Old-school British hack

Wargod! is a rules-light tabletop RPG that vibes off the British old-school renaissance (BOSR). You'll play fools, scoundrels, and commoners thrown into a grim world of dark sorcery and foul monsters.

Version by R.G. Wood. Inspired by Warlock!, The Black Hack, Quiver & Fable, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, and Dungeons & Dragons.

Characters

Characters are defined by Stamina, Skill, Luck, Careers, Proficiencies, and Equipment.

Advances

Advances are gained in character creation or through play. You gain one Advance at the end of each session.

You can spend an Advance to increase a Career Proficiency by +1, or increase your Stamina by +2.

You can also Change Career by spending 2 Advances. To do so you must possess the Trappings of the new career.

Proficiencies

Proficiency Description
Bash Talent with bashing weapons, such as clubs. Also covers brawling with your fists.
Body Ability in feats of strength, agility, and coordination.
Bully Talent for intimidation, and getting your way through sheer physical presence.
Craft Artisan knowledge, for the crafting of weapons, and other items.
Dodge A cowardly talent for dodging attacks.
Intuit Intuition and insight. Useful for detecting lies, or reading character.
Invoke Ability to channel otherworldly forces, and knowledge of matters arcane.
Know How knowledgable you are, such as in the subjects of history, religion, etc.
Lie How good a fibber you are.
Notice Situational awareness and perceptiveness.
Perform Storytelling, dancing, singing, and talent in all manner of entertainments.
Persuade How charming, persuasive, or commanding you are.
Shoot Training with ranged weapons, such as bows and crossbows.
Slash Training with slashing weapons, such as swords.
Sleight Nefarious skill for picking pockets, disarming traps, or picking locks.
Sneak Skill in hiding, and moving without being seen or heard.
Stab Training with stabbing weapons, such as daggers.
Survive Knowledge of tracking, foraging, animals, geography, and navigation.
Tend Healing ability, including ministrations of herbs and remedies, and knowledge thereof.

Careers

Roll a d66 to determine your starting career.

1-1 Agitator

Proficiencies: Bully 1, Know 2, Persuade 2, Lie 1, Sneak 1, Stab 1.

Trappings: Cloak, Dagger,and Seditious Writings.

You are a rabble rouser. Perhaps an anarchist, heretic, or revolutionary. You sow dissent, give subversive speeches, and perform devious acts of sabotage. And worse...

1-2 Apothecary

Proficiencies: Invoke 1, Intuit 1, Know 2, Notice 1, Tend 2.

Trappings: 1d6 Remedies (Advantage on Tend Tests), and Alchemy Kit.

A purveyor of remedies, tinctures, salves, and cure alls. All prepared with strange chemicals, obscure herbs, and no small amount of know how.

1-3 Apprentice

Proficiencies: Body 1, Bash 1, Craft 2, Know 1, Lie 1, Sneak 1.

Trappings: Artisan's Tools.

You are apprentice to a skilled artisan. You spend your days learning your trade, and avoiding your chores.

1-4 Artist

Proficiencies: Craft 2, Intuit 1, Invoke 1, Notice 1, Perform 2, Persuade 1, Lie 1.

Trappings: Artist's Tools.

You are a painter, playwright, sculptor, or some other undiscovered maestro. While talented, you while away your days in gentile poverty waiting to be noticed by a wealthy patron. As you decline into obscurity, your dreams become unsettled and your art takes on darker themes...

1-5 Beggar

Proficiencies: Bash 1, Dodge 1, Lie 2, Persuade 2, Notice 1.

Trappings: Black Penny (token of fellowship with the Beggar's Guild, don't lose it!).

The streets are filled with the destitute and penniless. You are one such unfortunate, always looking for an opportunity to improve your lot.

1-6 Boatman

Proficiencies: Body 2, Bash 1, Craft 1, Slash 1, Notice 1, Survive 1.

Trappings: Bashing Weapon, Fishing Line, Lantern, and Rowing Boat.

The river folk live a fair life, plying goods and peoples along the waterways. There is a camaraderie on the waters that shore folk can't understand.

2-1 Bounty Hunter

Proficiencies: Bash 2, Bully 1, Notice 1, Shoot 1, Slash 1, Survival 2.

Trappings: Bashing Weapon, Medium Armour (4), Manacles, Slashing Weapon, Crossbow, and Warrant (worth 1d6 Silver Coins when executed).

Where there is life, there is crime. And where there is crime, there are those willing to pay for criminals to be brought to justice. Its a rough trade, but it pays well. Doesn't earn you many friends though...

2-2 Burglar

Proficiencies: Bash 1, Dodge 1, Lie 1, Notice 1, Sleight 2, Sneak 2, Stab 1.

Trappings: Cloak, Crossbow, Dagger, Lock Picks, Piece of Jewellery (worth 1d6 Silver Coins to the right fence), and Rope.

You are a scurrilous thief. What more is there to say? Do better!

2-3 Clerk

Proficiencies: Bash 1, Bully 1, Dodge 1, Know 2, Perform 1, Persuade 1.

Trappings: Bashing Weapon, Important Writings, and Ink and Parchment.

With civilisation comes learning, the need to keep records, and track accounts. And with such needs, come clerks and students. A lot of them. Young, away from home for the first time. And likely to cause trouble.

2-4 Entertainer

Proficiencies: Body 1, Lie 1, Perform 3, Persuade 2.

Trappings: Fancy Costume, Mummer's Paint, and Musical Instrument.

You might be a minstrel, travelling mummer, or just a raconteur. You travel around, plying your trade for whatever coin you can, and breaking a few hearts along the way.

2-5 Fanatic

Proficiencies: Bash 1, Bully 1, Intuit 1, Invoke 1, Know 2, Persuade 2.

Trappings: Flogging Whip, and Religious Writings.

Only you can see what a fallen place the world has become. The streets run black with filth. Sinners abound. But fear not! Your righteous call to arms can set things right.

2-6 Fey Exile

Proficiencies: Invoke 3, Know 1, Notice 1, Shoot 1, Slash 1.

Trappings: Fairy Token, the Seem (1) spell, and 1 other Spell.

The fey are not like us. They neither reap nor sow. They are not born, and neither do they truly die. They are tales given form. Spirits of nature. Inhuman, capricious, and mercurial.

Those that incur their disfavour are banished from Faerie. It is an ill fate, and those who have seen the wonders of the Gentry soon fade away in the drab world of mortals...

3-1 Footpad

Proficiencies: Body 1, Bully 2, Bash 2, Slash 1, Sneak 1, Stab 1.

Trappings: Cloak, Leather Jack, and Light Armour (2).

At night the cities go dark, the roads empty... and you prowl. Looking for easy prey.

3-2 Gambler

Proficiencies: Dodge 1, Persuade 1, Lie 2, Notice 1, Intuit 2.

Trappings: Cards or Dice, and Debt Owed (worth 1d6 Silver Coins if recalled).

There is only one true game. The stakes are always the same. You can only lose in the long run, but you keep playing...

3-3 Grave Robber

Proficiencies: Body 1, Dodge 1, Sneak 2, Notice 2, Lie 1, Stab 1.

Trappings: Cloak, Lantern, Spade.

What use do the dead have for wealth? That's what you ask yourself each night as you disinter the dead so you might steal what was buried with them. And try your best to ignore the strange noises...

3-4 Hermit

Proficiencies: Invoke 1, Intuit 1, Know 2, Notice 1, Survive 1, Tend 2.

Trappings: None.

You abjured civilisation, to live alone and ponder the mysteries of the world. Only civilisation came looking for you...

3-5 Hunter

Proficiencies: Dodge 1, Bash 1, Notice 1, Shoot 2, Survive 2, Tend 1.

Trappings: Thick Hide Clothes (Armour 3), Longbow, 1d6 Traps, and Slashing Weapon.

You live at the edges of civilisation, hunting prey for their furs and meat. It's a simple life, perhaps even peaceful.

3-6 Initiate

Proficiencies: Intuit 1, Invoke 2, Know 2, Lie 1, Sneak 1, Stab 1.

Trappings: Dagger, Occult Writings, and 1 Spell.

You are a seeker of forbidden truths or worshipper of hidden gods. You know enough get in trouble. But not enough to get out of it.

4-1 Labourer

Proficiencies: Body 2, Bash 2, Craft 1.

Trappings: Tools.

Good, honest work. That's what you were always told would see you through. But it hasn't, and so...

4-2 Miner

Proficiencies: Body 2, Bash 2.

Trappings: Lantern and Pickaxe.

There is another world beneath this. Vast, dark, and empty. You've seen a glimpse of it. Even come to an agreements of sort. But you wouldn't want to live down there...

4-3 Mercenary

Proficiencies: Body 1, Bully 1, Bash 1, Dodge 1, Know 1, Slash 2, Stab 1, Shoot 2.

Trappings: Medium Armour (4), Slashing Weapon, Bow, and Mercenary Contract (costs 1d6 Silver Coins to break).

For you, war is not only good, it is your bread and butter. You travel where the coin takes you, switching sides as and when it becomes profitable.

4-4 Mountebank

Proficiencies: Dodge 1, Intuit 2, Lie 2, Notice 1, Perform 2, Persuade 1, Sneak 1, Stab 1.

Trappings: False Papers.

All it took was for you to travel a few miles from your home before you realised: you can be whoever you want to pretend to be!

4-5 Noble

Proficiencies: Body 1, Shoot 1, Slash 1, Persuade 2, Know 2.

Trappings: Fine Clothes, Fine Longsword, and Royal Seal.

You are noble born. Perhaps a courtier, indolent scion, or even a prince or princess in disguise.

4-6 Novitiate

Proficiencies: Bash 1, Invoke 1, Know 2, Persuade 1, Tend 2.

Trappings: Holy Symbol and Religious Writings.

You are a humble petitioner, taking vows and lessons so you might fully serve the Temple as a priest or adherent.

5-1 Outlaw

Proficiencies: Dodge 1, Bash 1, Lie 1, Shoot 2, Slash 2, Sneak 1, Survive 1.

Trappings: Shortsword, and Warrant (worth 1d6 Silver Coins to whomever captures you).

You are a wanted man, an exile. You are not just a criminal, you are walking evidence that not all things under the law are just...

5-2 Pedlar

Proficiencies: Bash 1, Craft 1, Persuade 2, Lie 1, Survive 1.

Trappings: Bashing Weapon, Mule, Wagon, and Sack containing assorted wares worth 1d3 Silver Coins at market.

You are a travelling merchant, selling your meagre wares in markets across the kingdom.

5-3 Rat-catcher

Proficiencies: Bash 1, Know 1.

Trappings: Bashing Weapon, Small Dog and 1d6 Traps.

Where there is civilisation, there are rats. And where there are rats... you get the idea. You lurk in the sewers, hunting rats for a meagre bounty. It is filthy but steady work. Still... you can't help the feeling you're being watched down there...

5-4 Ruffian

Proficiencies: Bash 2, Body 2, Bully 2, Dodge 1, Intuit 1, Notice 1.

Trappings: Bashing Weapon and Light Armour (2).

You are an enforcer, body guard, or racketeer. Your impressive talent for violence and intimidating demeanour make you a natural. You don't have many friends though...

5-5 Sailor

Proficiencies: Bash 1, Body 2, Craft 1, Know 1, Perform 1, Notice 1.

Trappings: Bashing Weapon.

The open seas. Refuge of the restless, the pariahs, and the mad. Sea travel is a risky business. You've seen... things out there in the waters. You'd best live for the moment when you're in port, because the next trip could be your last...

5-6 Servant

Proficiencies: Know 1, Intuit 1, Notice 1, Tend 1.

Trappings: Livery.

Some lead. Most serve. You live to serve the needs of the wealthy. No matter how depraved...

6-1 Smuggler

Proficiencies: Bash 1, Bully 1, Dodge 1, Lie 2, Notice 1, Sneak 2.

Trappings: Stabbing Weapon, Lantern, and Rowing Boat.

You play an elaborate game of cat-and-mouse with the authorities, sneaking contraband past excise men by whatever means you have.

6-2 Soldier

Proficiencies: Body 2, Bully 1, Bash 1, Slash 2, Stab 1, Shoot 1, Tend 1.

Trappings: Stabbing Weapon, Bow, Medium Armour (4), and King's Coin.

You heard the call, took the King's Coin. You serve at his pleasure, defending your fellows. Its grim work and it once filled you with pride. Yet now you're beginning to realise you're not exactly fighting for a noble cause...

6-3 Squire

Proficiencies: Body 2, Bash 1, Dodge 1, Slash 1, Stab 1, Shoot 1, Survive 1, Tend 1

Trappings: Stabbing Weapon, Light Armour (2), and Oath to Knight (suffer your reputation to break).

You are squire for a knight, trained in the martial arts in exchange for serving. One day you will join the ranks of a knightly order... you hope.

6-4 Traveller

Proficiencies: Bash 1, Craft 1, Dodge 1, Know 1, Intuit 1, Notice 1, Perform 1, Survive 2.

Trappings: Bashing Weapon,Caravan, and Horse.

The wandering folk never settle in one place for long. They travel the land plying their trades, often suffering severe mistrust for this...

6-5 Watchmen

Proficiencies: Bash 2, Bully 2, Notice 2, Shoot 1.

Trappings: Bashing Weapon, Light Armour (2), Lantern, and City Warrant (to carry out your duties with authority).

Who watches the watchmen? Not many, it turns out. Not that you're open to bribes or such....

6-6 Woodsman

Proficiencies: Body 2, Craft 1, Slash 2, Survive 1.

Trappings: Axe.

You toil to satisfy mankind's insatiable hunger for timber. It's hard work, and it gets lonely out there. In the woods. By yourself...

Rules

The Rules consist of Tests, Contests, Testing Your Luck, Attacks, and Combat.

Tests

A Test determines the outcome of an action performed under stress. To make a Test choose a relevant Proficiency and roll a 2d6. If the result is equal to or less than your Skill + Proficiency you succeed.

Sometimes conditions will be favourable, or characters will be especially well prepared. In these situations, the GM can award Advantage. When you make a Test with Advantage roll 3d6 and keep the lowest.

Conversely, sometimes situations will be unfavourable and the GM will penalise a roll with Disadvantage. When you make a Test with Disadvantage roll 3d6 and keep the highest.

Contests

A Contest determines the outcome of an action opposed by another character. The GM chooses a relevant Proficiency and both participants roll a 2d6. Each participant adds Skill + Proficiency to their roll. The highest roll wins. The outcome of draws are determined by the GM.

Testing You Luck

The GM can ask you to Test Your Luck to avoid a trap, spell, or some other situation not covered by the rules. Make a Test with your current Luck to avoid the hazard. Whatever the result, you lose a point of Luck. You regain all Luck at the end of an adventure.

Attacks

When you attack a target, make a Contest using the relevant combat Proficiencies (Bash, Shoot, Slash, or Stab).

If you win the Attack you deal damage to your opponent's Stamina. If you fail, they launch a counter-attack and damage you. The amount of damage depends on the Proficiency used:

Bashing 1d3
Shooting 1d6
Slashing 2d6
Stabbing 1d6

Where reasonable, Armour reduces the damage taken by a hit. The amount is listed with the armour description. For example, Leather Jerkin (Armour 2) would reduce the damage to Stamina by 2. Typically, Armour comes as Light (2), Medium (4), or Heavy (6). Magic Armour may offer stronger protection.

Combat

Combat is divided into rounds. For every round each character can take one action. Actions occur in the following order:

  1. Shoot or Stab
  2. Bash or Slash
  3. Everything else
  4. Invoke

Combat continues each round until one side wins.

Magic

Whether reciting a prayer to your god, or calling upon otherworldly sorceries, all magic uses the same rules.

You can only cast spells you have learned. To Cast or Learn a spell pay the Stamina cost and make an Invoke Test.

To select a random spell roll d66.

1-1 Blast (4)

A blast of otherworldly power deals 2d6 damage to an opponent of your choice.

1-2 Counterspell (2)

Counter a spell targetting you or an ally.

1-3 Heal (2)

Heal 1d6+3 Stamina to yourself or an ally.

1-4 Illusion (4)

You can create an illusion the size of a human, and no more. It lasts 1d6 rounds.

1-5 Seem (1)

You can change your appearance to that of another human-like being. This lasts until the end of the session.

1-6 Ward (4)

A protective ward surrounds you or an ally. It provides 1d6 Armour for 2d6 rounds.