Beowulf 2-player 5th edition D&D

Jacob Rodgers

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Just one so far: How necessary are Followers?
It depends on how you play the game. If you're doing Duet play (1 GM, 1 Player) they help make up for the fact that there's only one of you. They fade into the background and then when you need help on a particular Ability Check or something else, you'll activate one to help you or if things get bad in combat then you might activate one to Take a Blow for you, or, if you're looking at a TPK (very easy when TP = 1) you can have them Rescue the Hero (very dangerous to them but gets you out of trouble). NOTE: If you don't have Followers then the effects of the Voyage happen to the PC... sometimes good, often bad.

If you're playing a small player count game (i.e. 2 or 3 players) then you can still use the full Hero class and no Followers. Some folks who like the Follower system have allowed a single Follower per Hero as well and that works well too.

If you're playing a traditional game (4-6 players) then you won't use Followers. You can use a scaled back version of the Hero or any other 5e classes that you feel fit into the setting.
 

Y Mab Darogan

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Gah if this wasn’t 5e I’d back in a heartbeat...but I wants it my precious! :cry:

What’s the ratio of rules to system neutral?
 

Jacob Rodgers

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Gah if this wasn’t 5e I’d back in a heartbeat...but I wants it my precious! :cry:

What’s the ratio of rules to system neutral?
Those questions can be tricky to answer, especially as there are things(especially in 5e) that one might consider semi-system neutral (e.g. if the system tells me I have advantage on the roll then I know automatically it's supposed to be easier in whatever system I'm translating into, even though advantage in 5e is a system term.). Probably the best thing to do is download the free adventure and check it out for yourself: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/306721/BEOWULF-The-Hermits-Sanctuary
 

Y Mab Darogan

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Those questions can be tricky to answer, especially as there are things(especially in 5e) that one might consider semi-system neutral (e.g. if the system tells me I have advantage on the roll then I know automatically it's supposed to be easier in whatever system I'm translating into, even though advantage in 5e is a system term.). Probably the best thing to do is download the free adventure and check it out for yourself: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/306721/BEOWULF-The-Hermits-Sanctuary
I’ll have a look :thumbsup:
 

Chris Brady

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So it's pretty much the same as D&D, needing a party to operate. Fair enough.
 

finarvyn

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I'm not sure what "needing a party to operate" means. My impression is that you run a single BIG DAMN HERO with a bunch of hit points and you manage that hero's resources, and one of those resources is the things that the henchmen can do for you. I saw someone compare henchmen to spellcasting, so it's kind of like one hero that can fight and cast. Doesn't seem like a party to me.

I'm pumped about this. My local game store is going to back this so I won't be doing the KS directly. Now I just have to decide what extras I need to get on top of the core rulebook....
 

Jacob Rodgers

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Yeah, apologies for any confusion. The default gameplay mode is 1 GM and 1 Hero. That Hero has Followers and uses them to help them make progress through the game, including fights, exploration and even social (the presence of a certain kind of Follower can turn a NPC for or against you). That's all in the first paragraph. Some uses are neutral, some cause the Follower to become spent (unable to used until they get a long rest or otherwise reset), some might cause the Follower to be slain or killed.

We've had a lot of people ask about multiplayer games, that was my goal in the other paragraphs, you can run the game in 'party mode' if you want to. If you have more questions please don't hesitate to ask.
 

CRKrueger

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Why does it matter? Honest question. You know vaguely the type of story it'll be like (Viking Epic), and I'm going to make a massive (and honest) assumption here that the game will have some sort of basic primer on how to run it.

Now, I can understand wanting to read Beowulf, but I don't think it's going to be necessary to run the game.

I could, of course, be wrong.
@finarvyn I’d read it if I were you. It certainly would help getting into the mindset. We think of Norse Vikings as a kind of pirate, which if you were on the pointy end of one of their raids certainly seems apt, but the ideas of Honor, Duty, Glory, Valor, Loyalty, etc. often either get ignored completely or magnified to mythic levels. Beowulf is much more accessible than reading say Grettir’s Saga or Hrolfr Kraki‘s Saga. Some of the important themes are Generosity vs. Greed, and the Duty of a King to his Thanes and people.

If you want to see a movie based loosely on Beowulf, see The 13th Warrior.

As far as prose translation goes, I’d get the Norton Critical Edition with translation by Donaldson.
For verse translation, I’ll jump on the Seamus Heaney bandwagon. He’s really good.
 

CRKrueger

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It‘s great to see @Jon Hodgson and @Jacob Rodgers here. I usually don’t go for the swag items, but I went Everything on this one, the added items just look so cool. The Hodgson cover looks so good, I went with it rather than the CE.

How about you guys doing Mythic Beowulf for Mythras? I guarantee I’ll get the CE for that one. :shade:
 
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I posted this elsewhere, but worth repeating here:

`The latest of Morrus' RPG Podcast has Jon Hodgson on as a guest to talk about the Beowulf kickstarter (jump to one hour three minutes for the start of the discussion):


More detail on how followers work, weapons options that are more lively for one on on play, ships and other loveliness.

Looks like there's more that's dependent on the pledge level — Jon talks about a magic book as something that the developers have been considering, hopefully some time in the future...

Hopefully the last ten days can put some more money in the pot to get these things realised.

Very excited about this: I love the aesthetic of the book and add-ons. And Beowulf is one of the cornerstones of western fantasy — I was sold by the title alone.
 

finarvyn

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I'm buying through my local game store, who is backing the KS for me. Now I just have to decide "just the rulebook" or if I want all of the cool extras. Really great stuff, but I'm not sure I'd use a lot of it. Minis are unpainted, which is a huge drawback for me since I don't like to paint.
 

CRKrueger

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I'm buying through my local game store, who is backing the KS for me. Now I just have to decide "just the rulebook" or if I want all of the cool extras. Really great stuff, but I'm not sure I'd use a lot of it. Minis are unpainted, which is a huge drawback for me since I don't like to paint.
If you don’t like to paint, look into Games Workshop contrast paints. They’re designed to flow really well, kind of in between a paint and a wash. As a result, you can just paint quickly and the paint pulls into the recessed areas away from the high points, doing your washing and highlighting for you. A lot of people that would never paint have gotten into it using the contrasts.
 

Y Mab Darogan

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You're not the only one, fella. I've hmmmm'd about it for a bit but the desire to support Jon, Jacob and the other guys far outweighs any concerns/dislike of D&D. And all those extra bits look lush!
To be fair I’ll play D&D if I think the setting is good enough and loses something in translation. But this is just a quality looking product and played as is in D&D or mined for other games I feel like it’s a sound investment.
 

Toadmaster

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Missed this, literally "by that much". :errr: Oh, well I will have to watch for it when it is in the stores.


It depends on how you play the game. If you're doing Duet play (1 GM, 1 Player) they help make up for the fact that there's only one of you. They fade into the background and then when you need help on a particular Ability Check or something else, you'll activate one to help you or if things get bad in combat then you might activate one to Take a Blow for you, or, if you're looking at a TPK (very easy when TP = 1) you can have them Rescue the Hero (very dangerous to them but gets you out of trouble). NOTE: If you don't have Followers then the effects of the Voyage happen to the PC... sometimes good, often bad.

If you're playing a small player count game (i.e. 2 or 3 players) then you can still use the full Hero class and no Followers. Some folks who like the Follower system have allowed a single Follower per Hero as well and that works well too.

If you're playing a traditional game (4-6 players) then you won't use Followers. You can use a scaled back version of the Hero or any other 5e classes that you feel fit into the setting.
This sounds like it would work well for running something based on Greek Myth as well, with a major hero and many minor herolings.


@finarvyn

If you want to see a movie based loosely on Beowulf, see The 13th Warrior.
I read Beowulf in high school, and when I saw 13th Warrior my first impression was that the movie was sort of like what really happened, and Beowulf was the story after many generations of story tellers had embellished on the actual events. Great movie, I keep meaning to read the book but never get around to it.
 

CRKrueger

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Missed this, literally "by that much". :errr: Oh, well I will have to watch for it when it is in the stores.

This sounds like it would work well for running something based on Greek Myth as well, with a major hero and many minor herolings.

I read Beowulf in high school, and when I saw 13th Warrior my first impression was that the movie was sort of like what really happened, and Beowulf was the story after many generations of story tellers had embellished on the actual events. Great movie, I keep meaning to read the book but never get around to it.
The movie is based on the book Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton, which takes Beowulf and combines it with the historical writings of Ahmed Ibn Fadlan, a Muslim ambassador from the Caliph of Baghdad to the Bulgars on the Volga River. Fadlan spent time with the Varangian Rus on the Volga Trade Route.
 

Y Mab Darogan

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Missed this, literally "by that much". :errr: Oh, well I will have to watch for it when it is in the stores.




This sounds like it would work well for running something based on Greek Myth as well, with a major hero and many minor herolings.




I read Beowulf in high school, and when I saw 13th Warrior my first impression was that the movie was sort of like what really happened, and Beowulf was the story after many generations of story tellers had embellished on the actual events. Great movie, I keep meaning to read the book but never get around to it.
I think the guys mentioned late pledges.
 

Toadmaster

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I think the guys mentioned late pledges.
I think they are referring to adding stuff to their pledge. Most KS will allow those who have supported the KS upgrade after the fact. It looks like the KS is done. It is ok, it looks interesting and being for 5E D&D I'm sure it will pop up in some of my not so local brick and mortar game stores, it will give me a chance to spend some money with them.
 

Jacob Rodgers

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I think they are referring to adding stuff to their pledge. Most KS will allow those who have supported the KS upgrade after the fact. It looks like the KS is done. It is ok, it looks interesting and being for 5E D&D I'm sure it will pop up in some of my not so local brick and mortar game stores, it will give me a chance to spend some money with them.
Yep, we will be running a pledge manager that will allow folks to add to their existing Kickstarter pledges. What we're not certain of yet is whether we'll be taking late pledges (they certainly won't count towards stretch goals and might be more expensive or more limited than the Kickstarter was — for example, we might offer the core rulebook and the add-ons, but there might not be an 'everything' package, etc.) Once we crunch the numbers and put everything together, we'll let you know.

What stores are you thinking of? They might have signed on already for the retailer package...
 

Toadmaster

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Yep, we will be running a pledge manager that will allow folks to add to their existing Kickstarter pledges. What we're not certain of yet is whether we'll be taking late pledges (they certainly won't count towards stretch goals and might be more expensive or more limited than the Kickstarter was — for example, we might offer the core rulebook and the add-ons, but there might not be an 'everything' package, etc.) Once we crunch the numbers and put everything together, we'll let you know.

What stores are you thinking of? They might have signed on already for the retailer package...
I have no problem waiting for it to arrive in stores. I just saw the post this morning and thought that looks neat, oh drat the kickstarter ended about an hour ago. :errr:

My closest are Sword and Board, in Ukiah and Fundimonium in Rohnert Park. A bit further out, but also more likely is Games of Berkeley, in (surprise) Berkeley. All are in California.
 

CRKrueger

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I have no problem waiting for it to arrive in stores. I just saw the post this morning and thought that looks neat, oh drat the kickstarter ended about an hour ago. :errr:

My closest are Sword and Board, in Ukiah and Fundimonium in Rohnert Park. A bit further out, but also more likely is Games of Berkeley, in (surprise) Berkeley. All are in California.
Great Escape Games in Sacramento usually gets RPG Kickstarter packages, that’s where I got my DCC Lankhmar bundle.
 

Toadmaster

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The movie is based on the book Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton, which takes Beowulf and combines it with the historical writings of Ahmed Ibn Fadlan, a Muslim ambassador from the Caliph of Baghdad to the Bulgars on the Volga River. Fadlan spent time with the Varangian Rus on the Volga Trade Route.
I knew the name of the book, and assumed he took inspiration from Beowulf, I didn't know about Ahmed Ibn Fadlan.


Great Escape Games in Sacramento usually gets RPG Kickstarter packages, that’s where I got my DCC Lankhmar bundle.
I get over to Sac occasionally, its about 3 hours but that would definitely be an option, Thanks. Great Escape is the one kind on the backside of a mall in the Arden area?
 

CRKrueger

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I knew the name of the book, and assumed he took inspiration from Beowulf, I didn't know about Ahmed Ibn Fadlan.




I get over to Sac occasionally, its about 3 hours but that would definitely be an option, Thanks. Great Escape is the one kind on the backside of a mall in the Arden area?
Yep, that’s the one.
 

TristramEvans

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Hello! I got pointed to this thread by a friend, and what a lovely thread it is! I'm glad people are finding some interest in BEOWULF, and gosh I'm blushing at the kind words.

Shout if you have any questions about BEOWULF or any of the other mischief we're up to.

Seems like a very nice atmosphere hereabouts, I might hang about! :smile:

Jon
This is belated, but welcome to The Pub Jon! Real pleasure to see you here, I've been a fan of your work for a while now
 
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