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Costisick Copyright 2012 Chapter 1: Introduction What is this book for? In this book the players will create the centerpieces of the campaign: the Troupe, the Guild, and the Hook. The Troupe consists of all the characters the players will portray during the campaign. Their adventures are what the game is really all about. The Keep, the Lairs, the Enemies, and all other aspects of the campaign depend upon what kind of people the players choose to portray. Therefore, your first order of business will be to create your troupe of characters for the campaign. After completing your characters, you’ll create the Guild to which they belong. This will entail creating the Guild’s Charter, Symbol, Creed, Keep, and Leadership. Once finished, the players select the Hook, or main enemy for the first campaign. This book provides a step-by-step guide for each process, and during the entirety of it, please remembers to consult with your GM. He probably knows the rules best and is there to help you as you make your choices. What kinds of characters are available to play? Let’s introduce you to the characters of What Lies Below. Look at the Character Record Sheet. Each character has four key parts: Species, Class, Ability Stats, and Movement. There are other character components too, but these are the main ones. A character’s species is the ethnic group he or she belongs to. In What Lies Below there are nine species that you may choose from for your characters: Angels, Dwarves, Elves, Half-Dwarves, Half-Elves, Half-Ogres, Humans, Ogres, and Satyrs. Each one has its own unique history and appearance. You will choose one for each character that you make during the character creation process. Class is a character’s heroic profession. Your characters have been trained to fight the legions of evil that live in the Underearth. To take on these nightmarish horrors, a Troupe must be prepared to attack from many different angles using many different styles. There are ten Classes in What Lies Below: Bard, Beastmaster, Cleric, Elementalist, Fighter, Mage Hunter, Paladin, Templar, Thief, and Wizard. Descriptions of each follow in Chapter 2: Creating Your Troupe. Ability Stats are the foundation for a character’s capabilities. The Body Ability Stat will be used any time the character needs to perform some kind of difficult physical action. This might include large actions like making a melee attack, making a ranged attack, bending bars, lifting gates, or wrestling an opponent. It also includes fine motor skills like cutting a gem, sewing a cloth, copying calligraphy, or setting a trap. The Body Ability Stat also covers times when the character might have to withstand some sort of physical trauma such as resisting a poison or disease. The Mind and Spirit stats work similarly. Any time a character has to perform some feat of logic, discern the wisdom in a situation, use deductive/inductive reasoning, or create a schematic, the Mind Ability Stat comes into play. The Spirit Stat governs everything spiritual, emotional, and social. Love, anger, religion, faith, empathy, and perseverance are all areas covered by a character’s Spirit. In the Core Rules you will learn how these stats are used when making an Ability Stat check. For now, use the descriptions above as a rough guide in as you conceive of the characters you would like to play. The final major character component is Movement. Getting around the Underearth is a complicated thing. The passages twist and turn in every direction. Light is both scarce and precious. The ground is often slippery and uneven. As a result, how a character moves is important to the game. You will see on the Character Record
Sheet there are several speeds for movement starting with crawl and going to retreat. Each measures how fast your character can go, how tired he or she gets when moving at that rate, and how capable the character might be at seeing or hearing what is going on in the surrounding area. The base movement rate (i.e. Walking) will be decided by your character’s species. Most move around 20’ every five seconds while walking. Some are faster. Some are slower depending on their size. In the next section, you will read all about it. Playing a character in What Lies Below is fun and challenging. You’ll be making several, so this is probably as good a time as any to tell you. There’s a good chance some or most of your characters are going to die. The Underearch is a violent and savage land. They do not suffer the surface dwellers to intrude upon their territory. Trespassing is met with extreme force; however, your people are counting on you to keep their lands safe. So into the caves you must go. Good luck and fight breavely. Chapter 2: Creating Your Troupe A Troupe is a band of characters who are allied in some way. For What Lies Beneath, that alliance is the Guild. But before you can create the Guild, you need to know what kinds of characters will be part of it. Creating your Troupe is your first introduction to the mechanics of What Lies Beneath. If you’ve played other RPGs, many of the character components will be familiar. Characters in this game are simpler than in others, so generating a single character shouldn’t take much time. If you are new to roleplaying games, this text is an excellent text to learn the tropes and motifs common among may games in this genre. The process is outlined in specific steps below. Follow them in order. Step 1: Generating Your Troupe To begin, each player should roll one six-sided die (d6) and add one. So a roll of 3 would result in a value of 4. Whatever the final result, that is the number of character that player must create. You will only ever play one character at a time, so the others will be kept as reserves or alternates. You will need one character record sheet for each character. It is a good idea to have multiple, blank copies of these character sheets ready to go prior to starting this process. It is generally left up to the GM to assure that blank copies are available to all players. He may delegate this responsibility to anyone, however. Step 2: Choose Your Characters’ Species Among the people of light, there are eight major species that have banded together to drive out the Accursed and force them underground. They are the Angels, Dwarves, Elves, Half-Dwarves, Half-Elves, Humans, Ogres, and Satyrs. You are to choose only one of these for each of your characters. A character’s species is among his or her most defining attributes. Below, each of them is explained in further detail. One thing all species have in common is that they will affect your character’s stats. Fin the Stats section on the character record sheet. When you choose a species, mark the modifiers under the “Species” column on the first page of the record sheet. Each species also has an EXP modifier. You will add this to the EXP modifier from the character’s class and write that at the top of the character record sheet in the appropriate field. Angels The Innate Characteristics: Can see perfectly in any darkness, upon reaching level 5 they gain the ability to fly. Stat Modifiers: +2 to Body and Soul EXP Modifier: 4x Walking Movement: 30’ per round
Dwarves The Innate Characteristics: Can see 10’ in any darkness, do not suffer any penalties for cramped quarters or attacks while crawling. Stat Modifier: +2 to Body EXP Modifier: 2x Walking Movement: 10’ per round Elves The Innate Characteristics: Can see 20’ in any darkness, do no suffer terrain penalties for wet floor and uneven ground. Stat Modifier: +1 to Body, Mind, and Soul EXP Modifier: 3x Walking Movement: 30’ per round Half-Dwarves The Innate Characteristics: Do not suffer any penalties for cramped quarters. Stat Modifier: +1 to Body EXP Modifier: 1x Walking Movement: 10’ per round Half-Elves The Innate Characteristics: Do no suffer terrain penalties for wet floor and uneven ground. Stat Modifier: +1 to Mind and Soul EXP Modifier: 2x Walking Movement: 20’ per round Half-Ogres The Innate Characteristics: Do no suffer terrain penalties for echoing sounds or noxious fumes. Stat Modifier: +1 to Body and Soul EXP Modifier: 2x Walking Movement: 20’ per round Humans The Innate Characteristics: Begin with an additional 25 Bronze Pieces.
Stat Modifier: +1 to Body EXP Modifier: 1x Walking Movement: 20’ per round Ogres The Innate Characteristics: Does not get fatigue points from armor, deals double damage to small creatures like halflings and kobolds. Stat Modifier: +3 to Body EXP Modifier: 3x Walking Movement: 30’ per round Satyrs The Innate Characteristics: Does not suffer terrain penalties for echoing sounds, wet floor, or uneven ground. Stat Modifier: +2 to Mind EXP Modifier: 2x Walking Movement: 20’ per round Step 3: Choose Characters’ Class The other key attribute that defines what your character is like is his class. Think of a class as a field of study or area of expertise. It is an aspect of adventuring in which your character has been trained. There are ten different classes in What Lies Beneath: Bards, Beastmasters, Clerics, Elementalisst, Fighters, Mage Hunters, Paladins, Templars, Thieves, and Wizards. Like character species, each character class has both a Stat Modifier and an EXP Modifier. Fill in the Stat Modifier under the appropriate column on the character record sheet, then add the class EXP Modifier to the species EXP Modifier and write that total in the appropriate box in the upper right hand corner of the character sheet. Bard The Starting Songs: 2 Starting Mana: 2 MP Stat Modifier: +1 to Mind EXP Modifier: 2x Bards begin with access to the Basic Spell List for Arcane Spells. Beastmaster The Starting Feat: 1 Stat Modifier: +1 to Body and Soul EXP Modifier: 2x
You start with the ability to control one animal. Choose from the “Pets” section in chapter X in the Core Rules with a Body Stat equal to or less than your Soul Stat. That animal will obey all your commands, guard your unconscious body, and die for you in combat if necessary. Cleric The Starting Powers: 3 Stat Modifier: +1 to Soul EXP Modifier: 3x • • • • Begin with the Turn Undead Ability. 30 EXP worth of Undead per level will flee from the cleric if possible. Use only once per session. Begin with the Smite Ability. 20 EXP worth of Undead per level automatically die (no Reaction roll). Use only once per session. Begin with the Dominate Undead Ability. 10 EXP worth of Undead per level will obey the cleric for the rest of the session. Use only once per session. Begin with the Absorb Undead Ability. 5 EXP worth of Undead per level will vanish. The cleric gains a permanent +1 bonus to his or her Spirit stat. Use only once per session.
Elementalist The Starting Mana: MP = to Mind Stat Stat Modifier: +2 to Mind EXP Modifier: 4x Elementalists begin with access to the Basic Spell List for Arcane Spells. Fighter The Stat Modifier: +1 to Body EXP Modifier: 2x Mage Hunter The Starting Mana: MP = to Mind Stat Stat Modifier: +2 to Body and Mind EXP Modifier: 3x Mage Hunters begin with access to the Basic Spell List for Wizards. Paladin The
Starting Powers: 1 Stat Modifier: +1 to Body and Soul EXP Modifier: 3x • Begin with the Turn Undead Ability. 10 EXP worth of Undead per level will flee from the paladin if possible. Use only once per session.
Templar The Starting Powers: 1 Starting Mana: MP = to Mind Stat Stat Modifier: +1 to Mind and Soul EXP Modifier: 4x • • Begin with the Turn Undead Ability. 20 EXP worth of Undead per level will flee from the Templar if possible. Use only once per session. Begin with the Smite Ability. 10 EXP worth of Undead per level automatically die (no Reaction roll). Use only once per session.
Templars begin with access to the Basic Spell List for Arcane Spells. Thief The Starting Abilities: 3 Stat Modifier: +1 to Body EXP Modifier: 1x Each thief character starts with three “Thief Skills.” Choose from the list below. Whenever you want to use one of these abilities, roll 1d6. On a result of “1” you automatically succeed. There are not modifiers to your roll. A one will always be a success even if you are being watched, guarded, harassed, or attacked. You cannot use these abilities if you are bound. • • • • • • • • • • • • Climb Walls Death Strike Detect Hidden Disarm Foe Disarm Trap Find Trap Hide in Shadow Pick Lock Pick Pocket Read Languages Set Trap Silent Move
These skills may also be combined in a single round to produce a larger effect, though each requires its own roll. For instance, a thief can Hide in Shadow and Silent Move to effectively move while invisible. He or she could Pick Lock and Silent Move to unlock a door without making a sound. Or the thief could Hide in Shadow and Pick Pocket to steal from someone unseen. Wizard The Starting Mana: MP = to Mind Stat Stat Modifier: +2 to Mind EXP Modifier: 3x Wizards begin with access to the Basic Spell List for Arcane Spells. Step 4: Assigning Base Ability Stats Look at the Character Stats section. Just to the right of the “Total” you will see a column marked “Base.” These are the minimum amount your stats can ever be reduced to by any spell or effect. Each character begins with a 1, a 2, and a 3 for his or her Stat Bases. You may choose to arrange these values in any order you like. So for instance, Cindy who is playing Makayla the Elf Paladin chooses to put a 3 in Body, a 2 in Soul, and a 1 in Mind. Robert who is play Grax the Satyr Wizard decides to put a 3 in Mind a 2 in Body and a 1 in Soul. For a hint at which stats are important to a character, see where he or she got her Stat Modifiers from his or her Class. Generally speaking, those stats will be the most important to have a high value. You may not combine these values into a single stat nor trade points from one stat to another during this step. There should be a 1, a 2, and a 3 on the first page of each of your character record sheets under the Base column for Stats. Ask your GM for assistance if you need it. Step 5: Outfitting Your Characters There are two options for outfitting your characters in What Lies Beneath. If this is you are a veteran of What Lies Below or want to save time, you may choose one of the equipment packages described below. This will save you a lot of time. Each package is flexible enough to handle most situations you will encounter in the early tiers of the lair. However, is your first time playing What Lies Below it might be to customize your characters’ starting equipment. Going through the process of buying equipment for your first two or three characters helps to get you familiar with the equipment and inspires you with ideas on how to use it. If that is your preferred method, your characters start with 50 pieces of Bronze each that can be spent on starting gear. See the Equipment Table in either the Player’s Handbook or Game Master’s Handbook for prices. Once you have decided on your equipment, write down what your character has on the second page of the character record sheet that is entitled “Possessions and Powers.” We also recommend that you read the “Equipment” chapter in the Core Rules book. Frontline Warrior Equipment Package Minimalist Equipment Package Rogue’s Equipment Package Sniper Equipment Package Student of Lore and Wisdom Equipment Package
Survivalist Equipment Package Tavern Rat Equipment Package One thing you will need to pay attention to as you choose your gear is Fatigue Points. Each item and container are worth a certain number of Fatigue Points (FPs). These are explained in fuller detail in the core rules, but as a general rule, you don’t want to carry gear with FPs greater than your character’s Body Stat. Sometimes this cannot be avoided, and that’s okay. Your character may just suffer some temporary penalties while he or she is overburdened. This is all discussed in the Equipment chapter of the Core Rules. Step 6: Languages Navigating the Underearth is an exercise both in violence and diplomacy. Having the ability to eaves drop on your enemies and understand what they are saying is a valuable ability. Each character begins knowing one language (Common) plus a number of languages equal to half his or her Mind Stat rounded up. So a character with a Mind of 3 would begin knowing Common and two other languages. If a character has a language, he or she can speak and understand most words of that language. There may be some loss of nuance depending on how specific the conversation might be or how much jargon the speakers are using. Here are a list of languages spoken in the Underearth. Froglock Dark Common Dark Elven Dragon Goblin Halfling Kobold Orcish Sphinxin Trollic Step 7: Miscellaneous Values Examine the Character Record sheet. Most of it has been filled out by this point, yet there is a little more to do. There are several fields that still must be filled out before your character is considered complete. Each is explained below. Fill them out one by one then move on to step 8. Personal Information: At the top of the character sheet you will see a field for your character’s name (simply called “Name”) and a place of the player who created the character (Player’s Name). Fill these out now. If you can’t think of a name or don’t want to bother naming your character until he or she survives a few levels, it is fine to leave that field blank, but be sure to fill in your name so there is no confusion with other players’ characters. Level: In the middle of the Character Record Sheet at the top, you will see something marked “Level.” All characters begin at level 1. Write a one in that blank. There is no bonus for level one, but you will begin accumulating new bonuses and abilities as your character gains levels (see “Advancement” in the Player’s Handbook). Armor Mod:
Armor is treated in many different ways in many different games. In What Lies Below, armor prevents damage. There are three types of armor: Light, Medium, and Heavy. Light armors prevent 1 damage, medium prevents 2, and heavy prevents 3. Write down the amount of damage the type of armor your character starts with (if he/she starts with any armor at all) in the Armor Mod blank on your character records sheet. Shield/Holy Symbol/Helm: Shields, Holy Symbols, and Helmets provide protection against opposing forces. Shields provide a +1 bonus on defense to attacks targeting your character’s Body. Holy Symbols do likewise for your character’s Spirit, and Helms for your character’s Mind. If your character has any of these belongings, write a +1 in the appropriate blank. Weapon Dmg: Weapons are divided into three categories. They are labeled as such in the equipment lists in the Player’s Handbook and GM’s handbook. Weapon deal damage according to their type: light weapons deal 2 damage, medium weapons deal 4 damage, and heavy weapons deal 6. Whichever type of weapon your character uses, write the appropriate around of damage in Weapon Dmg. blank on the left hand side of the Character Record Sheet. Dmg Taken: You will have to track how much damage your character takes during combat (see Chapter 4: Combat in the Core Rules). Mark how much damage your character has taken and not healed in this blank. R.O.H.: ROH stands for “rate of healing.” This is how much damage your character can heal in an hour of complete rest. To calculate your character’s ROH, divide his or her Body Ability Stat by 3 then round up all fractions. So if Janus the Dwarven Beastmaster has a Body of 5, his ROH would be 2 (5/2 = 1.33, rounded up = 2). Write your character ROH value here. EXP Earned: Each time your character returns to your guild’s Keep, he or she will receive experience points based on how much treasure the group has accumulated since its last visit. Keep a running tally of these experience points (EXPs) here in this blank. EXP/Level: When you made your character, you may have noticed the EXP Mod for both Species and Class. This determines how quickly your character can achieve a new experience level (see “Character Advancement” in the Player’s Handbook). To calculate how much EXP your character will need, add his or her Species EXP Mod and Class EXP Mod together, then multiply that by 100. For example, Vincent wants to calculate the EXP/Level for his character Rasmund the Ogre Bard. An ogre’s EXP Mod is 3x. A bard’s is 2x. Together, that sums to 5. 5 x 100 = 500, so it will take 500 EXP per level for Rasmund. Vincent would then write “500” in the EXP/Level blank on Rasmund’s Character Record Sheet. Movement: Each Species has a base movement rate while walking. Write that number under “Walk” on the right hand side of the Character Record Sheet. All other movement types are fractions or multiples of that number. Crawling
is one fourth of the character’s walking speed. Creeping is one half. Jogging doubles the walking speed, running triples it, sprinting quadruples it, and finally retreating quintuples it. Crawling is also considered a character’s climbing speed without equipment (such as rope, pitons, etc.), and creeping is a character’s climbing speed with equipment. Fill out the appropriate speeds on your character’s sheet at this time. Cash on Hand: You may not have spent all of your character’s Bronze Pieces (BP’s) when buying equipment in step 5. If you didn’t, your character may want to keep some of those coins on hand in case he or she might need them. Write down how much money you want your character to have at a moment’s notice in the “Cash on Hand” blank. Cash in Store: Having cash on hand can come in handy when exploring a lair. Kobolds, goblins, and orcs are known for accepting small bribes to leave haggard surface dwellers alone so long as they agree to do the same. However, it is rarely a good idea to carry all of one’s cash. Leaving some of it behind in the Keep’s vault will ensure that if you need some extra money, it will be available. Write down how much money your character has in the vault in the “Cash in Store” field. Fatigue Points: Fatigue Points (FPs) are explained in chapter 2 of the Core Rules. Before proceeding, you need to calculate how many fatigue points your character might have at any given moment. Add up all FPs your character has from containers and items not in containers. Write that number under Fatigue Points on your character record sheet. Also, as you play, make sure you keep in mind how many FPs your character accumulates from movement. This will matter if he or she accumulates more FPs than his or her Body Stat. Jumping: Whenever a character makes a jump, the player must declare if the character is making a standing jump or a running jump. A standing jump’s distance is equal to one fourth of the character’s movement (rounded up). A running jump is equal to the half character’s movement (write these values in the appropriate blanks). So for Hagron the Dwarf, his standing jump would be 3’ and his running jump would be 5’. If the jump is off by a few inches, the GM should be generous and allow the character to land where the player wanted. Adrenaline has to count for something. Step 8: Repeat As Necessary, Then Go to Step 9 Now that you have created your first character, you should understand the process a little bit better. Remember, in What Lies Beneath, you are not creating just once character to portray, you care creating an entire Troupe of characters to portray. So, whatever value you ended up with Step 1, that is the number of times you must go through the character creation process. Do this by returning to step 2 and going through step 5 until all characters have been finished. After all your characters have been made, designate one of them as your starting character and hand it to the GM. This will be the first character you will portray when the campaign actually begins. The characters handed to the GM in this way will constitute a “party.” A “party” is whatever characters the players are currently portraying. One troupe may have many parties and characters may switch in and out of parties all the time. This only matters when it comes to earning experience points which is further explained in the Chapter 3 of the Players’ Handbook. Once you have finished making your Troupe and choosing your starting characters, it will be time to move on to making your Guild. Step 9: Your Guild’s Charter
Each guild is given a specific task. Think about what type of campaign you, as the players, would like to have. This is what you will write in your Charter. The first order of business is to name your guild. The name can be evocative or humorous, specific or cryptic. Regardless, the name should be something that inspires the group to represent their people courageously in the lairs below. Second, you must decide on an enemy. The lairs that crisscross the Underearth are filled with horrors of every kind of imagining, but within each lair there is usually a predominance of a certain species. It could be undead, goblins, orcs, golems, or something else. Choose one from the list below and write in the field marked “Charge” on your Guild Record Sheet. This is the enemy your guild has been charged with eradicating in your area. Other races and species you may want to Parley with. They are not necessarily the focus of your guild’s expeditions. Froglocks Dire Bats Elementals Goblins Golems Halflings Half-Men Kobolds Myconids Occuli Orcs Spiders Trolls Undead Wraiths Third, you will fill out some other information about your guild. Write your answer to the following questions on your Guild Record Sheet in the appropriate blanks. How old is your Guild? Keep in mind that it has only been 10 years since the end of the great war. So the oldest guilds are only seven or eight years old (years are written as 5 AGW or 7 AGW with AGW standing for “After the Great War). Was your guild founded by a large group of people or a small? Generally, this will be between 20 to 100 people. How many members does it have currently (including your Troupe)? How big it allowed to grow, i.e. what is the maximum number of members? These three things are important. If your guild was formed by a large group of people, then you will be able to start with more resources at the guild’s Keep. If it can grow larger it means you won’t have to split off and form a new guild any time soon. However, keep in mind that building a new guild with a small number of members up to a large and thriving guild is a fun challenge. Don’t be too hasty to just choose big numbers in order to make life easier on yourselves. Next, you will need to create a symbol for your guild. This symbol will be emblazoned on your characters’ clothing and be a standard around which guild members will rally in times of distress. Consider your guild’s name, its enemy, and when it was founded. How can this be represented visually to evoke meaning for you and your fellow players? How can the GM use it to enhance the campaign? Give it some thought, then sketch something out in the Symbol box in the center of the Guild Record Sheet. Finally, you must choose the leadership for your guild. This is critical because each type of leader brings something special to the guild and to your Troupe. Read the descriptions below, select only one, and then write it under the Leadership heading on your guild record sheet.
Dwarven Fighter All characters gain +1 to their Body Stat every 6th level. Angel Templar ROH for all characters resting at the Keep is tripled. Elven Cleric All characters gain +1 to their Soul Stat every 6th level. Human Fighter The bronze piece cost for all non-magical arms and armor and repairs is reduced by 10% Human Thief Money changing and vault leasing are done at no cost for guild members. Elven Beastmaster Food and water rations are given to all guild members at no cost. Satyr Wizard The bronze piece cost for all magical items sold at the keep is reduced by 10% Human Wizard All characters gain +1 to their Mind Stat every 6th level. Angel Paladin All characters gain two additional dice to roll when facing a demon, lich, or vampire. Ogre Fighter All weapons used by guild members do 1 additional damage for every six levels of experience. This will complete your guild’s charter, but you’re not done making your guild yet. There are still many other aspects of this organization that need to be fleshed out before you begin play. Step 10a: Designing Your Keep – The Staff Now that you have the people who make up your guild decided, it’s time to create their living space. This space is known as the Keep. Creating a Keep is a somewhat lengthy process, so if you’d rather get right to play, there is an excellently designed pre-made keep in the Core Rules book. You can use that one and it will serve most of your party’s needs perfectly. If you are interested in creating your own Keep after all, then proceed on! To begin, look back at your Guild Record Sheet. How many members does your Guild have now? If the numbers are high, say 200 or more, then your keep is going to be very large. If the number is lower, say 25 or
less, then your keep is going to be small. For every 10 members, you may choose one of the following artisans to have a permanent shop within the Keep (you may choose the same one more than once): Alchemist Animalkeeper Archbishop Archmage Armorsmith Blacksmith Brewer Carpenter Cartographer Cobbler Cook Cooper Diplomat Distiller Entertainer Gardener Healer Herbalist Jeweler Locksmith Loremaster Mason Merchant Oracle Painter Scribe Sculptor Tailor Tanner Tinkerer Tobacconist Torturer Vinedresser Weaponsmith The following artisans come with each Keep regardless of the number of current members. You may write them down on your Guild Record Sheet. Bar Wench x3 Barkeep Bowyer/Fletcher Groundskeeper Lookout Master of Arms Moneychanger Tower Guard x5 Step 10b: Designing Your Keep – The Facilities
Each of the artisans you chose in step 9a automatically comes with a workshop, storefront, or some other work space built into the Keep for him or her to do their job. Those areas are not open to the public, but are there for guild members to do transaction with the artisans. However, those aren’t the only amenities a Keep has to offer. There are spaces in a Keep that can be used by the public and/or guild members without cost or required transaction. For every 20 people in the Keep’s current membership, you may choose one of the following (you may select the same one more than once): Arena Arms Practice Range Brewery Cemetery Chapel Conservatory Distillery Dungeon Inn Library Lovers’ Balcony Museum Orchard Private Apartment Secret Passage Smithy Smoke House Stables Theater Winery Workshop The following facilities come with each Keep regardless of the current membership. You may write them down on your Guild Record Sheet and incorporate them into the Keep’s Design Sheet. Armory Banquet Hall Conference Room Front Gate Gatehouse Prison Cell x2 Sewage Level Sleeping Rooms Store Room Tavern Towers (x4-10) Vault Wall Step 10c: Designing Your Keep – The Structure Next you come to designing the actual floor plan of your guild’s Keep. Look back at your Guild Record Sheet. How many members founded your Guild? For every 10 people, you may have one story in your structure. Also, for every 5 people, you may have a 100’ section of wall. Use the draw your keep using the Keep Design Sheets or the Keep Templates in this book. Be sure to include work areas for all the artisans you selected in
step 9a and all the additional facilities you chose in step 9b. Be creative. Let your imagination run wild, and collaborate with your fellow players to create a home base for your Troupe that everyone can use and enjoy. Step 10d: Allotting Henchmen Each guild has a certain number of henchmen units that can be hired to complete missions by the PCs. How to hire a unit, extra costs, and unit effectiveness is covered in the Players’ Handbook and the GM’s Handbook. There are a finite number of units per guild: 1 unit for every 50 members to be exact. Once these units are depleted, they cannot be replenished. Use them wisely. Step 11: Assign Player Roles In addition to portraying characters, players are going to be assigned roles and responsibilities. There are a number of extra jobs that must be done in on the players’ side order to make a game of What Lies Below run smoothly. First, you must assign three “Roles.” These roles are Leader, Mapper, and Treasurer. A campaign in What Lies Below works best when there at least three players. If there are exactly three players, each one should select one of these roles. If there are more than three (which is great!) there are two additional roles that can be assigned: Backup Mapper and Historian. Assign them to the remaining players if possible. These roles should rotate at the start of each new session that way everyone has a chance to exercise his or her skills in leadership, cartography, and accounting. Each of these five roles are described below: Leader: Every adventuring group needs one person to coordinate decision making and to be a spokesman for the party. In What Lies Beneath, that person is called the leader. The leader is almost like a player-side GM. The leader’s job is to coordinate tactical and strategic decisions by the player and relate them to the GM. The GM should not acknowledge any suggestions or remarks by any player as the group’s final decision unless the player who made the suggestion or remark was the leader. It may not be entirely clear right now why this is important, but once you begin play and all the chaos of rolling dice, formulating attack strategies, and dealing with background noise comes together, you will see how having one spokesman for the group is a huge advantage. Also, the leader has a special role during combat. He gets to decide initiative. Initiative is the order in which characters take their actions. In many games, initiative is decided by a dice roll or by some value on a character sheet. In What Lies Below, the group works out their plan together then the leader announcing to the GM who acts first, second, etc. This gives crafty players a huge tactical advantage in a fight, and you’ll need it too. The monsters of the Underearth are numerous and deadly. Every fight could prove lethal for the entire party if the players aren’t careful. Mapper: The mapper has, perhaps, the most critical role in What Lies Below. You will be responsible for saving your companions’ lives over and over. Your job is to chart the layout of the lair as your character explores it. The GM will describe the lair in precise detail (using the cardinal directions-NSEW-and distance in feet). It is your job to turn the GM’s description into a visual representation of the imagined dungeon. The GM has a perfect map of the dungeon, but he’s not going to share it with you. Part of the challenge of playing What Lies Below is creating a good map that you and your Troupe can use to navigate the twisting tunnels of the Underearth. As you draw, you will develop your own labeling system for various underground rooms and passages. We suggest that you consult your group mates so everyone is on the same page. But as you go, you should mark some type of identifying feature for each room this way if the group is running from danger and gets disoriented, you will be able to figure out where you are by quickly consulting the map. There is nothing worse than being lost in the Underearth. Don’t be afraid to double check your understanding of the GM’s description and make sure you have more than one sheet of graph paper handy. You’ll need them.
Oh, and one more thing. If you are the mapper for the evening for your play group one evening it is established that your character (or one of your characters if you’re playing more than one at a time) is the one with map ingame. So if another player’s character gets separated from your character somehow, he or she will not have access to the map until they meet again. You may not realize it yet, but that ought to send chills down your spine. The mapper is critical to a character’s survival. As your character maps the lair, he has to have certain items with him. These include some writing device (charcoal, pen, stylus), some writing medium (ink, charcoal, clay tablets), and a light source so he can see what he’s doing. This means at the very least, one of your hands will very likely be holding some type of objectmaybe both hands. Keep this in mind as you are walking through the Underearth. It’s a dangerous place and it is very dangerous not to have your weapons at the ready. Treasurer: As the Troupe moves through the lairs in the Underearth, the characters will accumulate some type of loot. A lot of this loot will come in the form of coins (Bronze, Silver, Gold, etc) but there will likely be other items too like weapons, armor, or magical artifacts. It is extremely inconvenient to try to divvy up this treasure in the middle of exploring a network of tunnels. That’s where you come in. The Treasurer’s job is to keep track of all the stuff the party takes from the lair’s inhabitants or environs. This treasure should then be divided once the characters have some tie to rest and discuss the issue. Ideally, the character or characters played by the treasurer for the evening would also carry the coins and items retrieved from the lair until it is divided. However, as the treasurer role rotates like all roles, it is understood that a character with a very low Body Stat might not be able to carry it all. If such is the case, the treasurer may designate another character to carry something; HOWEVER, the treasurer is still required to be the one to catalogue all loot and to be able to give a full inventory of what has been taken when asked by another character. Backup Mapper: It is not uncommon for a party exploring a dungeon to become separated. This usually is a disaster. However, if a group has both a main mapper and a backup mapper, the odds of survival go way up. The backup mapper’s job is nearly identical to the main mapper’s job. You should try to render the GM’s words in a usable, visual representation of the lair. It is your character that is assumed to have the backup map. You also must be carrying writing materials and a light source to do your job. Historian: As the Troupe explores the lairs, meets the leadership at the Keep, gets to know the artisans, and makes alliances with various NPCs (non-player characters), the amount of information the group needs to keep track of grows immensely. It’s nearly impossible for everyone to remember everything. That’s where the historian comes in. It is your job to write down the names of all the important people your group meets, all the important places they visit, and all of the important discoveries they make. The notebook you keep will become an invaluable resource both to you and to the GM. When the groups need to remember which tribe of orcs in the Underearth is at war with which tribe of halflings, it is the historian who comes through with the answer. When the group needs to remember how the recipe for turning myconid spores into trail rations goes, it is the historian who has it written down. There is no end to what a historian may want to keep track of. It is impossible to list it all, but what follows is a brief list of suggested items you may want to take note of in your journal: -Names of important surface NPCs -Names of important Underarth NPCs -Names of important locations in the Keep or Lairs -Number of kills for each type of monster the group has made -Amount of loot taken during each delve -Intelligence gathered by scouting on the various Underearth factions -Weakness of certain monsters or allies
-Safe zones (or relatively safe zones) in the Underearth -Techniques for scrounging up food, medicine, or water in the Underearth -Favors the PCs owe and are owed by NPCs Each player role is important, and as mentioned, should rotate at the beginning of each session. Part of the fun in playing is having a job to do while the group explores. Being able to take on each role throughout the campaign will give you a more holistic view of what is happening, and that, dear friends, will make you a better adventurer! Step 12: Assign the Books Players are charged with keeping track of three of the rule books that come with What Lies Below: The Character and Guild Creation Handbook, the Core Rules, and the Player’s Guide. If any players were not assigned a Role in step 10, assign one of them to be keeper of the Core Rules or the Player’s Guide. Assign any remaining books as necessary on a volunteer basis. Like the player roles, the keepers of the rule books should rotate at the beginning of each session so everyone has a chance to become familiar with using them. Step 13: Review Look back over your Troupe, Guild, and Keep. Is there anything missing? Would you like to change something? During this last step, you may go back and redo any part of the creation process. However, once play begins, there is no changing what you have. You’ll have to discover solutions and workarounds if any problems arise. Once you and your fellow players are satisfied with your characters, charter, enemies, and keep, you may hand over all your record sheets to the GM. He will use them to design the rest of the setting for you including the lairs you will visit, the non-player characters you will meet, and treasure you will find. Now that you are done with this book, you may give it to the player who was charged with keeping it in step 11. Chances are you will only refer to this tome a couple of times during actual play, so it’s not vital that it be kept on the table. Its main purpose has been served.
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