Ragnarok: Age of Wolves Bonus Material - Four RPG Characters for R:AW!

Clint Staples

Last week I wrote about how to convert RPG characters to RagnaroK: Age of Wolves. Over the next several days, I provided a couple of examples in the comments (Bolverk and Vikram). Here, I am breaking them out into their own post, and adding a couple more to make up a fairly typical party of adventurers. Bow you have a group to run through adventures usign the RAW rules. The idea being that you can add them (or your own PCs) to a larger battle or set of battles that you would find dauting or unplayable with your normal home system.


Are these characters all that their D&D (or whatever RPG) versions would be? NOPE! The goal here is not to make them as nuanced as the RPG versions, exactly because those nuances take up space and time that is unnecessary for the present exercise. Having said that: Want to add your favorite nuance from your character sheet. Go Ahead! I provided a way to use "class-based" abilities with Daghravn's (possible) thief skills - The Rank Check or Challenge.


Essentially, each character has a Rank that denotes their general degree of competance. You make a Rank Check whenever you attack, comparing your Rank (+ any modifier for weapon or spell) to the Defense of the target. Rank Challenges (where each side rolls, and the Attacker needs ot exceed the defender's total) sometimes get used, under another name, for things like Evading, or with Mages. Mages make Magic Rank checks and challenges to cast their spells. And they can make Rank checks to detect magic, sense magical creatures, and similar. To simulate the utility magic of wizard, priest or sorcerer in an RPG, they could make Rank checks to do magical things that do not affect another creature, or have a lasting effect on the environment.


So our priest of Thor could make a Rank check to detect for magic, or as we mention below, to detect giants, because Thor is the eternal foe of giantkind. The priest might also be able to manage other lesser utility effects, like cast light, summon puffs of wind to blow out candles, etc. A wizard could do the same thing with a Rank check, using his spells as a guide for the sorts of things available, or using the spells of th RPG character that inspired this version of him.


For thief-y things, Rank checks could be used to pick locks, sneak, even pick pockets (though this would probably be a challenge against the Rank roll of the target).


Bolverk the Barbarian

Bolverk represents a 1st or 2nd level barbarian in D&D, but could work just as a starting character with a Berserker ability in Runequest or many other RPGs. Bolverk relies on her axe in combat, but carries the shield for those times when she must charge into archery or other ranged attacks. She cannot benefit from it in melee, and discards it upon entering close combat. If she can control her rage, she can hurl javelins from a distance, but prefers to give in to the fury and charge when able.

Regular Light Foot (Rank: 0)

Def 11+1/ Shield

Move 7, Charge 1d6+6"

Great Axe, Class 3, +2 to hit, OK 16

Javelins: To Hit: +0 up to 8", -1 up to 16" to hit, OK 18

Health: 2

Berserker: Many barbarians are able to tap into their primal rage, making them deadly combatants. A Berserker may wear no armor beyond the hide of their totem animal, must charge the nearest enemy in sight if unengaged. Because of the frenzy in which they fight, berserkers have +1 Health, and do not suffer the effects of Wound modifiers.

Berserk Roll: Because we are recreating an RPG "class" with Bolverk, we could allow a Berserker Roll so that the player can reign Bolverk in. This would be a normal 3d6 roll (including the Wyrd Die, because Bolverk IS a Named Character) and adding her Rank (currently 0), with a Base Target Number of 12 that would be modified by circumstances. If she equaled or exceeded the Target Number, her player could have Bolverk move and act freely, instead of as directed by the Berserker ability.

"Leveling Up":
As Bolverk gains Experience, her Rank will rise to Veteran. But she can also gain other abilities that match the model of the D&D barbarian.
- Hide In Cover would allow her to better evade detection, set up ambushes, etc.

- Perceptive represents the keen senses of the barbarian, and would allow her to see hidden threats and opportunities more reliably.



If you would rather have Bolverk as a Fighter, rather than the Berserker build above: Just remove Berserk Heroic Ability, reduce her Health by 1. You might then want to make her more versatile with a Bow instead of the Javelins, or increase her Wargear to Heavy, reflecting the higher Armor Class of most fighters. Raising her to Veteran (either as a fighter or barbarian) would make her an excellent addition to the group below.


Vikram the Wizard

Vikram represents a wizard with some experience under his belt. He might be equivalent to a 4th to 6th level wizard or sorcerer in D&D, but is a good representation of a magic-reliant character in any number of systems. The thing to remember when building magic-using characters in Ragnarok: Age of Wolves, is to concentrate on the spells that A) Define the character; and B) are relevant in a combat scenario.


We are playing a skirmish game, so the focus is likely to be on combat. Other abilities and spells that Vikram has can be reflected with a Magic Rank Check against a Target Number. Spells or abilities that Detect, or provide information, for example, could be a Magic Rank Check, vs. TN 12 for things within 6", and at +2 TN for each 6" beyond.


Note: Mages in R:AW are assumed to have spells that make them more durable, harder to hit, or both, which confer a bonus to defense equal to the Mage's Rank. Vikram gets +1 Magic bonus to Defense as a Veteran mage. Since Vikram forgoes much in the way of physical armor, the better to move about, we will give him the benefit of a bearskin cloak against the cold, which aids in turning the occasional edge as well.


Since Vikram is not a warrior, he contents himself with a Saex in combat, preferring to use his magic to swing the balance in favor of his allies. As far as Spells, Vikram gains one according to the rules for being a Rank 1 Mage. If this is too restrictive when converting an RPG character, we can allow another spell. If we had a particular character we were converting, we could choose the spells, but since we don't, we can roll them randomly and see what we get. The Spell Table in R: AW contains twenty spells, arrayed in a d20 chart. Of course, if you have the R:AW War Deck, you can just deal out two spells.

We draw the following:
Alter Wyrd
Steal Life


Because Vikram is Rank 1, his range for both spells is quite short, 4". He also has his normal roll of 3d6 (including his Wurd Die) +1 for his mage rank to succeed at his spellcraft. This pairing of spells suggests that Vikram will make a good addition to a group of warriors, aiding them and softening up the enemy, but he is unlikely to last long if operating on his own. This reflects the way wizards operate in a lot of RPGs, so that works.


Alter Wyrd is a great support spell, as well as one that can aid a young mage who may not be as puissant in his spellcasting as a master. Within range (4 inches for Vikram) Alter Wyrd allows him to force a reroll on a die or dice roll he does not like. This can be one of his own rolls, an ally's, or an enemy's, and it can affect a roll regardless of the number of dice rolled, and even alter the dice involved in a Rune. The Target Number (TN) of the roll is the value of the roll to be changed. So it works quite reliably if trying to reroll his own or allies low rolls (that would miss or fail), but is less effective against successful rolls (say that an enemy might make). Alter Wyrd is a Reaction Spell, which means he can cast it outside of the Magic and Missiles Phase, in Reaction to the roll he chooses to Alter. He can only cast Alter Wyrd once per turn however, so he needs think carefully about which roll is worth the attempt.


Steal Life is another good spell, allowing him to directly damage the enemy, and replenish his own wounds in the process. With such short range, he is likely to be limited to foes in melee contact with his allies, but he can cut down or weaken a foeman in the Magic and Missiles Phase, which is certain to help his allies in th Melee Phase to follow.

Vikram the Wizard

Veteran Light Foot (Rank: 1 Mage)

Def 12

Move 7, Charge 1d6+6"

Saex: Class 1, +1 to hit, OK 17

Magic: Rank 1
Alter Wyrd, Range 4", Rank 1
Steal Life: Range 4", Rank 1.

Health: 2

As Vikram becomes more powerful, his Defense will improve, as will his Magic Rank and the range of his spells. He will gain another spell with each Magic Rank, increasing his repertoire.



Hathrun the Priest

Hathrun fits the mold for a cleric in D&D, but is just as possibly a warrior-priest for any game, including a gothi as might be found in Ragnarok: Age of Wolves. With this dual purpose in mind, we will make him a Priest of Thor, for which his hammer suits him exceptionally well. If we wish to make him more like his god, we could allow him to throw his hammer, using the Ranged Weapon stats for: Axe. He could well be Heavy Foot instead of Medium, but we will leave him Medium, to allow him to get around a little more quickly. Hathrun is equipped with a shield, so he has the ability: Shieldwall, which he can use if two others of his party are so equipped and within range.


As a Gothi, we are making Hathrun a Rank 1 Mage, which means he can use his Mage Rank as a roll to detect magic and sense other things. As a Thorsgothi, it makes sense that he might specifically be able to sense Giants, the ancient foes of his deity. But he might also be able to manage minor effects like produce a field of little lightning arcs from his hammer, enough to light a darkened area, but not sufficient to increase damage or OK.


Since we are going for a particular feel with Hathrun as a Thorsgothi, we will select his spell, rather than rolling randomly. For his first spell, going with the D&D cleric notion, we will select Heal. This will make him a terrific support character, who can also dish it out and take it fairly well. He might also have chosen Lightning (reflecting Thor’s Hammer of Thunderbolts: Mjolnir), Wolfcoat, renamed Mantle of Might (simulating the legendary toughness of Thor), or even Summon Air Elemental (Because Thor is the Storm god). All of these are great additions as Hathrun grows in experience.  


Hathrun Thorsgothi

Veteran Medium Foot (Rank 1)

Def 13+1 Shield

Move 6, Charge 1d6+4"

Hammer: Class 2, +1 to hit, OK 17

Thrown Hammer, +2 to hit up to 6”, -1 to hit up to 12”, OK 16

Magic: Rank 1
Heal: TN 10/14

Heroic Ability: Shieldwall

Health: 2


Hrafna the Scout

Hrafna is an excellent hunter and archer, lightfooted and able to take shelter quickly. She makes a pretty good scout too. With her bow, or pair of saexes, she is a good combatant at range or up close, but will do best if she doesn’t have to stick around too much. If we want to worry about her ability to open locks, and steal things, we can allow her to take rogue-y actions by making a Rank Challenge (+1 for Veteran), against the Defense of a target, or a TN of 12 or higher, depending on the complexity of the lock or situation.

Veteran Light Foot (Rank: 1)

Def 12

Move 7, Charge 1d6+6"

Bow: +1 up to 12”, -1 up to 24”

Saex: Class 1, +1 to hit, OK 17

2nd Saex: Class 1, +1 to hit, No OK

Special Abilities: Two Weapon Fighting, Hide in Cover

Health: 2

Hrafna could carry a shield if there were sufficient member of her group that they could benefit from the Shieldwall ability, but ehe is probably better using both Saexes, ideally while flanking her opponents (which grants him bonuses to hit, and to Outright Kill, AND means she is less likely to be attack herself). With experience, Hrafna might rise to Elite, equip a Warbow for extra punch and range, and maybe add a little more armor (Medium Foot).