The Alexandrian

Sertorius: Beneath the Banshee Tree - Bedrock GamesBrendan Davis sent me review copies of the Sertorius roleplaying game and the Beneath the Banshee Tree scenario for the game because my Three Clue Rule was name-dropped and used in the latter.

To be perfectly honest, when Brendan sent me the PDF for Sertorius I gave it a quick glance, saw it was yet another 500 page fantasy roleplaying game, and threw the PDF metaphorically onto the stack of Things I Will Probably Never Get the Time to Look At(TM). But I’m always interested in good mystery scenarios and when I cracked open Beneath the Banshee Tree, it did exactly what good adventure scenarios are supposed to do: It got me really intrigued about this setting and this game.

I still haven’t really delved into Sertorius, but I have taken a slightly closer look: It’s a game where everyone plays a powerful sorcerer in a land where sorcerers are god-kings and potentates. As your power grows, you attract followers and slowly shift from a mortal to a divine existence. So, basically, Ars Magica if your characters were powerful Sumerian demigods instead of scholars hiding in the dark woods of the Europe.

Whether Sertorius sounds interesting to you or not, I recommend checking out Beneath the Banshee Tree: First, it’s free. Second, it could easily be adapted to a lot of different fantasy settings (while likely bringing with it a few unique stamps that will only serve to enhance the experience). Third, it’s really good.

Davis uses a very clever, randomized structure to drive a serial killer-esque investigative scenario in which even the PCs can become targets. Structurally, the adventure is clever because each additional crime scene brings additional clues that, generally, point towards the villain’s accomplices (providing a second layer of redundant investigation that makes sure the scenario remains robust and interesting no matter how it plays out).

Conceptually, however, Beneath the Banshee Tree is captivating: The “serial killer” isn’t actually a killer. (Most of the time, anyways.) Instead, Davis has created a fiendishly clever crime that’s uniquely fantastical and only possible in a land of wonder and magic. I’d say more, but I don’t want to spoil it: Check it out.

(Remember, it’s free. It also contains an entire fantasy city that you can easily grab and use in any number of nifty ways. Seriously, why are you still reading this when you should be reading that?)

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6 Responses to “Check This Out: Sertorius – Beneath the Banshee Tree”

  1. Stephen says:

    The product seems to have been removed.

  2. Justin Alexander says:

    Looks like the entire company has vanished from DriveThru and RPGNow. I’m assuming it’s some kind of bug or mistake, but I’ll look into it and let you know if I can find some place to get this.

  3. Justin Alexander says:

    I touched base with Brendan at Bedrock Games. They’re in the process of transitioning their PDF sales channel, which has resulted in everything being pulled down before it gets put back up. Stuff wasn’t supposed to get pulled down until September 1st, but apparently it happened early.

    So, long story short: All of Bedrock Games’ stuff will be available online again no later than September 1st. They’ll be posting updates on the Bedrock Blog and I’ll update the links here (if necessary) as soon as the files are available again.

    If you want Beneath the Banshee Tree ASAP, Brendan says you can e-mail him and he’ll send you a copy:

  4. Justin Alexander says:

    And they’re back. You can find Beneath the Banshee Tree here.

  5. Noumenon72 says:

    The site relativeified that link, it’s actually at .

  6. Brendan says:

    Just an update on this one. We are going to release it in print around March of next year (should be 14.99). The PDF will still be available for free. This is just for folks who wanted a physical copy at the table.

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