Saturday, July 28, 2018

Elderwold - The Preamble



Here's the preamble I read to new players in the face-to-face campaign I'm currently running. This campaign is reusing some of the Chaos on the Old Borderlands material previously posted on this blog, but adapted to an earlier-medieval type of milieu. 

Though the setup is a D&D-style sandbox, we're using a once-'lite' fantasy heartbreaker system that's a little bit BX, a little bit Traveller, a little bit BRP, a little bit WFRP. As it gets playtested, I might start releasing it publicly, though in what format I haven't decided.


Elderwold

You’ve come to the town of Caradoc Howe in the North Marches to seek glory and fortune. It is a small fortified hilltop town within sight of the edge of the vast, foreboding forest called the Elderwold. Hunters, trappers, loggers and fishers brave its dark bowers to bring its bounty back to Caradoc Howe. To the south of the town are a scattering of small farms, made up of doughty freeholders and serfs whose fate it is to risk the predation of goblins, orcs, and elves.

Caradoc Howe is nominally the responsibility of Lord Gerhart, member of the House of Chlodomer and cousin and vassal to the Earl of Harthach, Marcher Lord, but practically Abbot Lonan of the small cloister of Apollo Belenus takes on much of the active duties of town management. The Abbot also takes on the responsibilities of high priest for the settlement, over the objections of Father Adhemar of the small Temple of Juno Augusta.

Nearby settlements are Cenwyn’s Ferry, Castle Harthach, and the hunter's camp and the fisher's camp a day's travel into the Elderwold. The ruins of the old Abbey of Apollo Belenus lie southwest of Caradoc Howe and northwest of the Castle (Abbot Lonan being one of the monks from that accursed Abbey), and the ruined pile of Castle Trowgate looms in the hills to the east lies near the Old Road that leads to the dwarf-halls of the Trowmoors.

History

The North Marches are the northernmost extent of the Great Kingdom, which, despite its name, is currently ruled by the High Regent. The Regent and the order of warrior-monks who enforce her will — the Templars — seized the Leaden Crown during the tumult of the Princes’ War a generation ago, when competing heirs, orcish invaders and other, darker crises threatened to destroy the realm of Law. Since then, she has ruled with an iron hand.

Most of the Great Kingdom’s population lives in the long-settled and temperate southern half, but land clearances and an organized system of fortified settlements to the north-west have brought forth more food and a power-base of those ennobled by the Regent’s land grants. These settler-nobles are the rough-and-ready nouveau riche of human civilisation, always looking for a leg up on older, established, pre-Regency noble families and new places to expand to.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Encounters, Canadian

In a recent review for the inexplicably Ennie-nominated adventure compilation The Scenario [sic] From Ontario, Anonymous (presumably an anonymous individual, not the organization) left the following comment:

As a Canadian, I feel as though the heavy-handed stereotyping should offend me more.

It’d be like if I wrote an adventure called “Death & Texas”, and the random encounter table was like “1d4 bald eagles, 2d4 rednecks, guy in a coonskin cap, a revolver golem, lynch mob, 1d6 Coca Cola oozes”

Just grab basically every surface level thing you’ve heard about a place and throw it all together, eh?

It’d be like if I wrote an adventure called “Death & Texas”, and the random encounter table was like “1d4 bald eagles, 2d4 rednecks, guy in a coonskin cap, a revolver golem, lynch mob, 1d6 Coca Cola oozes”
Just grab basically every surface level thing you’ve heard about a place and throw it all together, eh?

Putting aside the question of the existence of any Canadianness outside of heavy-handed stereotyping, I thought I would offer a suggestion as to a more nuanced and realistic random encounter selection for adventuring in Canada. Because of the distinctive cultural differences between urban and rural Canada, I have elected to present a table for each environment:

CANADIAN WILDERNESS ENCOUNTERS (1d6)
1. 
Angel, Stone (1)
2. Labourer (clad in lion-skins) (1d6)
3. Patient, English (1)
4. Manticore, The (1)
5. Solitude, Twin (2)
6. If rolled while in barrens: Lost. Otherwise: Viking Grave, Cursed

URBAN CANADIAN ENCOUNTERS (1d6)
1.
 Maritimer, Unemployed (1d3) and 2 in 6 chance of Quebecois, Unemployed (1d2)
2. Film shoot, low-budget SF (2d8 crew, 1d6 actors (recognizable: 2 in 6 chance))
3. Film shoot, local comedy (2d8 crew, 1d3 actors (recognizable: 1 in 6 chance))
4. Fang, Hooded (1)
5. Drome, Video
6. Flesh, New (1d6)

Elderwold - The Preamble

Here's the preamble I read to new players in the face-to-face campaign I'm currently running. This campaign is reusing some of...