The Keepers of the Way

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Family Name: Keepers of the Way
Playbook: The Lawgivers of the Wasteland

Reach: 1
Grasp: 1
Sleight: 0


  • Populace: Mystical monks and nuns trained in meditation, conflict mediation and the martial arts.
  • Style: Simple religious robes.
  • Governance: Networked but largely independent monasteries, governed by elected abbots, consensus or majority vote, and a certain degree of deference to elders.

Weaponry: Surplus
Transport: Need
Leadership: Need
Defenses: Need
Recruits: Surplus

Resource Tracks
Mood: -1
Tech: 0
Data: 0

Symbol of Authority: Monastic robes
Armory: Martial arts weaponry: Melee, elegant
Outfit: Reinforced monastic robes: Utility, tough
Followers: Magistrates: 1 Quality: Negotiating compromises

Moves & Other Abilities

  • Alliance: When you bring another Family’s or Faction’s hated foe to justice, your Family gains 2-Treaty on them.
  • Doctrine: Righteous Vigilantes: When you come to a scene of violence, you can ask the GM one question about the victim or the attacker.
  • Laying Down the Law:
    • Who always deserves protection? Gain advantage when protecting travelers, because it is outsiders to a community who are often most vulnerable.
    • Who always deserves justice: Gain advantage when pursuing slavers, since those who take away another’s choices take away their ability to find their own spiritual path.
    • What does your Family’s code prevent you from doing: Gain disadvantage if you engage in murder, since killing should be avoided whenever possible and, if necessary, should ideally be done in a fair fight.
  • Lifestyle: Nomadic: When your Family moves on from a settlement where they laid down the law, name one thing that settlement will now always (or never) do.
  • This is a Civilized Land: As long as your Family patrols a region and keeps its citizens safe, they’ll know through rumors and whispers when someone breaks their laws. Its people will gradually start behaving according to your principles over time.


  • Stats: Significant parts of civilization survived the Fall.
  • Landmark: Before: A largely intact university library, especially valued by the more Confucian-oriented members of the Keepers.
  • Landmark: The Fall: A site where a group of innocent refugees that included nuclear physicists were lynched for causing the Fall.
  • Landmark: A Threat: The headquarters of a group of arms dealers who have uncovered a cache of pre-Fall weaponry and are willing to sell anything to anyone for the right price.

The Keepers of the Way are mystic martial artists, living in a monasteries scattered across the waste, with members of the Order traveling the land to keep the peace--and maintain communication between monasteries. Before the Fall, the East Asian religions of Confucianism, Daoism and Mahayana Buddhism made major inroads into the United States. Some of these connected to the already existing martial arts community in the US. What emerged after the Fall is a syncretic blend of all these, plus other elements. There are factions with the Keepers of the Way favoring various religious and spiritual doctrines, but right doctrine is generally considered less important than right action. As part of right action, the monks and nuns of the Keepers of the Way do not live secluded in their monasteries, but wander the land, giving spiritual counsel, mediating disputes, and keeping the peace--ideally with words of wisdom, but with their martial arts training if they must. In return, they encourage lay people to support the monasteries with what donations they can afford, though the monastics also do their own farming and maintenance.

The Keepers of the Way are keenly aware on the tension between their aspiration to promote peace and reconciliation among different communities and factions and the often violent means they must use to protect the weak and promote justice in the post-Fall world. They are less aware of the dangers of the potential arrogance that can come with keeping the peace while living separately from the communities they are supposed to be protecting—an arrogance that could lead to dark places if it grew too great.

The Keepers of the Way also see it as among their duties to destroy all the advanced weaponry that lead to the Fall. They are fine with medieval-level weaponry (indeed, they are skilled wielders of them) and willing to tolerate handguns, though they do not use the latter themselves. But any heavy weaponry--from machine guns to missiles--they seek to destroy. Although they would like to restore humanity by morally uplifting them, if they can't, they want to make sure the type of weapons that lead to the Fall don't become widespread again, so no disaster of that magnitude happens again.