Character Creation

Roll or choose a Background

  • First, roll or choose from the Backgrounds table below and note the page number. You will refer to that page for the next few steps.
  • Choose a name from the available list, then record each of your character’s starting items. See Inventory and Inventory Slots for how to record items.
  • Roll on each of the included tables in the background. Record your character’s items, skills, or abilities from each result. Some backgrounds may ask you to refer to the tables in the Marketplace as well.

Backgrounds

Attributes, Hit Protection, and Traits

  • Roll for your Characters Attributes and Hit Protection.
  • Roll for the rest of your character’s Traits, and then on the the Bonds table.
  • Finally, roll for your character’s Age (2d20+10). If you are the youngest character, roll on the Omens table. The result should be read aloud to the other players. The Warden should incorporate Omens into the setting as they see fit.

Attributes

  • Player Characters have just three Attributes: (Strength (STR), Dexterity (DEX), and Willpower (WIL)).
  • Roll 3d6 for each of your character’s Attributes, in order. You may then swap any two of the results.
  • Attributes are not universal descriptors. A character with a low STR is not necessarily hopelessly weak; they can still attempt to lift a heavy door or survive a deadly fight! Their risk is simply higher.

Hit Protection

  • Roll 1d6 to determine your PC’s starting Hit Protection (HP), which reflects their ability to avoid damage in combat. It does not indicate a character’s health or fortitude, nor do they lose it for very long. See Healing.
  • If an attack would take a PC’s HP exactly to 0, the player must roll on the Scars table.

Inventory

  • Characters have a total of ten inventory slots but can only carry four or five items comfortably without the help of bags, backpacks, horses, carts, etc.
  • Each PC starts with a Backpack that can hold up to six slots of items or Fatigue. Carts (which must be pulled with both hands), horses, or mules can make a huge difference in how much a PC can bring with them on an adventure. Hirelings can also be paid to carry equipment.
  • Inventory is abstract, dependent only on the fiction as adjudicated by the Warden. Anyone carrying a full inventory (i.e. filling all 10 slots) is reduced to 0 HP. A character cannot fill more than ten slots.

Inventory Slots

  • Most items take up one slot unless otherwise indicated.
  • Petty items do not take up any slots. Bulky items take up two slots.
  • A bag of coins worth less than 100gp is petty and does not occupy a slot.

Character Traits (d10)

Physique

       
1 Athletic 6 Scrawny
2 Brawny 7 Short
3 Flabby 8 Statuesque
4 Lanky 9 Stout
5 Rugged 10 Towering

Skin

       
1 Birthmarked 6 Soft
2 Marked 7 Tanned
3 Oily 8 Tattooed
4 Rosy 9 Weathered
5 Scarred 10 Webbed

Hair

       
1 Bald 6 Long
2 Braided 7 Luxurious
3 Curly 8 Oily
4 Filthy 9 Wavy
5 Frizzy 10 Wispy

Face

       
1 Bony 6 Perfect
2 Broken 7 Rakish
3 Chiseled 8 Sharp
4 Elongated 9 Square
5 Pale 10 Sunken

Speech

       
1 Blunt 6 Gravelly
2 Booming 7 Precise
3 Cryptic 8 Squeaky
4 Droning 9 Stuttering
5 Formal 10 Whispery

Clothing

       
1 Antique 6 Frayed
2 Bloody 7 Frumpy
3 Elegant 8 Livery
4 Filthy 9 Rancid
5 Foreign 10 Soiled

Virtue

       
1 Ambitious 6 Honorable
2 Cautious 7 Humble
3 Courageous 8 Merciful
4 Disciplined 9 Serene
5 Gregarious 10 Tolerant

Vice

       
1 Aggressive 6 Lazy
2 Bitter 7 Nervous
3 Craven 8 Rude
4 Deceitful 9 Vain
5 Greedy 10 Vengeful

Bonds

   
D20 Bond
1 You inherited a Single Gem (500gp, cold and brittle) from a long-dead relative. It arrived with a warning: squander your newfound riches, and a debt long thought forgotten would be called in.
2 A distant cousin left you a small inheritance. Take 20Gp and a Strange Compass (petty) that always points towards something deep in the Wood.
3 You carry a Portrait in a locket (petty) of a past love who disappeared into the Wood long ago. Somehow you know that they are still alive.
4 You found a Tiny Crystal Prism (petty) buried in the dirt. When held up to the light, it shows visions of an unknown location deep within the Wood. Sometimes you feel a presence looking back at you.
5 You once freed a Naiad from a choked stream. In return, it gave you some Silver Moss. Swallow it near water, and the creature will come, once, to repay its debt.
6 You inherited an old Journal, bound in bark. Each evening, its pages are filled with the events of the day, crassly written from the journal’s perspective. The writing is crude but accurate.
7 You protect a long-dormant family secret. Take one half of an Ancient Key (petty). They say that if joined with its twin, it opens a Gate through any door.
8 You received a Letter (petty) detailing incontrovertible proof that your true parentage is that of Fae nobility. The note also indicates a date and location where you are to meet the letter’s author, deep in the the Wood.
9 You owe a great debt to a member of the nobility and carry their Signet Ring (petty), which serves as proof of their protection as well as your obligation.
10 You consumed a Mischievous Spirit that wreaks havoc on your insides, demanding to be taken home, deep in the Wood. It occupies one slot but absorbs one Fatigue each day. It wants you alive (for now).
11 A roaming storyteller once spun you tales of great treasure hidden deep in the Wood. You thought it naught but fancy, till they gave you A Rolled-Up Map (petty) marked with an X.
12 During your travels, you met a dying hunter who asked you to deliver a message to their loved ones. Take a Letter (petty), sealed with tree sap. It is addressed only to the Lord Of Winter.
13 You found a wounded beast in the forest but chose to ignore it. You see it everywhere now, but only when you’re alone. It looks sad but not angry. You cannot become panicked when acting alone.
14 You promised a childhood friend that you’d bring them back a rare gift, something unique in all the world. Take a Bracelet (petty) woven from twine and wildflowers.
15 You crossed a creature of the Wood, and it cursed you with a Stone Heart (1 Armor, bulky). With each passing month, the stone grows heavier by one slot. Until your debt is lifted, you cannot truly die.
16 You carved a Whistle (petty) from an Oak Lord’s branch. Your act did not go unnoticed. You cannot seem to rid yourself of the whistle either.
17 The Dawn Brigade did your family a service, giving you a dried Blood-Red Flower (petty) as proof. When the flower turns white, it means the favor is owed.
18 An entertainer once visited your home, filling it with story and song. He left one day without a word, leaving behind only A Miniature Lute. Something rattles inside.
19 A white crow appeared to you in a dream, holding a twig in its mouth. You awoke the next morning with the Twig (petty) in your hand. You believe it brings you luck. It smells faintly of sulfur.
20 One of your ancestors wronged a Moss Witch, who cursed their bloodline. Your visage causes mirrors to shatter. You’ve noticed that the shards can sometimes reveal illusions.

Omens

   
d20 Omen
1 The once rich waters of a life-giving river have turned black and putrid, tainting the land and sickening those who drink from it. A village elder points to some recent desecration as the cause, but most do not heed their words.
2 It feels like winter has arrived too quickly this year, frost and snows making their appearance much earlier than expected. There is talk of a pattern to the frost found in windows, ponds, and cracks in the ground. It almost looks like a map.
3 A thick, unnatural fog has begun encroaching upon an ancient and holy grove. It is said to be the work of a great forest spirit, angered by nearby deforestation.
4 The night sky grows dimmer each evening, as if stars are disappearing one by one. Rumors of hellish creatures capturing farmers and pulling them into the Roots are spreading like wildfire. Village elders believe the two are connected.
5 The songbirds of the Wood have fallen eerily silent as of late. Hunters claim that a spectral figure has been spotted wandering the forest, gazing longingly at anyone it encounters.
6 Strange, tear-shaped stones have been found throughout the region, sparking a “gold rush” of sorts for jewelers and thieves alike. The locals believe they are the tears of the earth itself, weeping for a great tragedy yet to come.
7 Swarming pests gnaw away at the edges of dreams, and farmers speak of a loud buzzing sound emanating from deep within the Wood. They also say that the sound is getting closer.
8 There is a village known far and wide for its impressive “mother tree,” said to shelter the town’s secrets in its boughs. Recently it has begun bleeding red sap, worrying the elders.
9 The moon turns a deep crimson, bathing the night in an eerie, blood-red light. Some say it heralds a time of chaos and strife, as the boundaries between the Wood and the mortal realm grow thin.
10 Strange cracks have appeared in the night sky, revealing a swirling vortex of light and color. Some say that the divide between realms is at its weakest in centuries and fear what may emerge from the other side.
11 A night-blooming flower once thought extinct is sprouting up throughout the Wood. Its scent is intoxicating but also causes vivid nightmares.
12 Local livestock have grown increasingly agitated and unmanageable as of late. An old shepherd says it is due to an unsettling howl that emanates from the Wood each full moon.
13 Swarms of insects are fleeing from the Wood in droves, destroying any wooden structures they come across. The sound of their wings hum a familiar tune as they pass overhead, like a forgotten nursery rhyme.
14 Hunters talk of a curse that befalls any who kill a beast with a streak of white fur: soon after, they are found dead in their homes. Each day, there are fewer and fewer creatures to hunt.
15 Folks say that a faint laughter can be heard echoing out of wells all over the city, and that the echoes change to sobs at night.
16 The constellations have slowly started shifting in the night sky, forming unfamiliar patterns that have stargazers and sages perplexed. Even the animals seem disturbed.
17 An ancient tree at the heart of a sleepy village has suddenly withered and died, despite showing no signs of disease. After its trunk was cut, a bloody hand was found in its core.
18 Statues have been weeping blood for months on end, and the wombs of the village have lain barren since. A single child has been the only exception, hidden away by elders overcome with fear and dread.
19 The local fauna is behaving oddly, displaying heightened aggression or fleeing the area entirely. Hunters talk of a shadowy figure that roams the Wood, calling to the animals.
20 Border towns have become riotous in recent weeks after multiple claims of a red-robed figure appearing in their children’s dreams, uttering the same warning: A fire is coming, and it will consume everything.