Next up in the previews for our upcoming game of magical mysteries is the Frostlord! He’s a crabby and grumpy old man, stomping his way across the battlefield, freezing everything in his way. And if that doesn’t work, he has a mighty ice-axe to finish off any rambunctious youth that gets within arm’s reach.
Next up in our sneak-peeks for our upcoming not-so-secret game is the Scoundrel! Two-faced and conniving, the Scoundrel is your secret card up your sleeve. As good at backstabbing with his twin daggers as he is sneaking around, no one will see him until it’s too late.
Next up in our sneak-peeks for our upcoming not-so-secret game is the Ravager! Bullish and stubborn, the Ravager has the strength of ten men and the patience of precisely none of them. Once he sets his mind to something, he intends to see it done come hell or high water. Armed with nothing other than his great-axe, the Ravager is a terrible force to behold on the battlefield.
We’ve got a new project in the works, and for now, it’s top secret. But we aren’t complete monsters, so we’ll show you sneak peeks of it until the whole thing is ready to be revealed! And the first preview is the fearsome Warrior! He is the mighty protector and guard with a powerful shield, but don’t take that sharp sword for granted as the Warrior knows quite well how to use it.
In this bestiary post, we’ll look at the arcane masters of the universe: the Mages. Filled with mysterious knowledge that no man should know, these magical scholars can be powerful allies and dangerous enemies. They can bend the universe to their whim, and reshape reality as they see fit.
|P. Wounds||6||M. Wounds||16|
Perk: Prestigidation: The GM can spend one of his Sigils for the scene so that the Mage can alter and shape reality in one small, but meaningful, way.
Quirk: Fel-Magic: Whenever the Mage fails a Mental Check to cast a spell or use a supernatural power, he becomes corrupted by the dark powers. This includes a Mental Wound as well as a permanent aesthetic change equal in severity to the Mental Wound suffered.
In terms of equipment, the Mage doesn’t wear any armour as he trusts his arcane arts to protect him (and some Mages feel that armour gets in the way of using their magical abilities). For weapons, he carries with him his trusty Staff (a two-handed Medium Melee Weapon, -10 to hit, +20 damage) as well as his Magic Wand (a Medium Ranged Weapon with Medium Damage, +20 damage). The Wand requires no ammunition as it is the Mage’s raw willpower which is flung at the enemy.
And there you have it, the Mage is all his magical majesty. Next time on the bestiary we will look at an NPC you will be able to find exploring the wilderness.
We’re starting a new blog series today: the Sigil Bestiary! In each blog post, we’ll show you one (or two if we’re feeling fancy) enemies/opponents/monsters that you can encounter and overcome in the Sigil System. All in all there are a 100 entries in the Sigil Bestiary, and once this blog series is done, we’ll compile them all into a mod for the Sigil System and release it as a snazzy-looking pdf.
Each opponent in the Bestiary will come with four Skills, one Perk, one Quirk, a set number of Wounds and then some Equipment. The four Skills condense the twenty regular Sigil System Skills into something easier to manage for the GM, especially when dealing with many NPCs. Each Bestiary Skill can be thought of as a Skill Group, and anytime you’d roll for a Skill within that group, you just roll the Bestiary Skill instead. Here’s how the Bestiary Skills and Sigil System Skills match up:
Opponents in the Bestiary also don’t have Hit Locations unless the GM wants to make combat deadlier and more formidable for the players. Unless stated otherwise, treat each opponent as just having one Hit Location for their entire body.
The brutish Orcs
So with that out of the way, the first opponent to show off to you is the Orc, that quintessential RPG enemy. Orcs are the antithesis of all that is good about humanity. They are brutish, savage creature that love nothing more than death and destruction. The only things they manage to create is misery and fear, and so it is up to eliminate the hordes of Orcs from the face of the world.
|P. Wounds||4||M. Wounds||2|
Perk: Cannibal: The Orc can eat the flesh of another sentient creature to heal a Wound of equal or lesser severity as the amount of flesh consumed.
Quirk: Rage: In combat, the Orc must use his whole turn to attack the closest enemy or to move towards the closest enemy, unless the GM spends a Sigil each turn.
In terms of equipment, Orcs come with scavenged, ill-fitting, and ill-maintained armour granting them an armour value of only 5. For weapons, Orcs come in three varieties. You can have him wielding only a two-handed Heavy Melee Weapon (-30 to hit, but +15 damage); a one-handed Medium Melee Weapon (-20 to hit, +10 damage) and a shield worth 15 armour; or a Medium Ranged Weapon with Medium damage (+10) and a light Melee Weapon (-10 to hit, +5 damage).
And there you have it, the Orc is all his murderous and evil glory. In the next blog post we’ll show something a little calmer, and not fit merely for a combat encounter.
The Enchiridion Alchimia is finally out! It’s been a year in the making, and now it’s on DriveThruRPG for you to grab.
The Alchimia is the sequel to the great Enchiridion Sigillum, and follows in the footsteps of its older brother. the Sigillum gave you all the tools necessary to craft your very own unique spells, incantations and runic magic. The Alchimia does the very same, but with alchemy. Everything you need to know about alchemy is in this book: how to acquire and prepare your reagents, how to set up your lab, how to mix Alkahest and reagents to create concoctions, absolutely everything.
We’ve even got a section about astrology, so that you can use the planets, stars, phases of the moon, and even the seasons to your advantage to make the very best alchemical concoctions that you can.
There’s a hundred reagents in the book, and they can be combined in a near-infinite number of ways, meaning that you can literally create any alchemical potion, oil or poison that you can imagine. With another hundred recipes in the Alchimia, there is enough there to get you started and to get the creative juices flowing.
And to top it all off, we’ve got special recipes for creating a Chimaera, a Homunculus, and of course the Mangum Opus: the Philosopher’s Stone.
So if you want to be the very best alchemist like no one ever was, CLICK HERE to get your hands on the Enchiridion Alchimia.
Scarlet Bone just got its v1.2 update!
This brings with it an extra character creation option in the form of an heirloom that your character carries with him, adding an extra bit of characterful and narrative uniqueness. The new version also comes with new Perks and Quirks for both the Blood Mage and Necromancer, providing new character customisation options with a focus on roleplay.
Lastly, there are four pre-made archetypes in the book (2 each for the Blood Mages and Necromancers) that allow you to instantly jump into a game with a fully made character. Each archetype is fashioned to exemplify an aspect of either the Blood Mage or Necromancer, so you will get a very flavourful character.
Runes of Power just got a neat new update to add in some extra character creation options and 5 new Perks and Quirks that will help you customise your spellcaster even more, and it will add in a new element to using magic: corruption. With the corruption quirks, failing spellcasting checks can now mutate and transform your body in horrific ways.
We also put in 4 character archetypes, so that you can quickly jump into any game with a pre-made character that has all his skills, perks, quirks and equipment sorted.
Hunter Corps has been updated to v1.1 with a bunch of changes, additions and fixes to make it even a more awesome game than before.
To celebrate the new version, and the one month anniversary of Hunter Corps’ release, it’s on sale for 20% off for the next two weeks.
The Runed Age grand update is finally complete and Runed Age 1.5 is now available from DriveThruRPG by clicking on the banner above.
There’s a lot of new things in the book, a few things removed, and quite a bit changed as well, so if you’ve already purchased it, have a good look through it to see what’s new.
What we’ve done is taken all the lessons we’ve learned from Z-LAND and the Sigil System and included it in Runed Age. The Runed Age was the first game we ever made, so it just seemed fitting to make sure it’s as up to date as possible. So you’ll find the new Perks and Quirks advancement system in there, new Downtime sub-system, more detail on gear and weaponry, a smoothed and cleaned up character creation, and new mechanics for how to use the runic magic system in game.
We’ve also made it into a hardcover book, and we are just waiting for the proof copy to come in from the printer before putting that on sale as well. And if you purchase the Runed Age digital version before that happens, we’ll sell you the hardcover at cost price because we’re just that nice.
Whether you’re stuck in a lockdown or social distancing, or you don’t have a game coming up soon and you need to scratch that RPG itch, you can always play an RPG singleplayer.
In this series we’ll be taking you through how to play the Sigil System as a singleplayer-RPG, and last time we gave you the basics and the two golden rules.
This time we’re talking about NPCs and how to give them some flavour.
Friends & Strangers
This post will be all about how to add some randomisation to NPCs in order to keep them unique and surprising to you as the player (while simultaneously being the GM). Remember that you don’t have to randomise each and every NPC you come into contact with; the tables below are only tools to help you if you get stuck with coming up with an NPC’s traits or personality or if you want to add in a bit of uncertainty to the social encounter to keep you on your toes. You are, after all, the storyteller and should use these tools so they best fit the story.
Attitudes & Goals
Not every NPC you meet will be your best friend, willing to divulge every secret they have and opt to join you in any quest you want, and nor should they. Most NPCs, like most people in life, will be entirely neutral and apathetic to your existence, and some others may not particularly like you. The NPC’s Attitude towards you will set the tone for the rest of your interaction with them, and this little table helps to set that Attitude.
And no matter who you meet, they will have some goal they are trying to achieve. It doesn’t have to be life dream or worldly aspiration, but in most cases will just be the thing they are currently wanting or in need of. What they want will affect how they treat you, so a change in their current goal will change everything about your social interaction with them.
|1-5||Acquire more wealth|
|11-15||Basic needs (hunger, thirst, sleep)|
|21-25||Fame and recognition|
|26-30||Fill a spiritual hole|
|56-60||Protect/care for someone|
|61-65||Respect and appreciation|
|66-70||Rest and relaxation|
|71-75||Right a wrong|
|81-85||Running from something|
|86-90||Send a message|
|91-95||Start/continue a project|
|96-100||Take what others have|
The NPCs’ current goals are intentionally vague so that they can fit with most circumstances and so that you can flavour them that best fits the narrative.
Personality & Emotions
If you are in a bind and can’t think of what personality an NPC should have, or have to get a lot of NPCs in short order, we have a couple of d100 tables that can help.
Rather than fill the rest of this blog post with 200 rows of tables, here’s a neat pdf that you can check out instead. For both tables you can just roll a d100 and match your roll to the result to get an answer.
The first table will show you what the NPCs current emotional state is. Are they happy, sad, angry, etc? What emotion they have will dictate how they respond to your character, and may make it easier or harder to work with them.
The second table is for their personality. Are they the whimsical sort, or more of a grim figure; blunt and boisterous, or sophisticated and solemn. This table will add a lot of flavour to the NPCs you encounter and give them that unique surprise that comes from player a regular RPG.
That’s it for this blog post about playing the Sigil System as a singleplayer-RPG. Take all these tools together with the 2 Golden Rules from the last post, and you will have everything you need to play any social encounter you can think of.
In the meantime, if you want to chat with us and other Stormforge fans, come join our Discord server!
During this time of lockdowns and isolation, it can be incredibly difficult to get a group of friends together to play a good day’s worth of tabletop RPGs. This is where singleplayer-RPGs can help you get that RPG fix when you can’t make it to a game cause you’re stuck at home, and the Sigil System super simple to turn into a singleplayer-RPG.
Over the next few blog posts, we’ll cover some tips, tricks and tools to make playing the Sigil System by yourself easier, but today we’re covering the two golden rules of a singleplayer Sigil game.
Rule 1: The Uncertainty Principle
Playing by yourself means you’ll need to take on the role of both player and GM, but if you’re also the GM then you get to decide what happens in the world around your PC, which leads to the ultimate meta-gaming and defeats the point of being a player.
Enter the Uncertainty Table. Rather than say how things will happen, you can give an event a certain chance or probability and then roll on the table to see if that actually occurs.
For example, if your PC is looking for a target to assassinate, and walks into a tavern, rather than simply declaring that the target is there, you can say what are the chances, the odds, the probability that the target is there. Finding your target in the first tavern you walk into is pretty unlikely, so looking at the Uncertainty Table this leads to a Target Number (TN) of 20. Roll at or below the target number and the event happens. You roll and get a 24, and it looks like your PC will need to keep looking.
Remember that not everything will need to be rolled for. Some things just logically follow one another in sequence, and that keeps the story ticking over. The Uncertainty Table is, as the name implies, for when you are uncertain about an event.
Rule 2: PC-POV
Player Character Point Of View. Since you take on the mantle of both Player and GM, it’s important to keep the meta-gaming at bay. Just like when you are a player in a group-game with a separate GM, you want to be surprised, you want to have that feeling of anticipation at what is about to happen. In most singleplayer-RPGs that rarely happens, but with the Sigil System the goal is to keep the POV on your PC.
If your PC doesn’t know about it, then don’t worry about it. Don’t start focusing on events your PC has no knowledge of, and don’t start worldbuilding for places your PC hasn’t been to yet. When you play the Sigil System in singleplayer, focus only on what your PC knows, and more importantly, can perceive.
For example: if your PC picks up a quest to go slay the dragon up in the mountains in the next kingdom over; don’t worry about dragon, the mountain or even the next kingdom over. Your PC hasn’t gotten there yet, so how would he know what’s going on over there? Let the story evolve naturally from your PC’s POV as he experiences his adventures and campaigns.
For things like ambushes or the like, rather than plan it out, you can refer back to the Uncertainty Table and ask questions like “what are the odds/chances/probability that an ambush would happen right here”. If you pass your roll, then let it happen.
Remember that if your PC doesn’t know about it or can’t perceive it, neither should you.
The PC-POV rule applies also to the mechanics of the Sigil System. Since you only know what your PC knows, you only ever roll for your PC. Playing the Sigil System singeplayer means there are no Opposed Skill Checks, even in combat. You never have to worry about creating the Skill Levels for anyone other than your PC.
If there would be an Opposed Skill Check in a regular game, let only your PC roll and apply the normal Difficulty Modifier from the Sigil System to that roll to simulate the opposition your PC faces. For example: if you get into combat, rather than roll Fight for both your PC and the enemy, you only roll for your PC and apply Difficulty Modifier, in this case a -30, to your PC’s roll because fighting this opponent would be Very Hard.
Bear in mind that an enemy’s Armour’s damage reduction and Weapon’s damage increase would still apply to your rolls just like normal.
That is the quick and brief intro into playing the Sigil System as a singleplayer RPG. Next time we’ll look at how you can handle new NPCs and make them unique, and more importantly, surprising.
In the meantime, if you want to chat with us and other Stormforge fans, come join our Discord server!
Slow and steady wins the race they say, and we’re getting close to the finish line. There’s still a wee ways to go before the update goes live, but the finish line is now in sight.
Most of the book has now been updated, and only some parts of the rules are left to go. You can see what the rules section will look like with this pdf sample.
And if you think that’s grand, once we’re done with the corebook update, we’ll be updating the first two Ruined Man campaign books and then finally releasing the third one after that.
I would like to introduce a game that I have talked about in the past. Grim Gears. For quite a while, I have been interested in a movement called OSR, or Old School Renaissance. Though, for the longest time I did not get a chance to try out that style of play with my group. However, eventually we tried a game called Lamentations of the Flame Princess. From this point, my view on RPGs shifted. We began to play more and more of OSR style, and I developed my own system for it.
I have also been working on a setting of mine. A dark fantasy clock-punk world where airships and cosmic abominations are the norm, and witch hunting is a favorite past time. This world is called Himinil, and I have been struggling for a home for it. At first, I was going to make it a setting for Gates. But, that did not feel right. Gates is an action oriented, hero-simulator. Himinil is not about heros. What it is about is the struggle between faith and magic, law and freedom, and survival. It took a while, but I finally connected the two. Make Himinil into an OSR game.
I had a homebrew system that I was playing, which evolved into a game called Stone and Spear. It was about playing as cavemen starting civilisation. Moving passed that game, it turned into M.O.S.S. A generic RPG that was a bit too generic for its own good. Now, finally, I have solidified the idea into Grim Gears. So, let’s talk about what it is.
Grim gears is a game about surviving the witch hunts while gaining as much treasure as possible. You are soldiers, mages, cultists, or even witches that have nothing else to do except to hunt for treasure and loot monsters. Here is a rundown of the mechanics, rules, and tidbits.
- Sandbox play. Grim Gears is meant to be played as a sandbox, with rules for generating hex-maps, sailing through the skies, and generating encounters and challenges.
- Class based game. Each character chooses from Fighter, Rogue, Cleric, Magic-user, Elf, Dwarf, and Witch. Clerics, magic-users, and witches each have different mechanics for magic.
- Fighters are simple. They are tough and fight well.
- Rogues have a selection of talents that they can use to make themselves more skilled.
- Clerics are more like cultists of dead religions. They are hunted for being heretics and using foul magic. Their prayer system gives them freedom to cast magic as they see fit, but each cast risks their gods wrath. They do not like to be bothered.
- Magic-users have a new magic system. Each spell has four levels, and when a mage casts a spell they may choose what level they cast it at. Though, this is limited by level.
- Elves are short fae. Child sized, and magical. They are like a combination of fighter, rogue, and magic-user.
- Dwarves are tough and crafty. They are clock makers and warriors. Though, their numbers are low.
- Witches are fun, but dangerous. Their magic system, Wyrd magic, is a soft-magic system. Where almost any magic can be performed, but failing to cast it can have deadly consequences.
- Roll under. Stats are low, and it is difficult to succeed at even simple die rolls (unless you are a rogue). This is on purpose. I want players to avoid solutions where they have to roll dice at every opportunity. Why try to jump a pit when you can solve the solution with a clever use of tools or spells?
- Modularity. The game has several optional rules that can be pieced on or removed from the game. This allows a GM to make the game into what they want it to be. It also gives me plenty of room for future content.
- Witch hunts. Rules for the public viewing the characters as a danger, mobs, and witch hunters make it difficult for characters to use magic in public.
- Monster Generation. Instead of a long list of possible monsters, Grim Gears takes a generative approach. Rules for generating monsters, dragons, Ghouls (orcs and goblins), Rippers (clockwork abominations), Lycanthropes, Fae, cults, and witch hunters. This means a game can be played with no prep, but it does require a lot of dice rolls.
- Merchant based equipment. Instead of a list of items, Grim Gears applies its generative approach to its equipment instead. A list of merchants is provided, with rules for populating their shops with objects, and rules for those objects.
- Alchemy. Alchemy rules allow players to seek out ingredients and craft their own potions with a fun mini-game. These potions are interesting, rather than generic. Instead of an invisibility potion, it’s a potion that turns you into smoke, for example.
Like I mentioned before, Himinil takes a large roll in Grim Gears. Though, any dark fantasy setting can be played in it. The following is a rundown of the setting.
- Veritism. The faith of veritism has taken over the world completely. They worship an entity called The Truth, but it provides no clerics. They are deeply suspicious of magic, and send witch hunters and inquisitors to seek out practitioners of it, and destroy them.
- Clockwork. The world is run by clockwork. Airships, clockwork devices, and clockwork weapons are used.
- The Great War. 20 years ago or so, the Great War ended. Essentially a world war which boosted all sides technology, and has created a new peace.
- A crumbling world. Each of the 13 nations of Himinil are on the brink of destruction. Civil war, unrest, conflict, and other issues give players the potential to save the world. It is up to the players to save who they wish to.
The 15 realms are…
Bitter Winds and Vadath
One of the three largest realms. It is mostly land, a large continent. It is a realm of giant monsters, cold survival, and a dichotomy of progression and tradition.
Noble Clouds and Krithia
The second largest realm and the one presented in this book. A continent where it rains often. It is a land aesthetically similar to renaissance period England. It has themes of nobility versus peasantry, witch hunts, and the church.
Windy Wilds and Mokso
The third major realm of Himinil. It is a wide continent of plains. This realm has anarchists, trains, and civilisation.
The unmappable sky is a realm filled with many islands with secret ways to find. It is a realm of treasure hunting, temple running, and magical maps.
This realm is ruled by a witch of crows. It is a place of freaks, carnivals, and birds.
A realm of pirates, deadly storms, and dangerous port towns.
The Sky Below
The home of the dwarves and a realm with much more going on inside the islands, than on-top.
A realm of fire and ash. A realm of deadly firestorms and blazing monsters.
A realm of magic and home of the elves. It is a realm most similar to the default medieval fantasy setting.
A realm of sand and heat. A dessert place with ancient tombs and mummy warlocks.
Sky of Silver Clouds
The home of the talons of the sea and a realm about honor, duty, and illusion.
A jungle realm with the highest density of islands. A place of hidden peoples, forgotten cities, and island exploration.
A dark realm of Gothic horror and grim people.
A sky far above the rest. Rumored to exist, but often not believed in. It is the home of the dragons.
The final Rest
A realm with no islands and the highest chance to witness a Nerre rising from the sea.
Here is a snapshot of the game in progress. It should be everything you need to play it, except for the casting classes. The full version will have art by Kent Willmeth, all of the tools I mentioned before, and a full list of spells.