Life in a Ruined Village

Originally published at: https://www.torchbearerrpg.com/?p=778

Evening by Russ Nicholson

Hello friends!

It’s been a bit since the end of the Bridge of the Damned campaign, so I wanted to give you some insight into what I’ve been working on.

In the third update, I provided some details on the Saxaling clan that lives on the northern bank of the Vimur River. I also focused on the manor village of Saxatoft.

Saxatoft is a location you can visit in Bridge of the Damned, but it is currently not a functional settlement. In game terms, the Bjorning raid that kicked off the adventure was a disaster. That disaster prevents Saxatoft from being used for a town phase. Lady Clotildis, wife of Ridder Fulk, is doing her best to keep her people alive and to rebuild the village, but she could use help!

In the meantime, while the village can’t be used for the town phase, it can be used as a camp location.

That’s all well and good, but none of our existing camp events tables are really a good fit for this situation. So I’ve made a custom camp events table specifically for camping in the ruined village. You can make use of this for your own games even if you’re not using Saxatoft, though you might have to tweak some of the entries a bit.

This, by the way, is a process you can go through for your own setting to give it a bit more personalized flair. The generic tables from the Torchbearer core book are great and I use them all the time. But sometimes, especially if there’s a place the players are likely to return to again and again, it’s worth the extra effort to make something more specialized.

Note

This table is a bit different than the camp events rules in the core book. In the Torchbearer core book, you roll to determine whether a camp is a disaster, minor inconvenience, safe camp, minor break or lucky break. Then you roll on a subtable to get a specific result. This method brings all of that together in a single table.

Ruined Village Camp Events

Roll 3d6

2 Abandoned. The conditions in the village are too miserable. The survivors
quietly slip away in the night, abandoning the town to ruin.
3 Collapse. The flame-licked structure you’re squatting in comes down on your
head with a relieved moan. Camp ends and remaining checks lost; structure
destroyed and may not be used further as a camp. All must choose: Make a
Dungeoneer test to get to safety or Laborer tests to save packs and gear.
4 Terror. This place is haunted by those recently slain by violence. They emerge
howling from your nightmares. Camp ends and all remaining checks lost. Test
Willto remain sane. Suggested failure result: afraid condition.
5 The recent death and misery in the village has lured corpse-eaters into your
midst. 1D2+1 ghouls investigate the pyres to see if any meat escaped the
flame; finding none, they look for fresher flesh. Spend a check to make a test or
engage in a conflict to avert the disaster. If failed, in addition to the resulting
twist or condition, camp ends and all remaining checks are lost. If successful,
camp continues.
6 Raid! 2d6 bandits (the Bjorning and Græling thralls) fall on the camp to take
supplies and the children they had to leave behind when they fled. You may
spend a check to make a test or engage in a conflict to avert the disaster.
Otherwise camp ends and all remaining checks are lost.
7 Fouled well. The corpses of humans or animals were dropped into the well
during the raid, fouling the water. The well water is undrinkable (anyone who
drinks it is automatically made sick).
8 Barren lands. The game in this area has been driven off by the fires and the
land has been foraged clean by the survivors and escaping thralls. There’s
nothing edible to be had for miles. No Hunter or Scavenger tests possible in
camp.
9 Hanged man. There’s a corpse of one of the raiders hanging from a tree
nearby, full of ill omen. You cannot recover from the angry or afraid conditions in
camp.
10 Smoking pyres. This place is full of ghosts. Recovering spells and invocations in
camp is impossible.
11 The roof leaks or the room floods. It begins to rain if it is not raining already.
Water seeps into your gear ruining: 1-3 torches (d3), 4-6 rations (d3).
12 Safe camp!
13 Midden. +1D to Scavenge for town items in this place.
14 Sympathetic children. The local village kids bring you rations of food and wine.
15 Fell off the wagon. Roll once on the Gear loot table.
16 Overhear a whispered conversation about: 1-2 a cult, 3-4 a local secret, or 5-6 a
political matter.
17 Fruit-bearing trees. The orchard or briar has fruited. Collect 2D6 portions of
forage.
18 There’s something valuable buried beneath the floorboards or flagstones of the
structure you’re squatting in. Roll once on the Treasure and Valuables loot
subtable (page 145).
19 Volunteers! Neighbors hear about the dire straits of Saxatoft and come to
volunteer help. Roll 1d6: 1-2 Laborers, 3-4 Craftsfolk or Artisans, 5-6 A knight
and their retinue.

Persistent Results

Some of these results are persistent. If a building collapses, there will be no shelter until it is rebuilt. If the well is fouled, the water will remain poisonous until action is taken to remedy the situation. If the same result is rolled again on a subsequent visit, things should get even worse.

We Can Rebuild It

When the players first encounter Saxatoft, the village is still reeling from the raid. As a result, all camp event rolls are at -1.

Getting Saxatoft back on its feet requires three things:

  • The manor and outbuildings must be repaired (skills like Carpenter, Laborer, and Stonemason may come into play; Steward might be used to organize work parties).
  • The village must be repopulated (either the thralls that escaped to the hills in the raid must be found and recaptured or the PCs might convince people from other settlements to move to Saxatoft).
  • The village’s stock animals must be replenished (perhaps by raiding other nearby settlements and herding the animals back to Saxatoft, or purchasing some breeding pairs from other settlements).

If the PCs successfully perform one of the above actions, they eliminate the -1 to the camp events roll. If they successfully perform two of the above actions, they receive a +1 to the camp events roll. If they perform all three, Saxatoft once again becomes a functioning settlement that can be used for the town phase.

Each time the players make an expedition away from Saxatoft and return, there is a small chance that Clotildis and the small band of survivors she leads will have performed one of the actions themselves. Roll 1d6. On a result of 1, they have taken an action to get Saxatoft back on its feet.

7 Likes

Hi Thor,

is it too late become a late backer of this goodness? all those zines would be like leaflets of gold, or some such.

We should have extra copies of the zine for sale at Gen Con.

Thanks for answering Luke. Living in northern Norway, Gen Con is currently not an option for me.

We’ll likely have a PDF available at some point, too.

How do you roll a 2 or a 19 on 3d6? :stuck_out_tongue:

Check out the We Can Rebuild It section. That’s how you get a 2 or a 19. :wink:

Alright, I admit that I only skim-read the first part. I’m mostly interested in the events on that rollable table, because I’ve got a group heading back to a village in my BW game soon, and there’s a good chance that something terrible has happened there while they’ve been gone.