Secrets of Strugur
Welcome to Secrets of Strugur!
The goal is to meet roughly monthly as a mostly consistent group, to facilitate playing a Torchbearer campaign.
Torchbearer is “a riff on the early model of fantasy role playing games”1 with an emphasis on survival rather than heroics. To paraphrase Matt Lees, it starts with the question “When told there’s an undead infested tomb a day’s ride from town that might have some treasure at the bottom, who really would try to go and loot it?” And it finds the answer is desperate people.
Everyone has principles, ambitions, causes, or beliefs worth fighting for; but characters in Torchbearer have to earn the chance to make a difference. They aren’t rich, titled, well connected, or superhuman. They don’t have any prospects less wildly dangerous, nor more reliably profitable, than teaming up to venture where others dare not go, in search of forgotten knowledge and abandoned treasures. Keeping fed, armed, and healthy is difficult enough for most in this line of work (as it also is, appropriately, in the rules of Torchbearer).
Strugur is a setting crafted largely in the spirit of supporting Torchbearer as-is. There is, perhaps, more trade and specks of civilization scattered across its wilderness than might strictly be best for a straight elaboration on its implied setting, but this is not to be a campaign about political machinations, trade disputes, or epic wars, though the players certainly may become embroiled in any of these through the course of the game. And certainly, there are secrets (it’s right in the title!) built into the setting to be uncovered as the players explore, their impact yet to be determined. But at its core, this is a campaign about your characters’ next payday, and what they’re able to overcome, or willing to sacrifice, to get it… as well as their ability to distinguish between its necessity and the greedy hubris that will kill them more surely even than any terror from depths of the earth.
That doesn’t mean player characters should be inherently motivated by profit, however. One or two perhaps could be, but the necessity of filthy lucre as part of continued survival is much more interesting when it is the burden of characters with unrelated beliefs, goals, and loyalties. Then, conflicting situations, interesting decisions and tests of character can arise.
1 If you aren’t already familiar, a role-playing game is sort of a cross between a board game and improvisational theatre. Each player controls an important character, together they typically form a group with a common interest (like filthy lucre) and the Game Master controls all the minor characters, antagonists, and obstacles in their story. This storytelling process both informs and draws new information from the tactical challenges and/or simulation engine forming the “game” side of the equation; the interplay of this strange interdependence gives rise to an enjoyable and entirely unique social hobby.
*Game Master accepts no liability for damage to or loss of adventurers, up to and including death and fates worse than death.