First, I love this game so much. I have limited experience with tabletop RPG but I would say this is my favorite one so far. I really love the narrative nature of the mission phase (and not being all about the numbers) but also campaign phase (which is all about the numbers). The last time I played it I was the QM since I love my resource management and cooperative games.
But I also have a lot of feelings about the military/militarism in general. So I have been reskinning some aspect of the game to make it less of a legion/army to a Band of Refugees fleeing. Everything is pretty much the same but I did add, removed and changed some elements. If you have thoughts or ideas, let me know. I am not quite finished on reskinning everything and there might be some balancing issues here and there.
The events parallels the timeline of BoB but instead of being a Legion that has a “grand” past, we are a bunch of Aldermark Refugees trying to escape the horrors of war, blight and plague. The band of refugees are from Karlsburg, and does have some semblance of leadership led by the nobles, elected officials and/or community elders. They are still devoted to their Pantheon, the one of the Twin gods, Gerholtz or Mattiar. Our goal is to simply run away as the army of the undead come closer. There are areas in Aldermark that still holds that can provide some respite; the mountains to the north, Talgon Forest to the northeast, the walled cities by the lake. We have to find sanctuary.
Picking a Chosen
I have reskinned the Chosen to just “Pantheons.” This is because their Chosen doesnt travel with the Band of Refugees. They still gain Chosen Advancements and I have made new advancements. Since one of the twins gods are Broken (but not determined in the book), you can choose to follow a Broken God. If you follow the Broken God, you unlock a special ability but that action is also corrupting. This does not mean you are inherently evil/bad, only that some of your actions can be corrupting and other communities in Aldermark may view you differently, some even with disdain. There are two chosen I have created/reskinned.
Gerholtz: Favor: Wild, Perseverance, Glory
Gerholtz have a lot of advancements that improves specialists and other personnel. Gerholtz followers are somewhat more aggressive and prefer to address things head on, to thrust forward and pierce through the enemy.
Gerholtz’s Companions: All specialists can have a trained and bonded animal companion. They are threat 1 NPC, can be used to absorb damage, add +1d to relevant actions; falcon can survey, horse can maneuver, crow can sway enemy. Rolling with your companion is not a group action. Specialists cannot easily replace their companions.
Primal Mastery: Your band of refugees are adept with bow and spears. Boar Spears have increased potency when defending against enemies with higher scale. Bows and Arrows have the same potency as muskets and guns but quieter.
Wild Instinct: Hunters (Sniper) can now be used as a required specialist on any mission. If there is a Forest Dweller or a Plains Folk (Heritages) Specialist on missions with the Wild favor; add +1d to engagement rolls.
Trapper’s Bounty: When you perform a “Religious Service" (Liberty), you may spend 1 food to boost the action.
Slayer of Great Beasts: Everyone add the xp trigger: If you kill or help kill an enemy higher threat than you, gain 1 xp
The Hunting Grounds: The Steward (Quartermaster) may select training campaign action. 2 Specialist gain 1 Shoot or Survey (Scout)
Blessed: Perseverance, Wild, Glory mission grants mission favor, also start with 1 mission favor filled.
The Broken Spear Thrusts: Acquired if your Chosen is Broken. When you advance, you may preform a tainted hunting ritual to reduce the level result by one (but Crits cannot be reduced and adds 6 ticks instead of 5 on the time clock.). Then roll 1d per Hunter (Sniper) for corruption. (1-3:3, 4/5:2 6:1 CRIT:0). This Corruption can be shared with any Hunter (Sniper) Specialist but cannot be resisted or further reduced.
Mattiar Favor: Holy, Glory, Persevere
Mattiar has advancements that benefit the Campaign Phase. Mattiar’s followers prefer to be defensive and deflect incoming enemies with their strong walls and shields.
Mason’s Walls: Our masons help reinforce fortifications. Once per location, if you do NOT advance, do not increase Pressure and you can also ignore the penalty of the third mission generated if it applies.
Tailor’s Dressings: Our Tailors help sew and dress minor wounds. During Campaign Actions, clear level 1 physical wounds for free
Tanner’s Alchemicals: Our Laborers can perform alchemy. If Laborer’s gain 8 ticks of corruption, they die.
Mattiar’s Blacksmiths: When you spend Blackshot, you can infuse Blackshot into melee weapons on the mission. Its is potent against the undead. Start with Blackshot.
Armorer’s Shields: Spend special armor to resist physical consequences, or when protecting someone.
Forged: The Steward (Quartermaster) may select training campaign action. 2 Specialist gains 1 Rig or Wreck.
Blessed: Perseverance, Holy, Glory Mission grants mission favor, also start with 1 mission favor filled.
The Broken Hammer Creates: Acquired if your Chosen is Broken. During your campaign action, your Mender (Medic) performs an occult crafting rite and works on existing long term projects FOR FREE. They roll the relevant action for effect(1-3:1, 4/5:2 6:3 CRIT:4), they also gain equivalent corruption. This corruption can be reduced through, resolve resist, if they have reliquary through the Pious Heritage trait or the sacrifice Laborers.
Changes in Heritage
Since Aldermark are somewhat xenophobic, I made changes with the Heritages since they will not have Bartans, Orites, Panyar or Zemyati in their group. So I reskinned and changed some of the Heritages. Not sure about the balancing but I mostly just moved the existing traits around.
Old Blood: They are Aldermani that may have family during or even before the Old Empire. They tend to be knowledgeable of old traditions, family lineages and history.
- Noble: Boost on Campaign action
- Connected: +1 Sway
- Traditional: +1d resolve resist
- Educated : +1 Study (Research)
Forest Dwellers: They are Aldermani that may have born or lived in Talgon Forest. Some of them have Panyar Marked traits and adapted to the dangers of the Forest.
- Marked: +2d to resist corruption
- Hunter: +1 shoot
- Shrewd: +1 d to insight resist
- Vengeful: Potency when harmed penalized
Plains Folks: They are the Aldermani that lived in the southern plains. Mostly nomadic, they are known for their equestrian skills, being warm when taming yet fierce amidst the charge.
- Warm: +1 Consort
- Traveller: fast and quiet in normal load
- Stoic: +1d to prowess resist
- Bold: +1d to resist on desperate actions
Kalsburg Native: They are Aldermani that lived in the Capital. Due to recent events, they have been a beacon of perseverance, of piousness, and of patriotism against all odds.
- Artisan +1 rig
- Survivor: can push for free to ignore wound penalty
- Pious: always equip a reliquary
- Loyal: +1d in group action
Changes on the Legion Roles
I made some a little bit of changes for the Legion Roles. Mostly renaming since some things doesnt make sense for a Band of Refugees.
Commander -> Mayor or Baron
Blackshot and religious supplies can now be used to reduce pressure (instead of just horses), depending on location and the broken “chasing” you. If you go though the long road, you will be using the Horses, if you go though the Talgon Forest, you will need religious supply as wards and black shot is used through the lakes since its more populated and more undead while travelling. This can also changed dependent on who is chasing you. If its Render, you need horses to just run away from their cavalry/knights, if its Breaker, you will need religious supplies to protect yourselves from hexes and curses, if its Blighter, you will need blackshot to protect yourself from the undead. This is just dependent on your GM. This allows alternate used for the other materials like blackshot and religious supplies. But this is completely dependent on the GM if they want to make the change.
Aside from that, the role of the Mayor is relatively the same. Some of the High Intel Questions will be changed.
Marshall -> Bailiff
Lots of reskins here. Instead of tracking Morale, they track Prosperity. Campaign actions depend on the prosperity of the Band of Refugees. The Bailiff “collects taxes” to allow campaign actions to be done. When people die or there is massive distrust, Prosperity is reduced and Campaign Action is reduced (same mechanics as Morale). One mechanic I added is: excess Prosperity (Morale) can be used to increase Trust of the Factions. See Faction mechanics below.
The 6 squads are also reskinned into Factions. Playable characters within the Factions DO NOT move factions unless compelled narratively. Moving factions will immediately create distrust and discord. All Factions have a Trust Clock (12 clock with 6 ticks filled). When their faction gets wiped out, moved, low prosperity, mistreated or neglected, their clock fills. If their clock fills, they will abandon the Band of Refugees. But you can also gain trust and you unfill the clocks. If you have a positive relationship with the factions, you gain their faction bonus. These are dependent on the GM if they want to add this new mechanics. The factions are:
- High Ranking : Nobles or people that have influence within towns. Bonus: They prefer non-violent ways, +1d on negotiating, parleys, and haggling.
- Military Ties: May have military ties whether having served or families in the army. Bonus: They know the casualties of war, +1d if their faction had suffered casualties in the mission.
- Artisans of Mattiar: Follower’s of Crafting God Mattiar. Bonus: They are ingenious and crafty, +1d Rig or Wreck when approaching things in creative ways.
- Caravansaries : Have ties with the Horse Lords of Sunstrider. Bonus: They are adept on travelling, +1d to Maneuver, or when on Horseback, increased potency
- Hunters of Gerholtz: Followers of the God Hunter Gerholtz. Bonus: They are adept hunters and scouts, +1d on stealth, or ambushing targets.
- Metropolitans: Folks that lived in large cities. Bonus: They are best when led and working together, +1d when led in a group action if you have a full group.
Changes in Specialist
I will post more reskins of the Specialist (and their Abilities) later. If you have abilities that you think may ne thematic, post them.
- Guard (Heavy): Excel as a melee fighter. They could have been hired mercenary, townsguard, or a army deserter. They can Rally (Anchor) increasing their potency or other’s strengths.
- Patrol (Scout): Excels in surveying the land. They could have been postriders, caravan traders, or the local highwayman. They can Scout (Scrounge) a safe passage or temporary Refuge.
- Hunters (Sniper): Excels as a ranged shooter. They could have been poachers, trappers or sentries. They are can Aim and focus their shots into the enemy
- Officials (Officers): They excel on leadership and inspiring the group. They could have been elected politicians, community leaders, and nobles. They can use their connections and Channels to acquire assets.
- Menders (Medics): Excels in healing and repairs. They could be leeches, smiths or priests. The can Mend (Doctor) wounds as well an repair physical objects.
- Townsfolk (Rookies): Refugees that are representing their faction
- Burgher (Soldiers): Notable folks that have served their community. They have Persevered through Grit and hardship.
There are no major changes on the required specialist for missions, just the names.
Raid (Assault): Guard, Hunter, Mender
Scout (Recon): Hunter and Patrol
Religious: Official, Mender
Supply: Official, Guard, Patrol
Quartermaster -> Steward
Just reskinned the some of the actions:
Acquire Assets: No change
- Liberty -> Religious Service: During Religious Service, stress is cleared and allows the collection of tithe to increase prosperity.
- R&R -> Healing from Asrika: During Healing from Asrika, you pay followers of Asrika to help clear your wounds.
- Long Term Project: No Change
- Recruit: Narratively there is a change. You dont recruit soldiers, you hire and recruit faction representative that will do missions for your Group.
Loremaster -> Town Elder or High Priest
Pretty much the same role. They track the dead, and manages the in camp events and annals. Most prompts for the Annals cn be used for the History of Aldermark, though I will go through more in detail.
I have no clue what will be the reskin of the Spymaster. Im considering something like “Politicians” since they can be sly, they bribe, interrogate etc. Not sure though…