To get my players into the word of Into the Wyrd and Wild I decided to try out something new. Instead of presenting the players with rules and hoping they’ll figure out details about the world, I devised a choose your own adventure style series of choices with powers and stats attached to each.
At the table I handed around a print out of these choices and let players go through them. I think next time around I’ll go even further and have them play through it (yes even starting from their birth) while I summarize and read out the options, thus letting them take in the details of all of their choices, not just the ones with the powers they like the best.
To further ingrain the word of the game into their characters I based the creation around a series of Village leaders who each embodied different skills and knowledge. Each choice represented an important event for the children but also the village and thus they grew attached to the community.
So for your enjoyment here is the complete series of choices:
The Village Leaders
Elain, the Smith
A beefy woman with dark skin and long braids of orange hair tied into a pretzel behind her head, though they are often stained black by the forge soot.
She is not a permanent resident of Lampbater, but has been here the last four years. She will soon move on. Smiths live a restless life, pulled by the forces of their forge. Smiths see things beyond mortal ken and must go where they are needed.
Elain has liked her time in Lampbater, despite the mistrust of the other Elders, and has devoted herself to training an apprentice. She is confident that the young are the way forward.
Maddox, the Bard
Maddox keeps the library of Lampbater, scrolls of story and song. A pale man with a crooked nose, he works hard to keep records of the village, though many of the town have begun to fear he has taken to record keeping better than entertainment as the post is meant to be.
He frustrates most of his disciples, but the old stories around him can’t help but enchant others. Perhaps his lack of imagination comes from his fears that the Wild will call to him if he is not careful. Many bards are driven to venture into the Deep Woods and he hopes to avoid such a fate.
Iolo, the Priest
They are an elfin figure, tall and obscure. But they are full of good cheer, advice, and spiritual guidance. They manage the town’s allegiances and bartering.
Iolo has always been supportive to the younger people in town, teaching diplomacy and the ways of the church.
Afon, the Hunter
Bronze skinned and long armed, Afon has kept the town fed with fresh meat and clothed in strong leather. The goods of the Wild are at her fingertips at the cost of scars and horrors. Better than the other Elders she knows the dangers of the forest.
She teaches the butchery of animals and the tracking of signs. She focus on survival and navigation before killing however. She specializes in killing from afar, never closing in until the prey is safely weakened.
Gwil, the Miner
Head of the quarry, Strong Arm Gwil wields hammer and pick to take precious metals and hard stone from the crag walls. He is a little strange with the rock dust, pale with limestone powder and rusty with iron oxides.
He often breaks up his sentences with odd snatches of song, and he seems to think the limestone is alive. He disdains the trees and wood of the village preferring the solid stone to the mysteries of the Wild. Perhaps he is more Wyrd in the stone ways.
Efa, the Goatherd
Smelling of turpentine and wool, Efa is grandmotherly, greying, and tanned into a leathery nut brown and is never seen without her black cat curled around her shoulders. She grins widely showing off her missing teeth and can whistle a flock of goats into procession within seconds.
She is kindly only in her own way, showing love through hard work and harsh lessons. She handles children and apprentices just like her goats, with a strong grip. But she knows a lot, about sheep and how to cure them, and the odd goat potion works on most people too.
Cadfan, the Falconer
A willowy man with thin lips in his bleached face. His grey hair grows in a shock twisted by the wind that whips the tops of the Crags. He walks and hums with a long stride. He has seen much from atop the crags and sends his falcon Siôr into long killing strikes.
He has spent a lot of time observing the Wild from above and has come to long complicated theories of its plans. He often foretells events and insists on strict adherence to the prophesies of the Crowmen.
At the night of your birth you parents asked…
- For the Smith to make you a dagger out of meteorite iron. He spent the night hammering it into a spike and set it into a handle of walnut root. After you accidentally cut your finger on the blade Elain made sure you were taught its dangers and uses.
Once per session you can declare an unusual use for your dagger and gain +2 on any associated roll.
- For the Bard to find you a poem in the ancient log books. Maddox sighed as he went to shuffle through the scrolls, but when he emerged he produced these lines:
(I never got around to writing a bard power for this one…)
- For the Priest to concoct you a prayer to the Human Gods. They grinned and locked himself in their hut with a bottle of acorn wine. In the morning they produced this prayer:
To the morning mists, may the sun rise ever on your child’s face.
On a 20 you may declare a Human God’s intervention and you may change one element of the current encounter per the GM’s judgement.
- For the Hunter to carve your name in the bark of one of the trees in the Wilds. By now the tree must be very tall indeed. Afon told you once that she had to fight off a flock of Quilluffs to finish the last letter. She still has a scar from one of the quills.
Once per adventure you can claim a creature or tree recognizes you from your name.
- For the Miner to listen for your name in the Stone’s music. He shook his head as if it was a poor idea but went into the dust anyways. An hour later Gwil came back with a smile on his face, the Stone’s hadn’t learned of you yet
Once per adventure you can negate the effect of the Wyrd.
- For Goatherd to create a horoscope under the Stars. But Efa said no. She said your fate is your own, and that you’d make your own way. However when she got back from tending the flock that night she whispered to your mother to keep you out of trouble.
+2 Will Power.
Reroll one roll per session.
- For the Falconer to give you a lucky falcon feather. Instead of plucking one himself Cadfan let you try to pluck one. After stroking the bird of prey’s head you took a long feather from its tail in one clean pluck. Cadfan patted you on the head and smiled past his scars.
Once per session you may make an incredible catch that seems impossible.
The festival of the Blood Moon, once every seven years is held. While waiting for the horrors of the Wilds to be calm you shelter in the Long House and listen to stories and song. You couldn’t drag yourself away from…
- The travel poems of the Itinerant Smith. Elain has taken every path from the Ribbon Tree from here to there with her tools on her back. She recites her poems about her adventures, tricking bandits, running from Feral Knights, or befriending a Gastropal.
Bewitched by the Road
You gain an advantage die on any roll to do with finding your way.
- The drunken battle chants of the Bard. Taken with the acorn wine Maddox begins calling up the ancient battle chants of the old Lampbater warriors stored in his ancient scrolls.
Something in the old songs makes your blood pump.
You gain +1 on all combat rolls.
- The dirty jokes of the Priest. Sometimes Iolo recognizes the need to distract instead of to sermonize. You may not have understood all of the jokes at first, but they’ve continued to grow with your own retellings.
Wit of the Damned
You gain an advantage die if you make the GM laugh.
- The animal calls of the Hunter. You giggled yourself silly listening to Afon’s animal imitations. The hunters pass on information and warnings with their calls. After that long night you did your own copying.
You gain +1 on rolls to perceive or preempt danger and can transmit this knowledge to your companions non-verbally.
- The Wyrd Songs of the Miner. Most folk avoids Gwil’s table, but you like the little tunes he sings from half remembered tunnels. You watch his lips in his dust powdered face and mouth along to the strange notes.
The Wyrd Tune
+3 Will Power
You gain advantage to resist the Wyrd.
- The whistles of the Goatherd. With one lip pursing Efa enchants the goats into lines and packs. When she wants to she an make people dance or follow her around all night. She can whistle a breath of wind around the Long House beams and makes pipe smoke into amazing shapes that her cat bats out of the air.
Once per session you can summon a small wind or creature.
- The Falconer’s language. Talk of hunting birds is always in double, lingo in a strange tongue, and metaphors for other things. You became enchanted in figuring out what the long legged men means. Somehow those odd words begin to recall ancient battles and old failures.
Between the Lines
You gain a +1 on any roll to discover a deception.
Every child in Lampbater is apprenticed on their 10th birthday. You chose to go to…
- The hot smithy of Elain. You’re face got used to the soot stains and your hands grew as callused as Elain’s black palms. You learn to turn metal to liquid and form it into a hundred new forms. To create is its own magic.
You become a Smith.
You gain advantage against breath weapons.
Choose a weapon that you have forged yourself.
Some of the forges light seems to have gotten into your hands. With some kneading you can melt metal into a liquid that you can meld into new shapes. You may take any metal object or objects and melt them into new shapes. The shape may not be very complex and might become weaker in the process.
- The dusty library of Maddox. While Maddox obsesses over boring lineages you delve into his boxes of ancient legends and stories of heroes past. Quite a few came from Lampbater once upon a time.
You become a Bard.
Choose an instrument. When playing it you may choose one person to receive a +1 on their rolls. The effect lasts for 10 minutes.
The Heroic Lore
You studied harder in your idle moments than at Maddox’s lessons. You know the obscure and unknown ways of heroes.
Whenever encountering a creature the GM can remind you of an obscure fact or method for dealing with it used by heroes of old.
You gain an advantage die for any action based on that information.
- The Sunny chapel of Iolo. You helped clean the altar, keep the flower beds outside weeded and tend to the graves. The Human Gods like the quiet places in the world.
You become a Disciple.
Choose a name for your chosen Human God.
Once per long rest you may invoke the name of your god and add +1 to one of your stats for 1 hour.
Ears of the Gods
Iolo has taught you well, their quiet moments seeping into your soul. When you find a quiet place in the Wild you may take a moment to pray and they will answer.
Once per long rest you may pray and the GM will answer three questions truthfully as the Human Gods.
There is no rules against them answering in obscure ways.
- The moss lined paths of Afon’s hunting grounds. You begin to feel odd without a bow in your hands. You learn how to get the best parts of a corpse. You know how to stalk and follow your prey.
You have become a Hunter.
You gain an advantage die on all Tracking rolls.
Moss Padded Feet
Long weeks spent hiding in the woods has paid off. You may once per encounter in the Wild define a feature of the forest and how it helps you and gain an Advantage die on a roll to use it.
Some examples are:
- A pile of fallen trunks from which you can leap down on an enemy.
- A small creak that you can walk through to loose a pursuing tracker.
- A large tree fallen over a cairn of boulders that let you climb into the trees to observe the surrounding area.
- The cramped crevices of Gwil’s quarry. The strength of a pick fills your arms, but it’s the Wyrd that fills your mind. You begin to hum the little tunes you hear in the dark and you learn the secrets of the Stones.
You have become a Wyrdling.
Wyrd Ear Worms
You can call up the Wyrd with a song. You may cast a number of spells per day equal to your will power +2. You know Word songs of your choice with a total level of 3 with a level no higher than your own.
Speak with Fungus
- The craggy fields grazed by Efa’s herd. Out on the grassy cliff tops grow dozens of herbs and weeds. Each one has a name and a dozen more uses. Efa teaches you each and how to use them on goats first and humans later.
You have become a Herbalist.
You gain advantage against poison.
You know how to use plants in their many forms. During any night of rest in the Wilds you may collect plants and create a potion of 1d6 doses with the effect of:
- Healing 1d4 hp.
- Poison that acts as a tranquilizer. 1 dose needed per 2HD.
- Improving all senses by +1.
- An effect agreed upon by the GM.
- The windswept cliff tops where Cadfan’s falcon dives. The Falconer teaches you the names for each dive and each wind. He gives you a chick to raise and in a few years its wings span longer than you are tall.You become a Beastmaster.
Feathered FriendYou have an animal companion. It can attack for 1d6 damage once per round with a fighting skill of +3. Once per long rest you can use your falcon to either:
- Spot a nearby danger,
- Track prey,
- Or find a place of safety
The massive head of a Skaal falls into the village walls. Its horns have been messily hewn from its head. You are the children splattered by its dark blood.
Horrified the village leaders meet. From the outskirts of the circle you listen to…
- Elain’s careful concerns. She says she will consult her Forge, but that the village should not be too hasty. The other leaders shake their head in disapproval.
Concern for Others
Once per encounter you may grant a companion +5 AC for 1 round.
- The portents of Maddox. He reads out from the old scrolls, when such an evil sign comes to the village the Crowmen must be consulted, the young must be tested.
Soon to be Fated
You may choose another companion to gain +1 on any one stat.
- The worried silence of Iolo. Never an openly devout man Iolo is in silent prayer, eyes flicking from the sky of the Human Gods and to the tall trees of the Wilds.
You gain advantage on save vs hold.
- Afon’s bestiary knowledge. She explains that the Skaal are ancient creatures that learnt even before humanity the power of Song. They are extremely dangerous and their songs can fell even the most powerful hunters. But their horns are extremely valuable.
Advantage on butchery rolls.
- Gwil’s rambling gossip. Who could want the Skaal’s music? Something that wants that information, a Child of the Wood on a quest from its godly parent? A hunter hoping to fulfill a Devil Stag’s bargain? Or something even weirder?
You gain a bonus on (uh… guess I didn’t finish this one either.)
- The folk superstitions Efa remembers. Their constant music made them deaf to each other, making it impossible for them to mate, so they live in miserable loneliness. The Wild usually leave them alone.
Old Wives’ Tales
Advantage on camping rolls.
- Cadfan’s experienced plans for defense. He sets out the rusty weapons, asks for time to repair the wooden walls, and looks steely when Maddox says the young must be taken to the Crowmen.
There have been noises from the Wild. Elain consulted her forge and it told her it was time to move on. As she passes the rotting skull in the village square she gives each of you a gift. To you she hands…
- A set of tools, hammer and tongs. With a forge you may create weapons and armor. In the Wilds they will allow you to hone or repair armor. During a night of camping you may improve a weapon or armor and give +1 to damage or AC. Each item may only be improved once.
- A spear carved with an old poem. The head is new, the haft is old. Use agility or strength to attack, and it does 1d4 damage, but when pierced a creature must roll 1d6. On a 1-3 its is paralyzed until the spear is removed.
- The symbol of the Human Gods in silver. An injured person touching the symbol is healed for 1d4 hp.
- A bow and arrows designed by Afon for the hunt. Use agility to attack, each arrow does 1d6 damage.
- A hammer fit for smashing rock and skulls. Use strength to attack, does 1d8 damage.
- A sling fit to keep away any wolf. Use agility to attack, each rock does 1d4 damage. You do not have disadvantage to called strikes.
- A sword only a little rusty, repaired with a band of shining silver. You were disappointed until you found the seal of the Old Army on its hilt. Use strength to attack, it does 1d6 damage. Any human will recognize the seal.
Seven years since the festival of the Blood Moon you catch sight of the leaders meeting secretly at night. Sneaking closer you hear…
- The smith is gone.
- Traditional rules of the village from the Bard. The youth at 18 are meant to see the Crowmen, but with the Skaal head and the calls from the Wilds it behooves the village to see what the Crowmen say now.
- Tired acquiescence from the Priest. There is nothing to do but see what the Crowmen say, perhaps their future sight will let them protect the village.
- Shacking rage from the Hunter. If only the hunters could discover the source of the noises they could let the children live in peace, but the Wilds never like the young.
- Forgetful confusion from the Miner. Danger? It can’t be that bad. Do the dogs bark at night? What of the flowers? The limestone is almost quiet during the day.
- Helplessness from the Goatherd. What can we do? At least the Crowmen can see ahead when we can’t see anything.
- Potent righteousness from the Falconer. It is high time something is done. For the village’s safety.
Keep an eye out for an Into the Word and Wild character sheet that works with this character creation system, and a full Free Adventure from the explorer’s birth, to their exile!