Friday, November 30, 2012

Stats, stats, stats

If there's an individual who can challenge Gygax in the title for Most Influential, I would argue for Tolkien.

Despite the former's apparent disdain for the latter, the author's works informed and defined fantasy roleplaying, in particular my own early games, in a way which precious few other can claim.

Yes, there are others whose names loom large in Appendix N, but in high fantasy games, at least, Tolkien reigns.

To that end, I found this supremely interesting.

Should it be used as a concrete guide for worldbuilding? Nah. But it's frakk'n neat.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Shadow Delvers, part II

So I'm not really running an ADnD game at the moment.

The only thing I am running is a playtest of a good buddy's homebrew game, it takes place in modern day New York City (which none of us know anything about) and is basically Sherlock and Watson meet Batman where Batman is a spoiled brat who fights crime for kicks, Sherlock has a serious heroin problem and a pronounced limp, and Watson is strong-arm British ex-pat and ex-con.

So far, they've been solving mysteries that have all had a paranormal connection, with the help of Egg Shen. Think Call of Cthulu meets Big Trouble in Little China.

Anyway, this lack of pressure for me to create content for my original campaign world has, of course, got me thinking about my original campaign world and formulating (read: stealing) ideas for it.

So, shadow delvers, dungeoneers, adventurers, whatever you want to call them.
They're not your average nutter, they're worse.
They think it's great fun to wriggle themselves into holes in the ground in search of some dead king's tin cup.

And there's plenty of places for them to crawl, I don't mind telling you. You see, way back when, the old kings of Viroof used to bury their dead in tombs like the heathen dwarfs. All along the Southron Road, the countryside is littered with cairns and mounds to some minor chieftain or favored gilly.

But they've all been picked over a thousand-thousand times, and no delver is interested in them anymore. There are deeper, darker, more dangerous and more profitable graves to plunder. Usually on the western side of the road. Between the highway and the mountains, or carved into the living rock, you can find the places where no one has been stupid enough to enter since the place was sealed.

They're often difficult to find, your best bet is to find a good guide, a seasoned woodsman from the area. He'll know the places where moss and turf and tree hide ancient masonry. The places that animals avoid, and the places where he dare not spend the night. A good woodsman will know all the signs that point an old grave.
He'll charge to take you out there of course. The best guides will bring a wagon with them, and you'll have to charter that too, but if you're lucky, your guide will be a good cook as well, and should you manage to not get killed inside the dungeon, you might have a decent meal waiting for you at the campsite.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Shadow Delvers

I've been reading the book Shadow Divers about deep sea scuba divers trying to identify the wreck of a German World War II U-boat off the New Jersey coast and it has me thinking about the parallels that a DM could draw.

Wrecks are often found by fishermen, who will sometimes trade the locations of the wrecks to charter boat captains.

The locations are jealously guarded and the wrecks themselves are dangerous locations that sometimes hide great treasures for those brave or stupid enough to dive them.

It' an easy comparison to make, but an interesting one too. I've already sketched an idea in my head of what it would look like in my home campaign. Perhaps I'll post that later...