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Author Topic: Raubvogel - An unofficial Dark Fantasy Project for Frostgrave  (Read 874 times)

Offline Historiker

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 216
Raubvogel - An unofficial Dark Fantasy Project for Frostgrave
« on: September 12, 2020, 05:52:02 PM »
Hello fellow adventurers,

as readers of my other most recent thread (Talents / Skills for Wizards) know, I am a huge fan of narrative games, tinkering and Frostgrave.

For some time now I had the idea that I would like to write a lore- and fluff-heavy non-commercial supplement  for my Frostgrave gaming group. It will still use an abandoned city but use a different setting which I will try to continuously establish.

The new setting could best be described as low-magic-dark-fantasy (as far as I have yet thought of it, there are no elves allowed, but who knows). Think of it like something along the lines of Ravenloft, meaning that it uses the D20 systems but has very little connection to your typical round of DnD.

These plans so far had not been concrete, a mere shower-thought of the type of "Wouldn't it be great if...". Thinking some more about potential traits, items and exploration options for Frostgrave now has nudged me into giving it a go trying to write a purely unofficial, non-commercial Dark Fantasy project based on the Frostgrave rules.

I will probably end up tinkering a lot, changing some parts, adding others. In the beginning it will probably still look very much like a repaint but it will change over time (I for example intend to make the existing yet so far not included in the main rulebook Blackpowder Weapons a common feature). Vast exploration tables are a given and a slight restructuring of the phases could also be happening (no wizard phase, any unit can act at any given times).

Although the setting is not Felstad, I do hope that it is still okay to post my project in this part of the forum as I am using the Frostgrave ruleset as a starting point / point of reference and I also think that this project could be interesting to fans of Frostgrave intending to play the game they love in a different setting. Frostgrave 2nd Edition will surely become one of my main game-systems and I hope to get inspired by the tales told by playing it.

I do hope that this is okay with Joe (who I hold in very high regard - he and Frostgrave basically reignited my interest in tabletop gaming) and would not only value his opinion very much but also of course devise a different skirmish ruleset from the get go if he were to object to me writing something fan-based. I would absolutely understand, no questions asked!

My aim is to provide my players with a very specific backdrop for their games and maybe even an evolving storyline. Bear in mind though that this project has only just leapt onto the page and I have literally been hammering the Introductory Text into my keyboard this afternoon. Having sat enough in front of a screen for today, I present to you without further ado:

Raubvogel - being an inofficial Dark Fantasy supplement using the Frostgrave Ruleset

Before the fall of the Empire of Splendor there began the tale of Aloisius Raubvogel, the sinister individual which in time would lend his name to the entire city which he once chose as his home and base of operations. His story begins, as most stories do, with youth and ambition, a keen intellect not at peace with the world-that-was and bent on shaping it to its will. Rarely does the world tolerate such ambition and in the case of young Aloisius it was the same. The havoc he would create during his presence in our world of dust would resound for centuries, his very name a cipher for sinister deeds, darcke magic and places belonging to the shadows.

   Many summers have passed since the last sighting of Raubvogel yet peasants and high-folk alike still whisper his name in fear if at all. Some wish he better totally be forgotten and washed away by the tides of history. Eradicated from the world and from memory. This fate however is unlikely as no map of the former Empire could be drawn in which there could be no mention of his former residence and even though some choose to leave this place on the map blank or blackened the mere absence of it all enhances the enduring presence of the man, the myth, the city. Raubvogel, the City of Ash, endures. A place of whispered warnings, of strange allure and most of all danger.
A Place Untouched by Man
Nobody knows what befell the city and led to its abandonment. Hardly any survivors remain and those who are still among the living and said to have witnessed the events with their own eyes refuse to even speak the name of the city yet consider recollecting their experience. The whole matter of this ominous place remains and mystery and as all mysteries evokes all kinds of folly known to man – burning curiosity, the ever seductive for desire for glory and that one companion to all sentient beings greed. All dark tales told by caring nurses can not extinguish the powerful drive these follies offer and so it comes to be that to this day adventures, rogues and madmen of all kinds venture into this most dreaded of places.

   Some of them even return, if only for a time as the lure of the city grows ever stronger, and what they relay sounds more outlandish and strange than any tale of horror could be: The City is mostly intact, time and a few maybe natural disasters, of course having chipped away at it. Some buildings seem as if struck by lightning, some as if hitten by the raging power of the sea just beyond the horizon, some crumbled as if crushed in the grasp of a giant. For the most part however the many alleys, most houses and structures lie undisturbed, an eery silence broken by the cawing of crows and skittering claws in the dark.

   There must be treachery behind this peace however as with every moon spent in the deserted city, men go missing.  Some by all accounts snatched by rival adventuring parties to be questioned, hired or sold into servitude. Some however seemingly snatched by the city itself. The tales of hard-minded mercenaries leaving the camp in the middle of the night beckoned by some dark call to never return or to come back as raving madmen are numerous. One of the chief problem also being that the teller of these tales tends to share the same fate some time after.

   Yet the mercantile ingenuity of men knows to even turn horrors into ventures and the lands surrounding the cursed place are now well populated with camps in which these unlucky souls prepare for their journey into peril. These camps are rife with men and women who never intend to set a foot unto the forlorn street but instead suffice themselves with providing food, shelter, gear and entertainment for the hunters of fortune.

   Some fear that these activities might engender the wrath of the city itself constituting a danger beyond compare but so far no authority domestic or foreign has been strong enough to shut down these semi-spontaneous settlements. Some of these for lack of better word villages have even become somewhat famous themselves, priding themselves on dark occurences, strange sightings and tall tales about their dark neighbour.

    The most eminent of settlements surely is the place which its inhabitants aptly and defiantly named Mauseloch. Having been established almost ten years ago by some foolish men and women lost to history it now numbers in the hundreds and boasts some ramshackle administration with, Gunther Krummnik, the first magistrate of Mauseloch having been put into office just last year by having first put a dagger in the back of the most vicious and feared raider around. So far the reign Krummnik the 1st as he is – never to his face -  jokingly named in the taverns and brothels has been uneventful with only the regular amount murders and internal pillaging.

   Although hardly a bastion of civilization, Mauseloch comes as close as it gets, standing tiptoe right next to the abyss. Whatever order and mercy is to be expected, whatever deals are to be brokered in advance to the journey into darkness, Mauseloch is the place to see it happen. The more witty and pompous among its citizens are already claiming that though other people refuse to put Raubvogel on a map it simply should be known as “this place next to Mauseloch” – that is until the wind howls outside their widow, the candles in the room begin to flicker and against any resistance the tales of horror reassert themselves in the dark corners of their minds and reasserting the claim of the true nature of Raubvogel – A Place Untouched by Man.

All the best


PS: I just realized that without block text and formatting the text looks hideous. Does this forum allow any other option to present. text / tables?

"The philosopher Didactylos has summed up an alternative hypothesis as: Things just happen. What the hell."

Offline LiamFrostfang

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 488
Re: Raubvogel - An unofficial Dark Fantasy Project for Frostgrave
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2020, 03:31:50 PM »
 :o awesome!!! i like it!!!

Offline Historiker

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 216
Re: Raubvogel - An unofficial Dark Fantasy Project for Frostgrave
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2020, 12:25:00 PM »
Greetings fellow adventurers!

having found the time to sketch some rough drafts of how I would like the game to look and feel, I can now present you with Update No. 1 which gives a very early peek on some aspects of the Post-Game-Sequence, this being mostly charts determining the outcomes in regards to fighters which have been taken out of action during a game.

Please bear in mind that (in video-game terms) this is a pre-alpha stage and functions only to provide a general sense of the direction the game is taking. The main direction can be summed up as: Lots and lots of crazy narrative charts to roll on!

It is my intention that this type of chart - either a direct 1 value = 1 result  D20 chart or a D20 result bracket chart followed by 1 to 1 chart - will be provided for most major aspects of the game. While I am fully aware that this will make true balancing very difficult I always held the opinion that in dice-driven narrative skirmish games balance should take the backseat with narrative potential driving the car.

The forum software unfortunately did not allow me to post the text in the original formatting (a proper result / value / effect table) but I do hope that the general gist of it is still intelligible without too much of a headache. I am considering providing future updates as small PDF files to this site if that is okay with the admins?

Though I can't promise when the next update will happen, I do hope that you might enjoy some of the results so far. Maybe you are even encouraged to get creative with the rules yourself. If one would ask me I would say it is as much fun as building or painting your warband!

More observant readers might interpret some of the results of the table as incompatible with or as not completely intelligible in regards to the Frostgrave ruleset. This is not an oversight. Right now the project hovers in a weird spot somewhere in-between of being a Frostgrave-modification or being a completely different ruleset.

Again the term "tinkering" probably best describes the current activities, which is also why I chose an element of the Post-Game-Sequence as the first Update. Should the project move completely out of the frame of reference of the Frostgrave-Rules I will kindly ask an admin to move the topic into the general fantasy section.

Wishing you all a very pleasant weekend with some time to hobby to your heart´s content!


Enough with the rambling. Without further ado I present to you:

The Post-Game-Sequence

After the smoke has cleared both warbands have to assess the situation and see what precious loot the warband members came away with – if they came away at all. In this chapter we will first learn how to determine whether fighters have survived the encounter (Determining Survivors) and whether they will bear any scars (The Serious Outcome Chart) from it. After that we will learn about how and with what level of success the survivors explore the city (Exploring the City). The chapter closes with a section focussing on what the warband may have learned by having seen through it all and how these insights allow the fighters to gain new skills and proficiencies (Experience). Veteran mercenaries are quite likely to present as many ailments as competencies, such is the price of venturing into the City!

A Matter of Life and Death – Determining Survivors
To the victor go the spoils they say, but sometimes even victory can feel stale. Many a Commander has seen victory while at the same time losing one or more of his most trusted men. Such a victory makes a Commander doubt it whether the relics and trinkets found in the ashen City were really worth the whole damn endeavor and only the most coldhearted of bastards may be found happily sorting through the riches while the wounded and dying can be heard howling and wailing from the next tent.
   Most would agree that after having braved the City the first duty of every responsible Commander is to muster all the men and see who made it back home in one piece. Only after Determining Survivors may treasures be sorted and new insights and competencies be gained. To determine the survivors of their party all players roll a D20 for every individual fighter who was taken out of action during the last game and compare the result with the table below.

1 - 2
The fighter´s wounds are fatal and he is permanently removed from the game. His gear can be allocated to other fighters of the warband. Rest in peace, your boots are comfy!

3 - 5
In Need of a Healer
To treat the wounds of this fighter properly there is need of a professional healer. The Warband may pay 50 Kronen to restore the fighter to his full strength immediately. If the warband can not pay for the healer the fighter may participate in the next game with all stats reduced by 1. If the warband does not have the funds necessary after that game the fighter perishes from his wounds.

6 - 10
Major Injury / Serious Outcome
Ill fate has befallen this fighter. The player has to roll on the Serious Outcome Chart to establish what exactly has happened to this poor soul!

11 - 15
Minor Injury
The fighter starts the next game with his health stat temporarily reduced by 2.

16 - 20
Full Recovery
The fighter just needed a good spoonful of broth to make a full recovery and live to see another day.

The Scars of the City – The Serious Outcome Chart
Whenever a fighter suffers a serious outcome (having rolled a value between 6 – 10 while Determining Survivors) the player has to roll on the Serious Outcome Chart to determine what cruel fate has in store for the fighter. To determine  which scars the City will leave on the players warband the player rolls one D20 and compares the result with the value on the Serious Outcome Chart. Should the value produce a result the outcome of which the fighter already is troubled by this is considered a case of uniquely dumb luck and the fighter is considered to have rolled a Full Recovery.

Declared Dead
The fighter is permanently removed from the game. Since the warband does not know where and how he found  his end his gear can´t be allocated among the warband. For this fighter the cursed city is but an unmarked grave.

Gravely Wounded
The fighter has to roll a D20. If the result is above 11 or higher the fighter survives but has to recuperate, not taking part in the next game.

Cursed by the City
The fighter returns seemingly unscathed. However there seems to be a shadow lingering over him as if the city had left a mark. Once per game the opposing player can declare a roll of this model as a failing result.

The character seems outwardly fine but has grown increasingly paranoid. He will not tolerate any other warband member in a radius of 2“ around him.

Easily exhausted
The stressful experience has left a mark on this fighter´s physique. For each round fought in a battle the fighter takes 1 point of damage after the round.

Whatever the fighter saw in the deep shadows of Raubvogel has driven him to use psychoactive substances as a coping mechanism. Before every game the fighter has to be given drugs worth a value of 50 Kronen. If he does not receive his drugs, all his stats are reduced by 1.

One Handed
The fighter lost a hand. He can´t carry a shield, use a two handed weapon  or use a bow anymore. All other aspects, like carrying treasure, are not affected.

The stress put on the fighter has made im particularly clumsy. His Fight and Ranged Stat are reduced by 1. Each round he is carrying a relic he has to roll a test on his fight stat before his first action. In case of a failed test he immediately drops the relic to the floor.

Battle Scarred
The character is horrifically  scarred and as we all know the scarred fighters are the most dangerous.  Therefore the fighter causes fear in his enemies. The scars however are also setting up a social barrier and tavern and brothel visits cost twice as much.

Battle Shocked
Most of the time the character is just fine. In some battles however he suddenly freezes up. The player of the opposing warband may roll a D20 once per game. Whenever rolling above 10 this model immediately uses his full activation for this round.

Twisted Leg
The character has suffered some serious damage to one of his legs and his movement is permanently reduced by 1“.

The fighter survises but returns to camp completely naked. The fighter broods on his misfortune and his Will stat is reduced by 1 for the next three games.

Sold into Servitude
The player is captured by the opposing warband. The opposing warband may decide what to do with him: They can either sell him to slavers for half his Kronen value or sell him to the original warband for two times his Kronen value.

Sold to the Pits
The fighter is sold into one of the highly shady fighting pits. Here he has to combat a brutal opponent to gain his freedom. The fighter is pitted against a fighter with stats corresponding to the fighter´s except a +1 on the Fight stat. If the fighter loses, he dies. If he wins, he returns and gains a permanent +1 on Health.

Delusions of Grandeur
The challenges overcome by this fighter have made him to think of himself as very special indeed. In the case of the current Commander having finally made off this world he will challenge every aspirant new Commander  to mortal combat.

The fighter fought his way back to the camp but his experiences have made him come to think of himself as most valuable. Before every game the fighter asks for his total Kronen Value in additional upkeep. If not accomodated he will leave the party permanently.

The character is seen as a bringer of bad luck in his warband. All warband models within 3“ of this models receive a -1 on all of their rolls.

Easily Spooked
The character can not attack any enemies causing fear. While other characters might roll a leadership test, this character simply can´t muster up the courage.

The Horror! The Horror!
This character had some truly horrifying experiences in the City and though he is still able to return to it he does so reluctantly. Before each game roll a D20. On a 1 – 10 the character does not join the expedition for this game. In this case his  example and tales of horror will further lower the  Leadership stat of every party member by 1 for the remainder of this game.

True Steel forged by Fire
Not only has the character survived but he has returned stronger and meaner to tell the tale. The character receives a permanent plus 2 on the Fight Stat but due to minor delusions of Grandeur can not use the Leadership Stat of the Commander anymore.

Offline stormfather

  • Schoolboy
  • Posts: 6
Re: Raubvogel - An unofficial Dark Fantasy Project for Frostgrave
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2020, 03:37:03 PM »
Very cool, looking forward to updates.

"Pechvogel" - great word!

Offline Historiker

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 216
Re: Raubvogel - An unofficial Dark Fantasy Project for Frostgrave
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2020, 07:31:37 PM »
Thank you very much!

Whenever I find myself not in the mood of working on the mechanical parts, I try to write some fluff-texts. Here is the description for one of the adversaries to be found in a section of the rules not to be written in a long, long time  ;)

Vampires are pompous creatures, at least that is what people say who have never seen one. The tale goes that when Aloisius Raubvogel took control of the city it was mostly the old and established families who resisted him for fear of losing their power squirreled together over generations. Amused by their petty attempts to halt his progress, Aloisius cursed them to forever remain in the shadows of the city, greedily hungering for the blood of people inexplicably soon to have vanished from the face of the earth, resorting instead to feasting on rodents, famished birds and the occasional unlucky relic hunter.
   Dressed in the rich garbs which once denoted their high status these walking corpses are now most of the time shambling ruins, barely held together by skin and sinews and withering away like the power they once held. Should however only a single speck of blood reach their broken skin, let alone their hungry mouth they quickly regenerate into a terrible sight to behold, capable of devastating a whole warband.
   It could therefore be considered lucky that so few dare venture into the city and that most of them are befallen some other dark and final fate for who knows that terror the former lords and ladies would unleash upon the region should they ever find ample supply of rosy-cheeked sustenance.
   Some seek solace in the fact that according to the curse the forsaken city is not only their domain but also their tomb. Many a governor has assured his townsfolk of the fact that since the stones were set, the villages named and the maps redrawn the borders between Raubvogel and its neighbours have been clearly set, keeping pale noblemen or ladies well out. But who would trust someone who had he lived during the fall of Raubvogel would probably have become one of them himself?

Offline LiamFrostfang

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 488
Re: Raubvogel - An unofficial Dark Fantasy Project for Frostgrave
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2020, 09:23:21 AM »
 :D splendid!!!

Offline Corporal Chaos

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 266
Re: Raubvogel - An unofficial Dark Fantasy Project for Frostgrave
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2020, 01:03:51 AM »
Truly great work here. Really liking it.
I should be painting right now.


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