Monday, April 30, 2012

Warfare Rules

  1. Pre-Battle Manuevering
    1. Can accomplish through use of scouts, rangers, light cavalry.
                                                    i.     If superior scouting ability, including mobility, then automatically get to roll.
                                                   ii.     If basically equal, then scout commanders make checks to get the drop on one another (primarily scouting skill check, otherwise Int-initiative roll).
                                                  iii.     Then scouting forces battle with winner taking initiative and ground, unless scout CO decides to cede the engagement and ground, and returns to main host.
    1. Obtain or grant Battle (no advantage, both armies deploy usually), Initiative & Ground, Pick of Field, Ambush
                                                    i.     If the army had scouting superiority, they can find the enemy host at a location of their choosing and perhaps even ambush if the commander has a clever plan. 1d6: 1-4 = pick battlefield, 5-6 = can ambush the enemy army. Even with superiority, if there is no plausible way to catch the enemy, then only gain initiative and ground.
                                                   ii.     If the army’s scouts won the engagement, they will know where the enemy is heading and can possibly pick the battlefield. Roll 1-4 = initiative & ground (or deny battle), 5-6 can pick field.
                                                  iii.     If indecisive or no pre-battle scouting, roll for commander who wants to fight: 1-2 = no battle but rumors, 3-5 obtain battle, roll Int-initiative for initiative, 6 win initiative and ground.
    1. Battlefield: Mountainous, Muddy or Marshy Fields, Woods, Hilly Field
                                                    i.     Enables different options like Choke-points, high ground, backs to a wall.
                                                   ii.     Those who win ground can take advantages of hill high ground, mountain pass choke points, river crossings, deep woods, etc.
                                                  iii.     Winning initiative means troops will go slightly first, allows commanders to pick where they attack, can ask DM about enemies strategems (only reveal if obvious), etc.
    1. Deploy: Divide forces into wings if >200 warriors a side, need meaningful wing size – at least 25% of largest side's total warriors.
                                                    i.     Each wing should be roughly equal to opposing wing (+/- 25%), if wing not roughly equal then outnumbered (if 3x/4x outnumbered then even worse)
                                                   ii.     Can hold forces in reserve if no wing left badly outnumbered
                                                  iii.     Can conceal forces if superior scouting
  1. Strategems
    1. Each wing picks a strategem: wing composed of majority of average members (fuzzy DM determination)
                                                    i.     battlefield determines some options
    1. Assault (regular), high ground, fortification defense, flank (requires outnumber/open flank), envelope (requires outnumber/open flank and fast unit), prepared ground (braveheart/agincourt), secret weapon (wizardry, troll shock troops, etc. = can grant damage bonus to wing even though wing not majority composed), feint manuever (draw enemy into running around/in wrong direction), brace (if other side also defends, then no combat; best for pike)
                                                    i.     Assumed to work if led by competent captain
    1. Secretly ordered, reveal simultaneously after chosen (unless scrying or something)
  1. Combat
    1. Characters first: bonus to combat roll for victory in personal combat
                                                    i.     Face off against higher numbers if Outnumbered, something like 2x/3x versus each member of PCs & bodyguard (generally generic enemies led at least by lieutenant type with +2/3 HD compared to average).
                                                   ii.     Face off against any leaders or monsters (VIPs): any major NPCs/monsters left unfaced or if they defeat PCs, then they add victorious bonus
1.      VIPs can choose to avoid one another, but difficult (something like Int check)
                                                  iii.     Lasts as long as normal combat; can be both outnumbered and facing VIPs
                                                  iv.     VIPs victorious when killing almost all or enemies facing them failed morale check
    1. Every wing rolls damage dice (d6 for one-handed, d8 or d10 for two-handed), adds bonuses, compares to AC of opponent wing
                                                    i.     Archers roll first against non-archers, if destroy enemy then enemy doesn't get to go; pike roll first against nonpike/nonarchers if bracing
1.      Longbows fire 2x first against non-archers
                                                   ii.     Normal bonuses: knights charging +1, +1 if VIPs victorious, +1 pike bracing, +1 if defending high ground, +1 if attacking on flank/enveloping, +2 if defending fortifications, +1 huge monstrous, +1 outnumbers
1.      Not netted out, instead applies to both
                                                  iii.     Higher roll (not equal) than AC = a hit. If hits = or > # wing's average HD, then wing destroyed.
                                                  iv.     Destroyed wings reduced to 25%, even if rallied
  1. Morale and Spirit
    1. Each wing that engaged in combat makes a morale check (and every unit if battle commander killed/captured)
    2. -2 if battlefield commander out, -2 flanked, -4 enveloped, -2 outnumbered (before hit), -2 to -4 for fearsome enemies (wights, dragons), -2 encountering/seeing routing wing last turn
                                                    i.     Use wing commander's morale (use battle commander's for the wing where he is nearby)
    1. Wings that are destroyed fail morale check unless VIP can rally
                                                    i.     -4 to wing's check for receiving a hit, otherwise use VIP's morale. (remember only 25% or so of destroyed wing remains even if succeed).
    1. If fail, unit routes, generally cannot return to battle but might grab possessions at camp while running away.
    2. A routing unit can be chased down and destroyed by a faster pursuer, or by any pursuer if battlefield restricts movement.
  1. Aftermath
    1. Survivors: about 40% of any destroyed or broken unit on losing side can be found or organized after about a week, if a liege can command their loyalty. Almost no survivors will remain if a unit was basically wiped out (last stand, pursued after broken; DM discresion). Any unit that engaged in combat normally has about 80% survivors, down to 60% if it broke or sustained a non-destroying hit.
    2. XP: commanders receive about 500 xp per wing commanded, plus 500 xp more for strategically important accomplishments, plus bonuses for defeating notable enemies as normal. Any captured enemies or gold also garner XP.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Cairnlands

Lords of Cairnlands
Lord of Drakehall (Green Dragon sigil), Count Oren Ashbriar (Fi7)
Oren Ashbriar is a big, strong man with four sons. His lands occupy the border between the Black Kingdom and Thornlands, and is close enough to the coast and wilderness for many pagan raids, so the Lord of Drakehall battle worn and tested. His lands spill across the hills and scattered forests of the northern Seamist foothills.
Troops & Vassal Levies: 150 heavy foot garrison in Drakehall (high stone tower) plus100 household heavy foot retainers, 25 household knights, 25 longbowmen, 4 sons level 4-5 knights. The Ashbriars have 5 Barons (lv 5-6) as bannermen, and a full muster adds their forces and vassal knights baronet: 25 lv 4 knights, 75 lv 2 knights, 1100 heavy foot.

Demeanor: The Ashbriars are strong and loyal to House Morvain, but value honor and glory. During the days the Guild had acquired de facto control of the Cairnlands the Ashbriars ruled basically independently. Any lord seeking their support would be wise to prove himself in battle against the Ashbriars many enemies.

Plots: Randyll Ashbriar, Oren's firstborn son, seeks the lordship of the Cairnlands and will openly question providing any support to whoever holds the Cairnstones. He also tries to convince his father on virtues of independence or cooperation with Whitehaven unless the Morvains choose a honorable lord for the Cairnstones.

Hooks: an old fortress lies in ruins north of Drakehall. The Ashbriars fear the Redwynes (Tintagel bannermen) seek to occupy the ruins to gain a foothold against them. But the ruins might be home to worse, and  peasants give reports strange lights to their lords.

Bishop Bertram Glover (Cl7), Lord of Greypoint

Count Nyko Talos (Fi6), Lord of Eastport

Strengths & Weaknesses:
Goals & Fears:

Count Simon Berengar (Fi7), Lord of Greenstone
Strengths & Weaknesses: Alistair Berengar (Wi8), Simon's older brother is a powerful wizard who gave up the lordship to practice magic, as the Church forbids wizardly lords.
Goals & Fears::

Encounters in the Cairnlands:
2: Dragons
3: Wild hunt: 2d10 centaurs led by a huntmaster if 8 or more centaurs, armed with spears and bows, accompanied by 1d4 debauched maenads, spirits who appear as beautiful wild women (AC 4, 2 HD, charm, branch-like wands of polymorph 25% or swords). the Hunt wishes to capture trophies for the faerie courts, but will drink the blood of fallen dead foes, or desires a debauched orgy before demanded the lovers accompany back to the faerie court.
4: Wolves: 3d6 black wolves, 2d4 dire wolves (50/50%)
5: Cave bear: 1 or 2, if 2 then near lair
6-8: Game, wild 2d12 herd
9: Formori: these ravenous sea-trolls roam in 2d10 strong packs, seeking destruction and manflesh. they attack with claws for 1d4/1d4 damage or by clubs for 1d8+2 damage; AC 3; HD 3; Mr+2. For every 10, they will be led by a HD 5; AC 5 chieftain armed with a massive axe or club 1d10+2; Mr +3. Formori can breath under water, which they try to stay in sight of, and regenerate 1/hp rd.
10: Stormland reavers
11-12: Knightly patrol: 1/4 chance Baron (Fi5)+10 Kn1+50 footmen; or Knight Lord (Fi3) + 1d4 Kn1 + 20 footmen.
13: Bandits: 1d10x2d4, led by Fi4, 50% armed with bows and short swords, shields and leather, 50% chainmail and light horses. bandits are either bloodthirsty greedy types who prey upon all, or peasant-loving freedom fighter types who resent the cruelties of medieval aristocracy.
14: Bristleboar (giant boar 1d4) - territorial and tusky, will get bloodlust to defend piglets if wounded
15: Foreign scouts or raiders - 50% woodsman types, 2d12; 50% mounted medium cavalry scouts 3d10
16: Trolls: usual number (1d8), but trolls are vulnerable to bright sunlight, turning to stone after 3 rds of exposure to direct sunlight. they are stupid and smell. 1/4 chance a few trolls (25%) will know several different spells like web, acid arrow, darkness. Trolls are also fearsome to those failing a save when they roar. Some trolls vomit on their enemies, causing 1d4 points of damage to all those in a cone in front of the troll and possibly diseasing the victim (get a save).
17: Skeletal troop: 2d12 skeletal warriors march between forgotten battlefields in military formation, 50% lead by wight-lord
18: Faerie grove: graven trees, pixies & nixies
19: Trow or redcaps
20: Wood giants

Note: hamlets and pasturing herds can be found at will near roads and marked castles

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Campaign Start

Prince Mhered Roesson (black stag heraldry) is dead. Now the Cairnstones are up for grabs between the Black Kingdom and the Kingdom of Thorns (Whitehaven). As soon as he receives the raven, the Morvain sends his nephew Laird Morvain with three ships and many knights to act as regent for the county. Whitehaven sends an envoy under its own colors to investigate as well, although the Morvain will arrive first. Both Kingdoms argue they have claim to the lands, but the Roesons are Morvain bannermen. Ettya was of House Talys, bannermen of the Tintagels.

Mhered is survived by his two daughters Krissia and Kylessa and wife Ettya. They are cowering in the upper chambers.

First off, Mhered's men must check to surrender, begging for mercy if they fail. Around 300 heavy foot (AC 5, Att 9+, 1d6 sword/1d8 crossbow) and 50 household knights (AC 6, Att 9+, 1d10 lance/1d6 sword) remain in Cairnstones.
Second, the Prince's family is secretly hiding in the upper rooms of the Guildhall, guarded by 15 men.
Third, baron in countryside might rally support for his own claim to the Cairnstones. Many other barons might seek revenge for the murder of their husbands, brothers and kinsmen at the hands of barbarians. The PCs might have to engage in some diplomacy or combat with these forces.
Fourth, the PCs will have to deal with broader struggle between the Black Kingdom and the Thornlands.

Other Hooks
The White Witch holds her own lands the north of the Rannochs' Witchtower, near the Stonecrown mountains. The Seamists (mountains to the west of Loch Moray and the Cairnstones).

The old castle of Cairnstones is abandoned, the Guild did not rebuild it. It was abandoned when, according to rumor, a dragon made its dungeons a lair, connected to mountain spring caverns to the west. The old arms and treasure of the House Cariele of the Cairnstones is rumored to lie beneath. Further, the Cairnstones would be a mighty fortress if restored for whoever could hold it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Revised Ironlands Map

First without hex numbers.

With hex numbers.

Dungeons & Treasure in the Ironlands

I hate big, bog-standard demon-filled dungeons. I get tired of old Egyptiany tombs, although its what I normally create because I'm an egypt nerd. I want my Ironlands dungeons to both have a reason to have lots of treasure and magic items, not have to create too many fallen empires, and fit my dark ages feel.

Thus I have decided Ironlands dungeons (beside actual, treasure-less dungeons of castles and keeps) are the cave or tumulus dwellings of the cthonic pagan gods like elementals, dragons, and faerie kings. The magic items and gold are made by the gods to reward their followers, and spells are inscribed on the walls and on stones for the same reasons. Followers or dwellers like dwarves or faeries might refashion or request items from the dwellers below. Magic items can also be found through blessings of the God of Law after virtuous and pious deeds are committed, but the strange and bizarre items like rings of power, transmogrifying idols, and vials of strange liquids are much more likely to come from old gods. This way I don't have to traffic in a magic item economy, deal with an unseemly number of wizard craftsmen, or presume the mighty relics of ancient empires will always be unplundered.

Sometimes of course there will be an old liche or wizard who has a tower or tomb worth plundering, but these can remain the small fortresses and labrotories they should be. Pagans will often worship at the surface entrances of these sites, so beware that as well.

Travel & The Mistmoors

The swamps and marshes of the Ironlands are moors - 6" to 2' thick muddy grassy peat fields with innumerable small streams crisscrossing them. Visibility is far on sunny days, but limited by almost incessant mists that give the horizon a grey-reddish gloom. Deer, dire wolves, and some say worse abound. Old standing stones and mummified peat corpses serve as the only landmarks aside from distant ridgelines and abandoned slate-stone houses.

Travel in the Moors is limited, taking often four or five days to travel as little as 24 miles. (Divide daily movement by 4). The creatures and people of the Moors are often not friendly. Survival is large issue traveling the moors

On a 5+ (check 2x daily) the following encounters can occur. Always roll a reaction check, and decide if lair or treasure nearby.

Encounters in the Moors
2: Peat mummy (as per mummy in rules, 1/4 chance of wearing gold or other valuables, flayed skin of the peat mummy is valuable in fire spells and magical concotions)
3: Ghost: 50/50 seeking lost love on moors, seeking revenge against unknown murders
4: 2d4 Mud ghouls plus 1/3 chance of will o'wisps accompanying
5-6: Pagan clansmen: 1d4 kinsmen skilled warriors, lvl 3-4, + 2d6 clansmen, low wealth but often carrying food or willing to trade; will seek slaves or sacrifrices for their woodsy auld gods if tempted by weakness or wealth. 1/4 chance of encountering in settlement
7-8: 1d12 Bandits or criminals eking out a life away from the Law here on the Moors
9: 2d4 Dire wolves in a pack
10: 2d4 Giant moor shrew colony (carry moor-rot disease)
11-13: even chance roe deer (1d4, 1 HD, 1d4 butt, fleet footed) or elk (3d10, 4 HD, 1d8 butt), grazing
14: Poisonous catfish
15: 1d4 Leeches, giant
16: 1d4 merchant or noble travels, with 2d6 hired guards each, 1 armored wagon each, 1 household or hedge knight each.
17: Moor griffon (attacks on site against horses or pack animals, otherwise circles w/reaction check)
18-19: small hunting settlement, lawful 2d12 villagers, 30% militia, generally loyal to the nearest knightly Lord
20: Caecilian wyrm in muddy hollow
**pagan clansmen, mud ghouls, and bandits all have an even chance of being loyal to the White Witch in her ice palace deep in the cold woods, located somewhere in the NE of the Mistmoors.
The DM should also check for environmental encounters on a 6+ (yes, these can occur in addition to creature encounter):
Unexpectedly deep bog, can drown, easily covered in mud. Can swim out unless weighed down, save or lose self (if weighed down) and/or stuff (otherwise). Almost no way to take precautions against this, but if "try to stick to grassy bits" get a save bonus.
Menhir, 6-7/8 faeries or 8/8 elemental if disturb. can learn new spells or restore a lost spell if study.
Rotting corpses, 1-3/4 animal, 4/4 human
Engulfing fog, even voices hushed, almost always surprised roll again twice a day for 1d4 days 1/4 chance of falling into deep bog. Almost always surprised by encounters, without serious skills will get lost (3/4 chance).

There are a few Causeways across the moors, but these are oft swallowed by the mud without constant maintenance. The Black King tries to maintain one from Blackmoat to Witchtower (seat of the Rannochs), but it will fall away on a 1/4 chance every day of journey. Movement is only slowed to half on the stony path.

Area Map of the Ironlands

The Ironlands Map

This is lacking the Storm Isles I want to include, home of the pagan barbaric celtic-viking guys.

The various kingdoms are Arn/the Shieldlands to the west, centered around inland castle on the river. The Thorn Kingdom is centered around the central peninsula, thinking their seat will be called Whitehaven, based on Tintagel (might even change House name to Tintagel). Blackmoat, seat of the Black Kingdom is centered in that loch. The Timberlands are in the valley in the northeast - I'm thinking a pacific northwest/the North of Seven Kingdoms vibe.

Basically, I'm trying to follow Game of Thrones naming conventions because my players like it. House names can be weird/family sounding, but geographic names I'm trying to keep descriptive. I'm hoping this increases identification and helps the players keep track of who's who - they might remember Redwyne and Bloodspear, Blackmoat and Mistmoors more than more Tolien-esque etymologically unique names.

Still debating some tweaks, beyond the inclusion of my dragon-infested iron islands. Some mountains perhaps between Blackmoat and the Moors to its east, whether I'm going to include a Free City of Rostock, adding a pass in the mountains between the Black Kingdom and the Timberlands. I think I might make the westernmost city the independent one, it can be on the trade routes to Zenopia and Kemesh to the south.

Next up: a description of the Mistmoors, and their ruling family the Rannochs, including random encounter chart. Resize map to cut off extraneous western portion? add some more rivers?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

House Rules

Character Creation
Classes Choices
Knight (Fighter)
- Riding, Diplomacy, (Bonus: Military Strategy, Manual of Arms), knows heraldry and courtliness
- Chainmail, 2 spears, sword, shield, medium riding horse, pack with week's provisions and traveling gear.
Man-at-Arms (Fighter):
- Combat Reflexes, Manual of Arms (Bonus: Craft, Survival), service as mercenary or soldier.
- Chainmail, sword or axe, bow/crossbow with 20 rounds or two-handed weapon, pack with gear, 3 oil
Fighter (Reaver):
- Fighting Style, Seafaring or Tracking (Bonus: Survival, Berserkergang), elite raiding warrior
- Chainmail, sword or axe, throwing axe or daggers (3), pack with a weeks gear
Wizard (Court), Wizard (Wyrd)
Cleric (Crusader), Cleric (Priestly)
Thief (Stalker), Thief (Robber)
Dwarf (Vaultguard)
- Caving, Craft
Changeling (Elf Spellsword)

Uncommon classes: Bard, Ranger (Explorer/Pathfinder), Changeling shadow, Dwarf craftsman.

Equipment Rules (stolen a bit from Lamentations of the Flame Princess)
Armor is more expensive and rare in the Ironlands than in regular ACKS:
Armor                               Cost         Availability
Hide/Fur Armor  (AC 1)     10 gp       common
Leather Armor (AC 2)        20 gp       common (1/4 in stock in small town, need craftsman if not)
Ringmail/brigandine (AC 3) 40 gp       common (1/4 in stock in small town, need craftsman if not)
Chainmail (AC 4)                50 gp       castles and settlements (need craftsman in small town)
Half-plate (AC 5)                700 gp     castles and cities (need experienced armorsmith)
Platemail (AC 6)                 1000 gp     castles and cities (need experienced armorsmith)

Caparison (AC 1)                150 gp      castles and settlements (need craftsman in small town)
Chain barding (AC 3)          500 gp      castles and cities (need experienced armorsmith)
Plate barding (AC 5)           3000 gp    castles and cities (need experienced armorsmith)

Initiative Rules
Initiative is determined by figuring out what action the character is taking, and then everyone taking an action rolls individual initiative within that phase. The phases in order:

1 - Missile weapons (bows, crossbows, thrown weapons). Charm effects and other natural and immediate effects from regular speech or appearance also take place first.
2 - Polearms and spears set to receive a charge or enemy attack.
3 - All other melee attacks and actions, including charges, mounted attacks, offensive attacks with a spear or hand weapon.
4 - Device use and spells. Some magical effects may go before this, but general spells and magical item uses go last, as they require the precise intonation of complex magical phrases and other use of the higher mental faculties.This phase includes the use of heavy siege weapons and mechanical devices for the same reasons.

Combat Maneuvers & Tricks
Instead of the combat maneuvers and tricks rules and proficiencies, use this system instead:
PCs can risk any maneuver they think of, such as leaping off a chandelier, disarming an enemy, knocking an enemy down, etc. They decide how much they wish to risk by having the same likelihood of success as catastrophic failure: if they want it to succeed, say, on 17-20 roll, then they fumble on 1-3 roll. If the character has the combat trick proficiency, then they can reduce the risk of fumble by 2 (so attempting disarm on 12-20, fumble on 1-6). Absent strange circumstances, the maneuver will not result in a normal hit only perhaps movement or whatever if the trick fails but does not fumble.

Weapons Rules
Types of weapons have certain additional effects based on their weapon type. All weapons except swords are (temporarily) broke on a fumble, swords are merely dropped/disarmed.
Hammers - on a critical, the enemies plate armor is destroyed, immolizing the enemy within and removing any AC. Hammer-wielders can attempt to destroy armor as a trick, and still damage the enemy if they would hit as usual even if they fail the trick.
Maces & clubs - (in addition to full damage to undead skeletons) knockdown on a critical or as part of trick, allowing wielder to hit even if failing trick.
Axes - enemy shield or parrying weapon destroyed on a critical or as part of trick, allowing wielder to hit even if failing trick.
Spears and Polearms - impale enemy on a critical/trick, allowing a second auto-damage roll if succeeds. can hit as normal if failed trick to impale.
Swords - disarm or destroy enemy weapon on critical/trick. can hit as normal if failed trick to disarm. not broken on fumbles.
Arrows - can attempt targeted shot (apple off the head, blind one eye, hit weak spot, etc.), succeeding on trick or criticfal. can still hit even if failed trick, as above.

Critical Hits Tables
(based on WHFRP)
When rolling a critical on a natural 20 roll, consult the following tables to see the effect. The amount of damage rolled with the weapon (including bonuses like strength and class) is the roll on the chart.
1-4: Limb wounded, anything held is dropped and the hand cannot be used for 1d4 rounds. Until treated, the wounded bodypart conveys a -2 penalty to all actions (shield use is considered passive, bu not two-weapon attacks and so on)
5-7: Limb heavily wounded and incapacitated, probably broken. Save or pass out from shock and bloodloss. Nothing can be used with this limb until treated. Limb otherwise intact and even 1 point of healing will allow use. Regular treatment results in a -4 penalty until properly healed.
8-10: Limb severed or utterly crushed. Save or pass out, if failed save again to avoid going to 0 hp (if survive after this, do not roll for effect of death on mortality table, it is known). The limb is useless until magically restored, natural healing will result only in a stump.
1-4: Limb wounded, possibly concussed. Knocked to the ground. Immobilized to a crawl for 1d4 rds. Until treated, move at 1/2 speed.
5-7: Limb heavily wounded and broken. Knocked to the ground. Save or pass out from shock and bloodloss. Immobilized for 1d6 rounds, move at 1/4 speed until properly healed.
8-10: Limb severed or shattered. Grounded. Save or pass out, if failed save again to avoid going to 0 hp (if survive after this, do not roll for effect of death on mortality table, it is known). Cannot move until cane or support found, limb gone until magically restored, only a stump remains with regular healing.
1-4: Internal damage and bleeding, possible minor shock. Stunned for 1d4 rounds. Pain and damage mean -2 to characters AC until properly healed.
5-7: Severe internal damage. Stunned for 1d6 rounds, knocked onto back, begin coughing blood and loose bowels. Save or pass out from shock and bloodloss. -4 to AC until properly healed.
8-10: Organs and bones crushed and hemorrhaging. Unconcionous and helpless, cannot wake for 1d6 rounds. Save or drop to 0 hp and begin dying  (if survive after this, do not roll for effect of death on mortality table, it is known). After regaining consciousnesses, even if did not begin dying, internal injuries will reopen unless healing takes place.
1-4: Disoriented, stunned, possibly blinded. Stunned for 1d6 rounds, cannot communicate intelligibly during that time.
5-7: Concussion and dazed, ears ringing, bloody face. Stunned for 1d10 rounds, cannot even communicate. -2 to all actions (including saves) until properly healing occurs, natural rest requires 1d4 days. If not wearing a helmet, slightly disfigured if fail save.
8-10: Severe brain damage and death.  Save or drop to 0 hp and begin dying  (if survive after this, do not roll for effect of death on mortality table, it is known). If make the save, pass out until healing can occur. Additionally, lose 1d4 pts of Intelligence and 1 pt Charisma.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Reavers and Pagans

Storm Isles - pagan barbarian raiders, no currency, symbols like dragons, giant's head, serpents, skull pyramid. warriors mixture of woad-painted barbarian berserkers and mail-shirted huskarls. formori foes, fjords, competing kings, names like fairhair, bloodaxe, one-eye. Some ritual death dealing, ala ironprice or joesky's barbarian - called the Old Ways: "blood for blood." Consider it matter of honor to keep the heads of respected enemies, shrink and hang from shields or belts. Stormlanders have not accepted the Word of Law, so have no clerics but wizards and herbal (alchemical) remedies.

Large stone circle, the Menhirs, atop cliff in Storm isles where wizards often dream of new spells, can work mighty magics.

Utlanders - pagans in the woods who have not been conquered or converted by the Church. Sometimes out in woods paying homage to strange gods like the White Lady, the Horned Man, the Gibbering Mother. These gods might have their abodes under the hills or mountains, beneath waterfalls or so on, complete with bestial slaves. Their homes will often be magic filled, for luck or ill-favor.

Encounters in pagan woods:
1. Trolls or formori
2. Dragons
3. Dark god's hollow (wicker man)
4. Pagan village with angry headsman
5. the wild hunt: bacchanalian dryad-valkyries with hardass centaur friends
6. kobolds or red caps, perhaps dwarves
7. Bandit camp
8. Isolated lawful village with cleric or knightly defender, often beleagured and poor.
9. Faeries

Martial organized dwarves of the Halls of the Mountain King somewhere over the Stonecrowns.

Kingdoms of the Ironlands

Campaign begins in area disputed by four kingdoms:
The Black Kingdom, King Ademar Morvain (symbol: black crow on white or inverse colors): powerful kingdom, cold-eyed King, rules the misty, forested valleys and moors of the south east surrouding the black river. Saint Morgain the Lady is their patron, has shrine in capital, Blackmoat. Bannermen: of the Mistmoors (House Rannoch - black lady with chalice), bull's head (House Tor), bloody spear (House Bloodspear).

Timberlands (the Deepwoods), King Harald Godwin (black or brown bear on purple or red): controls river outlet onto the northern sea, deals with Storm reavers, big king notorious for his strength. Shrines to Saint Martell the Hammer, old high king who smashed the barbarians. Keep: Mountaingate (or the Gate). Port: Seaharrow. Banners: giant's head, crossed hammers, axe in a skull.

Thorn Kingdom: Queen Marilyn Vance (wizard), Artos Vance the Swan Knight (three thorn branches with small flowers atop). northwest. Seaside capital Whitecoast. Banners: two swords, blue tower.

Kingdom of Arn (the Shieldlands), King Arrys Hendrik (red boar on white): river uplands and hills to the west, tough squat fighters. West-southwest. City of Bellgate along , Seat of Church of Law. Famous woodland archers. Banners: lightning bolts, bishop of bellgate (three bells), stag.

Rostock the Free City (kingfisher & scales) - mercantile Venetian/Hanse/Dutch center in lagoons between Whitecoast and Woodlands. Burgermaster. Bank of Freeburg issues Patents in kind of universal thieves guild.

Quests noble lords give:
1. Collect taxes from restive peasants
2. Deal with bandits or raiders in lands
3. Find opposing host or knight
4. Assassinate rival or troublemaker
5. Scout/infiltrate enemy stronghold
6. Augment lord's host in upcoming battle
7. Steal/obtain something of value lord wants: magic weapon, jewelry, shipment
8. Investigate mystery: last known location of magic, relic, sighting of weirdness.
9. Pious lord wants PCs to crusade against pagans or site of monstrosity

Complications from working for lords often result: battlefield or tourney challenges, try to have assasinated, etc.

Encounters in Four Kingdoms (6+ per half-days travel):
1. Patrol of knight on his fief, accompanied by household knights, squires.
2. Traveling merchants, or peasants seeking freedom
3. Giant elk, boars, wolves, bears, or mountain lions.
4. Visitors or raiders from other fief (depends how close to border)
5.  Pagans! Either Utlanders or Stormreavers (if close to sea or river)
6. Unhallowed ground: attract undead skeletons, ghosts, wights - something happened nearby
7. Wild game, able to be consumed

Sunday, April 8, 2012

General Requirements in Ironlands

1. Want focus on warfare between relatively small kingdoms from the get go

2. Need small but dangerous/monster-filled area

3. Accessible feel - distinguishable kingdoms, dwarves and elves (but minor twists), clear scaling empowerment through adventuring.

Four Kingdoms?

Simple themes/backgrounds for templates
Weapons have slight differences
critical charts
start out with follower rules, quest to scout fortification, but some monster has also infiltrated

The South

Religion - gods of the south, the thousand temples

Across the Purple/Red Desert and the Great Green Sea. Cities of incense and myrrh with their animal-headed priests trade for iron and wood with the north. Ancient sorcereries. Primordial battle between followers of Herekh and foul necromancies who shattered old Kemesh in their quest for immortality.

khopeshes, sorcerer-priests, composite bows.

long reign of last pharaoh, now split between Priest-King/High Priest and warlord King and other major notables.