[Storming the Wizard's Tower] Character types and so on

edited January 2009 in Play Advice
I love Vince Baker's games. I love them! They are like frosted sugar cookies. (My favorite kind of cookie).

I was all set to start a fantasy campaign of some sort with my sometimes gaming group, and there was discussion over whether we would use Savage Worlds or give Burning Wheel another try. But now that Storming the Wizard's Tower is sort of available, it is all I want to run.

I know this game is extremely new, but I figure if anyone has any thoughts/ideas, it will be the Story Games posters.

1. I am converting an old homebrew D&D setting (more for nostalgia's sake than because it is extra cool), and setting up character types is fun, in a very old-school "I'm a DM doing game prep beforehand" kind of way. Instead of giving each character type one ability, I gave each one a choice of two. I tied that in by giving each type exactly two "Don't play this if you have a low X of a low Y". The two ability choices come from the two attributes.


You are a street-dweller, wise in the ways of the town's secrets, treasure halls and back alleys.
Don't choose this if you have a low skill or a low perception.
Choose 3 gear, 3 maps, 1 arms, 1 from any list, and 1 person.
Ability: Choose Quickness or Danger Sense

Does anyone foresee any problems with this? It seems like a little more fun, and I suspect that the traditionalist players in this game will appreciate the "customization" angle, and the rigidity/elegance of choosing one of two attributes to "focus" their character around.

2. There don't seem to be any hard and fast rules for the "Choose these things..." section of the character types. I lifted mine directly from the various examples in the game text, but maybe I missed something.

3. Are there any APs online for this game? Or, more usefully, perhaps, any write-ups that include someone else's character types?


  • When we played, I had a class which had "choose any sword skill" as a starting ability. That was ... hard. It took longer for me to choose than it took for me to make the rest of my character.

  • I am running StWT right now. I haven't had time to post an AP.

    I considered doing roughtly what I think you're doing, which is to make StWT a vehicle for old school D&D play. I thought about this a lot, and then decided to run town setup as written in the book and not try to make my game a D&D game. I did it becuase the game is so new, and I just wasn't sure it would work. But now that I've run a game, I'm really enthusiastic about doing it your way. Running our game felt almost exactly like the way I run a game of Moldvay D&D. The only difference was that the system works with you all the way, instead of just part of the way.

    My only advice is to pay careful attention to how the character classes mesh with the setting. There are some things that StWT does that you need to make sure your game does.

    First, create a town that has resources and needs. What's readily available in your town? What does your town need? What are the threats to your town?
    Second, make sure the classes integrate with your setting. Why are some people in this town theives? What do theives who aren't adventuring do? Is there a Thieves guild around or something?
    Third, make a list of local people like it says in the game.

    This will all make it much easier to create adventures. None of it's anything specal. DMs have been doing this stuff for ages in D&D, it's just that StWT makes it an explicit part of the game.
  • I'm not explicitly making it a D&D game. I'm following the outline in the book. But instead of creating a town from scratch, I'm creating a StWT version of a home base from an old D&D campaign.

    I guess posting the "Thief" character type was misleading. My other character types for this game are Marshal, Ranger, Reaver, Hedge Wizard and Trader. (It's a "merciless frontier" kind of game). I just picked the Thief as a random example.

    Although I don't think that making the old red box D&D classes/races as character types for an StWT game would really change anything. It seems well within the context of the rules. With the exception, as you point out, that it doesn't really say anything about the setting.
  • There in lies the whole magic of Storming the Wizards tower.
    The way you make the game yours by incorporating your own color with the rules and making it fit together. This is such a simple, elegant and solid way of tying everything together.

    I am prepping (in between a very hardcore life) my own StWT game, Frostgard: tales from the Dragonstone coast, And the character types available there from the get go are:
    Swordthane (leader of men), Einherjar (rightous dead given life again), Beserker (rage of ancestors), Gjester (spy and agent of justice), Herul (keeper of the old ways) and Volve (seeress) which are all tied in to the post-raganrok nordic vibe I have going.
    All of this arose organically from the procedure in the text and totally without house-ruling. I love this.

    I haven't played yet, so I can not say whether this customisation-option really has a point, but I belive that having enough character types this shouldn't be necesssary. It is like vincent soprt of says in the Q&A about magic, specifically domains. You just need to make each one interesting enough in itself and you shouldn't have ot worry too much about game-balance. Same can be said of the character types. You begin like this, develop the character in play. The concret mechanical difference between two apparently similar characters can be made with what you choose from the lists, or simply with color. It won't be long in play before there will be a difference.

    I think...
  • I agree. I really love the creation of setting-specific character types. It's fun for the GM, it doesn't take too much away from the player's ability to craft their own character, and it communicates a lot about the setting. (I only mentioned the D&D classes because my foolish use of the "thief" example made Tony think I was trying to re-create old-school D&D more explicitly)

    One thing I'm interested in seeing is more people's character types, both for inspiration and to compare my own to. Kaare, yours sound cool. I'd love to see the complete write-ups, if they're posted online somewhere.

    This also seems like something that could be done *with* the group, instead of beforehand. Sort of a campaign-burning session. Although I'm not planning to do that with this game.
  • First off, Kaare, your setting sounds like pure awesome. (shout out to Tony, too, but i'm in his game so i can say it's awesome to his face.)

    Second off: I actually dumped the responsibility of creating character types onto my players (i'm attempting to learn the game for Indie Hurricane in Portland). My ally Lukas M. came up with an awesome set of your necessary archetypes based on adventuring breeds and the setting (done with some excellent research, i might add). He did a great job, and, i'd like to think, it added the bonus of letting at least one of the players create a sort of wish-list for what he'd like to play. I fully intend to make Types for Treasure later, so he won't miss out on the cool factor of reading through a list, too. If you'd like i'll post them in detail, or email them to you. It's a fantastical version of northwestern America/southwestern Canada surrounding the peoples of a Tribe in the Blackfoot Nations. It's had some...hurdles to overcome...but it's working...yeah...i think...
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