I completely missed this scenario before but I’m thinking of proposing it at a convention. Anything I need to be aware of that’s come to light since it came out?
I ran it recently as a demo of BW for my current group. I can’t shed any light on any issues since we didn’t run into any, but I can say it’s my favourite BW scenario. Much as I appreciate the design of BW, I’m not into the “blood & mud” aesthetic that Luke, Thor, & co. prefer in their published scenarios. Words Remain Below is such a player-driven scenario that, though there are a few dark bits of background, the GM isn’t in the position of introducing in-your-face darkness just to advance the plot.
Being so player-driven too lets you be reactive after the opening scene, leaping forward with your pawns—the crowd in the taproom or members thereof, the maybe-witch, the bar staff, the ill spouse—only to support or complicate what the players are doing.
This is a lovely scenario with a small stage, off-screen pressures, Beliefs all at cross-purposes but not entirely irreconcilable, and no clear right or wrong. It’s like the Sword but without violence being so likely, longer but not too long, and even more delightfully open-ended in how to resolve the situation. The PCs are all very different and demonstrate well that being able with a sword is not the only source of agency in BW.
One hitch was purely technical: the “handwritten” font in the PC sheets didn’t work on my Mac, which forced a bad fallback font to be used and made them hard to read when printed. I later found it worked fine on my PC. Whatever machine you use, print one early to make sure it turns out right, so you have time to find a machine they work on before the con.
Damn! I need to hunt this scenario down.
I’ve got a terrible feeling that it passed me by…
Is it just me or do the PCs have low skill exponents?
They look fine to my eye!
A good selection of skills, one at 4 or 5, and lots of low skills for FoRKing, etc.
To be fair, that’s sort of how we tend to create our starting characters (broad on skills, rather than deep).
I also appreciate that they’ve been front-loaded with some skill-checks, so that there’s skills that will pop up with only 1 check or so.
Ah ok is just me. I looked at the merc this morning and saw nothing over a 3.
I love the look of that mercenary!
They’re a warrior who has (currently) chosen to give up the sword.
… and their skills are not necessarily all the way there to accomplish that.
Those Beliefs are gold, especially “I do not need to draw steel to overcome my foes”, and how that could be put in tension with their Instincts.
That’s a Mould-Breaker waiting to happen.
I also note that they are a single Intimidation test away from increasing that skill, which provides a good incentive to lean into that.
They remind me of the Elven Captain (?) from the old adventure The Gift, who was built for war, but seeks peace.
Yeah they’re fun beliefs. I’m planning to introduce some new players in a one shot over christmas. I really like the look of the gift, but only have three players - words looks good too.
Perfect choice (in Words)!
Also, given these sort of skill levels, it’s going to mean that Help from other PCs is going to be very handy…
Yeah I only have enough players for Hochen or Words - although I haven’t read Sons of the Watch yet.