The Raven – Part one

Being a write-up of my recent playtest scenario for the Crestfallen RPG, which was run at the always friendly Patriot Games Leeds.

CharacterHigh ConceptPlayer
The BlacksmithOstman BlacksmithAshkan
Margo BlackWashed up Bounty HunterJoseph
ZarlakDark Arcadian NecromancerBen
LucianFriendly Lupus RangerGeorge
GetafikiEccentric Arcadian DruidCraig
Prince Zeb IIICoralis Prince CharmingMichael

Please bear in mind that these characters were created very early in development, before I split race off into a separate aspect (to simplify shape changing and spirit binding).



Our adventure begins in the village of Hardwood, in Northern Pretania. It is harvest time (Horse Time on the calendar), and the entire community is extremely busy gathering the harvest, without it they will not survive winter.

Getafiki is visiting the Druid Calderon in the village, it was unclear what Zarlak was doing, but possibly the same thing. Zeb was hiding from his evil older brother, and Margo was in retirement due to being depressed. The blacksmith and Lucian were not present in the first session.


Plot happens

Calderon’s highly prized magical cauldron is stolen in the night, it is known across the nation for it’s healing properties. A horse was heard galloping away but the sleepy PC’s could not react in time.

A village meeting is hastily gathered and Calderon addresses them all.

Meanwhile Getafiki tries and fails to summon an Owl spirit, though with no ill effect. Zarlak tries to summon a Frost spirit, a terrible roll means he instead encases himself in a block of ice, from where he hears Calderon’s speech. Margo refuses to leave her rented room until she is dragged out by her unwanted room mate, who is infatuated with her.


Due to the harvest (how convenient) Calderon convinces the PC’s to chase after the cauldron, they begin tracking the horse but are interrupted by a man recognising Zeb and attempting to run to his evil brother Brian (a compel). Zeb catches him up and attempts to woo him, but to no avail. Instead, Zeb promises to introduce him to a girl he likes at a future date, in exchange for his silence. It turns out this girl is Margo’s room mate, so odds are she will not be interested in his advances!

Calderon tuts, sets a fire, and starts melting Zarlak out from his block of ice.


Things that go brains! in the night

The PC’s find a witness who points them in the right direction, a deer trail to the nearby village of Innsbrook – which unfortunately is quarantined by the local Lord, Brian, as it is riddled with a Pox epidemic. Undeterred, our brave heroes set off. Zarlak decides to hunt down a small woodland creature to kill and then practice his necromantic powers on. His Wilderness Skill roll is so bad the party instead interrupt a grizzly bear and her two cubs. The battle is hard fought, and ends with the pretty much dismembered bear being reanimated with a frost spirit, it’s poor cubs mewing in fear and following along behind.


I had two guards standing watch on the outskirts of Innsbrook to give some plot details, but the sight of half a zombie grizzly bear with the ability to shoot frost bolts (presumably from it’s eyes, that would be cool), made them run away.



Everyone tested for disease, Zarlak and Getafiki became carriers, Zed contracted full blown pox. Everyone enjoyed the irony of a prince charming with the pox.


The village was quiet, too quiet. The silence was interrupted by Zarlak, who has a damaged moral compass, slitting the throat of a Pox victim who was kind of asking to be killed. But, still…..


Anyone who could supply useful information ran away after that, though they did find a soon to be lit funeral pyre for the Druid sent to treat the pox victims, incidentally, Calderon’s sister. Getafiki had the good sense to commune with some spirits who told him that she was killed by a man on a massive black horse, and that he took the road to Rath Cavan.


Instead of gaining more details, or possibly finding the ghost of Calderon’s sister, the PC’s set straight off to Rath Cavan. They purchased a cart, and I wheeled out my yet to be tested Journeying rules.


Journeying in Crestfallen

My first (of three) contribution to cool new rules for Fate Core, the party amalgamate themselves into a “group character”, showing as many of their strengths, and as little of their weaknesses as they can. They then “fight” the journey as if it is a monster, possibly leading to starvation, twisted ankles and so on if they do badly.


Margo created an advantage with the Crafts skill called covered wagon or something similar, they then blitzed the entire journey in a roll or two. Tweaking of the rules was required.



We rapidly discovered that the guys at Evil Hat weren’t lying about characters needing to be proactive as well as capable, we struggled a bit with some of Margo’s passive, internal aspects. A lesson learned!

Part two will be posted in one weeks time, stay tuned!



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