Monday, April 20, 2020

Kommando Kronikles: Against the Eye

Fumbling in the dark...

Characters Present
Stavros, Fanatical fighting man and devotee of St Deodat
Frederick Bull, Fighting frog in the service of the van Toad house
Abraham Nermal, graverobber turned landowner
Kozel, Novgovite cleric and devotee of St Santa Claus (Eastern)
Johanna d'Ligne, Averois cleric and devotee of St Santa Claus (Western)Janos Balazsfi, Vulgarian changeling dedicated to St. Gax

Gregor von Hexenzitsen, Realmish "wizard" (he's got a book and everything!)

Elders 17, 1396

  • I have been neglectful in keeping up to date with the play reports for both groups, so know that among the Kommands, Frederick Bull and Johanna d'Ligne have recently established strongholds in/near the abandoned village of Frogguts. However, in the process of helping them, Uein was turned to stone by the poison of a basilisk.
  • Since then they have returned to their excursions into Nightwick Abbey, focusing on the second level.
  • Last session they destroy a creature they had long heard rumors about - the Fungal Brain! They also found a knot of devil-vine that seemed to go both upwards and downwards into the earth and was well over 50' wide.
  • The aim of this expedition was to experiment with that vine.  Some debate was had about attacking it with Johanna and Kozel's ice powers from the surface; however, knowledge that the physical exterior of the abbey and the interior of the dungeon are not necessarily related to each other in euclidean space made the party decide it would be best to deal with the vine from within.
  • Their journey to the stairs for level 2 was interrupted by a troop of blind dead. These were defeated fairly easily, but there was some difficulty as Johanna had moved ahead of the group in her eagerness and the darkness of the abbey threatened to separate them.
  • Once on level 2, Kozel assaulted the vines with a magical sleet storm. They retreated, opening the ceiling up to the outside and opening a shaft below that terminated in an eerie, purple mist.
  • They then entered a room filled with mummified remains - apparently mummified using herbs grown on the garden level. Johanna elected to leave the party and head to the surface to give them a proper burial.
  • After poking around a the few remaining rooms on the garden level, the party made its way to level 3, where they elected to tackle an encounter behind a set of double doors they had passed over on many previous occasions.
  • The doors had behind them a massive cult and a warlock the party had previously tackled with - one that had burned off Johanna's arm!
  • The party made sure to focus on the warlock, with their best fighters wading into the fray and slaying him (though not before he had done significant damage to Stavros). 
  • The rest of the combat was kind of a drag, as the maneuvering to take out the leader meant that many of the PCs were now stuck in the middle of a mass of cultists. Still, they were able to overpower these without being taken down themselves.
  • Seeing two chests in the room, Abraham quickly determined they were neither locked nor trapped and contained a sizeable sum of gold.
  • On the way out there was a bit of tension as there was some disagreement over which exit would be easiest to access and therefore which way to go. Not wanting to be trapped in the abbey, they eventually decided the best way would be to go out the very hole they had made earlier in the session.
Monsters Killed
3 Blind Dead, 22 Cultists, and 1 Warlock of the Fiend

Treasure Gained
1000gp in two chests

XP per player

Unfocused thoughts on Immer

Recently, for reasons not entirely within my own understand, I've been reading about Minaria, the setting of the board game Divine Right. Just a cursory glance over the material gave me a slew of ideas for a game, particularly for a region in the kingdom of Immer called the Wildwood/the region of the Gorpin Woodsmen. This post will cover what attracted me to the area as well as my own ideas for the tone, adventures, stuff like that.

  • Immer is a kingdom of two ethnic groups who settled in two waves - initial human settlement and then conquerors. However, now the native population is allied with the monarchy as a way of having a balance of power against the powerful dukes.
  • The monarchs of Immer are often puppets of a group of magicians called the Eaters of Wisdom, who have done what they can to make sure the monarchy is both strong and under their control. Most monarchs of Immer now study wisdom at the School of Thautmaturgy before ruling.
  • Despite a strong monarchy, Immer is definitely feudal - with dukes and horseman set up across the kingdom to respond rapidly to threats from goblins, barbarians, and elves.
  • The Gorpin Woodsmen are the descendants of the servants of a rogue duke who was defeated (along with his elf allies) during an attempt to make himself independent.
  • The Eaters of Wisdom remind me of multiple factions from the First Law trilogy, and having them act as kind of jerk-ass merlins is real appealing to me.
  • My idea is that the Wild Wood is currently being reenforced by the queen of Immer due to its position along the gold-possessing River Rapid and the border with the goblins of Zorn. She is being advised in this matter by the Eaters of Wisdom.
  • I have access to a copy of the boardgame through Tabletop simulator, and using that I distributed personalities to the factions I thought might come into the game in one way or another, that is Immer, the Eaters of Wisdom, Zorn, Elfland, Muetar, and the Dwarves (who I included because this would be a D&D game and it'd be useful to know what's up with the kings of all the available PC races). What I got was...
    • The Queen of Immer is starry eyed and looking to prove herself in combat. Which works out real well because...
    • The Eaters of Wisdom (or at least the ones advising her) are military geniuses.
    • The Goblins of Zorn are led by an extremely gullible king. Perhaps he too is being manipulated by an Eater?
    • The King of Elfland is "known for his lack of valor." Because I'm currently reading the Corum series, I'm going to borrow from that and make him not a coward so much as so aloof he doesn't realize how fast wars happen.
    • The King of Muetar is money grubbing. I think that's a good dynamic for their closest human neighbor - he can be persuaded to aid for huge sums or may foil the planes of the Queen of Immer to gain gold.
    • The Dwarves are ruled by a king as "irascible as a dragon." Sounds like dwarves.
  • There's also a religious tension in Immer, with the monarchy promoting "patriarchal worship" and the original religion of the region (and the conquering ethnic group) being a triple maiden-mother-crone goddess.
  • The region also borders the Temple of the Kings, which only allows kings inside and serves as the chief temple for the strongest gods of Minaria. I may also make parts of it accessible as a dungeon to any PCs.
  • The ideas I have swirling in my head relate to a faction of the Gorpin seeing the Queen as someone who can reinvigorate the goddess worship, the Eaters attempting to manipulate  her not to, and the queen herself's desire to win military victories in order to enter the Temple of the Kings.
  • PCs would be the standard types of freebooters and cutthroats, but hopefully the adventure hooks lead them to siding with one faction or another.
  • Dungeons would include the aforementioned temple of the kings, goblin pits, old elven ruins, the ruins of pre-kingdom Immer, and the strange wreckage created by the Invasion of Abominations/Invasion of the Things that Crawl and Things that Fly.
  • The aforementioned Abominations, their invasion, and their disappearance will probably feature as a big campaign mystery and maybe relate to the goals of the Eaters of Wisdom.
  • Aesthetically I imagine the setting as kind of... pre-D&D fantasy art; especially the covers of the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series.
  • I imagine the men of Immer as having a kind of Rurkidi vibe - layers of viking, slavic, and steppe peoples, though I may make it more of a Saxon/Norman thing. Either way they need to have cavalry, and they like green, gold, and garnets.
  • I think the goblins of Zorn represent the full range of goblinoids but probably expressed more like Tolkien's varieties of orcs.
  • I want to figure out a size for the map hexes above, but I'm also trepedatious about doing a zoomed in map on the area I want to cover because the original map used the cursed hex alignment of absolute columns.
That's all for now.  I got other posts about other things coming up though so stay tuned. Oh also check out my patreon where Huth and I continue to put out Nightwick Abbey stuff.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Sword & Sorcery World

Over at Roles, Rules, and Rolls, there are a series of "genre tables" that Cole of Abraxas used for his Swords of the Inner Sea campaign.  I have recently been using these to make hex content for the Dark Country and thinking about its uses in the other Worlds of In Places Deep.

I thought the R,R,&R tables were lacking a genre, so I made it: Swords and Sorcery.  Sorry that it's kinda rough in formatting but I realized if I wanted it to look nicer I'd never make this post.

Also, while you're here, why not check out my patreon? It's got a full month of preview material for Nightwick Abbey and now paid only content as well! This month I'll be posting about the abbey's upper works, two new monsters, and a new geomorph.