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Mörk Borg Cult: Heretic – RPGBOT.News S2E32

Show Notes

In this episode of the RPGBOT.News, we discuss Mörk Borg and the recent supplement Mörk Borg Cult: Heretic, both from Free League Publishing and Stockholm Kartell. We explore the setting, themes, and mechanics of the award-winning Mörk Borg RPG, and then dig into the new Mörk Borg Cult: Heretic supplement.

Special thanks to Free League Publishing for providing review copies of both Mörk Borg and Mörk Borg Cult: Heretic.

If you’ve enjoyed the show, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts, and rate us on Spotify or your favorite podcast app. It’s a quick, free way to support the podcast, and helps us reach new listeners.

Materials Referenced in this Episode

Transcript

Random  00:20

Welcome to the RPGBOT.News. With me it Tyler Kamstra

Tyler  00:25

Hi, everybody.

Randall  00:26

And Random Powell.

Random  00:28

Good evening.

Randall  00:31

Also, I’m Randall James. Tyler. What’s happening

Tyler  00:33

today we want to talk about Mörk Borg. We also want to talk about the recent supplement Mörk Borg Cult colon Heretic.

Randall  00:42

It’s not cult-colon-heretic.

Tyler  00:46

It’s cult, there is a colon, and then heretic. I’m sure we’ll explain that in a minute. So for… also, I’m gonna… real quick pronunciation guide. So it is spelt M, O with the two dots above it. O R K.

Random  01:02

That’s called a diacritic.

Randall  01:03

I thought that as an umlaut.

Random  01:04

Umlaut is specifically the U with a diacritic in… german.

Randall  01:09

I’m being more specific than… anyway, in German. Okay, well, we’re done.

Tyler  01:12

We’re learning things. All right, so, M, diacritic, R K B O R G. And it’s not pronounced “Mork Borg”. It’s actually pronounced “Merk Borg”, as I learned, like, what, 20 minutes ago? You will most likely search for it on the internet as Mork Borg, but it is pronounced Merk Borg. So for-

Randall  01:32

And its Swedish for…

Tyler  01:33

Its Swedish for… “Dark Fort”.

Randall  01:36

Dark Fort.

Tyler  01:36

Very specifically not dark fortress, which we also learned about 20 minutes ago. So all kinds of translation things. Great. For folks not familiar with Mörk Borg, we want to describe Mörk Borg and what makes it different from our other RPGs that… certainly that we have played and that many other people may not have played. It’s a very interesting game. It’s got a lot of cool stuff in it. If you’re completely used to D&D, and that’s the only thing you’ve ever played, tis is going to feel very different. But it’s got a lot of cool stuff and I think it’s worth checking out.

Randall  02:09

Absolutely. So here’s the deal. I was super jonesed to read some of this content from the back cover. Having just heard Random’s voice, Random, I would like it if you read this thing from the back cover because it’s awesome.

Random  02:20

A doom metal album of a game. A spiked flail to the face. Rules light, heavy everything else. One day all blacken and burn, just as the two-headed basilisks have predicted. The world is dying. Time is short. How will you face these last days? Robbing graves for soil-stained wealth? Or facing down the apocalypse, hoping it can be fought? The game can be super dark. It absolutely won’t be suitable for all folks. However, the creators take care to be inclusive.

Tyler  02:57

I think we added that part.

Random  02:59

I don’t care.

Randall  03:03

No. Okay, so right. You heard that awesome rendition. Thank you, Random. We’re all better for having heard it. Yeah, I mean, the game can be super dark, it can be super punishing. Quite literally. And even like a lot of the… a lot of the content and a lot of what we’re actually going to talk about in this episode. Some of the stuff could be disturbing. Some of the stuff would be things that just bluntly aren’t for everyone. Right? A lot of death and decay. A lot of depression. Like it is a hopeless world. That is the game you’re playing, and there’s no getting away from that. So if you’re a person who says like, that’s not for me, this game is not for you. What I was really impressed by when you look through their licensing. So one, we talked about Mörk Borg Cult. Merk berg cult… Mörk Borg Cult is the publishing program for third party content. Basically, if you want to write content, you can submit it. And certain content is actually selected by the author’s group. They’ll go through and they’ll do the editing, they’ll do the layout, they’ll do the art for it. They’ll turn your idea for content into a free module available on the website for other folks to go and grab. And occasionally they do these Kickstarters where they say, Okay, we’ve got a lot of great stuff. We’re going to tie it together, and we’re going to release a new product. We’re going to put out a physical book with content created from the community program. And I thought that was awesome. Like to me that’s, that’s amazing. So this is the second one they’ve done. Mörk Borg Cult: Heretic. And when you look at the licensing, this is the thing I kind of wanted to get to. They actually have this statement. Remember, make it dark, depressing, weird and cruel, but let everyone partake in the suffering. Be sure to avoid sexist, racist, homophobic and transphobic tropes and themes in your content. There’s plenty of that crap in the real world already. The world of Mörk Borg doesn’t need it.

Tyler  04:51

That’s a great note on inclusivity. We’ve talked about the importance of inclusion in previous episodes. The fact that they’ve made a world that is as dark and brutal as you can possibly get and not had to resort to capitalizing on real-world traumas, real world bigotry, essentially, they haven’t had to use any of that stuff and just that alone as a setting is a fantastic example for other creators out there.

Randall  05:20

Yeah, I think absolutely. I mean, what I will say there’s plenty of dark stuff there. Yeah, absolutely. But it isn’t necessarily, you know, taking whole groups of people and kind of making it something that folks aren’t going to enjoy. So yeah, I think that’s pretty cool. So I think what makes sense, let’s talk a little bit about like, the world of Mörk Borg in general. And then maybe we could step in and we’ll talk a little bit more about heretic. Her- heretic. I said it right this time.

Random  05:43

Tou did it. Okay. And actually, while we’re talking about language for a second, I apologize. It’s a diaeresis, not a diacritic. All of them are diacritics. The accents. The circumflexes. Diaeresis. Anyway.

Randall  05:56

Folks at home, we’re gonna have link in the show notes. Don’t worry.

Tyler  06:00

Bet people didn’t expect a linguistics lesson from this one.

Randall  06:02

Yeah, it’s happening. It’s gonna happen. Cool. So it was a little bit alluded to in the reading that Random gave us a bit ago, the war the world of Mörk Borg. There are, and this is confusing until you read it in writing, but come with me for a moment. There are two basilisks. Each of the two basket discs, have two heads with their own personalities. Pop quiz. Random, how many heads

Random  06:27

We have four head-basilisks.

Randall  06:29

Four heads on two baskets. You got it? Okay, good. We’re all on the same page. One of them basically gave a prophecy that predicted a whole bunch of terrible things that would happen, including the sun would stop rising. And at this point, the sun has already stopped rising. And the culmination of these prophecies is the end of the world. These folks were building a temple, church, or cathedral. And they found these prophecies and are like, whoa, this one basilisk egg, not the whole basilisk. Wicked smart. We should build a church around him. So there’s all kinds of jealousy for the other casilisk head. The basilisk head, this one in particular, so Verhu is the one who told the prophecy, got all these things written down and such which were eventually discovered. So now everybody’s worshipping him. You know, there are cults of worship around this. The rumor is that Necrubell, ancient god of like misery and agony, like literally is misery and agony manifest as a God, is the one who told him all these things. And so in general, most folks, except the, you know, in parts of the world, the church dominates everything. If you say anything that opposes the basilisk, like folks will literally hunt you and do very bad things. It’s a bad time. Many folks believe that there is a way to stopping what is to come.

Tyler  07:42

Is Verhu one of those people?

Randall  07:44

No, he just really likes the gold and the worship. He’s super into it. Like, that’s… very much into it.

Tyler  07:50

So there’s a god of misery, who maybe told a basilisk here’s all the bad things that are happening in the world is going in, go tell everybody else. And then everybody else found out. And now they’re all miserable because the world is ending. That feels very on brand for a God of misery.

Randall  08:09

It’s funny, you say that, it may be that the language of the text was very specific. My reading of it, what I took away, it wasn’t necessarily that Necrubelle told Verhu, like, go tell these stories. So that you know all can know, and this sort of thing. It could have been a secret, like it could have been something he wasn’t supposed to do. But then he did it. And now we’re here.

Random  08:26

I feel like at the point where the sun has stopped rising, the vast majority of people are going to be clued in that something’s wrong.

Randall  08:34

I don’t, I don’t know. From the way the world has described, it may have not been great to begin with. And more of just like, what now? Which, okay, so speaking of what now, one of the coolest mechanics and I really don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this in any other tabletop that we’ve looked at or talked about, or certainly that I played. One of the mechanics is you pick a die to roll at the beginning of your campaign. So you can pick a d2, you can pick a d20, d100, kind of up and down the gambit. At the… at each dawn in a world where the sun doesn’t rise, and we’re going to skip over that for now. We’re not gonna… we’re not gonna worry about it. But at each dawn, which maybe is every time you wake up after after a long rest, perhaps, the GM will roll the decided upon die. And if you roll a one, you read a misery. These miseries are things that torture and change the world forever. So at this point, the world will be just a little bit more broken having rolled it. A good example: so the lake and brooke shall black and the water become tar. So now the Game Master gets to interpret that and say, Okay, maybe there were rivers, maybe the rivers are tar now, maybe everybody’s gonna be super dehydrated. You know, that’s the answer is like now like water is a scarce resource. And if you don’t find water, you’re gonna die. Civilization is going to collapse even further. That could be your interpretation of it. Or it could be like, this particular river is now garbage but the other rivers are good. So now there’s gonna be a migration of people. As a GM you get to work that into your story however you want to. But the punchline is, let’s say you pick the d2. You’re gonna flip a coin every day. If it comes up heads, you read a misery. The world gets worse six times- worse six times. On the seventh, the world ends. The campagn is over.

Tyler  10:15

So in theory, you could have a game that starts, runs, and ends in seven days in-game.

Randall  10:24

Yes. 100%

Tyler  10:26

Dang. You’re right at that apocalypse. Just… it’s like, ah, world ends next Tuesday. What are we going to do until then, boys?

Randall  10:35

Well, and one of the key things of the worship is… your goal, like, you cannot give in to despondence. Your goal is to be alive and face the end of the world as a living being.

Random  10:48

I absolutely love that. One interesting thing. So you see that that’s unlike anything that you’ve played or talked about. And while that’s largely true, there is actually a real parallel to Dot Dungeon, which we talked about back in the adapting media to tabletop RPGs. It is intended to basically be like you, as this group are playing this video game, which will make more sense when you read it, like, but as a group over the summer. And so you get this statistic as a party called connection, which is basically, like, how much you are able to manifest yourself in the game. And it naturally decreases as you go through combat, as you take damage, essentially. And you can get some back, but you can never get all of it back as you’re losing it. It specifies in the rules when you run out of connection, that’s the end of the campaign. And then you basically do a retrospective. If you really liked that aspect of it and power un-fantasy. Dark, the Swedish settings is not your thing. Check out Dot Dungeon. It’s great.  Awesome. Cool. Cool. Cool. So yeah, kind of rolling back to this, like you have the different dice rolls. If you do the d2, obviously, I think you’re effectively saying as a group, let’s play a quick campaign. And of course, I think we always say this, if it’s fun, and you’re the GM, maybe sometimes it makes sense to fudge a roll if you’re trying to like, if you want to you could literally get together for a very long day. And one shot a campaign naturally. Like, it’s going to end as it’s meant to end. And I think that would probably actually be a lot of fun.

Tyler  12:20

Yeah, I’d call that a fun day. Okay. But how many characters would I go through in that… in that amount of time?

Randall  12:25

All of them. Just come with the stack. Light the fires as we go? Yeah, no, I think… let’s talk about violence. Is everynody excited to talk about violence?

Tyler  12:33

Yeah!

Random  12:33

Eh.

Randall  12:34

So in, in the Mörk Borg core rulebook, the combat section is titled as “violence” and it rolls through everything. I think there’s a few things I want to hit on here that I thought were, again, kind of unique. There aren’t a lot of games that I’ve seen that do this. Some do. So let’s hit some of them. So for one they do side initiative. That’s not crazy. Lots of systems use side initiative. What was interesting to me, is you roll… your your player characters. Your players, the characters, don’t roll dice, that’d be weird. Your players roll dice to attack, melee or ranged. They also roll to dodge from being attacked. So if a character gets hit, it is the players fault for being bad at rolling dice.

Tyler  13:17

I’m dead.

Random  13:17

I foresee dice jail being much more used here.

Tyler  13:20

Yeah, I’m dead in this game already.

Randall  13:23

Yeah. Well, it’s interesting to me because your, your game masters often, depending on what’s happening might fudge a roll here or there, might fudge a little bit of damage, this sort of thing. But this is a real situation where like, you can’t do it, because that person is going to roll. They’re gonna show everybody, you know, they’re gonna show the folks in the rest of the party. And it’s like, yeah, you started with two HP. And you just took a brick at the face. Good news is, Harry is now dead. Larry is waiting in the other room. Let’s welcome him in. And we get to try again.

Tyler  13:52

So for people coming from, like, D&D Fifth Edition or third, fourth, Pathfinder, any of those games where you generally start with more hit points than that. 2 HP. That’s a real thing, yes?

Randall  14:04

Absolutely. So you affordability scores, one of them is toughness. Your starting HP would be toughness, plus a d8. Your toughness modifier to start might be minus two. So you’re guaranteed to start with at least one HP. And I think as a human being, you should not, you should not do that to yourself. But yeah, we did a little bit of play testing in the random character that Tyler rolled using the really awesome online tools and we’ll have links in the show notes to that too. In the random character of Tyler rolled, he came in with 2 HP. In the very first round of combat, I wasn’t even paying attention to that. I just said Yeah, sure, this this creature is going to attack Random’s character. Dealt three damage to Random, and Tyler’s like… oh actually dealt three damage and you had armor. So it actually would have been five damage to Tyler, in which case and you know, towards violence and towards the brutality. You have 2 hp, you take five damage, your character is dead. If you go negative and hp in this game, dead. If you go to exactly 0, 1 out of four times, dead. The other three things are also terrible.

Tyler  14:34

Yeah, that wasn’t great.  So just just for a sense of scale, you start with d8 plus toughness hit points. Toughness can be negative at first level. How much damage does, like, a sword? Somebody stabs me with a short sword. How much damage does that do?

Randall  15:25

A short sword. Okay, so good podcasting, I had to actually find the graphic of a… humanoid. I’m gonna say humanoid. In the Borg Sourcebook with all of the weapons you might use to fight somebody just piercing the person and then their damage dice are labeled by it. So that’s the graphic you have to find. It’s like, Okay, well, that’s a staff upside his head. That’s not okay. The short sword is going straight in his face. And it’s d4. The d4 damage dice.

Random  15:55

Excuse me, I think you mean a shört swörd.

Tyler  16:00

So I might start with two hit points. A short sword does a d4 damage. So on average, I’m dead if I’m hit once.

Randall  16:09

Correct.

Tyler  16:10

Cool.

Randall  16:10

Now the good news is you could get yourself some light armor as long as you don’t intend to use powers.

Tyler  16:15

Okay, so… So kind of like old editions of D&D where like, if if you were wearing armor, you couldn’t cast spells.

Randall  16:21

Yeah, if you’re wearing medium or heavy armor. That’s actually one of the cool things that came out in Heretic, and we’ll talk about that in a little bit. Maybe makes this a little bit softer. And I actually thought that was a really cool thing. So yeah, I’m glad this is coming up. Absolutely. So we can’t cover everything. I want to talk about a few more things that I thought were really cool here. One of them, again, I’d never seen this, an idea of morale. So longtime listeners of the show will remember we had Keith Ammann on to talk about, you know, The Monsters Know What They’re Doing, the Monsters Still Know What They’re Doing. The players are idiots. That’s not what the book is called. What’s it called?

Tyler  16:53

MOAR The Monsters Know What They’re Doing and then Surviving to Tell the Tale.

Randall  16:57

Perfect. Okay. One of the things that he talks about in his books. he talks about in his blog, and he talked to us about is intelligent creatures want to preserve their own life, right? Stupid creatures will. like. march in and they’ll die immediately. And that’s, that’s reasonable. But if an intelligent creature has the ability to run, and they realize they’re outmatched, they’re gonna get out of there. Okay, so this is actually, you know, it’s a rules light system, but it is actually codified in this system. A lot of creatures have an idea of morale. And there’s different triggers where the GM should make a morale roll. So let’s say it’s a group of enemies fighting and over half the enemies have been killed. The rest of them should make a morale roll to surrender, run away, or keep fighting. If a single creature has a third of its HP left, again, you know, same game. Roll the die and let’s see, do they run away? Do they surrender? Or do they flee? With that the book has built into it cost for a lot of creatures. If you kill a wraith, you might take the corpse of a wraith, which actually don’t know what that looks like. That’s interesting. Salt? Who knows? You can bring that and you can sell it for a little bit of silver or if it surrenders, you can actually bring the living wraith and be like here you deal with this and somebody will give you more money to leave them a live wraith than they will a dead wraith.,Wwhich is basically, it’s an opposite Scooby Doo. If you think about it.

Tyler  18:13

Here let me sell you this problem.

Randall  18:15

Exactly. The one that really got me was there was a there’s a in the core rulebook, there’s a wyvern. Big, big snake monster. Big snake monster. Super challenging. It has a surrender. So I’m imagining you with a leash on your giant pet snake, loggung it to tell like, I’m gonna make a lot of money! Everybody just clearing out of the way like, this person is insane. But yeah, so you can make money. Like, there’s actually a motivation to not always kill everything you fight. Just because it’s bleak and dark, you don’t have to go straight murder hobo and the motivation is money.

Random  18:51

Wait. I’m sorry. So are we saying that the motivation to not murder hobo is instead selling creatures?

Randall  18:57

Yeah. I mean, it’s… Yeah. Okay.

Tyler  19:01

That feels even more murder hobo-y.

Randall  19:04

Yeah, I think the saving grace here is like most of the creatures… I’m suddenly imagining the, like, the scale of, like, pets to food that you occasionally see.

Random  19:16

That’s a PETA billboard?

Randall  19:17

Yeah. So mostly like you were born as a pet. You can probably give it a great life like feed chickens. I bet there’s chickens in this world. Probably skeletal chickens. They poison you, unless you’re a snake monster. But the point being I thought that was a cool mechanic the idea of like, no kidding. These are the rules for when you should, as you know, have an enemy surrender and give in. One more thing that I want to talk about in the base rules, because this blew my mind. The getting better section. I finally noticed that as I read it as I was, I was rereading it. In tiny little words next to it, it says “or worse.” Getting better or worse. It isn’t leveling up. It’s not advancing. It’s… good luck with this. So the way that it works, you get more hp. When, you know, your… something happens, let’s say you find a lot of treasure, you kill a monster, you close an arc, you do something cool in the story. The GM says, Everybody, let’s get better… or worse! You get more hp. So roll 6d10. If the result is equal or greater than your current Max, HP, you get to add a d6, else, nothing happens. So early in the game, you’re almost certainly like, you’d have to be very unlucky to not be adding HP. And I think that would go for quite a while until you hit some stable, like, maybe 20 or 30. And then expectation values being what they are, sometimes you’re not gonna get the head that the six.

Tyler  20:37

Yeah, that makes sense. And sounds like you max out somewhere in the mid 60s.

Randall  20:42

Yeah, I think I mean, with perfect rolls, right? You could roll the 60 If you had 59 health and then get to add a d6. So that would put you at 65 tops.

Tyler  20:52

Yeah. Okay, that that feels like a decently huge amount of hit points in this game. Compared to 2.

Randall  20:58

Now, you earn hit points back. Like, resting doesn’t give it back to you efficiently. I think it’s more it’s closer to what you folks have talked about in like 3 or 3.5 days as far as regaining hit points. It’s certainly not a magic wand. I think… So many rules.

Tyler  21:12

Gritty realism… gritty realism, if gritty realism had a gritty realism variant.

Randall  21:17

Yeah, it’s the gritty realism that gritty realism people are afraid of.

Random  21:23

Wonderful.

Randall  21:24

Yeah, in fact, so you can take what we would think of as like a short rest, you know, they say catch your breath, have a drink, you can restore d4 of HP. A full night’s sleep only restores d6 HP.

Tyler  21:35

Oh. That’s not a lot. So like, if you’re up at that, like 60, whatever maximum, you’re going to take, like, you’re going to take until the world ends to recover if you’re playing short game,

Randall  21:45

Quite, quite potentially. And there are other items, there are powers that can help gain your HP back more quickly. But then those come with risk. It, literally, you could wind up worse off for having used them.

Tyler  21:56

Oh, great.

Randall  21:57

Sometimes the result: death.

Tyler  22:02

Here’s a band-aid. 1 in 10 chance of just killing you.

Randall  22:05

Using powers in general. If you fumble if you roll a natural one, there’s a catastrophe table that you roll on. And one of those catastrophes is one of the basilisks just shows up and eats you.

Tyler  22:11

I can think or worse ways to go out I guess.

Randall  22:20

I mean, it’s up there. It’s… You, you have to think that that’s up there, right.

Random  22:24

I mean, if you think about the theme of this game, though. If that’s the way you die, that’s pretty freakin’ metal.

Randall  22:31

100%

Random  22:31

I would consider that a successful character.

Randall  22:34

I would almost say you almost won, right? Really, realistically?

Random  22:37

I tried to cast magic. Got eaten by a god. It’s a good day.

Randall  22:41

I was so bad at this that he personally showed up. One more thing to talk about for getting better or worse. And this is the or worse part because we haven’t actually had an or worse. Everything I’ve said so far has been fantastic. For every ability score, of which you have for, roll a d6. If what you roll is better than your current value, then you can increase that score up to a maximum of six.

Random  23:03

Increase it by one.

Randall  23:04

By one. That’s right. 100%. Thank you. That’s important. So yeah, if you were at four, you’d go to five. If you’re at five, you’d go to six. But if you roll a four, when you’re at five, you get nothing. A negative score always increases, which makes sense, right? If I roll a two and I’m at negative two, I’d go up all the way to one. Even a one will always increase to two. So that’s cool. Except if you roll a one, the score goes down one, no matter what. You’re at minus two, you roll a one, back to minus three, with minus three being the bottom.

Tyler  23:34

Got it. So if your luck is terrible, you’re going to fall in the negatives. If your luck is really good, you’ll go up for a little while. But you’ll probably get stuck kind of at a middle somewhere? Just… +2, +3?

Randall  23:46

I would imagine you’d get… I imagine even, like, four might be… lots of things bouncing around three and four feels about right to me. I think that’s how the math would work. Although the, yeah, that minus one might actually kill it to the point where it maybe it is closer to two to three. Yeah. We joked about this offline. But I can imagine a situation where like, the GM is like, hey, everybody, let’s get better or worse! And everybody at the table is like um, I’m okay. I’m feeling pretty good where I’m at right now. Yeah, so Mörk Borg, right? We’ve laid out a few things. I hope that these things are intriguing and are exciting and you’re looking at that thinking like okay, that would be kind of cool to go experiment with. At the very least, you could do a long session of this and probably have a good time. And then figure out, yeah, do you love it? Do you want to keep going? So we talked about Mörk Borg Cult, the community program for publishing. A lot of this content is actually available on the Mörk Borg website. You can just go view it, you can peruse it, download PDFs, look at the art. I mean, it’s awesome. So you can literally go take a look at these things. If you want to get the zine, if you want to publish the actual product they put together on Kickstarter, we will eventually… does that work? Can we eventually have links in the show notes? How’s that work?

Tyler  24:51

No. Well, we’ll have links in the show notes but…

Randall  24:54

Yeah, that’s right. We have it. Okay, good. We do have a link to sell it. Yeah. So we’ll have a link the show notes so you’ll be able to go find it on… yeah, with with the Mörk Borg shop. So go take a look. I want to talk about a few things in here that I thought were really cool. We didn’t go into much detail on it previously, Mörk Borg does have the idea of optional classes. It can be a class, classless system. And I would, I would argue that the base system is classless,

Tyler  25:15

You’re classless.

Randall  25:16

That’s fair. That’s where the in heretic they introduced the unheroic feats, which are an optional set of feats that they say you should only use if you’re not leveraging the optional classes. You can have up to three of these feats at a time. And you can choose to take these feats. You know, it’s up to your GM, whether you take them randomly, whether you get to pick what you’re taking, and under what circumstances do you get to add a feat to your character, but some of these are really cool. So I actually wanted to read a couple of them just to give folks like an idea of, like, okay, what can I get? First of all we hinted at earlier, so I want to call it out. One of the feats you can take lets you use powers while wearing medium armor or using a two handed weapon.

Tyler  25:58

nNow what’s the benefit of wearing armor so like we have an idea of how good that is?

Randall  26:03

Gotcha. Light armor, you get to roll a d2 and subtract that from damage you take. Medium armor roll a d4, subtract from damage you take. Heavy armor, roll a d6 and subtract it from damage you take

Tyler  26:15

Okay, so if if like a short sword is dealing d4 damage, medium or heavy armor will frequently just negate that damage. So yeah, okay, that’s pretty good.

Randall  26:23

Yeah, it’s awesome. Yeah, even even if they hit, which they will, right? Same game as always, they have to hit first. You have to roll well enough to not let them hit. Then you could actually negate damage with with that heavy armor. So yeah, one of these feats allows… you take it once. Now you with medium armor, you can use powers. I think I said a second ago, two handed swords. No, you can never use two swords and use powers. You have to be able to hold the scroll. I think that’s the rule. And then you can take the feat a second time. And then you can actually wear heavy armor and use powers. So if you wanted to be kind of a tanky mage, you could build that character type using these feats. Some of the other ones that I thought were fun, and I wanted to read aloud. So shield breaker. You know that the moment an opponent is at their most vulnerable is right after they’ve attacked. Whenever you use your shield to block all incoming damage. You may attempt a counter strike with plus three damage.

Tyler  27:15

Oh, that’s a lot of damage in this game.

Randall  27:17

Yeah. Negotiator. This one was fun to me, like, even from a role playing standpoint. You abhor conflict. A pacifist by nature sometimes it’s best to try de-escalating the situation. Some call you a coward. Test presents DR 6 plus opponents highest morale. Success means the fighting stops… for now. So as a feat, you could literally in the middle of of conflict roll. You could use your action every turn and be, like, no, no wait, guys, what if we didn’t fight? Roll dice, succeed and you could actually stop the fight in the middle of it.

Tyler  27:46

Okay. That’s pretty cool. And I could see that resulting in the GM just, like, throwing you off a cliff, but okay, yeah.

Randall  27:54

Well, it I think, you know, social fixes, or it will depend on what kind of game you’re you’re trying to play. If people wanted to lean into it. The other thing it says though, right? It gives the for now clause.

Tyler  28:03

Right.

Randall  28:04

So now it’s up to the gym as an interpreter, they could say like, Okay, the next time they think they can get the jump, they’re just gonna attack you again. And they’re gonna call you a coward. You know. Who knows how this goes?

Tyler  28:14

So how many of these feats can you get? Because like, I briefly glanced at one of the classes and seems like you get, like, one random feature from your class. But you mentioned that you could take the same feat twice to wear heavy armor and use powers. So like, how many of the feats can you get?

Randall  28:29

You can only take three.

Tyler  28:30

Oh, okay. And do you get like three right at start?

Randall  28:34

No. Okay, so that’s a great question. So the way that they’re pitching you should use this is at, like, a getting better phase. Or when you have some other major achievement, and maybe it’s a narrative achievement like you, you could imagine a GM let’s say you had to go into town and do some negotiating, you might actually gain the negotiation, the negotiator feet. That can be something the GM just gives you

Tyler  28:57

Got it.

Randall  28:58

Alternatively, like you could go in and in a situation where you could have negotiated, you just you kill everyone, you go full murder hobo. And then they’re like, Okay, great rule random feat, and you get negotiator. And everybody just sits at the table looking around like what? What has happened?

Random  29:14

Well, so one of the fun things that I want to talk about because it really feels to me, like a piece of something that has come out of parts of D&D 3.0, I understand that there’s a curses in in some of the expansion and in some of these feel very much like, like if you if you happen to play a Wu-jen in 4.x, or if you played with any of the bows, some of these feel very much like that sort of weird level of roleplay prohibition.

Randall  29:45

No, absolutely. So the the curses table I think is fantastic. So essentially, you roll for the curse, you roll for who knows how to remove the curse, you roll for what is the price that that person wants for the knowledge? And then finally, you roll for how do you actually get rid of the curse?

Tyler  30:07

Who are the people who might know how to remove these curses? Like does it give you specific people? Or is it, like, generic NPCs?

Randall  30:14

I would argue these are generic NPCs, not to say that none of these characters appear in other content anywhere.

Tyler  30:20

Okay.

Randall  30:21

Because I’m actually not sure about this. But let me give an example.

Tyler  30:24

Okay.

Randall  30:25

Let’s have some fun with it. Okay. Wherever you go, the ghost of your past friends, parents and mentors follow. They won’t shut up about how much of a disappointment and failure you are.

Tyler  30:36

I mean, that feels like a personal attack.

Randall  30:38

Yeah. Yeah. It’s a curse. For some people, it’s the waking nightmare. But that’s, we’re gonna we’re gonna walk away from that very quickly. So then you roll, Okay, well, who knows how to get rid of this. You if you wrote a one you would have Keto Erig, an eyeless hermit who wants lifted a curse they say you. So first, you would have to journey you would have to find Keto Erig. Once you find Keto Erig, you’re like, hey, my parents won’t get off my back. And they’re dead. Really creepy. Could you help me out with this? And he say like, Oh, I’d be willing to do that, but I need a week of hard work. Help me plant my vegetables. So then you’d have to quest for the vegetables, but you need to water the vegetables. And the problem is that earlier, when you woke up, all the water in the world turned to tar. So you need to go quest for the one pot of water to bring it back to water the vegetables to feed the hermit that will mean that, like, it’s like that took two weeks. That was that was two weeks of hard work. I want two curses now. Two curses. And he says no, you get one. So then he says okay, here’s the deal. The secret for getting rid of this. Let me roll right quick. You have to for three nights, you must share the bed with an undead. You cannot touch.

Tyler  31:52

I have so many questions.

Random  31:55

That’s a monster board.

Randall  31:56

It’s there. No, I see it. It’s there. So now imagine on the third day, the, which, okay, like Mikhail. Mikhail counts as an undead. So, like, Hey, buddy, come on, let’s just don’t on the third day he reaches over. It’s like, Hey, buddy, and he touches you. He’s like, we got to start again. You’re like no! I loved the curses table. Because in my mind, the curses table would be fantastic for, like, I needed an arc, I need something for us to go do. Boom, we need to lift this curse. And it could be a regular way. Like if you’re trying to bridge the story from point A to point B, even if you want to add your own curses or add your own NPCs for folks to go talk about. And it’s like, yeah, sure I rolled a d10 and you got the person I wanted to talk about. It’s great. As a GM you’re allowed to lie. I really think this could be a fantastic way of building and bridging your story. There are a couple of other curses that I want to read aloud because I think they’re a lot of fun. You cannot walk past mud or filth without rolling in it like a swine. Washing hurts.

Tyler  32:55

Wow. That… boy, that is something.

Randall  32:59

Yeah, like, but then imagine like, you gotta go to town and people are like, ah, get out of here. You smell bad, you. And you’re like, oh, look, a sty. Like, I am obligated. I have to go do this. You know, imagine of the hermit had a style. He’s just been the entire time like, please help me!

Random  33:18

Listeners, you can’t see the fantastic physical comedy that went on with that.

Tyler  33:24

Just imagine.

Randall  33:25

It was great. All right. I mean, it was fine. Anyway, another one. Very simple. You cannot lie.

Tyler  33:31

Interesting. Okay.

Randall  33:33

So like you run into a character or you run into an NPC, but a sentient npc and they’re like, are you planning on killing me? And you’re just… Yeah. Did you steal this? Yes. Do you have food? Yeah, I do. Okay, anyway, curses. Real cool stuff.

Tyler  33:54

Yeah, okay.

Randall  33:55

So yeah, in general, Mörk Borg Cult: Heretic. We’re gonna have an article on the site. There’s also a new article talking about kind of Mörk Borg in general. So go take a look at those. We’ll have links in to links to them in the show notes. Mörk Borg. Really, really awesome. Mörk Borg Cult: Heretic. Really awesome supplement, and 100%, if you liked this content, absolutely go support it. You know, get a copy for yourself. It’s going to look great sitting on the bookshelf when you pull it out to actually play with folks. We’ll also have links in the show notes so you can find the content online on the Mörk Borg website. Because even beyond what’s in Heretic, there’s a lot of really cool content out there. If you’ve enjoyed the show, please rate and review us on Apple podcast and rate us on Spotify or your favorite podcast app. It’s a quick free way to support the podcast and helps us to reach new listeners. You can find links in the show notes. You’ll find affiliate links for source books and other materials linked in the show notes as well as on RPGBOT.net following these links helps us to make this show happen every week.

Tyler  34:56

We didn’t talk about how cool cults are.

Randall  34:59

I know…

Random  34:59

Mock Bock.

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