In late 2012, we here at SFG started talking about a revised version of our SlugCrew program, and we decided to create several promo drinks to reward people who ran demos and events for us. We had done a con giveaway card once for En Garde, but that involved tacking a print run of a promo card onto another print run we were already doing with our manufacturer. With the advent of print-on-demand from our friends at DriveThru Cards, it suddenly became feasible and cost-effective for us to design many more promo cards and order only the amount we thought we would need. So we did exactly that and have used them for several different customer appreciation efforts ever since.
Some people have asked us about our promo drinks – what’s been printed, which ones are still available, and so forth. So we created a page on our website for that purpose. We will try to keep that page as up-to-date as possible as we release more promo cards.
We thought it would be fun to share the stories behind each set of promo cards, so that’s what this post is about!
These three drinks were the Minor Reward for SlugCrew folks who did demos for us in 2013. For this batch of drinks, we decided to create zanier, alternate-effect versions of existing drink cards: Barroom Brawl, Monster Attack and Gambler’s Grog. Two of the three mix things up by requiring die rolls, and Gambler’s Grog adds a neat little twist to the original.
Note that we still have a few of these left! While supplies last, anyone who earns the 2014 Minor Reward drinks (shown below) will also receive these!
When we announced our Kickstarter campaign for RDI 4, we knew we wanted to offer promo cards to sweeten the deal for potential backers. We also knew that there was a pretty good chance that we would meet our stretch goals for Natyli and Cormac, so we decided to create character-specific drinks for them. Natyli’s drink went through several iterations in playtest, but the effect we were going for was a stiff drink that turns into a luck potion. We wanted Cormac’s drink to be big and beefy, like Cormac himself. From there, the drink sort of designed itself!
Partway through our Kickstarter campaign, we were contacted by the folks at Loot Corps, makers of the game DrunkQuest. Their own Kickstarter campaign for their 90 Proof Seas expansion was happening at the same time, and the creators asked us if we were interested in a cross-promotion deal. We said yes, so now 90 Proof Seas has promo cards featuring Fiona, the Crimson Drake, and the Red Dragon Inn, and we have these two neat promo drinks based on the Wizard and BrewMaster characters from DrunkQuest. Since the art was done by Loot Corps, the style is quite different from our usual drink style, but we still love the way they turned out!
In late 2013, we needed new promo drinks to use as 2014’s Minor Reward for SlugCrew. We wanted to stick with the theme of character-specific drinks, so Jeff started brainstorming ideas while on a plane one day. After some playtesting and tweaking, these were the result!
Interesting note: starting with these drinks, we moved drink card art production in-house. These drinks were designed and drawn by our own Cliff Bohm.
So, we didn’t quite give you the full story about the drinks above. Our original plan was to have three drinks for the 2014 Minor Reward, and to release Ozrik’s Powerale as our Gen Con promo card to correspond with the release of Ozrik himself. But we screwed up and accidentally announced and spoiled the Powerale in our announcement about the new SlugCrew Rewards. Whoops.
However, this was really a first-world problem for us, so we just made a new drink for Gen Con: Eve’s Mystery Mead.
Astute observers will notice that this art (again by Cliff) is a heavily-modified version of Mead.
Our most recent promo drinks were just announced a few days ago. These are the drink cards you can get by participating in a Red Dragon Inn tournament run through our brand-new Organized Play program!
There are a few fun facts about these drinks:
- They again stick with the theme of character-specific drinks (these are Deirdre’s and Gerki’s drinks).
- The art was done in-house by Sam Waller.
- Deirdre’s card uses the new icon-based drink design that we’re rolling out with the upcoming new printings of RDI and RDI 2.
So there you have it – a brief history of Red Dragon Inn promo cards! As you can see, in just two years we’ve released 14 promo cards, and we plan to make more in the future, so stay tuned!
We are pleased to announce the launch of our official Organized Play program for The Red Dragon Inn! You can now come to your local game stores and play in Tournaments for your chance to win new promo cards. The launch of this program is a huge undertaking and we are eager to see how you all like it!
Your Friendly Local Game Store can now order Organized Play Kits. What’s in the kit? Glad you asked!
- 4 Tournament Prize Packs. Each pack contains twenty participation cards to be handed out to anyone who attends and three premium cards to be handed out as prizes. That’s enough prize support for four tournaments!
- A poster for advertising the event for a store-front window.
- Copies of the RDI Tournament Rules documents so you don’t have to print them out yourself.
There are three groups of SlugFans that this launch affects, so we figured it would be best to address you each separately:
For the SlugFans who love playing The Red Dragon Inn, you’ll want to have the opportunity to earn a copy of these promo cards! It’s up to you to let your Friendly Local Game Store know that there is a demand for Organized Play. There is currently no other way to get these promos! Your FLGS can order the kit through our website here.
You are also important for making sure that these tournaments are fun! So make sure you can attend, bring your friends, and have a good time. Let us know what you thought of the tournaments and the system after you get a chance to try it out! You can send feedback to us at: SlugFestGamesOP@gmail.com
OP Kits are for you to promote your store and our games. We are offering them only to brick and mortar retailers, and will be selling them direct unless demand dictates we move to distribution. We want you to be successful because you are responsible for the bulk of our income! Keep up the good work and share an exciting program with your customers.
Each kit comes with enough material for four events. We tried our best to price them economically and want all the feedback you can give us about the kits and the program. You can send feedback to us at: SlugFestGamesOP@gmail.com
SlugCrew members are going to be more important than ever! Storefronts will need dedicated fans of our games to run these events. Organized Play will offer you a chance to earn more points toward your SlugCrew Rewards, as well as the opportunity to earn these new promos! We really want to see this program take off, and will be relying on the feedback of tournament organizers like you when we start moving this program forward. When you submit event reports, feel free to include any feedback you might have for us!
You can get all of the documentation ahead of time on the Organized Play Page of our website. Brief yourselves on the rules and regulations, and then get out there and let your FLGS know you want to run events!
You may have noticed a lot more activity recently on our Facebook page. We are reaching out to the fans of our games because we have a number of projects on the horizon. So many projects that we want to get your input on some of them! Below, you will find a link to a survey. If you could take 5 or 10 minutes to answer the questions it would really help us out!
We have also reached out with a video question asking what style of storage box you would prefer if we were to produce a Big Box solution to storing all of your Red Dragon Inn games. You can watch the video here, and then head over to our Facebook page to leave your comments.
We look forward to hearing back from you. Happy gaming!
“C’mon Gog, wake up! You don’t want to be late for your day at the blacksmith’s shop!” Gog’s father Rogar, a strong and sturdy human, stood over his bed. It was before sunrise, and Gog was still tired, but he was excited enough about his day that he jumped out of bed. As he hurried toward the kitchen table for breakfast, he knocked his father’s broadsword off its display stand on the wall. The sword clattered to the ground, and Gog’s father looked at him sternly. “Be careful, Gog!” he said.
“Sorry.” Gog knew that the sword was very important to his father. He kept it on the wall as a reminder of his days as an adventurer. Those days were behind him, though. Age had slowed Rogar in a way that goblins, dragons and demons could not.
“Gog ready to go?” asked his mother Lor, a large ogre who was nearly always smiling.
“Yes!” answered Gog enthusiastically. About once a month, Jarrod the town blacksmith invited Gog to help him for the day. He taught the young half-ogre about blacksmithing techniques and let him swing the hammer. Jarrod also showed Gog the weapons and armor he made, and told tales about the adventurers who used them – including Rogar. Gog loved his time at the blacksmith’s shop – even the farming implements that Jarrod spent most of his time making were fascinating to him. He thought that it would be fun to be Jarrod’s apprentice, but part of him longed for the kind of adventure Rogar had told him about over the years.
Gog was nearing adulthood, and had grown to be almost as large as his full-ogre mother. Unfortunately, this made some of the townsfolk aloof and condescending towards him. Not everyone liked the idea of an ogre living among them. Many could not accept the idea of a marriage between a human and an ogre, and this disdain sometimes spilled over onto the product of that marriage: Gog.
Gog lived with his parents on the outskirts of Blue Creek, a small but thriving farming town with rolling hills, beautiful scenery, and fertile lands. Although not everyone accepted him, his upbringing was happy thanks to loving parents and enough friends to assure his family that no, they would not be run out of town with pitchforks and torches in some kind of unexpected non-human purge.
Gog ran to town and arrived at Jarrod’s shop just as the sun came up.
“Good morning, Gog!” said the blacksmith, beaming up at the large young half-ogre.
“Good morning!” replied Gog enthusiastically.
“It’s finally finished, Gog. Come take a look!”
Gog walked over to where Jarrod was standing. Mounted on the wall was a gorgeous sword – a long broadsword with a jeweled hilt and elaborate designs etched on the blade in gold.
“It took months, but it’s done at last,” said Jarrod proudly.
Gog just stared, open-mouthed. He had seen the sword a few times while Jarrod was working on it, but the beautiful final product left him speechless. Finally, he managed one word: “Pretty…”
“Yes, a local noble ordered this work.” He leaned toward Gog conspiratorially. “And he’s paying me quite well for it!” He slapped Gog on the back and laughed jovially. Gog couldn’t help but laugh, as well.
“Show Gog how make pretty swords!” Gog exclaimed eagerly.
“Someday, my young friend. But first, I need your help with some thresher blades…”
The annual harvest festival was a few days later – Gog’s favorite time of year. Several years ago, he had caused a bit of a ruckus during the livestock races by jumping onto the track and running alongside the cows. Many of the townsfolk were aghast at this, but Gog’s parents were mostly just amused.
This year, Gog had offered to help Jarrod with his work at the festival. The blacksmith had given Gog some horseshoes to deliver to the folks in charge of the cart-pulling contest. Gog was hurrying back to the stand Jarrod had set up. In his overeager state, he stumbled over a stone in the road and fell to the ground.
A small crowd of kids about Gog’s age were nearby and started laughing cruelly. “Can’t stay out of your own way, eh ogre?” jeered one.
“What’s big, green and dumb? Gog!” shouted another to howls of laughter.
“Go home, half-breed! This festival isn’t for monsters!”
Gog stood up and brushed himself off. He burned with shame and anger, and a part of him wanted to just give in to that fury and punch a laughing face or two. But he knew that was wrong, and would cause many more problems than it would solve. Instead, he turned and walked off toward home, their laughter echoing in his ears.
The path home took Gog through the center of town, and he was surprised at how quiet everything was – the whole town was at the festival, after all. The unusual silence left Gog alone with his thoughts. He gazed at the ground and thought back to all the times when the children of Blue Creek made fun of him. He found himself wishing that Blue Creek was deserted and quiet like this all the time.
His reverie was interrupted by a loud clattering noise coming from Jarrod’s home, nearby.
“You idiot! You’ll alert the whole town!” hissed a voice from inside.
“No I won’t. The whole town’s at the festival!” said another.
Gog knew that something was wrong. He snuck around the blacksmith’s house to the shop behind it. The door to the shop was open, so he went inside. Things had clearly been disturbed. Gog knew what the shop was supposed to look like – and this wasn’t it. Drawers were open, tables and chairs were overturned, and the place was generally a mess. Gog looked toward the wall holding the elaborate sword Jarrod had made.
The sword was gone.
Gog hurried out of the shop and arrived back at the street just as two tall, thin men were coming out of Jarrod’s house. Both had packs on their backs that were loaded up with valuables. Strapped to one man’s pack was the elaborate sword the blacksmith had just completed. Gog was outraged.
“Thieves!” he shouted. “Gog no like thieves!”
Seeing the large half-ogre and clearly being in no mood for a fight, the thieves ran. They darted around a corner to an alley behind the butcher shop. Gog followed, nearly taking out the shop’s awning with his head as he lumbered past. The thieves turned again and found themselves in the town square – a large empty space with nowhere to hide.
“Let’s just get out of here!” shouted one thief to the other. They headed straight out of town, but they failed to take into account that this path led them close to the festival grounds. Gog continued chasing after them and noticed that they seemed to be slowing down ever so slightly. Gog was barely winded, so he had plenty of energy to shout “thieves!” several times at the top of his lungs. Many of the festival-goers pointed at the sight, and it wasn’t too long before half the town of Blue Creek was watching Gog gain on the thieves as they ran along the road leading out of town.
Blue Creek’s constable and several of the town guard took off toward the scene, but their effort was unnecessary. As they started running, they watched Gog make a flying leap and tackle both thieves to the ground. One large-fisted punch to each thief’s terrified face was all Gog needed to knock them out.
“What the blazes is going on, Gog?” asked the constable breathlessly when he arrived on the scene.
“Thieves steal from Jarrod! Gog stop thieves!”
Other townsfolk soon arrived on the scene, including Jarrod and Rogar. “My sword!” Jarrod exclaimed. He looked at Gog. “Gog, my friend, I am in your debt.” He put his hand on his chest and gave a short bow to the half-ogre. Then he called out to the crowd. “Three cheers for the hero Gog!”
Most of the assembled townsfolk joined in the cheering. Gog noticed that even a few of the kids that had just made fun of him were now cheering along. Gog smiled proudly.
As the constable led the thieves off in chains and the crowd dispersed, an older gentleman wearing dark robes and a tall man with pointed ears and colorful clothes walked toward Gog. The robed man had a gray beard and a serene expression. The man with pointed ears had a lute strapped to his back. A small white rabbit bounded into the robed man’s arms. Gog thought that they looked very unusual – nothing like the typical folk he saw in Blue Creek.
“Hail, good sir ogre! Well met!” exclaimed the pointy-eared man enthusiastically.
Gog stared at the pair, slack-jawed and confused.
“That means hello,” said the man in dark robes.
“Uh… Hello,” replied Gog.
The robed man bowed toward Gog and said, “I’m afraid my friend Fleck here doesn’t always express himself in the simplest and most direct way. My name is Zot.”
Gog pointed to his chest and said simply “Gog.”
“Your strength and stamina are quite impressive, good sir Gog,” said Fleck, smiling at the half-ogre’s lack of pretense.
“Gog is strong,” said Gog matter-of-factly.
“Indeed,” said Zot. “Are you part of this town’s guard?”
“Gog not guard. Gog just want stop bad people. Thieves bad, Gog stop.”
Zot and Fleck looked at each other and nodded. “Well, Gog,” Zot said, “we are adventurers. Would you like to travel with us and stop bad people all across this land?”
Gog looked confused again. “Leave Blue Creek?” he asked. Gog was conflicted, but also excited by the possibility of being the kind of adventurer he had heard about in stories – an adventurer like his father.
Rogar was standing nearby, and he walked up and put his hand on Gog’s shoulder. “You know, Gog,” he said gently, “you could probably do more good out in the world than you could by staying in Blue Creek.”
Gog furrowed his brow in concentration.
“I know this is rather sudden,” Zot replied soothingly. “You don’t need to decide now. Have you heard of the city of Greyport?”
“Yes. Gog go there with father long ago.”
“Gog was very excited about being in the big city, as I recall,” said Rogar, smiling up at his son.
“Good!” exclaimed Zot. “If you decide to join us, go to Greyport and ask for us at the Red Dragon Inn.”
Cormac hails from the frozen lands of the north, a harsh and demanding countryside that yields a hardy and proud people. For generations, the factious barbarian tribes would wage war over the few available resources. To make matters worse, the lands were rife with all sorts of monsters – not to mention the Ice Giants who would invade regularly from high in the mountains.
That was until Cormac’s grandfather, Killian, raised an army and with it conquered the other tribes. As each tribe fell he offered their leaders a place in his tent. In time he built an alliance strong enough to end the petty squabbles. Killian forged a time of peace, drawing together many banners under one ruling council. Songs of the valor and wisdom of Killian the Tribeforger are still sung in the halls of Cormac’s people.
Cormac’s mother, Navlyn, had her turn to earn a place in legend. The peace brought on by Killian and the council was broken when the Ice Giants of the mountains descended upon the tribes. United under a common banner and with Navlyn’s leadership the barbarian tribes waged war against the giants. Even bards from the kingdoms to the south know the stories of the one-armed barbarian queen Navlyn the Giantslayer. After defeating the Ice Giants, Navlyn’s warriors vanquished the remaining monsters that still plagued the north lands, guaranteeing a lasting peace for the barbarian tribes.
In Cormac’s lifetime, there have been no great wars to fight or harrowing beasts to slay. The “barbarians” have settled down – ending hundreds of years of nomadic tradition. The people started to keep cattle and cultivate the land where they used to hunt and forage for food. They even started constructing walled cities!
Cormac was raised on the songs of his kin. He was fascinated by the the stories of warrior-chieftains, and especially the accounts of his mother’s and grandfather’s deeds. Cormac longed for the warrior’s way of life but found himself spending his days as a chieftain’s son, presiding over council meetings and discussing trade agreements. This would not do! Cormac, Son of Navlyn declared that he would be known as Cormac the Mighty. He struck out into the world to make his name, following in the traditions of his ancestors.
Over five years, his quest took him far to the south. He slew dragons and giants alike, and earned his self-proclaimed title. Yet he never believed that he accomplished anything worthy of his mother’s or grandfather’s legacy. His quest lost its meaning. Cormac was a hollow and misguided man when the party met him. He had become a drunkard and a brawler… fighting in pits for the amusement of others. Deirdre took pity on this once-great warrior. Seeing the spark of adventure dimming in his eyes she insisted that he come along with them on their next quest. Journeying with the party rekindled Cormac’s pride, and with it his ferocity and prowess. He had found new purpose, and companions who were his equal.
Cormac the Mighty does not know if there will be songs sung of his adventures when he returns one day to take his mother’s place as chieftain – but he does know that the band of heroes he journeys with is worthy of them.
The Guide to Inns and Taverns is our comprehensive guide to adding interesting locations to your campaigns so your adventurers can eat, drink and be merry! Part of that book was including a complete list of all of the specialty drinks you could find at the Red Dragon Inn. In order to keep that list up to date, here are the two official drinks that were released as promos through the Red Dragon Inn 4 Kickstarter.
A little confused about terms like “alcohol effect”? In addition to the detailed stat blocks for these and various other drinks, we also included in-depth rules for how characters get inebriated during a round of drinking. This includes new Pathfinder compatible conditions, rules about sobering up, hangovers, and how magic and alcohol mix (or don’t!). You can find out more about The Guide here. So, without further ado, on to those new drinks!
Type: Poison (alcoholic), Ingested
Serving: tankard (traditionally made of horn)
Price: 16 cp/tankard; 32 sp/bottle; 148 gp/keg
Save: Fortitude DC 30 negates Alcohol Effect
Alcohol Effect: gain two levels of intoxicated
Craft: Mundane beer or spirit, common ingredients
Chieftain’s Ice Beer is a right of passage for men and women of the northern barbarian kingdom. Legend tells that the Chieftains of old would meet over a fresh batch of Ice Beer, challenging one another to a drinking contest. The young Chief Killian, as the story goes, not only bested all challengers, but never felt the ill effects of the brew on the morning after. Killian would later become the Chief of Chiefs, and his clan’s recipe for Ice Beer became the standard among the tribes. Brewed by fermenting steppe vegetables and then allowing the water content to freeze off, this “beer” is more of a distilled spirit. The remaining liquor is then mixed with various spices, sampled, and diluted with water again to create a refreshing yet full-bodied beverage. Boys and girls among the barbarian tribes drink this brew to prove their vigor.
Type: Poison (alcoholic), Ingested
Price: 5 gp/cup; 25 gp/bottle; 150 gp/6 bottle case
Save: Fortitude DC 15 negates Alcohol Effect and Effect
Alcohol Effect: gain one level of intoxicated
Effect: Once, while the creature remains intoxicated, they may cast a 0-level spell as though it was affected by the Empowered Spell (Metamagic) feat. Doing so immediately reduces the creature’s level of intoxication by one. If this causes the creature to become sober, then the creature must make a hangover check with +5 Difficulty.
Craft: Craft (Alchemy) DC 20
Witchdoctor Brew is a powerful alcohol brewed exclusively in a small valley that is the home to a tribe of “civilized” trolls. While they do not typically practice their traditional arts nowadays, they have adapted many of them for more sophisticated crafts. The origins of this ale hail from a deep shamanic tradition of crafting potions that would poison the body and liberate the spirit. While most folk don’t have the constitution to survive the troll’s more potent beverages, the tribe asserts that Witchdoctor Brew is perfectly safe-ish.
Years ago, across the Great Sea, Remy was a soldier and deckhand on a mighty warship. When the crew of this ship, weary of ceaseless battles, mutinied, Remy’s honor demanded he draw his sword in defense of the officers. The mutiny succeeded, Remy found himself in the brig, and the new crew turned the ship towards the open sea… with hopes to find the fabled lands of the West. The journey was plagued by storms and rough seas, but it was a kraken that spelled its final doom. Somehow, Remy survived, but was left alone, adrift on the waves.
Fate smiled on Remy. He found himself aboard a foreign ship surrounded by sailors from lands he did not know. He pledged to serve the men who rescued him. Alas, fate can be tricky; Remy had been picked up by pirates… and his honor demanded that he be a pirate as well.
Remy spent years serving as a pirate, proving his mettle and loyalty, and eventually earning a place at the captain’s side. He despised what he had become. There was no satisfaction or honor in preying on the weak, in murdering merchants and other sailors for their gold or cargo. But he had no choice.
Then he met Elizabeth Whitehawk. Something about her struck him and for the first time ever (and last time since), he chose to break an oath. He sided with Elizabeth and helped her defeat the pirate crew. This time he was the mutineer!
Remy has been serving as First Mate to Captain Whitehawk ever since. He still longs to return to his home in the east, but even if he could find a ship and captain able to make the crossing, he doesn’t know if he would be welcomed or put to death as a mutineer… and this conflict weighs heavy on him always.
Natyli and Phrenk both hail from a tribe of surprisingly civilized trolls. Phrenk was intrigued by The Party when he found them to be very reasonable people, willing to see through typical racial stereotypes. He decided to join them after they helped negotiate a peace between his tribe and the humans who began taking residence in a nearby valley. He’s been brewing potions and sharing the alchemical science of his tribe with the Party ever since.
Natyli is an adolescent troll with a gift for her tribe’s ancestral magic. While the tribe no longer adheres to these old ways anymore, a few of the elder trolls still practiced the traditional magic. It was unexpected to find a child born who was so capable with the magic; Natyli did not have to study very hard to master the old curses, jinxes, and hexes. As she grew older, and more imaginative, she found that she could have a great deal of fun by playing tricks on her tribemates.
Days would go by where she would do nothing but sew together detailed effigies of her friends and “enemies” and arrange them into elaborate situations for her amusement. While she was careful not to cause any lasting harm – and remember, “lasting harm” for Trolls is often lethal for less durable folk – she certainly was not winning any favor amongst the tribe. She often found herself being ridiculed and punished by her seniors, only to not learn her lesson and go back to seeking revenge with her voodoo. Tensions between the tribe and Natyli escalated, and talk of exile started to be whispered between the older trolls. Still, Natyli was too naive to consider the ramifications of her actions, as she kept making trouble. Even the elders who had been so pleased to see a child who could continue the traditions acknowledged the need to take action.
In the years while Phrenk was with the party, he had traveled quite nearly across the entire continent and been part of more adventures than he could easily keep track off. Whenever he could he would visit the tribe and tell grand stories of his journeys. Natyli loved the tales of adventure and far away lands. She always wanted to hear more. While he was spending time with the elders, Phrenk learned about what a little terror his niece had been with her witchdoctor magic, and a brilliant idea struck the grizzled troll. To save his niece the shame of exile, he elected to take responsibility for her, and invited her to join The Party on their adventures, a deal Natyli and the tribe overwhelmingly agreed to.
In Phrenk’s opinion, Natyli will grow out of her current “do unto others before they do unto you” phase soon enough. But for now, she can put her imagination and talent to use in a more productive way, hexing monsters and helping defeat villains. Of course, that doesn’t stop her from turning her magic on The Party from time to time. But they’re used to troublesome party members; after all, Serena and Gog were way more trouble when they first joined the party. Or, at least that’s what they keep telling themselves!
The Red Dragon Inn: Allies Brother Bastian and Ozrik the Adept are now available at your favorite retailer. Now is your chance to add these new player characters to your favorite copy of The Red Dragon Inn!
Not familiar with Allies? They are single character expansions to any of the four character box sets of The Red Dragon Inn. Each of them include their own player board, deck and bits to add an additional player to your game. They are compatible with any set, just like all of the Red Dragon Inn characters!
Can’t wait, and have to order them now? Check them out on the Red Dragon Inn Products Page!
Brother Bastian was a member of a severe sect devoted to Korash, the god of justice and light. When he learned of an orc masquerading as a paladin of his god, he was furious. But upon meeting her, he realized that this orc was no imposter and that there was more to Korash than he had been taught.
The Good: Brother Bastian knows many powerful prayers and knows exactly when to use each one.
The Bad: Unfortunately, because he knows so many prayers, you never know what he’s planning next.
Brother Bastian introduces a new prayer mechanic to the game, letting him make sacrifices to earn powerful card effects! You can find out more about Brother Bastian on our blog post about his mechanics: Playing Brother Bastian.
Ozrik the Adept
After years spent in the pursuit of elemental power during which Ozrik caused a great deal of damage, he realized he had literally burned bridges behind him. Now he travels the world as an adventurer. He’s still causing damage… only now he’s doing it for the right reasons!
The Good: Ozrik’s phenomenal control of the elements is useful versus undead, monstrous humanoids, and other evil dungeon dwellers.
The Bad: Side effects for Ozrik’s companions may include spontaneous combustion, static discharge, and clammy hands.
Ozrik literally burns (okay, discards) cards from his hand to get more power! With his technicolor deck, he can harness the elements to do his bidding, and serve up a nasty drink or two! You can find out more about Ozrik the Adept on our blog post about his mechanics: Playing Ozrik the Adept.
Phrenk is not your typical troll. In fact, if his entire tribe weren’t made up of trolls, you wouldn’t guess that there was a troll among them. Usually trolls are mean, angry monsters who maliciously terrorize smaller folk. Nobody is exactly sure why – perhaps quasi-immortality drives them mad or constantly getting hurt and suffering through regrowing limbs is unbearable. Maybe they are just fed up with how everyone gives them a hard time for looking kinda scary. Regardless, Phrenk and his clansfolk simply weren’t your garden-variety trolls. They used to be, though. They still tell stories – when only in troll company – about their ancestors who were more typical of how bards describe them. That all changed, however, when the nomadic tribe settled around a stony outcropping in the forest they now call home.
What makes these trolls different from all the evil trolls in the world is that they made the unique decision to settle down. They weren’t precisely sure who suggested the idea, but they all knew why it was a smart idea: one really big rock.
It was a peculiar, rectangular rock of glittering black stone driven into the ground at a steep – though climbable – angle. It was in the middle of a clearing deep in the forest and it was tall. Anyone standing atop it could easily survey the landscape from the bottom of the valley all the way out to the hills and mountainsides. In fact, when you touched the surface with bare skin, you seemed more acutely aware of your surroundings in general. The tribe took to posting their watch atop the rock, where three trolls could comfortably stand vigil throughout the night.
Over the years, the tribe realized that the Vigil Stone – what they came to call it – had some manner of magic about it. They learned that anyone who touched the stone didn’t seem more perceptive, they actually were more perceptive. The Wardens, those who stood watch atop the stone, could pick out the best hunting grounds from their perch. When one area would run dry, they knew where the next richest lands would be. The tribe was also making better tools and having more creative ideas. By the time Phrenk was born, they had begun keeping herds of deer from the forest and goats from the hillsides, erected woven timber lodges with foundations of river stone and animal hide roofs, and were following the stars to keep track of the seasons.
Phrenk was born to a family of shamans with deep spiritual traditions. While the trolls still practiced ancestor worship, tribal magic, and maintained their rich oral tradition, the ritual sacrifices and poison craft had evolved considerably. Mainly, they didn’t do ritual sacrifices anymore, and their poison craft had grown to encompass beneficial medicine and the foundations of alchemy as well. Phrenk was a savant at brewing. He was the first to begin cataloging the local flora and fauna, even adapted the tribe’s shamanic runes as a means of naming and keeping track of his findings (he wouldn’t learn Common until much later).
While he continued developing his craft, he engaged – sort of – in the other aspects of village life. All trolls, male and female, were expected to serve in all roles of the tribe. Back when they were nomads, this simply meant that all trolls were expected to hunt and gather food. Now that they were sedentary, there were many more jobs that needed to be taken care of around the village, like building huts and lodges or tending to the flocks. Phrenk’s passion, however, was in his concoctions, and he often shirked other obligations to spend time brewing – and recovering from testing – his own tinctures. He became something of a joke among the trolls of his village. He was seen as dull, good for nothing, always incapacitated or struck dumb by the poisons he kept exposing himself to and never ready to take on the tasks at hand.
When Phrenk discovered the art of distillation, his responsibilities were all but forgotten and his reputation soured further. He made liquors and spirits from everything he could find. Taken pure, these could knock out a troll – even with their rapid metabolism! But once they were properly diluted and combined with one another, his ingredients became the most potent the tribe had ever seen, and his potions were far more advanced than anything his peers could achieve. Once he shared his findings, the tribe was able to forgive his laid-back and lazy reputation. It was clear that he was a savant, brilliant and far beyond even their eldest shamans in their craft. Phrenk was allowed to devote himself completely to his studies, something he took to with relish.
Over the decades, Phrenk grew to become a well-respected member of the village. He taught his style of potion brewing to other interested trolls and even started taking on the responsibilities of being an Elder in their growing council.
The trolls had begun studying the Vigil Stone, and had already determined that it was responsible for their rapid development as a “civilized” people. They did not worship the rock, but they did come to respect it, and consider its origins. They also found that it was poisonous over time, and that creatures that didn’t possess a Troll’s resilience eventually succumbed to its effects. This wasn’t really a problem for the village – they just kept the livestock far away from it. It became a problem, though, after scouts and mercenaries from a human kingdom started coming into their valley.
Phrenk first met The Party after he had been an Elder for decades. They came with the task of clearing out those “troll barbarians” who were disrupting the expansion of a minor noble’s holdings. They weren’t the first band of adventures that the tribe had had to deal with, but they were the first to come for a talk rather than a fight. Their attitude left a good impression on Phrenk, and before they were dismissed he threw his weight in behind them as one of the oldest trolls of the village. After that, they had to be heard out, and talked to as friends.
The Elders described the peculiar issue of the Vigil Stone. They could not leave it, because it had helped the tribe so much, and it was dangerous to humans and others like them. It was also far too large to safely move, something that they had considered doing already – after all, even though the valley was nice, it was not as ideal as some of the other locations in the mountain range. That gave Zot an idea, and after sending for Dimli – for they needed his dwarven ingenuity – the party arranged to move the Vigil Stone for the tribe. The Elders agreed with the plan, and after little more than a week of surveying, troll scouts returned with a fantastic location to rebuild the village.
After the relocation, it took only a month for an armistice between the troll village and the nearby lord was drawn. The trolls were happy to share their knowledge of the land, within reason, with other civilized folk, they just demanded that their borders be respected. After trade had been established between them and the noble’s holdings, things grew amicable quickly, in large part due to the quality of liquors and bitters, not to mention magical ingredients the tribe was happy to sell.
Phrenk joined The Party soon after the tensions between the human expansionists and his village settled down. He respected their open-mindedness and attitude – it also helped that Deirdre brought him his first quality alchemist’s kit as a thank-you for his cooperation. Besides, joining The Party was an opportunity for Phrenk to travel and perhaps change the minds of other folk who mistook all trolls for brutish monsters.
Plus, there were plenty more liquors to try among the folk who’d been distilling for centuries…