How does experience work in the Living Campaign?

We will be using an encounter system as experience for the Shadows of the Swordspyne campaign just as SagaBorn 1.5 uses. 

In SagaBorn, leveling occurs at the discretion of the GM. While Challenge Ratings (CR) are used to aid the GM in gauging the difficulty of encounters, experience points are not used. Instead levels are rewards that occur after a certain number of encounters, which can be combat, environmental, and social-oriented. The number of encounters is up to the GM, using the table below as a general guideline; the rate at which characters level can be tweaked by adding to or reducing the number. 


Character Level Number of encounters per level for advancement
1 8
2 10
3 14
4 20
5 24
6 24
7 24
8 24

The adventuring group leader ( those who help organize, plan, and submit an adventure on the Adventure Contract) also gain an extra encounter experience point. This counts as an encounter since they are spending the time trying to get a group together and on the road.

What are the goals of the living campaign?

For players 

The goal of the living campaign for players is to give back to those of you who have supported SagaBorn over the years. I am so humbled and appreciative that you all have followed me on this journey and continued to help this world and these books become a reality. The least I could do is run some games for you. 

Also, as I will be at less conventions over the next few years, this is a way to play with those of you who I have played with for years.

For characters ( in world goals) 

There are two main goals for the living campaign.

The first is exploration. The Wanderers have wanted this area of Atheles explored, mapped, and documented for years. Helfen is happy to have the influx of adventurers to make this happen. 

The second is support of the camp. Helfen is disgusted by what is happening in Kowal, and he welcome all with open arms to the camp. But that means he needs resources. When adventurers return to camp they can sell treasure and equipment to Ferric Watoss or they can donate it to the encampment by giving it to Helfen. Donations will be tracked and recorded.


These are just the start. We will build story goals, character goals and more as we delve deeper into the campaign. 

Scrivner – A Runic Magic

Brelmani pricked his finger, a swell of blood gathering then dropping into a small bowl filled with a copper toned ink. Three drops fell to the surface of the liquid, then he pulled his long fingered hand away. A small swath of suede was already unrolled on the table. He grabbed a quill and began to mark the leather with the copper toned ink. He murmured strange sounds as he covered the leather with unknown symbols and marks. After an hour he was done. The symbols seemed to glow for a moment, then fade back to a dark metallic brown.

Brelmani reached into his pocket and pulled out a small round crystal which was a milky white color with red veining. He placed it in the middle of the suede and gently rolled it up. This should keep it secret from detection for at least a month, maybe more. Or so he hoped.

Agrid whistled as she carved. The stone was hard, but her tritium tools easily made their marks. She would break into song everyone once in a while, singing into the runes she carved. Dwarves believed in song. Song was a power of the world. As were words. Both spoken and written. These words were ancient, taught to her by her master, before she left the city. City life wasn’t for her, too much turmoil. Too many people. Too many humans. And too many human laws. But out here, here she could make a life that was her own. Out here there were other dangers. Monsters and demons. She paused as she finished one rune and started on the next. These runes would keep them at bay. On those dark nights, the things that go bump, would bump somewhere else. 

These runes of power would need upkeep, but having to repair runes was much better then staying in a city where dwarves were looked as below others. Here she carved the runes for herself, and here she carved out her own life.

Tanin placed the third rock on the soft earth of the forest. He checked it in accordance with the others to make sure they created a perfect triangle. A single rune adorned each stone, though they were worn away and barely seen. Tanin could not afford to have them reworked yet, but maybe, just maybe after this delivery he would have enough. 

The wilds were dangerous, especially for a messenger. Traveling in groups was necessary to keep night watches and to look over each others shoulder for danger. Tanin traveled alone, because these simple enchanted stones allowed him to sleep with some level of security. He hardly believed the old woman when she had said that they would scream as loud as a hawk if their perimeter was crossed by something. Then she showed him and he gladly paid the asking price of 100 gold. It was all of his savings, but that would keep him safe at night, allowing him to make longer treks alone and to make more per delivery. As they were used the runes slowly wore away, as if a gentle stream was washing away the rough edges. Tanin hoped they would last just a few more weeks as he laid down to sleep in the quickly darkening forest, . Just a few more he thought, as he slowly drifted to sleep.

These are examples of runic magic, a type of magic that is imbued on an item that gives some utilitarian property. They are created with the Artificing Craft, which is part of our upcoming release of crafting and item rules.

You can see the current state of the project here.

[google-drive-embed url=”” title=”Crafting and Equipment” icon=”” width=”100%” height=”400″ style=”embed”]

SagaBorn Review and Game Session with the Called Shot Podcast

The awesome folks at The Called Shot Podcast did a little side adventure in Atheles, showing off the SagaBorn RPG. It is a great run, and their show is a lot of fun! Be sure to check it out. They also have a great review at the end of the podcast for the SagaBorn system.

You can read the review and listen to the adventure here:

Thanks for the support and spread the word, we need more monster hunters!



The three stumble back into the warehouse, their faces covered in soot. Perrin and Xynx rush up.

“Wow, nice face paint! Can I get some?” Xynx asks.

“Are you all ok?” asks Perrin, his face serious.

“Ya, just some silly men in masks trying to burn down dwarf town.” replied Ruhm. His hands were stained with blood and ash “We stopped them.”

Jan walks forward. “Thank you for protecting my warehouse and all of Kowal.”

The three look up, echoes of “Hail the heroes of dwarf town” still echoing in their ears. Roe rubbed soot from his eyes, “Let’s hope it doesn’t come back to haunt us.”

The Children of the Light that you captured had been left tied up in front of the local city guard headquarters. The rest of the night was more calm, and the next day was chilly, but clear.

Banners whipped and cracked in the cold air in front of the Walled Tower. Guards in bright red armor stood on either side of the balcony dias. The Baron became visible as he strode out onto the balcony. His slim tall form was accentuated by a tight grey formal coat. This hair was slicked back, and his blue eyes seemed to see everyone in the crowd.

“Last night on Mooruk’s Night, as some call it, we saw large portions of the city destroyed. Citizens were hurt, property lost, the city scarred.”

“We live in strange times. Demons have come back to haunt us. Witches are among us. But long have the dwarves been a part of our city. Elflings have freely lived among our streets. And elves, though newly returned, offer us no danger. But last night a group of radicals took it upon themselves to hurt those who are a part of our city. This will not be tolerated. We will seek out these Children of the Light and we will wipe them from the streets. They will hang side by side in judgement. Kowal is being reborn. Our industry is returning. The North will make us prosperous again. And we, the people of Kowal, deserve  better than last night. May the rest of the festival of Mordreen be peaceful. Grace to you, and your ancestors during this time!” He held up both hands, and a brief smile played across his face. Then he turned and entered back into the dark recesses of the tower.

Perrin watched the street. The warehouse was safe enough during the day, and he always got antsy just sitting around. People went to and fro gathering sweets and breads, meat and vegetables for the upcoming feast. As he watched, two city guards strolled down the street. He tensed. They were across the avenue, but you never knew how sharp-eyed they were. They slowed for a moment in front of a poster, its worn edges showing it had survived many days of weather, the faces displayed were blurred but familiar. The word WANTED was still bright and bold though. With a flick of a wrist, one of the guards picked it off the wall and let it slowly glide down to the street, where it rested in a puddle and slowly drifted away til it plummeted down a sewer drain.

Perrin gave a half smile and turned back into the alley.

The building seemed empty. The door had been torn off, the tables inside broken and scattered. Ruhm entered slowly. “Hello?” He walked across the littered floor looking left to right. A soft footfall echoed on the stairwell. He placed his hand on his axe and turned. A woman, her one hand holding a knife and the other a bundle of clothes, stood there, her eyes filled with surprise.

“Oh, just the person I wanted to see. I wondered if you wanted a job since you know, we maybe messed up this one?” Ruhn smiled, a hint of guilt playing across his face.

Notes on the play session:

  • Vencel cast fireball in the basement hurting everyone and killing himself.
  • Shovel (Son of Silence) is taken to the city guard by Greel.
  • Saved the city guardsmen Gennen, Fleg. They swore they would remember the help.
  • Saved Dwygar and other dwarves.
  • Killed or captured some Children of the Light as they started fires or hurt dwarves.
  • Put out fires in dwarf town.
  • Were named the heroes of dwarf town.

Back to the Homestead

The iron door clanked shut.

“I don’t like having these cells down here,” said Thay.

Roe looked over, his eyes understanding, “I know. Neither do I. But we have to have some place to hold those who we capture. At least until we figure out what to do with them.”

A gruff voice came out from the barred door on the right. “Better just kill me. And yerselves. The Sons won’t take nicely to you killin’ our members.”

Roe glanced at that cell, then with worried eyes at the other, silent cell. Inside a skinny man, his hands and neck chained in iron, sat cross legged staring at the door with one unnatural metal eye.

“We have to contact Biena. She will know what to do.” Roe looked to his companions. They all nodded in agreement.

As they all filed out of the basement, Leshy held his backpack tight, the large tome inside seeming unnaturally warm.

Shadows of the Tower: Path of Two, Adventure One

Apra 4th – Dusk

The moons had started to appear in the darkening sky. The wooden bridge creaked in the wind over the chasm behind the adventurers.

Two bandits struggled against their bonds. They tried to cry out, but Roe had muffled their foul mouthes with strips of cloth. Thay tended to their wounds. He turned to the others.

“We did not have to kill them, we could have incapacitated them.”

Leshy looked up, he strange eyes seemed puzzled. “What does mean, incapacitate? These were enemies. Enemies get defeated.”

“And now what do we do with them? We have to get to Elmhearth, and they will just slow us down.” Roe seemed a little uncomfortable straying from the mission.

Leshy interjected, “We defeat them. Then we go.”

The rogue looked ready to say something when the older bandit loosened his mouth gag enough to talk, “No reason for all of that. I can pay you. And pay you well, if you let us go.”


The adventurers left Kowal and headed north. In the forest, they were attacked by wolves, though they successfully defeated or scared off the beasts. On the third night they arrived at the Northguard Inn.

They sat at the large round table, which seemed a little short. They then found out that they had taken a dwarven patrol’s regular table. After a night of drinking and stories, the dwarves challenged the group to a wrestling match.  Leshy successfully defeated a one armed dwarf, and after such a good show, Mort pledged his and his “Irregulars” friendship to the adventurers.

Continuing on the Elmhearth, the adventurers ran afoul of some bandits at a large bridge. The bandits were defeated, though two survived and were taken prisoner.