Into the Borgenwold

Into the Borgenwold

I got the OSE Adventure, The Beast of Borgenwold (TBoB) and I like it. It is a bit too robust for our one-night-and-home Into the Odd campaign but it got me thinking about how I’d run it using Into the Odd.

TEXT: Into the Borgenwold

Some tables for playing the old school role-playing adventure,
The Beast of Borgenwold by Harry Menear
using Into the Odd by Chris McDowall with some slight changes to character creation.
If any of this looks interesting, please support these creators by purchasing their work.
This was put together by Judd Karlman

PIC: Manticore from medieval manuscript mauling some poor lad.

Other than statting out the monsters and a few NPC’s within (which isn’t too hard) one need not do ANY of this to add TBoB to one’s Into the Odd campaign. Stick Borgenwold into the Deep Country and go.

But this was fun to cook up and I thought it might be neat to give opportunities for the players to have little bits of the setting in the chargen, not too much, because I think exploring the Borgenwold is part of the hex-crawl-fun but just enough for a little spice.

Into the Borgenwold would start chargen asking why you are going to the Borgenwold in the first place. There are four examples on page 4 of the pamphlet. I’d go with starting gear based on that choice.

  1. Hired by a fur trader

sturdy fur coats and boots, traps for all manner of beasts, stout spears, letter of introduction to Marko Velinken, food to get you to Borgenwold as long as you don’t get lost, letter of credit at town’s general store

2. Answering the Provost’s bounty

southlander boots and coats that will leave you frost-bitten in the northern forests, weapons scavenged from a nearby battlefield (mace, rusted sword, broken crossbow, longbow in need of bowstring, one rusted chainmail coif and a pot help with a hole in it) and 1d6 coin per player (or you can test your luck and roll 2d6-1d6 but if you get a negative result you owe the Broker coin).

3. Fungible debt

each character can choose between:
caravan guard’s kit (good boots, spear, crossbow and good cloak, cheap helm)
hunter’s gear (fur cloak, good boots, bow, 24 arrows, cookpot, fur hat)
river-folk stuff (waterproof cloak, raft, fishing line, 3 barrels, sharp knife, 1d3 jars of pickled fish)

4. Misfortunes & Miscalculations

players list their gear, half a dozen items that they had before the bad luck hit them
for each item, make a Will Save
Success means they keep it. Failure means they lost it gambling.
Players get an extra roll on the d66 table.

“What d66 table?” you ask. See below.
Roll 2d6 but read them like a percentile die, with results ranging from 11 to 66.

Roll 3d6 for Strength, Dexterity and Willpower. Roll 1d6 for Hit Protection. Keep track of how many the 1’s and 2’s you roll. You’ll get 1 free roll on the d66 table and then another for every 1 or 2 you rolled when rolling your Strength, Dexterity, Willpower and Hit Protection.

In a world where this method of character creation was in a fancy book there might arise a house-rule where if one roll no 1’s or 2’s they could pick whichever entry on the d66 table they wanted – maybe there might even be rumors of them being a special person with a Destiny written in the stars (if you believe in such things).

I’m tempted to write a sentence or two about each spell but I’ve been enjoying seeing what the players come up with when they get an evocative name and not much else. For most, I’d have a save/roll of some kind – not to see if the spell goes off but to see if there’s a complication. Nothing like casting Dream of Home to talk to one of the last folk you broke bread with before heading out into the forest and accidentally letting a True Nightmare into the mix. A failed Fireball might start a a fire that gets out of control or catch an ally thought to be outside the blast radius or maybe throwing fire around in an old forest awakens something best left to its slumber. Or maybe when there’s a failure, the spell is out of one’s skull forever. Maybe a choice – lose the spell forever or eat the complication?

Local hunters might know a cantrip or two but no one person knows them all and they only teach it to close family or those who earn their respect in powerful ways. If a hunter did know them all or even half of them they’d probably be called a sorcerer.

There’s setting written into the spells. I imagined an old sorcerer from time’s past who had served as a kind of court sorcerer to the Velinken family and from this sorcerer’s spells, you can tell what kind of person I thought they’d be. There is so such person in the book or the adventure.

In which we give this idea some play…

If you would like to get an email notification when blog posts are published, please subscribe below: