Monday, June 16, 2014

Resource: BtW: Blank Character Playbook

Sarah Stillwell, 1904
One of the best things about Beyond the Wall is the character creation process, which is based on playbooks. They generate your stats, your history, and your village. They establish relationships between both PCs and NPCs.

And they allow you to have your OSR cake and it eat, too. You get to be a class purist and model as many and varied types of characters as you like.

There are only three actual classes: Warrior, Mage, and Rogue. The playbooks allow you to dress these mechanically straight-forward classes up in different clothes. An archer and a barroom brawler and a knight might all be Warriors, but you can make a different playbook for each, and they will feel very different.

People have been doing this with D&D Fighters for a long time, but it's very satisfying to be able to meaningfully specialize your spell-caster without having to write a brand new spell list. The Mage can be a classic wizard, cleric, druid, witch, elf, or any variation you have in mind. Ice magic is popular, right now. Howsabout an Ice Queen playbook?

And the Rogue can be anything that isn't a Warrior or a spell-caster. It really should be called the Adventurer class, because what distinguishes them isn't their roguishness, but their extra skills and competency/luck.

Here are the playbooks that are officially available from Flatland Games:

Villagers: Self-taught Mage; Untested Thief; Village Hero; Witch’s Prentice; Would-Be Knight; Young Woodsman; Assistant Beast-Keeper; Devout Acolyte; Fae Foundling; Heir to a Legend; Local Performer; Reformed Bully

'The story of King Sylvain and Queen Aimée'
Margaret Sherwood
Nobles: Apprentice Court Sorcerer; Forgotten Child; Future Warlord; Gifted Dilettante; Nobleman’s Wild Daughter; Novice Templar

Fantasy Races: Dwarven Adventurer; Dwarven Rune Caster; Eleven Highborn; Elven Ranger; Halfling Outrider; Halfling Vagabond

That's a pretty great list of choices. But this is the Internet! We should be drowning in choices! There should be a cottage industry in making cooler and cooler playbooks!

So, here: I've made a blank template in Excel. I think it contains everything you need to create a playbook except, you know, ideas. Add your own!

I've made a Satyr playbook because of course I made a Satyr playbook. Some in the works include a Sailor (basically repurposing the Maritime Career Path), a Harpy (again, old wine in new casks), an Onocentaur, and bunches more.

Your turn! Get crackin'!