Here is a map of Harrowfaust. It is beautiful.
My special thanks to Kristy, who did the heavy lifting on illustration. Also, to StarRaven, who made the brushes Kristy used in Photoshop. This map would be nerd-scribbles without their expertise.
I provided the background, with the settlements and cultural elements. Here’s a document to help you run Harrowfaust!
Here is Jack Shear’s original!
To get a proper Gothic vibe requires a bit more risk and darkness than the standard Old School Hack system provides. I want old salty pirates with limbs missing, I want characters with scars who can tell their stories, I want blood magic and flesh prices.
So there’s a 10% chance of being crippled if you run out of Wounds. Don’t be a crybaby.
(Also, you can take a talent to help overcome each of the various injuries you can sustain–so your character should still be quite playable.)
Zora are fish people. I do not personally find them very compelling, but in a way that made for an even more interesting challenge in creating a playable template for them. When I was finished, I had something I think would be interesting to have at the game table.
Boy, the Zora go through a LOT of identity crisis through the various Zelda games. I nod to that briefly in the template.
This is the last race template, but it’s far from the end of the Legend of Hyrule material!
So are these mysterious figures Hylian, or something else? Fortunately, with the template model, I don’t have to decide. The point is, when you become Sheikah, some changes happen to you.
These shadowy protectors of the royalty are a great character class; pretend to be a Hylian as you go about your business, but use shadow communication with others of your kind, sniffing out and eliminating threats to the throne without drawing undue attention… And if there is a quest of some kind, you’ve got a reason to go along.
Here is a great set of possible Sheikah, by Split Heart. Cool stuff!
So you want to be a Gerudo Desert King? Or maybe you want to play Zelda? You want access to the magic of the Goddesses? Have I got the document for you!
Remember, this is not THE Hyrule. No such thing. In my opinion, every game has its own continuity, and they are all best served if they don’t try to connect. The legend is played out in the multiverse across time and space and realities. So, please come in and have a great time in THIS Hyrule.
Personally I think it would be awesome if you had three players and each one had a Tri-Force and connection to royalty. Go big or go home, right?
Royalty of Hyrule
I was inspired by Simon’s post here. I thought, “It would be awesome to play a spider.” The key word there being “awesome” which leads us back to Old School Hack, where you can do things that are awesome.
I thought it would be fun to play a big spider. Then I thought it would be even more fun to play a big spider that was a mount for a hobbin or a deep goblin. There was a serious case of the “and then!” syndrome, where you want to pile on all the stuff spiders get from the Arsenal of Nature. I stopped at 10, though I could have kept going.
An interesting balance note: they have 10 templates, but they can’t use any of them by spending 3 Awesome Points to access it off the template directly. They are physical changes. So you can customize your spider, but not have a generic spider that can grow and retract features. I thought it was an interesting balance.
So here is a huge terrifying spider you can play in Old School Hack.
The Web Walker
As I looked through “The World Between” I knew that for how I design I needed some kind of framework for history. When demons, gods, dragons, monsters, and humans are all mixing it up across geopolitical borders, having some sense of scale is immensely helpful. So, I generated 7,000 years of history so as I continue in the adaptation I can situate conflicts across centuries and millenia, mountains and rivers of time and space and physical matter. Good times. We will explore implications later, but for now, 4 pages and 7,000 years are enough to digest.
History of the World Between
The weapons and equipment of the Zelda games are iconic and oft-reinterpreted through the series. Converting to a role playing game, the possible use of various items can change dramatically. How to keep the function and flavor of the item intact enough that you have a similar play experience, managing the medium shift? Well, that’s part of the fun of statting things up for Old School Hack.
Here are magic weapons and enchanted items and regular tools for the world of Hyrule through the lens of Old School Hack.
Hyrule Weapons and Equipment
So Jack Shear did 12 strange familiars here. Then Evan expanded it with 8 more here. I decided to add 80 more, so now we have a percentile chart.
I took the basics from AD&D, dropping a couple I didn’t like. I added in all the ones from Jack Shear and Evan, then I added cute animals, movie jokes, normal animals, fanciful creations, and bugs, then gave the whole thing a big twist of creepy. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.
So familiars are an overlay template, granting additional supernatural power and limitations. Wizards who don’t focus on building up their familiars still get a deal, but if you boost their functionality with talents, you can get a really scary suite of abilities tied to the critter.
Hey! Let me know which ones are your favorites in the comments, please.
As a final note, if you enjoy what I do here, please drop by Stuffer Shack’s Site of the Year competition and vote for me!
Characters encounter things face-to-face that are viscerally, intellectually, and sensually overwhelming. It is not desirable or appropriate for the player to be faced with those things, but it is also not quite appropriate for the player to decide a character can shrug off the effects of overwhelming stimulus in the game. A middle ground to manage that distance is a system for terror, horror, and madness.
I already did a sanity style system for Tentacular Hack on page 11, here, but this is a conversion of Jack Shear’s method for D&D and the World Between.
Terror, horror, madness