Game status: Full!
The Witcher dark fantasy setting is the creation of Andrzej Sapkowsi and given further life in the Witcher video games by CD Projekt RED. Perhaps the most defining feature of the setting is how many of the stories subvert traditional fairy tales in darkly humorous ways. It is also a mature setting dealing with moral dilemmas, sex, drugs, violence, oppression, and other grey areas. In the continuity of the video games, this game will occur after the events of Witcher III: Wild Hunt.
Witcher setting document, GoogleDrive
Includes setting introduction, details on how races & classes fit into the setting, house rules & optional rules from DMG, faiths & factions, Lifepath tables, equipment, and 3 new classes: Witcher, Source (sorcerer variant), and Scout (spell-less ranger variant).
If you're looking for information on the various countries or other lore tidbits, check out the great Witcher wiki: http://witcher.wikia.com/wiki/Witcher_Wiki
[MENTION=8058]Queenie[/MENTION] Elora Vasesso – half-elf (Cintra) / hermit / sorceress (wise lineage) 3 / CG
[MENTION=2820]Fenris[/MENTION] Fergus Llew Gawain – human (Skellige) / soldier / witcher (griffon) 3 / LG
[MENTION=4936]Shayuri[/MENTION] Talashia – human / sage / sorceress (storm) 3 / N
[MENTION=6672752]Aramalian[/MENTION] Barakor Bloodbarrow – mountain dwarf (Mahakam) / city guard / paladin (vengeance 3) / LN
[MENTION=6798581]Azurewraith[/MENTION] wood elf (Blue Mountains) / outlander / scout (beast covenant) 3 / N
(square = 100 miles)
The adventure begins with your characters escorting Odvara Kringen, a half-elven woman with an unpredictable magical ability, to the elven nation of Dol Blathanna. For some of you it may be a simple matter of coin to act as envoy and guard. For others it may be a matter of a duty to the elves or to Odvara's mother. For still others it may be to ensure that no magical catastrophe occurs due to the woman's gift. The hand-off of the young woman to the elves is to occur in the Posada region just within the borders of Dol Blathanna. Posada is a superstitious region inhabited by humans, dwarves, and halflings said to be watched over by an ancient entity known only as Nan the Hag. However, like the crooked Posada River, the course of events soon becomes more convoluted than hag's hair...
State of the World
A year has passed since the end of the Third Northern War. The overextended Nilfgaardian Empire found its northern advance halted at the Pontar River, and withdrew many of its forces to the minimum necessary to manage occupied kingdoms. Swords were reforged into ploughs, the dead turned into the soil, life went on; but peace does not mean life is peaceful. Death stalks a war-ravaged land: hungry necrophages lurk in fell mists, bands of deserters turned bandit scour the countryside, and plague stalks houses low and high-born alike. People turn to foul witchcraft to protect them and witch hunters lead a bloody pogrom in response. Peasants tell of a pale specter on a black warhorse watching in silent vigil over the land; they say it is Death himself.
A year has passed since what is now being called the Second Conjunction. For a brief moment, the spheres of many worlds drew close and magic was used to cross the boundary, allowing monsters and magic to enter the known world again. Lands once thought safe from monsters are no longer wholly secure, and the need for the nearly extinct witchers is on the rise as previously unknown monsters haunt mankind. Mages can feel a great stirring in The Power, suggesting a mighty magical force entered the world during the Second Conjunction.
A year has passed since the apocalyptic Cult of the Black Sun formed in the wake of these twin devastations. Heralds of the demoness Lilit, they espouse a nihilistic philosophy, claiming that the end times have come and all civilization - Northern Kingdoms and Nilfgaardian Empire alike - must be torn down for a rebirth to occur. Known as the Mother of Monsters, Lilit is said to have lorded over humanity as a false god in ages past before the Conjunction of the Sphere. According to the prophecy of the Black Sun, Lilit’s return would be heralded by “sixty women wearing gold crowns, who would fill the river valleys with blood.”
Witcher Setting Themes
The Old Ways (Druidism, witchcraft, pagan traditions) versus the Eternal Fire.
The ambiguity of whether religion is objectively true or merely spirits duping humanity.
The Northern Kingdoms versus the Nilfgaardian Empire.
The shifting of political boundaries and allegiances.
The ignorant masses of humanity versus the nonhumans and other “freaks.”
The thin line between men and monsters.
Elven Calendar (used throughout Posada & Dol Blathanna)
Starting Area: The Posada Region
(hexes = 1/2 mile)
Lower Posada (village)
(not to scale)
Create 3rd level characters (negotiable). See my home-brew document (link up top) for more details & new classes. It’s assumed your characters had some adventures, have crossed each others paths before, perhaps fought in the Third Northern War between the Northern Kingdoms and Nilfgaard, if you’re a witcher you’ve had a few monster contracts, if you’re a mage you may be a low-ranking member of the Conclave of Mages or the Lodge of Sorceresses.
Also, feel free to use the lifepath tables in the Witcher document, or the playbooks from the Beyond the Wall RPG (just let me know which one you're interested in, and I'll PM you a link).
Dwarven Rune Caster
Apprentice Court Sorcerer
Nobleman's Wild Daughter
Assistant Beast Keeper
Heir to a Legend
Last of a Fallen House
Student of the Dark Arts[/SBLOCK]
Bonds: Establish two bonds for your character, one binding them to at least one other player character and the other binding them to the setting. If you choose a Playbook from Beyond the Wall, these are probably covered by the Playbook's random tables.
Race: Choose from: human, dwarf, elf, gnome, half-elf, or halfling.
Class: Choose from: barbarian, bard, cleric, druid, fighter, paladin, ranger, rogue, scout (variant spell-less ranger), source (variant sorcerer), warlock, witcher (new class), or wizard. No monks unless you're re-skinning to fit the setting.
You can also use Matthew Mercer's Witch Hunter class from Critical Role and Brian's witch class, as well as other homebrews at the DM's discretion.
Multi-classing: Be aware that you probably cannot multi-class into certain classes once we begin play; these include cleric, druid, source, wizard, and witcher.
Background: Any, or you can use a Playbook from Beyond the Wall.
Alignment: No evil characters please.
Hit Points: Use use maximum Hit Dice values for your first three levels. Thereafter, use average HP values (rounded up); do not roll.
Feats: We will use feats, so the alternate human is legit.
Ability scores: Ability scores can be point buy, array, 4d6 drop the lowest six times, or using a Playbook from Beyond the Wall.
Equipment: You can either follow the equipment guidelines for class and background, or purchase equipment using the Starting Wealth by Class table.
In addition to standard starting gear, begin with one of the following:
- Breastplate with helmet, gauntlets, a shield (if you desire), and an armoring kit (if you have the corresponding tool proficiency). Was this from prior military service to a lord?
- Warhorse with a military saddle, bit and bridle, and saddlebags. Typically warhorses are a sign of knighthood, so were you knighted and by whom?
- Riding horse with a riding saddle, bit and bridle, saddlebags, with free stabling and feed thanks to your connections. What is your horse's name?
- Modest river boat with oars and a small sail. Are you a fisherman, did you build the boat yourself, or win it in a bet?
- Masterwork weapon, which provides +1 attack and damage, and won't break on a critical miss, but does not count as magical. Is it a family heirloom, did you fashion it yourself, or did you unearth it while exploring? Which race crafted the weapon?
- Uncommon wondrous magic item. (This best suits spell casters, but is not exclusive to them. Also I'll need to approve the item to make sure it fits the setting, for example winged boots would be a no.) What is the pseudo-scientific name of this unusual item?
- Three spell scrolls with cantrips or level 1 spells. (Spellcasters only) What is the name of the body of writings these scrolls are derived from?
- Three level 1 Witcher potions, or any combination of blade oils, bombs, Witcher potions, or traps. (Witchers only, corresponding tool proficiency required) What did you have to kill to craft your desired potions?
- Three bombs, traps, or doses of poison. (corresponding tool proficiency required) How did you smuggle the necessary components past the authorities?
- A pouch of gemstones worth 300 gp from a recent job well done. What was the job and what is an extenuating complication that might arise from it?
- Favors from various folk across the land "worth" 400 gp of lifestyle expenses. Did you gain these favors honorably or dishonorably?
- A house somewhere, possibly with a small farm. Who is tending the house and land in your absence?
Whenever you have downtime spent together as a party, we can use that to develop the backstory of your characters or to illuminate details about the setting (your choice collectively). This is entirely optional to players who want to engage with developing their characters and the setting. There's no penalty for choosing not to participate.
Character Backstory. You either focus on one PC's tale or share tidbits from all PCs' tales.
If you focus on one PC, that player gets to pick a Playbook from Beyond the Wall and roll on all of its tables, gaining benefits as determined by consulting with the DM, and gathering all the rolls they decide to keep into a story they share in the IC thread.
If everyone shares bits of their backstory, each player can choose a Playbook and roll on one table from it, gaining benefits as determined by consulting with the DM. In this case, the stories are just part of campfire banter, and you don't need to play through any of them in-character unless you want to.
Sandbox Setting. You trade stories about the world as you know it, either one PC teaches the others about his/her homeland or several of the PCs trade scattered stories about the land they're currently in.
In the first case (one storyteller), the player chooses the topic of their tale, which direction and how far away it is (rolling or choosing), and makes a DC 10 ability check according to whether their knowledge is learned (Intelligence check), heard (Charisma check), or seen firsthand (Wisdom check). The degree of success/failure is interpreted by the DM to determine how accurate the PC's knowledge is. Alternately, you can have the DM roll in secret if you prefer not to know whether your PC's knowledge is accurate or not. Up to you.
In the second case (several PCs shares stories), each player involved in the story-telling rolls 1d8 to determine what the conversation guides their tale to be about, and decides which direction and how far away it is (rolling or choosing):
Topic of Story (d8)
- Major City (e.g. Aldersberg, Lyria, City of the Elf Queen)
- Ancient Ruins (e.g. barrow of olden kings, evil ruined temple, bombarded abandoned castle)
- Human Settlement (e.g. village, tribe, witch's cottage)
- Recent Ruins (e.g. battle site, burnt church, haunted house)
- Humanoid Settlement (e.g. elves, dwarves, goblins)
- Monsters' Lair (e.g. earthly home of minor goddess, cave system, troll's pass)
- Source of Power (e.g. druidic standing stones, Circle of Elements, mage's tower)
- Otherworld (e.g. portal to world of the Aen Elle, faerie mound, demonic/ghostly "hangman's tree")
- Very Near (1-10 miles)
- Near (10-30 miles)
- Moderate (30-50 miles)
- Far (50-100 miles)
- Very Far (over 100 miles)
- Mystical or enigmatic distance
Each player then tells their tale IC and makes a corresponding DC 10 ability check according to whether their knowledge is learned (Intelligence check), heard (Charisma check), or seen firsthand (Wisdom check). The degree of success/failure is interpreted by the DM to determine how accurate the PC's knowledge is. Alternately, you can have the DM roll in secret if you prefer not to know whether your PC's knowledge is accurate or not. Up to you.