Thursday, April 26, 2018

Gameplay: Dragons versus Vampires, Part 1.

Dragons versus Vampires, part the first.

Sunday Family Game Day

     Tonight's family game night consisted of the dragons Sunstar, Lavender, and Vertigo waking up from their short nap of two months to a bright sunny summer day. Sunstar was the first to awaken and she left the burrow to find a meal and survey the area. She saw some light glinting off of something down in the southern part of the forest past the fields of the farms. Curious but cautious she went back to the burrow and woke her sister Lavender. They went out to investigate and saw a large group of orcs attacking a few horses. They swooped down and hit the orcs with their breath weapons then crashed into melee claw and tooth ready. While they tore into the now frightened orcs the horses held their own against the orcs attacking them. After the initial shock of having dragons drop on them, the orcs ran to get as far away from there as possible!
     After they were done slaughtering the closest orcs the sisters turned to the horses and we're surprised to see a unicorn family. The stallion and mare thanked them for helping to save their foal and gave them permission to hunt and visit their forest any time they would like. They invited the unicorns to visit their burrow as well and the unicorns sped of into the forest. After they were done taking anything of value from the slain orcs they went back home.
Late that afternoon Lavender went to the river to find some fish to eat and noticed that the fallen castle was recently disturbed by someone. Vertigo joined Sunstar and Lavender in investigating the castle. With their superior dragon senses they were easily able to find the hidden entrance that was dug into the ground under the ruins. Sunstar could tell that man sized creatures used tools to dig the tunnel recently. When they investigated the tunnel it went down a short incline. At the end there is a room where six men in suits of armor were lounging around playing cards. Behind them was an alcove with a sarcophagus and a screen. To the right of that was a crude tunnel and tools for excavation. A few piles of dirt were heaped nearby with two wheelbarrows.
     After a short time of them looking at the scene the heavy stone sarcophagus lid moved to the side and a beautiful woman sat up and yelled at the men to get back to work. They got up immediately and started digging the tunnel. The woman laid back down and moved the lid back into place.
     Lavender snuck past to the sarcophagus and found three dead bodies wearing the same armor lying there behind the screen. She changed her form to a human and put the armor on. The other two dragons followed suit and they grabbed tools and started working as well. The humans didn't seem to take any notice. Once the sun set the woman came back out of the sarcophagus and commanded the workers to stop and sit before her. She looked the men over and picked one to follow her behind the screen. After a minute she walked out from behind the screen looking for flush and told them to rest. As everyone was lying down she left the tunnel.
The dragons followed behind the woman to find that she was nowhere to be seen. Vertigo used her skills of hunting to follow the woman by her odd scent. It led them to the town. They landed, changed back to human form and removed the armor. In the tavern of the town they found the woman talking quietly to the bartender. They say down at an empty table behind her and observed.
     The barmaid walked out of the kitchen carrying drinks to another table and then came over to serve the sisters. They ordered some ale and food then waited to see what the odd last would do. After the lady was done whispering to the bartender she turned around and gazed at the sisters. Her eyes grew slightly suspicious and she walked over to the table that the barmaid just left drinks at. The woman looked at the two men and the female at the table and spoke quietly to them.
     The barmaid came over with the sister's order and then walked to another table over by the fireplace. After speaking with the three men at that table she went back to the kitchen. The odd lady walked past the sisters again looking at them momentarily and then went to the table by the fireplace. She spoke with those men and as the barmaid came back with drinks she spoke to the barmaid and then left. The sisters dropped some coins on the table to pay for their meal and followed the woman.
     She was across the street at the general goods store knocking loudly on the closed door. After a moment a light shine through the windows as the shop keeper came to the door. He opened it and the lady spoke to him momentarily then she turned to leave. Seeing the sisters standing there she started to walk past them when Lavender decided to attack.
     Lavender polymorphed back into her dragon form and as her claws reached for the woman she dissipated into mist. Following her lead the others transformed back to their dragon forms. The lady reformed next to Lavender and was able to successfully grab her with her very strong grip. Vertigo hit the woman with her acid breath weapon, she glared at Vertigo and turned back into mist. Lavender used her lozenge breath weapon and the resulting explosion dissipated her mist widely. While the sisters regrouped the woman started trying to reform herself. When she was mostly together Sunstar used her breath weapon of seating hot bright crystal shards to harm the woman. At this point turned into a giant bat as the wolves she summoned attacked. Vertigo used her slow gas breath weapon and Lavender flew after the woman and Sunstar tore into the lead wolf. Vertigo also chased after the bat form of the woman and Sunstar follower after scaring of the wolves.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Gameplay: The Conquesodores, part one.

The Conquesodores

GOB Mini-Con 2018: Recap, part one.


For the Mini-Con I had my daughter, John, Jen, Jim (he was present for the second half), and Bob present for the adventure. I ran it in two parts. The full team consisted of Mhambi a Wanderer kit Druid, Wilhemina Bugel an Illusionist specialist Wizard, Berrina Gembiter a Breachgnome kit fighter, Sir Robyn the Brave an Errant kit Paladin, and Bob ended up playing two PCs. First was Daniel Reid an Explorer kit Ranger and Khenbish a Scout kit Thief at the start of the second half.

The first part involved getting out of the town of Claus Canyon unseen, taking out the Red Eye ogre tribe, and the Mouldbreath goblin tribe worg-riders and archers surrounding the town and keeping anyone from leaving before Cheesus arrives to convert or kill everyone there in three days time. The Conquesodores sent an ogre to make the demand and he walked out of the town. When a shepherd stepped outside of the short palisade demarcating the edge of town he burst into a pillar of flame. When his wife came out to him she was hot with a great many arrows and then burst into flames. At this point the town went a little bit crazy.

The party spoke to the refugees from further out in the countryside about what happened to them and Wilhelmina convinced two men to follow her as bodyguards. Daniel went to the highest point in town to try and survey the archer nests. Mhambi went and calmed the animals at the stablers and found that they were uneasy about the worgs surrounding the town.

When everyone met at the temple of Erron of Solitude (Goddess of Adventurers, Justice,and Vengeance) they exchanged notes and decided to go talk with the undertaker and his son. The undertaker's son, Boy (a priest of Beowa the Resurrected), showed them a secret mine tunnel that the undertakers use to haul the bodies to the canyon for internment.

After exploring the old mine tunnels they avoided a trap set near an entrance at the bottom of the canyon and set an ambush nearby for any ogres that might come. They waited patiently and we're able to get two ogres. Berrina had followed the others quietly and was able to take out an ogre with a couple of martial arts punches. Her loud kiai yell attracted more attention from the rest of the ogres camping in the canyon. Mhambi used her special whistle to call for her black leopard, Ingwe. This also called the attention of the worgs that were back around the town.

By rearranging their ambush to allow Berrina to be the focus they were able to bottleneck the ogres. Berrina held the ogres at bay with her superb karate training while Daniel fired arrows into their forces and Wilhelmina distracted them with accurate depictions of more forces flanking the ogres.

While they were dealing with the ogres Mhambi pulled back to cover the rear as worgs attacked from behind. Using her bond with nature she called upon the land to hold the worgs fast. She used the Umbulali Onkulunkulu (a +2 hunga munga) to kill as many goblins and worgs as she could until the ogres were taken care of. Berrina washed through the grasping underbrush to fight the worgs and the goblins.

As the others were busy with them Daniel used his special Explorer powers to interrogate the last remaining ogre to get an accurate idea of the Conquesodores full forces. Unfortunately the offer was not very bright or well informed, he could count to a score but no more. The did get information of where the forces were located though.

Berrina and Daniel climbed opposite canyon walls to get to the two nests of goblin archers. Berrina had no trouble clearing out the goblins from the small cave they were hooked up in. Daniel had a slightly less easy time, but found some unusual arrows. The goblins had some flight arrows with ceramic heads packed with some kind of alchemical powder and a fuse coming out of the base. Using these and his own arrows he covered the rest of the party as they snuck around to fight the remaining goblins from behind.

By the time the rest of the party had cleared out the third of five nests, Daniel fired the special arrows at the last worg patrolling between the nests. The pillars of flame coming from the arrows distracted the fifth nest as the main group took out the fourth one. Now that Daniel knows what the arrows do he used them on the fifth nest of archers. Aiming for the center of the group he accidentally blows up all of the arrows that group was carrying. This conflagration starts a massive fire in the tall grass the rest of the group is in.

The rest of the party is running away from this massive wildfire as fast as they can when they realize it should have already engulfed them. Unbeknownst to the party the goblins were carrying a special item that housed a fire elemental. The wild fire only gave it more fuel to power it.

Setting that there was something to punch Berrina turned and ran back to fight the elemental. From his perch Daniel rained down arrows into the elemental with his bow, Heartwyrm giving the sheaf arrows the power to hurt it. Mhambi was throwing her weapon at it and Berrina focused her Qi to damage the monster. After she did some significant harm to the elemental it focused all of its fury and attacks at her. With its first strike against her, it nearly killed her and Wilhelmina had to force a Topaz of Vitality into Berrina's mouth to save her. Unfortunately Berrina's clothing did not survive the flames. With the party busy fighting the elemental, they didn't notice a lone worg-rider running away to where the main body of Cheesus’ forces were at.

Once the fire elemental was taken care of the party went back into town and the first half of the adventure was over.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Locations: Province of Astakus, Empire of Ralifon

Province of Astakus

Empire of Ralifon

Overview


     The Province of Astakus is a growing province. The old temple of Barbēlō, closed for many long years, has been revitalized and with it the province has started to flourish. The River Astakus runs right through the province to Lake Auroralis, the largest lake in Rhun. Fishing the lake provides Astakus with its largest source of wealth, the second largest source comes from the Palus Senatorium to the northwest in the form of coal being brought in via the lake. The Faerie's Grotto (at the bottom of the above picture) is a source of magical power that members of the local Societatem Magis will occasionally venture into for mysterious wizardly rituals.

Gates


     The ten Gates of Astakus provide the province access to Aestus Mulie, Bazle, Caesai Oculis, Castroflumine, Koravie, Luqbinum, Qidron-Forum Arcanum, Sexeptum, Vexetus, Xaelatores.

Temples and Shrines


     The most notable and largest temple is the Magnificum Templum Barbēlō. This huge temple complex is the second largest temple and is the largest money changer in the empire. It is a very somber place during the day when the priests are conducting banking transactions. At night the priestesses are out in force and the temple complex becomes the largest brothel and casino in the empire. So large is this complex that they have a gate on the temple grounds that is quite busy at any hour of the day!
     The other temples in Astakus are ones dedicated to Wazirëkyn, Oukranos, and Mellart. There are smaller shrines dedicated to Beowa, Berrish, and one secreted away to Hisui no Majo.

Notable Cheesemongers


     The most influential and powerful of the goblin families calls Astakus its home, the Tesremos family makers of Cheddar cheese. Within Astakus they maintain a small and quaint factory within the city. Their main compound is on the shore of Lake Auroralis to the north of Astakus in the town named for the family.
     Surprisingly there is another family of goblins operating within the city, the Bulsian family makes a cheese called Kenafa. This cheese is used primarily to make sweet desserts by the Bulsian family. So popular and good are these desserts that the Tesremos matriarch, Hephan the Corpulent, is the best customer of the Bulsians. Therefore they stay small and specialize in their cheese-based desserts to avoid direct conflict with the Tesremos.

Notable Locations


     Beyond the Faerie's Grotto and the Magnificum Templum Barbēlō is the Dulce Domum et Bulsian. This popular cheese house is where the Bulsian family makes their desserts. The cheesecake is definitely worth the expense, they run from 10 to up to 100 gold coins. They also make frozen cheeses, that rumor has it is a favorite treat of Ralifon.
     If one is not disposed to partaking of the Magnificum or the Dulce Domum there are quieter establishments. A popular place is Hu's House along the northern docks. It is said that Hu was once a guard to the Emperor Chi'in but was banished for some kind of vile deed. The stories vary on what Hu did but they generally agree that he is not someone that any sane person would want to pick a fight with. The local constables avoid this establishment so it is a good place to find persons of ill repute.
     There are two towers that the Societatem Magis have constructed. The western tower is open to the public as the local temple to Wazirëkyn. The eastern tower has no doors or windows evident on it. There is a very fine curio shop near the eastern tower called Mirandus's that caters to the local mages. Sellers will get a fair price for bringing Mirandus interesting items and if she does not want them will be happy to find a buyer for a standard finders fee of 20% of the final sale price of the item(s). She is a well known and liked individual that would never strike someone in anger, as she is charming and beautiful enough to disarm even the most fearsome villains. For those who are in need of special services she can broker an introduction to the local Witch of Hisui no Majo for a much smaller fee.
     The aforementioned Witch does not see anyone who does not first get an introduction from Mirandus. Unlike many of her sisters she operates within the walls of Qidron, she is a secretive and powerful witch who is careful to not be caught by the constables or the Legionnaires, as her services are illegal within Qidron. This is why most Witches operate in more remote areas.

Outside the Walls


     The province of Astakus is both large and small. Large because Lake Auroralis is entirely within the borders of the province. Small because it takes up two thirds of the province. Within Lake Auroralis there is ample fish to feed the entire province for generations. There are also crustaceans and special clams deep within its waters. Fishermen tell tales of beautiful maidens that swim near the center of the lake who will sing to unwary sailor and charm them into diving into the water. Once there they take them to their deaths deep under the dark waves.
     There are other tale that tell of beautiful night maidens who dance in the sky upon wondrous sheets of light and will sit upon the mast of fortunate sailors and leave a short bright glow at the top of the mast as a gift of good luck to those worthy of their attentions.
     Five days march north of Astakus on the Via Astakus, the road that follows the shore of Lake Auroralis, just at the foothills of the Adewliess Mountains and a day east of the Palus Senatorium, is the town of Horologium. This town of about 5,000 individuals, mostly gnomes and dwarves, produces high quality mechanical devices. They are most known for their giant water clock, the Horologium, that stands a full fifty feet in height. They produce technologies utilizing wind and water power for large scale applications.
     The smaller devices they produce can tell time, navigate by the stars with the twist of the facing, as well as many other small automata. These devices, known as Horologia, can be extremely intricate and function almost as if magical in nature (they are not). They are made from alloys (such as brass, bronze, and pewter) and other materials that have not been duplicated outside of the town.
     The leading Horologist is known as the Master Craftsman. The current Master Craftsman is a dwarf by the name of Rhidameces. The Master Craftsman takes on only two apprentices at a time and is expected to produce at least one amazing Horologia a decade to keep the post. Rhidameces recently created an Horologia called the Sicarius (same stats as a Thanatar). This fifteen foot long war machine needs to be wound by a team of four dwarves before being released to fight (it takes a full turn to wind up and fights for up to 6 turns before becoming inactive).
     Two days march south from Horologium is the Town of Tesremos. This sprawling agricultural area produces the majority of the cheddar cheese for the Tesremos family. The town is partially underground and is peopled by goblins and hobbits with a large human slave population working the fields and herding the cattle, goats, and sheep. The Tesremos family has exclusive rights to the entire town and fields for a full days march north, south and west by order of the Regent and approval of the Senate. As such the entirety of the town is considered private property. The roads through the township are built and maintained by the Legions and are considered public property much to the annoyance of the Tesremos family (they would love to charge tolls for using the roads). The other major annoyance to the Tesremos is that the lake immediately adjacent to their lands are also public property and they cannot refuse a vessel harbor on their shores nor can they charge for use of landfall that has not been developed (meaning they can charge docking fees for using docks built for harboring vessels).
     The caves of Tesremos are arched affairs with well built twelve foot tall ceilings, they are well ventilated, have drainage grates, and lit by sconces of brightly glowing fungi (equivalent to torchlight) set at regular intervals. These caves are designed to keep a well regulated temperature and relatively constant humidity. There are several storage areas for cheeses to cure and age. The Master Cheesemongers are present at all times of the day or night doing their rounds and inspecting the products. Many of the above buildings have been designed to have easy access to the underground as they process the various milks from the surface.
     The Tesremos Palace is set just south of the town and they have a private dock with a half dozen pleasure vessels for use by the Matron and her immediate family (a total of 15 children, small for a goblin family of repute). Hephan the Corpulent's grandmother had managed to convince the previous Magi Magni, Broos the Undying to build them a personal gate. This smaller gate gives the palace access to two of their other strongholds, one is near the Imperial Palace and the other is in a remote mountainous area. All of these gates lead to their counterparts forming a small secret trifecta. The very high cost of these gates nearly bankrupted the Tesremos but with Hephan's brilliant leadership and ruthless utilization of blackmail, assassination, and brutality she has brought her family greater riches than they ever had previously imagined.
     A single days march from Tesremos is a small fishing community, about 25 families, of humans and hobbits. This community is an extremely poor one that has fallen on hard times since the Tesremos expanded their fishing operations in the lake.
     Five days south of Astakus along the Via Astakus, in the foothills of the Adewliess Mountains about a three days march west from Horologium through the Palus Senatorium, is the Demergo Fortress. This fortress is set on an artificial promonotory of limestone left in the area by an ancient giant aerie that crashed into the Palus Senatorium thousands of years ago. The Demergo Fortress guards the entrance to an important underground network of coal bearing caves that provide the local economy with its primary source of wealth. The mines are entirely worked by criminals, sentenced to hard labor for periods of five years to life, and slaves. These mines are owned by the senate and profits are used in public works projects, as well as paying the legionnaires stipends.
     The fortress is placed in clear view of the lake and the mouth of the swamp. The legionnaires send scouting patrols out to the swamp to hunt and kill dangerous predators, such as large cats and trolls, that would otherwise endanger the mines and workers. The docks of the fortress are constantly busy with ships being loaded with coal or unloaded with supplies and workers. The mines are dangerous and Horologium has sent several engineers to help shore up the mines as well as place water removal devices, such as screws and reverse overshot waterwheels.
     Two days march south, towards Astakus, from Demergo Fortress is the shipyard town of Arboretum Latebros. This town of 1,000 persons, mostly humans and elves, harvests the large Arboretum trees in the nearby forest to build their ships. The Latebros Forest goes west towards an arm of the Adewliess Mountains. There are stories that deep in the forest there is a grove where beautiful maidens gather at night to dance and frolic. It is said that their beauty is so great that they will enthrall any man who sees them.
     The extensive dock system of Arboretum Latebros places a great portion of the town actually on the water and not on land. This town is able to build a large ship every month, due to there being thirteen ship builders and several shops specializing in other maritime accoutrements such as ropes, block and tackle, lanterns, bells, sails, et cetera.
     Two day march from Arboretum Latebros is Austershire, a farming village of about 100 families of hobbits. This quiet village utilizes a sophisticated irrigation system to water their crops and they have a few families that have large herds that graze the southern grasslands around the village and along the River Astakus. The herdsmen have several helpers that gather barrows full of manure they then bring back with them to the fields of Austershire to assist in extending the growing seasons. This practice has helped the hobbits increase their food production and thus their wealth.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Locations: Elentari the Asteroid Port

Elentari

Spelljammer Asteroid Port
 
Exterior view of Elentari

Overview

 

      Elentari is a good sized asteroid that is hemispherical in shape. It measures 6 miles in diameter and is roughly 1½ miles thick. The rough terrain is covered almost entirely covered by grass. The deeper craters are filled with liquid water. There are several small cottages and farms dotting the landscape. On the top side there are two large craters. The largest of the craters has a stone mesa in it which has a squat tower on it, named Barad'Rasa, bristling with catapults and ballistae which provides excellent cover fire over the entire top of Elentari.
     The bottom side has a single crater with a mesa on it and there is a very well constructed compound on it, named the Twilight Bastille. This is a prison where the Eleven Imperial Navy is housing some of its more dangerous criminals. The water within this crater is very acidic and swimming in the water from the Bastille to the shore will burn the skin off of the hardiest of the prisoners. Even chitinous exoskeletons are broken down by the acid. There are also dangerous predatory fish and plants that live within the water.
     Within the asteroid, which is entered from the side that is on the upper left hand part of the map above, is where the town proper is at.

Barad'Rasa

 

      The tower known as Barad'Rasa was created by a powerful wizard by drawing the mesa from the bottom of the crater lake and making the tower from this stone. The tower was outfitted with several outer towers that house the catapults and ballistae that protect Elentari. The central tower has a dome top that can be retracted and a giant cannon can fire at particularly large or dangerous vessels. This cannon, made by the Giff, requires a significant amount of smokepowder to use it and it fires a cannonball that weighs about 500 pounds. The tower has enough smokepowder and cannonballs to fire this dangerous weapon three times.
     There are tunnels beneath the tower that run through the mesa and allow travel directly to the town proper of Elentari. These tunnels are well patrolled by Sylvane guards and the tower has many Sylvane living within it. The leader of the Sylvane is named Silver Tongue (Fi/Th 15) a male Sylvane who is stern and somewhat gruff but always willing to defend the weak and care for the welfare of his charges.

The Twilight Bastille

 

      This prison was placed on the mesa by the same powerful wizard that created the mesa for Barad'Rasa. Once he created the prison he left behind some dangerous traps for those who would attempt to leave the prison. The greatest defense of the Bastille is that it has been rendered entirely magic dead. No magics work within the walls of the prison and this area extends out from the walls for several hundred yards in every direction. There is also some kind of psionic resonance field in the prison that prevents psionics from working within its walls. The walls also prevent planar travel out of the prison, they do not prevent travel in though.
     There are no guards within the Twilight Bastille. The prisoners are left to determine who is in charge. There are edible fungi growing within the prison that can provide nourishment to a wide variety of humanoid species, the exception being the mind flayers, and they have a single source of fresh water.

The Town of Elentari

 

     Within the asteroid there is a single large cavern that the town is built on. The gravity plane of the asteroid has been warped so that the floor is always "down" and this extends up from there for about 10 to 20 yards. Outside of this area there is no gravity. At the back of the cavern is a large tower with a sunstone on it that gives off sunlight for 12 hours a day and dims to moonlight for the other 12 hours. This tower is also a temple dedicated to the god Celestian.
     Near the large entryway to the town is the docks and the dockyards. There are many warehouses near the docks to house the various goods and to hold the shipbuilding materials. The Shipyard is run by Urulóki (Elf, Male, Fi/Wz 6) and his team of Hadozee and Sylvane workers who have become extremely skilled at ship repairs of all kinds. Urulóki has contacts with Arcane dealers and he can get most common spelljamming equipment for those willing to pay his finders fee (5% of the cost of the transaction).
     The town mayor is Findulas (Elf, Male, 0 lvl Politician) a slick bureaucrat that is more than willing to accept a bribe to get the wheels of the bureaucracy moving for "good friends" of his. The town itself is a plutocracy and without trade the town would wither away.

Taxes and Fees

 

     The town imposes a tax on all sales of 2% as well as several other fees on ships entering Elentari. The air fee is 2 silver per ton of the vessel, there is a 100 gold fine for entering with a fouled atmosphere. Water costs 4 silver per ton of the vessel as the water supply is not great. The city council will pay a handsome sum to a trader who can get hold of a large enough comet to refill the crater lakes. There is also a fee imposed for individuals who wish to carry weapons off of their vessels and into the town. This fee is 1 silver for a sword or bow and 1 copper for anything smaller. Firearms incur a 2 gold fee, which the Giff chafe at but will pay.
     Anyone caught committing crimes is punished by working the fields for a period of a years depending on the crime (use page 11 of the SJR5 Rock of Bral, TSR 9361 for a good guide, they do not jettison individuals but will drop them into the Twilight Bastille).


The Outside

 

     The Outside, as the locals call it, is where all of the food that the town trades in is grown. These farms are leased by the city council and mayor. Slaves work the fields and there is an overseer who keeps track of the workers and pushes them to make their quotas. The overseers report to the Councilor of Agriculture, Ngima Grindstaff (Human, Male, Spy 6) who keeps records of what is harvested and planted to ensure that crops are efficiently managed. Grindstaff has a Phylactery of Remembrance which allows his to perfectly remember and recall all of the information and experiences he has.
     There are four hundred Sylvane commandos, broken into units of 10 with a Sylvani leader, on the surface constantly patrolling and keeping an eye on the slaves and skies. These commandos are highly trained and skilled (Fi 9) as well as well equipped. Their leaders are not only warriors but can be spell casters (Wz 12 or Pr 12 50% chance of either) and will have three to five magic items (scroll, wand, or potion. 10% chance for a permanent magic item) and one magic weapon of (+1 or +2).

Interior view of Elentari

Places of Interest


     There are three taverns and two inns available for sailors in Elentari. The taverns are, in order of quality and price from lowest to highest, the Empty Skull (1 on the Interior map), The Will 'O Wisp Inn (2), and The Smoking Dragon Inn (3). The Dockyard (4) is where ship building and repairs take place. The building at the center of the map is the Temple of Celestian. The City Hall is where the administrative, bureaucratic, and taxes are handled. There is also a small jail in the building to hold prisoners for minor offenses (such and drunkenness and disorderly conduct).
     The remaining buildings are warehouses, homes, and businesses. The majority of the buildings are two story affairs with the notable exception of the Smoking Dragon Inn, which is a four story tall tree.
     Near the entrance to the cavern is a series of hidden ballistae that can fire on ships at the entrance with frightening speed and accuracy. There are four of them, each one is a repeating ballista (1 shot per round, holds 12 shots before reloading is required. Needs a team of three to use effectively) with a magical +1 enchantment to hitting anything greater than 1 ton. The bonus does not apply to objects that are smaller than this.
     The building that has a dot in it on the map is a covered well that is where all of the water for the town come in from the smaller of the two crater lakes above on the Outside.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Groups: Consilio ex Familia

Consilio ex Familia

The goblin mafia families
Image is owned by Henson Associates Inc., not used with permission.

Introduction

     The Consilio ex Familia is the organized crime syndicate formed by the various goblin families. Within the Empire of Ralifon the goblins are the sole producers of cheese, both mundane and magical, as well as dealing in contraband. The Familia is ruled by a council of the five most powerful and influential families.
     The Council heads are currently (listed in order of power from greatest to least) the family of Tesremos the makers of Cheddar; the Selpan the makers of Mozzarella; the Hallein the makers of Lüneberg, Emmental, and Graukäse; the Guxisberq the makers of Areesh, Shanklish, and Domyat; the Evreh the makers of Limburger, Époisses, Valençay, Camembert, and others.
     Beyond the Council there are more than forty families that work within the City of Qidron and within the more rural areas of the various provinces. Each family is given a brief description with the various provinces descriptions. The information presented is usually what gossip can be found out by non-members of the Consilio ex Familia.

General Hierarchy


     Each family is free to determine their own structural hierarchy and send whomever they choose to represent them at full meetings of the Consilio ex Familia. Many of the representatives are male, while the head of the family itself will be female. Within a single family the Matriarchs and Patriarchs word is law. To disobey a direct order is a deadly mistake, though that does not stop many younger goblins from twisting the words of the Matriarchs to their own advantage. This practice is usually well rewarded and is the best way to get ahead of your brothers and sisters within the family.

The Inner Workings


     When it comes to the Consilio there are two full meetings in a year. These are held on the days and nights of the equinoxes and serve two-fold purposes. In the autumn the goblins hold the Comitiatus when the elections are held for all of the important positions for the Corpus Consilio. The Corpus Consilio take care of the day to day business and are elected from among the recognized families. The most coveted position is that of Opulentitas, the treasurer of the Corpus. The Opulentitas is elected for a life term and they control all of the fees and duties paid by the families to the Consilio and make certain that payments to and from the treasury are verified and accounted for.
     Beyond this the ruling families also go over new business opportunities and grant members their Indulgentia to pursue these opportunities and renew old Indulgentia as well. It is this practice that gives the ruling families their greatest power as they can withhold an Indulgentia from disobedient families. Any truly lucrative opportunities will be granted to themselves or a trusted vassal family.
     In the spring the Corpus Consilio assembles to give their fees and duties to the Opulentitas as well as grant new families membership in the Consilio ex Familia. It is also at this time that members may bring grievances against each other, which are voted on and the loser must pay penalty to the winner which is determined by the ruling families. This practice is used as a way to keep the Council in power and the weaker families from gaining to much power.

The Opulentitas


     The position of Opulentitas is one of the most powerful positions that a goblin can hold. The Opulentitas is not just a comptroller for the Familia they are also a religious figure and seen as a physical manifestation of Berrish the Cheesebringer. The Opulentitas can make decrees that the goblins will follow with the same fervor as they follow among their own familial decrees, i.e. they twist them to their own advantage. The Council is always careful to make sure that an Opulentitas is elected from among their own ranks or one of their vassal families in order to keep fringe elements out of the office.
     The Opulentitas will occasionally leave a trusted retainer to take care of business while they take a pilgrimage to the Aegritudo. This is a hidden holy site of Berrish known only to the Opulentitas and a few very knowledgeable historians and sages. When they make the pilgrimage they are usually gone for a few months and when they return they will come back wiser and more powerful. It is rare for the Opulentitas to make more that one pilgrimage in a lifetime and within the entire history of the Familia no more than two pilgrimages by a single Opulentitas have been recorded.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Resources: Player Character Spreadsheet

Player Character Spreadsheet


     Here is a link to a character spreadsheet that should make it easier to create a PC! In the "Primary Class" cell just enter the Class, Kit, or Dragon type and it will figure the XP requirements and when you enter XP it will adjust for level.
In the "Species" cell enter the PC Race and it will input the special abilities of the race in the "Species Abilities" cell on the Skills page.
     If you run into issues with the sheet please let me know so that I can fix any errors. You can put in just about any published player character race you want in the "Species" cell.
     This is a nearly completed spreadsheet and I wanted to share it in order to get outside input on it, so as to improve the generator. I chose Google Docs because of the cross-platform compatibility and ease of access.

Enjoy!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Magic Items: Tomes of Knowledge

Tomes of Knowledge

XP Value 3,000; GP Value 30,000.

Picture by funkeymunkey17, not used with permission.


Background


     The first known examples of these tomes come from the old Saxaran kingdom of Shem and were scribed on several clay tablets placed together by fine copper wire. Later versions have been found written on papyrus during the unified kingdom and more contemporary versions are usually written on fine vellum pages that are bound into books.
     These rare tomes are prized by their owners for they can be used to give the user a complete set of skills within a specific field, as if they had just finished a full apprenticeship under a master of the field. In game terms, they grant the user a set of proficiencies that would be available as if they had the secondary skill.

Powers


     There are various Tomes of Knowledge, each one is distinct from another, but they all follow the same governing principles. Like all magical books these appear to be "normal'' works of lore. Each is indistinguishable from all others by visual examination of the outer parts or by detection for magic aura.
     A wish spell can identify or classify a magical work. Other spells such as commune, contact higher planes, limited wish, and true seeing are useless. A wish reveals the general contents of a book. A second wish is required to determine the book's exact contents. If the DM chooses, after being perused by a character, these magical works vanish forever.
     Uniquely these works can be used by any person or class that can understand the contents. Those persons who do not know how to read are able to understand the works and practice the skills within.
     Below is a list of several different Tomes of Knowledge. Each one grants the user the listed proficiencies as if they had spent the required slots to learn them. Once the user completes a specific tome that tome will no longer work for them though others with different skills may do so, at the DMs discretion.

List of Known Works


     Below is far from a complete list for these tomes. Feel free to add more tomes to the list as needed or wanted for your campaign.
  • Usurer's Ledger: Appraising, Basic Mathematics, Read & Write Native Tongue.
  • Weiland's Curaiss: Armorer, Appraising.
  • Diplomat's Treaty: Observation, Oratory, Read & Write Foreign Language.
  • Materia Medica: Healing, Herbalism.
  • Ju Yuan Hao's Flechery: Bowyer/Fletcher.
  • Fukawa's Garden: Agriculture, Flower Arranging.
  • Old Man Sea: Fishing, Boating.
  • Ilm al-Jabr Wa'l Muqabalah: Mathematics, Engineering, Read & Write Native Language.
  • The Atharvaveda: Fortune Telling, Fast-Talking.
  • Treatise on Precious Stones: Mining, Stonemasonry.
  • Tsai Lun's Paper Techniques: Paper-Maker, Read & Write Native Tongue, Seamstress/Tailor.
  • Almagest: Seamanship, Navigation, Swimming, Astronomy.
  • Xi Yuan Lu (Washing Away of Wrongs): Anatomy, Entomology, Law, Observation.

Notes


     Most of the skills are loosely based on those listed in the PHB under Secondary Skills. An expanded list of secondary skills that I personally use in my games is listed below. To use the charts the player or DM rolls a d6 and d100. The results of the d6 determine which of the three charts to use, 1-2 uses the first chart, 3-4 the second, and 5-6 the last. The percentage roll determines which skill the character possesses on that chart. These are by no means exhaustive


Secondary Skills (1-2)% RollProficiencies
Armorer01 to 02Armorer


Appraising
Bowyer/Fletcher03 to 04Bowyer/Fletcher
Farmer05 to 10Agriculture
Fisher11 to 14Fishing


Boating
Forester15 to 20Survival (Woodland)


Lumbering
Gambler21 to 23Gaming
Groom24 to 27Animal Handling
Hunter28 to 32Survival (Woodland)


Tracking


Butchering
Jeweler33 to 34Appraising


Gem Cutting


Goldsmithing
Leatherworker35 to 37Leatherworking
Limner/Painter38 to 39Appraising


Cartography


Read/Write, Native Tongue
Mason40 to 42Stonemasonry
Miner43 to 44Mining


Stonemasonry
Navigator45 to 46Seamanship


Navigation


Swimming


Astronomy
Sailor47 to 49Seamanship


Swimming
Scribe50 to 51Read/Write, Native Tongue


Numeracy
Shipwright52 to 53Seamanship


Carpentry


Boatwright
Tailor/Weaver54 to 56Seamstress/Tailor
Teamster/Freighter57 to 59Animal Handling


Carpentry
Trader/Barterer60 to 62Appraising


Numeracy
Trapper/Furrier63 to 66Survival (Woodland)


Set Snares


Butchering
Weaponsmith67 to 68Weaponsmithing


Appraising
Woodworker/Carpenter69 to 71Carpentry


Carving
No Skill of Measurable Worth72 to 85
Roll Twice (Reroll and result of 86-00)86 to 00


Secondary Skills (3-4)% RollProficiencies
Apothecarist01 to 02Healing


Herbalism
Astrologer03 to 04Astrology


Weather Sense
Baker05 to 10Cooking
Barrister11 to 14Law


Bureaucracy


Read/Write, Native Tongue
Bookbinder15 to 20Seamstress/Tailor


Read/Write, Native Tongue


Paper-Maker
Brewer21 to 23Brewing
Butcher24 to 27Butchering
Candlemaker28 to 32Candlemaking


Animal Lore (Bees)
Cartwright33 to 34Carpentry


Blacksmithing
Cobbler35 to 37Cobbling


Appraising
Cooper38 to 39Carpentry


Blacksmithing
Dyer40 to 42Herbalism


Brewing
Falconer43 to 44Animal Lore (Birds)


Animal Handling (Birds)


Animal Training (Birds)
Glassblower45 to 46Fire-Building


Glassblowing


Appraising
Hatter47 to 49Seamstress/Tailor


Appraising
Interpreter50 to 51Languages, Modern


Read/Write, Native Tongue


Read/Write, Foreign Tongue
Locksmith52 to 53Locksmithing
Messenger54 to 56Read/Write, Native Tongue


Direction Sense


Riding, Land-based
Moneylender57 to 59Appraising


Numeracy


Read/Write, Native Tongue
Potter60 to 62Pottery
Rat Catcher63 to 66Appraising


Pest Control
Shepard67 to 68Animal Lore (Rodents)


Animal Handling


Survival (Grasslands)
Undertaker69 to 71Anatomy


Carpentry


Stone Carving
No Skill of Measurable Worth72 to 85
Roll Twice (Reroll and result of 86-00)86 to 00


Secondary Skills (5-6)% RollProficiencies
Architect01 to 02Numeracy


Engineering


Read/Write, Native Language
Artist/Painter03 to 04Painting
Bricklayer05 to 10Bricklaying
Barber11 to 14Grooming
Cartographer15 to 20Read/Write, Native Language


Numeracy


Cartography
Cheesemonger21 to 23Cheesemaking
Cook24 to 27Cooking
Diplomat28 to 29Oratory


Read/Write, Native Language


Observation
Engineer30 to 32Numeracy


Engineering


Read/Write, Native Language
Engraver33 to 34Metalworking


Engraving
Fortune-Teller35 to 37Fortune Telling
Furrier38 to 39Seamstress/Tailor


Pelt Working
Gardener40 to 42Agriculture


Herbalism
Grain Merchant43 to 44Appraising


Numeracy


Agriculture
Herald45 to 46Oratory


Read/Write, Native Language


Heraldry
Herbalist47 to 49Agriculture


Herbalism


Survival (Woodland)
Midwife50 to 51Anatomy


Herbalism
Peddler52 to 53Appraising


Haggling
Physician54Anatomy


Healing


Herbalism


Read/Write, Native Language
Playwright55 to 56Read/Write, Native Language


Acting


Disguise
Politician57 to 59Read/Write, Native Language


Local History


Bureaucracy
Porter/Coolie60 to 62Direction Sense
Servant63 to 66Any 1 Domestic Skill
Storyteller67 to 68Ancient History


Local History


Oratory
Tobacconist69 to 71Herbalism


Pipe-Making


Appraising
No Skill of Measurable Worth72 to 85
Roll Twice (Reroll and result of 86-00)86 to 00