The Fellowship of the... Something?

Making a thread to talk about Fellowship stuff.

Playbooks! So many playbooks. Some of my personal favorites:

The Harbinger: Wizard! Because of course I love wizards.
The Elf: Space elves with spaceships and lasers! Could possibly battle wizards.
The Squire: Because sometimes you want to play the plucky sidekick and two of their agendas is literally called “Friendship is Magic” and “Adventure Time.”
The Collector: Because I really liked Bill’s Pactrat Dungeon World playbook and I feel that you could reskin this to fit that playbook’s flavor easily enough.
The Exile: Different sort of wizard! (But could just as easily be Aang from Avatar, down to the “hunted down” tropes associated with it.)

What sounds interesting to you folks?

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It’s hard for me to assume anything but Standard European Fantasy as the context for this stuff, given the obvious touchstones the game draws on. So some of this is going to deliberately push away from that. Since I don’t know enough about the playbooks, here’s some hot takes on all of them.

The Dwarf: sounds like a tank. “Greedy Dwarf” is boring to me. The other two angles they present are Artisan Dwarf and Earth Dwarf, so not breaking any new ground (ha ha, get it,… anyway). Theme song: Veteran of the Psychic Wars

The Elf:

The Halfling: actually sounds like a good candidate for low-level fairy folk. Feels plucky but with an undercurrent of tragedy or potential tragedy. We laugh to keep from crying. I’d go watch “Fiddler on the Roof” for inspiration. Theme song: L’chaim

The Harbinger: the multi-purpose Magic People. Grab something from TVTropes’ Witch Species page and go nuts. But it’s too vague for me to drill in on a specific interpretation just yet.

The Heir: feels like the default protagonist of the group, how do you get away from that? I feel like some limitation on the character, some unique hook or plot angle, would be needed. I’d love to do it something like The Princess Escort with this playbook.

The Orc: the illustration looked distressingly like blackface when I first looked, that’s awkward. I enjoy subversions of “orcs are bad” and I’d love to see an orc champion or hero, or a member of a race of orcs that uses war constructively - what about an orcish Rome?

The Squire: The Beacon.

This was actually the route one of the players from Six Feats Under’s Fellowship campaign took the playbook with Poptart the River Frog spirit.

I had a similar thought the first time I saw that piece of artwork. It did not translate to black and white well and… it wasn’t a great piece in the first place.


Some more fun stuff. The level up mechanic is highly interesting.
No XP, just level up as often as you do the things the game wants you to do and as quickly as the group also want the Overlord to level up. Since the Overlord is a player, they are usually going to be the Overlord’s pick for who levels up (unless they aren’t a valid option). Also means that the Overlord doesn’t quickly out level the Fellowship.
Interesting, but will need to see how this works out for a long term game.

Almost forgot one of my favorite bits, you recover best by sitting down for a meal with your friends (or go for a picnic).
If that isn’t excellent use of the genre conventions, I don’t know what is.

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Any bonus for singing while eating?

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Only if one of your companions is the Halfling. :stuck_out_tongue:

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I’m not sure what the Kickstarter “basic” vs. “powerful” playbooks are but I assume we’d be confined to basic. Onward then!

The Beast: FFXIV’s Beast Tribes have given me a lot of fodder here, I’d probably clone one of their cultures as a starting point.

The Collector: I’d probably create something like Ginko from Mushishi. Less goofy backpacker, more “mysterious traveler with a box full of mysteries”. Theme song: Mushishi no THEME

The Constructed: Tio, Emeralda, and Sophie have taught us that in video games, the robot has to be a cute emotionless waif. I’ve spent enough time in Summer’s head to disapprove of that stereotype, but I’ve also played a subversion: a clockwork shaman called Experiment 36, in another game. I’d want to think about what to do with this playbook.

The Lantern: this just looks fun, it’s a small playbook with a single versatile gimmick.

The Rain: Slime Girl

The Tinker: I’m a fan of powered armor and mecha in general, and fantasy stuff too. I enjoyed Escaflowne and would probably do something more like “steam knight” than the gnome/goblin/kobold options presented. Alternately, there was a fantastic “fantasy prosthetics” thread a long time ago - elves with limbs made of wood, that sort of thing - that would work nicely. Either way, someone with a strong code of honor, using their machinery for a purpose. Then again, I already played Leo, so?

The fact that the halfling can ride a giant spider is horrifying in the extreme and I will never mess with a halfling again.


Powerful playbooks are ones with restrictions. The common restrictions are “you can only have a max of 1 bond with each person” and “you can’t take a destiny playbook.” There might be more I can’t recall at the moment. The Harbinger in the core book is a Powerful playbook.

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The Nemesis/The Redeemed: Alycia.

The Exile: “traveling witch” sounds fun. FFXIV’s Shadowbringers gave us a truly marvelous colony of dwarves whose peculiar habits would spark imagination for me, so this would probably be the lighter comedy-relief option, but I’d have fun with it.

The Dragon: Hot Mess. No, seriously, that’s what I’d play.

The Remnant: The Ghost. I’d play the shit outta this.

The Spider: Yeahbuwha?

I am not seeing those playbooks on the thing I have, so I’ll have to bug my dad in the morning about them. Still, from what I was seeing they all look really fun and I’m excited to see where it all goes.

For the extra playbooks, look in Discord under #general for a message reading “Fellowship books” and a Google Drive link. It’s “Book 2” and “Book 3 Kickstarter Books”.

Awesome, thanks! More stuff to play around with.

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Another favorite mechanic, paying the price.
A lot of moves (and failures) will tell you to pay the price, and you get to decide exactly what that means. Fighting a giant troll and need to keep them busy while someone else sets up something to finish them? Maybe your sword breaks in its tough hide, its swipe damages your armor, or the fight is so discouraging that it damages your Courage.

Lots of fun choices.

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Also an important question to remember for session 0: tone and level of fantasy. Just to make sure everyone’s on the same page.

Because while I’m more than okay with a scene involving an injured comrade trying to tell their friend it’s fine, they don’t need to keep shouting asking if someone can break their twenty so they can buy a healing tonic out of a vending machine, I don’t know if everyone is.

You know, I’d probably be more than happy to run the SEF kind of thing, because I find that kind of thing fun.

But … my eyes were opened just in reading in the intro to the book the idea of “or Avatar: The Last Airbender” (which we just finished bingeing) to realize how flexible the concept/system is.

So I’m fine with people bucking that and seeing what interesting things we can do (or are interested in). I also feel better about what I was thinking of doing, and got some additional ideas of how to do it in the notes below.

(As I noted elsewhere, I’m jazzed that, as with Masks, I have an idea that I’ve already seen how I can fit into multiple playbooks. That strikes me as a good sign.)

I downloaded what came from the purchase at DriveThruRPG. I’ll have to take a look at the others.

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Yeah, those extra playbooks are going to be included in the next two Fellowship books: Inverse and Rebellion. Inverse Fellowship is mostly ready to publish, they’re just waiting on all the art to come in to finish the book. Book three is a bit less finish and as I check the Kickstarter update, I noticed this message:

Next month, I’ll be sharing with you the completed 2nd edition updated playbooks from book 3 - the Ogre, Dragon, Spider, and Remnant have all had some pretty big changes. Look forward to it!

So maybe don’t get super attached to those playbooks, because I might have different versions of them by next week.

Okay, well, let me toss this out there …

So I was considering what sort of character I wanted to play (and considering as well how to make such a character flexible enough to find play opportunities in multiple scenarios), and slowly lit on the idea of …

Puss in Boots.

Or, in general, a diminutive[1] cat person[2], a doughty warrior and/or a sneaky thief. Someone who laughs at danger (but knows when to ably scamper out of the way). Determined, but self-indulgent; fastidious and egomaniacal, but also noble and proud.

And, the cool thing is, depending on what aspects I want to emphasize and go with, or how the rest of the party chooses playbooks, I can see ways to fit him into the Elf (graceful, mysterious, touching the world lightly), Halfling (tiny, troublemaker, sneaky, Sting like a Bee), Heir (honor, royalty, How Dare You!), or even Orc (the little killing machine and agent of chaos). Heck, I could even see a Squire of sorts (considering the original folk tale).

And that’s just looking at the Basic playbooks …

Anyway, that’s what I’m sort of thinking of. If that serves as inspiration to anyone.

[1] Not truly cat-sized. Halfling-sized. Small enough to be discounted … once.
[2] I did consider a Cat Girl, but thought Doyce would damage his eyes rolling them so hard.


Depending on how you want to modify the initial concept, you could also play that character as the Pair. Daring swashbucklers inspired by the Three Musketeers (in fact, one of the options makes it a Trio instead of a Duo), you could go for a Master and Apprentice role of swashbuckling kitties, or even more exotic pairings…