23 December 2017

Jeff Rient's 20 quick questions for your campaign

Hey look, Jeff Rient's 20 questions again. My last campaign ended/got put on hiatus for personal reasons, and I won't be able to get back to running it for a while. I also found some of the old notes for my "A Mad God Rising" campaign last month, a campaign setting I had written pieces of some time in the early aughts, dusted off in 2010, and that I had partially used another campaign in 2014.

  1. What is the deal with my cleric's religion?
·         The default is a member of the secular or regular clergy in a vaguely early Catholic Christian way; additionally, you can be of an order devoted a particular saint.
·         You can be a lay person blessed, or cursed, with divine visions.
·         You can be a flavor of hermit rewarded with divine visions.
·         Or you can pitch me something else, just no Chaos priests.
  1. Where can we go to buy standard equipment?
Amongst the various shops and stalls in Heimlton and the closer farmhouses most equipment on the B/X equipment lists can be purchased.
  1. Where can we go to get platemail custom fitted for this monster I just befriended?
Across the Silver Lake is the Violet Flame tended by a group of secretive dwarves. They have a massive backlog though.
  1. Who is the mightiest wizard in the land?
Uravulon Calcidius is a noted astrologer and who is said to dwell in the tower floating above the ruined castle just outside of town. But no one in town has seen him in 60 years. Probably just as well that his tower is out of reach. It’s probably filled with horrible demons.
  1. Who is the greatest warrior in the land?
Well, there is the Dark Knight Avel Amariei who is said to be of the Undead or a Vampire. He holds vigil over the Sepulcher of Endless Night. It is unclear whether it is to save the world from what lays beneath or to protect it from heroes, as he is wont to slay men and monster alike with his massive axe carved from ice.
  1. Who is the richest person in the land?
Old man Guffen, the so-called Merchant Baron, is by all accounting the wealthiest person around. He and his family have a widely spread trading company. Where keeps his wealth is a mystery.
Abigail the Midwife, also known as Abigail the Black Witch, but never to her face, runs the sanatorium outside of the village. Her servants are all lepers who wear bone china masks. She is rumored to be a necromancer. Her wealth is said to rival Old Guffen's, and she dresses in the latest fashions, not anyone local would know that beyond her clothes be the finest made around.
  1. Where can we go to get some magical healing?
There is a spring in the courtyard of the Abbey of the Crying Martyr  that has healing properties. Access to the healing waters can usually be attained with a donation to the sister to the tune of 250gp or so.
  1. Where can we go to get cures for the following conditions: poison, disease, curse, level drain, lycanthropy, polymorph, alignment change, death, undeath?
Mother Sah, the Abbess of the Abbey of the Crying Martyr, is a skilled herbalist capable of treating most non-magical poisons and diseases; as can several of the Sisters.
There is also a hermit rumored to dwell somewhere in the Clammy Woods blessed with the skills to cure many other afflictions.
  1. Is there a magic guild my MU belongs to or that I can join in order to get more spells?
No. While the use of magic is not outright forbidden through the land, it is not looked on particularly favorably either.
The most likely places to obtain new spells are: the castle ruins, Calcidius' Floating Tower, or the Elves of the Clammy Woods.
  1. Where can I find an alchemist, sage or other expert NPC?
As aforementioned, several of the Sisters of the Crying Martyr are learned in many of the Philosophies of Nature, but are not likely to leave the cloistered life for any long term, nor travel more than a day or two away from the abbey.
However, as the abbey has a library of some repute, there are frequent itinerate sages and other learned individuals visiting that could be enticed away from their studies.
Ugly Joan, the village blacksmith, made most of the locks in Heimlton and can generally be persuaded to drop whatever iron work she's working to crack an ancient lock or two, for a cut of the treasure or other equitable exchange of goods and coin.
  1. Where can I hire mercenaries?
Robert the Large's tavern is probably the best place to go looking for not only out of work mercenaries, but also good, strong lads* as porters, torch bearers, teamsters, and groomsmen. *Not necessarily good, strong, or lads
The Greybearded Portent, the only place to get coffee, is the place to find self-styled princes and princesses in-exile. Whether all of these many idle and wealthy seeming folk are indeed exiled nobility or merely well dressed posers is a gamble.
Finally, there is Bill's Post, a post at the edge of village green where bills get posted, may have postings by out of work mercenaries that for reasons don't frequent Robert's.
  1. Is there any place on the map where swords are illegal, magic is outlawed or any other notable hassles from Johnny Law?
Fort Inevitable is a hassle for everybody. Most everything requires one or more licenses to do legally within the bounds of the town immediate area.
  1. Which way to the nearest tavern?
There are surprisingly three places that can loosely be called taverns: Robert the Large's, a tavern proper as well as the only inn in town; the Greybearded Portent, the only place to get coffee and overpriced baked goods; and the Argent Ditches, a joint that serves fried foods intended to be eaten quickly.
  1. What monsters are terrorizing the countryside sufficiently that if I kill them I will become famous?
The Goblins of the Clammy Woods are a constant irritant and occasional threat to the farms and loggers at the outskirt of the forest.
Sometimes the ancient dead stir from the necropolis surrounding the Sepulcher of Endless Night.
  1. Are there any wars brewing I could go fight?
There aren't any battlers larger than minor border skirmishes, and to be upfront this is Dungeons & Dragons not Mayhem & Mercenaries. There is no more glory being a merc in some random border skirmish than there is in being an adventurer, and there is considerably less wealth to be gained doing so.
  1. How about gladiatorial arenas complete with hard-won glory and fabulous cash prizes?
There are weekly prize fights atop the scaffold in the center of the green. The weekly fights tend to be winner-take-all open challenge type affairs. Default the buy-in is either the experience value in gold pieces of the issuer of the open challenge or the highest of the two combatants. Payout will usually be 90% of that pot, with an additional 1d6x10gp as a share of gambling winnings, provided there is a positive reaction roll or good showmanship. These are by tradition done with matching weapons and without armor, but are truly a matter of discussion between the fighters.
Monthly the local fencing guild, the Brotherhood of St. Chirico, holds their own prize-fights, where apprentices and journeyers fight for the prize of advancement to the next rank, journeyer and master respectively.
There are two regular prize-fighting competitions throughout the year.
The first is a woman-only open and it takes place four times a year on the quarter days. It has a 100gp buy-in. The monetary payout is only 10% of the pot as the Sisters of the Crying Martyr is the sponsor and takes the bulk of the moneys to help pay of the upkeep of their abbey. The other prizes are a boon from Mother Sah and the title 'Queen of the Blade' until the next quarter day competition. Per ancient tradition this is conducted stripped to the waist and with a broadsword and buckler.
The second is held on the cross-quarter days by the Brotherhood of St. Chirico by invite. Well placed competitors get a further invite to join the Brotherhood and 2000gp.
There is also a jolly cohort of knights  'standing vigil' over the bridge crossing the River, who challenge crossers to knightly deeds of arms.
  1. Are there any secret societies with sinister agendas I could join and/or fight?
  2. What is there to eat around here?
See #s 11 and 13
  1. Any legendary lost treasures I could be looking for?
Minstrels sing of a great armored giant that for his hubris was divided by god and his head, arms, and legs were hidden across the land. The legend also says that were his body rendered whole a great boon would be bestowed upon his benefactors.
There is the legendary Flame-Wreathed Ship, a ship that could only sail through the skies.
The Egg of Kings is said to come to those with the potential of world-shaking greatness and offer the power to grant your deepest desire.
  1. Where is the nearest dragon or other monster with Type H treasure?
There is probably something big, powerful, and sitting on top of a mountain of treasure underneath the abandoned mill pond, seeing how anybody goes into it is never seen again.

16 November 2017

So one of the ACKS authors, Alex Macris, is backing Alt-Right Conservative Gadfly, Milo

The Man Behind The Milo: A Chat With The ‘Supervillain’ CEO Of MILO, Inc.