a|state second edition is making its physical presence felt as copies make their way to backers, late pledgers, and pre-orderers around the world. (Our friends in the US will need to be the most patient, since your books need to complete their sea voyage).
Of course in the mean time the PDF is out, and looking great! All pre-orders come with a free copy of the PDF.
In Maskwitches of Forgotten Doggerland, the witches are defined by their masks. They begin the story with two masks, each of which allows them to do a thing well. The witches can trade masks among their number as needed, making them highly fluid and otherworldly as characters.
You’d be forgiven for wondering, as the sharp-minded person you are, if the things the witches are good at are defined solely by their masks, and they can swap masks with one another, who then are they? What is their inner character? Who is the person under the mask?
There are three possible answers.
The first is that that is something you will discover through play. How did your character become a Maskwitch? What was their training and what events shaped them into the person they are in this story?
The second is that the witches entirely believe in a self-creation story that we see in many so-called “shamanic” (see the reader’s notes in Maskwitches of Forgotten Doggerland for more on our approach to the difficulties surrounding the terms shaman and shamanism) or, more appropriately, “folkloric” tales. That they were created when a normal person was visited by a spirit, often in the form of a bird, which removed and substituted their eyes and possibly bones and internal organs with magical replacements, usually made from a material like copper or flint. This often happens at the bottom of the sea or a lake. Or at the peak of an unscalable witchmountain. Whoever they were before is forgotten, like a snake leaves behind its skin each year, or an elk leaves behind its antlers. A witch might have their own tale of this kind, they believe it, and for all intents and purposes it is true.
Or perhaps the secret truth is that the maskwitches themselves are as “real” as the spirits they are fighting. The spirits embody the problems of the community and must be dealt with ritualistically to resolve them. The witches are the personification of the community’s desire to heal. They are not people at all. ThIs does not stop a maskwitch from acting exactly like a real person, with feelings, hopes for the future, and relationships with the past. They are made from the very stuff of humanity: a care for others and an ambition for things to be better. Exploring this can make for deeply affecting tales.
Maskwitches of Forgotten Doggerland is a standalone storytelling RPG coming to Kickstarter as a week-long campaign this month. Sign up to be notified and don’t miss out!
We took delivery of a prototype Maskwitches book. In this video Jon takes a look through the prototype which we filled with full page Doggerland art, in advance of the final text being ready. And after a lot of rambling about the various aspects of this setting and the art we’ve been making, there’s a surprise delivery!
You can sign up to be notified of the launch of the Maskwitches campaign here:
Some fabrics from Forgotten Doggerland. And a witchbag. Also a stranger from under the sea. It’s not real though. It’s just the psychic embodiment of the community’s lack of concern for the rising brine. So that’s fine, right? What harm could it do?
Maskwitches of Forgotten Doggerland will be an art book and sourcebook for a psychedelic Mesolithic setting for The Silver Road (as well as being a fine sourcebook for other RPGs). It’s coming to Kickstarter soon for a week long Quickstarter campaign!
Today we are looking at the Monsters section of the BEOWULF: Age of Heroes rulebook. This is the last chapter before the Appendices but it’s a big one so we might split it apart.
The first section discusses the subject of enemies is general, including the distinction beteen foes and monsters. In the BEOWULF rules, Monsters with a capital-M are special. They have a feature, Undefeatable, that helps keep them alive until the Hero uses a special weapon, technique or special action that does standard damage to them. This makes Monsters unique in the game and rewards players for social encounters or investigations. A player that pushes past those components of the game in order to roll dice in combat will not be very successful. This is a reflection of the poem… think of Beowulf’s intuition to fight Grendel hand-to-hand and his seeking out of the only magic sword that can defeat his mother.
The Three Ogre Brothers was designed to be the sample adventure for BEOWULF: Age of Heroes. Unlike some sample adventures, it is purposefully designed to be repetitive, in order to strongly establish the tropes of BEOWULF adventures and provide opportunities for a Player to experiment with the format. After an initial introduction scene that provides the Hero with enough background information to be confident in the situation, they are introduced to the Ogre Lands and given a fairly direct path to the first ogre brother, or they can travel further inland to meet another of the brothers first.
The next chapter in BEOWULF: Age of Heroes is all about treasure. We divide treasure into non-magical and magical and encourage the Gamemaster to present non-magical treasure items in a variety of forms. Very little treasure is found in piles of easily divided coins.
Today, we’re discussing the time between adventures for BEOWULF: Age of Heroes. While it can be exciting to rush from one Monster to the next, having downtime can help break up adventures and give a better sense of pacing to your Player. It also gives them time for the Hero to think about and work on long-term goals.