The Vagabond’s Cyclopedia: an OSR + PbtA Supplement
A massive character-centric expansion for Vagabonds of Dyfed RPG. Tables, tools, and new rules for PCs and GMs alike!
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, December 27 2018 6:00 PM UTC +00:00.
The Vagabond’s Cyclopedia is an enormous character supplement overflowing with hundreds of new character rules, tables, guidelines, and suggestions on how to play as a vagabond. While it’s designed specifically for Vagabonds of Dyfed, it’s still useful for other fantasy adventure PbtA or OSR roleplaying games.
Already know all about Vagabonds and just want to see why you should buy the Cyclopedia? Keep reading. Have no idea what we’re talking about? Scroll down to the What is Vagabonds? section.
- Playing as a vagabond
- Character generation tables (traits, descriptors, etc)
- Seven new lineages and eight new archetypes
- Over 100 new techniques
- New rules for wealth, reputation, magic rituals, and more
The Cyclopedia is a player-facing, character-centric expansion. The majority of the book is built to make it easier and more interesting to run characters, expand your library of available options, and give you new tools to use for your vagabonds.
An essay on vagabonds: guidance on how to play as a “vagabond”: a grave robber, a wandering miscreant, a bannerless mercenary compelled to plumb dark pits for plunder and face demonic forces for the thrill of it.
Tables and tools: random tables and generators for each of the six character traits, dozens of descriptors, inspiration for roleplaying, random core flaws, and even a semi-abstract way to come up with fresh character concepts you wouldn’t have on your own.
Advancing beyond level 6: new rules for high-level play including how to handle powerful characters and deal epic damage. Wipe out entire swaths of enemies and strike fear into hordes with a single roll!
New archetypes: there are eight new archetypes -- fully pre-made characters that include all of their traits, techniques, and equipment. Pick up and play as the Inquisitor, the Visceralist, the Monk, or others in a matter of seconds.
New lineages: seven new lineages to hail from, giving new options, special abilities, and characteristics for your vagabond. Play as the rodent-like nezumi, the planar-touched ichoroid, the powerful minotaur, and more.
An abundance of techniques: techniques are an enormous part of Vagabonds gameplay, defining your character beyond simple modifiers. The Cyclopedia adds over 100 techniques in all manner of categories and levels of complexity. These flavorful entries are a combination of entirely new subsystems (such as crafting poisons), tried-and-true “moves” (such as recruiting new retainers), and straight-forward mechanical and narrative cues (bonus to damage; never fail at certain actions; consider this as that, and so forth).
The Cyclopedia introduces technique “trees,” which allow you to invest more heavily into a specific type of action or ability. Even further, some techniques produce entirely new modes of play, such as the Warhound technique tree.
Warhound allows you to train and leverage a highly capable canine companion, with special rules that combine elements from equipment, techniques, and NPC allies. Ever wanted to play as a ranger with a trusty wolf in your pack? Now’s your chance.
Not just for the PCs, the Cyclopedia gives GMs tons of rules and tools on how to better flesh out their world and non-player characters. The tables in the PC section serve double duty as useful inspiration for ad-hoc NPCs; but in addition the Cyclopedia supplies new rules for:
Reputation: the PCs will develop a reputation, and the Cyclopedia breaks down how different NPCs react. Further, the party’s infamy and glory can be tracked, making their impact on the world more obvious. Burning down the Royal Guard’s capital ship? The Crown has a bounty on your head, but the Freebooters of the Skull Isles love you for it.
Connections: a quick method to determine if a PC has any known NPC allies, relationships, or networks in the area. This can be used to somewhat randomly (but consistently) generate a complex web of relationships. The PCs are vagabonds after all; they’re likely to have tumbled through most salty towns at some point or another.
Expanded allies: the rules for “allies” have been significantly extended. Each ally can have a framework of special benefits, tags, and even ways to advance and improve over time.
Sometimes the tried-and-true core rules just don’t cover off on everything. What happens when the party’s amount of silver becomes difficult to track? What’s the outcome of a raucous celebration? How can the party’s dark sorcerer delve more deeply into the arcane?
Wealth: the Cyclopedia contains a simplified and abstracted way to represent a character’s wealth, how to leverage these riches, and how it can easily change based on their actions and assets. Want to bribe your way to a seat at the Council Table? Roll +wealth.
Rituals: spells and magic in Vagabonds of Dyfed are pretty flexible and abstract, with only a few techniques to go off of. We’ve included rituals to greatly expound upon the nature of casting large scale spells, including a highly detailed “requirements” subsystem which includes things like materials, time, sacrifice, and so forth. Wither entire farmlands, strike down armies, or curse the Emperor (all it’ll cost is some dragon fangs and the blood of an innocent).
Critical damage and injuries: it’s easy for vagabonds to start to feel pretty invincible after their first few adventures; likewise some GMs struggle to appropriately penalize their PCs for getting knocked to 0 HP too many times. The Cyclopedia’s critical injury rules make combat significantly more deadly and wounds more permanent -- lose limbs, go blind, crack ribs, and more.
Carousing: what’s all the silver in the world worth if you can’t throw an insane party? The Cyclopedia contains rules on carousing, a new form of downtime activity. Carousing uses the basic “move” core mechanic, but leverages how much silver you’re willing to toss into having a memorable night. Each time you carouse, you roll on a series of tables to determine what maladies, mishaps, or happy coincidences you wake up to the next morning.
- Black and white, square format, two columns
- Internally hyperlinked and bookmarked
- Print on demand from DriveThru RPG
- Black and white, square format, two columns
- Heaviest paper available at DT
We’re sticking with our format for other Vagabonds products -- 8.5” x 8.5” square format, black and white interior, softcover color exterior. We order the heaviest paper we can to ensure the best print-on-demand durability available.
The book’s layout is meant to be easy to reference at the table or to print out a page or two at a time to use as a handout. With two columns (except for some tables) and plenty of white space, it’s easy to quickly find what you’re looking for. And since the PDF will be fully bookmarked and internally linked, your digital games will be speedy.
Wait, What's Vagabonds?
You can pick up Vagabonds of Dyfed and its supplements during this Kickstarter for a reduced, bundle price.
We hate to send you to another page, but the DriveThru listing does a very thorough job describing the game. If you’d rather not be bothered to go through all that (we can’t blame you!) then here’s a quick outline:
Vagabonds of Dyfed is designed to emulate old-school rpgs with streamlined mechanics. It focuses on “traditional” emergent storytelling and fictional positioning, while leveraging a cut-down Powered by the Apocalypse mechanic.
Vagabonds picks the pockets of greater games: World of Dungeons, Lamentations of the Flame Princess, Barbarians of Lemuria, Blades in the Dark, City of Mist, the Black Hack and the White Hack, and of course Moldvay’s venerable Basic.
- Less swingy and random than most d20 games
- Easy rules for tactics, clever approaches, and problem solving
- Players roll everything (usually)
- A single roll for attack and damage (which scales)
The game is (mostly) mechanically compatible with OSR retroclones, but benefits from a non-binary PbtA style system.
- A single PbtA “move” core: 2d6 + mod, tiered results
- Player-generated traits instead of playbooks or attributes
- Genre-appropriate special abilities and magic
- High character lethality (low HP, old school damage)
- Strong GM authority (permissions, GM adjudication)
Basically, we set out to make World of Dungeons on steroids and came pretty close.
We've released two other supplements for Vagabonds that you can purchase as part of the "Pack" reward in this Kickstarter: Dortoka and Stjernheim. Each are specific settings with Vagabonds-oriented rules and tools. More on each below:
Dortoka: City on the Sea of Glass is a city-building toolkit and adventure module designed to work with Vagabonds of Dyfed. Because of its origin, it’s semi-compatible with most OSR systems (such as B/X and Labyrinth Lord) and PbtA games (such as Dungeon World).
Inspired by magical post-apocalyptic settings like Dark Sun mixed with fantastical and wild cities like Vornheim, Dortoka is a compact supplement that lets you build your own incomprehensibly massive fallen metropolis.
As a product built for Vagabonds, it comes with additional mechanics -- a new lineage, new techniques, and guidelines on psionics. While made for a specific game in mind, these rules are easy to port into your game of choice.
Stjernheim: Siege on Deepknell Hold is a nordic fantasy sandbox adventure. It includes a new lineage, new techniques, and new monsters designed for Vagabonds, as well as over 30 pages of non-linear adventure and full map illustrations.
In this adventure, the PCs become entangled in a contest between three factions battling for control over an ancient and abandoned dwarven ruin: Svartalyd (which some translate as “deep sound” or “deep knell”). This adventure features giants, undead dwarves, ancient weapons of magical mass destruction, cabals of cannibalistic druids, political hate triangles, stranded wizards, fort sieges, and more.
The Cyclopedia is completely written, edited, and is churning through illustration. Once all of the art is complete we'll begin layout. Typically we like to get our books further along before a Kickstarter, but we're absolutely cramming this book with beautiful art from multiple artists and want to ensure we can pay them well up front (hence the longer fulfillment period than is typical for SSP).
Like most of our Kickstarters, we’ll be leveraging the efficient and reliable fulfillment from DriveThru RPG. We’ll send you an at-cost print code and a free link to the PDF once it clears the proofing process. We’re estimating that print will be about $10 USD plus shipping for the Cyclopedia and the core book, and about $5 for Stjernheim and Dortoka.
Basically, you pay once through Kickstarter (that's how SSP gets its money) and then you pay again (to DriveThru) if you want to order a print copy. If you never want a print version you never have to order one or spend any additional money.
Risks and challenges
This is our tenth Kickstarter, and the project is all but complete. If something befalls the folks in charge of creating the game, we'll either find replacements or refund everybody.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter