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Grim Swordsman - Initiate of Humakt
You serve Humakt, god of Death and Oaths. He teaches that Oaths Must Be Kept and Death and Life Must Be Kept Divided. In practice, the latter mostly means that Humakti go out and slaughter the undead and preside with Ty Kora Tek's priestesses over funerals. And they regard graveyards as something to destroy; the dead should be cremated to ensure they never come back. He also presides over the swearing of oaths and punishes oath-breakers and his initiates give up the bonds of Kin in favor of swearing oaths of service. (Inability to let go of kinship ties is the center of most tragedies involving Humakti; the rest usually involve marrying and then your spouse gives birth to undead or some other horror).
Humakt was one of the children of Umath, the Greater God of Air, now long dead. He wrested Death from Eurmal (and it's best we NEVER know where Eurmal got it) and had a legendary confrontation with Orlanth over control of Death, leading to the current state of affairs. He did not go on the Lightbringer Quest despite his oath to Orlanth because it was intended to blur the lines of life and death by raising Yelm from the Underworld. He it was who separated the living and the dead in the Great Darkness, when often you could not tell who lived and who was dead. He battled Vivamort, who embodies the evil rune Undeath and brought that form of Chaos into the world because he could not accept his own death. After the rebirth of Yelm, he confronted Orlanth over this and was persuaded by Lhankor Mhy and Issaries to accept that this was necessary to ensure the living and the dead could be kept separate and distinct, for without Yelm, everything was jumbled together and blurred in the Great Darkness. Humakt accepted that, for his Truth rune told him it was true.
Now Humakti battle the Undead, often in alliance with the Ducks, a noble race who have battled the Undead for untold centuries. Many Ducks become Grim Swordsmen but they have their own playbook. They also form mercenary bands or swear fealty to kings and chiefs and temples.
You heard the call of Humakt in your initiation and severed your ties to your kin and swore new Oaths. Not all Grim Swordsmen are grim, they are still people, still alive, though they rarely are joyful... and the joyful ones are the scariest ones. You can be male or female, because *everything* dies.
Choose this playbook if you want to be someone who respects death and is part of society through oaths rather than kinship.
Pick your Attributes
You have Grace +2, and pick one of the following arrays to distribute among your remaining Attributes:
Choose one of the following arrays:
- +1, +1, +0, -1
- +2, +0, -1, -1
Your Hit Points are 8 + Might.
You get a move based on your race:
- Born with Water Rune (Duck): You can breathe underwater and swim as fast as a horse can gallop.
- Burn the Dead (Human): You can touch a dead body and it cremates itself over the next minute; such a body cannot return as one of the dead.
- Bane of the Undead: When you harm the undead, inflict +1d4 Harm. You have +2 Armor against the undead. You also get +1 on all Defy Danger rolls due to a threat from the Undead.
- Defensive Reach: When wielding a 2-handed sword, you gain +1 Armor until the end of your next turn on any hit. This power does not stack with itself.
- Dual-Wield: When you wield two swords together, choose one of the following each round:
- If you hit with the main weapon, add +1 Harm as the second weapon also hits a bit.
- Use Smite Foe on two foes in the same round, rolling once and applying damage to both. But if they get to hit you, you take Harm from both of them as separate beings.
- Use the off-hand weapon to defend yourself (+1 Protective)
- Great Oath: when you preside over a sworn oath, roll +Magic. On a 10+ any subsequent breaker of the oath immediately suffers 3d4 Harm. If they survivem you gain +1 against them permanently. On a 7-9 any breaker of the oath immediately suffers 1d8 Harm. On a miss, if any party to the oath breaks it, you immediately suffer 1d8 Harm. Any harm suffered due to breaking the oath ignores all physical and magical armour.
- No Fear of Death: When you Resist Magic used on you by the Undead or which would make you feel fear, roll +Grace instead.
- Oathkeeper: When you Read a Person, you can ask:
- What Oaths are they under?
- What Oaths have they broken?
- Are they secretly undead?
- Do they fear death?
- One with the Blade: When you Smite Foe with swords, roll +Grace instead of of rolling +Might.
- Visions of Death: When you go into battle, roll +Magic. On a 10+, name one person who’ll die and one who’ll live. On a 7–9, name one person who’ll die OR one person who’ll live. Don’t name a player’s character; name NPCs only. If you designate life, the MC will move things to ensure the NPC survives unless it's ludicrously implausible. If you designate death, anyone acting against the target gains Advantage on them. On a miss, you foresee your own death, and accordingly take -1 throughout the battle.
- Bar the Way To The Dead: Spend 1 hold to bar a place or portal to the undead. When multiple, or powerful undead attempt to enter, the character is Defying Danger to maintain the warding. The ‘price to pay’ to maintain the warding can be 1-hold.
- Prevent Healing: Spend 1 hold to negate a healing action within Far Range.
- Shield: Spend 1 hold to gain +1 armor against one of the following: melee, missiles or magical attack or cause of injury (such as falling rocks or a raging bonfire). Each can only be picked once.
- Trap the Dead: Spend 1 hold to trap an undead creature in a magical warding. The character is Defying Danger to maintain the warding. The ‘price to pay to maintain the warding can be 1-hold.
- Truestrike: Spend hold to gain +1 on a combat move, inflict +1d4 Harm with the attack, or stagger the target on a success.
Armor (Pick One):
- Leather Lamellar Cuirass: (1-Armor) (Upgrades to Bronze Breastplate, 2-Armor, 1-Clumsy)
- Protective Tattoos: (1-Armor) (Upgrades to Full Body Tattoos, 2-Armor, 1-Clumsy)
- Wooden Shield: (1-Protective) (Upgrades to Bronze Shield, 2-Protective, 1-Clumsy)
Main Weapon (Pick One):
- Broadsword: (1-Harm Hand Cleave)
- Two-Handed Sword: (2-Harm Hand 2-Handed)
Other Items (Pick Three):
- Brace of Daggers : (Intimate/Hand? Thrown-Close). You can Conceal a single dagger on yourself but not the whole brace.
- Brace of Javelins : (Thrown-Close 1-Piercing)
- Horn Dagger: (Intimate/Hand? Concealable)
- Longsword : (1-Harm Hand)
- Upgrade your Armor one step or get a second form of armor. Keep in mind that Armor and Protective stack but neither stacks with itself.
- Hunting Traps: +1 on Hunting checks which use +Wits.
- Formal Humakti Ritual Garb: You can use +Grace instead of +Charm for the Intimidation move.
- A horse and tack
- Necklace with the Death Rune carved into a gem: +1 with Basic Magic
- Deathfire Runestone: When entering battle, roll +Magic if you activate this. 10+: Negate all armor of the dead or do +1 Harm to anything else for the rest of the encounter. 7-9: As 10, but enraged undead do +1 Harm to you when they hit. 6-: You take 1d4 Harm as you burn yourself.
- Token of Orlanth: Like the one given by Orlanth to Humakt when they made their new agreement. Roll +Magic to activate. 10+: You can fly the rest of the scene. 7-9: You can fly but the stress causes 1d4 Harm which ignores armor. 6-: You fall down hard, taking 1d4 Harm which ignores armor.
- A four man canoe for operations in the Upland Marsh.
- Mercenary: You spend part of your time doing mercenary work. Each season, roll +Wits. On a 10+, you have 40 silver coins surplus. On a 7-9, you have 20 silver coins. Add +2 to the roll during Fire Season and -2 during Dark Season.
- Temple Priest: The clan has a temple to Humakt. Inside it, you gain +1d4 to Harm inflicted and +1 Armor. Inside the tula, you inflict +1 to Harm and gain +1 to Smite Foe
- Weaponthane: You are the sworn warrior of a chief, who demands your loyalty but tolerates your adventuresome ways. You have a place to sleep, food, and access to the leaders of your clan. You can try and get the Chief to loan you a warband (medium gang) once per Season; roll +Charm. On a 10+, he lets you take them, no strings attached. On a 7-9, you get them, but choose two of the following:
- He expects a cut of the loot and gets first pick.
- You will have to spend next season doing special work for him.
- He expects gifts (40 Silver Coins).
- He expects a special sacrifice to Humakt to get his blessing for the raid (40 silver coins but at least it pleases your god).
Once you earn 5 XP, you can buy an advancement.
- Add +1 to an Attribute which is 0 or higher, to a maximum of +2
- Take another move from this playbook
- Take another Basic Magic move from this playbook
- Switch your Background to a different one from this playbook
After you have leveled up five times, you may take an advanced improvement for every 5 XP you earn.
- Get +1 to any Attribute, max +3
- Change to a different playbook
- Learn 2 Moves from this playbook
- Learn 1 Move from another playbook
- Learn 2 Basic Magic from this playbook
- Learn 1 Basic Magic from another playbook
- Erase one luck mark from your playbook