Forged Beyond the Wall

A couple of discussion I’ve participated here recently sparked the idea of remaking Beyond the Wall and Other Adventures as a Forged In the Dark game. I don’t know if this is madness or not but let me hit you with some ideas and you can hit me back with what’s wrong with them.

For background I’ve only run BtW once, and the main reason for that is that I feel a strong disconnect between what I want to do with the game and the old school D&D rules. (I don’t think they’re bad, they just don’t fit well with what I want to get out of the game.)

I’ve had the itch to hack it for a different system ever since that one time I ran it. I love the playbooks, the village creation, and the do-it-at-the-table GM prep, but I want different mechanics.

I’ve run a short series of Scum & Villainy of three or four sessions and I’ve played in a standard Blades forum game that lasted two or three jobs, so I’m hardly an expert there either. However, I feel that the resolution mechanics and the action/downtime cycle fits with what I’d like BtW to be so I’d like to at least sketch out the ideas and see if there are any immediate incompatibilities that make the idea unworkable or if there could be something there.

This is written very much in the moment since I think better when I’m typing. If I actually post it I guess I felt the ideas were at least strong enough to warrant someone else taking a look at them. I’m trying not to get dissuaded by assigning myself too much homework before I brainstorm so I have only looked up things as they’ve become relevant to what I’m writing here.

Structure
BtW is primarily intended for one-shots (though the campaign expansion is intriguing) while FitD is intended primarily for medium term play (as I’ve understood it; I could be wrong). I think the FitD model will work well, if you tune the jobs to the setting and set appropriate stakes.

Actions, Resolution Mechanism, and Stress
I think these work well as-is from FitD - you’d need to change some of the actions to work better for adventurous children and the perhaps more varied environments they would find themselves in, but that’s par for the course.

Vices would become more innocent hobbies or interests.

Character Creation, Village Creation, and Advancement
Both games use playbooks. I don’t see any reason to change that.

I think the style of character generation in BtW would work fine with FitD style characters. Pick your playbook, make some rolls on tables structured so that you will have a solid foundation in your primary action along with a few others. Available equipment an similarly be a mix of automatically included and randomly assigned bits. The relationships can work the same way as in BtW as can the village creation.

Moves are perhaps a bit trickier. If you limit the playbooks to a handful you could make a full list of moves for each, but part of the joy of BtW is the broad spread of character types. Some could probably be condensed but I’m not sure that should be the primary approach.

An alternative could be to look at how BtW mixes Warrior/Magic User/Rogue to create unique classes. Perhaps each playbook has two or three unique moves and there are a bigger list that is common to some of them? Like, there are three sets of differently flavored Warrior moves and you can pick from some combination of those if you have one of the Warrior-flavored playbooks and so on? Those moves could still be physically in the playbooks, as long as the lists aren’t too meaty. That seems reasonable.

Factions, Jobs, and Rewards
My immediate idea for this is that the factions are families and individuals in the village and some of the people who come visiting. The smith, the priest, the fisherman, the innkeeper, the peddler, the baron in the manor, the wise woman and so on. These are the ones asking you for help, and the jobs consist of helping the village rather than stealing and murdering and such.

This means that all the factions will be on the same side, however. You’re not doing a job against the priest on behalf of the innkeeper; you’re rescuing the innkeeper’s son from the fairies. But maybe there can be different approaches you take to the job that will affect your standing with various villagers? If you rescue the innkeeper’s son but don’t banish the fairies, maybe the priest will take affront and if you do perhaps the wise woman who has a deal with the fairies will like you less?

Or perhaps the various threats to the village are also represented as factions, and while you will generally be in conflict with them perhaps you can gain their respect? Hm.

Either way, you’re not working for coin and you don’t have upkeep the way a gang of thieves or a starship crew does. Part of your rewards will be the increased respect of the villagers, but perhaps increasing your tier is dependent on the objects and experiences you bring back from your encounters with the threats to the village? That seems fitting. (A possible trajectory for more long term play could be that you start out protecting your home village, then the barony, then the kingdom, and finally the entire world. Stashing that idea for later.) That would make it the equivalent of Rep, which works, I guess? That removes coin from the equation altogether. I guess that’s… fine?

Heat, Downtime, and Crew Advancement
I don’t know what the equivalent of Heat would be in this game. Attention from the leaders of the threats, perhaps? Dissatisfaction from the villagers? Making it some kind of strangeness from encountering otherworldly creatures would have an interesting flavor.

In Blades you expand your gang and your territory, and in S&V you improve your ship. Neither fits very well with BtW, so what does? Could you ditch this completely? That would be a pity since the downtime game and crew improvement is a fun part of these games, but perhaps it’s not necessary? This may put a bigger weight on longterm projects as the main downtime activity if you don’t need to shed Heat (whatever that turns out to be) or recover Stress. Does that make sense? I’m not sure.

Alternatively, the factions aren’t the individual villagers but larger groups of them and the equivalent of crew improvements becomes things like “having a good relationship with the smith so he makes you better weapons” but that doesn’t feel quite right.

I feel like there’s overlap in odd ways here.

The GM
Both BtW and FitD fits with an improv heavy GM style (which is something I enjoy). BtW is tuned for one shots so the events tend to be bigger which may require some adjustment, but I think adapting FitD’s continually active hostile forces would make for an intriguing take on the threats in BtW. Instead of picking between different jobs you’re trying to decide which strange occurrences or open threats to investigate first - is the strange blight on the crops more important than the innkeeper’s missing son? Downtime investigation of what’s going on may become vital here, like checking out the details of a job. Hm. Interesting parallel…

Looking at It from the Other Side
So let’s switch perspectives and start from BtW and try to figure out what those characters and stories need that FitD can provide.

Young local heroes typically need to balance their heroing with family expectations, chores or apprenticeships, and worrying parents. They develp their inherent powers through experience and necessity as they confront enemies that should be far too dangerous for them to tangle with. They triumph with the aid of luck, cleverness, their inborn gifts, and the aid of mentors and other helpers. Often they get involved in secret at first, as everyone thinks they’re too young and inexperienced to deal with such dangers as raiding goblins or treacherous fairies. (Some of this doesn’t fit exactly with how the characters are portrayed in BtW but right now I’m looking broader.)

Some of this suggests a tier structure. I’m not sure if this makes sense or fits the game structure, but I’ll sketch it out anyway.

At first, you’re acting in secret (tier 0): Heat becomes attention from your parents and other authority figures which you need to shed by doing chores; Rep becomes experience and the blooming of your inherent gifts as mentioned previously. You may gain the trust and gratitude of individual villagers, but on the whole you are still treated as children.

At tier 1, you’ve become accepted as competent youngsters, trusted to take part in the defense of the village but not to act on your own. You still have obligations to your family and whoever you’re apprenticed to.

At tier 2 most adults treat you as equals (depending on your relationship with their factions, whether those are the individual people or bigger groups).

At tier 3 you occupy positions of authority in the village. At this point the game ends or you make the jump to a bigger scale.

Conclusions
I think there could be something here. You’d need to shave off some of the things that work for a crew of criminals that doesn’t fit as well for young local heroes, but it doesn’t seem like there’s a direct conflict either.

I guess the next step (unless you all convince me this is crazy because of things I haven’t thought about, which is a distinct possibility) would be to hack some Blades or S&V playbooks. But now it’s bedtime.

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I know @RichardRuane has put a lot of time and thought into hacking Beyond the Wall for various purposes. Not sure what his opinions are on FitD, but he may have some thoughts to share

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I looked through the BitD actions and after pushing at them a bit I landed back at the same set. I grouped them a bit differently, I think.

It seems the main issue with converting the BtW playbooks is that they give many minor additions to the stats whereas FitD has a much more coarse scaling - basically, you’ll be starting at 0-2 instead of 8-18. Fewer modifiers means less room for tables that add a lot of flavor and are still mechanically meaningful, I think? OTOH, contacts by themselves can be more useful in FitD so maybe that will work out.

Since I wasn’t dissuaded by looking more closely at the playbooks I guess I’m doing this, at least to the point where I have a couple of playbooks for testing.

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The issues with moves and stat scaling is similar to what I bumped up against during my very lazy squinting at doing something like this using Dungeon World as a baseline instead of BitD.

I still don’t have a good idea for how to handle moves, but stat scaling isn’t as big an issue, because if you think about it, the stats in an 8-18 system don’t actually do much most of the time – it’s often just the modifier that gets used, while the 8-18 scale is more of a way to measure progress. So what’s also a way to measure progress? XP. Which Blades in the Dark conveniently has on a per-group-of-actions basis.

So I think you could do moderately well with some sort of "get Y number of XP in your … ugh, I forgot what the action categories are called in Blades, but you get the idea.

The downside of this is that you don’t get to specifically assign those XP to individual actions. Though you could do something like “You are a skilled hunter and often brought down woodland creatures for food when times were lean. If you have no dots in Hunt, mark the first one now, otherwise, mark 3 XP in Insight.”?

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That’s an interesting idea!

I’ve had a closer look at it, and I think it might work out okay anyway. If you go with the five BitD starting dots, that’s enough to assign one from picking the playbook, one from your childhood/parents, one from your apprenticeship or other training, and one each for the relationships with the players next to you. If you replace one of those (probably the apprenticeship/training) with a special move assignment (and probably reorder them a bit so that one comes last or nearly last), you could add in one more for childhood or someone you learned from.

I think giving out whole dots also works better if you still want to use it for one shots, but that’s a secondary concern (at most) at this point.

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Good point about one-shots. I was thinking that it would be possible for people to hit the same “category” a couple of times at various points during chargen, so the XP could pile up even before play starts. But if actually just using dots works out, that’s way simpler.

Still no idea what to do about giving moves to the playbooks though. =/

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My current thinking on moves/special abilities is that you’ll get one from a choice of maybe three that are specific to the playbook during character generation, then have groups of related ones for advancement. Say there’s a dozen or so groups of moves - Wilderness Lore, Ancient Lore, Japes & Trickery, Swordsmanship; that sort of thing, but not necessarily those - with 3-5 moves each, and each playbook gets access to three of those groups. That means you may have some overlap, but there’s still plenty of room for a given group of characters to develop in different directions.

I’m thinking this way largely because I want to keep the broad selection of playbooks, and writing up six or eight distinctive moves for each would be unwieldy to say the least.

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I like that, but it sounds like a fair amount of work to write good ones.

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That’s always the case with writing moves, I think… It would mean making something like 30-50 general moves, which is a lot but it’s “only” about as much as for seven playbooks with six or seven moves each. Of course, that’s not counting the ones specific to each playbook. Maybe just the one for each of those, then? That should be doable.

Either way, right now my plan is to try to get enough playbooks together to make a test run without advancement, so it’s a worry for later if the rest works out.

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Oh, BTW here’s my first rough draft of the childhood tables. They will require revision in several ways but right now I’m focusing on getting something down on paper.

What do your parents do in the village? What have you learned from them?

  1. Your parents are poor and struggle to put food on the table, but they’ve taught you to stand up for yourself and never back down from a challenge. (Confront)
  2. Your parents own a small farm near the forest, and they let you run wild among the trees. (Scramble)
  3. Your parents work in the forest, felling trees and selling firewood. You’ve grown up tall and strong. (Wreck)
  4. Your parents are the wealthiest in the village, and you’ve learned to command servants and other children alike. (Command)
  5. Your parents pick berries, gather herbs, and hunt in the forest and have taught you the ways of the wild. (Hunt)
  6. Your parents are merchants and have taught you how to interest others in your wares and get a good price. (Sway)
  7. Your parents run the local inn and you have learned to get along with friends and strangers alike. (Consort)
  8. Your parents weave cloth and sew clothes, and working spindle, loom, and needle have turned your fingers quick and nimble. (Finesse)
  9. Your parents know much of spirits and pixies and have passed on their knowledge to you. (Attune)
  10. One of your parents is the village priest, and you have learned to read and write from an early age. (Study)
  11. Your parents are woodwrights and carpenters, and you have learned to work with tools. (Handle)
  12. Your parents are shepherds, and you have watched the flocks from an early age. (Observe)

How did you distinguish yourself as a child?

  1. You constantly got into fights, and you won more than you lost. (Confront)
  2. No one was faster or climbed higher than you. (Scramble)
  3. You were bigger and stronger than others your age, and more quick to anger. (Wreck)
  4. You took the lead and others followed. (Command)
  5. You were the best at games of hiding and sneaking. (Hunt)
  6. You learned how to sweet-talk and persuade others at an early age. (Sway)
  7. You got along well with everyone, both adults and other children. (Consort)
  8. You excelled at games of reflexes and manual dexterity. (Finesse)
  9. You saw more than other children, and adults often called you touched or spooky. (Attune)
  10. You listened to the old stories and searched for knowledge. (Study)
  11. You learned knots and finger traps. (Handle)
  12. You often noticed what others missed. (Observe)
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Unfortunately, my limited contact with BitD was a while ago, and I know very little about the system.

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I like those! One random comment – parents #4 might want to say “one of the wealthiest” just in case two characters roll it and don’t feel like being siblings.

Good point! I’m sure there are plenty more of those; this is a first draft to get going.

I finally finished a first draft of the Heir to a Legend. The first two tables are intended to be identical between all (normal villager children) playbooks; the third contains the eight of the twelve possible entries that fit the character concept the best; the next three are pure flavor; the pick list has the playbook’s unique special abilities; and the final table has entries for the actions that are most core to the character concept.

I’ve renamed a couple of the actions from Blades - Skirmish is now Confront, which I think fits the theme better; and Prowl is Scramble as in Scum & Villainy, which I think is more clear; Tinker is Handle which feels broader and more fitting in a less technologically advanced context. I’m unsure what to do about Wreck - it feels a bit more narrow than the others, but when I try to combine it with something else (Confront or Scramble) it doesn’t work for me. It might just need a new name that I haven’t figured out yet.

I’ve distributed the five starting dots as follows:
One is assigned from your playbook.
Two are spread among all the actions from your childhood.
One is assigned among the eight most fitting actions from someone you learned from in the village.
One is assigned to one of the four most core actions from the event-with-a-friend table.

The event from the player on your left doesn’t give you a new dot, but it allows you to move a dot to the relevant action.

If you get more than two dots in an action, you have to shift any over two to other actions at the end of character creation. (I think they should stay in the same attribute, probably?)

In the next post I’ll roll up a sample character, just to see how it works.

One thing I’d like to do later is make the table entries more varied by using some kind of subtables or by combining two dice results in some way. But that’s for later.

Heir to a Legend
One of your parents has told you stories of what a great hero they were. Many of the other villagers scoff at this and pity you for being raised by such a liar, but you know they are true and honest. Now you have their sword, a mighty weapon of power, and you will make a name for yourself and make them proud.

You are athletic and adventurous. You start with one dot in Scramble.

What do your parents do in the village? What have you learned from them?
1. Your parents are poor and struggle to put food on the table, but they’ve taught you to stand up for yourself and never back down from a challenge. (Confront)
2. Your parents own a small farm near the forest, and they let you run wild among the trees. (Scramble)
3. Your parents work in the forest, felling trees and selling firewood. You’ve grown up tall and strong. (Wreck)
4. Your parents are among the wealthiest in the village, and you’ve learned to command servants and other children alike. (Command)
5. Your parents pick berries, gather herbs, and hunt in the forest and have taught you the ways of the wild. (Hunt)
6. Your parents are merchants and have taught you how to interest others in your wares and get a good price. (Sway)
7. Your parents run the local inn and you have learned to get along with friends and strangers alike. (Consort)
8. Your parents weave cloth and sew clothes, and working spindle, loom, and needle have turned your fingers quick and nimble. (Finesse)
9. Your parents know much of spirits and pixies and have passed on their knowledge to you. (Attune)
10. One of your parents is the village priest, and you have learned to read and write from an early age. (Study)
11. Your parents are woodwrights and carpenters, and you have learned to work with tools. (Handle)
12. Your parents are shepherds, and you have watched the flocks from an early age. (Observe)

How did you distinguish yourself as a child?
1. You constantly got into fights, and you won more than you lost. (Confront)
2. No one was faster or climbed higher than you. (Scramble)
3. You were bigger and stronger than others your age, and more quick to anger. (Wreck)
4. You took the lead and others followed. (Command)
5. You were the best at games of hiding and sneaking. (Hunt)
6. You learned how to sweet-talk and persuade others at an early age. (Sway)
7. You got along well with everyone, both adults and other children. (Consort)
8. You excelled at games of reflexes and manual dexterity. (Finesse)
9. You saw more than other children, and adults often called you touched or spooky. (Attune)
10. You listened to the old stories and searched for knowledge. (Study)
11. You were the best at knots and finger traps. (Handle)
12. You often noticed what others missed. (Observe)

The other player characters were your best friends. Who else in the village befriended you while you were growing up, and what did you learn from them?
1. You sparred with one of the baron’s men-at-arms. (Confront)
2. One of the entertainers who visited the inn taught you how to tumble. (Scramble)
3. You worked with the stonecutter, transporting blocks of stone and shaping them for building. (Wreck)
4. You helped one of the elders watch the young children. (Command)
5. Some of the older children let you come along when they hunted squirrels. (Hunt)
6. You assisted the visiting peddler with calling out their wares. (Sway)
7. One of the farmhands taught you to flip coins, flick stones on the pond, and weave bracelets out of straw. (Finesse)
8. You walked the boundary with the village watchman and learned to spot foxes and clouds warning of bad weather. (Observe)

What did your parent bring home from their travels apart from their sword?
1. Your other parent, a stranger to your land.
2. A collection of tattered maps.
3. Ancient books with strange illustrations.
4. A flower that never wilts.
5. A jewel that grows strangely in the dark.
6. A shield seemingly made from colored glass.
7. A strong and temperamental steed.
8. A cloak embroidered with threads of gold and silver.
9. A silver horn.
10. A large iron pot decorated with strange symbols.
11. A heavy hammer of black steel.
12. A chest of golden coins.

Where do they say they got it from?
1. The land of the fairies.
2. A dragon’s hoard.
3. The mountaintop home of a giant.
4. The halls of an underground kingdom.
5. The king of a faraway land.
6. The land of the dead.
7. An ancient tomb.
8. A sunken pirate ship.
9. The home of the gods.
10. A land beyond the stars.
11. The land of dreams.
12. The capital of an ancient empire.

What else do they tell stories about?
1. Battles and conquest, of war in faraway countries.
2. Journeys across land and sea, to the four corners of the world.
3. Travels to worlds beyond, Faerie and stranger places still.
4. Ancient wizards and warlocks hiding in towers and underground lairs.
5. Men with the heads of beasts and beasts that speak like men.
6. Unimaginable treasures, with mountains of gold and diamonds the size of a man’s fist.
7. Loss and tragedy, friends perished and trust betrayed.
8. Gods and devils, ancient struggles beyond the ken of mortals.
9. A dragon slain, the great wyrm’s tyranny broken.
10. A court bewitched by vengeful magic, a royal heir saved from certain death.
11. Adventures with other heroes, their travels and troubles
12. The faiths and traditions of foreign lands, their courtly conspiracies and intrigues.

Your parent trained you to fight with their sword. What did you learn?
• Never Give Up. You gain an additional xp trigger: You defeated someone who previously bested you or one of your friends. If your friends helped you, also mark party xp.
• Master Your Fear. You may expend your special armor to resist a consequence from fear or despair, or to push yourself when facing a higher tier enemy.
• Blood of a Hero. You can push yourself to do one of the following: make a prodigious leap; perform a feat of physical force that verges on the superhuman; run, climb, or swim faster than should be possible.

Something finally pushed you to go make a name for yourself. What was it? The player to your right was there and supported you, and may shift a dot to the named action.
1. A skilled fighter from another village came to challenge your parent to a duel. You stood in their place instead and won! The friend to your right stood firm with you and faced down the challenger’s cohorts. (Confront)
2. You proved your skill in the games at the festival last spring, using some tricks your parent taught you. The friend to your right helped you train. (Scramble)
3. The loudmouths at the inn badmouthing your parent as a liar finally got to you and you decided to defend your family name. The friend to your right stood up to them with you. (Wreck)
4. A strange creature attacked one of the villagers and you rallied your friends to fight it off. The friend to your right helped convince the others to fight. (Command)

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Sample character. Let’s call her Ruth.

Ruth gets one dot in Scramble from being the Heir to a Legend.

Her parents are shepherds and she has watched the flocks, giving her a dot in Observe. As a child, no one was faster or climbed higher, which gives her another dot in Scramble. She helped one of the elders watch the younger children, giving her a dot in Command.

Other than her sword, her mother brought home a chest of golden coins, claiming she got it from a sunken pirate ship. She has also told Ruth stories of travels to Faerie and other strange realms.

When her mother trained her to fight with her sword, Ruth learned to Never Give Up.

What finally pushed her to make a name for herself was when a strange creature attacked one of the villagers and she rallied her friends to fight it off, earning her another dot in Command.

Ruth ends up with Scramble 2, Command 2, and Observe 1. Depending on what the player on her left rolled, she would get the chance to shift one of her dots to a different action though I think she’s pretty happy with these - she’s charismatic, quick, and agile, she has a good pair of eyes in her head, and if you hurt one of her friends she will make you pay.

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I’m realllly liking this! Two suggestions:

What if “Wreck” was renamed to “Force”? That seems to cover most of the same bases, but feels broader and allows more of a sense of “also contains lifting and hauling and pushing” which are things that feel like they might be relevant in this style?

Blood of a Hero is awesome, but seems strange as an answer to “What did you learn?”; Maybe that question could be reworded? “What did you discover?” “What did you take away?” Not sure.

Good suggestions both!

I’m trying not to get hung up on wording because - and I’m speaking from experience here - if I do I will never get anywhere, so I very much appreciate getting input from others on things I’ve rushed past.

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My side gig is as an editor, so word choice is a thing that is important to me. (Actually, if you want help with stuff on that side of things, let me know)

You seem to be doing great without my help otherwise, so I don’t have many other suggestions. :slight_smile:

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Word choice is highly important to me as well, which is why I have to turn that off and just forge ahead. :slight_smile:

I’m in dire need of an editor for another project, or will be once I’m done with the latest slew of changes and corrections… I might drop you a message about that later.

Here’s a first rough draft of the Witch’s Prentice. I’ve added in some more game mechanical effects to the tables; the Heir to a Legend has also received some similar changes but I’m not finished with those.

Some say the true heart of magic is the simple, practical work of the village witch. Your village, like many, has its own crone who tends the sick and blesses the fields. She has chosen you as her apprentice.
You are in tune with the natural world and what lies beyond. You start with one dot in Attune.
What do your parents do in the village? What have you learned from them?
1. Your parents are poor and struggle to put food on the table, but they’ve taught you to stand up for yourself and never back down from a challenge. (Confront)
2. Your parents own a small farm near the forest, and they let you run wild among the trees. (Scramble)
3. Your parents work in the forest, felling trees and selling firewood. You’ve grown up tall and strong. (Wreck)
4. Your parents are among the wealthiest in the village, and you’ve learned to command servants and other children alike. (Command)
5. Your parents pick berries, gather herbs, and hunt in the forest and have taught you the ways of the wild. (Hunt)
6. Your parents are merchants and have taught you how to interest others in your wares and get a good price. (Sway)
7. Your parents run the local inn and you have learned to get along with friends and strangers alike. (Consort)
8. Your parents weave cloth and sew clothes, and working spindle, loom, and needle have turned your fingers quick and nimble. (Finesse)
9. Your parents know much of spirits and pixies and have passed on their knowledge to you. (Attune)
10. One of your parents is the village priest, and you have learned to read and write from an early age. (Study)
11. Your parents are woodwrights and carpenters, and you have learned to work with tools. (Handle)
12. Your parents are shepherds, and you have watched the flocks from an early age. (Observe)

How did you distinguish yourself as a child?
1. You constantly got into fights, and you won more than you lost. (Confront)
2. No one was faster or climbed higher than you. (Scramble)
3. You were bigger and stronger than others your age, and more quick to anger. (Wreck)
4. You took the lead and others followed. (Command)
5. You were the best at games of hiding and sneaking. (Hunt)
6. You learned how to sweet-talk and persuade others at an early age. (Sway)
7. You got along well with everyone, both adults and other children. (Consort)
8. You excelled at games of reflexes and manual dexterity. (Finesse)
9. You saw more than other children, and adults often called you touched or spooky. (Attune)
10. You listened to the old stories and searched for knowledge. (Study)
11. You were the best at knots and finger traps. (Handle)
12. You often noticed what others missed. (Observe)

The other player characters were your best friends. Who else in the village befriended you while you were growing up, and what did you learn from them?
1. You helped one of the elders watch the young children. (Command)
2. Some of the older children let you come along when they hunted squirrels. (Hunt)
3. You assisted the visiting peddler with calling out their wares. (Sway)
4. One of the farmhands taught you to flip coins, flick stones on the pond, and weave bracelets out of straw. (Finesse)
5. A wise elder taught you the secrets of the seven herbs and how to call the moon. (Attune)
6. You helped the miller keep his inventory and learned letters and numbers. (Study)
7. You worked with the smith and learned to make hinges and locks. (Handle)
8. You walked the boundary with the village watchman and learned to spot foxes and clouds warning of bad weather. (Observe)

What strange thing does the witch keep in her house?
1. A big book bound in black leather, filled with strange symbols and diagrams.
2. All kinds of small animals that make their homes there.
3. Dried herbs, strange powders, and cured animal hides.
4. A sturdy cage, locked but seemingly empty.
5. A staff made from a tree branch, carved with runes and decorated with animal bones and pebbles.
6. A human skull, pale and polished.
7. A cloak covered with black feathers.
8. Painted masks of wood and bone.
9. An orb of crystal, filled with swirling fog and shimmering lights.
10. A head shaped of metal, with a hinged jaw and eyes that seem to follow you around the room.
11. A large cloth with painted symbols and a pouch of tokens made of wood, stone, and bone.
12. A large box that rattles and shakes in the night.

What kind of magic has the witch taught you?
1. Necromancy. You can command, sway, and consort with the spirits of the restless dead.
2. Fertility magic. You can see life, where it has opportunity to grow and where all is barren. You can attune yourself to the streams of life to find out what, if anything, can make them flow, and you can study a creature or plant to see what life it can carry.
3. The magic of maladies and death. You can study a person to find out what ails them and what can be done to heal them, and you can observe an area or a group of creatures to judge its health.
4. Foretelling. You can observe the skies for omens of future events, and with their consent you can study a person to tell if their future bodes well or ill.
5. The magic of the fairies. Taken +1d when interacting with fae creatures and magic, and when handling fae objects.
6. The magic of tree and stone. You can command living plants and unshaped stones to move and reshape themselves.
7. To commune with the spirits of nature. You can command, sway, and consort with the spirits of stream, glade, and hill.
8. The language of the beasts. You can command, sway, and consort with wild and tame animals, and take +1d to ride or treat an animal.
9. Astral projection. You can cast your spirit out to study and observe the spirit world in far-off places. Take +1d when gathering info on the spirit world.
10. Illusions. You can turn the sight of man and beast. You get +1 result level when avoiding notice or hiding others, and when using finesse to distract or to steal.
11. Shape-shifting. With the pelt or feathers of an animal you can take its form, and take +1d to hunt, scramble, confront, or wreck within its natural capabilities.
12. Herbs and poisons. You can study plants and animal parts to find out what properties they have, and take +1d when you handle them to create potions or powders.

What drawback does this magic have?
1. It is tiring and draining, requiring rest after use.
2. It draws the attention of the spirits.
3. It exacts a terrible price if used to break the natural order.
4. It requires blood.
5. To use it you must have your ritual implements.
6. The spirits are jealous and require you to renounce all bonds of family.

The witch was hard on you. How did you prove yourself to her? The player to your right was with you when it happened, and may shift a dot to the named action.
1. You eased a difficult birth by calling upon the spirits and saved the lives of both the mother and child. (Attune)
2. By mastering the secrets of her garden. (Study)
3. When a dark spirit attacked her in the night you commanded it to leave, saving you both. (Command)
4. At the spring festival last year you correctly named who would marry, die, or be with child before the year was over. (Observe)

A few weeks ago the witch left you in charge. What happened?
1. She disappeared without a trace.
2. She had to go into the mountains to deal with a danger growing there.
3. She left to visit her sister on the other side of the barony.
4. The baron called for her services.
5. She was called to a Witch Conclave in a foreign land.
6. She died of a strange malady.
7. She battled a dangerous spirit and was taken away.
8. A creature she made a deal with a long time ago came to collect the debt.
9. She was possessed by an evil spirit, and driving it out killed her.
10. She sacrificed herself to save the harvest.
11. She wandered off into the woods and hasn’t come back.
12. Her mind started wandering, and she no longer recognizes the people of the village.

What was the most important thing the witch taught you?
• To Never Show Fear to the spirits. You are immune to the terror some supernatural entities inflict on sight. Take +1d to resistance rolls with Insight.
• Ritual Magic. You can Study a ritual (or create a new one) to summon a supernatural effect or being. You begin the game with one known ritual.
• Spirit Sight. You are always aware of any spirits nearby. Take +1d when you gather info about the supernatural.

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