D&D General ‘Witcher’ Style Adventures?

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Vaesen could be a good source for inspiration for monsters as well too.
oh yeah! My friend just got the corebook and the new British Isles sourcebook, it looks amazing.

Speaking of AiME before, the Loremaster Book had a lot of trait that you can add to monsters to make each of them more special.
 

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Geraldt of Rivia
LN (G) Male Human/ Witcher [Custom lineage (Darkvision, feat), +2 Strength)] Monster Hunter Ranger 8, Hexblade Warlock [Talisman pact] 4
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S 18, D 14, C 14, I 8, W 13, Ch 13
------
AC 16, HP: 108
Move: 30’
Saves: Strength +8, Dex +5
------
Proficiencies: Animal Handling +5, Insight +5, Perception +5, Survival +5, Intimidate +5
Tools: Alchemists kit +3
------
Spells known (slots 4/3 and 2 x 2nd level slots recharging on a short rest)
  • Cantrips: Blade ward, Eldritch blast (repelling blast), Firebolt, Produce flame
  • 1st level: Hellish Rebuke, Shield, Thunderwave, Searing smite, Armor of Agathys, Absorb elements, Hunters mark, Protection from Evil and Good
  • 2nd level: Spike growth, Enhance Ability, Zone of Truth, Suggestion
------
Feats: Great Weapon Master, Artificer Initiate (Alchemists kit),

Class features: Natural explorer, Favored enemy: (Aberrations, Monstrosities, Fiends), Primeval awareness, Extra attack, Lands stride, Hunters sense, Slayers prey, Supernatural defence, Fighting style (Defence), Hexblades curse, Hex warrior, Pact boon (Witcher Talisman), Eldritch invocations (Repelling blast, Rebuke of the Talisman)
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Equipment: Witcher Talisman (Wolf), Greatsword +1 (silver), Greatsword, Glamoured studded leather, Horse, Alchemists kit, Potion of healing (4), Potion of Heroism (2),
 


TheSword

Legend
I’m going through an exercise of pulling the monster traits from the Monster Manual and putting them into excel. Then categorizing them by defensive trait, offensive trait, roleplay trait, offensive action, defensive action, roleplay action, and vulnerability.

I’ll then look to fill some gaps and convert some stuff from other systems and 5e books. Hopefully will end up with a useful tool for making monsters more interesting.
 

Thanks for the link to the rpg. I’ll check it out. I’m mainly looking for adventures that capture even some of the themes above. I don’t expect there to be anything that captures them all.

Essentially which adventures lean into the folklore and myth rather than the dungeon crawling.
While I can suggest you check out the book, just from personal experience, I wouldn't bother devoting a lot of time to it. The system is... well... not good. Don't get me wrong, I want it to be. But the rules are just awful. Like they never even playtested. And even if that were fixed, they don't have the feel of the Witcher. Not in RP. Not in combat. And not in exploration. To me, it seemed like a gift from the dad to allow his son to break into the RPG market. And the son did not do a good job.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
So having watched series one of The Witcher again, and about to start series two, I’m enchanted by the style of storytelling! This is on the back of loving The Wild Hunt game.

Key themes seem to be…

  • The politics and dynasties of kings and lords
  • The meddling of sorcerers and sorceresses.
  • Elder races as outcasts pushed from their lands
  • Monsters with backstory and reason for being where they are
  • Lore and history key to the stories
  • Powerful magic
  • Strong folk tale element

What published adventures… any edition of D&D or third party (or D&D adjacent) adventures are there out there that capture some of these themes?

For my own submission, Tales of the Old Margrave carries a lot of this feel. Though not the politics and courtliness.
One thing we are doing in the game I’m writing is that you can gain bonus intitiative dice (each side builds a pool and rolls once, higher has the initiative) and other benefits worth having by spending time and making checks to prepare for a conflict. As well, the important monsters have individual bits of lore you really want to have before facing them, and types of lesser monsters do as well.
 

Dioltach

Legend
I think one key element of the Witcher's monsters is being able to correctly identify them based on dodgy descriptions. In D&D terms, a villager who was attacked at night might describe the monster as an ogre, while in actuality it was only a goblin. Or they might downplay the danger so they don't have to pay the Witcher as much. "What do you mean, it was an ogre? I saw it myself, and it was clearly just a goblin - and a skinny one at that!"
 

Jaeger

That someone better
One way to incorporate an open war as background is to plan it out in detail beforehand, and track the date accurately. The drawback is it can feel railroady - although the sense of having no control over the course of the war is realistic, it's not what players are used to in a narrative. It can mean that PCs are elsewhere when key events happen - again, realistic, but not as per the laws of narrative.

This is fantastic - and evokes a feeling of a living virtual world that the PC's live in - and does not revolve around them!

Forget "narrative". This kind of thing is not railroady at all.

As an additional dimension you can have player take part in "patron play", outside of the regular game session.

This will be the players making decisions as factions in the world via text or email to the GM. Even with battles being fought in between sessions, or even over several "in-between" moments - which would simulate the PC's only hearing of the outcome of a big battle weeks later...

All patron play requires is a little structure of what moves players can make between sessions for the faction they control, and how they will be adjudicated.

Between session patron play can open up a whole new paradigm of play for a campaign.

That being said, it does require an extra level of commitment from the group - especially the GM, to execute.


While I can suggest you check out the book, just from personal experience, I wouldn't bother devoting a lot of time to it. The system is... well... not good. Don't get me wrong, I want it to be. But the rules are just awful. Like they never even playtested. And even if that were fixed, they don't have the feel of the Witcher. Not in RP. Not in combat. And not in exploration. To me, it seemed like a gift from the dad to allow his son to break into the RPG market. And the son did not do a good job.

As I have the book and intend on running a few one-shots to see how it shakes out, what do you see as the real point failures where the system falls short?
 

Geraldt of Rivia
LN (G) Male Human/ Witcher [Custom lineage (Darkvision, feat), +2 Strength)] Monster Hunter Ranger 8, Hexblade Warlock [Talisman pact] 4
------
S 18, D 14, C 14, I 8, W 13, Ch 13
------
AC 16, HP: 108
Move: 30’
Saves: Strength +8, Dex +5
------
Proficiencies: Animal Handling +5, Insight +5, Perception +5, Survival +5, Intimidate +5
Tools: Alchemists kit +3
------
Spells known (slots 4/3 and 2 x 2nd level slots recharging on a short rest)
  • Cantrips: Blade ward, Eldritch blast (repelling blast), Firebolt, Produce flame
  • 1st level: Hellish Rebuke, Shield, Thunderwave, Searing smite, Armor of Agathys, Absorb elements, Hunters mark, Protection from Evil and Good
  • 2nd level: Spike growth, Enhance Ability, Zone of Truth, Suggestion
------
Feats: Great Weapon Master, Artificer Initiate (Alchemists kit),

Class features: Natural explorer, Favored enemy: (Aberrations, Monstrosities, Fiends), Primeval awareness, Extra attack, Lands stride, Hunters sense, Slayers prey, Supernatural defence, Fighting style (Defence), Hexblades curse, Hex warrior, Pact boon (Witcher Talisman), Eldritch invocations (Repelling blast, Rebuke of the Talisman)
------
Equipment: Witcher Talisman (Wolf), Greatsword +1 (silver), Greatsword, Glamoured studded leather, Horse, Alchemists kit, Potion of healing (4), Potion of Heroism (2),
Also, if you're playing Geralt of Rivia you get to play with the Monster Manual open in front of you. That doesn't mean the DM can't throw monsters at you from other sources or customize them, but if they throw one of the 300 or so most common critters at the Witcher he knows exactly what they are and what they're capable of.
 

Also, if you're playing Geralt of Rivia you get to play with the Monster Manual open in front of you. That doesn't mean the DM can't throw monsters at you from other sources or customize them, but if they throw one of the 300 or so most common critters at the Witcher he knows exactly what they are and what they're capable of.

As a [Monster Slayer] Ranger, he has the following abilities:

At 3rd level, you gain the ability to peer at a creature and magically discern how best to hurt it. As an action, choose one creature you can see within 60 feet of you. You immediately learn whether the creature has any damage immunities, resistances, or vulnerabilities and what they are. If the creature is hidden from divination magic, you sense that it has no damage immunities, resistances, or vulnerabilities.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum of once). You regain all expended uses of it when you finish a long rest.

And this one:

Beginning at 3rd level, you can use your action and expend one ranger spell slot to focus your awareness on the region around you. For 1 minute per level of the spell slot you expend, you can sense whether the following types of creatures are present within 1 mile of you (or within up to 6 miles if you are in your favored terrain): aberrations, celestials, dragons, elementals, fey, fiends, and undead. This feature doesn’t reveal the creatures’ location or number.

So he doesn't need any Monster Manual in front of him. He can sense monsters up to a mile away, and when looking at one, can tell what immunities, resistances and vulnerabilities they have.
 

As I have the book and intend on running a few one-shots to see how it shakes out, what do you see as the real point failures where the system falls short?
To be upfront:
1. I played the game directly after it was published after I bought the book at GenCon. Got it home, read it, and ran it. No errata. (From my understanding, the errata have been heavy, but helped a lot.)
2. It rules might fit your style. They did not fit mine.

  • That out of the way, the rules, as written, were a bear. Placing needed rules in sidebars of the book, having to jump around the book for clarity, and designing rules that had longtime RPG players scratching their head. That was not a good start. (Not to mention the layout!)
  • Then came the actual character build. They are very lopsided, which I do not mind. But it bothered my players - a lot. And that was with me throwing as many scenes as I could to highlight their talents.
  • Of all the lopsidedness, witchers, still aren't, well witchers.
  • Combat (this is a preference) is a slog. Four rolls. And yeah, it can speed up a bit, but the criticals and fumbles, and extra rules are what bog it down again. (Again, in fairness, my group has limited time. I remember fondly days of Rolemaster and dozens of tables, but that is not the case now.)
  • Combat again. (And again, a preference - maybe?) We are not a table that hides rolls or finds some silly story workaround. When you die, you die. In this game, it is easy to maim yourself or die. And to be clear, you could have done everything right. In fact, the entire group could have done everything right. It goes back to that swingy part. In theory, it is great. In practice, it is only fun if you are a group that doesn't get attached to your characters. To put it another way, if players at your table clap and smile when a character dies, this is the game for you.
  • For quite a few things, your rolls will not even matter. (Remember when I talked about it being all swingy - well that is just one lil' ol' combat part. The rest, not swingy enough.)
  • While some liked the crafting, I thought it was silly. It does not help translate the Continent's world vibe. It instead makes it like a videogame. It absolutely does not match the rest of the rules either.
  • (Another maybe preference) The character creation rules can be offensive to some. Things like suicide, race wars, and forced prostitution are not for everyone. That said, it is the world of the Witcher, so the authors are well within their bounds to use those things.
  • Tables! There are four separate critical tables alone.
  • Armor layering... why?

All this, and I am still wishing you the very best of luck. If it turns out good, please respond. I am more than willing to give this game another chance, and have even written some adventure designs based off how the system runs. But until I hear (or see) otherwise, I just can't. But my fingers are crossed for you. Good luck and I hope you enjoy it.
 

So he doesn't need any Monster Manual in front of him. He can sense monsters up to a mile away, and when looking at one, can tell what immunities, resistances and vulnerabilities they have.
Right, but here it's actually in character to also know their name, lore, rough ability scores and AC, and what special attacks or abilities they have. Basically all the stuff in a MM entry.

All I'm really getting at is that next time I get that player who wants to use metagame knowledge of monster stats, I'm going to tell them that they can as long as they play a professional monster hunter so that it at least makes in game sense that they are an encyclopedia of monster stats.
 

Right, but here it's actually in character to also know their name, lore, rough ability scores and AC, and what special attacks or abilities they have. Basically all the stuff in a MM entry.

He also has this:

Geraldt of Rivia

Class features
: Natural explorer, Favored enemy: (Aberrations, Monstrosities), Primeval awareness, Extra attack, Lands stride, Hunters sense, Slayers prey, Supernatural defence, Fighting style (Defence), Hexblades curse, Hex warrior, Pact boon (Witcher Talisman), Eldritch invocations (Repelling blast, Rebuke of the Talisman)

Which grants this:

You have advantage... on Intelligence checks to recall information about them.

He can sense the presence of aberrations, celestials, dragons, elementals, fey, fiends, and undead within 1 mile, determine the resistances, immunities and vulnerabilities of any creature by looking at them, and (for monstrosities and aberrations) he also has advantage on Intelligence checks to recall information about them, adding +1d4 to a failed check thanks to his Wolf Talisman pact boon.

He's no slouch when it comes to detecting monsters, and figuring out what they can (and cant) do.
 

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