The Wassail Background represents a Dreamquest oath already in play at character creation – usually tied to an NPC represented by the Allies, Dreamer or Retinue background. This NPC possesses the Wassail itself – a magical power, creature or item – but can use it to help the PC who provided it.

The Wassail’s rating is determines the power of the magical ability or treasure conferred on the NPC and the scope of the quest attached to it. If the quest is completed during the Chronicle, the character gains Temporary Glamour equal to twice the Background rating and a permanent point of Willpower/Glamour or can choose instead to redeem the Wassail, creating a magical Treasure or power independent of the NPC whose dreams inspired it.

Basic: A Wassail imitating a 1 point Merit, Cantrip or Trait; a quest that can be accomplished in a Story
●● Minor: A Wassail imitating a 2 or 3 point Merit, Cantrip or Trait or a basic Wyrd Wassail; a quest that takes several Stories
●●● Useful: A Wassail imitating a 4 or 5 point Merit, Cantrip or Trait or a minor Wyrd Wassail; a quest that takes a sequence of linked Stories
●●●● Significant: A Wassail with a power beyond that of a 5 point Merit, Cantrip or Trait or a useful Wyrd Wassail; a quest that is tied to the theme of a Chronicle
●●●●● Incredible: A significant Wyrd Wassail; a quest that is tied to the climax of a Chronicle

As usual with Dreamquests, the Wassail adds a permanent point to the character’s Temporary Bedlam (two points for a Wyrd Wassail) but also adds one to the character’s Bedlam Threshold.

Use of Wassails

Wassails can only be used by the Dreamer from whose imagination they were created. If the wassail is an item, weapon or device it simply will not function for anyone else; a potion will only work if drunk by the Dreamer and a poison will only work if administered by the Dreamer; symbols must be etched by the Dreamer and songs mus be sung by the Dreamer; wassail beasts and spirits will serve the Dreamer only and are often invisible to anyone else.

A redeemed wassail can be passed on to someone else, but only has one owner at a time. If a song is taught to someone else, the original Dreamer forgets it.

A wassail can be used once per Story. A typical ‘use’ varies from a single turn to a complete Scene depending on the effect. A wassail sword might be used in a fight that lasts a Scene but a wassail lucky clover might effect just a single action. A character might trade off a wassail’s power against its use, gaining an extra use for each drop in power. For example, with four dots in Wassail a character might take a level 3 wassail that can be used twice per Story.

Successes Deducted Uses
One Twice per Story
Two Three times per Story
Three Any number of times during a Story or for the duration of a Story
Four For the duration of a Chronicle
Five Beyond the Dreamer’s lifetime

Wassails lose their power if a Dreamer dies or succumbs to Banality and ceases to Dream. However, by sacrificing 5 full level, a wassail can be made that will continue to have an effect after the Dreamer has gone. For example, a love potion usually wears off if the Dreamer stops dreaming, but a wassail this powerful will not wear off.

Wassail ●● ●●● ●●●● ●●●●●
Dreamforging A spanner that reduces mechanics difficulties by 2 but gives the owner a compulsion to tinker with machinery A sword that glows brightly but gives the wielder a phobia of darkness A burning sword that does 3 dice of fire damage but gives the wielder an irrational hatred of someone or something Mechanical wings that place a Geas on the user to fly to the sun A key that will open any Trod but they all lead through Madness Realms
Gentilesse Animal magnetism (-2 difficulty to seduce) but a compulsion to flirt Speak any language but stammer if you don’t speak the truth Become a celebrity (as Mortal Ties) but lose a true friend Dream about the future but not be believed by mortals Change into another form but only change back when kissed
Greenkeeping Hatch a butterfly that guides you to any target, but slowly A bird that bears a message to anyone you specify so long as they are under an open sky A beanstalk that becomes a Rath into the Near Dreaming but a long way from the Silver Path Grow berries that heal all lost wounds but give wild hallucinations A cursed apple that wipes someone’s memories and personality away but only so long as they do not step on holy ground
Hearthlore A love potion but the recipient is gripped by shyness around their new love A drug that opens the senses to the spirit world but the mystic is obsessed with death A clover that brings luck (as the Merit) but gives you a paranoia that it will be stolen A tobacco that lets the smoker enter someone’s dreams but anyone whose dream you invade will become your enemy An ointment that makes you invulnerable to any sort of fire but makes you take aggravated damage from cold
Runelore A rune on a car that makes the owner a crack driver (as the Merit) but makes him overconfident (as the Flaw) A tattoo that makes someone invisible (as Veiled Eyes) except to anyone they have sworn an oath to A script on a badge that makes you appear as a local cop (as the Police Ties Merit) but gives you an Enemy in the local underworld A rune over a door that acts as a Weaver Ward but the owner cannot deny access to anyone who asks politely Carve a script on a statue that brings it to life but it cannot enter holy ground
Shroudwhisper A poltergeist will move things (as Gimmix) but do slight damage to anything it moves A spirit that helps in tasks (as the Fair Is Foul cantrip) but requires a sacrifice of blood An ancestor ghost that conveys three dots in Remembrance but inflicts Flashbacks (as the Flaw) A spirit that inhabits a sword giving four dots in Melee instead of the wielder’s Skill but a Geas to fight only to the death A phantom that is a Chimera that performs any mission but the master becomes a Psychic Vampire (as the Flaw)
Talecraft A melody that helps you concentrate (as the Merit) but distracts everyone else A song that puts people to sleep but causes all dogs to bark A riddle that drives someone mad trying to solve it but gives the riddler the driving goal (as the Flaw) to solve it too A spell that summons a storm but exhausts the caster who must sleep for 6 hours A chant that raises Strength to 5 (or 6 if it’s already 4 or 5) but imposes a Geas to obey any order received
Warspite A gruesome expression that intimidates opponents but lowers Appearance by 1 A warcry that strikes fear into enemies but leaves the warrior unable to speak A kata that blocks incoming attacks (as 2 points of armour or 2 extra wound levels) but imposes a deformity (as the Flaw) A blow that shatters stone (as Holly Strike) but breaks the bones in your arm (as One Arm Flaw or take 4 non-soakable wounds) A curse that strikes a mortal dead or chimerically kills a Fae but costs the curser what he holds most dear (treat as 5-point Curse Flaw)


Tales of New Camelot Jon_Rowe