Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Character Creation Challenge: Boudica for Wasted Lands

 Last week I heard of the passing of James Herbert "Herbie" Brennan, the prolific author of fiction and non-fiction as well as the RPG "Man, Myth & Magic." I don't have a lot to say on the matter. I have not read any of his books and my knowledge of him comes solely through my interaction with MM&M. But I did not want his death to go unremarked here.

While I have done other MM&M characters for myself, I thought for today I might revisit one I did a while back and fit both his game and Wasted Lands: Boudica, Queen of the Icini Celts.

I have a long relationship with Boudica. She was a figure I always found fascinating, especially during my time of reading an absolute ton of Celtic history, myth, and legends. Then I wrote the Ghosts of Albion RPG, and she was a central character of that franchise, though by then, she was a ghost.  So, given Herbie Brennan's fix of history and fantasy of his Man, Myth & Magic game, doing stats for Boudica was a no-brainer.  That is also true today.

Boudica sheets

Boudica for the Wasted Lands could have gone a number of different ways. Obviously, Warrior is a great choice (and what I went with in MM&M), but she didn't start out as one; she was forced into it by the Romans, who murdered her husband and raped her daughters. From NIGHT SHIFT, I could also say Survivor is good, but then again, so is Chosen One. In the end, though, the only real choice for me was to make her a Spirit Rider from the NIGHT SHIFT Night Companion and adapt that to Wasted Lands. Something the O.G.R.E.S. makes very, very easy. Trivial even.

The Spirit Rider is a person charged with the power of a particular place. Our archetype of this is Marie Laveau who is given magic by the "Spirit of New Orleans." Cú Chulainn is the Spirit Rider of mytho-historical Ulster as Fionn Mac Cumhail is the Spirit Rider of Éire. We have debated whether Merlin or King Arthur is the Spirit Rider of ancient Britain. 

Note: As an aside it never dawned on me until this moment that I *could* have Boudica as one of my Witch Queens. I mean she is not really a witch, but her Wasted Lands and Ghosts of Albion versions both have some magic.  Thoughts for another day.

Queen Boudica
Queen Boudica

Class: Spirit Rider (Briton) (from NIGHT SHIFT's Night Companion)
Level: 10
Species: Human
Alignment: Light* (*while she killed people and burned villages to the ground she was doing what she felt was right and correct. Removing an invading force from her home.)
Background: Barbarian

Strength: 16 (+2) 
Agility: 13 (+1) 
Toughness: 18 (+3) N 
Intelligence: 12 (+0) 
Wits: 17 (+2) A
Persona: 17 (+2) N 

Fate Points: 1d10
Defense Value: 5
Vitality: 70
Degeneracy: 0
Corruption: 0

Check Bonus (A/N/D): +5/+3/+2
Melee Bonus: +2 (base)  +1 (Heroic Touchstone)
Ranged Bonus: +2 (base) 
Saves: +4 to Wits and Persona saves (class), +2 to Toughness saves (barbarian).

Spirit Rider Abilities
Innate Magic (10), Arcane Powers (5), Commune with Spirit of the Land, Limited Power (outside of Briton), Magic Battery

Barbarian Background Skills
Perception, Danger Sense, Scale surfaces, Nature Lore, Any Weapons

Arcane Powers (used like powers)
Beguile, Shadow Walk, Detect Thoughts, Enhanced Senses, Subtle Influence

Innate Magic (used like spells)
First Level: Armor of Earth, Mystical Senses, Command, Sense Death
Second Level: Animal Summoning (usually large war dogs), Invoke Fear
Third Level: Curse, Impassible Thicket
Fourth Level: Forest Metamorphosis
Fifth Level: Shadow Armor

Heroic/Divine Touchstones 
1st Level: +1 Melee Combat: Spear
2nd Level: Luck Benefit
3rd Level: Powerful Defence
4th Level: Favored Enemy: Rome
5th Level: Divine Smite

Heroic (Divine) Archetype: Vengence

Spear, armor, sword

Wasted Lands Spirit Riders

Spirit Riders might not fit well thematically with Wasted Lands RAW, but in Wasted Lands as D&D, it works great. I might tweak it a bit working with Boudica here for slightly less magic and more options for combat prowess. Given that I am saying that Cú Chulainn was also one then something like his Ríastrad or Battle Frenzy would be an option. Maybe call it something like "Caomhnóir" or Guardian.

It would be fun to try out that is for sure. 

You can get the Wasted Lands RPG and the NIGHT SHIFT RPG at Elf Lair Games.

Character Creation Challenge

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