Okay, so we’ve talked a lot about BEOWULF, and about the imminent arrival of the .pdf…
…but not as much about the story behind the game, or about the detail and attention that have gone into making it happen.
Lots of this can be found on the BEOWULF page on our website. There, we talk about how we’ve used and adapted the 5e system – including character classes, abilities, alignments, and equipment.
But we also talk about the things that make BEOWULF unique, and about how we’ve tied the game to the original poem.
Things like the ‘Portent’. Before Beowulf goes to face Grendel, he asks permission of King Hygelac, and seeks out omens of the road ahead. In the game, we represent this with a series of random rolls, each generating the next part of your hero’s journey. These Portent rolls tie in with the 5e inspiration rules – they may favour the hero, bringing them inspiration tokens, or they may give those tokens to the monster, which brings a very dark omen indeed. They also give the GM some strong ideas and imagery, which can be woven back into the story. However the Portents turn out, they map your hero’s adventure, and show them the road ahead.
We have beautiful, specially crafted tokens just for this purpose. For those of you that missed the Kickstarter, these should be available to pre-order next month. They’re made by Campaign Coins, and they’re a really gorgeous prop.
There’s also our use of ‘Followers’. Our game is specially designed for ‘duet play’, one PC and one GM (though it can be played with a group), making it not only true to the poem, but the perfect game for a new player, or to play at home. And this means, like faithful Wiglaf, your hero will have followers!
While those followers may only turn up rarely in the story, they’re always in the background. And in a duet game, where there’s less engine noise and no need to ‘take turns’, they offer huge potential for personal role-playing, dramatic interactions and ‘theatre-of-the-mind’ scenario development. They support your hero in times of tension, and they offer the GM a good way of feeding information or clues. If you’re playing with a larger group, the followers may not get quite as much air-time, but they can still be fun to have around!
Like our tokens, we’ve made special Beowulf minis – all eight pre-generated heroes plus one monster – which will be arriving on our website very soon.
If you’d rather not wait, then please have a look at the intro-adventure, the Hermit’s Sanctuary, on DriveThruRPG.
And you can find out more about Beowulf, and how it all goes together at Handiwork Games.
And – a quick and cheeky footnote! If you’re an a|state fan, please be aware that our printers are discontinuing the staple-bound copies of the intro adventure, Nicely, Done. Instead, copies will be in ‘perfect bound’ format – but that does mean the stapled versions will soon become very rare!
Grab yours at DriveThru!
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