Monday, June 3, 2013

Beyond the Wall Blogtest

Now we can get moving with the Blogtest of the Beyond the Wall and Other Stories RPG. Here's the arrangement of the table and the playbooks we chose:

+Rob Barrett (of Vargold: The Wolf-Time) chose Dwarven Adventurer.
I chose the Would-Be Knight.
+Henry Wong (of The Campaign Expanse) is creating a Self-Taught Mage.
+Pearce Shea (of games with others) is creating a Witch's Prentice.
+Anthony Simeone (of Once More Unto the Breach) is creating a Young Woodsman.
+Mike Lizardi (of Fear No Darkness) is creating a Halfling Outrider.

Character generation in Beyond the Wall is very different from most RPGs. Instead of randomly rolling abilities, you roll the events of your youth that affected your character. These events can give you ability bonuses, as well as skills, items, and other things. Each playbook consists of seven tables that each pose a question about the character's youth. The roll on the table answers that question. During this process, the players build the village and populate it. The tables give you a start and the players and GM flesh it out.

This post will just go through the initial die rolls in the playbook. Then the other players will comment on each other's posts. Later posts will flesh out the characters, village, and NPCs.

Rob Barrett's first post is here.
Henry Wong's first post is here
Pearce Shea's first post is here.
We're still awaiting Anthony Simeone's first post.
Mike Lizardi's first post is here.

Looking in the Would-Be Knight playbook, my character starts with STR 12, DEX 8, CON 8, INT 8, WIS 8, CHA 8.

The first three tables are the same for everyone growing up in the same location. For this group, that is everyone, except the Halfling and the Dwarf. These tables answer questions about your characters origins. 

1. What did your parents do in the village? What did you learn from them?
I rolled the "Your parents ran the local inn. You grew up meeting many travelers and hearing their tales." which gives me +2 Cha, +1 Int, +1 Dex, +1 Wis. A map icon on this table indicates that I get to place the location on the map, though the Inn is already placed (the only building already on the map).

Henry's Self-Taught Mage got the same result. We and anyone else with that result will work out what that means in comments. We might be siblings, or more than one family runs the inn, or perhaps one character was a foundling raised by the innkeepers. 

2. How did you distinguish yourself as a child?
I got "You solved everyone’s problems and never mentioned your own." This gave my character +1 Str, +1 Con, and +1 Cha.

3. The other PCs were your best friends. Who else in the village befriended you while you were growing up?
The result I rolled was "The fishermen took a liking to you and you swapped stories with them." This grants me +2 Dex and +1 Wis. The fishermen are villagers to develop. This also means that the village is near a large body of water. The group will work out what that means in comments. We have a theme now involving stories, and fishermen are known for, shall we say, expanding the truth? And traveler's tales so well known for accuracy, as well.

So let's see where my proto-gentry is at: STR 13, DEX 11, CON 9, INT 9, WIS 10, CHA 11. Not bad. Already into the bonus for STR, with CHA and DEX not far behind (BTW uses the same bonus progression that B/X uses). Now he's a Level 1 Fighter and gets the Riding skill. The next four questions are about my early days as a fighter.

4. Where did you practice your skill at arms?
I rolled "A real knight came to town and you rode with him for a time." Ooo, no wonder I want to be a knight. With this result, I gained +3 Cha and Etiquette skill. Cool. This knight is my mentor, so I have another NPC to develop.

5. What is your preferred fighting style?
I rolled "Fierce determination and heavy blows". This gives me +2 Con and the Weapon Specialization: Great Sword. Wow, the big guns! I hope I have armor at some point. A fighter can wield any weapon, but a Weapon Specialization gives a +1 to-hit and +2 damage for a single weapon. The map icon in the playbook indicates I get to locate a place in the village.

6. When did you first draw blood? 
This is the time when the player to my right comes along on my mini-adventure. I got "A boastful stranger challenged you to a duel and found you more than he could handle." I gain +2 DEX and another Weapon Specialization. For Henry Wong's Self-Taught Mage, it says, "The friend to your right distracted the stranger’s friends when they sought to aid your opponent, and gains +1 Dex." Since the +2 DEX gives me a DEX 13 and a +1 bonus for missile weapons, I choose the Bow Weapon Specialization. The stranger could also be a nemesis and needs a name. 

Normally, my character would have gained a Knack in this table. These are special combat options like Defensive Fighter, Fleet, or Great Strike. But having a second weapon specialization is just as good to my mind.

7. Now that you are ready, how will you seek your fortune?
On this last question, I rolled, "You will rescue a princess, as in all the old stories, but first you have to find one." I gain +2 CHA and a gold-threaded tunic. This is to give me something to wear that might impress a princess, or at least let me get far enough in the castle to meet her, before being thrown out of the place, since I'm a peasant. The NPC icon in the playbook indicates I get to create a villager.

Here's my final character: STR 13, DEX 13, CON 11INT 9, WIS 10, CHA 16. He has Riding and Etiquette skills, Weapon Specializations in Great Sword and Bow. And a gold-threaded tunic.

So, watch the comments as the blog posts and comments continue. 

My character does not wear a kilt, but this
was the best two-hand sword image I could find.