So, I’ve finished writing the main text of Bridewell, with only the maps to go. I’ll do another editing pass to my satisfaction, and then I’ll want to playtest it with myself as GM. I’ve been playing mainly Trophy Gold lately, and I’m really enjoying it as a system. Trophy Dark has a free SRD – check it out!
Trophy feels mismatched to a module like Bridewell, because in Bridewell the company and the PCs are intrinsically self-directed, and Trophy Gold is story-directed by means of free meta-game information and set adventure goals. On reading, though, I think that mismatch was overstated in my mind compared to Trophy Golds’s rules. I’d already started thinking about it, though, so here are my changes:
- Replace drive with Why do I want to get back home? And modify your choice from the list accordingly.
- Burdens are reduced to 1 when you arrive in Bridewell. You can take on new burdens in Bridewell and your burdens return to you if you escape.
- Choose a class, if you wish.
- Fighter. Purchase armour with gold rather than burdens. Do not take a burden for armour at first level.
- Magic-user. Purchase rituals with gold rather than burden.
- Priest. Take Channel, Hospitality or Heal at character creation. Do not increase your ruin for this ritual.
- Thief. Do not choose a ritual at character creation. Choose a skill related to thievery in addition to your other skills (for example obfuscation, traps, trickery, stealth). Do not increase your burden for this skill.
- A new spell, Heal. Heal another of their an injury in exchange for equal injury.
- Exchange 1 hunt token for an asset worth 1 bag of silver.
- Exchange 3 hunt tokens to achieve a goal or learn a secret.
And that’s it. Less changes than I honestly expected. My reasoning behind these changes:
- You’re driven to escape not entirely by gold in Bridewell, so I don’t want a burden-heavy group on the outset
- Because initially everyone has the same drive (escape), it becomes a why for similar characterisation purposes.
- I like character classes. This version is just a free thing, and having more things to play with is fun in Trophy Gold.
- Priests need a Heal spell, but there’s a reason Trophy Gold didn’t have one in the first place. I thought this was a reasonable trade-off, effectively exchanging conditions or ruin.
- In Bridewell, assets (things you can use) are as important as gold, and they don’t take up your backpack space. “Bag of silver” is just the Bridewell unit of money.
- There are no set goals, so goals will be set ad hoc and as a group. This is rules as written in Trophy Gold actually, but in practice it tends to just be “can I skip to the next set please”.
- Secrets are an addition, because I think that in a campaign, secrets are treasure.
I think Bridewell should be playable in anything from Trophy to OSE to Fifth Edition, but admittedly one advantage to Trophy is that I don’t really have to stat anything in advance, although I’ll probably do it retrospectively so that I can include it in an informal “Do you want to run Bridewell in Trophy Gold?” Bestiary.
So, any thoughts about my minimal Trophy hack?
5th May 2023,
Addition: Changed the fighter a and wizard class concepts. Here are the originals:
- Fighter. Do not choose a ritual in character creation. Choose a skill related to fighting in addition to your others skills (for example strength, hunting, intimidation, tactics). Do not increase your burden for this skill.
- Magic-user. Take Bolt, Ward or Mirage at character creation. Do not increase your ruin for this ritual.