Fellowship: Kickstarter Preview by Mors Rattus
IntroOriginal SA post
But Mors, you say, weren't you still doing the Warmachine/Hordes stuff and just stopped for a while-
Yes! Yes I am. But I can do that any time! Fellowship can only be done now because I have to convince you, the reader, to back the Kickstarter of Fellowship, written by fellow goon gnome7!
All potential orcs.
Fellowship is a game about a team of heroes, working together to vanquish a great evil. It is about doing good and improving the world. It is dangerous, but it is also wonderful, as the titular fellowship (that is, the party) fights the forces of the Overlord. Fellowship runs on the Apocalypse Engine, similar to Monsterhearts or Apocalypse World, but with its own take on things. It uses a mechanic called the Spotlight to keep things moving.
The Overlord (who is played by what in other games might be the GM) decides who has the Spotlight when a scene starts, and that person gets to lead what's going on. They can pass the Spotlight on as they like - but if their actions put them in danger, they lose the Spotlight immediately and the Overlord chooses who gets it. The Overlord controls how the world reacts to the fellowship and their actions, too.
Scenes come in a few types. A Long Journey is a common scene, in which every player gets to tell about an event that happened on the way, which the Overlord may frame or influence the setting of, and then another player gets to tell how they handled that event, with as much or as little detail as people feel is needed. The Overlord also gets a turn, to describe an event related to them or their minions directly and to tell everyone what the Overlord is up to right now. Once all that's done, the party reaches its destination.
A Little Downtime is usually once you've gotten to a city or town and have some time to hang out. Everyone gets to tell about one thing they did while there, and the Overlord will ask questions about it. This can go around as long as you like, but after every cycle, the Overlord gets to talk about the preparations they're making, so don't take too long!
A Proper Challenge is when the fellowship is trying to achieve some short-term goal. Everyone works together to set the scene, and new scenes continue until the Challenge is overcome. Most of the time, a Challenge is about earning the Fellowship of a community. Whenever you reach a community, they'll have some trouble, generally Overlord-related, which must be solved. The Challenge is to figure out how to fix things and then doing it. The first scene is almost always planning, after which scenes are about setting the plan in motion and carrying it out. A Challenge lasts either until it's resolved or is unresolvable.
The Showdown, however, is an interruption. It can happen no matter what's going on, and when it does, the Overlord or one of their Generals makes a personal appearance, or a Source of Power is discovered. The plot is now about this, with all old plot threads centering around the Showdown now. The new threat is asserted, the Overlord or General makes a show of power and the fellowship has to drop everything to deal with this new problem. If they're not around, a Source of Power on its own is still going to be equally dramatic and dangerous. The fellowship must be placed in danger requiring immediate action, in an extended and dramatic scene full of danger. The scene won't end until it's dealt with - or the fellowship runs away. A Showdown should always be dangerous, thrilling and climactic.
Next time: Agendas, Principles and Moves.
Look at the pretty art!Original SA post Fellowship: Look at the pretty art!
Agendas are your guidelines on how to act. The fellowship as a whole has three, and each playbook offers a choice for a fourth for the player. When you aren't sure what to do, your agendas will show you. Principles are your rules. Don't break 'em. And moves? They're what you do. Standard Apocalypse Engine stuff.
The fellowship has three Agendas that all of the members share:
Improve the World Around You: The fellowship exists to save the world. They do what they can with what they have. As long as they're doing what they feel is right, they're keeping to this agenda. If the other players disagree with the methods, that's okay. Stick to your guns on how you feel the world should be improved - but don't be a stubborn mule about everything. Just, don't be a doormat, either. Negotiate, and if you have to, compromise. Act like a team.
Tell Us Of Your People: You are the arbiter of your people's culture, lore and place in the world. When you play the Elf, you speak for all Elves. Represent them! Tell everyone else about them and bring their interests to the fore. Don't forget where you came from.
- Be Brave, Take Risks: Adventures aren't boring. They're dangerous, and sometimes they go wrong and someone gets hurt. That's fine. Don't be afraid of the consequences. Do dangerous things. Take risks and deal with them. Don't be afraid to suffer if it'll be interesting. And hey, maybe it'll pay off!
They have ten Principles.
Be heroic. The fellowship is good guys. If you want to play the asshole ruining things, that's the Overlord's job. The fellowship should be seeking out heroic things to do and being heroes.
Create solutions, not problems. There's enough bad things going on in the world - don't add to it. That's the Overlord's job! You don't have to solve every problem you face - some might not even be solvable, or might be better ignored if you have other options. You can call for help, too, if you need it. But at the end of the day? Fix things. Sometimes stuff will get worse because of your solutions, but that's not your goal. Don't create problems on purpose.
Address the characters, not the players. Your buddy over there? That's Bungo Bullroarer, not Nate.
Embrace the fantastic. If something sounds silly or implausible, ask yourself if the world would be cooler if it was plausible. Is the answer yes? It's plausible! Don't get bogged down by physics or realism. If you're the Elf and you decide Elves are time travellers from the future? That's fine.
Make a move that follows. You can only make Moves that make sense for the situation, and to do the move, you have to take actions that make sense for it. Tell what you're doing to trigger the move, then roll the move.
Remind us of your moves. It's not always clear what move you're trying to make in a situation - so you should definitely say which one it is, once you do the fictional thing necessary to make it. Remind everyone what choice you made, if a move gives multiple choices...and if there are consequences for not choosing the ones you didn't, mention them.
Always ask questions. Always answer questions. If you don't know something, ask. Not just on rules - if you want to know more about the Heir or their people, ask them! If you want to know more about the situation, ask the Overlord! If someone asks you a question about yourself or your people, answer them. If you don't know, make something up. It's true now. If you can't come up with anything good, you can ask the table for ideas, but your word is final on your people!
Begin and end with the fiction. Describe what you're doing and adapt to the world around you - the moves are important, but the fiction is moreso. Begin with what you do, figure out what changed.
Don't steal the spotlight... When someone else is doing something, let them do it. Don't interrupt or take over. Don't get in their way, don't make suggestions unless they ask. Let them play their character. Do feel free to speak up if someone hasn't had the spotlight in a while, though. Everyone deserves a chance at it!
- ...But shine on when you have it. when you have the spotlight, use it. Do something cool. It doesn't matter what. Just do a thing .
And six basic Moves!
Overcome is used when you're trying to circumvent, avoid or survive a threat. It uses different stats depending on how you do it. (No, we haven't discussed what the stats are yet. We'll get there.) When you:
Draw on your pride, rage, passion or innate talents of your people, you use +Blood.\
Use luck, tenacity or virtue to survive, you use +Courage.
Use skill, talent, artistry, speed or grace, you use +Grace.
Use planning, rational thought, taking advantage of the terrain or relying on your senses, you use +Sense.
Draw on past experiences, use your words, wait for the right time or act calmly and reasonably, use +Wisdom.
- Rely on a Companion's help or skills, use +Bonds.
Finish Them is used when you attempt to defeat an enemy you hold an advantage over. It uses +Blood, and can only be used if you have an advantage - the element of surprise, a distraction, a good plan, teamwork, the right thing for the job, whatever gives you an advantage. On a 10+, you destroy them and tell us how. On a 7-9, you damage a stat that makes sense and lose your advantage. If an ally was Keeping Them Busy, they aren't any more. On a 6-, you lose your advantage and must face retaliation.
Also, if you Finish Them with a weapon that has ammo, you use 1 Ammo.
Get Away is used when you need to get out of reach or out of sight, and uses +Grace. You say where you're going, and on a 10+, pick two. On a 7-9, pick one:
You get there quickly, avoiding any harm along the way.
You get there quietly, drawing no attention.
- You grab someone nearby and bring them along with you.
Keep Them Busy is used when you act as a distraction or buy time, and uses +Courage. On a 10+, you buy as much time as needed and keep all their attention. On a 7-9, you can only stall a short time, abd they'll retaliate when that time is up.
Also, if you do it with a weapon that has ammo, you use 1 Ammo.
Look Closely is used to examine a situation or location, and uses +Sense. On a 10+, ask three questions. On a 7-9, ask 1. When you act on the answers, you get +1 on the first roll to do so.
What is going on right now?
What is going to happen next?
What here is useful or valuable to me?
What here is a threat or danger to me?
- What here is not what it appears to be?
Speak Softly is used to have a quiet chat with someone not in the fellowship, and uses +Wisdom. On a 10+, ask three questions. On a 7-9, ask 1. When you act on the answers, you get +1 on the first roll to do so.
What do they want from me or my friends?
What are they trying to hide?
How are they useful or valuable to me?
What should I be wary of when dealing with them?
- What are they going to do next?
Talk Sense is used when you make a strong argument to someone and uses +Sense or +wisdom. You say what you want from them, and a strong argument is one they can't ignore because it's hard to deny, exactly what they want to hear or strikes at something they hold dear. On a 7+, you need to make a promise, which they'll tell you, and they'll do it. On a 7-9, however, a promise isn't enough - you must also pay a price, here and now.
Next time: Special Moves!
Make friends and influence people!Original SA post Fellowship: Make friends and influence people!
There's several special moves, some of which just codify in rules things we've already talked about :
Command Lore : When someone asks something about your character or your people, tell them. When you ask about another character or their people, they will tell you the answer. When you ask about the Overlord, they alone may choose not to answer.
Earning Fellowship : Fellowship earned through action. When you have spent some time getting a feel for a community and speaking with the people in it, the Overlord will tell you what this community needs, what they are lacking, or how the Overlord has harmed them. If you can solve this problem, you will earn their respect, their admiration and their Fellowship.
When you have earned Fellowship with a community, no matter how you earned it, the Overlord will ask you to pick one of 3 Fellowship moves. The player who picks the move is either the one most aligned to the community or the one who played the largest role in earning their Fellowship. The move you pick applies as long as you keep Fellowship with that community. Fellowship is lost if you betray them, or if you revoke their Fellowship for some reason, or if the Overlord destroys the community.
Forge a Bond : When you bond with someone over something you did or shared together, record a new Bond on your sheet, describing the connection you two now hold. A Bond is a single sentence describing how you feel about them or what you two have done together. If you already had a Bond with them, you can add another Bond, or rewrite an existing one. You can never have more than three Bonds with someone.
If you forge a Bond with someone outside the fellowship, they will join your cause as a Companion, so long as the Bond holds. You can always give something Precious to a Companion to forge another Bond with them.
The Bonds That Bind Us : When you work with another player in a way that fits a Bond each of you has with the other, you are filled with Hope during your roll. Be sure to tell us how they were helping you, or how you are helping them. When you are working together with someone you have a Bond with and they must pay a price, you may pay that price for them.
The Bonds That Break Us : When you bring harm to someone you have a Bond with (their call) and they let you know it, they remove one of their Bonds with them and you are in Despair for your next roll.
Pay The Price : When a move tells you to pay a price, tell us what it will cost you. A price you pay can be in the form of taking damage, or losing some equipment, or Using some equipment, or losing an advantage, or suffering a setback of some kind. Whatever the cost, you must pay that price immediately.
Fill Your Belly : Food's important! When you are between scenes, you may Use Food to heal one damage. When you share a meal with friends, one person may heal an extra point of damage.
End of Session : At the end of each session, answer three questions:
Did we gain the Fellowship of a new community, or protect a community whose Fellowship we already had?
Did we strike a blow against the Overlord and their minions?
- Were we heroes?
Restore up to 2 Uses of Gear among the group.
Heal up to 2 damage among the group.
- The Fellowship and the Overlord each choose one player to level up. You can't be chosen to level up if you are the highest level player, but if at least two players are tied for highest, anyone can level up. (The Overlord is a player, btw.)
Recover : When you gain Fellowship with a community and spend at least a day recovering there, remove all damage from all of your stats. You also restock all of your Gear. Damaged weapons and armor are repaired, lost equipment is replaced, lost companions find their way back to you, and used up equipment is returned to full. If the Overlord has any damage, they heal one damage now. You can only Recover from a given community once.
Sharing Moves : When an advancement option tells you to share a move, choose a move you already know. The player giving the move always chooses what move is shared. The player you are sharing that move with gains that move and can use it from now on. You can't share a move you don't know, even if it's from your playbook. You can't share a move that says it can't be shared. You can't share a move from a Destiny playbook.
Damage and Healing : When you take damage, either by making a move or paying a price, choose a stat and mark it. Sometimes you won't get a choice, and a stat will be damaged for you. While a stat is damaged, you are in Despair whenever you roll that stat. You can't mark a stat that's already marked. When you heal, remove a mark from of your stats. When you take damage while all your stats are already marked, you are Taken Out.
Taken Out : When all your stats are damaged and you take further damage, you are Taken Out and no longer able to help out for the rest of the scene. Tell us how you got Taken Out. What happened to you? What is going to happen to you next? Can the fellowship save you from your fate? If so, how?
If you decide you're dying, describe Death for us. As a hero, your soul is valuable - what does Death offer you in exchange for your life? Do you take their offer? If you do, you are most certainly dead.
If you are Taken Out in the presence of the Overlord, they will make you An Offer You Can't Refuse. They may ask for services, for something you hold dear, or for the end of your life. You can take it or leave it, but if you refuse, you must roll +Courage.
If you survive being Taken Out, you will be able to continue play starting with the next scene, with all of your stats still damaged.
Next time: Stats!
Oh hey I spotted my first typo!Original SA post Fellowship: Oh hey I spotted my first typo!
You have five stats: Blood, Courage, Grace, Sense and Wisdom. They range from -1 at minimum to +3 at maximum. Blood represents your strength, toughness, bloodlust and connection to your people. It's used for physical strength, combat skill and ability to harm others. Courage is your inner strength, tenacity and soul, used to tell how long you can stare down death and keep going no matter how bad it gets, as well as to inspire others and stand up for what matters. Grace is your style, skill, artistry and beauty. It's used when you want to look good, keep cool, be acrobatic, make things or show off. Sense is your wit, etiquette, logic and senses. It's used to keep track of the world around you, analyze it and reason things out. Wisdom is your knowledge, experience, tact and cultural relations. It's all about knowing the right time to act, making friends and getting what you want without pissing people off.
You can also gain secondary stats! Hope is gained in some situations. When you have Hope, you roll three dice and take the top two instead of just rolling two dice. Its opposite is Despair - roll three dice, take the lowest two. No matter how many sources give you Hope or Despair, they don't stack. If you have both, no matter how many sources give you either, they cancel out and you roll normally.
Bonds are also a stat, discussed above. Bonds with PCs and Companions are used to measure respect and trust. When a Companion is damaged and has no stats that aren't damaged, someone loses a Bond with them. If there are no more Bonds to lose, the Companion will leave you. Bonds with the enemy are the opposite. They can cause Despair or be used to put you in danger or harm your other Bonds. You usually only get Bonds with the enemy when they're forced on you by the Overlord and their minions.
Companions are friends and allies recruited to the fellowship. They aren't all people - they can be mounts, animal pets or vehicles! While you have one, all of their stats are available to you, and you can use their stats by damaging them. An Elven Archer, for example, has Perfect Shot. You can damage that at any time to have them do something helpful with a perfect shot, like tripping an enemy or blocking an attack. When you are working alongside a Companion you have Bonds with, you can always have them take damage in your place when you would take damage. If they do when all their stats are already damaged, though, you must erase a Bond with them. If they have no Bonds left, they leave - they might die or give up or whatever. Your Bonds are all that keep them going.
Companions that are in Despair can't use their stats, can't take damage for you and can't help you. Only the heroes of the fellowship, the PCs, can fight through Despair. Companions, however, are only put in Despair by effects that say so, not by damage. Every playbook can take Companions as gear. They can still be lost forever if you lose all Bonds with them. If this happens, when you next Recover, you choose: either you gain a new Companion with the same abilities, or you get a new Companion from the same Gear option.
Gear is not just stuff you have - it's the equipment that's vital to you and your cause. Every time you Recover, so does all your Gear, just like it was when you got it. You get all uses back, any damaged or lost Gear is fixed, any Companions that are Gear get healed up, returned to you or replaced. None of this applies to stuff you get on the journey that isn't Gear.
Weapons have Range tags - Melee, Ranged and Area. Pretty obvious! Melee can only be used in melee, while Ranged are dangerous to use when in melee range. Area weapons tend to be magical or explosive. Items can also have tags:
Clumsy: A Clumsy item is hard to use. If it's a weapon, -1 to using it unless you have proper training. If it's armor, -1 to Get Away.
Dangerous: This item can cause problems. When you use it without careful prep, there are always consequences - collateral damage, usually, or personal misfortune. Sometimes this is acceptable.
Dwarf-Made: This item is nearly indestructible, able only to be destroyed by dragonfire or the secrets known only by the dwarves.
Elf-Made: This item does not suffer the ravages of time. In addition, anyone holding it that is not an elf or an elf-friend will be burned, forcing them to drop it.
Necrotic: Any attacks with this item do not heal naturally. When a Necrotic attack causes damage, mark it twice. When you Recover, you don't heal a Necrotic wound - it needs either magic or medicinal healing. When you heal a Necrotic wound, remove the Necrotic mark, but leave the damage - it'll heal naturally from there. Any Companions or foes dealt Necrotic damage are in Despair until healed, and cannot help or harm you.
Orc-Made: This item is Clumsy unless wielded by an orc, and ugly to all but orcs.
Piercing: Armor can't be used against this item.
Reload: After you attack with this item, you can't use it again until you get a safe moment to reload it. Usually, this won't have limited Ammo, though!
- Thrown: When you attack at range with this item, you can't use it again until it's retrieved.
Some items have a set number of Uses - they'll say how many. Usually, you must Use them to get access to a unique ability. Once an item's out of Uses, it's out until you Recover or use another move to get some back.
Ammo: Some ranged weapons have ammo. It's an abstraction - you can use the weapon as much as you like if you still have Ammo, but whenever you Keep Them Busy or Finish Them with the weapon, reduce the Ammo by 1. Overcoming never costs Ammo unless that's the price you must pay. If you have 0 Ammo, you can't use the weapon until it gets refilled.
Armor: When you take damage, you can spend a Use of Armor to negate that damage.
Drunk: When this item is used, it leaves you intoxicated for the rest of the scene. The tag will list one or two stats. When you roll those stats while Drunk, you are in Despair. If you Fill Your Belly with an item that makes you Drunk, you are Drunk in the next scene after eating.
Food: It's edible! To Fill Your Belly, you need Food.
Healing: It has healing properties. You can Use it to heal 1 damage to someone.
Precious: It's expensive and rare! When you offer a Precious item to someone, you can Talk Sense as if you had a reasonable argument. When you give something Precious to a Companion, you immediately Forge a Bond with them.
Slow: This item takes a long time to use, so you can't usually do it under pressure.
Useful: This represents a collection of items. When Used, it produces something helpful for the situation, limited by whatever the item is - Tunneling Gear, for example, can only produce tools and items related to tunneling, like torches or pickaxes or helmets.
- Vigor: The opposite of Drunk. It will list one or two stats, and when you Use this item, you are filled with Hope when you roll those stats for the rest of the scene.
peep those elves
Next time: The Dwarf Playbook
BY GRABTHAR'S HAMMER!Original SA post Fellowship: BY GRABTHAR'S HAMMER!
The Dwarf is tough. Really tough. Dwarves are always tough - the most solid, grounded people. The Dwarf is a defender, who can clear through any path and keep on going no matter what. They can take anything, outlast anything, and the only problem? Well, dwarves are often very greedy, too. Dwarves also get a unique stat: Iron , which they get at +2.
The Dwarf picks one of:
Insatiable Greed: Take for yourself that which was meant for others.
The Dwarven Craft: Create, restore, or protect something of lasting value.
- The Honored Word: Keep your word in all things, and punish the liars and oath-breakers.
All Dwarves get the following Moves:
People of Stone
You have a sixth stat, Iron, and an additional +1 to assign between your other stats. Iron represents your dwarven toughness - your armor, survivability, grit, iron gut and stubbornness. When you Overcome by taking it on the chin, shrugging something off or using pure physicall toughness, roll +Iron.
When you share this move with another, their Iron stat is +1.
When you Fill your Belly, you also heal your Iron stat.
Clear the Path
When you charge through something standing between you and where you're going, roll +Iron. On a 7+, you charge through and leave a path for your allies to follow. On a 7-9, your reckless charge causes problems. You have to go alone, or you leave yourself open to danger, or you damage something important, your choice.
What is a Dwarf?
The Dwarf chooses one of the following to represent their people:
Deepdelve: Your people dig deeper than any others, and the secrets of the earth are yours. You can see in total darkness without a problem, and your armor is born of the secrets that can only be found deep underground. Add a Secret (2 Uses) to your Gear. You can Use your secret to Look Closely as if you rolled a 10+, or to provide a strong argument to Talk Sense with, so long as you whisper it into their ear.
Firebeard: Your people lead a war-like life, with a long history of bloodshed and tragedy. Your armor has seen many battles, and it has seen you through all of them. When you fight an enemy one on one, you can take 1 damage to Finish Them without an advantage.
Ironblast: Your people are madcap inventors and chemists, known throughout the world for their wondrous and dangerous creations. Your armor is of unusual design, with many bits and pieces that serve no obvious purpose. Add Various Explosive Devices (3 Uses, Dangerous) to your gear. You can Use your explosives to create an explosion, wherever you need it, as long as you could have conceivably planted them ahead of time.
- Stoneborn: Your kin have more in common with the earth and stone than they do with flesh and blood. Your armor is your bare skin, solid as stone. When you stand on solid ground, you cannot be knocked off your feet or moved unless you want to be, and you can stop anything trying to get past you by Keeping Them Busy with +Iron.
The Dwarf gets dwarven hardtack (food, 5 uses), and some kind of solid protection they describe (1 use, Armor). They also get one of:
A fine axe, gilded and engraved (Melee, Dwarf-Made)
A heavy hammer, stamped with the seal of a master smith (Melee, Dwarf-Made)
A simple mace, plain but functional (Melee, Dwarf-Made)
- Your fists, harder than any stone (Melee, Dwarf-Made)
Gunpowder! You have a rifle (Ranged, Reload, Dwarf-Made)
Access to a rare or strange material of your choosing. You wear heavy armor made of the stuff (2 uses, Armor, Clumsy)
- Strong alcohol. You carry a small keg of dwarven stout (2 uses, Food (only for Dwarves), Drunk: Wisdom+Sense, Vigor: Blood+Courage)
Tunneler's Gear (2 uses, Useful, Dwarf-Made)
Craftsman's Tools (2 uses, Useful, Dwarf-Made)
- A bag of gems or gold (2 uses, Precious)
A dwarven defender or berserker. You have one Bond with them.
A dwarven gunner or blacksmith. You have one Bond with them.
A dwarven tunneler or The Guzzler. You have one Bond with it.
- Dwarven stout (2 uses, Food (only for Dwarves), Drunk: Wisdom+Sense, Vigor: Blood+Courage)
The first thing you ever crafted, badly-worn but still in one piece (1 use). When you hold it in your hands and admire it, Use it. You are filled with Hope for your next roll.
A family heirloom, none like it in the world (1 use). When you ask your ancestors for guidance on a topic, Use it. You may Command Lore about that topic for the rest of the scene as if it were part of your culture.
- A symbol of peace, trust or power between the dwarves and another civilization. Choose another player - you have an Unbreakable Bond with them. Write it now. Nothing can undo this Bond you share with them.
The Dwarf starts with 4 initial Bonds with the Fellowship. Suggestions:
I owe ______ a life debt.
______ knows my secret shame.
I would shear my beard for _______.
________'s forefathers and mine knew one another.
The Dwarf also selects two Dwarven Customs:
All That Glitters...
When you enter a place and something isn't right, you may ask the Overlord if there is a trap or ambush here. They will answer honestly, yes or no.
Your people are famous for their ability to dig quickly and safely. You can Clear the Path right through earth and stone, digging out a tunnel anyone can use. It takes some time, but not as long as anyone else would expect it to.
You can speak to the stones and hear the words of the mountains. When you Look Closely at an area with natural or worked stone, you may also ask, "What secrets has this earth seen?", regardless of your roll.
Good for What Ales You
When you use an item with the Drunk tag, act as though it had the Healing tag instead.
Greed Is Good
when you desire a treasure or valuable item you have seen or heard of, you may declare it the object of your greed. When you act directly to secure the object of your greed for yourself, you are filled with Hope. You cannot choose a new object of your greed until you have acquired your current one, or it becomes unobtainable.
You are not fully dwarven. Gain a Core move from any basic playbook. You may also gain an Agenda from the chosen playbook.
This move cannot be shared.
Let Me See That
When you take a few moments to handle or examine an interesting item, vehicle, or architecture, ask the Overlord two of the following questions. They must answer truthfully.
Who made this and why should I care about them?
What was this made to do, and how do I use it or break it?
- What's wrong with this, and how might I fix it?
When you let out a roar of challenge, tell us who you are challenging and roll +Blood. On a 7+, they accept, approaching you for battle and dropping whatever they were doing. On a 10+, they don't bring any backup with them.
When you get Fellowship with a Dwarven community, the game suggests the following possible Fellowship moves:
When you leave this community, two Dwarven Defenders come with you. Two members of the Fellowship each gain one Bond with one of the Defenders.
The Fellowship is taught the ways of being tough and strong. Everyone in the Fellowship gains the Iron stat at +1, if they do not already have it.
You have been given access to the vast underground network of dwarven mining tunnels, and you can use the minecarts in them to rapidly reach other dwarven settlements, or any other settlement the dwarves are particularly friendly with.
Weapons, armor and alcohol you purchase here cost you nothing, no matter how much you need. Each player adds one of the following as Gear:
A fine dwarven weapon, made just for you (Melee, Dwarf-Made)
Heavy armor of stone or iron (2 uses, Armor, Clumsy)
- Dwarven Stout (2 uses, Food (only for Dwarves), Drunk: Wisdom+Sense, Vigor: Blood+Courage)
Our Forge Is Your Forge
The dwarves here will replace or reforge as many of your weapons or vehicles as you like. All such items in any players' Gear gain the Dwarf-Made tag, making them effectively indestructible.
The Secret To Success
The dwarves were hiding a special project down here. And even if it isn't entirely complete yet, there is no one better to give it to than you. You are given a Powersuit.
The Guzzler, btw? It's an experimental mechanical car that runs on beer.
Next time: ELVES!
The prettiest elfs!Original SA post Fellowship: The prettiest elfs!
The Elf is graceful and perfect. Elves, universally, are more than able to dance around their foes, show them up and be cool and flashy. The Elf is stylish and mysterious and magical, and often quite arrogant. All Elves get Grace +2.
Choose one of:
Elven Superiority: It is your duty to protect the lesser creatures.
Eternal Patience: Play the long game. You have all the time in the world, act like it.
- Perfect Purity: Harm those who would defile the sanctity of elven lands and elven works.
All Elves get the following moves:
When you draw upon the eleven power that humans sometimes call magic, choose a spell from below, then mark it. You cannot use a spell while it is marked. When you Fill Your Belly, remove a mark from one spell. When you Recover, remove all marks on your spells.
Camouflage: Become invisible and undetectable. This lasts until you attack or decide to make yourself known.
Keen Senses: Ask a single question about your surroundings, and immediately receive a truthful answer.
Sense Magic: Immediately know what here is magical and where it is. If there is nothing magical here, you do not mark this spell.
- Whisper on the Wind: Send a message to someone you have a Bond with. They will hear it whispered in their ear moments after you send it, and they can send a reply of up to 5 words.
Touch the World Lightly
You can safely walk on top of snow, across thin tree branches, along precarious ledges, or on top of held weaponry. You can also run along walls, up trees, and across treacherous surfaces safely, although only for short distances. You do not need to roll to Overcome when performing these feats, although you may still need to Get Away.
What is an Elf?
The Elf chooses one of the following to represent their people:
Faerie: Your kin are faeries or nature spirits. Tiny and elusive, they have been forgotten by the other peoples of the world, remembered only as myths or legends. When you immediately dive for cover at the first sign of trouble, you can use the Camouflage Elder ARt without marking it.
Merfolk: Your people are part fish, and the ocean is your homeland. You can breathe underwater, and you can grant this gift temporarily to anyone you share a kiss with. When you use an Elder Art while you have access to a body of water, do not mark it.
Star Elf: Your people come from beyond the skies, and your technology is highly advanced. You start with High-Tech Gizmos (2 Uses, Useful, Elf-Made) in your Gear. Instead of burning any non-elf who holds them, Elf-Made items electrocute any non-elf attempting to use them without proper training, causing them to pass out where they stand.
- Wood Elf: Your people are one with the forests and trees, and they care for you as you care for them. While traveling in woodlands, you and your allies cannot be followed by your enemies. When you use Camouflage, you may hide any number of allies with you.
The Elf gets elven bread (Food, 4 uses) and a hunter's bow (Ranged, Elf-Made, 3 ammo). They also get one of:
A fine sword (Melee, Elf-Made)
Light armor (1 use, Armor, Elf-Made)
- A wolf or hunting bird, which you have two Bonds with.
An elven throne or a unicorn, which you have one Bond with.
A friend (an archer, blade dancer, or shadow), who you have one Bond with.
- A bottle of elven wine (2 uses, Healing, Drunk: Blood + Courage)
A wolf or hunting bird, which you have two Bonds with.
A friend (an archer, blade dancer, or shadow), who you have one Bond with.
A survival knife (Elf-Made, Melee) and an extra quiver (3 ammo)
Elves they meet will usually have at least two of the items the Elf chose from these lists, but the Elf also has something unique:
An elfstone brooch, connecting you to your homeland (1 use, Elf-Made). You can Use this to remove a mark from one of your Elder Arts.
A ring signifying your membership in a secret organization (1 use). You can Use this to identify another member of the organization, instantly gaining a Bond with them.
- The faces of those who have wroned you, etched into your mind (1 use). You can Use this to declare a foe to be your Nemesis, giving you Hope for rolls to Finish Them and Overcome them until they are dead.
The Elf starts with 4 bonds with the other members of the Fellowship. Suggestions:
_______ distrusts me and all my people.
_______ once helped me with a hunt, and I know we shall hunt again.
_______ knows why I truly left home, and why I stay away.
_______'s name is well-known among my kin, because _______.
The Elf also selects two Elven Customs:
Your eyes are unnaturally good, and you can see the fine detail even through the darkest night or densest fog. When you Look Closely, you may study any location you can see, no matter how distant, as if you were standing right there.
When you wish to use an Elder Art you have already marked off, you may do so by marking off a different Elder Art.
Enemy At The Gates
When you fire upon your enemies with a ranged weapon from a hidden position, roll +Grace and use 1 Ammo. On a 10+, deal damage to a stat of your choice, and you reveal your location. On a 7-9, you've caught them off guard and thy are surprised. If you act quickly, you and your allies can take the advantage.
You are not fully eleven. Gain a Core move from any basic playbook. You may also gain an Agenda from the chosen playbook.
This move cannot be shared.
When you perform an Elven art for an attentive audience, roll +Grace. On a 10+, you may Forge a Bond with as many audience members as you'd like. The Bond should relate to how much they adore and appreciate you. On a 7-9, you may only Forge a Bond with a single listener. On a 6-, no one cares.
Poetry in Motion
When you Get Away, you may choose an extra option from the list, even on a 6-.
Add the following option to the Elder Arts list:
- Sleep Tight: You put someone straight to sleep. It is a normal sleep, and they are woken up by anything that would awaken a sleeping person.
Way With Words
When you Speak Softly to someone who respects or fears you, you may roll +Grace instead of +Wisdom or +Sense. When you Speak Softly, you may also ask, "What do they desire most?" regardless of the result of your roll.
When you get Fellowship with an Elvencommunity, the game suggests the following possible Fellowship moves:
When you leave this community, each member of the fellowship is given some Elven Bread (Food, 4 uses)
When you leave this community, two Elven Archers come with you. Two members of the fellowship each gain one Bond with one of the Archers.
Everyone in the fellowship chooses a single Elder Art you know - they gain the ability to use that Elder Art. When they use the Elder Art they have been taught, they cannot use it again until they Recover.
Finer Goods You'll Never See
EAch of you receives an elven treasure - an item of such extreme value that many would give their lives just to look at it once. Describe the gift you were given. IT is Precious and Elf-Made, in addition to any other properties it has. The item you were given considers you a friend of elves and will not harm you.
The Elven Secret
Each player learns a single secret of the Elves. You will tell us the secret you have learned when the time is right. The elven secrets can be anything, but they must be related to the wilds, the stars, the hunt, or elven mythology in some way.
We Name You Elf-Friend
Everyone in the fellowship is considered a friend of the elves, and can use Elf-Made items without harm. In addition, they will upgrade or replace as much of your gear as you'd like with improved Elf-Made version. You may add the Elf-Made tag to the weapons, armor, and tools that are in your Gear.
Next time: The Halfling!
Bilbo! Bilbo Baggins! The bravest little halfling of them all!Original SA post Fellowship: Bilbo! Bilbo Baggins! The bravest little halfling of them all!
The Halfling causes trouble. They're small, tricky and unexpected. They sneak around, trick foes and find alternative solutions, as well as keep everyone happy with parties and food. All Halflings get Courage +2.
Choose one of:
Do Right: Stick by your frtiends and your word, and always do what's right.
Get Some Recognition: Shake things up when people ignore or underestimate you.
- Have Fun: Everyone else is so gloomy all the time! Make sure they lighten up a bit.
All Halflings get the following moves:
The Little Folk
When you do something clever or sneaky while no one is looking, roll +Courage. On a 7+, you do it, and no one will notice what you did until later. On a 10+, they won't even think to blame oyu for it unless they know you quite well, or you personally tell them you did it.
Sting Like A Bee
When you Keep Them Busy by getting in close and get a 7+, choose one. You can only Sting Like A Bee against those who are larger than you.
They are stunned and distracted. They'll only be out for a moment, but they won't get in anyone's way for that moment.
You steal something small from them in the confusion.
- You get up on top of them, riding them around and roughly controlling their movements for as long as you Keep Them Busy.
What is a Halfling?
The Halfling chooses one of the following to represent their people:
Clever Storytellers: Your people love to collect stories from afar, and they love to share. You know just how to get someone to tell you what you want to hear. When you Speak Softly over stories and games, you may take the 7-9 result without rolling. If you also used Halfling Pipeleaf, take the 10+ result instead.
Determined Survivors: Your people have suffered many setbacks and tragedies, and they have never stopped you yet. You know exactly when to stand your ground and exactly when to bail. When you Get Away or Keep Them Busy and get a 6-, you can instead use the other move as if you rolled a 7-9.
Mischevious Tricksters: Your people love surprises, and they are natural tricksters. The pranks they play are legendary. When you Sting Like A Bee, choose two options instead of one.
- Traveling Nomads: Your people are travelers, never sticking in one place for long. When picking your Gear, choose one more option from each list - you came prepared for anything.
The Halfling gets a trusty handheld weapon (Melee) and a halfling packed lunch (2 uses, Food, each Use feeds three people). They also get one of:
A slingshot (Ranged) with a pouch of bullets (2 ammo)
Poultices (2 uses, Healing, Slow)
- Burglar's gear (2 uses, Useful)
A traveler's carriage, cozy on the inside, which you have a Bond with.
A riding spear (Melee) and a trained mount, common among your people - a riding boar, a riding dog, or a giant spider, your choice, which you have a Bond with.
- A couple friends (Choose two: Brave, Chef, or Fast-Talker), you have one Bond with each of them.
Halfling pipeleaf (2 uses, Slow, Drunk: Blood)
Another halfling packed lunch (2 uses, Food, each Use feeds three people)
- A bottle of elven wine (2 uses, Healing, Drunk: Blood/Courage)
A purse full of foreign coins (Precious, 1 use)
An adventuring contract, with all terms and conditions in writing (1 use). You can Use this item to win an argument with another player.
- An address book, filled with family friends (1 use). You can Use this to find a friend in any town you go to - you have a Bond with them.
Halfling Pipeleaf also has a special note: When you Use it by sharing it with another, you Speak Softly with them as if you rolled a 7-9.
The Halfling starts with 4 bonds with the other members of the Fellowship. Suggestions:
_______ really enjoys the finer things in life.
I was caught trying to steal from ______.
_______ overlooks my stature and treats me as an equal.
_______ dragged me from my home and on the road to adventure!
The Halfling also selects two Halfling Customs:
A Friendly Face
You are small and easily trusted. So long as you show a friendly face, anyone not already actively hostile towards you will treat you as a friend, until proven otherwise.
Whenever you Fill Your Belly, you may Use as much food as you like, and you heal an equal amount of damage. Anyone trying to compete with you can also Use one extra food to heal an extra point of damage.
You are not 100% halfling. Gain a Core move from any basic playbook. You may also gain an Agenda from the chosen playbook.
This move cannot be shared.
Lived In A Shoe
You can change size at will, shrinking down to the size of an apple or growing as tall as The Dwarf, but you usally stay at a happy medium you're comfortable in.
When you Overcome a threat by getting out of the way, on a 7+, you manage to get completely out of sight - your attacker loses trakc of you, although you must still pay a price on a 7-9 result. On a 12+, everyone loses track of you - tell us where you went, and you're there.
When you use an unreasonable argument to get someone to do something for you, roll +Courage. An unreasonable argument is one they cannot deal with, either because it is something they never expected to hear, too impossible to be believed, or it strikes at something they hold dear. On a 7+, you must make them a promise - they'll tell you what - and then they'll do as you ask. On a 7-9, the promise alone is not enough: you must also pay a price for them, right here, right now.
The Courage of Halflings
You are never in Despair when rolling Courage, even if it is damaged.
This move cannot be Shared.
Who's The Tough Guy Now, Tough Guy?
When you Overcome someone with a 12+, you may Sting Like A Bee. When you could Finish Them, you may Keep Them Busy as if you got a 10+ instead.
When you get Fellowship with a Halfling community, the game suggests the following possible Fellowship moves:
A Halfling At Heart
Everyone in the fellowship gains the move Sting Like A Bee. They can sitll only use it against those who are larger than they are.
Bring The Whole Family
When you Forge a Bond with a new companion here, you also Forge a Bond with a second, identical companion with a different first name. When you first gain this move, the player who picked it can Forge a Bond with a Halfling Brave, Chef or Fast-Talker right now, for free.
When you leave this community, each member of the fellowship leaves with a Halfling Packed Lunch (2 Uses, Food, each Use feeds three people).
The Halflings have everything for sale that you could ever want, and they'll go out of their way to find it for you. Each player chooses another option from any of their Gear lists, and adds that to their Gear.
The Pleasures Of A Nomadic Life
The community has decided to come with you, traveling behind you for the rest of your adventure. You gain all thge benefits of having a community within an hour's walk of you at all times, and they can always provide you new mounts and a safe place to rest, should you need them.
When you leave this community, you do so inside a Halfling War Wagon.
Next time: The Harbinger!
I'mma be Gandalf!Original SA post Fellowship: I'mma be Gandalf!
The Harbinger is the prophet of doom. Harbingers are rare, powerful and magical beings. They never show up in good times. They have a lot of raw power, but tire quickly, make friends badly and definitely can't handle this alone. They are the mentor, with potent magic, gloomy and a bit of a loner. They get a unique sixth stat: Doom, always +2.
Choose one of:
Fulfill the Prophecy: Tell us about
~The Great Prophecies~
and do your best to fulfill them, and get everyone else to help you fulfill them.
Savior Complex: Remove evil from this world, at all costs.
- You'll Get Through This: Protect your allies from harm and danger, no matter what may happen to you.
All Harbingers get the following moves:
The harbingers are keepers of prophecy and magic, and their soul is unlike any other. You have a sixth stat, Doom, and you have an additional +0 to assign between your other stats. When your Doom stat gets damaged, you must immediately damage another one of your stats as well. When you Overcome using magic, fate, prophecy, or folklore, roll +Doom.
When you Share this move with another, their Doom stat is +1.
Doom and Gloom
Your Doom makes you hard for others to relate to. You can never have more than one Bond with someone, and others can never have more than one Bond with you.
This move cannot be Shared.
Do Not Trifle With Wizards
Your magic is dangerous and powerful, for both you and your enemies. When you conjure a spell to inflict harm, pay a price, describe your spell for us, and then roll +Doom. On a 10+, you deal damage to stat that makes sense. On a 7-9, you Keep Them Busy for a time, as they must deal with the effects of your spell. On a 6-, you Keep Them Busy, but you are also kept busy, and must stay still to hold them. On a 12+, you are stronger than you know - you destroy them. Tell us what that means, and take 1 damage as the spell takes more from you than you wanted to give it.
When you draw upon the magic inherent to your people, choose one option from below. You may use these spells as often as you need to. When you use one of these magical effects, tell us how it manifests - what does it look like, what does it sound like? What do you need to do to make this happen?
Conjure a soft light, which floats around you.
Deliver a message through mysterious means.
- Speak, look, hear, touch, push, or grab as if you were somewhere else that you can see.
What is a Harbinger?
The Harbinger chooses one of the following to represent their people:
Angelic Remnants: Your people are what remains of the divine beings who created this world, and your extraordinary powers are what lingers of their gifts. Your Doom will bring salvation. When you place a reassuring hand on their shoulder before an ally takes action, they roll without Despair. When you Speak Softly in the form of riddles, prophecies and doom-saying, you roll +Doom instead of +Wisdom, and you do not need to be speaking with the person you are asking questions about.
Blind Prophets: Your fellow wizards see without sight, and you are no different. Even without eyes, you can see more than anyone else. Add the following options to the Wizardry move:
Look through a wall, so long as you touch it
- Look through the eyes of naother, so long as you hold something they own aloft in your hands
- Look through a wall, so long as you touch it
Principled Academia: Wizardry comes from a book. Anyone can become a wizard with enough education, and you are among the scholastic elite. Inside your book is limitless power, if you can read the runes right. You have a magical book (2 Uses, Slow) added to your Gear. When you consult your magical book on how to perform a magical ritual properly, tell us what you want the ritual to accomplish and Use it. It takes several minutes to perform a ritual. Once it is finished, choose one:
It does exactly what you want, but it won't take effect for some time
- It takes effect immediately, but there is a catch or side effect
- It does exactly what you want, but it won't take effect for some time
- Servants of the Dark: The Harbingers are so-called because they herald the coming of the Overlord, and they serve the Overlord in all ways. You are a renegade to your people, outcast, but you still command the same terrifying powers they do. You do not need to pay a price to show others why they Do Not Trifle With Wizards.
The Harbinger gets just enough good (2 Uses, Food) and some wizardly baubles (2 Uses, Useful). Every Harbinger's gear is unique, and none carry exactly the same things. They also get one weapon:
An ancient staff of old wood (Melee) with a spell of safe travels written upon it (1 Use, Armor)
A runed sword (Melee, Necrotic) with a dark past
- The Overlord's Weakness, tucked away inside a bottle or box
A carriage or jacksled
A pegasus or witch's broom
- A strange beast, describe it and give it two stats of your choosing
The leylines of magic that hold reality together (2 Uses). You can Use this connection to the leylines to access a sealed location, or seal off an accessible location, bending space to accomodate your need
A magical focus, such as a staff, crown or book. Whoever holds it has your Wizardry move. You can always call this focus back to you at any time - it knows who its master is.
A magical bloodline, from strange and powerful ancestors (2 Uses, Healing)
- Magical tattoos, etched into your skin, each with their own purpose (2 Uses, Useful)
The Harbinger starts with 2 bonds with the other members of the Fellowship. Suggestions:
_____ has much to learn about the ways of the world.
_____ will be of great importance in the events to come.
The Harbinger also selects one Harbinger Custom:
You can heal the wounds of an ally with a touch, although it takes a lot out of you. When you magically heal an ally, they heal one damaged stat of their choice. You may damage one of your stats to heal another of their stats. Once you've used this move, you cannot use it again until you Fill Your Belly or Recover.
A Wizard's Word
When you make a promise to someone and they promise something in return, you may leave your mark upon them. So long as you do not break your promise, they cannot break theirs. Write a Bond with them describing the promise you share. The mark is undone when they fulfill their end of the promise, or you break your end of it.
You have spent a lot of time among one of the peoples of this world, and their culture has rubbed off on you. Gain a Core move from any basic playbook. You may also gain an Agenda fro mthe chosen playbook.
This move cannot be Shared.
Dark and Terrible
When you could Destroy Them, you may leave a curse upon them. Tell us the nature of this curse, and what must be done to lift it.
Add the following option to the Wizardry move:
- Start a fire on something you can see, so long as it is flammable. The fire starts small, but it will grow rapidly if left unchecked.
The Evil Eye Above
Doom follows you, but you are ready for it. When the minions of the Overlord approach, the Overlord's player must tell you before they arrive. When you know the Overlord's plans, you may ask them, "What is one way I could stop this?" They must answer truthfully.
You speak the language of beasts and monsters. When you try to speak to such a creature for the first time, they will always pause to listen and reply, and you always have a chance to Speak Softly with them.
You Shall Not Pass
When You Keep Them Busy by standing directly in harm's way, roll +Doom instead of +Courage. When you take a stand in defense of someone you have a Bond with who also has a Bond with you, you are filled with Hope.
When you get Fellowship with a Harbinger community, the game suggests the following possible Fellowship moves:
One Ring To Rule Them
The harbingers know much of the Overlord's inherent strengths and weaknesses, and by performing taxing, difficult rituals, they may create an item of power to defeat the Overlord with. The item they create becomes a new Weakness for the Overlord, and using it on the Overlord will take away one of their Threats ot the World for the rest of the scene.
A Touch of Magic
The Harbingers have shown you the secret of their power, and though your bodies were not built to use it, you have gained the ability to ry. Everyone in the fellowship gains your Wizardry move, along with any extra options you have, but each time they use it, they must pay a price.
Blade of Darkest Night
You are given a powerful, cursed weapon. It has the tags Melee and Necrotic, describe it. It whispers dark and terrible secrets to whoever holds it, giving them insight in to the world, but also driving them slowly mad. The holder of this weapon can Command Lore about dark and terrible things, and they gain the Agenda Always Dig Deeper: You need to know every secret and find every treasure, and you despise secrets.
Something Evil This Way Comes
When you flee from an enemy by retreating into this community, that enemy will suffer a horrible fate if they do not immediately turn back.
To Dance Among Stars
When you leave this community, you ride the winds to your next destination, arriving swiftly and safely.
A Beast Most Foul
When you leave this community, you are given a pair of Strange Beasts. Two members of the fellowship each gain one bond with one of the Beasts. The player who gained a Bond with a beast gets to decide what its stats are.
Next time: The Heir!
The once and future king or queen!Original SA post Fellowship: The once and future king or queen!
The Heir is a leader, the one that everyone looks up to. Their people are versatile and strong, and their rank gives them much power. Their name is known in the halls of the powerful, and few will mistrait them or their allies. They lead, they are consistently versatile and they are surrounded by powerful friends and full of conviction. They can, however, be more worried about their own kingdom than the world. They always get Wisdom +2.
Choose one of:
A Better World: Make the world a better place. Mitigate harm, and maximize stability and growth.
But What Of My Kingdom?: Act on behalf of your kingdom's wealth and honor, first and foremost.
- Judge, Jury, Executioner: Make them pay for their crimes.
All Heirs get the following moves:
When you visit the ruler of a place and introduce yourself, you and your friends are all given a room for the night and a hot meal to Fill Your Belly, free of charge.
Yes, My Liege
When you give an order to non-hostile NPCs, roll +Wisdom. On a 10+, they obey you to the best of their ability before they can even think about it. On a 7-9, the Overlord chooses one:
They do it, but not very well or exactly how you wanted
They offer you something they think you want instead
- They stop what they were doing and turn their attention to you
What is the Heir?
The Heir chooses one of the following to represent their people:
The Great Builders: Your kingdom is famous for their advanced technology, and you bring that power with you. When you look closely at architecture or engineering, you can always ask, "How do I fix this?" or "How do I break this?" and the Overlord will answer honestly. With proper tools, you can fix or destory anything you have asked about.
The Lost Line of Kings: Your kingdom has fallen and your family and fortunes are lost, but you still remain. Some say you are cursed, others say you are lucky to be alive at all. Once per scene, you may re-roll one die, yours or another's. Tell us how your curse changed the outcome, after seeing the new result.
The Stalwart Defenders: Your kingdom is all that has stood between the Overlord and the rest of the world for centuries, locking them away. Stopping them new falls squarely on your shoulders. When you take action against the Overlord, you pay half as much as anyone else would, rounded down. For example, if there are three Threats to the World stopping you, you only pay a price once to take action, not three times, as anyone else would.
- The Forgotten Lands: Your kingdom was believed to not exist, until recently. Your people are unlike any in all the world. Tell us about a useful or powerful feature that is unique to you and your people, such as a pair of angelic wings, a third eye that sees through illusions, limbs that can stretch or bend in ways they shouldn't, deadly claw hands, the ability to regenerate wounds, or something similarly useful.
The Heir gets some food (Food, 4 uses), poultices (2 Uses, Healing, Slow), a warhorse they have one Bond with, and a beautiful blade with a long and storied past (Melee, Precious). They also get:
Regal armor (1 Use, Armor) and a second sword (Melee)
A bow, rifle, or throwing knives (Ranged, 2 Ammo)
- Choose two: An advisor, a bodyguard, a servant or a sibling. You have one Bond with each of them.
A horse or donkey for everyone in the fellowship. No one has any Bonds with them - if they are damaged, they are lost until you Recover.
Loads of cash (2 uses, Precious)
- Fine food (4 Uses, Food) and drink (2 Uses, Healing, Drunk: Grace)
A symbol of royalty. You can use this item to command respect from anyone who knows your line, or to gain an audience with anyone you wish, no matter how important they are.
A castle or keep to call your home, complete with servants. You have Fellowship with the community it is in.
- A map to the location of a Source of Power the Overlord does not yet have.
The Heir starts with 4 bonds with the other members of the Fellowship. Suggestions:
I shall take _____ under my wing, and teach them all that I know.
______ has served me well in the past, and I can only hope they continue to do so in the future.
______ would do well to heed my words.
______ thinks me an arrogant fool, feh.
The Heir also selects three Heir's Customs:
When you forage for herbs or food, roll +Wisdom. On a 10+, you gain some healing herbs (2 uses, Healing, Slow), or some berries and meat (3 uses, Food), your choice. On a 7-9, choose one:
Supplies are scarce - gain only 1 use of herbs or food.
- The supplies are a little poisonous - they gain the Drunk tag, in two stats of the Overlord's choice.
How Dare You
When someone insults you to your face, you may immediately attempt to Finish Them or Speak Softly to them. If you try to Finish Them, you do not need an advantage. If you Speak Softly, ask two questions without rolling. Their outburst told you everything you needed to know.
You have spent a lot of time among the allies of your nation, so much so they practically raised you. Gain a Core move from any basic playbook. You may also gain an Agenda fro mthe chosen playbook.
This move cannot be Shared.
Long Live The Queen
When someone rolls to defend you from harm, they are filled with Hope. When you take damage while a companion is with you, they will always take the damage for you.
Your comamnding presence is second to know. When one of your companion's stats would become damaged, you may damage one of your stats instead. Once per scene, when you are in dire need, you may erase one of your Bonds to have the person listed in that bond appear at your side.
This move cannot be Shared.
Parry! Counter! Thrust!
When you fight an enemy one on one in melee, you may Keep Them Busy as if you rolled a 10+.
Quiet! Don't Move...
When you duck aside and stay silent and still, enemies will never spot you until you leave your position. You may hide an ally as well, so long as you hold up a hand, warning them to silence, and they do not speak.
When you could Finish Them in combat, instead of rolling, you may strike a decisive blow. Choose one, and tell us how you do it:
Beaten Down: They cannot cause further harm.
Pinned Down: They cannot give chase.
- Taken Down: Choose one of their already damaged stats. Remove it - they no longer have that stat, nor any moves associated with it.
When you get Fellowship with a community of the Her's people, the game suggests the following possible Fellowship moves:
Allies of My People
A neighboring community is allies with this one, and you gain Fellowship with them as well. You will receive that Fellowship and Recover as soon as you get there.
Your deeds have awakened the spirits of your ancestors, who had been laid to rest here. These ghostly spirits will haunt any minions of the Overlord who attempt to enter this place, driving them out and causing them great harm. This place will never fall to the Overlord.
You have been given a villa within the city limits. The villa comes with a small contingent of servants to watch the place while you are away. Decide which of you owns the villa - that player gains a title, such as Duke or Countess, and they hold political sway within this community and among those that respect this community.
Many Died For This Information
You are told the location of a Source of Power that hte Overlord doesn't have yet, and you are also told the location of a Source of Power that the Overlord has already. One of them is quite close by, your choice which.
When you leave this community, each member of the fellowship leaves with a Bodyguard. Each player has one Bond with one Bodyguard.
The Lost Histories
Every player learns a single closely guarded secret of your people. You will tell us what you learned when the time is right. These secrets can be anything, but they must be related to the law, the old legends, the empires of the world, or this community's culture in some way.
Next time: The Orc!
Blood and honor!Original SA post Fellowship: Blood and honor!
The Orc is a fighter. Orcs are never happy to just leave things be, and orc society is always about progress. The Orc is a warrior with the tools to fight and win. They can destroy anything, they're creative and spontaneous, and they often lash out at those who have wroned and judged them. Also, they are big and violent. Orcs always have Blood +2.
Choose one of:
Born Rebel: Fix the system, by any means necessary.
Capitalism Ho!: Seek a profit, no matter the cost.
- Destroy Something Beautiful: Bring an end to beautiful or valuable things.
All Orcs get the following moves:
The Fires of Industry
As long as you have enough time and destroy something in the process, you can always craft an orc-made weapon of your own design. Orc-made weapons are Clumsy in any hands but an Orc's, and they are ugly to all but Orcs. The weapon is Melee. Weapons you make are not added to your Gear - they are temporary and must be replaced if lost or damaged.
Dishonor Before Death
When you strike out against an equal with intent to kill, you may roll to Finish Them without holding an advantage over them. If you do, break your weapon.
What is an Orc?
The Orc chooses one of the following to represent their people:
Children of Fire: Your people are forged in flame, and have more in common with coal and ash than flesh and bone. You never take damage from fire and heat, and you burn anything you touch for longer than a moment.
Daughters of Chaos: Your people are born free, determined to follow their hearts and choose their own destinies. When someone attempts to enslave, control, intimidate, terrify or command you, you can always act as you please. The Overlord cannot use the moves Twist the Knife, Fear Me, or An Offer You Can't Refuse on you.
Spawn of Darkness: Your people are fungal in nature, well suited to the darkness and damp. You can see perfectly in the dark, and your body is quite unlike those of flesh and blood. The Drunk tag never applies to you, and you are immune to poisons and diseases that would harm anyone else.
- Sons of War: You were born and raised for battle, and war is all your people know. Everything is a weapon, in your eyes. As long as there is something within arm's reach that you can break, you can use Fires of Industry to instantly create new weapons in the heat of battle.
The Orc gets some strange jerky (Food, 3 Uses) and two Orc-Made weapons, as per the Fires of Industry move They also get one of:
Orcish moonshine (2 Uses, Food (only for Orcs), Drunk: Grace+Wisdom, Vigor: Blood+Sense). If you stuff a rag in the bottle and set it on fire, replace its tags with Ranged and Dangerous.
Something you found over there somewhere (2 Uses, Useful)
- A junk cannon (Ranged, Orc-Made, 0 Ammo). You can Use anything as Ammo for this weapon, including Orc-Made weapons.
A Varg to ride
A Wolf to hunt with
Your best friend (big lug, brains, or little guy)
- Some loot (1 Use, Precious)
Some loot (1 Use, Precious)
Orcish moonshine (2 Uses, Food (only for Orcs), Drunk: Grace+Wisdom, Vigor: Blood+Sense). If you stuff a rag in the bottle and set it on fire, replace its tags with Ranged and Dangerous.
- Your other best friend (big lug, brains, or little guy), you have one Bond with them.
Strong as an ox (2 Uses). Use this to smash through a wall or door.
Tough as nails (2 Uses, Armor)
Scary as hell (1 Use). Use this to Talk Sense without a reasonable argument, and you can roll at +Blood instead of +Sense or +Wisdom.
- Cunning as can be (2 Uses). Use this to instantly Look Closely without rolling, asking two questions from the list.
The Orc starts with 4 bonds with the other members of the Fellowship. Suggestions:
______ seeks power like mine, but is not yet ready.
______ and I are bound by blood, shared or otherwise.
I have destroyed something that ______ loved.
______ thinks me a savage. I will show them how savage I can be.
The Orc also selects three Orc Customs:
When you follow a trail or track someone whose trail isn't cold, roll +Blood. On a 10+, you find them quickly, and they do not know they were followed. On a 7-9, choose one: Either you find them quickly, or they do not know they were followed.
When you Keep Them Busy by lashing out with your weaponry, roll +Blood instead of
You are not completely Orc. Gain a Core move from any basic playbook. You may also gain an Agenda fro mthe chosen playbook.
This move cannot be Shared.
When you Look Closely at a person, so closely it makes them uncomfortable, intimidated, or uspet, you may ask questions from both the Speak Softly and the Look Closely lists, and you can ask one more question than your roll would normally allow.
You can eat things no one else would ever try to. When you Fill Your Belly, you may spend Uses from anything as if they had the Food tag.
Choose two options from the final list of your GeaR (strong as an ox, tough as nails, scary as hell, or cunning as can be). Both of those options are added to your Gear permanently. You cannot choose an option you already took during initial Gear selection.
When you draw upon the hidden power of the orcs, choose a spell from below, then mark it. You cannot use a spell while it is marked. When you Fill Your Belly, you may use 1 extra Food to remove a mark from one spell. When you Recover, remove all marks on your spells.
Seance: Ask a single question about anything, and immediately receive two answers - one is true, one is false, and you know not which is which.
Smell Danger: Use this when you become ambushed or surprised to react just before that happens.
- Bound By Blood: Leave your bloody mark upon someone's skin. You can remove that mark at any time to appear at their side instantly, leaping out of the mark.
The Sweat of Your Brow
When you create a weapon for yourself, choose an enhancement for the weapon from this list:
Destructive: This weapon is Dangerous, great for causing massive damage.
Foe-Smelling: this weapon burns to the touch when in the presence of those who mean you harm. To you, this heat is only a warning, but it will harm others who try to touch it.
- Spiked: This weapon is Piercing, and Armor cannot be used against it.
When you get Fellowship with a community of Orcs, the game suggests the following possible Fellowship moves:
When you arei n this community, you find that orcs will follow you everywhere you go. They watch your back, shut doors behind you, and will make sure you are never followed. If they spot anything fishy, they let you know immediately, and if you want, they'll ctake care of it for you real quick, no sweat. It is impossible for you to be attacked or caught off-guard as long as you are here, and an instant militia will show up if you ever get in trouble.
Don't Knock It 'Til You Try It
The fellowship can use orc-made weapons as though they were all orcs - they are not clumsy in your hands, and while they may not be beautiful, you can admire their effectiveness. The orcs here will also give you as many orc-made weapons as you like, free of charge.
You've got an in with the most powerful orc(s) in town. They can get you just about anything you need, if the price is right. At any time, you can revoke your Fellowship here to cash in and get anything you want from them - a major favor, a massive vehicle, serious funding, anything - and they will make it happen. If you somehow manage to pay them back, regain your Fellowship here.
The Secret Weapon
You are given a Siege Tank, to do with as you please.
Tusks of Steel
When you leave this community, you are given a fully outfitted war elephant, with a riding platform, armor and bladed tusks.
When you leave this community, two Big Lugs come with you. Two members of the fellowship each gain one bond with one of them.
Next time: The Squire!
Taters!Original SA post Fellowship: Taters!
The Squire is unique because they're not unique. They share the culture of one of the other heroes of the Fellowship. They also weren't supposed to be here. They tagged along, maybe to carry bags or track horses. They look out for everyone, make sure the trip goes well and is always getting in over their head. They're the underdog and unlikely hero, a support type and often the quiet one in the back until they're needed. The Squire shares ownership of the culture they're from with the other hero from that culture, but from the other direction - where the other hero is from the top, the Squire is from the bottom, the poor and the undertrodden. They always have Sense +2.
Choose one of:
Adventure Time: See what there is to see and do what there is to do.
The Hard Road: Keep others from taking the easy way out of their responsibilities.
- They Need Me: Save your allies from poor decisions.
All Squires get the following moves:
Quick to Judge
When you meet someone for the first time, you may immediately gain a Bond with them based on your first impression of them. This includes the Fellowship - write a Bond for each of them sometime during the first session, in addition to the four Bonds you start with.
Please, Just Listen
when you Talk Sense to someone, you may erase a Bond with them instead of making a strong argument, or instead of paying a price for them on a 7-9.
It's Dangerous to Go Alone
When you follow someone into danger and keep your eyes peeled for trouble, roll +sense. On a 10+, gain 2 Safety points. On a 7-9, you gain 1 Safety point. You can spend 1 point of Safety to protect them from harm - shove them out of the way, warn them just in time, block an attack, that sort of thing. On a 6-, you gain 1 Safety anyway, but when you spend it, you take the harm that they avoided. You lose all of your Safety points as soon as you get through the danger or they choose to stop moving forward.
What is your purpose?
The Squire chooses one of the following to represent why they joined the fellowship:
Keep Them Safe: You are here to make sure they come back home after this is all over, no matter what. When you are with someone you have a Bond with and they take harm, you may take that harm in their place.
For Your People: Your people's champion is just not enough. You're here to keep them honest. Gain a Core move from their playbook, even if it cannot be shared.
See The World: You're just here to go on a fun adventure. All this Overlord stuff is just an excuse to see more than your garden, and you're going to make sure you see everything there is to see! When you Look Closely, you always ask an additional question, even on a 6-.
- Remembered By History: You want to be a hero so bad, even if the only way to do it is to tag along with the real heroes. When you Get Away, you may bring someone with you, no matter what you rolled. If you also choose to bring someone with you, you will bring two people with you in total. When someone near you Gets Away, either using the move or simply escaping, you may always choose to go with them, no matter what they rolled.
The Squire gets some simple food (Food, 5 Uses), traveler's gear (3 Uses, Useful) and a simple sword (Melee). In addition, choose one Gear option from the playbook whose People you share. Also, they brought one thing to keep them safe:
Under-armor (1 Use, Armor) and bandages (1 Use, Healing, Slow)
A sturdy spear (Melee, Ranged, Thrown) and poultices (2 Uses, Healing, Slow)
- A heavy crossbow (Ranged, Piercing, Reload)
A horse or pony for everyone. No one has any Bonds with them - if they are damaged, they are lost until you Recover.
Some extra food (4 Uses, Food)
A spare weapon, with the same tags and features as a weapon someone else carries
- A bottle of rum (2 Uses, Drunk: Wisdom, Vigor: Courage)
Luck of the Devil (1 Use). Use this to completely escape from harm unscathed.
A friend in need (1 Use). Use this to have someone helpful show up, right now.
- The Overlord's Weakness, although you don't know you have it.
The Squire starts with 4 bonds with the other members of the Fellowship. Suggestions:
I have _____'s back, no matter what.
I am of _____'s people, so they look out for me.
I hope I can trust _____, but I have my doubts.
I've never seen someone like ______ before.
The Squire also selects two Squire's Customs:
When you work alongside someone you have a Bond with, you can dedicate yourself to making them look good. They are filled with Hope for all rolls as long as you stick right by their side, but whenever they pay a price or roll a 6-, you must pay a price as well.
I've Got A Bad Feeling About This
When you're certain something's wrong here, you may ask the Overlord to tell you the safest way out, and also the quickest way out. They will answer truthfully.
I Won't Let You Down!
When you Keep Them Busy and get a 7-9, you may pay a price to take the 10+ result instead.
Gain any move from the playbook whose People you share. You may also gain an Agenda from their playbook.
This move cannot be Shared.
Power of Friendship
Your Bonds have the tags Precious and Useful, and you can Use them by erasing them.
This move cannot be Shared.
Run For It
When you run right through trouble and hope for the best, roll +Courage. On a 10+, you get through completely unharmed. On a 7-9, choose one:
It takes a long time to get where you're going, as you get held up by a variety of close calls
- You get there quickly, but right at the last step, you get into trouble
Voice of Reason
You alone are the voice of reason in this insane world. When you offer advice to another player and they ignore it, you take +1 to the next roll you make to bail them out of whatever mess they got themselves into.
We'll Make It
When an ally would Fill Their Belly while they have no Food, you may erase one of your Bonds with them. If you do, they heal as though they had spent food.
A Stranger Fellowship
When you get Fellowship with a stranger community, the game suggests the following possible Fellowship moves:
The Ogre who lives here has grown attached to you, and decided to come with. One of you has two Bonds with it.
Blessings of Fire
The fire elementals who live here have given you their blessing. You all gain supernatural resistance to heat and flame, enough to survive far greater temperatures than you should be able to. In addition, one of you is given a powerful weapon of fire (Ranged, Dangerous, Reload) that ignites whatever it strikes.
Dedicated to the Cause
When you leave this community, a Small Army comes with you. Everyone in the fellowship has one Bond with them. When you Fill Your Belly, you may Use 1 Food to heal the Small Army.
When you gain the Fellowship of sole person in this community, they fade away into nothingness. The entire town is now yours, with all its fortifications and riches, but the ghosts still linger here to attack those who would mean you harm.
The cyborgs of this community have agreed to share their gifts with you. They will give robotic prosthetics to any of the fellowship that need or want them. The prosthetics function just as well as the old flesh did, but they have abilities that the flesh simply does not. Anyone who gains a prosthetic adds Robotic Bits (2 Uses, Useful) to their Gear.
When you leave this community, each member of fellowship has two Zombies leave with them. These zombies will not attack anyone in the fellowship and they will follow your commands, but no one has any Bonds with them. If any zombie's Simpleton Hivemind is damaged, all their Simpleton Hiveminds become damaged.
Next time: The Fellowship in play!
Incompletion!Original SA post
If you're really interested in playing Fellowship, check out the game thread I linked above!
The next chapter isn't actually finished being written yet, but it discusses how the group should flesh out the world and their home cultures, and how much depth you want to go into for that, with the extremes being 'draw actual, literal maps' and 'do just enough to get a feel for it.' It then talks about three potential ways to open the game.
The first is In Media Res - you start in the middle of the first exciting encounter of the quest, whatever that is. It's good for jumping in, but not so great at setting initial stakes or tone. The second is The Forming - the game starts with the meeting that brought the fellowship together, with formal introductions and discussing what everyone knows of the Overlord, what has to be done, and what the plan is. It's good for establishing things, but kind of a slow open - though it's a good way to turn establishing lore into part of the game. Last? The Dire Threat. The game opens before the fellowship forms, with the Overlord attacking somewhere with at least half the fellowship in it. Players can try to fight, but divided and against a fully powered Overlord, they will lose, period. The Overlord won't even care about them. It's good for establishing the Overlord and their motives...but it also opens on a definite loss, which is a downer.
The next chapter discusses Destinies . When you go on your quest long enough, you'll start to find your true self. You become something more than you were, something legendary. You get a Destiny - an advanced playbook, which you can't take until you've had four advances (and so are level 5). You also have to meet its requirements, but you can take any Destiny whose requirements you do meet - so you don't have be the Dwarf to become the Ur-Dwarf, as long as you meet its normal requirements. You only get one Destiny, though, so choose carefully. Once you do, you can take that Destiny's advances when you level instead of your normal ones, if you want. You can never go above level 10, though!
The Ascended has become more than they were, having taken a Source of Power into themselves. To become one, you must have taken a Source of Power for yourself. They start with the following move:
Font of Power
You have become a Threat to the World. When you unleash the massive power contained within you, you may take two damage to Destroy Them. Tell us what this means and what this looks like.
No other Ascended moves exist yet. The Chosen One , meanwhile, requires that everyone agree that you're plot-important to success. They get the following move:
You never need to pay a price when facing a Threat to the World. You can also Command Lore about the various prophecies and legends about you, letting us know more details as they become important.
No other Chosen One moves yet. The Cyborg requires you to have a prosthetic limb or other body part which you have decided to tinker with. They start with the following move:
You have improved yourself. You have many Useful Robot Bits (4 Uses, Armor, Useful) added to your Gear.
No other Cyborg moves yet. The Elven Elite requires Grace +2 and Touch the World Lightly. They start with the following move:
When you walk calmly without causing any harm, wild beasts, dangerous monsters, enemy soldiers, hazardous terrain, treacherous traps, and surly dwarves cannot harm you.
Elven Elite Customs can be taken as you level:
Champion of the Old Ways
Elven communities will always welcome you with open arms, granting you Fellowship immediately with them if you do not already have it.
You are a Weakness for the Overlord. Whenever you make a move against the Overlord, you can ignore one of their Threats to the World.
Hand of Silver
You are capable of crafting glorious magical items. It will be expensive and require exotic materials, but it can be done, at great personal cost. When you forge such an item, describe it to us, then choose two:
It will be the pinnacle of your craft, and you will never again have the heart to craft anything like it
It costs you an emotion, and you will never feel that emotion again
It will remove something beautiful from this world, never to be seen again
- It will be doomed to never be used by mortal hands, lest great tragedy occur
Requires Elder Arts
Add the following option to the Elder Arts list:
- Listen to Me: Use this after someone has ignored a command you have given them. They will follow that command to the best of their abilities, and they can only resist if it would go against what they value most. This spell doesn't work on the Overlord.
Requires Poetry in Motion
You move without effort, anywhere you need to be. You can walk or run along any surface, including sheer cliffs, ceilings, lava, or drops of rain falling from the sky, and you always roll with Hope to Get Away.
Next time: This can't possibly be a bad idea!
Incompletion!Original SA post Fellowship: Incompletion!
The End of Days requires Doom +2 and Do Not Trifle With Wizards. It gets the following move:
Are We Not The Same, You And I?
You are a Threat to the World, just as dangerous as the Overlord, if not more so. Choose one:
Unstoppable: Nothing can get in your way. Anyone trying to keep you from getting somewhere is in Despair.
Untouchable: You cannot be physically approached safely, tell us why. Anyone within arm's reach of you is in Despair.
- Unknowable: Your form or your actions are incomprehensible. Anyone trying to parley with you or understand you is in Despair.
While you have this move, you cannot harm the Overlord. If they make you An Offer You Can't Refuse, you must accept it. When you are exposed to the Overlord's Weakness, you lose this move for the rest of the scene. When the Overlord Twists the Knife on you, you will always both stand down and pay a price.
End of Days Customs can be taken as you level:
You are capable of crafting terrifying magical items. It will be expensive and require exotic materials, but it can be done, at great personal cost. When you forge such an item, describe it to us, then choose two:
The item brings great misfortune to all who use it.
A part of your soul is lost in the crafting. Permanently damage one of your stats, never to be healed.
Its creation will cause a great calamity to come to pass.
- The item will thirst for blood or chaos, and force those feelings on all who carry it.
It's The End of the World as We Know It
You are never in Despair when rolling Doom, even if it is damaged.
Twist The Knife
When you speak to someone you have a Bond with, you can erase that Bond to cause them great pain. They must immediately pay a price, stand down and get out of your way, or attack you, right now, their choice.
Wall of Force
Add the following option to the Wizardry list:
- You can create semi-transparent walls and floors anywhere you wish, as large as you'd like them to be. You can only have one such surface in existence at a time, and it is not indestructible - it can be destroyed by a strong enough hit, and it cannot stop a Threat to the World.
We Are Not The Same
When you challenge the Overlord or one of their Generals, you can choose to take a pyrrhic victory. If you do, damage all of your stats and permanently remove one of their Threats to the World. Tell us about the incredible display of power this requires of you, and what this looks like in action. After you use this move once, it is gone forever.
The Firebrand solves problems with fire. In fact, that's the requirement: you have solved at least three problems with fire. They start with the following move:
You always have the materials and fuel for creating a fire. You can produce flint and steel, matches, fuses, rags, molotov cocktails, small kegs of black-powder or oil, and fire arrows on demand. You can always declare that something suddenly bursts into flame, if you could have conceivably planted fuel and materials beforehand.
No other Firebrand moves yet. The Halfling Sheriff requires Courage +2 and Sting Like A Bee. They start with the following move:
You can squeeze out of any chains, ropes, or handcuffs binding you, through any small windows, jammed doors, or tight spaces in your way, and away from any grabby hands, clumsy orcs, or monster's jaws trying to catch you, all without making a roll to Overcome them.
Halfling Sheriff Customs can be taken as you level:
Look Over There!
Once per scene, when no one's watching you, you can simply disappear. Tells us where you went, and you're there.
Mean With A Sling
When you Keep Them Busy with a ranged weapon and get a 7+, choose one. You're only Mean With A Sling against those who are larger than you.
They are stunned and distracted. They'll only be out for a moment, but they won't get in anyone's way for that moment.
You knock something right out of their hands or off their person, sending it flying away from them.
- You pelt them hard enough to force their movement, letting you roughly control where they go for as long as you Keep Them Busy.
Halfling communities will always welcome you with open arms, granting you Fellowship immediately with them if you do not already have it.
Size Matters Not
As long as they underestimate you because of your size, you take +1 to your rolls against them.
You can cook up a meal from almost nothing, and you make every meal count. Whenever everyone Fills Their Belly, one person doesn't need to spend any Food to eat.
Next time: Even more!
STILL INCOMPLETION!Original SA post Fellowship: STILL INCOMPLETION!
The Knight requires Sense +2 and It's Dangerous To Go Alone. It gets the following move:
You Have My Shield
When It's Dangerous To Go Alone, you can erase a Bond with the person you are protecting instead of spending Safety. You can use this move even if you haven't rolled for It's Dangerous To Go Alone yet, so long as you are within arm's reach of them and you desire their safety.
Knight Customs can be taken as you level:
A Proper Knight
Add a knight's shield (1 Use, Armor), a Proper Title (2 Uses) and a Warhorse to your Gear. You have one Bond with your Warhorse. You can Use your Title to be instantly recognized as "kind of a big deal."
When you treat someone's wounds to the best of your ability, roll +Sense. On a 7+, they heal 1 damage. On a 9-, it doesn't go smoothly - either they damage another stat of their choice, or you take damage to one of your stats from the psychological effects. You can only use this move once per scene.
Think It Through
When you Overcome a threat using +Sense and get a 7+, one or two of your allies can safely Overcome the threat as well without rolling. On a 12+, everyone can Overcome them without rolling.
We Need Your Help!
When you go to find help, the Overlord will tell you who you find. If you ask for their aid, roll +Sense. On 10+, all four. On a 7-9, choose two, or pay a price and take all four. Regardless of your choices, they will help you, and they are sufficient to help in a way of your choosing.
They will help you immediately, dropping whatever they were doing.
They ask no questions and need no explanation.
They demand no favors or payment.
- You forge a Bond with them.
You Must Keep Going!
When an ally within arm's reach rolls a 6-, you may take all consequences of that roll in their place. If you do, they act as though they got a 7-9 result.
The Lord of Beasts is required to have at least three Bonds with animals and Fellowship with a community of animals. It starts with the following move:
Queen of the Wild
You can Command Lore about the beasts of the wild and their societies. You may Forge a Bond with any wild animal or monstrous beast you meet, describing your first impression of them, and they will serve you.
No other Lord of Beasts moves yet. The Orc-Boss requires Blood +2 and Self-Orctualized. They start with the following move:
You can smash through any furniture, wooden doors, simple walls, barricades, weaklings, cowards, and halflings that stand between you and where you wish to go, all without rolling to Overcome them.
Orc-Boss Customs can be taken as you level:
Defiant To The Last
When you are Taken Out, you don't go down until the end of the scene. You can continue to act as you please, and further damage against you does nothing. This does not stop the Overlord from making An Offer You Can't Refuse.
Your attacks are Necrotic and Dangerous.
When you pause to pay attention, you always know exactly how many people are around you and roughly what direction from you each of them is. This sixth sense will detect people in hiding and even invisible or incorporeal presences, although not their exact locations. You always know when you are being watched.
Slash and Burn
When everything around is chaos and fire, you are filled with Hope.
The Biggest and Smashiest
Orc communities will always welcome you with open arms, granting you Fellowship immediately with them if you do not already have it.
The Rebel requires you to have had at least three moves shared with you, and is about rejecting your people and their ways to carve your own path. It has no moves yet at all.
Next time: Almost to the Overlord!
HAIL BIG FIRE! ALLEGIANCE OR DEATH!Original SA post Fellowship: HAIL BIG FIRE! ALLEGIANCE OR DEATH!
The Ur-Dwarf requires Iron +2 and Clear A Path. It gets the following move:
When you defend a choke point by yourself and resolve to let no one through, no monster, vehicle, army, boulder, explosion, dragon, Overlord, or elf can get past you, so long as you remain standing and alert.
Ur-Dwarf Customs can be taken as you level:
Dig Too Deep
Requires Dig Deep
You can Clear the Path to create a tunnel through any material, no matter how impossible - steel, lava, diamonds, fog, water, the open sky, a boat, anything.
When you could Finish Them, instead of rolling, you may simply destroy something your target holds - their armor, their weapon, their pride, a few of their bones, or something they carry, your choice.
You are capable of crafting magnificent magical items. It will be expensive and require exotic materials, but it can be done, at great personal cost. When you forge such an item, describe it to us, then choose two:
It will be extremely precious and dear to you, and you will never let it out of your sight or trust others to touch or use it.
You give too much of yourself, permanently losing a part of you (a body part, your memories, all of your Bonds with someone, or something similarly significant).
Its creation will rouse envy and greed among other dwarves, humans, and terrible monsters, all of which will seek to take it from you.
- Neither you nor anyone of your line will ever wield, wear, or use this item, lest terrible tragedy strike your people.
Greed Is Eternal
Requires Greed Is Good
When you absolutely must kill them yourself, you can declare a person's life to be the object of your greed. When you choose an object of your greed, you heal 1 damage.
Lord Under The Mountain
Dwarven communities will always welcome you with open arms, granting you Fellowship immediately with them if you do not already have it.
The Warlord is required to have Wisdom +2 and Parry! Counter! Thrust!, and starts with the following move:
The Warrior's Path
You move effortlessly through the battlefield, your enemy's movements as predictable as pawns on a chessboard. When you Overcome a battlefield, a war zone, or enemies trying to stop you, you always take the 10+ result, without rolling.
Warlord Customs can be taken as you level:
Requires Strike True
When you could Finish Them with a melee weapon, you may choose to kill them instead of rolling.
You never take damage from ordinary physical attacks. A Threat to the World can still physically harm you, and high powered explosives or artillery can also harm you, but anything short of that is useless.
The Fellowship's Armies
Choose an option from the Overlord's Armies list. You have taken command of an army of the chosen option. Wherever your Army goes, it negates the ability of a single Threat to the World in its location. It can stand toe-to-toe with the Overlord's army, it can hold off a General indefinitely, and it can weaken the Overlord themselves if need be.
To The Gates Of Hell Itself
Your Companions will never erase their last Bond with you.
You Will Not Die This Day
When an ally gets Taken Out and you dramatically rush to their side, you may share words with them, and nothing will interrupt you. Afterwards, they choose one:
The Warlord will get them to safety, taking them out of the scene.
The Warlord can stand and fight, filled with Hope for the rest of the scene.
- They get back up, heal 1 damage and cannot be in Despair for the rest of the scene, but if they get Taken Out again, they will surely die.
Meet the Overlord.
The Overlord isn't like other playbooks. You need someone to play it, for one, every game. It can never be unplayed. Being the Overlord's a lot of work - it's a lot like being the GM, really. The Overlord has their own Principles and Agendas. The Overlord never rolls dice - ever. The Overlord can use several Cuts, whether or not they are around. Cuts, in this sense, are tools to shape the story, the world and the fellowship's journey, and it's the Overlord's job to use them whenever the fellowship looks to them for what happens next.
However, the Overlord uses the same rules for leveling up as everyone else. The Overlord is included in the count of who the highest level player is, and can't be chosen to level if they're higher level than anyone in the fellowship. The Overlord doesn't have the same stats as everyone else, though. Instead, they have Threats to the World, and when they are damaged, they temporarily lose a Threat. Their goal is to gain more Threats to the World, and the Fellowship's goal is to cut them off from their Threats and stop them. The Overlord need not be present to influence the scenes of the game, and will in fact be off-screen most of the time.
Oh, and one more thing. The Overlord is going to lose. The Fellowship wins, at the end of the day. But the Overlord's going to make them fight for it and it's going to take some heroic sacrifices.
Create Opportunities To Do Good: The world is full of people who need the help of the fellowship. Give them people to save.
- Play To Find Out What Happens: The world is constantly changing and you can never truly know what's going to happen next. Roll with it. Let the game evolve naturally, don't plan more than an outline.
And one more, selected as part of the playbook. We'll talk about the Overlord's Cuts and Principles in a bit - they get listed here, but described in more detail later.
The Overlord's Plan
The Overlord's got a mission. Each gives them an Agenda an extra Cut to use. Pick one.
World Is Mine: You will conquer these lands and unite them under your rule. You attack nations directly, usurp leaders, overthrow kingdoms. You're here to take over the world. Your minions will stay behind in your wake, patrolling and controlling conquered territories. You lay siege to great cities, capture their rulers, and corrupt their politicians.
Extra Cut: Expand the Overlord's grasp. Show them just how far your power stretches. Tell them about another land, conquered by your armies. Show them where your armies march next. Tell them about another conquered city, another lost battalion, another defeated ally. Your reach always presses onward.
- Agenda: Portray a world on the edge of defeat. The world hangs in the balance, and your side is winning. The world looks more and more like it will fall into rank beneath your command with every passing month. If the fellowship fails, they know what will happen, because you won't let them miss what your rule looks like. Show a world under the Overlord's power, where everything outside of your grasp has to actively fight to stay that way.
- Extra Cut: Expand the Overlord's grasp. Show them just how far your power stretches. Tell them about another land, conquered by your armies. Show them where your armies march next. Tell them about another conquered city, another lost battalion, another defeated ally. Your reach always presses onward.
Ultimate Power: You need a lot of power, and you will use any means necessary to get it. You are recruiting wizards, drawing on fonts of power, gathering leylines, training constantly - anything and everything to get just a bit more juice. You pursue artifacts of great power, and destroy or hide anything that may be able to stop you.
Extra Cut: Show signs of the Overlord's increasing power. Every time they go somewhere you've been, let them know it. Remnants of your rituals left behind. The collateral damage gets worse every time they come across a place you've fought in. Make more and more impressive shows of power as the campaign goes on. Every time they see you, be worse than last time.
- Agenda: Place wonderful things in jeopardy. To gain your power, you must take it from that which has power. Find the wonderful things of the world - the great dragons, the elven homelands, the dwarven treasures, the orcish hivemother, anything of great importance is in your sights. Put them in jeopardy, threaten to destroy or change them forever. And then follow through with it.
- Extra Cut: Show signs of the Overlord's increasing power. Every time they go somewhere you've been, let them know it. Remnants of your rituals left behind. The collateral damage gets worse every time they come across a place you've fought in. Make more and more impressive shows of power as the campaign goes on. Every time they see you, be worse than last time.
Watch the World Burn: Your game is simple: carnage and fear. You cause as much damage and chaos as you can, in whatever ways it hurts the most. You play malevolent pranks on the weak, cause great calamities just for kicks, and concoct elaborate plans just to watch the world fall apart around them.
Extra Cut: Leave chaos in the Overlord's wake. When the players see where you've been, sow chaos. Show collateral damage. Show families torn asunder, show the effects of terrible curses and crimes, show the Fellowship just how bad you can be. Where the Overlord goes, pain follows.
- Agenda: Fill the world with strange and painful events. The world is a weird place, and weird things happen in it. Show them unexplainable things, painful things, terrible things, wonderful things. The world is filled with confusion, the world is filled with wonder, the world is filled with the strange and the painful. Show them all of it.
- Extra Cut: Leave chaos in the Overlord's wake. When the players see where you've been, sow chaos. Show collateral damage. Show families torn asunder, show the effects of terrible curses and crimes, show the Fellowship just how bad you can be. Where the Overlord goes, pain follows.
All that gives you an overarching goal and a rough outline for what you do and why. The players are going to run into the aftermath of your shit a lot, so keep it consistent with the game plan. As long as tragedy or change will further the plan, you can justify anything. When the players go where you've caused trouble, make sure it's immediately apparent. Let them know something's wrong, and how things have been changed by your power. Let them see the consequences of letting you run amok, and then see what they do about it.
Next time: The Overlord's Moves.
Being the evil one!Original SA post Fellowship: Being the evil one!
All Overlords get the following moves:
Chew the Scenery
When you are physically present, you can have the Spotlight for as long as you like, when you get it. You and you Generals can never be in Despair.
My Only Weakness
There's always a catch, when it comes to having unstoppable power. You have some quirks that the Fellowship can exploit. You have all of the following vulnerabilities:
You are arrogant: Every setback is minor and can be dealt with. Everything is fine and you know you cannot lose.
You are busy: The fellowship's destruction is not your actual goal. You have something you want, and your focus is on getting that. When you personally engage the fellowship, your goal is not to kill them all, but merely to get them out of your way while you do your thing.
You are honor-bound: When you make a promise, you will always keep it, even against your better interests. This weakness may seem silly, but it makes for a better game when you can negotiate or gamble with the fellowship and they can trust you to keep your end of the deal.
- You have a Weakness: there is a single material, item, charm, ritual, or spell that you are vulnerable to. This is your Weakness. When the fellowship uses this Weakness against you, they can ignore one of your Threats to the World for the rest of the scene. The other players will know your Weakness, but the fellowship they are playing as does not begin the game knowing your Weakness unless they have something that tells them otherwise.
An Offer You Can't Refuse
When a player gets Taken Out in your presence, you may give them an offer, for their services, for something they hold, or ofr the end of their life. If they accept, you fulfill the deal and then leave the scene. If they refuse, they must roll +Courage. On a 6-, you are too terrifying, and they take your offer against their true desires. On a 7-9, they refuse, and they have one good chance to spite you. They will tell you how. Then, you will them what you do to them for it. You may kill them for this. On a 10+, not only do they spite you, but they manage to escape before you can properly punish them for it, ending the scene with you standing there, alone. Tell us your rage.
Threat To The World
You threaten the world and all it stands for. There are a variety of reasons you cannot be stopped, and the Fellowship will need to take all of them away from you if they are to stand a chance against you. Choose three Threats to the World to start the game with:
General: You have a General, a powerful individual who works under you. Your General(s) let you effectively be in multiple places at once, or take action from the safety of wherever you call home. You can choose this Threat multiple times.
Invincible: You are very difficult to harm. Anyone trying to hurt you is in Despair.
Unstoppable: Nothing can get in your way. Anyone trying to Keep You Busy or keep you from getting somewhere is in Despair.
Untouchable: You cannot be physically approached safely, tell us why. Anyone within arm's reach of you is in Despair.
- Unknowable: Your form or your actions are incomprehensible. Anyone trying to Look Closely around you or Speak Softly with you is in Despair.
If you seize a new Source of Power, gain a new Threat to the World.
The fellowship can still attempt to harm you and make moves against you, but yout Threat to the World is no joke. Whenever a player makes any move, they must pay a price for each Threat to the World preventing them from taking action, before they can even roll. Your Generals and yur Armies allow you to be a Threat to the World separate from where the Overlord themselves are.
Your Threats to the World also function as your stats. When you would take damage or be destroyed, you damage one of your Threats, and you lose that threat until you heal. A Threat to the World is no small thing, and takes a lot of time to heal - you only heal when the fellowship Recovers, and even then you only heal 1 damage.
When you take damage while all of your Threats are gone, you are forced to retreat. If there is nowhere to go or it is the Final Battle, you are Destroyed instead, as if they got a 10+ on the move Finish Them.
The Overlord's Armies
The Overlord chooses the option that best represents their people. Each of these options is a Threat to the World that can be taken from you by the Fellowship.
The Horde: Your armeis are endless, swarming wherever you need them. You can always dispatch a force anywhere you need them, and if you want the horde to find something, they will - nothing can escape their swarming numbers. They are easily defeated in battle and fortifications will hold them off forever, but they can outlast any siege and none can escape them.
The Organization: You have an elite group whose membership mirrors that of the fellowship, but corrupted or twisted. The Organization has exactly as many members as the fellowship does, including their companions. They will compete with the fellowship in a rivalry fashion, racing them to Sources of Power and trying to undermine the fellowship's plans. There should be at least one major mirror-match fight during the course of the game.
The Scourge: You and your armies spread corruption and blight, and those tainted by it will join you and your cause. Tell us how your blight spreads. Once someone has been tainted by the Scourge, they will inevitably join your side, no matter how they feel about you.
- The Titans: Your armies are small in number, but not in stature. Your forces are massive titans, nearly unbeatable without heavy firepower and teamwork. A single titen is enough to level an unprepared city. Your army is easily avoided and run away from, but only the heaviest of fortifications and the strongest of armies will slow them, and nothing can stop them.
The Overlord does not need to eat and does not want for companions. When the fellowship Recovers, the Overlord also Recovers their Gear They get as many weapons as they need:
An elegant sword, exotic in design (Melee)
A massive weapon, alrger than anyone else could wield (Melee)
Your bare hands, able to crush stone or pierce metal (Melee)
Magical bolts of energy, able to be reflected back at you (Ranged)
- Destructive blasts of fire or lightning (Dangerous)
A clever plan (1 Use). Use this to reveal a trap or escape route just as you make use of it.
Armor of some kind, describe it (Armor, 1 Use)
A trick up your sleeve (Useful, 1 Use). Use this to produce anything you could possibly need, right now.
- A traitor (1 Use): Use this to make anyone in the scene who is not a part of the fellowship reveal their allegiance to you, complete with a dramatic moment where they betray the fellowship and cause them trouble.
You have a sympathetic backstory of loss and tragedy. It does not justify your actions, except to yourself. Once per game, you may reveal this backstory to the fellowship to Keep Them Busy.
It is not you who does all this, but something that is controlling you - a dark master in the shadows, an evil artifact corrupting whoever holds it, or an even greater threat you are trying to destroy yourself, and all of this is your attempt to stop them. When the fellowship defeats you, reveal this new threat. It's their problem now.
You are part of a recurring cycle, and you know you are destined to be defeated. If you could only convince the fellowship to listen to you, maybe you could break the cycle once and for all... But they never listen to you.
- You don't have a secret. You're just an evil jerk with way too much power.
The Overlord starts with one Bond with each member of the Fellowship. Suggestions:
I destroyed _______'s hometown.
I have caused great harm to _______'s people.
I killed someone important to _______.
_______ killed someone important to me.
_______ knows the details of my previous defeat.
_______'s people serve me now.
Only _______ knows my Weaknesses.
_______ knows where to find one of my Sources of Power.
I have fought _______ before, and left a wound upon them. It burns in my presence.
The Overlord starts with no Overlord's Customs. They come only by leveling up.
And In The Darkness, Bind Them
You have crafted an item of power. Choose a Threat to the World option, even if you already have it. Whoever holds this item of power controls that Threat to the World. If your new Threat is a General, they are a supernatural being that obeys the orders of whoever holds this item of power. If any of the fellowship gets their hands on it, they gain the item's Threat to the World and all the power that brings, but it will also fill their mind with dark thoughts. They gain the AGenda: Spread Chaos while they hold the item.
When you take this move, write down the name of a community they have Fellowship with. The next time you meet the fellowship, reveal to them that the chosen community has been destroyed, and they lose the Fellowship move associated with it. After you use this move once, it is gone forever.
When you dismiss, mock, or show how weak the Bond two people share is, erase those Bonds.
Damage dealt by you and your Generals is Necrotic.
When you menace someone, they will always do as you say or run in terror, their choice. When you use this move on someone in the fellowship, they may pay a price to prevent this move from working on them for the rest of the scene.
When you take this move, your forces have successfully completed a secret mission. The next time you meet the fellowship, reveal to them that you have obtained a new Source of Power - immediately gain a new Threat to the World. After you use this move once, it is gone forever.
No More Games
When you next face off against the fellowship, as soon as the talking is done, one of them is immediately Taken Out (ask for a volunteer). They take damage to all of their stats and they are out for the rest of the scene. The resto f the fellowship cannot oppose you this scene, and you get away with what you want before taunting them and leaving. After you use this move once, it is gone forever.
Now Who Told You That?
When the fellowship uses your Wekaness against you, erase that Weakness and choose a new one. The old Weakness was either lies and misinformation, or you have grown past it and it no longer harms you as it once did. After you use this move once, it is gone forever.
Twist the Knife
When you speak to someone you have a Bond with about your history with them, you may force them to relive their pain. They must either pay a price, stand down and get out of your way, or attack you, right now, their choice. You can only use this move once per scene.
Choose another option from the Overlord's Armies list. You have acquired that army as well.
You've Met With A Terrible Fate, Haven't You?
When a player gets Taken Out in your presence, you may leave a curse upon them instead of making an Offer They Can't Refuse. Tell us the nature of this curse, and what must be done to lift it. Whatever curse you give them, it cannot stop them from continuing to play. After you use this move once, it is gone forever.
When the Overlord levels up, they follow different rules. First, they don't have the same level 10 cap everyone else does - so their cap is effectively 11, one level higher than everyone else. They get a new Overlord Custom move, unless they already have them all. They Forge a Bond with anyone, Fellowship or otherwise. And then, they advance their plans.
Advancing plans follows a flowchart. First, your forces move into position - your army, a general or yourself. You tell us if they're trying to seize a new Source of Power or destroy a community. However, if they are in position, you seize a Victory, gaining the resource they were in position to take. If you destroy a community that the fellowship has Fellowship with, they lose that Fellowship move. The Fellowship can defeat your forces to get you out of position, preventing a victory. Advancing your plans by leveling up is on top of whatever you were doing normally, and it's considered to be happening in the background. The fellowship will not normally be able to stop you from getting Victories via Advancement unless they're in the right place at the right time, or they drop everything to stop your latest gambit for power.
Then we get advice on playing the Overlord. It's important to remember - the Overlord doesn't especially want to kill the fellowship. Not yet. They're a nuisance, nothing more. The Overlord has a plan already, and killing the fellowship doesn't help it. It solves nothing and makes for a bad game. The Overlord's busy - they have people to see, places to destroy. The players have to hunt them down, come to them. Sometimes, the Overlord will be caught. Sometimes, they'll fight you - and sometimes they won't. But you have no reason to try to kill them yet. Sure, they're going to be a serious problem eventually - they're going to foil your plans, get in your way, weaken you. When something you really wanted falls through because of htem, when your Generals are defeated and your Rune of Invulnerability is destroyed? Yeah, take off the gloves, hunt them down. Reconsider their importance when they've foiled your plans a lot.
But until then? No. They are a nuisance, not a threat, and you should treat them that way. When they're a real threat, that's when you strike at full force, for one last showdown. But until then, don't.
Next time: Principles and Cuts
Being the ref!Original SA post Fellowship: Being the ref!
The Overlord is also the game's referee - they run the opposition, but they're not really trying to beat the fellowship, after all. They want to make it fun. Thus, the Overlord must follow their Principles at all times, and should keep to their Agendas when they're not sure what to do. The Cuts, meanwhile, are a storytelling tool to keep scenes flowing, and you can use 'em whenever htere's an opening. Cuts can be Soft or Hard. A Soft Cut gives the fellowship a chance to react, but a Hard Cut has already happened. Whenever the players look to you for what happens next, make a Cut. The game also informs us that the Overlord, while they don't follow the Fellowship's rules, should know them. After all, players miss things or forget things, and the Overlrod is the filter between their intent and result - so understanding what they do will make the game easier.
What are the Overlord's Principles?
Create problems, not solutions. As the Overlord, it's your job to make problems. You make situations worse, you make things harder, and then you leave it for the players to solve. Don't overthink it, don't overplan. You don't needf to know the solution - that's not your job. If the fellowship come up with something plausible, go with it. Their ideas have value and their solutions should have an honest chance. Sometimes it won't work, and their moves will help you out there, but it's not your job to solve problems.
Address the characters, not the players. Same as before.
Embrace the fantastic. The world's an exciting place full of crazy things. Run with it. If something sounds implausible or dumb, ask yourself if the game would be better with it. If yes, make it happen. This applies to everything - not just monsters or magic. If the players are in a boat and find a mountain, maybe the water flows up it somehow, or cuts through, the boat can go up waterfalls. Make things weird and interesting and memorable.
Make a cut that follows. When you have a chance to use a Cut, make sure it makes sense. Sure, you can Show Signs of an Approaching Threat whenever you like, but that doesn't mean you do it without reason. Read the situation, figure out what logically happens next and make a Cut to make that happen. If you're not sure what to pick, ask yourself: what makes the most sense? What would have the craziest consequences? What would be the most fun? If any two have the same answer, do it. If not, pick the one that the situation needs most.
Never speak the name of your cut. Cuts are just packaging for events. You don't use their names - not unless everyone really wants to hear how the guts of the system work. EVen then, use it sparingly. Just talk about what's actually happening.
Ask questions, use the answers. The players have as much or more control over the world's lore as you. Ask them questions as often as you want, and write down the answers if you won't remember them. Come back to them, bring them back, make them relevant. People love feeling like their answers are important.
Be a fan of their characters. Fellowship is optimistic, and it's important that everyone is exciting ands fun. Let good things happen to the characters, and love them as much as their players do. Give them a chance in the spotlight. Make them earn it, sure, but they should be having fun.
Pass the Spotlight. Make sure it doesn't sit on any one player for too long - everyone deserves a chance in it regularly. Your job's to help ensure they get it. Sometimes, as cene may come where the spotlight sits on one or two players for a while, and that's okay if it fits the flow - but once it's over, go back to the others and give them a chance to do stuff, too. Trust your instincts, and try not to pass the spotlight when someone's in the middle of something - but a cliffhanger, that's fine. It adds tension.
Think dangerous. Never be afraid to ramp things up. A wagon chase is dangerous - but what if it catches fire? Always look for ways to ramp up danger, increase risk and increase consequences. It's more fun with higher stakes! A lot of the fun of the game is to see how things can get worse, crazier and still be solved. You're a fan, but that doesn't mean you have to hand them things on a silver platter. Make 'em work for it. Don't deny them the thrill of danger.
Begin and end with the fiction. What's going on right now? What's happening, to who, and how? What do you sense right now? Start there, with the facts and narrative, and roll into action. Keep things moving forward, and you should always explain what's going on fictionally.
Think off-screen, too. Not everything has to happen here and now. Sometiumes, bad things happen somewhere else, especially if the Overlord's not around. It's okay to make a cut where the players don't see the results, especially if things are too hectic now to add much, or so calm that nothing's going on where they are. No matter what they do, remember that the Overlord's always up to something.
Don't shut them down. When a player Commands Lore, you can't say no. When a player proposes something about the world or the situation, lean to yes rather than no. If they want to try something, ask how they do it. If they porpose something so ludicrous you'd never allow it - even then, don't say no. Talk to them about it like adults. Find a middle ground. Maybe dial it back a little or find something else that works. This isn't
game. Your job is to make it fun and exciting, not police it. If you're really against something, you can Tell Them The Consequences or Requirements.
- Be the referee. If someone doesn't know which move to use, tell them. When someone's not sure how something should work, tell them. Even if you don't know, tell them. If someone doesn't know which move to use, use Overcome. It's quicker to make up an answer and run with it than waste time looking it up. Make the call, ref.
A Cut is a storytelling weapon you use against the fellowship. Like I said before, hard and soft. You start scenes with soft cuts, and you use them every tiem the players look to you for what happens next. When no one knows what's going on, make a soft cut. A hard cut is what happens next. It's what happens when a soft cut hits - the demon's fangs bite into flesh and cause damage, you fail to stop the out-of-control carriage and it flies off the cliff. It's when the bad thing's happened and can no longer be stopped. When a player fails to stop a soft cut, make a hard cut that follows.
Whenever a player rolls a 6 or less on any roll, you can make any cut you have access to, as hard as you want. You can give htem a soft cut if they're in a tough spot, or you can slame them with ah ard cut and let them deal with it. Your call. You've got access to the following cuts at all times. They're your options and tools. During any scene, you'll also have access to a bunch of other cuts based on the threats and obstacles present. Whenever you have a chance to make a cut, you can use any cut available.
Reveal an unwelcome truth. Tell them something they don't want to hear. It can be used to do just about anything, so it's your strongest tool. Any news can be bad news, and this is telling them it. Maybe the sword they want is shattered. Maybe the guy they threw off the cliff caught their belt and pulled them along. Maybe the carriage is broken.
Show signs of an approaching threat. Reveal a new problem they'll have to deal with. Reinforcements, say, or an avalanche, or the approach of the Overlord. If you need something to make a situation more dangerous, here you go. An approaching threat needn't be new, either. If they're crossing an old bridge, you could tell them they hear snapping ropes and should hurry. An enemy the Elf is Keeping Busy might finally get past her and is rushing someone else! This is all about adding extra worries.
Deal damage. Hurt 'em. Damage a stat, theirs or their companions'. Damage doesn't have to be physical. When they're demoralized, set back or in despair, you can damage them. If it's right, you can even take Bonds away. Hurt them. Sometimes, you use this on your own minions or threats, too. If it's right, if they take away an opponent's ability to do something, you can damage the opponent's stats yourself. They don't always need to Finish Them to overcome a foe.
Use up or take away their resources. They've got gear for a rason. Make 'em use it. Give them chances to get out of a tight spot by using up their stuff. Damage their gear with fire, water or attacks. It's valuable, but replaceable. Treat it that way.
Turn their move back on them. Not everything goes well. If a player tries and it goes badly, turn it on them. Dwarf fails to Clear the Path? Clothesline them, or hit 'em hard with a counter attack, or have the room collapse around them. The Harbinger fails to cast a mighty spell? It goes wild, causing disaster. Heroes are always reckless, so this shouldn't be hard.
Separate them. Toss them apart, have rooms collapse, kidnap them. They're at their strongest together, so force them to take on the world alone once in a while.
Put someone on the spot. Sometimes, a character can't get out of trouble alone. While the Elf is holding off a foe, another sneaks up on them. While the Heir is reeling from a blow, they don't notice as they back towards a cliff. Then, change the spotlight. Put them in hot water and ask someone else what they do. It's a staple cut, and it keeps players proactive.
Present an opportunity. You don't always have to be mean. When the players follow a plan, succeed or just need a break, show them an opportunity. Give them an opening, have them spot something crucial, have a foe make a mistake. If someone's having a rough night, throw 'em a bone. If someone asks if there's something you could swing off, tell them about it. If you ever think of something real cool they could do, present an opportunity.
Show a downside. Nothing's perfect. Sometimes, your little dwarf arms just aren't long enough to reach your dangling friend. Something your spear's just too big to deal with a foe in your face. Sometimes your horse panics and runs the wrong way. And it's your job to make sure the players know that, especially when it's a really bad time to know that.
- Tell them the consequences or requirements. Sometimes, a player will ask you for something wild, or something reasonable in a really dangerous time, or they'll want to do something they can't without something else. At times like that, you can let them know what it'll cost. Sure, you can sprint for the exit, but the ogre's gonna take a swing at you if you do. Sure, you can buy that...if you have 50 coins. Yeah, you can climb that wall, but you'll need gear - it's too smooth for bare hands. And you'll need to be careful, it's certainly guarded. You can't say no - but you can say 'you can only do that by...'
The game then starts talking about enemies and obstacles - threats. Enemies and obstacles, like Companions, have several stats - and each stat gives them access to a Threat. So long as they have that stat, they pose that Threat. Unlike Companions, the only thing that'll stop a Threat from being a problem is the fellowship. When an enemy's stat is damaged, they lose the associated threat. Damage is not just violence - it's removing something's ability to do harm. It neutralizes problems, and needn't always come by violence and bloodshed. That's why Finish Them lets you decide what Destroy Them means each time. You neutralize all their abilities to stop you, but not necessarily by killing. Often, you won't have to go that far - that takesz a while and uses more resources than just getting past an enemy and disabling what you have to do to do that.
An enemy whose stats are all damaged is Destroyed - even if they didn't Finish Them. An enemy that's been Destroyed can't use any Cuts, and it won't stop the fellowship, either because it won't or it can't. Oh, and one other thing: every enemy can be recruited, if the fellowship sits down and Forges a Bond with it. When they become a Companion, all threats attached to stats are lost - they just keep the stats and follow Companion rules now. Non-violence is actually rahter important in the game - that's why there's only one move for actual harm and destroying foes, and everything else is just for dealing with them. When something's stopping them, the fellowship can still get past by Overcoming the threat, ignoring it briefly. A Varg might pounce on someone using its Going For The Jugular stat, but it can be stopped if Overcome. Someone taming the Varg can OVercome its Cruel Beast threat to not take damage from riding it for a bit - and so have an easier time taming it.
A Barrier, however, cannot be recruited or reasoned with. It's a threat that's just in the way, is usually a force of nature, magical or an obstacle, and isn't actually a person or creature. It works the same way - a rickety bridge has stats with associated threats - but you can't treat it like a warrior or a wolf. You can also mix and mathc enemies and barriers to create interesting and complex encounters. But when you go beyond that, you need a Set Piece - a collection of threats that can't stand on their own, and work together cohesively. They're like multi-stage boss fights, long-running encounters, chase scenes, sports tournaments and the like. A Set Piece can take an entire session to deal with.
For example, the game gives us the Stone Colossus. It is made of several challenges, each with their own stats.
Army of One : A giant statue of stone, brought to life as a weapon. Its defenses are many and its weapons immense. If either of these stats are damaged, the Colossus is destroyed.
Massive Stone Body : The body is built to last. This stat can't be damaged by anything less than siege weaponry and high explosives. If this stat is damaged, the Colossus falls over, and everyone near it risks being crushed.
Power Core : The Colossus has a weak spot deep inside a - magical or mechanical core powering it. Anyone near it risks being set on fire by intense heat. If this stat is damaged, the Colossus falls apart, and everyone inside it risks being crushed.
Armored Exterior : The Colossus is nearly invincible. Don't deal with the outer shell? You probably can't stop it.
Six Feet of Stone : The Colossus' armor is several feet thick, and can't be damaged by anything less than siege weaponry and high explsoives. Unless this stat is damaged, you can't harm the Colossus' Massive Stone Body.
Maintenance Tunnel : There's a secret entrance in the Colossus, but it's well hidden, hard to reach and locked. Unless this stat is damaged, you can't reach the Colossus' Power Core.
Hands of God : The Colossus' massive arms and legs are its main threat. They can crush you eaisly, and stopping them takes serious power.
This Right Hand of Mine : The right arm of the Colossus holds a massive sword, which can be used to destroy anything it can hit. It swings slowly, but the blow covers such a large area it can be hard to dodge. Anyone directly hit by this weapon is Taken Out, damaging all of their stats.
The Left Arm : The left arm of the Colossus is free, but it can use it to swat off anyone trying to harm it. Climbing the Colossus is dangerous while this arm is functional.
Pillars of Stone : The legs of the Colossus can crush anything underfoot. It can simply walk through them, destroying all vehicles and structures in the way and leaving massive footprints everywhere it goes. If this stat is damaged, the Colossus becomes immobile and crashes to the ground, potentially crushing anyone below it.
You see? The main threat, the Army of One, is theo nly one that strictly needs to be overcome...but while the armor and arms exist, it's a lot more threatening. The player shave to deal with its attacks and overcome its defenses to get at it properly. It's hard to fight and will likely take several scenes or a whole Showdown to deal with, and running might be the best option early on. That's what a proper Set Piece is all about. Every piece actively works with or protects other elements of it. They're excellent boss battles and dangerous encounters, but they don't need to be used just for that, either.
Next time: Generals
I am the very model of a modern major-general!Original SA post Fellowship: I am the very model of a modern major-general!
The Generals of the Overlord are special enemies. To create one, you take any single enemy and make it a Threat to the World. You can do this to an entire Set Piece, if it's an entire giant monster. This means anyone trying to take action against the General must pay a price to do it. Plus, if they'd be Destroyed or all their stats are damaged, they just retreat to fight anotehr day. The only time they won't succeed at this is if there's nowhere to run it's the Final Battle. In that case, they'll be Destroyed as normal. You don't need to change any of the General's other stats, though you can if you want to make them more original. They don't get any extra threats over the normal versions - the only difference is they're a Threat to the World. That's enough.
If your General is something weak, like a Brainiac or Advisor, you can give them forces. Generals know their limits and will work around them. A weak General will have armies or elite guards. Making the Fellowship pay a price every time they act against a General will also add up very quickly, when the General is a planner. When they have to pay a price every time they try to stop the General's plan, the pressure builds quick. For a General that's bigger and beefier, like an Owl Bear or the Stone Colossus, it should be used for Showdowns. A huge, powerful General can be a serious threat - have it chase them through a city, destroying buildings and leaving ruin. A strong, multi-threat Set Piece General can be a huge problem, requiring a lot of planning, quick wits and bravado to beat. If the players can't handle a General, it's good to remind them that retreating and regrouping is always an option. Generals are a big Threat to the World, and everything's on the table when you face one.
The game now throws some example Barriers, Set Pieces and Enemies at us. For example, the Broken Bridge:
Broken Bridge : The bridge is out.
Shoddy Construction : The bridge cannot be crossed unless it is repaired.
Long Way Around : There's another way across, but it isn't close.
Or the Burning Building:
Burning Building : Everything is on fire and it's all falling apart.
Fire Everywhere : Nowhere is safe in here. Everyone who makes a move inside the burning building must pay a price, or else they roll in Despair. Anyone immune to fire is immune to this penalty.
Falling Apart : Whenever anyone does anything reckless or fails a move while inside the burning building, a route becomes closed off by the building falling apart. A hole opens up in the floor, or a wall collapses in front of you, that kind of thing.
Or the War Elephant:
War Elephant : The largest in ground-based war animal technology, these massive creatures can support a small building on their backs. The APC of the fantasy age.
Armored Riding Platform : Anyone on top of the elephant cannot be harmed, except by other people on top of the elephant.
Tusks and Screaming : A War Elephant is Dangerous and can trample or gouge anything in its path. Anyone in its way when it charges takes damage.
Or Speedy of the Organization:
Speedy : The fastest of them all.
Too Dangerous : When Speedy gets damaged, they run.
Too Quick : Anyone trying to Get Away from Speedy is stopped before they roll.
Too Sharp : Anyone trying to fight Speedy can only Keep Them Busy.
The End...for now!
Go back Fellowship! Here's the Kickstarter! And, as I said, I'm running a game of it, and the recruit is still open!