Thursday, July 6, 2017

Chaos on the Old Borderlands - 20 Questions, Part Three

Continuing the description of the Old Borderlands, here's the next instalment of answers to Jeff Rients's famed 20 Questions.

9. Is there a magic guild my wizard belongs to or that I can join in order to get more spells?
No sorcerer’s guild operates in the Old Borderlands. To some grey-faced and suspicious members of the church of Law, such an organization would be tantamount to a cult of Chaos.
To learn more spells or the like, you’d need to find someone to apprentice you, and that means either taking instruction from Sardo the Younger or tracking down hidden practitioners of the secret arts.

10. Where can I find an alchemist, sage or other expert NPC?

  • The closest thing to a magic guild is the Alchemist’s Guild, and the closest member of the Alchemist’s Guild is Master Fringuello, whose guild membership seems to lack some supporting documents. He does sell things he calls potions, though, and will pay a supply of certain components.
  • Baron Liutward fancies himself a historian and aesthete, and can at least attempt to spin a provenance for any objects d’art put before him. 
  • While she frequently has other problems to deal with, the Abbess Ferrolinguetta’s aristocratic education included a stint at the Academy of Cittibiana — before the destructon of that august institution in the Wars of Realmish Succession — and may expound on many questions historical, philosophical, or scientific. You’d better catch her in a good mood, though. 

11. Where can I hire mercenaries?
The Manor-fort is teeming with runaways, vagabonds, ruffians, and ne’er-do-wells ready to swing an axe or sword for drink and gold. In addition to the week’s crop of desperate adventurers, there are a few more seasoned parties that can be called upon:

  • The Death-Dealers: Tough-looking guys and gals in tough-looking leather gear (usually dyed black and metal-studded), looking for some jewelled thrones to grind beneath their booted feet. While they will serve as mercenaries, they usually prefer to work independently. Symbol: A horned helmet on a shield.
  • The Bordo Family: Twins and their cousin, plus some other local friends and family when times are tough. Local bumpkins and fortune-seekers; to look at them in a dungeon, you’d think they were in over their heads. They’ll offer their individual services as hirelings sometimes. Symbol: A capital ‘B’ surrounded by ivy and a plethora of animals rampant (one young Bordo is an enthusiastic artist).  
  • Wurster’s Boys: Shitty assholes who’re just there to make some petty cash. Local mutterings pin some recent banditry on them as well. They do seem to enjoy the appearances of being adventurers. Symbol: Two wolf’s heads on a shield, facing away. 

Other parties known in the area include the Owls of Minerva (an elf, a dwarf, and a goblin walk into a bar…), the Hallowed Band (the innocents’ crusade), The Circle of Seven (about 3-4 wizards), the Chalice of Light (more wizards), and the Chain (like the Death-Dealers, but with more metal than leather).

12. Is there any place on the map where swords are illegal, magic is outlawed or any other notable hassles from Johnny Law?
Outside the Fort, Leechford, and the scattered, rebuilding villages, the Old Borderlands are functionally lawless. Inside these places, the law is the command of whoever is lord of that place. In Leechford and the Fort, violence and thievery are punished harshly, though few restrictions are in place to prevent either from happening. People are unlikely to trust someone walking around with a deadly weapon, but everyone does it, so people are unlikely to trust anyone.
As (if) the political situation stabilizes, more detailed legal restrictions on the use and wearing of weapons — and the open practice of sorcery — will probably be put in place. Until then, chaos reigns.

Two OSE Spells

A few years ago, when a Wilderlands campaign was being converted from 5e to OSE, I had written up two versions of spells my 5e character (a ...