13
\$\begingroup\$

My players decided they all want to play Witchers. Thus I have a murder of Witchers1 on my hands. Since I like to have each player character excel at one thing above all other player characters, this poses me a conundrum: How to make each Witcher uniquely strong in one field so they get to shine? After all, there is little fun in playing a character who's worse at everything that the rest.

All the Witchers could be from different schools (Wolf, Cat, Bear, Manticor, or what not), but that still leaves them with the same set of skills. One could be a master alchemist, one a swords master, and the last one a sign master, but what about the fourth or fifth?

Just to clarify, I am looking for system (Fuzion) and system agnostic solutions, although the latter would be better. While I might not use the Fuzion system despite it being the official system, others might run into the same problem and be glad for a system solution. Finally, this is not about the Wiedźmin: Gra Wyobraźni system/game.


1: What is the collective noun for several Witchers? I have no idea, but I suspect a murder of Witchers would work well enough. The collective noun is clearly inspired from a murder of crows. Yes, it is meant to be insulting: Witchers are generally viewed with suspicion and hatred by most.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @Sardathrion Thanks for clarifying the coexistence of those two tags. I'm usually miffed to see sys-ag combined with an actual system, this is the first time I think I'm ok with it. :) \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener May 26 '16 at 11:39
20
+400
\$\begingroup\$

To preamble this answer with some experience, I've been a fan of the Witcher Saga for over a decade, played and run RPGs in that setting and I don't think I have to mention the video games. The official RPGs suggested (back in the old days) one witcher per group, but there are ways to distinguish between a couple.

Geralt was great at everything, being the most famous Witcher of all times. His peers were not quite as versatile. Don't look at Geralt. Look at a blank sheet of paper.

Create your characters as a diverse group of interesting people. Only then add a Witcher template.

You should start by creating a group of adventurers, who are conceptually different, much like you would start character creation in a non-witcher campaign. So, grab your Fighter, Rogue, Cleric, Bard and Wizard, reduce them to concepts like "strong warrior", "quick warrior", "social fly" etc. Add personalities and convictions, unique past experiences, strong and weak points. Play these personal traits up until they are a bit overstressed - you'll need it when everyone settles down to the baseline Witchering.
Only when you're done with that, apply the standard minimal generic witcher template of swordsmanship, alchemy and signs, monster knowledge, heightened senses and reflexes. If you did the first bit right, you'll see that template not limiting and simplifying characters, but fitting into already established differences and reinforcing them.

Now, to differentiate between the templates a little bit more.

Schools

It is untrue that the set of skills is the same. In book canon it has been implied, and reinforced in video games, that Witchers of different schools had different focus in their skillset - Cat school witchers were said to be more roguish and TW1 implied Griffon school excelled at engaging multiple opponents. Create schools like you would create character classes, e.g. Cat - Rogues (stealth, poison), Griffon - Rangers (traps, dual wielding), Bear - Paladins (heavy armour, healing) etc. Remember that they can cross-learn skills, but it's a good place to start. You might be tempted to create "super unique" fields where a special witcher surpasses the baseline e.g. has more versatile magic or additional sensory skills. Do that! It's your game, you don't have to keep to canon.

Equipment

Why not give your Witchers differing gear? The games saw great progress, from just swords and potions (books), through bombs and oils (TW1), throwing knives, traps (TW2), to crossbows and a variety of armour (TW3). Why not expand the roster slightly? Sure, shields are a no-no, but why not parrying daggers, bolas, javelins, sabres and rapiers instead of longswords etc? Expanded armour options, familiars, magical items etc.

Cultures

When you create your school, create a whole ethos behind it, which fits with the culture that spawned the school. Surely Witchers from Kovir and Poviss are more practical and calculating than grim loners of Angren or mystics of Zerrikania. Make your witchers about their schools and schools about the people around it and you'll see how differently the core idea of "monster slaying mutant gish" resonates with local problems and customs. For example, one could expect a witcher from Skellige to specialise in slaying aquatic monsters and marine threats, have some experience in sailing and perhaps use potions of underwater breathing as well as light, buoyant gear.

Flaws

In Witcher: A Game of Imagination, Witcher players were encouraged to roll for flaws they were left with after the Trial of Grasses. Famously Geralt had white hair, but there were other options, such as differently-shaped eyes, repulsive body odour, ugly disfigurations or other impediments, social or otherwise. You can play with that and see if any of such traits would put a personal touch on your witchers.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Some more about the schools. Going by the games we get. Wolf: versatile; cat: lightly armored, stealth; bear: armored frontline; griffin: sign users; viper: poison. One focused on traps and bombs would be another possibility. I think just going by the skills provided in the game, you can create 7-10 "classes" of witchers, each excelling at different abilities. \$\endgroup\$ – Dulkan May 26 '16 at 12:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Dulkan It's a bit funny to talk about "frontline" when witchers are notably non-military. But yeah, the schools skills I largely agree with, with the exception of Viper, which I noticed have been using shorter blades, dual wielding (Auckes, Serrit), or as knives (Letho) - no mention of poisoning in their operations though. \$\endgroup\$ – eimyr May 26 '16 at 12:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ well, frontline because of the heavy armor they wear allowing them to take more hits than a lightly armored cat witcher; not literally as a military unit. Poison and viper seems absolute entwined to me, it's in the name after all. Plus, the witcher 3 viper weapons all have poison effects. \$\endgroup\$ – Dulkan May 26 '16 at 12:50
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I specifically wanted to avoid speculating on these class-based associations. There is more than one way to distribute specialties, and I'm sure it will be the 'fun part' for the asker and his group. \$\endgroup\$ – eimyr May 31 '16 at 6:21
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ +201, this is just the answer I was looking for and frankly, it is a perfect example as to how this site's answers should be. \$\endgroup\$ – Sardathrion - against SE abuse Jun 3 '16 at 7:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for?Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.