One bottle of Charavask’s Reserve is made a year, the centennial bottle gifted to those who gather the rare ingredients to make it. Elemental water, dryad’s nectar, assassin vine berries, giant bee honey and more are used. Can you win this year’s bottle by finding what is needed?
Advanced Fighting Fantasy, D&D, Pathfinder, Dragon Warriors.
Art by Katherine Souza
Dragon Warriors is a brilliant ‘Old School’ RPG, reincarnated by Cubicle 7. It has an innate old-Europe feel, somewhat different to standard fantasy fare and well in keeping with The Witcher, which makes it a perfect system in which to run Witcher style RPG sessions.
You can get the PDFs HERE.
A player who wishes his character to become a Witcher must roll scores of at least 10 for Reflexes and Strength and at least 9 for Intelligence and Psychic Talent.
Witchers may cast their signs an unlimited number of times (there are no magic points) but they must have a hand free to do so and can only cast a sign every third turn.
Witchers can wear any kind of armour but cannot (or at least do not) use shields. Witchers are primarily trained to fight in light armour however.
Witchers are extensively trained in the use of one-handed weapons only, to an insane degree of expertise. They are much less effective with other weapons. Two handed-weapons suffer a -2 penalty to Attack. This includes ranged weapons, with the exception of pistol-crossbows.
Pistol Crossbow: Damage: D6, 3 points. Short 0-15m, Medium 16-25m, Long 26-35m. 75F.
Witchers start with 1D6+6 Health Points.
Attack 13, Defence 5
Magical Attack 12, Magical Defence 4.
A Witcher’s starting Evasion Score is 4.
A Witcher begins with Stealth 14 and Perception 8.
A Witcher starts play with:
Witchers have a few innate abilities and a very broad degree of customisation.
They begin with the following abilities:
Witchers have an (already) boosted Perception and can see clearly in low-light conditions, but not in total darkness. They start play with the Track ability, as per the Knight class.
Witchers consider their Strength to be two points higher than it is when resolving poison effects.
Each time a Witcher ranks they get two Skill Ranks to spend, which can be spent to buy the following (though they may only increase their Rank in any ability by 1 each time they Rank up):
Alchemy: You must be at least Rank 6, this gives you access to the Potion making abilities of a Sorcerer but you only have access to Dexterity, Occult Acuity, Strength, Healing, Poison, Theriac, Smoke, Amianthus, Truth, Love and Sleep.
Armour Piercing: As per the Assassin ability.
Armour Training: Offset your armour penalties for heavier armour by 1. You may take this up to four times to completely offset armour penalties.
Arrow Cutting: As per the Warlock ability.
Disarm Technique: As per the Knight ability.
Main Gauche: As per the Knight ability.
Major Enchantment (Armour): As per the Warlock ability.
Major Enchantment (Weapons): As per the Warlock ability.
Minor Enchantment (Armour): As per the Warlock ability.
Minor Enchantment (Weapons): As per the Warlock ability.
Quick Draw: As per the Knight ability.
Ride Warhorse: You can now ride warhorses.
Sign (Aard): A telekinetic wave is projected from the Witcher’s hand. This has a Speed of 13 and does 2 damage out to a range of 5m. A critical hit (double 1) knocks the target over. Extra Skill Ranks can be invested in this ability to raise the Speed, Range and Damage by +1 each per rank, to a maximum of Speed 18, 10m range and 7 damage.
Sign (Axii): Axii allows you to stun an opponent. Make a Magical Attack against an enemy and, if successful, they are stunned for one turn. A critical hit makes them fight on your side for that turn. Extra ranks spent in this sign increase the duration, up to a maximum of 6 turns. You can also use this ability in roleplay to try and subtly bend people to your will.
Sign (Igni): A blast of fire is projected from the Witcher’s hand. This has a Speed of 12 and does 3 damage out to a range of 5m. A critical hit (double 1) sets the target on fire for 1 damage per turn. Extra Skill Ranks can be invested in this ability to raise the Range, Damage and Damage per turn by 1 to a maximum of 10m, 8 damage and 6 damage per turn. You can also use this ability in roleplay to light or extinguish torches, candles, lamps and small fires.
Sign (Quen): Quen creates a magical barrier around you which can resist one hit from any attack. This operates like a shield (blocking on a 6 on D6) and lasts 1 turn. You can spend extra Skill Ranks on this sign to raise its duration and blocking ability by 1 per rank to a maximum of blocking automatically and lasting up to 6 turns.
Sign (Yrden): Yrden drops a magical trap at your feet which lasts until your next turn. Any enemy in the trap area (5m diameter) takes a penalty of -1 to Defence and if incorporeal is rendered vulnerable to normal attacks. Extra Skill Ranks can be invested in this ability to raise the duration and the Defence penalty by 1 per rank to a maximum of 6 turns and a -6 penalty.
Swordmaster: As per the Knight ability.
Unnatural Toughness: Add +1 Health Point. You may take this as many times as you like.
Well, kind of. I think many of us are blinded by nostalgia and fail to recognise the advances that have been made in games. I’m not being subjective when I say ‘advances’ either. Things like unified mechanics, dramatic mechanics and systems that allow for players to ‘buy in’ to the narrative in a more formal fashion are improvements. Skills are an improvement, guidelines and examples on how to handle various ‘stunts’ and tricks are also an improvement.
A while back we tried a session of our favourite old school game, Dragon Warriors. Almost immediately we fell into problems and it’s not like we didn’t all play these older style games back in the day. Something was definitely off though.
I resisted the temptation to ‘fiddle’ with things for a long time. I wanted a true, old-school experience, I wanted the nostalgia but as it turns out, as written, and for our grown up selves, spoiled by FATE and Storyteller, the old school experience is a crock of shit.
I started bringing in flanking rules, allowed them to pull off stunts and tricks, adjusted the monster stats on the fly, interpreted the healing rules in a more generous way and so on. Basically, betraying everything I originally set out to do for the sake of a better game.
You know what? I think that’s what we actually used to do. I think that was the ‘old school’ game experience. Every individual group fixing things in their own way, playing their own game and that was what made for these formative experiences rather than the games themselves. We were all playing our own variations, our own ‘perfect’ games derived from games that were loose and incomplete and subject to interpretation.
Dragon Warriors’ background is always the thing that really appealed to me, much the same with Fighting Fantasy. If we play it again, I think we may use some different rules.
We’ve definitely changed.
Infrno is a Beta of a web-based RPG playing application/social site (isn’t everything these days?) which I’ve been signed up to for a while but hadn’t really gotten to grips with until this weekend.
We decided to keep things simple and went for a game of Dragon Warriors, playing through the first adventure in the main book, using the ‘whiteboard’ for maps and the webcam and audio to give the thing a proper test.
First the pluses: