Wyrd Street Tease: Bing Li, the Heretic

As we continue toward Wyrd Street’s launch later this year, it’s time to take a look at another of the game’s Iconic Characters. This time, we call upon the dark power of Bing Li, the Heretic.

A title banner for Wyrd Street, an upcoming tabletop RPG by Tyler F.M. Edwards.Bing Li was an outcast in her homeland of Tiahn. In a nation where no disobedience is allowed, she questioned the imperialistic expansion of the Divine Legion. In a land that venerates the light of the Celestial Powers, she was drawn to the darkness.

When the law caught up with her, she fled Tiahn, and after many hard struggles, she found a home of sorts in Wyrd Street, in the city of Morhold. She became a student of the Bala mystic Ten Obsidian Vulture, and found a life partner in the Plainsfolk Scoundrel Burning Grin.

Even in egalitarian Morhold, those who wield the dark powers Li has mastered are viewed with suspicion, but those who know her know that she is a loyal friend and a tireless crusader against injustice. A Heretic she may be, but that doesn’t mean she can’t also be a hero.

The Fortune Teller was my first attempt at a “dark” magic class for Wyrd Street, but it ended up leaning more into chance manipulation and didn’t entirely fulfill the niche of dark caster. Hence, the Heretic became the game’s true master of the dark arts, inspired by the resurrection cults I’d already written into the lore.

While the flavour of Heretic is all blood magic and necromancy, mechanically they actually play a bit closer to a bard, or a “skill monkey” rogue build. Of all Wyrd Street’s classes, they have the most emphasis on utility and non-combat skills.

As outcasts spent hiding their true nature, Heretics have a natural talent for stealth and infiltration. Rather than relying on skill checks only for such things, they have a variety of magical abilities to let them navigate society and slip through the shadows. Charm of the Lock can be used to open locked doors without a skill check, while abilities like Read the Body and Steer the Heart let them master social encounters by subtly tapping into the biology of people around them.

But just because they’re masters of non-combat skills doesn’t mean Heretics can’t hold their own in a fight. With the power to both generate focus at the cost of health and regain health by defeating enemies, they have some of the best longevity of any class, and their blood magic provides access to a variety of crippling Afflictions.

Drawing from the dark powers of the resurrection cults, the Heretics can enhance the powers of their own bloodline, increasing their core attributes beyond what is possible for other classes, and even gaining a second racial ability.

Like any good necromancer, the Heretic can also call upon unliving minions to do their bidding. Their Blood Dolls are golems of dead flesh constructed to resemble living humans and thus go unnoticed in the busy city streets. Blood Dolls are individually weak, but Heretics can summon an increasingly large number of them as they level up, and if one is slain, it only costs a little focus and an action to replace it. Just as your foes think they’re getting the upper hand, your Blood Dolls will rise again.

Blood Dolls can also be upgraded by several higher level abilities. Plaguebringers buffs their attacks and turns the damage type to poison, while Shadow Puppet grants one of your Dolls a deadly ranged attack.

The emphasis on stealth applies to Blood Dolls as well. The Dress Up Dolls ability allows you to change the appearance of your Dolls, potentially letting them impersonate specific individuals.

Of course, if you’re not a fan of minions, it is still possible to eschew Blood Dolls and focus more strongly on your other abilities.

Finally, Heretics are a class that can benefit strongly from synergy with other party members. Their Exsanguinate ability deals increased damage based on the number of Bleeding stacks on the target, and while Heretics can apply Bleeding themselves, Exsanguinate becomes an even more powerful option if your party members can help you stack the Affliction. Meanwhile their max level ability Possession allows you to take control of a Stunned enemy… but Heretics themselves have no Stun abilities, so you’ll need to coordinate with your allies if you want to choose that ability.

An early sketch of Bing Li, Wyrd Street's Iconic Heretic.Bing Li will stop at nothing to protect the downtrodden from those who would oppress them, and with the terrifying powers of the Heretic at her disposal, the bullies and tyrants of the world have much to fear.

Wyrd Street Tease: Osiron, the Fortune Teller

Time for another deep dive on one of Wyrd Street’s Iconic Characters, playable in the Quicksilver War campaign releasing later this year.

A title banner for Wyrd Street, an upcoming tabletop RPG by Tyler F.M. Edwards.Osiron is an odd one. Most of Wyrd Street’s heroes fight for those close to them — friends, family, and lovers — but Osiron has always been a loner. There is no one he is truly close to. His motives are more difficult to define.

Perhaps it is knowledge he seeks. His people, the Xandrians, are a race of scholars, and curiosity drives much of their culture. Yet even among his own kind Osiron is something of a black sheep. The uncertain art of the Fortune Teller has always been a bit taboo among the rational-minded Xandrians.

Perhaps the Xandrians are right to be wary. The Fortune Teller is one of the wildest classes I designed for this game. I threw caution to the wind as a designer so you could throw caution to the wind as a player.

I’ve already given a brief tease of some of the its abilities, and it gives you a bit of an idea of what this class is like. High risk, high reward is running theme. The future can never be entirely predicted, and neither can a Fortune Teller’s toolkit.

One ability completely changes its effect based on what month you’re playing the game in. Another rolls a massive number of damage dice — but those dice only count if they roll odd numbers. One entire tier of abilities can’t be chosen by the player; which ability you get is randomly determined by a dice roll, and it changes with every new adventure you start.

But that doesn’t mean you’re entirely beholden to the whims of fate when you play a Fortune Teller. They have many abilities to reroll dice, guarantee critical strikes, and otherwise twist the odds in their favour.

Most classes in Wyrd Street are designed to be versatile, able to use a variety of weapons and fill multiple roles, depending on your build. Fortune Tellers are an exception to this. They are highly specialized. They deal burst damage at range, and that’s about it. They have some useful buffs and debuffs, and their dice manipulation can benefit allies, but their lack of healing keeps them from occupying a primary support role. No, they’re here to bring the pain.

Of course, the upshot of being highly specialized is that they are damn good at what they do. They have some of the best focus-generation in the game, allowing them to throw out their most powerful abilities with stunning frequency. Most of their damage also ignores enemy armour, making them extremely potent against enemies with high armour but low health.

If you want to play it safe, this might not be your class. But if you want to defy destiny and prove wrong everyone who ever said “it’s too much of a risk,” the Fortune Teller might be the class for you.

My artist is currently working on Osiron’s character art. You’ll have to wait until the game’s full release to see the finished version, but here’s an early concept sketch.

An early sketch of Osiron, Wyrd Street's Iconic Fortune Teller.Wyrd Street is planned to release in late 2022.