Redwall Alone

Redwall Alone

A Redwall Fan-RPG using the Alone system by LakethePondling 

By: LakethePondling

Started 2/5/2021

Why does this Exist?

Because Lake is a person whose brain has weird thoughts. While I’m merely a hobbyist game designer, my actual employment sometimes requires me to work strange hours. On one such day, I was awake at 4 a.m. and while I was dealing with the tedium of that hour, my brain began wondering about how easily i could convert one of my other projects, the pet shenanigan RPG The Pets Are Alone to run a game set in the world of Redwall. From that thought spun this project.

Setting and Characters

The Player characters are all woodland creatures that live in and around Redwall Abbey in Mossflower Forest. This also includes locations such as Brockhall, The mountain Fortress of Salamandastron, and Loamhedge, as well as the high seas. If you are taking inspiration from Jacques’ books, he usually has detailed maps for the game runner to take inspiration from.

What will we need to play?

To Play, you will need:

1 ten sided die or a die roller app

A Pencil

A piece of paper or index card

Creating your Character: 

First of all, you need to select which kind of woodland creature you want to be. This will give you one skill that all animals of your kind are good at. There are several different types. Be aware that some creatures are traditionally considered good and others are considered evil. It depends on how strictly to canon your Storyteller wants to adhere.

Traditionally Good Creatures

Species

Ability

Mice

Teamwork. Mice work well with other creatures. Able to give a +1 to an ally’s check 1 time per in game day.

Shrews

Riverbeast: Shrews are natural riverbeasts. They automatically know how to use a logboat and know the Mossflower River well. 

Badgers

Bloodrage: Most badgers are possessed of the bloodrage. When activated, You gain a +1 to Might until the combat ends. The bloodrage only ends if you go unconscious or if an ally succeeds in a Talk to bring you out. You can only activate once in game day. 

Otters

Swimmer: Otters are natural swimmers and divers. You automatically can swim and dive, as well as fight in the water.

Moles

Digger: Moles can tunnel.

Squirrels

Treewhiffler: Squirrels can climb trees and most other surfaces.

Sparrows

Flight: Sparrows can fly. They can also Peck for 2 Harm.

Hedgehogs

Spines: Hedgehogs are covered with spikes. Opponents in melee take 1 harm if they attack unarmed.

Bats

Blind: Bats can fly at night.

Hares

Athletic: Most hares are trained warriors. They gain a +1 to Agility or Might (player choice) once per combat. 

Voles

Unobtrusive: No one notices Voles. Voles gain a +1 to Agility to hide or remain hidden.

Traditionally Evil Creatures

Species

Ability

Cats

Always Armed: Wildcats have a retractable set of claws, that they can extend as a weapon. Gives a +1 to Might during a combat.

Ferretkind

Swift: Ferrets, Weasels and the like are agile. They get a +1 Agility boost once a day.

Foxes

Cunning: Foxes are notorious for being clever and manipulative. If you’re using Talk to trick someone, you get a +1.

Rats

Gnaw: Give time a rat can chew through almost anything.

Frog

Amphibious: Frogs are at home both in the water and on land.

Snake

Bite: Snakes get a bite attack that does 3 harm.

Ravens

Sharp Beak: Raven and similar black bird have very sharp beaks that can cause 3 harm on a successful attack. They can also fly.

After you have selected your species, select an occupation. The world of Redwall is full of jobs of all descriptions, and many may aid you in your adventures. 

Job

Related Ability

Leader

Rally: Your natural charisma gives you a +1 to Talk when convincing others to join you and your cause.

Sailor

Seabeast: You know how to operate an ocean going vessel.

Builder

Builder: You know how to create structures. You can also evaluate structures for stability and weakness.

Blacksmith

Smith: You know how to make and repair weapons and tools.

Cellar Master

Brewer: You can make ales, beers and other beverages.

Herbalist

Herb Lore: You know which plants are edible and can make medicines. You are able to mend wounded creatures and lower their Harm.

Scholar

Loremaster: You are the keeper of records. YOu gain a +1 when trying to use Mind to recall information.

Warrior

Battle-Trained: You are trained in the use of arms. You have a +1 to either Might or Agility in combat. This will stack with the Hare’s ability. 

Cook

Cook: You are able to make meals. You can use this ability to lower Stress. 

Performer

Distract: You are skilled at music, dance, or song. You can lower Stress using this. 

Tracker

Woodlore: You are able to track other beings, you are also knowledgeable about dangers in the forest.  

Riverbeast

Riverlore: You know how to use rivercraft like a shrewboat or raft. You also know the Mossflower river and all the dangers and shortcuts.

Gardener

Green Thumb: You are skilled in growing and identifying plants.

Fisherman

Angler: You can fish, providing food as long as you have a water source nearby.

Teacher

Teacher Voice: You are used to getting stubborn Dibbuns to behave and listen. You gain a +1 to Talk to make your point.

Abbey Dweller

Abbey Raised: You were born and raised in Redwall Abbey. You know it’s history and layout.

Forest Dweller

Forest Life: You live in mossflower woods. You know how to navigate through the forest.

Wanderer

Well-Traveled: You have been all over. You gain a +1 to Mind checks to recall information about a location.

Thief

Tricky: You are well versed at getting into and out of trouble. +1 to Talk to get out of trouble.

Former Slave

Hardened: You have had a difficult life. You gain a +1 boost to your overall Stress or Harm track. 

After you make your choices for species and occupation, write down 2 things your creature specifically is good at. These are your skills. They can provide a +1 to certain checks, based on Storyteller discretion. For example, your Squirrel Cook might also be a talented artist or be particularly brave.

Then come your attributes. These are 4 numbers between 1 and 9. You cannot under any circumstances raise this number above 10.  You start with 16 total points to put into them. These are: 

Might: How strong your animal is.

Agility: How Nimble your animal is.

Mind: How clever and intelligent your character is. 

Talk: How good you are at communicating with other animals. 

Then create a Stressed Track. This starts at a base of 4. You can represent this through a simple fraction, a divided circle, or even a series of boxes. You then add your Mind ability, representing your ability to withstand mental stress, (Example: You have 3 in Mind, so you add it to 4 to make at total of 7 pieces or boxes) You can divide it further if you convince your Storyteller, that your personality, occupation, etc. can help with dealing with stress. Every time you fail a check in a non-combat situation, shade in one section. Stress can be cleared with a successful Mind check or by certain Occupation’s abilities.If your stress maxes out, you Panic and become unable to act until a successful Mind check on your part, or if an ally is able to Talk you out of it. 

Then, Create a Harm track. Harm is very similar to Stress, except for physical damage and stress instead of mental. Harm starts at 3+Might+Agility, representing your physical toughness. Any time you fail a check in a combat or other dangerous situation, shade in another section of your Harm Track. If your Harm is maxed, you are Incapacitated, and cannot move or act. When you are incapacitated, on your turnyou will roll a d10 against a set difficulty. The difficulty has a starting DC of 5+ The harm over max. So for example, if 1 harm would take you to max, and you are hurt by a weapon that does 3 harm, you would need to roll 7 or higher. This cannot go higher than 10, because this is an unmodified roll with no attribute. You have as many chances to pass this check as half of your max Harm. So for example: you have a 5 in Might and a 4 in Agility plus the base of 3 for a total of 12, so you would have 6 tries to succeed on this check. If you do not succeed on this check, your character dies permanently. Harm can be lowered by spending time resting, or by someone with the Herbalist skill or something similar.

****************************************************************************************************

Death and Injury: A Designer Note

If any of you have read my previous animal based RPG, The Pets are Alone, you will recall that that system does not account for death or dying, merely injury. This is because that is a squarely G-PG rated RPG, meant mostly for new players and kids. That owes to a lot of the source material being childrens books and films like The Secret Life of Pets, Ralph S. Mouse and Malcolm at Midnight. 

Redwall is not in that camp. Redwall is more of an upper grades/teen series. As such, the series contains a fair amount of blood and death. Characters can and do die and receive injuries. Therefore to represent the series this system draws from, there needs to be a certain amount of deadliness.  

****************************************************************************************************

Next, choose items. Redwall does not have a system of currency in the series, so just say these are items you happen to have. If you want rope or tools, for example, just say you have it. This is on honor between you and the Storyteller, so please don’t abuse it. Weapons and Armor are different, since they have mechanical differences. To wield a weapon you need to meet the prerequisite Attribute. For instance, to wield a Greataxe like a Badger Lord, you need a minimum Might of 6. Check the tables below for more information. Select one weapon to start.

Weapon

Harm Done

Attribute Requirement

Axe

3

5 Might

Greataxe

4

6 Might

Dagger

2

3 Might or 3 Agility

Sword 

3

4 Might

Rapier

3

4 Agility

Greatsword

4

6 Might

Mace

3

4 Might

Stick

1

1 Might

Knotted Rope

2

3 Might

Spear

3

4 Might. Can be thrown

Bola

0

5 Agility. Can immobilize.

Flail

3

4 Might

Crossbow

3

4 Agility

Longbow

3

5 Agility

Blowpipe 

2

4 Agility

Rock

1 Agility

Sling

3

4 Agility

Pike

3

5 Might

Bare Fists

1

1 Might

Trident

3

4 Might

Pitchfork

2

3 Might

Staff

3

3 Might

Armor:

How armor works is through damage reduction. Subtract the Protection from Harm taken

Armor

Reduction

Attribute Minimum

Shield

1

4 Might

Armor

1

4 Might

Full Plate

2

5 Might

When you have completed the selection of your weapon and gear, the last step is to write down your creature’s name, a brief description and a backstory. YOur backsotry doesn’t need to be complicated, just a sentence or two.

How do I Play?

To play, you will roll a stat to try to overcome a challenge that the Storyteller sets in front of you. You do this by rolling a d10 and trying to reach or go over a target they set without you knowing what it is. The lower the number, the easier the target.

Example: Rob is playing as Goldenrod, the Mouse Thief. They’ve been caught spying on a roving band of brigands and captured. To get them to let her go, she attempts to Talk with the leader. This is Challenging, so he needs to roll a 10 at least. She has a +6 in Talk and Rob rolls a 6 on the dice for a total of 12. See the table below for typical difficulties.

Check Level

#

Easy

6

Average

8

Challenging

10

Difficult

14

Impossible 

16+

Because this is a turn based game, it occasionally means that a turn order needs to be established. If you do need to establish a turn order, in combat or another similar situation, roll a d10 and add your Agility. If you and another player roll the same number,Whomever has the higher attribute goes first. If it’s a tie, decide between yourselves with a simple agreement, or whatever method you see fit.  

If you are fighting another animal, You and the Storyteller, if it’s a Non Player Animal, or the opposing player if it’s a player character, both roll either Might or Agility, depending on which weapon you’re using. If your roll is higher, you are victorious, and they take whatever Harm your weapon does. If you roll lower, you take Harm from their weapon.See the section on Harm for further information on damage, death and dying.

Running the Game

Storytellers, The stories are up to you. The setting and adventure is up to you. Don’t limit yourself to Jacques’ canon. Included are some tables to help you with generation

Here are some thoughts on creating a session with this system.

  1. If you want to reward your players, you can do it narratively, by literally giving their character a new item or connection, or if you want to do something more concrete, let them increase one of their abilities by 1. Let your players choose which they prefer.

  1. Describe things from an animal’s perspective. Remember a being that is not a threat to a human sized creature might be a massive threat to your players, since they are smaller beings.

  1. You are the storyteller. You define what stories you tell and what the goals or objectives are ultimately, though you may take player suggestions.. If you’re not sure which way to make a story beat turn, a suggestion is the Called High/Low system. Roll a dice of your choice (I recommend a d20, Percentile Dice or a d10)  and ask the players, High or Low. If they call it correctly, (Eg. They call High and you roll a 18 on a d10) the event happens in their favor. If it doesn’t, don’t punish them, but complicate the situation. You can also use this for yes/no questions you’re not sure of the answer to right away.

  1. The setting and scope of the story are up to you. You can contain the story entirely to Redwall Abbey or Salamandastron for example. Or you can have a rip roaring high seas adventure. You are the ultimate decider.

  1. Most of all, Be creative! Have Fun! 

For quick quest, roll twice. The first is where the PCs start, the second is the objective.

#

Location

1

Redwall Abbey

2

Salamandastron

3

Mossflower Woods

4

Loamhedge

5

Brockhall

6

Noonvale

7

The Quarry

8

St. Ninian’s

9

Northern Mountains

10

Southsward

11

The Western Sea

12

Great Inland Lake

13

Eastern Coast

14

Broadstream River

15

River Moss

16

Southern Coast

17

Rogue’s Retreat

18

Terramort Isle

19

Green Isle

20

The North Shores

Villain Motives 

Roll on this table to decide what your BBEG wants

#

Motive

1

To capture someone

2

To maintain control of somewhere

3

To kill someone

4

To recover something

5

To conquer somewhere

6

To fight someone for something

7

For treasure

8

To make a home base

9

For revenge on someone

10

To flee somewhere or someone

Your villain is a:

#

Animal

1

Wildcat

2

Weasel

3

Ferret 

4

Stoat

5

Fox

6

Rat

7

Raven

8

Snake

9

Lizard

10

Magpie

BUILDING A FOE

As a Storyteller, you’ll need to present the heroes with foes and opposition to their quest, otherwise the story will lack dramatic tension. An easy way to build foes is to put them into three tiers.

Those tiers are Minion, Lieutenant, and Champion.The main difference is how they are treated in the story

Minions are the faceless horde. Think of Cluny’s army of rats in Redwall, or a band of pirates. They don't have names or motivations and serve someone else. They’re also pretty disposable. When you’re making Minions, give them about ? to ?  the Harm of your heroes. Keep their scores overall low, and only give them basic attacks.

Lieutenants are more serious threats to your PCs. They very well may have unique names, personalities and motivations. Examples are characters like Ashleg the Pine Marten from Mossflower or Chickenhound in Redwall (Not in Mattemio. He’s a Champion there). They usually serve to carry out someone else’s mission, though they can act independently at times. A lieutenant should be as strong as a PC. Their scores should be on par with the PCs, but they won’t have the skills that a PC would.

Champions are the BBEGs of the campaign usually. They can also be a major threat to the PCs like the Wearat or the Gloomer. Champions need to be stronger than the PCs, at least initially and have clear convictions and motivations. Give them about double the Harm of a PC and create a special ability or attack for them. For example, Cluny

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *