It’s Friday and that means it is time to dive into BEOWULF: Age of Heroes again. We’ve done the Portent and set the Inspiration Pool at the same time (as you generate the Portent, each step puts a token that the Monster, the Followers, or the Hero can use during the game). We’ve loaded the ship up with supplies and hired a Crew (these are different from Followers, more on that in a minute). We are ready for the Whale Road!
Most of the travelling in BEOWULF is on the ocean. This part of Europe is very much a Points of Light setting during this time. There are numerous small settlements (each one claiming its own ruler, sometimes backed up by a few dozen warriors, which counts as an army during these times) near the shores, with most of the interior of the lands dominated by a dark and seemingly endless forest.
The Portent has one more function to perform. As random nouns and adjectives are selected, they also trigger challenges that the Hero will encounter along the voyage. The actual number of challenges depends on the length of the trip (short, medium or long). The challenges are divided among:
Wyrd. Strange matters of fate that may affect your Followers.
Land. Ships often keep sight of land if they can, and you’ve spied something of note.
People. Either internal conflict erupts or you meet others along the Whale Road.
Sky. The weather above their heads is of vital importance to travellers.
Wind. Either boon or bane, which way the wind is blowing matters.
Water. The Whale Road is paved with it and many strange creatures dwell within as well.
And each includes a variety of events, some good, some bad. Once you resolve the challenges then the voyage is complete, which we will cover next week.
Learn more about BEOWULF: Age of Heroes