Sunday, 30 December 2012

Book Review

"A Tough Guide to Fantasy Land" by Diana Wynne Jones.

This book is bloody brilliant! It looks like a parody style book but instead of just putting the boot into Tolkien instead it lists every possible fantasy novel cliche and describes them in terms of a travel guide to an imaginary world (naturally the map's at the front). Here's a few entries flipped to at random :-

Bread is quite well known in Fantasyland, but you will seldom get much of it and it will never be fresh. You might be given some to sop up some STEW in an INN of an evening, but in the morning, just as that day's baking should be ready, the Rules state that you will make a hurried departure, having time to grab up only a piece of stale loaf and a hunk of cheese.

Guards are the TOWN Watch and are quite useless. They always arrive too late to quell a TAVERN BRAWL or riot. This is because there are too few of them and all of them are stupid. Tourists will be glad of both of these facts at the point when they are trying to leave the town unseen.

Capital Letters at the beginnings of words are used liberally by the management according to Rules that transcend human understanding and may under no circumstances be questioned (see TABOO).


Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Gaming Shelf

  Yup, finally jumped on the bandwagon. Here's what I use in my campaign. Most of what I've owned has been lost along the way (big pile of Dragon magazines, old campaign notes, a bunch of books and heaps of board games) but life goes on. These days I use a modified version of the Pathfinder BB rules (does anyone use RAW?). 4th Edition has never been played but I thought it had I whole bunch of good ideas in it, not least chucking out the whole Great Wheel cosmology and introducing something a bit more usable.  

  Runequest was the first roleplaying game I ever bought. This isn't that copy but one I bought from The Games Room in Elm Hill, Norwich. The finest shop in all the multiverse if I do say so myself. I've been shopping there since I was eleven years old (I'm now 42!) and always pop in when I'm in town. Next to that is the famous red and blue books and the Book of Marvelous Magic followed by 1st Edition and some modules. I really like 2nd edition stuff. The fluff is really good but the rules were starting to creak even then.

  Top shelf of non-D&D stuff. Paranoia is still one of my favourite ever games. Love Mutants and Masterminds too. Old Warhammer stuff is great for setting detail and ideas, I really like the grittiness of it. Merp is in there as well. Iron Crown produced the most beautiful role playing setting s ever made and I'd love to get hold of more of their stuff.

  3rd Edition stuff and Greyhawk bits. Still love Greyhawk after all these years. My map is now getting quite tatty but maybe if I ask Santa nicely... The Forgotten Realms book was quite pricey when it came out but it really was worth it. You can see the writers weren't just bashing it out like they were in the mid-nineties. City State of the Invincible Overlord was bought purely for nostalgia. Great fun but totally bonkers. Lankmar, City of Adventure gets used more, it's just more to my taste.
  There's my junk, hope you enjoyed the tour!

Monday, 24 September 2012

Wot I done on me holidays

  I've just returned from my hols in Robin Hood country. Sherwood Forest is still pretty huge and the center of Nottingham was very nice despite the rain. Did some archery for the first time since school (long, long ago) and picked it up pretty quickly. Thanks to everyone at the Sherwood Castle Holiday Forest, Caunton Beck Public House, Nottingham Courthouse and the people of Nottinghamshire for making me and the missus feel dead special.

Kate was dead chuffed with her Big Bang Theory T-Shirt (with cape attachment)!

Friday, 7 September 2012


  I love using tables to fire off my imagination, rationalizing the random elements that pop up to form some sort of coherency. Here's some tables I use for wilderness creation:-

One Civilized Hex = 6 miles
One Borderlands Hex = 10 miles
One Wilderness Hex = 30 miles 

                         Plains    Forest     Desert     Hills     Mountains     Marsh
Plains                 1-12       1-4           1-5         1-3           1-2              1-4
Forest                  13         5-14           -           4-5             3                5-6
Desert                 14            -             6-11        6               4                  -
Hills                   15-16     15-16      12-15      7-14        5-10             7-8
Mountains           17           17         16-17     15-16      11-18              -
Marsh                  18           18            18          17              -                9-15
Water                  19           19            19        18-19         19            16-19
Depression         20           20            20          20            20               20

Habitation     18-20

  %           Type                    Population          Community Modifier
1-10        Thorp                      20-80                               -3
11-30      Hamlet                   80-400                             -2
31-50      Village                 400-900                             -1
51-70      Small Town         900-2,000                          0
71-85      Large Town      2,000-5,000                        +3
86-95      Small City         5,000-12,000                      +6
96-99      Large City       12,000-25,000                     +9
   00        Metropolis             25,000+                           +12

Number of Character Class NPC's = Population/200

                                                                       Level  (add Community Modifier)
1-10  Men at Arms       1-14     Fighter        1d8
                                     15-17    Barbarian   1d4
                                      18-19    Ranger        1d3
                                        20       Paladin       1d3
11-14  Scoundrels        1-18      Rogue        1d8
                                     19-20    Bard            1d6
15-18  Priests              1-16      Cleric          1d6
                                     17-19    Druid           1d6
                                        20       Monk           1d4
19-20  Magic Users     1-7       Wizard         1d4
                                       8-20    Sorcerer       1d4

                                 01-91  Commoner    1d8  
                                 92-96  Warrior          1d6
                                 97-99  Expert            1d4
                                    00     Noble             1d3

Community Alignment                         NPC Alignment
Lawful Good          1-35                       Same as Community          1-25
Neutral Good        36-39                     Opposite of Community     26-30
Chaotic Good       40-41                     Lawful Good                        31-45
Lawful Neutral       42-61                     Neutral Good                       46-55
Unaligned              62-63                     Chaotic Good                      56-60
Chaotic Neutral       64                         Lawful Neutral                      61-73
Lawful Evil             65-90                     Unaligned                             74-80
Neutral Evil            91-98                     Chaotic Neutral                    81-83
Chaotic Evil           99-00                     Lawful Evil                            84-93
                                                               Neutral Evil                           94-98
                                                               Chaotic Evil                          99-00

Number of Town Features
Thorp                10% chance of One
Hamlet              50% chance of One
Village              1d3-1
Small Town      1d5
Large Town      2d6
Small City         1d20+1d8
Large City         3d20+ 1d10
Metropolis         7d20+ 1d6

Types of Features :-
Logging Mills
Fishing Fleet 
Pirate or Navy Base
Shrine / Temple / Cathedral
Prison / Gulag / Gaol
Arcane Tower / Spellcasters' Guild
Alchemists Cabal
Street Gang / Thieves' Guild / Spy Network
Smugglers' Cartel 
Anarchist Band / Freedom Fighters
Martial Academy
Knightly Order
Druidic Grove / Stone Circle / Sacred Mound
Holy Order / Fringe Cult
Courthouse / Community Hall
Theater / Music Hall / Playhouse
Palace / Noble Estate
Oracle / Soothsayers / Philosophers School
Monument / Geographic Feature
Arena / Coliseum / Fighting Pit
Trade Guild
Ancient Ruins / Catacombs
Library / College
Mercantile House / Market / Traders
Town Council
Bounty Hunters / Mercenaries / Hired Blades
Garrison / Castle / Citadel / Fortified Manor House / Keep / Tower
Renowned Craftsman
Smelter / Metalworks
Orchards / Vineyards / Gardens

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Swamp Things and Aquatic Escapades

  "Listen, lad. I built this kingdom up from nothing. When I started here, all there was was swamp. Other Kings said I was daft to build a castle on a swamp, but I built it all the same, just to show 'em. It sank into the swamp. So I built a second one. That sank into the swamp. So I built a third one. That burnt down, fell over, then sank into the swamp. But the fourth one... stayed up! And that's what your gonna get, lad: the strongest castle in these islands."
  Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Swamp Encounters

01-05      Boggards
06-08      Dire Crocodile
09-10      Spirit Naga
11-13      Gnolls
   14         Black Dragon
   15         Hobgoblins
   16         Wererats
   17         Shambling Mound
18-19      Green Hag
20-27       Bandits
28-29      Tribesmen
30-31      Pilgrims
32-40      Ogre Mage
41-60      Lizardfolk
61-75      Dire Rats
76-80      Chuul
81-00      Will-o-Wisp

Aquatic Encounters

01-02     Marid
03-10     Orca
11-17     Dolphin
   18        Dragon Turtle
19-20     Aquatic Elf
   21       Sea Hag
22-23     Skum
   24       Kuo-Toa
   25       Lacedon
   26       Locathah
27-35    Buccaneers 
36-63    Merchants
64-67    Pirates
68-70    Pirates - Tribesmen in small craft
71-73    Merfolk
    74      Nixie
    75      Giant Octopus
76-80     Sahuagin
81-83     Dire Shark
84-86     Giant Moray Eel
87-89     Triton
    90       Giant Squid
91-96     Shark-Eating Crab
97-00     Sea Serpent

Friday, 10 August 2012

Death of an Empire

814 - The Holy Emperor dies and is succeeded by his son Louis the Pious
817 - Louis the Pious appoints his son Lothair co-emperor. His other sons Pepin and Louis the Goth govern Aquitaine and Marienburg respectively
823 - High Priest Paschal crowns Lothair as king of all the lands between Galicia and Bernicia
826 - Louis the Pious recognises King Rollo as chief of the Cordobans and forms a non-aggression pact with them
828 - Louis the Goth repels an invasion from the wilderness of Tournai
829 - Cilhadrai raiders attack Frisia
830 - Pepin and Louis the Goth rebel against their father, who regains his authority in the fall
832 - Louis the Pious's sons again rebel against his rule
833 - Louis the Pious is deposed by his sons
834 - Louis the Pious is again restored to the throne as his sons war on each other. Cilhadrai raiders attack targets along the coast from Frisia to Cordoba
840 - Louis the Pious dies and is succeeded  by his son Lothair. Civil war erupts between Lothair in Lutia, Alemmania, Neustria, Galicia, Ravenna and Bernicia; Pepin in Aquitaine, Frisia, Thuringia and Swabia and Louis the Goth in Marienburg, Austrasia, Soissons and Vortigern

Thursday, 26 July 2012

My Top Ten Modules

In no particular order...

The Isle of Dread

"When the gale finally ended, we found ourselves approximately seven days normal sailing distance due south out of Specularum, in the Thanegioth Archipelago. We replenished our supplies, patched up the ship, and traded our remaining goods at native villages along the shores of several islands. Some villages were friendly, but others were hostile and the natives attacked on sight. I suspect the hostile villages were filled with cannibals.
We skirted the coastlines of several islands, sailing south by west until we reached a small peninsula cut off from the main island by a massive stone wall. We were well received by the natives of Tanoroa, the small village that guards this wall. The villagers have no name for the large island other than the 'Isle of Dread'. Their own small peninsula is known simply as 'Home'.
The villagers told us a tale about an ancient city in the central highland of the isle that was build by the same people who built the wall. The villagers call the builders 'the gods', but I noticed that the names of the gods and the personal names of the clan ancestors were often the same. I believe that the natives once possessed a much more advanced culture and that the descendants of the builders have returned to a more primitive state.
The inland city is rumored to be filled with treasure beyond imagining. In particular, I heard persistent tales concerning a great black pearl of 'the gods' that still remains in the inland city. The island waters abound with excellent pearl beds, so the rumor of the black pearl may well be true.
The village contains a number of huge life-like statues of iron, bronze and stone. Since no villager currently has the skill or the craft to make such statues, the tale of a lost city built by the 'gods' seems reasonable. I would have liked to explore inland to verify the rumors, but too many crewmen died in the storm or by cannibal spears. Only five of us are left. I am the only professional adventurer, the others are only sailors. We can sail the small ship well enough but on land, in hostile territory, we would be helpless. Once back in Specularum I should be able to recruit a new crew and a party of professional adventurers, then I will return to claim the great black pearl.
One thing I managed to do before leaving: we sailed around the island and made the best map we could. We were afraid to land, since village fishermen had warned us that it was extremely dangerous to land anywhere on the main island and the coasts were rocky with no beaches. As a result, the map only shows the coastal areas we could chart from the ship, but it is better than nothing.
-Rory Barbarosay"
Just picked this up for £3.00 from Ebay! 

Thursday, 14 June 2012

In the Mouth, a Desert

Last one of my random encounter charts for Pathfinder Basic. I've started with the classic charts from the 1st edition DMG, modified as appropriate for a civillised area using charts from the 3rd edition DMG and then jiggled it about a bit until I'm happy. I haven't done charts for swamps or sea-bound adventures because until they've gained more experience they'd just be an instant TPK and while I appreciate all of the debate about realism in world building I'd like to encourage the characters to explore the world around them. Just stay out of swamps and in site of the shore!

Desert Encounters

Gnoll            01-03
Manticore    04-07
Bandit          08-17
Tribesmen    18-19
Merchant      20- 45
Nomad        46-76
Pilgrim          77-84
Orc              85-94
Lamia             95
Wolf            96-00

Ok, just to finish off here's my favourite random encounter chart of all time...

Town Encounters
                                                                  Daytime     Nightime
Bandit                                                         01-02          01-04
Barbarian (class)                                             03               05
Beggar                                                         04-13         06-08
City Guard                                                   14-18            09
City Official                                                  19-21            10
City Watchman                                             22-23         11-19
Cleric                                                           24-25            20
Demon - Babau                                                                 21
Devil - Bearded                                                                 22
Doppleganger                                                                    23
Druid                                                               26              24
Drunk*                                                            27            25-31
Fighter                                                          28-29         32-33
Gentleman                                                    30-33          34-35
Ghast or Ghoul (30%/70%)                                                36
Ghost                                                                                 37
Giant Rats                                                        34            38-42
Goodwife                                                      35-39            43
Harlot**                                                        40-41         44-50
Sorcerer                                                           42              51
Laborer or Peddler (50%/50%)                      43-50           52
Wizard                                                             51              53
Mercenary                                                      52-55         54-58
Merchant                                                        56-62         59-60
Monk or Bard (40%/60%)                               63               61
Night Hag                                                                            62
Noble                                                             64-65         63-64
Paladin                                                             66               65
Pilgrim                                                            67-69           66
Press Gang                                                       70               67
Rake                                                               71-72         68-71
Ranger                                                              73               72
Ruffian                                                            74-78          73-81
Shadow                                                                                81
Spectre                                                                                 82
Rogue                                                              79-82         83-88
Tradesman                                                      83-98          89-91
Wererat                                                             99             92-94
Werewolf                                                           00             95-96
Wight                                                                                     97
Will-o-wisp                                                                            98
Wraith                                                                                    99
Vampire                                                                                 00

*Roll again for drunkard, ignoring monsters

** Slovenly trull               01-10
     Brazen strumpet          11-25
     Cheap trollop              26-35
     Typical streetwalker    36-50
     Saucy tart                    51-65
     Wanton wench            66-75
     Expensive doxy            76-85
     Haughty courtesan        86-90
     Aged madam                91-92
     Wealthy procuress        93-94
     Sly pimp                       95-98
     Rich panderer               99-00

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Bivouac On a Mountainside

I see before me now a traveling army halting,
Below a fertile valley spread, with barns and the orchards of summer,
Behind, the terraced sides of a mountain, abrupt, in places rising high,
Broken, with rocks, with clinging cedars, with tall shapes dingily seen,
The numerous camp-fires scatter'd near and far, some away up on the mountain,
The shadowy forms of men and horses, looming, large-sized, flickering,
And over all the sky--the sky! far, far out of reach, studded,
breaking out, the eternal stars.

Walt Whitman

Mountain Encounters

Black Bear        01-02
Dwarf                 03-15
Hill Giant            16-17
Gnoll                   18-19
Gnome               20-21
Goblin                 22-24
Hobgoblin          25-26
Werebear              27
Werewolf            28-29
Manticore              30
Bandit                 31-37     Rural thieves on the lookout for easy pickings
Tribesmen           38-39     Cilhadrai hunter gatherers
Nomad                40-41    Tuel hunter gatherers
Merchant             42-51     Merchant caravan with guards and retinue
Pilgrim                 52-59     Worshippers of Abarta, Lugh or Uller
Ogre                    60-67
Orc                       68-80
Vampire              81-87
Will-o-Wisp          88-89
Wolf                      90-00

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Into the Woods

  "The atmosphere suggested that God's Doom had been visited on this place as freely as it had been visited elsewhere. Yet I was grateful for any kind of calm, and after two days without danger presenting itself I found that I could sleep quite easily for several hours and could eat with a degree of leisure, drinking from sweet brook water made strange to me because it did not taste of the corpses which clogged, for instance, the Elbe from bank to bank.
  It was remarkable to me that the deeper into the forest I moved, the less life I discovered.
  The stillness began to oppress me; I became grateful for the sound of my own movements, the tread of the horse's hooves on the turf, the occasional breeze which swept the leaves of the trees, animating them and making them seem less like frozen giants observing my passage with a passionless sense of the danger lying ahead of me.
  It was warm and I had an impulse more than once to remove my helmet and breastplate, but I kept them firmly on, sleeping in my armour as was my habit, a naked sword ready by my hand.
  I came to believe that this was not, after all, a Paradise, but the borderland between Earth and Hell."
Micheal Moorcock - The Warhound and the World's Pain

Woodlands are strange, magical places that may hide passages between worlds that can trick the unwary traveller. Step carefully, keep your wits about you and be respectful towards any strangers (or strangeness) and you'll come back without any scars! 

Forest Encounters

Ettercap                           01-02
Giant Ant                         03-04
Black Bear                       05-07
Bombardier Beetle           08-09
Kobold                            10-11
Wild Boar                        12-14
Elf                                    15-18
Dire Boar                             19
Gnoll                                    20
Gnome                              21-22
Goblin                                  23
Halfling                                 24
Hobgoblin                             25
Werebear                             26
Wereboar                             27
Werewolf                              28
Green Hag                            29
Bandit                                30-37     Rural thieves on the lookout for easy pickings
Tribesmen                          38-40     Cilhadrai hunter gatherers
Nomad                              41-42     Tuel hunter gatherers
Merchant                           43-55     Merchant caravan with guards and retinue
Pilgrim                               56-60     Worshippers of Abarta, Lugh or Uller
Ogre                                  61-70
Orc                                    71-82
Giant Rat                            83-85
Huge Monstrous Spider      86-91
Owlbear                               92
Wolf                                   93-00

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Creation Myth

All around was dark and sparkling with the potential of all that could ever be. Great Mother Khaos lay sleeping; dormant, eternal, but not alone. Her two children, Thanatos and Solpertaine were dancing among the cascades of probabilities.
"Mother is asleep" grinned Thanatos.
As has always been" she replied, sighing.
"I shall creep up to her box of jewels and steal one for you, my pretty sister, and you shall shine!" And with that off he tip-toed towards the great slumbering hulk of his mother. Twinkling and iridescent were the many ideas that shone down on her dreaming. Fleeting, wispy things, that glimmered and glowed. Thanatos gently crept by her, whispering sweet sonnets into her ear as he passed. Khaos smiled, and slept on.
The small box drew within reach, the lid was opened, the gem inside grasped. Quickly transported back was the light to the luxuriant form of Solpertaine. She looked up from her drowsy reverie as her brother approached with eager expectation.
Close your eyes and open your mouth!” he cried. She giggled, then gasped as she felt the warmth of his gift within her. Opening her eyes she looked down and saw the small greeny-blue jewel in her belly.
Sing for me my sister, sing of desire and wonder and magic and love.” She looked at him with the heavens reflected in her eyes, tipped back her slender neck and began to sing. 

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

A Short Tour of the North West (Pt One)

Stonefist - Facing the brunt of the cold northern winds and cut off from the world by the Dragonspine Mountains and the Forest of Deeps lies Stonefist. As bleak as could be, with long desperate winters and fleeting summers. The people are exceedingly tough and hardy, with even the least of them willing to take up arms against incursions of trolls or ogres. Isolated, superstitious and strong.

Krakenheim - Raiders, reavers and despoilers of other lands, the ships of Krakenheim are feared for hundreds of leagues for their lightning raids and razing of towns and villages. They hold the town of Glotspur under it's thrall and have built many other colonies along coastlines from Eadelbraig to Kairouan. 

Glotspur - Beleaguered Glotspur, it's ships commandeered by it's oppressor, has had to look to it's neighbours in the Northern Free States to allow trade to flow south to the Pomeraine city states. An undignified turn of events indeed for these once proud peoples.

Farfield - A small trading town of the Northern Free States, a stretch of land that buffers the Cilhadrai Territories and the Tuel Heartlands. Wild and reckless, a person's life depends on the swiftness of their sword arm. A place of meetings, beginnings and grand schemes. Treasure hunters, bounty killers and many others who seek a quick way to riches congregate here and are quick to bleed the gold from the unwise and unwary.

Silverhaven - A town of balances. Between the warrior elite and merchants, Cilhadrai and Tuel, old noble houses and fresh blood from the migrations. All is held in check by whomever sits upon Sentinel Hill. But for one push all could so easily topple and the wastelands will once again creep over these old stones and reduce them to ruin.

Durgabel - A warm hearth and a safe roof in an otherwise unruly part of the world. The halls of the King of Durgabel have been a stable influence in the area since anyone can remember. The King is well liked and treats his subjects well but he is also no fool and the responsibility of leadership sometimes lies heavy upon his head. He is also old, and the crown must soon to pass to new shoulders.

Wintershiven - The might of Wintershiven keeps even Krakenheim from it's shores. Unofficial capital of all the Northern Free States and gateway between north and south. Led by the Dragon Council, this city has grown wealthy and strong and seeks to rule all the states as a northern empire to match that of Viristanium or Lysander to the south. In this way it may keep it's peoples free from southern hostility and safe from harm.

Soull - Trader kings of the Great Dragon Sea. The merchant houses here operate trading links as far as the Burning Lands and Baklunish. They use this wealth to buy off the forces of Krakenheim and to set up colonies wherever there is gold to be made. Strongly defended, industrious and walled are the towns of Soull and pity any fool enough to try to beseige them!

Arras - Most easterly of the Tuel Heartlands and nestled between the White Forest, the Bialowieza Forest and Darkwood and also lying at the crossing of two great rivers. Arras is a resting post for travellers from Tournai in the south to Wintershiven and Vortigern. Run ably by the Three Sisters this city of former horse nomads stands proud and unconquered.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

The Middle

  Last night on The Middle Weird Ashley cancelled her date with Axl because a Dungeons and Dragons player had asked her out and his character was a 9th level Magic User. I had to replay that bit because a) I was laughing too much causing my wife to miss the next bit and b) Magic User? I guess there's a couple of explanations for this incongruity, since MU hasn't been a term in the game since the 80's. One :- Someone writing for the show played D&D when they were younger and popped it into the script using it as an easy reference for something Ashley would be interested in. I think this is pretty cool as it means people in the media feel they can throw in a term like D&D without any explanation of what it is and expect the viewers to recognise the reference. Hey Hasbro! D&D is still a name brand after all :D. Of course, the other explanation is that Ashley's friend is rocking the old-school!

Couldn't find a piccie of Weird Ashley so here's Chevy Chase in Community, another show that's D&D friendly. What's going on? Have a bunch of role-players infiltrated sit-com writing circles? I guess all those creative types left college and are now the position to write what they enjoy and have the backing to get it on the screen. It's some kinda D&D renaissance!

Monday, 7 May 2012

Epic Win!

Was working on some maps for the Northern Free States but when I saw the beautiful map of Westeros that was put online recently I had a major re-think. I'm now re-starting them with less emphasis on accuracy and I bit more romance and mystery. Will post them up when they're done (of course). In the meantime here's what I found in a local second hand shop today for £6. I am more than well chuffed! I'd just commented about this game last week and here it is waiting for me to hand over my moolah. Fate, you're a wonderful thing.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

News From Silverhaven

Military Strength: 3          Alignment: CN          Wisdom: +1          Diplomacy: 0
Hardship: 8                     Discontent: 8

Resource Limit: 16
Treasury: 10,000 Gp
Tax Rate: Medium, 1,000 Gp  x Population 52 = 52,000 Gp

Realm Diplomacy          Structures
Farfield: 15                    Temple to Abarta: +3 to Discontent rolls
Durgabel: 13                  Warehouses: Resource Limit +5
Wintershiven: 14             Barracks: Recruit Troops costs 10% less
Arras: 20                        Foodstores: +3 to Hardship rolls
Freeport: 22
Glotspur: 15

Population and Resources
Terrain          No.          Population          Resources
Plains             3                   36                       3
Hills               1                     6                       3
Forest            1                     7                       5
Bases             1                     4
Total              5                   52                      11

Spring 840
 Trade talks with Durgabel fail disastrously after negotiations break down. This has greatly peeved Lord Calunghetta who has called for his daughter to return from the neighbouring court. Ulfgar has been asked to send representatives to smooth things over and restore the previously held good will before more discussions can be held. Plague has struck the small town of Falcon's Hollow though the local water supply. A cure can be made but the ingredients are scarce and can only be found deep in the woodlands where a powerful witch is said to dwell. An abandoned dwarfen temple must also be sought out and explored before all can be set right. The Undead have been seen roaming the Korm Peninsula. A group of treasure-seekers recently set out to find the ruins of the mausoleum said to be there but have not returned. What has returned instead is ghastly and an affront to the gods. Sandpoint folk are preparing to celebrate the Swallowtail Festival and consecrate the new Cathedral to Idun. There is much joy in the town and pilgrims and well-wishers are flocking into the area for much merriment and goodwill. Elsewhere, flooding has brought hardship upon the citizens of Farfield, riches have been found in the woodlands of Arras and a hero from the lands of Glotspur has been making waves.

By the way, my Basic and Expert Rulebooks have arrived. Example of play contains this nugget "DM: Black Dougal, you find out that you missed a tiny discoloured  needle in the latch. Roll a saving throw vs. Poison, please! Dougal (rolling): Missed it! DM: Black Dougal gasps "Poison!" and falls to the floor. He looks dead. Fredrik: I'm grabbing his pack". Life was brutal back then. Kids today never had it so good, when I was a lad blah blah blah...

Friday, 20 April 2012


Adapted from Dragon 293 and Fields of Blood from Eden Studios

Random Event Phase
Winter Events             Spring Events            Summer Events       Autumn Events             % Roll
Ice Storm                     Seed Failure                 Drought                   Blight                            01-02 
Storage Failure             Storage Failure             Storage Failure        Storage Failure               03-04
Dark Tidings                  Wood Rot                    Vein Tapped            Early Snows                     05
Passes Blocked            Flash Floods                Brush Fires             Expensive Upkeep          06-10
Plague                         Avalanche                     City Burns              Raiders                            11
Asset Failure                Asset Failure                Asset Failure           Asset Failure                 12-13
Embezzlement              Desertion                     Desertion                Gloom                           14-15
Nothing of Note             Nothing of Note             Nothing of Note        Nothing of Note              16-84
Windfall                       Windfall                         Eager Recruits        Mercenaries                   85-86
Mercenaries                 Mercenaries                  Trade Surplus          Strange Ally                     87
Light Snows                 Immigrants                    Immigrants              Immigrants                    88-89
Rare Find                     Timber!                         Shallow Waters       Unexpected Harvest       90-93
Local Hero                    Local Hero                    Clear Skies             Rich Ore                       94-99
Beneficial Signs            Lush Soil                       Steady Rains          Easy Harvest                  00

Asset Failure - A random structure is destroyed
Avalanche - A base in a random mountain hex is destroyed
Beneficial Signs - Capture costs for provinces are -1
Blight - Check 1-3 (d8) for each plains and 1-2 (d8) hill hex for loss of resources
Brush Fires - Check 1-3 (d8) for each plains and forest hex for loss of resources
City Burns - A base in a random hex is destroyed
Clear Skies - Trade Routes earn 20% extra
Dark Tidings - Capture costs for enemy hexes are +2
Desertion - Military Strength -1
Drought - Check 1-4 (d8) for each plains hex not containing a river for loss of resources
Early Snows - Trade Routes earn 20% less
Eager Recruits - Recruit Troops costs 20% less
Easy Harvest - All Make War rolls are at +1 and Capture Costs for home Dominion hexes are +1
Embezzlement - Lose 1d4 x 5% Gp from Treasury
Expensive Upkeep - Pay 15,000 Gp per base to avoid loss of base
Flash Flood - Check 1-2 (d8) for each structure in river hex to be destroyed
Gloom - Capture costs for enemy hexes are +1
Ice Storm - Trade Routes earn 20% less
Immigrants - Add one base to a hex
Light Snows - All hexes produce 1 extra resource
Local Hero - +2 on the Discontent roll this season
Lush Soil - Check 1-2 (d8) for each plains hex to produce 1 extra resource
Mercenaries - Military Strength +1 for one year
Passes Blocked - Mountain hexes produce no resources
Plague - Check 1-4 (d8) for each hex without a temple for the loss of a base
Raiders - Check capture cost against random border hex for the loss of same
Rare Find - One random mountain hex produces 3 extra resources 
Rich Ore - Check 1-3 (d8) for each mountain and hill hex to produce double resources
Seed Failure - Check 1-2 (d8) for each plains hex for loss of resources
Shallow Waters - For this season only, marshes produce 1 resource each
Steady Rains - Check 1-4 (d8) for each plains hex to produce double resources
Storage Failure - Lose any stored resources from one random Warehouse 
Strange Ally - +2 on one roll for this season
Timber! - A random forest hex produces 2 extra resources
Trade Surplus - Each coastal hex produces 50% extra resources
Unexpected Harvest - Hex of choice produces 5 resources
Vein Tapped - Check 1-2 (d8) for each mountain hex for loss of resources
Windfall - Tax income is raised by 1d4 x 5%
Wood Rot - Check 1-2 (d8) for each forest hex for loss of resources

Initiative Phase
Check d20 + Wisdom modifier

Realm Turns Phase:-
Hardship begins at 8. Make a d20 roll against Hardship with each 35,000 Gp spent giving a +1 to the roll. If it succeeds and Hardship is greater than 13 then it is reduced by 1. If the roll fails Discontent is increased by +3 for this season and the ruler may not Recruit Troops.

Tax Rate - Population x following :- Low x 400 Gp, Medium x 1,000 Gp, High x 2,000 Gp
Trade - Subtract Diplomacy rating from 22. If positive multiply the result by 3,000 Gp. If a road connects the capitols of both Dominions then the yield is doubled. 
Pay Maintenance - Military Strength x 25,000 Gp

Population Modifier <=25  No Modifier                    Tax Rate Modifier
                             26-50       -1                                   Low +2
                             51-100     -2                                  Medium 0
                            101-200    -3                                    High -5
                            201-500    -4
                              501+      -5
Discontent begins at 8. Make a d20 roll against Discontent with a -2 or +2 if a boon or penalty was received in the Random Events and a +1 for each unit of Military Strength assigned to quell any unrest. If the roll succeeds and Discontent is greater than 13 then it is reduced by 1. If the roll fails Discontent is increased by 2. If the roll fails three times in a row then the Dominion descends into anarchy

Action  (2 Per Turn)
Open Trade Route
  Pay 50,000 Gp and make a Diplomacy check. If the roll succeeds a Trade Route has been opened. 
Build Roads
  Pay 20,000 Gp per Hex. 3 Hexes may be built per action
Build Structure
  City Structures
  Palace  200,000 Gp + 10 Resources - Taxes earn 10% more Gp
  Library  220,000 Gp + 14 Resources - Bases and Structures cost 10% less
  Temple  100,000 Gp + 10 Resources - +3 All Discontent rolls
  Foodstores  60,000 Gp + 8 Resources - +3 All Hardship rolls
  Marketplace  60,000 Gp + 8 Resources - Trade produces 10% more Gp
  Warehouse  40,000 Gp + 6 Resources - Resource Limit is increased by 5 
  Barracks  50,000 Gp + 8 Resources - Recruit Troops costs 10% less
  Shipyard  180,000 Gp + 14 Resources - Can build, attack and trade overseas within 12 Hexes
  Monument  100,000 Gp + 10 Resources - +3 All Diplomacy rolls
  Thieve's Guild  100,000 Gp + 10 Resources - +4 Initiative
If a Dominion wishes to have more than one of a type of City Structure to increase it's bonus it must have a Resource Limit of (number of structures x Resource payment). Eg 2 Marketplaces = a Resource Limit of 16
  Hex Structures
  Irrigation  80,000 Gp + 4 Resources - Plains Hex produces 2 Resources
  Lumber Camp  240,000 Gp + 12 Resources - Forest Hex produces 8 Resources
  Mine  160,000 Gp + 8 Resources - Hill Hex produces 5 Resources
  Quarry  80,000 Gp + 4 Resources - Mountain Hex produces 3 Resources
  Camp  80,000 Gp + 4 Resources - Jungle Hex produces 3 Resources
Recruit Troops
  Pay 10,000 Gp x current Military Strength plus 10 resources to add 1 to Military Strength. Military Strength may not be greater than Population divided by 10 (round fractions up). States begin with Population divided by 20 (rounded up).
Make War
  Pay 20,000 Gp x Military Strength plus Military Strength x Resources. Roll d20 + Military Strength for the amount of Capture Points which may be used to buy neighbouring hexes 
Build Guarding Army
  Pay 100,000 Gp and 10 Resources and lower Military Strength by 1 to place Guarding Army in Hex
Conduct Diplomacy
  Pay 50,000 Gp and make d20 Diplomacy check with another Dominion, if it succeeds then reduce Diplomacy figure by 2 for that Dominion 
Hold Games or Festivals
  Simple - Pay 500 Gp x Population for +1 on next season's Discontent roll
  Impressive - Pay 1500 Gp x Population for +2
  Elaborate - Pay 3500 Gp x Population for +5
Buy / Sell Resources
  Buy for 10,000 Gp each, Sell at 5,000 Gp each
Build Base 
  Buy Base for 20 Resources and 300,000 Gp. Up to 10 Bases may be built per Hex   
Move Capitol
  Pay 200,000 Gp and 20 Resources to move Capitol to another Base.

Resource Limit
A Dominion may not build more than it's total resources plus any bonus from Warehouses per turn. 

Making War
Terrain                        Capture Cost
Plains/Desert                       5
Forest/Jungle                       7
Hill/Swamp                          9
Mountain                            12
Contains River                     +2
Contains Base                    +2
Contains Guarding Army      +7
Belongs to Neighbour           +5

Population and Resources
Terrain                  Population                  Resources                    Large Town = 1 Base
Plain                          12                               1                           Small City = 3 Bases
Forest                         7                                5                           Large City = 6 Bases
Hill                              6                                3                           Metropolis = 10 Bases
Mountain                     3                                2
Swamp                        1                               0
Jungle                         3                                2
Desert                         1                                0
Bases                          4

                   2nd Realm
1st Realm          CE          LE         NE         CN         LN          N           CG         LG         NG
      CE               22          23          25          22          21          22          21          20          21
      LE               23          20          21          20          19          20          20          19          20
      NE               25          21          23          22          21          22          21          20          21
      CN               22          20          22          15          14          15          14          13          14
      LN               21          19           21          14          13          14          13          12          13
       N                22           20          22          15          14          15          14          13          14
      CG               21          20          21          14          13          14          12          11          12
      LG               20          19          20          13          12          13          11          10          11
      NG               21          20          21          14          13          14          12          11          12