Tuesday, 30 November 2010

From the Rædwald Bestiary . . .

Eotenas (Giants)

There are six Giants in Rædwald when they are slain the Gígantmæog, the race of giants, will be no more.

Bevis of Hoarhunedell

On the border between Eastlandseax and the land of the Réðealingas (Wildlings) there stands a hillfort that was manned by the Wildlings. It protects a valley where hoar hune (grey hound) plants grow in abundance. It is said that Wildling Witta's can brew a potion from these plants that makes warriors fleet of foot. This was  both the Eolderman of Eastlandseax's reason for coveting the Wildling land and his excuse to his lord for his failure to take the land. But being both cunning and clever he lured the Wildling warriors out of their hillfort to make peace and then poisoned their mead. So angry at this treachery was the Wildling giant Bevis that he rose from his centuries long slumber below the hillfort to come to the defence of the Wildling folk with his great sword Morglay.

Bevis of Hoarhunedell: Armour Class: 3 [16]; Hit Dice: 9+3; HP: 39; Attacks: 1 Morglay (1d6+1); Special: Scything Slaughter; Move: 12; HDE/XP: 10/1400.

Bevis fights with Morglay a sword that is 6ft long. He sweeps it around in a great scything arc and does 1d6+1 damage to every hero fighting him and slaughtering many Frydmen. Roll Bevis' to-hit roll as normal, but then compare that result to all the combatants AC. Roll 1d6+1 and dish out that amount of damage to all those he hit. If the heroes have any Frydmen with them then the result of the damage roll is also how many of them were slaughtered. Bevis always hits Frydmen no matter the result of his to-hit roll.

Morgaly is far too large for any man to wield, but any lord would be grateful to the heroes who gifted it him to hang in his long hall.

Gill of Caldburg

Gill is named after the mountain where he lives on the North-western border of Rædwald known as Caldburg (Cold Castle).  Hairy, brutish and always red faced with rage, he rarely leaves his mountain fortress but every half-month he ventures down from the mountain to find a farmer to eat. Now the farmers of Westland Jute struggle to bring in the crops much to their kings’ despair.

The Giant Gill of Caldburg: Armour Class: 4 [15]; Hit Dice: 8+2; HP: 31; Attacks: 1 Stánhamor (2d6+1); Special: Hammer death 1d6; Move: 12; HDE/XP: 9/1100.

Gill fights with a huge stone war hammer. When he dies it shatters causing harm to all (1d6 damage to everyone fighting him).

Gill has a horde of 193 shillings, 1,157 silver pennies, 1,787 hapennies, and 900 farthings hidden in his lair and a pressed flower called Héahlufeblóstm (blossom of great love) that he took from a farmer's wife he ate. Any unmarried maiden who wears this flower in her hair may choose any man as her husband. Even a Wolfpack scieldmægden could take an Ætheling as a husband.

Groggar of Groaningbridge
Groggar lives in a tower in the mountain passes of Southlandseax. The smallest of the gígantmæog he makes up for his lack of stature with cunning. The only access to his home is across a bridge that groans a warning whenever anyone sets foot on it. He has a crow familiar that taught him scinncræft a skill he uses to transform himself into a fair maiden in need of rescue in order to lure heroes across the bridge.

Once they cross the bridge and enter his tower he changes into the likeness of a handsome youth, meets them in his hall and challenges one of them to a game of Hnefatafl. This is just a ruse to get them to sit in his riddling chair which they may not rise from until they answer his riddle. While they ponder the riddle he turns into a crow and tries to fly away with his familiar. If it comes to a fight he uses a black staff called Cráwastæf it does no damage but those who are struck with it are turned into crows and will only return to their human form if the staff is snapped in half.

The Giant Groggar: AC: *5 [14]; Hit Dice: 7+1; HP: 21; Attacks: 1 Cráwastæf  (special); Special: Hits turn victim into a crow ; Move: 12; HDE/XP: 8/1000. *Groggar can only be harmed with magic or magical weapons.

Groggar's Hnefatafl board and pieces were crafted by Dweorgs. The board is carved from dragontooth ivory the pieces made of silver and gold, the king carved of wildling red gold. It is worth 20 pounds of Silver.

The Long Man of Wighelm
The Long Man lives under the hill fort Wighelm on the northern border of Anglenland. So fierce is he that the Anglen Cynning and his Thegns had to abandon the hill fort and its nearby lands. The largest of his kin he fights with two spears, and wears the famed Wighelm (warrior helm) for which the fort was named. The helm  has the likeness of two arching snakes attached to the crest.

The Long Man of Wighelm: AC: 3 [16]; Hit Dice: 10+2; HP: 55 ; Attacks: 2 Spears (1d6+2 each); Special: His spears are poisoned ; Move: 12; HDE/XP: 12/2000.

If the Long Man is slain his spears turn into the giant snakes Nædre and Snaca and attack his killers.

Nædre and Snaca: AC: 6 [13]; Hit Dice: 5; HP: 19, 12 ; Attacks: 1 bite  (1d6+2); Special: Venomous anyone bit must make a Saving Throw or die; Move: 10; HDE/XP: 7/ 600 (each).

The Wighelm remains giant sized, but if anyone thinks to try it on it shrinks to fit them and Nædre and Snaca come back to life and turn into spears again (1d6+2 poisoned). If anyone but the new owner of the Wighelm touches Nædre and Snaca they will be bitten. The Wighelm cannot be removed while the wearer lives. If he is slain Nædre and Snaca will attack his killers.

The Rude Man of Hlæw
The rude man of Hlæw haunts the burial mounds of Midlandseax. Twelve foot tall, and naked he is a strange and intimidating foe. His head is comparatively small for his body size and he wears  a constant expression of shock, perhaps because his manhood is comparatively large for his body size and is in a constant state of excitement. Any man thus confronted must make a Saving Throw or run in fear (or perhaps shame). Strangely, the Rude Man's nakedness doesn't seem to scare women. He fights with a war club, his only possession.

The Rude Man of Hlæw: AC: 6 [13]; Hit Dice: 8+2; HP: 33; Attacks: 1 Club (2d6); Special: Induces fear in men (ST) ; Move: 12; HDE/XP: 9/1100.

The Thirskman
The Thirskman and his wife were content to live in peace, but when his wife left their homeland hills to swim in the river Deres, near the burg of Thirsk, the Fryd was summoned and out of fear they slew her. Mad with grief the Thirskman has taken up residence at the ford in the river Deres and slays all who seek to cross it. This has crippled trade between the towns of Deresford on the Geatish side of the river and Thirskburg on the Westlandseax side.

The Thirskman: AC: 6 [13]; Hit Dice: 8+2; HP: 35 ; Attacks: 1 Boulder (2d6); Special: Hurls boulders ; Move: 12; HDE/XP: 9/1100.

The Thirskman hurls boulders from the river at anyone who approaches the ford (max range 200') and then uses a boulder in melee. He has no riches, but the lords of Thirskburg and Deresford will be grateful to his slayers.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Wicce Craft

Haven't made much progress with the editing, but here's the Wildling Witch Woman's magic . . .

Wicce Craft

Traditionally wildling witch women learn their craft slowly and carefully under the tutelage of their tribe's wise crone, but having fled their tribe the young Rædwald Wicce must take a dangerous shortcut and learn her craft from a foul-spawn familiar.
Familiars always take the form of a small animal, normally animals associated with death, the night, or carrion such as crows, ravens, rats, black cats, owls, lizards, and snakes.
Familiar's are not of our world, and no one knows where they hail from, or what they want. What is known is that they come and go as they please often appearing as if from out of thin air. Their animal form can be destroyed, but they always reappear the very next nightfall. Those that are foolish enough to destroy a Wicce's familiar tend to die soon afterwards, suffering grisly and horrific accidents.
Familiars communicate with their Wicce using imagery projected directly into Wicce's mind’s eye, but only seem interested in doing so when teaching the Wicce elements of the craft.
Learning the Craft
A Wicce character may learn as many or as few elements of the craft as their player wishes, and may learn them whenever the player wishes, including at character generation. Learning new elements of craft after character generation requires the character to have a free day of 'in game' time to be taught the new element of craft.
There is always a price to be paid for knowledge of the craft. For each element of craft a Wicce is taught by their familiar, they must sacrifice a part of their spirit. This is represented by a permanent loss of Attributes or HP's given to the familiar who takes it by feeding from the Wicce in many weird and repugnant ways. The price also causes the Wicce to age by a year.
Each time a Wicce chooses to learn an Element of craft (including at chargen) the GM rolls 1d6 . . .
1: Strength
2: Wisdom
3: Constitution
4: Wisdom
5: Dexterity
6: Hit Points
. . . and permanently deducts 1 point from the indicated attribute as well as aging a year. If the indicated Attribute is already at 1 the GM should roll again, or choose an attribute above 1. If all the attributes are reduced to 1 the Wicce must start sacrificing her Intelligence to gain new craft. When that drops below 9 the character is no longer viable and becomes an NPC, a mad old hag.

Elements of the Craft

1: Nine Herb Charm

The Nine Herb Charm can heal any and all ills. It can heal wounds, cure disease, break charms, or spells placed upon the victim, and negate the effects of poison. It can cure any illness natural or unnatural, but each Wicce can only use its power nine times. To learn this craft the Wicce must pay the price, and lose one attribute point and age a year. She must also pay this price each of the nine times she uses its power.

2: The Green Candle

The familiar teaches the Wicce to heal mundane wounds with the use of a green candle and an incantation. The Wicce must light a green candle and chant the charm over whoever is wounded.
At 1st  level 1d6+Int bonus worth of HPs can be healed.
At 2nd level 2d6+Int bonus worth of HPs can be healed.
At 3rd level 3d6+Int bonus worth of HPs can be healed.
The number of HP’s healed is also the number of hours the Wicce must chant and the candle must burn.

3: Curses

By air, by stone, by water, by fire the Wicce calls a curse down upon her foe. There are three types of curse and each must be learnt in order, from weakest to strongest, and the price paid each time. The victim of a curse is aloud a Saving Throw to resist its affects, if that fails they will have to find another Wicce to break the curse.

The Wearisome Curse

This is the mildest form of curse and is designed to confound, humiliate and frustrate your enemy. For example they might curse someone to ‘Always speak his mind, and never mind what he speaks’ as a way to get that enemy in trouble or perhaps to curse an arrogant warrior to ‘bleat like a lamb’ every time he tries to boast of his prowess, or curse a vain queen to grow a beard.

The Destructive Curse

This is a much more direct and dangerous curse designed to destroy the victim’s status, power, and wealth. For example curses that cause cattle to die, or crops to fail will have dire consequences causing material loss for their owners and possibly famine for the communities that rely on them. Cursing a Thegn’s or a Lord’s luck may mean he loses battles until his men abandon him. A poet could be cursed to become tongue tied and thus his reputation and livelihood would be destroyed. A noble woman could be cursed to wantonness and thus her status would suffer.

The Malign Curse

The most potent and evil of the curses these curses cause enemy’s to suffer slow and wasting deaths, cause victims, even entire households, or communities to suffer infertility, or warriors to slay loved ones in a murderous rage. 
Curses are not instant, but run their course over a period of time. How long a curse lasts or takes to work depends on the Wicce’s level and the type of curse. Wearisome curses last one day plus the Wicce’s level + Int bonus. Destructive curses last for, or take affect after, 1d3 days. The Wicce’s level Int bonus in days may be added or deducted depending on whether they want their victim to suffer, or the curse to take affect quickly. Malign Curses work the same way, but in weeks.
The nature and wording of the curse is entirely up to the Wicce’s player to determine, and for the GM to interpret, and implement in game.

4: Scrying

The Wicce fills her bowl with water, preferably water from a sacred source such as a lake, and uses  it to see visions. There are two types of scrying both are separate skills and require the price be paid to learn them.

Seer Scrying

This is a type of divination and allows the Wicce to see visions of what may be, and what may come to pass. This may only be attempted once per week of game time, or once per adventure.
The Wicce’s player informs the GM what they’re trying to find out. This should be in relation to a particular task or problem within the current adventure and any action they were planning to take. The GM then describes three possible futures: one good, one neutral, one bad. These visions should contain enough clues to allow the players to pursue the positive outcome, try and avoid the negative one, and take the chance to settle for the neutral outcome when they see it.
For example . . .
The players’ characters have been ordered to slay their Thegn’s wife, who is cuckolding him with a rival Thegn. The players send her a false message inviting her to what she thinks will be a romantic tryst, but will really be the scene of her murder. The Wolfpack’s Wicce looks into her scrying bowl to get a sense of what might happen and the GM describes three possible outcomes.
In the worst outcome he describes them slaying the Thegn’s wife but being seen by her serving maid, who they didn’t know was there. The maid escapes and reports them to their Thegn who then will have to turn against them. After all, he wouldn’t want anyone to know he ordered his wife’s killing when he could blame it on outlaw scum.
In the neutral outcome they find the maid’s hiding place and slay her as well as the Thegn’s adulterous wife. The mission is successful.
In the final, and best, outcome they slay the Thegn’s wanton wife and somehow arrange for the maid who witnesses it to believe it was the rival Thegn who committed the atrocity, thus earning them even more favour from their own Thegn.
Of course these are just three possible outcomes and nothing is guaranteed to play out exactly as the GM described the visions. It is now down to how the players handle things and the action,  but it has given them information they didn’t have before (that the maid will be hiding nearby) and a hint from the GM for a way to make things go even smoother (frame the other Thegn). However there should still always be chance for things to go wrong somewhere along the way.

Fetch Scrying

This allows the Wicce to spy on someone from afar. She stares into the scrying bowl and sends her fetch, her spirit double, into the otherworld reflected in the waters of the bowl. The fetch is then free to travel the mirror world and see what is happening somewhere else and the Wicce sees and hears everything her fetch does. There is no limit on distance, but the Wicce must have been to the place or know the person she wishes to spy on.

5: Potions

The familiar teaches the Wicce to brew potions in her cauldron. Each application of a potion takes one full day of preparation. Potion craft is similar to poison and venom craft, but not quite as potent. Each potion is a separate skill for which the price must be paid. There is no order in which they must be learned but some of the potions require the price be paid for each level of potency. Potions must be drunk, but they can also be applied to arrows and one application will coat three arrows. However, there is a very strong Hex on that practice and the arrows must only be used by a wildling warrior, lest the Wicce be cursed and abandoned by her Familiar.

Sleeping Draft

This potion will put anyone who drinks it into a deathlike, dreamless slumber from which only an application of the nine herb charm can wake the victim before it runs its natural course. While they sleep the victim is magically sustained and requires no sustenance and does not age.
There are different strengths of sleeping draft and the Wicce must pay the price to learn each of them, and like poisons and venoms, they must be learnt in order of potency. The order of potency is: rounds, turns, hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, and centuries. The Wicce’s player may choose from any potency she knows for each application brewed and then rolls 1d3+ level+ int bonuses to determine the actual number of days, weeks, etc. the potion will put someone to sleep for.

The Mead of Beli-Mawr

Beli-Mawr is the Wildling god of war and his mead sends anyone who drinks it into a fighting rage that lasts 1d3+the Wicce’s level+Int bonus in combat rounds. During this time they attack at +2 to hit and Damage and ignore all wounds, allowing them to fight on even if they are reduced to 0 hit points or less. Whilst in the fighting rage the victim will attack anyone and everyone indiscriminately and will not even recognise his loved ones and friends.

The Coward’s Cup

Anyone who drinks this potion will be overcome with debilitating fear and will run from battle, or cower in a corner, unable to fight unable to face anyone, or anything. They will be literally scared of everything. The effects last until either the combat is over, or if taken in a non combat situation for 1d3+level+int bonus turns. This potion can destroy a warrior’s reputation and status.

Hag Sight

This potion causes blindness for 1d3+lvl+Int bonus turns. Anyone affected is at -4 to any roll they might make.

Wicce Brew

This concoction causes the victim to suffer wild and confusing hallucinations that renders them all but incapable of performing any action other than raving incoherently and trying to catch hold of the strange things they are seeing. The affects last for 1d3+lvl+Int bonus turns hours.

Branwen’s Brew

Branwen is the Wildling goddess of love and anyone who drinks one of these potions will fall madly, passionately, and very often tragically in love with the next person they see.

Rhiannon’s Blessing, Rhiannon’s Curse

So called because whoever drinks this potion forgets everything they know which is a magic associated with the Wildling goddess Rhiannon and forgetfulness can be a blessing or a curse. This potion can be made in three potencies, each of which must be learned in order and the price paid. The three potencies are 1d3+lvl+Int bonus of forgetfulness that lasts; hours, days, or years.

6: Poisons

The creation of poison is the simplest of the Wicce’s craft, but no less deadly. There are three types of poison a Wicce can brew. These must be learnt in order and a price paid for each. They must be ingested to take affect and the victim is allowed a ST but this is modified by the Wicce’s level and Int bonus.

Spider's Spite
A non-lethal poison that paralyses the victim for 1d3 hours, but otherwise causes no harm.

Wicce Kiss

A noxious brew that lays the victim low with a violent flux for 1d3 days and causes 1d6+ the Wicce’s lvl and Int bonus in damage. If this reduces the victim to 0 HPs or less, they don’t die. Instead they are merely permanently weakened and lose 1 point of Str and Con.

Dragon’s Blood

A lethal poison. If the Victim fails their ST they die a slow and agonising death.

7: Venoms

Venoms use the same principles as poisons, but they are brewed in a concoction that takes effect when the toxins enter the bloodstream via a blade, arrowhead, spear point, etc. Once applied to the weapon the venom is stable for 1d3 hours plus the Wicce’s level and Int bonus. Once combat begins they will be stable for 1d3 rounds plus the Wicce’s level and int. These venoms can only affect each victim once. Whoever is using the envenomed weapon must score a hit on their enemy, as well as the weapon’s damage each venom has its own effect. Like the poisons these crafts must be learnt in order and the price paid for each.

Spider's Bite

Causes paralysis if the victim fails their ST they are paralysed for 1d3 combat rounds.

Wicce’s Wound

Doubles the amount of damage caused by a weapon.

Dragon’s Fire

Kills the victim in 1d3 combat rounds if they fail their ST.

The Thorn

This craft involves using a Mommet, a wax effigy, and a thorn so the Wicce can torment and harm her enemies from a safe distance. To use this magic the Wicce must have a personal item or keepsake of the intended victim attached to her Mommet. There are four levels of Thorn harm and each is a separate craft. They must be learnt in order and the price paid for each.

Sting of Thorn

The Wicce pricks the Mommet with the thorn, using light shallow jabs. These normally make the victim scream out loud, jump, drop things, spasm and the like. The effect is instant and the Wicce can toy with her victim for as long as she wishes without causing any real harm.

Pinned by Thorn

The Wicce drives the Thorn into a particular body part and leaves it there. The body part pierced is wracked with pain and the area effected is useless. For example a Thorn in the mouth stops them talking, in the spine will pin them to the ground, put a thorn in the Mommet’s hand and the victim loses the use of that hand. At 1st level the duration is in combat rounds, at 2nd level, turns, at 3rd hours all determined with a roll of 1d3+lvl+Int bonus.

Wound of Thorn

The Wicce drives the thorn into the Mommet's stomach and wounds the victim. The damage is 1d3 plus the Wicce’s level+Int bonus per stab. One stab may be made each round.

Murderous Thorn

The Wicce drives the Thorn into the Mommet's heart; if the victim fails their ST they die.

Amulet Craft

The Wicce can make amulets to protect herself, her allies, or her patrons from the harmful aspects of Wicce craft. Amulets can be made that protect against the three types of Curse, Fetch Scrying, the seven potions, the three poisons and three venoms, and the four types of Thorn Magic. Amulets may also be made that protect against an Ælfcynn’s Glamour, and a Scinnlæca’s Call of Fear, or Call of Kinship.
Instead of paying the price for each skill the Wicce pay the price once to learn Amulet Craft and may make any of the above amulets, but also pays the price for each individual Amulet made.

Thursday, 25 November 2010


I've posted one of each of the three class archetypes (wizard, warrior, skirmisher),but only for three of the races (Men, Dwarfs, and Elfs) so here is another wizard this time the Wildling Witch Woman. This is a draft and a few things, namely the class bonus and optional rules may have to be changed or tweaked  . . .

Réðealingas Wicce (Wildling Witch Woman)

You cursed a chieftain and had to flee your wildling homeland. Before that you were being taught the craft of the Wicce, the Witch Woman, by your tribe’s crone. Now you are an outlander roaming the realms of your people’s enemies, and worse you must rely on a foul-spawn familiar to learn your Wicce craft.
Wicce rely on intelligence to learn, memorise, and utilise their cures, curses, potions, charms, and spells. They gain a bonus to the potency of their magic based on their Intelligence bonus.
Starting Equipment: The bowl and the knife, small bronze cauldron and tripod, a nine herb charm, pouches of dried henbane, fly agaric, and belladonna, a brace of mandrake roots, a bag of small dead things, a wax mommet and thorns. 1d6 Feorðungas.

Lvl  HD    THB  ST   *Apps  Potency
1   1d6-1   0   16    1      1
2   3d6    +1   12    2      2
3   6d6    +2   10    3      3

Applications of potion, venom, etc.

Réðealingas Wicce Optional Rules

You practice the craft so skilfully that your familiar is impressed and agrees to teach you another piece of the craft without the price.
Your magic backfires: a charm cause’s harm, a potion becomes a poison, or your poison fails, your curse rebounds on you, you are pierced by your own thorns.
Heroic Effort
Thrice Blessed
Whatever elemnt of craft you use is three times as effectibve than normal.

Monday, 22 November 2010


The third class archetype in Rædwald is the skirmisher. Essentially they are warriors who specialise in missile combat rather than melee, lightly armed and armoured and more mobile. In Rædwald skirmishers on both sides always act before the other classes in combat. This is the Elf skirmisher . . .

Ælfcynn Scytta (Elfin Shooter)

As an Ælfcynn Scytta, or Elfin Shooter  you once hunted deer through the great forest and fed your tribe, now you hunt men for a manling lord feeding nothing, but the hatred of their petty rivalries.
Famed for both the accuracy and power of their longbows the Eleven Archers are rightly feared. Whether it's elf magic, or the sheer power of the longbows their flint arrow heads are capable of piercing a mail hauberk. Scytta use Dexterity as their prime ability and gain a bonus To Hit with a longbow for a high Dexterity. This bonus stacks with their class bonus.

Lvl Hit Dice  THB  ST  Longbow  RoF
1   1d3+2      0   17    +2     1 
2   3d6        0   13    +3     2
3   6d6       +1   11    +4     3

Starting equipment: Heort Seax, Langboga, coceb of 24 Arwan, Déorhýd.1d6 Feorðungas.

Ælfcynn Scytta Optional Rules

Criticals & Fumbles
When they score a critical the Scytta's accuracy has hit a vital spot causing double the maximum damage of their longbow.
A fumble represents a failure of their equipment at a vital moment: the string snaps, the bow cracks, etc.  Easily repairable when they have the time but the bow is unusable for the rest of the combat.
Heroic Effort
Elf Shot
The Scytta, through skill or perhaps elf magic can sometimes be so accurate they find a chink in, and bypass, any armour their foe is wearing and attack as if the enemy were AC 9 [10].

Saturday, 20 November 2010


I haven't got this far in the editing yet, but here is the dwarf warrior as it stands at the moment . . .

Dweorg Scildgebróðra (Dwarf Shieldbrother)

Before you became one of the Edwíta, the disgraced, you were a member of the vaunted Dwarf Shieldbrothers a legendary defensive force that has held the mountain passes from the time of the first Sagas.
Defensive fighters specialising in the shield Scildgebróðra get a bonus to Armour Class when using a shield. This bonus may also be used to protect any nearby ally or non-combatant instead. They may also add their level as a morale bonus to any NPC allies that form shieldwall with them. Their prime ability is Constitution and they receive a Hit Point bonus for a high Constitution score.

Lvl  Hit Dice  THB  ST Shield Bonus
1    1d6+2     +0   14     -1[+1]
2    4d6+4     +1   11     -2[+2]
3    8d6+8     +2    7     -3[+3]

Starting Equipment: Dracantóð Seax, Dracanclifer Sweord, Leðeren Cæppe, Leðeren Serc, Dracanscealu Scield. 1d6 Feorðungas.

Scildgebróðra Optional Rules

Criticals & Fumbles
A critical attack is turned to a defensive advantage, rather than using your attack to damage your foe you have used it to learn their fighting style. Now you know that they will be unable to strike you until they realise and change their usual style. It will take  2d3+1 (+/- foe’s INT bonus)rounds for them realise.
Somehow, a blow that has loosened your grip, or a strap that has frayed, you have dropped your shield and must spend either spend the next turn trying to pick it up during which time you will be prone and your foes will strike at you with a +2 to hit bonus, and you will be unable to fight back. The only other option is to fight on without the shield.
Heroic Effort
Shield Charge
Once per adventure a Scildgebróðra may automatically charge the enemy and knock them to the ground. The victim of a shield charge, as well as being knocked prone, is stunned and unable to act in the following combat turn. They also take 1d3+1 damage. At 2nd the damage is 1d3+2 and two opponents can be knocked down (if they are standing side by side such as in a shield wall), at 3rd 1d3+3 and three opponents can be knocked over.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Rædwald Currency

It seems to be a popular subject on the OSR blogosphere at the moment so . . .


The greatest measure of wealth in Rædwald is the amount of land a king controls, and the bounty that land produces in the form of cattle, crops, timber, mines, warriors, and other such commodities. Other things of great value are finely cratfed works of art such as glassware, objetcs made from or inlaid with silver, and a particular favourite of royalty: gold jewerly and ornements inlaid with garnets. Of course on a day to day basis most of business is conducted in coinage or barter.
Only a king may order coins to be struck, and the penalty for a forger is to have his hands hacked off. As there are many kingdoms in Rædwald, there is a variety of coinage to match both from the reigning kings, and past kings, but on the whole most keep to the same standard. The currency is based on the Seolfor Pund, the pound of silver usually in the form of an ingot. Pounds are used for large expenses such as paying off raiders, ransoms, commisioning buildings, paying armies, or very expensive purchases like mail armour or a trained falcon. A pound of silver in modern terms would be worth about  $7,000. Of course pounds of silver are not only heavy and cumbersome, they are impractical for day to day use so smaller coinage is the norm of which there are four types: Scillingas (Shillings), Seolfor Peningas (Silver Pennies), Healfpening Stycce (Hapenny Pieces), and Feorðungas (Farthings).

Currency Breakdown

1 Seolfor Pund (P) = 50 Scillingas (Sc)= 250 Seolfor Peningas(Sp) = 500 Healfpening Stycce (Hs) = 1,000 Feorðungas (F).
1 Scillingas = 5 Seolfor Peningas = 10  Healfpening Stycce = 20 Feorðungas.
1 Seolfor Peningas = 2 Healfpening Stycce = 4 Feorðungas.
1 Healfpening Stycce = 2 Feorðungas.
The Scillingas and Seolfor Peningas are coins in their own right, but the Healfpening Stycce, as the name halfpenny piece implies, is a silver penny that has been cut in half and a Feorðung is made by cutting a silver penny into quarters.

Resources and Mundane Equipment

Rædwald campaigns don’t focus on resource management in the way that a dungeon delve or wilderness campaign might. As Rædwald adventures are more like military missions, assigned by the party’s patron, it can be assumed he will provide any additionl gear and equipment needed for the mission. Neither do characters need to worry about food or lodgings,that is part of the lords responibilty to his men. However, most missions will normally only require the Characters to use their cunning and their blades.
The technological level in Rædwald is the equivalent of Northern Europe before Roman conquest. Buildings are wooden, single story, and have thatched roofs, bridges are wooden, other than a battering ram there are no seige engines. Pottery and wooden cups are more commen than glass, there are no glass widows. There is no concrete, stone buildings, or advanced engineering to speak of. Where the people of Rædwald do excel is in metalurgy, the forgeing of iron and steel weapons, and tools. That and the more refined skills of the craftsmen that make equisite jewelery.
The tables that follow detail the arms and armour available, but there are no lists of gear, or equipment, beyond what the PC’s start with, but their lord will provide (or they can steal) anything they might need that might be available. If they are succseful in serving their lords they can be expected to be well rewarded with high status gifts such as weapons, armour, jewelery, hawks, horses, and perhaps even land and men. This is discussed further in the Referee’s section of the rules.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

The Old English Language

This is from the intro . . .

Rædwald (pronounced Rad-wald) is an Old English name meaning to 'rule with wisdom.' Throughout these rules you will find lots of Old English words and phrases. Where Old English words are used, you will also find the modern equivalent for ease of use in play.
I'm not a scholar of the Old English language, culture, or history, and Rædwald isn't an historical setting. The Old English words and details will, I hope, add flavour to a game that you should expect to be no more realistic in its depiction of the dark ages, than D&D is in its depiction of the late medieval period.
There is a pronunciation guide in the appendix, and an online search will find examples of spoken Old English, but its usage is primarily for mood. Use what you like, ignore the rest. And if any of you are scholars of the language, I can only apologise in advance for any mistakes in usage.

This is what the language might sound like . . .

I was a bit stumped when someone asked me about pronunciation, as I had very little idea, going just on a feel for OE based on what I'd heard. With no academic background myself all I've been able to do is cobble together a guide based on a few books and various online sources. I'm not sure if that's a legit way to do things so not sure if pronunciation guide will make it to the finished game or just links and book recommendations. Anyway here's what I have . . .

Notes on OE Pronunciation
Of course no one actually knows what Old English sounded like , add to that the fact that dialects, as they do today, vary from region to region, and that the experts don’t always agree on pronunciation you can see we’re in tricky territory, but as this is for a game I don’t think we need worry too much about getting things right. As I said the Old English is more for flavour in the text, than usage at the game table. However, if you do want to pepper your pronunciation with the odd word or two this might help . . .
The six vowels are  a æ e i o u y
In OE the letter Y is always a vowels and never a consonant. Most pronunciation is close to many modern European languages, but not Modern English.
•a as in bath
•e as in set
•é as in say
•i as in bit
•í as in neat
•o as in jot
•ó as in mole
•u as in gut
•ú as in fool
•æ as in rad
•y as in German für
Longer versions of a, æ, and y (using an accent or macron) are the same but held for a longer time.
With diphthongs the vowel is pronounced and then flows into the next vowel so it is like one syllable. For example in modern pronunciation words  such as rune (ru-oon).
The six diphthongs in Old English are: ea, éa, eo, éo, ie, and íe.
ea = eh - ah
éa = ay - ah
eo = eh - o (short o like in pot)
éo = ay - o (short o like in pot)
ie = ih - eh
íe = ee - eh
Consonants are more or less the same as in modern English. However, to make things a little more interesting the pronunciation changes depending on where in the word the letter falls . . .
F at beginning or end of a word  is pronounced f  in middle of word a word it’s v  beside an unvoiced consonant or doubled  it is f.
S at beginning or end of a word  is pronounced S  in middle of word a word it’s z  beside an unvoiced consonant or doubled  it is s.
Sc  is  usually sh as in scield for shield.

Þ or ð at the beginning  or end of word is th as in thin  in the middle of word th as in that  and beside an unvoiced consonant and doubled th as in thin.
H at beginning or end of a word  is h in middle of word it is ch as in Loch.
C is most often pronounced k  unless it is before e and i or after i in which case it is ch as in church
G in mostly is g as in garden but before e and  i, and after i as y as in yellow but in the middle of word gh as in ghamma or ch in Loch
Cg  is the j sound in bridge.
Ng  is always a hard g.
The letters þ and ð are more or less interchangeable.
There are of course exceptions: sc in ascian (to ask) is pronounced sk. The gy- prefix at start of some words is sometimes an alternative spelling of the prefix gie. In this case, it is pronounced with a y sound. The cg in docg (dog) is pronounced with a hard g.
Finally doubled letters sound longer than single letters and all letters are pronounced. So g at start of gnæt (gnat) is pronounced, as are h at start of hwæt (what) and e at end of sunne (sun).

Friday, 12 November 2010

From the Rædwald Bestiary . . .

Wælgrædig (Corpse Greedy)

These vile creatures, these defilers of the dead, are an affront to the gods and must be destroyed wherever they are found. No one knows their origins, but once they were men. Now they are deformed monstrosities that feast on the buried dead.

They go about their dire business naked and hunched, and their skin is so moon-white that all their veins, and even their black beating hearts, can be seen through it. Their eyes bulge, their lips are twisted and swollen, their teeth are both rotten and sharp, and their hands have become almost shovel-like claws perfect for digging up the dead. They feast on only the rotting corpses of graves and barrows and show no interest in the flesh of the newly slain, even those they slay themselves.

Where they come from is unknown, some say they dwell in the underworld, others that they sleep in graves themselves and rise once a year or once a century, depending on who is telling the tale, to fulfil their ungodly desires.

Wælgrædig: AC: 9[10]; Hit Dice: 5; Attacks: Bite or Claws 1d6+1 ; Special: Grave Stench, Immune to mind spells and fear; Saving Throw: 14; Move:8; HDE/XP: 7/600

Their Grave Stench is so foul that anyone who fails a ST is at -1 to all action whilst in their presence. They are also immune to any magic that controls or affects the mind, or causes fear.

Wælwulfas (Slaughter Wolves)

Legend tells that the cannibal warriors known as the Wælwulfas came to Rædwald from a far off land called Mermedonia, but any who survive contact with them know these eaters of the dead must be denizens of the underworld. They are a primitive and violent tribe of cannibals who migrate from place to place, seeking new caves to dwell and civilised lands to raid. They dress themselves in wolf furs, cover their heads and faces with wolf heads, and even fight with wolf claw clubs all to give the impression that they are an inhuman beast, but any warrior who has stood against them and lived to tell the tale is able to confirm that it was ‘just a man’ he fought.

Wælwulfas: AC: 7[12]; HD: 1+1; Attacks: Wolf Claw Club 1d6; Special: Fear the Wolf; Saving Throw: 14; Move: 14; HDE/XP: 2/20

The first time these fearsome warriors are encountered a saving throw must be made. If it is failed the victim is overcome with fear of such an unnatural foe and runs. This affect only works on those yet to realise the Wælwulfas are merely men.

Werwulf (Werewolf)

How the curse started no one knows. Neither do they know whether it came from wolves or from men, but the result is the same: an abomination; a blend of man and beast. Very little is known about these beast men, some believe they are permanently trapped in the twisted form that is half-man, half-beast, others that they can change at will from man to beast, or to man-beast. Ancient Saga’s tell of warriors who transform when in a berserk rage, and other tales claim that they live their lives as normal men, but for once a month when the moon is full and they change into beasts.

What is known is that they are solitary creatures and ruthless killers. They’ll take deer in the wild, sheep and cattle when they can, and will kill humans as readily as they’ll take livestock.

If they do indeed have a human form that would be the best time to kill them for the beast is fearsome.

Werwulf: AC: 2 [17]; HD: 7; Attack: Claw, Claw, Bite (1d6, 1d6, 1d6+3); Special: Curse, Immunities; Saving Throw: 10; Move: 16; HDE/XP: 9/900

A Werwulf can only be harmed by sorcery and enchanted or silver weapons. Anyone wounded by a Werwulf has 2 in 6 chance of becoming cursed if they miss their ST. What this means in your game is up to you. It might be as good as death and turn the character into an npc, it might be a terrible curse that the party need to seek a cure for whilst stopping their comrade from slaughtering innocents, or it might be a great boon for a warrior if he can control the curse. It’s up to each referee how (or even if) the curse will affect any infected characters.

Thursday, 11 November 2010


Here's the info on races in Rædwald . . .


The four races in Rædwald are all humans some are just more magical, insular, or savage than others. The land of Rædwald is ruled by the Eorðwerod, who call themselves ‘men’ the other races they call elfs, dwarfs, and wildings. These others races that  men consider to be Ælþeód (foreigners) dwell in the borderlands the forests, marshes, moors, and mountains. They live in the isolated pockets of territory not yet claimed by the land hungry men of Rædwald.
There is rumour of an otherworldly realm of the fair folk, but no man has returned to tell of it and the only Ælfcynn in Rædwald are wild and savage forest folk that dwell deep within ancient woodlands.
They are slight and short; standing a whole head shorter than the Eorðwerod. They have raven black hair, fine angular beardless features, bright grey eyes, and nut brown skin. They shun all things crafted by men or dwarfs dressing themselves in the skins of deer and other animals. Despite the legends they neither fear nor are especially harmed by iron, but it is taboo for them to use it and anything else made of manish metal.
Their weapons are made of wood, stone, flint, and antler. Their longbows, despite being a primitive hunter’s weapon, are more powerful than the bows of men and rightly feared.
Each Ælf is bonded with an ageless tree-spirit, except for the player characters who are the Fæge, (the fey or doomed). Their tree-spirit has died and they are doomed to die a mortal death. It is not so much that they are exiled as that grief and sorrow drives them away from their home and kin, and their kin are no longer comfortable in the company of the treeless.
Some wander alone in wild woods becoming more and more savage until they are near bestial, others are drawn to the realms of men where, although not accepted, they may find a place in a lord's Wolfpack.
It said that in every generation there is but one man allowed to set foot on the clan mountains of the Dweorgas. In this way they conduct their trade with the race of men. Many tribes of men have fought and died for the foothills that border the clan’s mountains and the rich trade that land controls.
Of the Dweorgas themselves little is known save the richness of their mines and the brilliance of their metal craft. Standing a head shorter than men, they are broad, stout, and muscular. Pale skinned with jet black hair and eyes, they favour long forked beards. It is said there are no Dweorgaswífs (Dwarf wives) as the Dweorgas spring full grown and battle ready from mountain rock. Many is the tale of ancient warbands that marched into Dweorg mountains. There are no tales of any marching out again.
The player characters are the Edwíta, the disgraced. The source of their disgrace they tell no man, and only a fool with a death wish would ask. One thing all know is that for an Edwít Dweorg to return home is certain death, normally by a shameful unwarlike means such as strangulation.
The five races of men are named thus: Geats, Jutten, Saisons, Anglens and the Frisca. They are a most noble and warlike race, fearless, cunning, numerous and wise in both rule and counsel. Descendants of the gods themselves it is only natural that they rule the very earth itself. From Brytencynings (powerful kings) to níedþéow (slave thrall) the Eorðwerod are tall and rangy, with ruddy complexions, bright grey or blue eyes, and straw coloured hair with both the men and women favouring plaits.
The player characters are útlagan wulfeshéafod (outlaw wolfsheads). Like any Dweorg or Ælfcynn found roaming the lands of men, a Wulfeshéafod is outside the protection of law and can be slain without fear of reprisal or fear of blood feud. Without the protection of a lord or king that will undoubtedly be their fate.
What these war-like neighbours lack in craft and art they make up for in bestial fierceness and ignoble treachery. They inhabit the wilderness: moors, hills, and marshes that border the good farmlands of the Eorðwerod. They are tall and wiry, with pale skin, green eyes and copper red hair. All Ælþeód (foreigners) are treated with suspicion by the Eorðwerod, but the Réðealingas are especially despised.
Player characters are Morðorheteas (blood-fueder) having fled from their homeland until they can gain enough power to return and revenge themselves on their enemies, reclaim their honour, or simply return without fear of reprisal for the crimes they committed. Even though a Réðealing can be killed just for being in the land of the Eorðwerod that is still preferable to the fate awaiting them should they be captured by their own people. Membership of a Wolfpack and the protection of a lord means they might just live long enough to return to their homelands and take their vengeance.