Welcome to Witcher Wednesday! Each Wednesday, from now until GenCon 2019, we’ll take a look at what’s on deck for the Witcher Tabletop Roleplaying Game. This week? A walkthrough of Witcher Easy Mode, our free quickstart plus adventure. It was part of Free RPG Day earlier this year and will be released as a PDF on July 1st via DriveThruRPG.
Easy Mode begins with the cover featuring Field Marshall Windbag, a beloved franchise character. We’ll be honest. Field Marshall Windbag doesn’t actually appear as a character in Easy Mode but we’ve been looking for an excuse to feature the parrot on a cover and this seemed like a perfect opportunity.
The first two pages of Easy Mode give an overview of the World of the Witcher, giving brief descriptions of the Conjunction, Witchers, monsters, and the Nilfgaardian Wars.
Next comes the pregenerated characters. There are six:
- Luskar of Hagge, a Witcher (mutant monster hunter).
- Aislinn Veil, a human Sorcerer/Sorceress.
- Orban Madaras, a Dwarf Criminal.
- Ada of Ban Ard, a human Man at Arms.
- Andras the Red, an Elf Bard.
- Kaska Torma, a Dwarf Doctor.
We also include an abbreviated version of the Lifepath system, allowing players to determine a bit of background about their pregenerated character.
The pregens here do dictate race and Profession, but they don’t dictate gender. Players should feel free to adopt the gender identity for their characters that they prefer.
Next comes the Basics aka How to Play the Game. We’ve streamlined the rules so groups can get right into playing the game. The basics on how to make Skill Checks are covered as well as what to do with Exploding 1s and 10s and modifiers. There’s a full listing of all Statistics and Skills used in the game.
The Combat system spreads across five pages and, while many of the options of the core game are missing, it still has depth. The rules cover the basics of attacking and defending and offer multiple options for each. Easy Mode also covers a simplified Hit Location system, Critical Wounds, and Effects.
Here’s something to note about the Quickstart Rules. While there is an adventure included in Easy Mode, the rules weren’t written specifically for that adventure. Some of the rules presented won’t even apply to events in the adventure. We did this so a GM could create new adventures and run them with just the Easy Mode ruleset.
Onward to Magic! Spellcasting has been compressed to two pages with rules which make the hows and whys of magic simple and easy to follow. There’s also a basic Fumble table for players who like a little danger of failure when it comes to practicing the arcane arts.
Crafting is a major component of the Witcher Tabletop Roleplaying Game and is represented in Easy Mode. Kaska the Doctor, Luskar the Witcher, and Ada the Man at Arms each start out with a crafting recipe and can craft those items during the game.
There’s a page of GM advice specifically about running a game in the dark and dangerous World of the Witcher. That’s followed by Still Waters, our brand new adventure! We won’t spoil too much but here’s a summary. Vizima has fallen and the player characters are on the run! All they have to do is get across the river. Too bad there’s a band of Scoia’tael between them and freedom!
Still Waters was written to scale with the number of players and works well with any combination of characters. No single character has to be there to make the adventure work, including Luskar the Witcher! Multiple methods can be employed to solve the problems presented by Still Waters, from combat to social to stealth to something we haven’t even thought of yet. There’s no right combination of characters and no one path through the adventure.
And that’s Witcher Easy Mode! As noted earlier, we’ll be offering it as a free PDF to anyone who wants it via DriveThruRPG on July 1st. It is not only a fantastic introduction to the Witcher Tabletop Roleplaying Game, we honestly believe it offers some amazing new options and ideas to customize the rules for those gamers who already play the game!
Thank you and until next time, keep your swords sharp!