Hwæt! Playtest

This is a playtest of Hwæt! version 1.1, a solo journaling role-playing game inspired by Beowulf. Hwæt! is licenced CC BY-NC-ND 4.0.

Please see Hwæt! Playtest.pdf for proper formatting

About this game

It would be nice to have some info about Beowulf here, as a lot of people, even in Europe, might not know much about the poem. Perhaps the three main antagonists Grendel, his mom and the dragon could be mentioned. And have a link to a modern translation.

How to play

Character Creation

1d4: [4] = 41d4: [1] = 11d4: [2] = 21d4: [2] = 2
HP (5)Age

It looks like the min HP one can aquire is 2, which would mean death after one hit by a monster.

Bonus: Double attack damage once per fight.

Player creation could be a bit more love. Does he have a name? What is his prefered weapon (Axe, short sword, …)? Maybe roll for backstory or steal from the poem.


It would be nice to have Grendel here, maybe as the first monster the protagonist has to fight. He is such a good starting point narratively. BEOWULF: THE MONSTERS AND THE CRITICS, By J.R.R. Tolkien

Combat Rules

Maybe add permanently to the loss of LCK when using Gambit.

Please add symbols for the card’s colours to the fight matrix.
I am not a native speaker and have to think about the english names for the colours.


Round 1

  1. Great Snake - Enormous snake, some say large enough to encircle the world, can live on land or in water -  9 HP, Special - Poison Spray: You are doused in a spray of poison. Take d4 damage immediately and become poisoned. If the battle is not finished within six rounds after you are poisoned, you die. 
  • Attack: 1d12+4: 7 against ♥ 3 → Monster -2
  • Attack: 1d12+4: 14 against ♠ 5 → Monster -2, Hero -1
  • Attack: 1d12+4: 7 against ♣ 3 → Monster -2
  • Attack: 1d12+4: 14 against ♠ 10 → Monster -2, Hero -1
  • Defend: 1d12+1: 6 against ♥ 2 → Hero +1
  • Attack: 1d12+4: 11 against ♣ K → Monster +2 forward
  • Attack: 1d12+4: 15 against ♦ A+2 → Hero 1d4: [2] = 2 damage & poisoned
  • Attack: 1d12+4: 5 against ♠ K → Monster -1 (dies), Hero -2, dies.

The ♦ A+2 against my 15 was narratively great. My hero’s best move against the Snake that sprays poison in panik and douses him while unprepared.


I feel that the hero’s hit points should be higher. They will be 3.5+2.5=6 on average, the monsters start at 5 and have an average of 7.4. Maybe bring the players average to 7?

The game’s idea is great, I wish there would be more Beowulf in the description and in the gameplay. Beowulf meets three adversaries, each more powerful than the previous one. Perhaps that could be incorporated into the game.

I love how ageing is a feature of the game, even though I could not test it in this play.

Since my hero died during the first fight, I’m not sure if he had time to sire a child who can take up his weapon. But I think he did.