Ironsworn with modifications for playing games in the dark age world of PENDRAGON
All the normal rules and assets of Ironsworn apply (use discretion when picking Assets eg. no Young Wyvern or Mammoth).
Each Hero is the Thane (Lord) of a small Manor. They each get the Domain Asset (described below) as a free Asset.
MAGIC uses Spirit
If you choose the PATH of the RITUALIST (one of the Assets) it grants you three free RITUAL Assets* (or you can tick up to 3 additional abilities on RITUAL Assets).
In addition to any other cost for using a RITUAL, it costs 1 Spirit, and you cannot use a Ritual if you have zero Spirit.
* Instead of just picking from RITUAL Assets, you can pick any other Asset that you can explain as a “magical” effect, but you can only benefit from these Assets by spending Spirit.
MEDITATION Move to restore Spirit
With the advice of Shawn Tomkin, I’ve added a “Meditate” Move, to help restore Spirit. This is mainly because PendragonSworn is using Spirit to power RITUALs.
When you find a few minutes of peace, roll either +wits or +heart.
On a strong hit, you find focus and your spirit is strengthened. You may clear the shaken debility and take + 2 spirit.
On a weak hit, your mediation is clouded by worries or dark thoughts. Choose one.
– Clear the shaken debility and take + 1 spirit.
– Clear the shaken debility and take + 2 spirit but suffer -1 momentum.
On a miss, you take no comfort and the situation worsens. Pay the Price.
h3. DOMAIN ASSET
When you are a Thane, in command of a domain…
You gain a Domain with two attributes – Security & Prosperity (5 ranks to split between the two attributes). If using physical playing materials, I suggest you use an Index card and put the tracks along two edges and mark them with paperclips.
A mechanical benefit for ruling a Domain is that it becomes a community you can Sojourn in that automatically counts as though you have a Bond with it.
Also, when you perform a Sojourn in your own lands, on a strong hit you can add supply equal to the Domain’s Prosperity and on a weak hit you can restore your supply to the same level as the domain’s Prosperity.
Annual Domain Move [OPTIONAL]
You may make one of the following Annual Moves at the end of Autumn as a Scene Challenge (Scene Challenges are an optional rule from the end of the Ironsworn rulebook), You are assumed to have been working on it for a significant portion of the previous year, so should envision it at the start of the year to use a narrative backdrop to your adventures, but it resolves at the end of Autumn…
Increase the Security of your Domain. Envision an approach such as…
• Train or equip troops (+ prosperity or + edge)
• Forge alliances (+ prosperity or + heart)
• Weaken neighbours (+ security or + iron or + shadow)
• Build a fortification (+ prosperity or + wits)
Increase the Prosperity of your Domain. Envision an approach such as…
• Train or equip hunters (+ prosperity or + edge)
• Gain the loyalty of the folk (+ prosperity or + heart)
• Raid other lands (+ security or + iron or + shadow)
• Make Investments (+ prosperity or + wits) eg. Mining, digging ditches, building granaries, mills etc.
Make a Scene Challenge Progress Track and a Countdown track for the chosen task.
The rank of the scene challenge is dependent on the Domain’s current value for the attribute.
1 = Troublesome, 2 = Dangerous, 3 = Formidable, 4 = Extreme, 5 = Epic
You will use Face Danger or Secure an Advantage Moves to progress the Scene Challenge.
You can gain and burn momentum in these challenges.
h4. The Annual Domain Threat [NOT Optional]
Each Year (immediately after the Annual Move or at the end of Autumn) your Domain may face an unexpected THREAT to either its Security or Prosperity.
1-20 no threat, 21-80 the lowest, 81-99 the highest, 100 roll twice.
You can use your hero’s Momentum against this threat only if you have attempted an Annual Move.
Face Danger – on a Weak Hit, lose 1 security, on a Miss lose 1 Security and 1 Prosperity and the hero has to Pay the Price…
• Raiders killing your troops or damaging your fortifications (+ security)
• Loss of Alliances (+ prosperity or + heart)
• Loss of Lord’s favour (+ prosperity or + heart)
• Bandits (+ security)
Face Danger: on a Weak Hit, lose 1 prosperity, on a Miss lose 1 Prosperity and 1 Security and the hero has to Pay the Price…
• Raiders killing your folk or stealing your crops (+ security)
• Bad Harvest (+ prosperity or + wits)
• Fire (+ security or + wits)
• Plague (+ prosperity)
Call to Arms [NOT Optional]
As a Thane, Ealdorman/Earl or Duke in the Pendragon Campaign, you may also be Called to Arms once per year by your Lord. If you are a King, you might be called to war by the High King. Called to Arms usually occurs at the start of Spring.
If you are following a known timeline, the GM or Timeline may indicate a major battle, if not
1-40 = no call to war, 41-99 = call to war, 100 = roll twice.
Unless the narrative is already suggesting the nature of the Called to Arms,
1. Daring Raid – roll an Undertake a Journey Move (with waypoints counting towards the Scene’s progress track) then standard Scene challenge rolls
2. Chasing Scouts – roll an Undertake a Journey Move (with waypoints counting towards the Scene’s progress track) then standard Scene challenge rolls
3. Scouting – standard Scene Challenge rolls but Face Danger if you run out of time
4. Foraging – standard Scene Challenge rolls but Resupply if you succeed
5. Messenger – roll an Undertake a Journey Move (with waypoints counting towards the Scene’s progress track) then standard Scene challenge rolls, Face Danger if you run out of time
6. Make Camp – standard Scene Challenge rolls but Make Camp if you succeed
7. Resupply – standard Scene Challenge rolls but Resupply if you succeed
8. Secure an Advantage – standard Scene Challenge rolls but Secure an Advantage if you succeed and Face Danger if you run out of time
9. Battle make a single Battle Move using + security of the Domain.
10. Two events, one after the other
Called to Arms is a Scene Challenge, so create a Progress Track and a Countdown track for it. The countdown track indicates you only have a limited amount of time/opportunity to gain glory and plunder.
Normal threat rank for the Scene Challenge is one less than the Security rank of your Domain but you can choose to lower it by 1 rank (minimum Troublesome) or raise it by 1 or 2 ranks to seek additional Glory or Loot.
Called to Arms (rolling + security of your Domain) …
If the Domain Troops are accompanied by the hero, choose before rolling whether any Pay the Price affects the Domain Troops or the hero.
If you MISS when finally resolving the scene you have been defeated, Domain Security -1 (too many of your troops are lost).
If you chose to lower the rank of the Scene Challenge (to Security-2), you gain nothing from victory.
At the default level, Rank = (Security-1), if you win with a Weak Hit, you gain nothing, with a Strong Hit, you gain + 1 Prosperity for the Domain (plunder and gifts from a grateful Lord).
If you increased to Rank = Security, if you win with a Weak Hit you gain + 1 Prosperity for the Domain (plunder & gifts from a grateful Lord) and also + 1 momentum, + 1 spirit & + 1 supply for the hero and also + 1 on either the next Annual Domain Move or Domain Challenge. On a Strong Hit, you also gain + 1 to a future attempt to Forge a Bond with a senior person in your “faction”.
If you increased to Rank = Security + 1, if you win with a Weak Hit you gain + 1 Prosperity for the Domain (plunder & gifts from a grateful Lord) and also + 2 momentum, + 2 spirit and + 2 supply for the hero and also + 2 on either the next Annual Domain Move or Domain Challenge. On a Strong Hit, you also gain + 2 to a future attempt to Forge a Bond with a senior person in your “faction”.
To prevent too much repetition of Moves, you can intersperse any other Moves (assuming you can envision a narrative justification for it – eg. Resupply by raiding the enemy’s stores, or Heal if you take time for emergency field medication or Undertake a Journey if you are fleeing or chasing) instead of always doing Face Danger or Secure an Advantage rolls for the Scene Challenges, but for any other type of Move, Weak Hits and Misses both tick a box of the Countdown track and only a Strong hit grants any actual progress.
The Domain Troops as a COMPANION
Regardless of how many troops accompany you, they count as a Companion Asset with 5 health. It is recommended to narrate an individual chief retainer for your war band.
Use your discretion to lower the danger rank of any foes you meet, based on your narrative of how many Troops are accompanying you.
If you are fighting alongside your Troops and take Harm, when it makes narrative sense or when the Action Die is a “1”, use the “Companion Endure Harm” Move instead.
If the Companion is reduced to zero health, the Domain loses 1 Security.
If you are reduced to zero Supply while accompanied by Domain troops, the Domain loses 1 Prosperity.