…And now for real
Some time ago, we started with the Witcher TRPG (Tabletop Role Playing Game). The free easy mode contains about 30 pages of rules, predefined characters and a scenario. But since we finished that scenario, it is time to move on to the real stuff!
I bought the full version on DriveThruRPG (just 25€), and started reading… and reading… and reading. The manual consists of more than 300 pages of guidelines, rules, information and so on.
I’m really glad that I started off with the easy mode, otherwise this would have been really overwhelming. And luckily there are lots of community resources: cheat sheets, character sheets, …
The predefined characters in easy mode are an easy start, but it is much more fun to create your own custom character.
The game manual has 50 (!) pages dedicated to character creation. As a result, it takes quite some time to create your character, but it pays off to do it. Your character is completely unique, and even has a full history.
And luckily, this is just a one-time effort. After that, there’s just some leveling to be done.
I was surprised to see that the manual only contains a single scenario. I was expecting a fully worked out campaign, continuing from the single scenario in easy mode. But that’s not the case: there’s a single (but extended) scenario, and plenty of tips to come up with your own scenarios.
I decided to make my own scenario, continuing from where we ended in the first session. And again, it takes time to do it right. I wanted to give my players multiple options to get the impression of a free world. You don’t have to foresee every single possibility (and you can’t, really), but you do have to be prepared a little bit.
But it worked out well, as you can read in our session log.
This is the continuation of our previous scenario. Read that one first if you want to understand the full story.
Fringilla reveals that she is actually Sherga, and the elf Andras reveals that he’s actually a dwarf (!) called Rhay. Strange that we didn’t notice this earlier (note: this is due to our newly created characters). Luckily, Letho is still the same guy after all.
While debating their possible travel options, suddenly Spark the craftsman joins the party. Just like the others, he’s also on the run for the Nilfgaardian army. The party decides follow a small path leading north from the (now burned) ferry over the Pontar.
They end up in a small village called Talmine. Jeldrika the innkeeper is very curious about the village across the Pontar, since her son works there. The party can hardly tell her that they burned the village, so they come up with a couple of successful lies.
She also informs them about the mysterious salt lakes near the mountains, and after a little seduction by Spark she even gives some details about the local witch. The party decides to investigate the salt lakes, but is stopped by Markus the merchant. He’s challenging them to a drinking contest, and loses miserably (witchers don’t get drunk very easily). When he sobers up, our heroes get some gear and travel to the salt lake.
There they meet Iolo the bowmaker. They learn that there used a be a single lake, with only two fish in it. Legend says that a princess once lost her ring in the lake, and the fish returned it. Since then the fish gave a present to every traveler passing by.
However, at some point in time, the water level dropped, and the fish got separated in what’s now two lakes (I guess there’s climate change in Redania as well). Their tears caused the lakes to go salty, and the miracles stopped.
Sherga the mage & Letho the witcher decide to investigate the lakes, while Spark the craftsman and Rhay the bard stay with Iolo to train and to craft a bow.
But then things start to go wrong. Drowners attack Sherga shortly after she manages to light two of them on fire. She’s deadly wounded while Letho is going after the other two Drowners.
Luckily Rhay, Spark and Iolo come to the rescue. They manage to kill all the drowners while Spark drags Sherga to safety. Things look bad for Sherga, but she manages to heal herself with her last powers.
Iolo is happy with the removal of the Drowners, and gives them a fishing rod. They use it to reunited the fish, and each of them gets a personal reward.
After a couple of days recovering, the party is ready to continue their adventure! To be continued…
The story continues
Read more about the adventures with a mysterious count and a vengeful witch.