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Wordless Conversation

Level 1 Interaction Scenario

Sometimes the PCs may attempt to use intimidation or otherwise communicate with intelligent creatures that share little to none of their language. At low levels, this is likely most common with the Nibelung. This scenario is useful for such an approach. It uses standard Opponent entries, however, so you can use it just as well for a more traditional conversation.


Round Limit 5
Counter Position Based on player count
Conditions Counter reaches maximum (#PCs + 2) or all enemies except Sycophants are defeated

The default stage assumes a mountain trail. Adjust the details as needed for your setting.

Edge  -  Cliffside  -  Nook

Edge: No effect.
Cliffside: No effect.
Nook: Can't target enemies or be targeted by enemies, & can't advance the Debate Counter. Only PCs may enter this position.

Opponent Rank Type WP Init
Tribal Chief Mini-boss Antagonist 35 1d8
Bully Regular Antagonist 15 1d8
Simpleton Mook Antagonist 8 1d4
Sycophant Mook Trickster 7 1d4

Two Players

  • Bully
  • Sycophant x2
  • Counter Position: -2

Three Players

  • Bully
  • Simpleton x2
  • Sycophant x2
  • Counter Position: -2

Four Players

  • Bully x2
  • Simpleton x2
  • Sycophant x2
  • Counter Position: -3

Five Players

  • Tribal Chief
  • Simpleton x2
  • Sycophant x2
  • Counter Position: -3

Six Players

  • Tribal Chief
  • Bully
  • Simpleton x2
  • Sycophant x2
  • Counter Position: -4

Starting Positions

  • Sycophants start in Edge
  • All other entities start in Cliffside

Roleplay Notes

Most of these Nibelung don't understand spoken language; they communicate to each other through rudimentary growls, barks, cackles, and hisses. They do, however, gesture with exaggeration, and they're capable of reading the gestures of others quite well. Inform the players of this since their PCs should know this basic information about the Nibelung.

As such, this Interaction scenario will be largely portrayed entirely through gestures, miming, noises, posturing, and the like. Play this up thoroughly.

The Tribal Chief is an exception; if present, it can speak basic words. Give it a slow, hissing voice.


Enemies will try to block PC movement into Edge, though only the Chief is likely to succeed. They will spread out damage instead of focusing on a single PC. Sycophants will double-up their Assists and Interrupts on every single entity's turn, making them primary initial targets for smart players.


The PCs manage to talk down the Nibelung (or other creatures) without resorting to violence. Each PC gains 1 Karma.


The Nibelung are not cowed. They will likely attack; you could run the Mountain Nyblings scenario. Consider giving the Nibelung a bonus to Initiative. If the PCs don't want to fight, they may run. You could craft a chase scenario, or just apply an Injury to each PC as they strive to get away. If they take a creative approach to running (say, sliding down the cliffside), consider allowing them to roll Acrobatics to try to avoid the Injury.


It's probably a good idea to rename some of the Actions used by the Nibelung here, at least if you intend to communicate those names verbally to the players. For instance, you could change the Sycophant's Echo Chamber Action to Gleeful Howl, and the Simpleton's Random Commentary Action might become Wild Gestures. While you could leave the Bully alone, it's probably more sensible for Overbearing Presence to become something like Hissed Threats or Murderous Growl.

You should rename the Opponents themselves, too. Tribal Chief in particular should become “Clan Leader” or “Nibelung Chief,” or even better, give it an actual name (if it has one). The Sycophants are fine, but the Bully might be renamed to “Nibelung Aggressor,” and the Simpletons could become “Nibelung Posse.”

If you really dislike the concept of using “standard” Opponents for the Nibelung, take a look at 5th level Opponents Beastly Demihuman and Noisy Beast. Use these as templates for new level 1 or 2 Opponents, adjusting the numbers to make them more in-line with the Opponents used here.

More level 1 interaction scenarios

scenario_i_wordless_conversation.txt · Last modified: 2019/06/25 07:47 by triptycho