets +2 to Notice checks involving hearing. Superstitious - Frog starts with the Luck Edge and the Superstitious Hindrance.
BADGE OF ERRANTRY - An ancient Howler mask. Scavenged from a cairn in the deep Blackwood.
RANK - Seasoned
STATS - Strength D6 Agility D8 Vigor D6 Smarts D4 Spirit D8
SKILLS - Athletics D6, Boost/Lower Trait D10, Fighting D8, Notice D6, Stealth D8 Survival D6 Thievery D4
EDGES - Arcane Background ((Ancestor Worship) Channeling the spirit haunting his mask), Luck (+1 Benny per session), Magical Trinkets (Once per session, Frog has the right magical trinket for the job.), Frenzy (Make 2 Fighting attacks at a penalty.)
HINDRANCES -  Arrogant (Major, Raised in the wilds and a member of the Hartsworn. He's seen the worst the Blackwood has.), Cautious (Minor, "Measure twice, cut once" has never steered him wrong.), Illiterate (Minor, Frog just doesn't have a head for letters.), Quirk (Minor, Fidgets with his Trinkets when he's anxious.), Vow (Minor, To find the Pheasant Dart and slay the Sun-Eater.)

Axe (1D6+1D8 Damage), Hauberk (+2 armor to torso, arms, and legs), Buckler, Badge of Errantry, Ancestor Beads, Errant's Kit, Full helm

The 7 Errants are a fellowship of heroic martial artists and wanderers for Eli Kurtz' Blackwood setting - a mash-up of Wuxia action and frontier fairy tales. You can find the book for sale here and a free quick start bundle here

This backstory was generated using the Ultimate RPG Backstory Guide by James D'Amato. You can find that here

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Blackwood: Breathless Pin

Once upon a time there was a young lady who was apprenticed to a  master clockmaker, she showed glimmers of genius and was quick to solve a problem. As long as there was work, everything went well, but when the master's patron was bankrupted she was dismissed, and the master told her she could go wherever she wanted. 

Her parents were dead and she no longer had a home. So, she went to her brothers and asked them to support her until she found a patron. The brothers, however, had hardened their hearts against her and said "What can we do with you? You are too old to find a husband! Begone and make your own way!"

Left with nothing but her tools, she set out into the Wider World. 

Crossing heath, mountain, and sea, she ended her travels in the city of Farwater Beach. There she finds what she was seeking: a home. The apprentice clockmaker built beautiful works, and became a journeyman, and in time she was considered a master.

This bothered her, however, because she had not ascended through the ranks in a traditional manner. To be a master she needed to construct a masterwork. No one could doubt her ambition as she set out to build an automated man.

As word of her project and her progress spread, it caught the attention of those in high places. The clockmaker was approached by an envious noblewoman who bought what she could not make and took what she could not buy. Three times the clockmaker refused the noblewoman, irritated with each interruption as she creeped nearer completion. 

The noblewoman was determined that if she could not own the clockwork man, then no one could. Through her influence a gang of ruffians burned down the clockmaker's workshop with her inside. Delirious from breathing in the smoke, she loosed the incomplete masterwork and fell. Smothered by the burning remnants of the life she had built.

The workshop had become an oven, though they would fare better without air than their creator, the extreme heat played havoc with his springs and sprockets. Surely he would have perished there too, if a fellowship of errants hadn't fought their way into the building to make sure there were no victims.

CULTURE - Automat - An incomplete masterwork that can't be duplicated. Construct (Doesn't need to breathe/sleep/eat, etc.), Cannot Speak (Amelii's prototype larynx was unfinished when the "accident" happened), Clueless (He wasn't raised in a traditional manner, -2 on Common Knowledge rolls), Dependency (His key is in a place he can't reach, someone else must turn it), Noisy (His gears and springs grind,whir, click and clack. -2 on Stealth rolls)
BADGE OF ERRANTRY - A locket containing a picture of their creator, Amelii Rozse.
RANK - Seasoned
STATS - Strength D8 Agility D8 Vigor D8 Smarts D6 Spirit D6
SKILLS -  Athletics D8 Fighting D8, Knowledge (Classics and Music) D6 Lockpicking D6  Repair D4, Weird Science D8 
EDGES - Arcane Background (Clockwork), Aspiring Student (J'Osudeau)
HINDRANCES - Code of Honor (Major, Breathless Pin is dedicated to the Errant virtue of Benevolence, maybe he can teach Cannibal Ox.) Loyal (Minor, Dust and Lady Ceryneia pulled him from the fire. Now no one gets left behind.), Vow (Minor, To avenge the death of Amelii. Kestrel has leads.)
CLOCKWORK POWER - 10 PP - Warrior's Gift (Pin can imitate the fighting style of anyone he's seen)
Lancing Sword (1D8+1D6 Damage, +1 Parry, Ranged 2/4/8), Hauberk (+2 armor to torso, arms, and legs), Buckler (+1 Parry), Badge of Errantry

The 7 Errants are a fellowship of heroic martial artists and wanderers for Eli Kurtz' Blackwood setting - a mash-up of Wuxia action and frontier fairy tales. You can find the book for sale here and a free quick start bundle here

Monday, September 10, 2018

Blackwood: Kestrel

A shabby, little town at the end of the Elk River, Lehm was once known for its fine pottery. Lead by Burgomeister Franz Fluss, the town prospered under a firm and fair system of taxation for the common good. In the Elder King's absence, taxation and tithe turned into corruption and tyranny. Chief Sentinel Jurgen Shining cited the oncoming winter and seized goods in excess for years.When that fierce winter finally came howling, the provisions distributed were meager. The townsfolk did without and many perished. After that the town started to dry up as people moved away, the river changed course, and their stranglehold cinched tighter. Jurgen never suspected his doom would take flight from young Kestrel's bow.

Orphaned by that cruel winter, Kestrel dealt out justice her deceased friends and family would never know. Eluding capture, she traveled the riverways and trails in the company of outlaws, pagans, and Errants until she fell in with Dust and Breathless Pin. Despite their counsel she still hunts the wicked the Sentinels can't, or won't, touch.

CULTURE - Woodkin - Kestrel starts with a +2 to Notice, the Luck Edge, and the Superstitious Hindrance.
BADGE OF ERRANTRY - A kestrel's embroidered silhouette attached to her gambeson, a gift from her departed parents. Looking a bit careworn she kisses it for good luck.
RANK - Seasoned
STATS - Strength D6 Agility D8 Vigor D6 Smarts D8 Spirit D6
SKILLS - Athletics D8, Fighting D6, Healing D6, Investigation D4, Notice D10, Shooting D10, Stealth D6, Survival D8, Tracking D8
EDGES - Assassin, Aspiring and Worthy Student (Falcon School), Luck, Marksman
HINDRANCES - Emotional (Minor, Kestrel followed her heart after Dust.), Superstitious (Minor, A hundred little rituals for good fortune), Wanted (Major, The Sentinels come down hard when you kill one of their own.), Vengeful (Minor, Nothing angers Kestrel like the guilty escaping their just reward.)
Bow (2D6, Ranged, 12/24/48), Hatcher (2D6, Thrown 3/6/12), Dagger (1D6+1D4, Thrown 2/4/8), Gambeson (+1 armor to torso, arms, and legs), Errantry Kit, Hearthbread, Cap Helm

The 7 Errants are a fellowship of heroic martial artists and wanderers for Eli Kurtz' Blackwood setting - a mash-up of Wuxia action and frontier fairy tales. You can find the book for sale here and a free quick start bundle here

Friday, September 7, 2018

Blackwood: Lady Ceryneia, Warden Between Wild Wood and Worked Stone

Born to Errant Classicists, Ceryneia isn't a noble in the traditional sense. She is afforded the title at the Neighbors' insistence. Specifically the self styled "High Lord" Manu, who pursues her hand in... matrimony? Eluding her erstwhile suitor, she fell into Kestrel and Breathless Pin's company.

CULTURE - The Margin - No one's too sure where Ceryneia came form, and she's tight lipped about her past. She starts with the Ambidextrous Edge.
BADGE OF ERRANTRY - Her antlered cowl, crafted by her own hand.
RANK - Seasoned
STATS - Strength D6 Agility D6 Vigor D6 Smarts D8 Spirit D8
SKILLS - Fighting D8 Healing D8 Herbalism D8 Knowledge (Beastcraft, Classics, Elves, Religion) D6 Notice D8
EDGES - Ambidextrous, Arcane Background (Herbalism), Aspiring and Worthy Student (Stag's Crown Treatise), Two Fisted
HINDRANCES - Heroic (Major, Despite Ceryneia's disdain for both hapless humans and malicious elves she doesn't want to see anyone hurt), Outsider (Minor, Not really home anywhere), Zealot (Minor, "Don't stray from the path, you idiot."), Vow (Minor, Once the 3 Signs have come to pass, she must marry High Lord Manu. The Elder King's absence is the first sign.)
HERBAL DRAUGHTS (her draughts are teas, steeped in a gourd) - 5 PP each - quickness, boost/lower trait, armor
Quarterstaff (1D6+1D4 Damage, Parry+1, Reach 1), Gambeson (+1 armor to torso, arms, and legs), Errantry Kit, Hearth Bread, Hatchet, Herbalist's Kettle, Sling (2D4 Damage), Antlered Cowl (as a cap helm)

The 7 Errants are a fellowship of heroic martial artists and wanderers for Eli Kurtz' Blackwood setting - a mash-up of Wuxia action and frontier fairy tales. You can find the book for sale here and a free quick start bundle here

Blackwood: Dust, the Night's Own Child

Hailing from the far edge of the Elder Kingdom, Dust has come a long way. Falling in with Cannibal Ox and company in to Walk the Margin. Their companions do know their mother was also Elfmarked, and rumored to dabble in witchcraft. They've also learned that you don't ask about their past because once they start talking about home, they won't stop. You would think all the abuse and bullying at the hands of peers would dampen Dust's spirit, instead it seems to have had the opposite effect.

CULTURE - Elfmarked - The circumstances of Dust's birth is the seed of local gossip and stories in their hometown. Their dull, black eyes and fuzzy antennae betray otherworldly parentage. Dust gains +5 PP for Arcane Background (Elfpact) and -2 Cha from stigmatized appearance.
BADGE OF ERRANTRY - A headband given to them by their mother before leaving home. Keeps the antennae out of their eyes.
RANK - Seasoned
STATS - Strength D4 Agility D8 Vigor D6 Smarts D6 Spirit D8
SKILLS - Fighting D8  Investigation D10 Notice D6 Knowledge (Elves) D6 Pact D10 Stealth D6 
EDGES - Arcane Background (Elfpact), Beast Sight (Moth eyes provide low light vision), Leaf Step 
HINDRANCES - , Enchanted (Minor, When the moon is full Dust transformed into an eclipse of various moths), Emotional (Kindness) (Major, Dust is moved to provide succor and kindness that they've hardly experienced.), Big Mouth (Minor, Naive and quick to trust.)
ELF POWERS - 20 PP - blast (a powerful gust), confusion (hallucinogenic pollen)
A Flintbladed Hatchet (1D4+1D6 Damage, Thrown), Gambeson (+1 armor to torso, arms, and legs), Elf Totem x2, Errantry Kit, Hearth Bread x3

The 7 Errants are a fellowship of heroic martial artists and wanderers for Eli Kurtz' Blackwood setting - a mash-up of Wuxia action and frontier fairy tales. You can find the book for sale here and a free quick start bundle here

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Blackwood: Jacek Brandt (Cannibal Ox)

Nothing spoke to young Jacek like the folkstories and dime novels of Errants on the Margin. Every caravan that made its way to the big city of Span, there was always more stories to pore over and memorize. More daydreams and fantasies for the giant Jacek to act out, more topiaries to shatter with a sloppy imitation Elder King's Palm. Once he was old enough to leave, he left home to make his delusions reality. Unfortunately the stories never provided instruction on where to start. So he faked it until he made it, leaning on his impressive size and the moniker "Cannibal Ox" he earned a fearsome reputation that is largely bluster. Lady Iron took pity on him and trained him in the Tortoise School before cutting him loose.

CULTURE - Riverfolk - Growing up on the move from city to city afforded Jacek a taste for the wider world. And taste everything he did. Jacek starts with Persuasion D6 and the Brawny Edge as well as the Mischievous hindrance.
BADGE OF ERRANTRY - A drinking vessel carved from an auroch's horn.
RANK - Seasoned
STATS - Strength D6 Agility D8 Vigor D12 Smarts D4 Spirit D6
SKILLS - Athletics D6 Fighting D6 Intimidate D10 Knowledge (Battle) D6 Notice D6 Persuasion D8
EDGES - Aspiring and Worthy Student (Tortoise School), Brawny (Cannibal Ox is a big boy)
HINDRANCES - Mischievous (Minor, Jacek doesn't like to break character, even when it makes things worse.), Overconfident (Major, There's nothing Cannibal Ox can't or won't do!), Pacifist (Minor, you can make a principled argument for nonviolence. Cannibal Ox quails at the sight of blood.), Vow (Minor, Jacek is quick to swear himself to right wrongs.)
3 Section Staff (2D6 Damage, Parry+1, Reach 1), Gambeson (+1 armor to torso, arms, and legs), Errantry Kit, Hearth Bread x2, Hachet, $145 set aside for a Treasure Map.

The 7 Errants are a fellowship of heroic martial artists and wanderers for Eli Kurtz' Blackwood setting - a mash-up of Wuxia action and frontier fairy tales. You can find the book for sale here and a free quick start bundle here

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Redwood Mystery Machine

My long running podcast ended earlier this year and we've decided to keep playing Monster of the Week. We're in the same setting but jumping from the Deep South in the Great Depression to Northern California in the late 90's. Most of the preparation for Tumbleson was done via a D6,6 table providing the sorts of rumor and gossip that permeate small towns wherever the grass grows. I put this together for Shasta, California.

1,1 - Strangers - The Park houses a large population of drifters and vagrants, so be careful when you're camping. Don't leave anything out or it'll walk off. And pack table salt. A line at the door to your tent should suffice.
1,2 - Medical trials - The local Church is heavily involved with the local medical practices, funding many of them directly. Especially the Urgent Care and free clinics. However, if you ever need a little money, you can always go to the Hospital and participate in some medical trials. They take a bunch of neurology readings and stuff. I heard Dr. Alder at the college is also offering money for some other ... stuff.
1,3 - Sleepwalking - Speaking of Dr. Alder, has your sister been sleeping alright? My nephew was in his class and stayed late for extra credit. Ever since then he walks and talks in his sleep, talking to things that aren't there. Could he still be in Il Regno Delle Fate? Should've out grown it by now.
1,4 - Missing children - There's been a rash of child kidnappings. Unfortunately the sheriff can't be bothered with it. Just a bunch of poor kids out in the trailer parks, far from the touristy spots. If some out-of-towner was snatched he'd give a shit.

1,5 - Suspicious circumstances - Three bodies washed up in a creek deep in the park. They were all young Klamath women, which explains why it wasn't really reported. Coroner said they died from drowning. 

1,6 - Enchanted motel - When you're driving late at night on those two lane roads, wending through the trees, you might see a neon sign for a motel you don't remember. It's safe to sleep there if you need to. Just heed the sign and don't eat anything. Even the mints on the front desk.
2,2 - The old junk shop - You know the junk shop with the "?" sign? That's the "Mysterium" it's where everyone's old crap ends up. Ran by Zach Ketchum. A lot of weird shit ends up there too. Unlike Gold Diggers Pawn, Zach puts it all up on the shelf for sale. Usually has a yarn to got with it.
 2,3 - Ritual murder - Valeria Magnani was hard to get along with. But she didn't deserve to die like she did. It must've taken a long time, having her face split up like a flower and her eyes cut out. I heard she was close to one of the MCs. Maybe a gang killing?
2,4 - Slaughtered family - You remember last summer when the Tillinghasts went missing? Turns out they were killed about a half mile into the woods from that rest stop. Never did catch the killer.

2,5 - Wisemen - The Town was founded by Italians who've "gone native." That's why everything waxes Americana too thick. The past 30 years have been marked by East Coast wiseguys "Going West" into retirement. Those idle hands end up doing a lot of "community work" for the local Church, dedicated to St. Clare of Assisi.
2,6 - Pill mill - If you're hurting, just see Dr. Ricci. He'll get you the medicine you need. Since Valeria's murder, he's the only person I'd trust. He won't take money, instead he'll want favors. Last time my brother needed some painkillers, we took a package out to the prison for Kim Yancy.

3,3 - Crossroads - You know the local record shop? Yeah, "Holy Mountain". Warburton's kid runs it, and he's really turned around musically. Gossip's he went down to the crossroads and bartered with a Fell Power, sealing the deal with a fluid exchange. But that's just superstitious nonsense.
3,4 - The Gentry - If you came for the golf, you're in for disappointment. The local country club keeps odd hours, a stable full of horses, and the grounds are unkempt. Nothing weird about that at all.
3,5 - Motorcycle clubs - Something about the woods draws the rootless. Jim Jones, the hippies, etc. The Town used to have a bunch of small motorcycle "cliques", calling them clubs would oversell them. Recently two large outlaw clubs moved in - the Shaggy Men and the Mountain Devils. Venomous rivals, if you've got a bike they'll patch you in for whatever rumble is sure to happen.
3,6 - The covered bridge - I hope the old bridge get's taken down soon. the road feeding it has  been blocked for a decade. Fool kids playing out there are liable to get hurt. 

4,4 - Bigfoot hunters - Everyone's heard those stories of folks going missing in state parks. The Park and the Mountain are a bit different. A couple of yahoos have moved in to the Trailer Park, hunting "Bigfoot". They've got tunnel vision- eyes only for Sasquatch. I hope they don't stumble across the Market.
4,5 - Silly games - You ever wonder how ideas spread among kids? You know; insults, jokes, nursery rhymes, and other odds 'n ends. Especially playground games. The kids around Town have been playing the same game of pretend for the past decade. Even kids who just moved in get into it. The call it "The Matter" and there's prescribed role and motivations. Whoever plays the monster is called "Talpa" and wants to pluck out the maiden's eyes.
4,6 - Star crossed lovers - The Rosettis and the Lastregas have bad blood since their fathers' time back East. I heard they buried the hatchet last year but, with Ray L making eyes at Jerry R, I don't think the patriarchs will leave it alone.

5,5 - Dreamlands - Did you know that Spanish cartographers drew California as a massive island? I think the Mountain remembers that as truth. Spend too many nights up there and you'll dream of an Old World Eden. It's a strange place. Clings to you even after you leave. The old families call it "Il Regno Delle Fate". 
5,6 - Mystery cult - It's an open secret around here that "the Church" isn't some extension of larger Catholicism. It's a syncretic mix of folk beliefs and New Age hippie stuff. They hold their doors open, but only members who meet various esoteric requirements are initiated into the greater mysteries. I know couples who were struggling to have kids were blessed with kids not long after joining. 
6,6 - Roll twice. 

Sounds like - Dragonaut by Sleep off the Album: Holy Mountain

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Borchardbriar 5 Adventures

Infiltration - Underdim Union Hall - A bound Chimera - Additional target is a gang of poachers
Unoccupied since the Underdim Union was broken, the old building has new life after nightfall. Seems a gang of poachers captured a Chimera and they're using her to run blood sports a couple nights each week. Otherwise they're selling snakebite under the table. Chimeras can be powerful, though dangerous, allies.

Sowing unrest - Ms. Kitty's - Civilian authorities that support Reynard - Target didn't show
The Cell is camped out in the back rooms of Ms. Kitty's, waiting to confront members of Clowdertown's government that support Reynard. After some close calls and recruiting among the staff and clientele, the targets don't show up. Were they tipped off?

Surveillance - This Old Chestnut - A cotorie of childthieves - Something equally pressing has come up - assassination of a foul sorcerer.
This Old Chestnut is a mob bar, everyone knows that. Now it's also quartering a kidnapping ring. They're running a sophisticated scheme, they snatch some kiddos and a "private finder" reaches out to them once their grief goes public. Extorting the parents while the kit is off to Borchardbriar in chains. The night the Cell moves into position, they hear an occultist is performing a ritual at a nearby cemetery/burnt out church/orphanage/place of woe. This may be the only chance to bring him down. Do they split the party?

Delivery - Leaky Moon Distillery - A criminal gang - The cell gets ambushed by a third party
The illegal trade in snakebite lays the bedrock for other illicit hustles across the Land. What's a Moon Market without some hooch? This is supposed to be a milk run, the cell is picking up some old barrels from the Leaky Moon Distillery and delivering them to Little Bobo, a backwoods distiller. Counterfeiting provenance is a pretty victim less crime. The trouble starts when local crook Maeve and her crew burgle the Distillery and aren't particularly keen on witnesses.

Criminal activity - The Ingot - an infamous Wyldbreaker - They've been double-crossed by someone in the cell
Power collects power, the fundamental truth of Stonebones. Just as Sunny Burrows solidified its place as a locus of the rich and elderly, the Ingot is the dark, angry mirror. Superficially resembling a Roden juke joint, it's the defacto meeting place for a conspiracy of embittered Ironheirs. The Badgers have scraped together enough coin to attract the infamous Barbaro Grindstone to the city. You goal? Slip into the back room and stash a nest of inkbeetles to find out their next move. They'll transcribe whatever sounds they pick up so you've gotta be careful. Too loud and you'll get a ton of useless scribbling. Too quiet and they won't get anything.