Memories of Connor's Adventures

Orlando the Adventurer pulled a Scimitar from beneath his Robes and smiled...

Friday, 26 August 2016

Independence Day: writing fanfic for the setting

July 1st, 1996
A big ass space ship shows up in orbit...
So you decided to write fan fiction for the Independence Day setting but unless its slash fic about two dudes on a repaired alien space craft currently docked to the mother ship and the ten secret moments they spend together...you feel hard up.

History
Having some Idea of real world events that were going on in the background will help:
July 1st... Space Shuttle Columbia was conducting a Space Lab life sciences experiment mission (STS-78) The first of the International Space Station modules was yet to be put in orbit...so no ISS.

The STS-78 Columbia Crew were:
Com T.T. Henricks
Pil K.R. Kregel
MS1 Richard Linnehan
MS2 Sue Helms
MS3 Charles Brady Jr.
PS1 Jean Favre
PS2 Robert Thirsk

This provides you with a selection of  real NASA Astronauts who are caught in orbit at the moment of Arrival.

Independence Day: Prelude
July 1st, 1996: Sue Helms stared out the window of the Columbia at the distant Moon and its new companion, her eyes wide in shock and confusion. She flailed blindly with her hand to reach Commander Henricks who was busy behind her checking her report.
"Um...Commander...what's that?"
"That would probably be the Moon you are looking at Sue." Commander Henricks laughed and continued reading...
"No...not the Moon...I mean I see the Moon..." Sue sucked on some water to quench the odd sensation as though she just woke up in the desert.
"Whats that other thing coming our way from behind it...?" Commander Henricks turned and looked. His brain rebelled against its obvious nature and Commander Henricks switched on Comms.
"Uhhh...NASA we have something large comming at us from behind the Moon." Henricks waited for a response. Seconds became minutes.
"NASA...are you receiving?" Commander Henricks rubbed his fingers against each other nervously.

Anyway...short of Commander Henricks pulling a handgun from the purple people eater protocols locker and shooting himself in the head now that he has been cut off from his chain of command (NASA)...we can go do some research to find out what the response of the real crew would have been in this situation.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Adventure Seeds: The Fisherman's Pearl

A fisherman discovers a giant pearl and places it under his bed for good luck for ten years.

For the DM: The giant pearl is 74.9572lb.
Pearl: Base price (500gp/cn) × 749.572cn = 374,786gp

Source: https://www.thesun.co.uk/living/1655484/fisherman-kept-giant-pearl-worth-76m-hidden-in-his-wooden-shack-for-a-decade-with-no-idea-of-its-worth/

Monday, 22 August 2016

Creating the Future: Metropolis and beyond

Metropolis is a billion population city occupying Long Island. One million one acre blocks are each occupied by an apartment block of a thousand small shipping container sized apartments specifically designed for single residency: A sleep module, toilet, shower, laundry, kitchenette...for the singular price of two hundred thousand dollars each. The central communal use core of each apartment block is a ten floor vertical farm for food production, a pool, a tennis court, a gym, a lecture hall, music auditorium, library, and cinema.
The fifty trillion in 'profit' must be directed into not only the city infrastructure including water desalination, power, waste ptocessing, and mass transit. It must go into a better future. Having purchased the innevitable thirty trillion dollar US national debt and freed future generations of the senile beliefs of previous generations, this populace is rewarded with parliamentary self representation. A consensus government that has access to the creativity and intellectual property of its billion citizens.

Beyond Metropolis are the ruined cities being mined for the resources that built them. The Mainland is divided fifty-fifty into farmland and national park.
Private ownership of land is long gone. Farms are for the efficient mass production of food for a billion population. No longer are they nests of religious brainwashing or paranoid terrorists.

Space colonization has with the annual interest on ten trillion dollars become the mass production of O'Neil cylinders for launch to space. Thirty two billion cubic feet of lift hydrogen lifts a million ton colony to the edge of space where rocket motors push them beyond orbit. They land on Mars to become food production farms and three dee printers turning raw materials into colonies...

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Campaign Development: Adding a history to your campaign

Okay...so you decided to give your campaign setting a history...

There are Two kinds of events in history:
1. Events that happen and cant be changed. These are volcanic eruptions, asteroids from space, earthquake, tidal waves.
2. Events that can be prevented. The murderous rampage of a serial killer. The invasion of the kingdom of karameikos by thyatis.
Where a serial killer will have little geographic effect an asteroid from space will leave a crater that might well mean mountain ranges and or a lake exist in the future. The migration of humans into a forested region may result in deforestation, extinction of giant wombats, and global warming. Deserts where no deserts existed. A mountain pass might be the result of dwarves quarrying building stone for their fortress that now fills the pass.
Marko the Arsonist sets fire to a forest in the summer and turns thirty thousand acres of forest to ash in twenty four hours. Years from now that forest might be meadow with bogs and remnant forest.
History leaves a mark ond the landscape.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Adventures in Karameikos: News from Mirros


ALL HELL HAS BROKEN LOOSE
What began as a series of gruesome killings in the foreign district involving unnamed victims who apparently were adorned head to toe in tattooed script of an unknown foreign language soon escalated into the Abduction of the Princess and a number of Highborn ladies from an assortment of other lesser Monarchies scattered across the Known World by members of the Leviathan Cult.
This terrible chain of events reached its crescendo when the King’s Astronomer declared that the Constellation of Stars known as the Eye of the Dragon had opened. Investigators for the Crown now believe that these events are linked to the appearance soon after of the Demon Tower that now casts its maleficent shadow over the city. Fiends now prowl the fog drowned streets and alleys of our great capital, Scurry over our rooftops, and crawl through sewers and tunnels beneath our feet. Clerics of the church of Karameikos have fallen ill and are unable to produce healing magic.

In light of these terrible events the foreign district is now declared off limits, the Population there ordered to evacuate. Anyone visiting the city is warned to avoid the foreign district at all cost and heed the directions of the City Guardsmen.

Friar Alar Ganus
Frairs Almanac


EVIL UNLEASHED ON MINISTRY
The more significant Horrors that were previously confined to the foreign district have apparently spread to the Ministry of the Capital. Witnesses report spotting a dozen small, Ape-like humanoids with scythes for hands moving along the roof tops of that district and into the Ministry Building itself.
Up to a hundred and twenty of the Ministry officials and support staff who were thought to be inside the building at the time of the incident have apparently gone missing. Initial encounters were thought to have been made with these Apes by City Guardsmen stationed on the Ministry rooftops, however Investigators for the Crown are remaining tight lipped as to where those guardsmen are, as no bodies have at this time been recovered. It is thought that the creatures have carried off the remains of the dead.
The Ministry district has now been included in the evacuation cordon with the foreign district and all citizens currently residing near the Ministry have been instructed to leave their homes.
No word as yet from the Prime Minister who is on retreat at the Synod Council of Kelvin where the Crisis is under church review but he is expected to return within a few days to emergency Ministry quarters currently being established in the west wing of the Palace to take control of the remains of the Ministry and get things functioning again. Despite this tragedy, and the growing Crisis, the King has declared that he will remain in the Palace once the Prime Minister returns while rest of the Royal family is evacuated.
The Crown has at this time placed a restriction on river travel.  Only official vessels with vital commerce have been granted a movement order.

 Friar Alar Ganus
Frairs Almanac



REDPHAGE POISONS THE CAPITOL
With the return of the Prime Minister expected in the next few days, his arrival will not be met with applauding crowds of citizens rather a cloud of red dust that has blown in from the Dymrak to blanket the city in a thick tannin haze – it has apparently settled over the city permanently and has combined with wood smoke produced by our very own chimneys to become something truly poisonous.

This Redphage is now responsible for terrible sickness amongst the population – particularly those on the south Bank. The Poison Rain has caused hair-loss, pigment change, and even a bloody cholera amongst what is now thought to be over ten thousand citizens. Those living on the harbour of the Capitol are urged by the Crown to flee into the countryside if they have not already done so.  City Guard wish to inform anyone caught looting in the Capitol will be executed without trial. That part of the city is declared off limits. Mercifully however it seems to have driven the fiends to seek shelter.

IN RELATED NEWS the Royal Astronomer was found impaled on a spire of the dome of the Tower of Astronomy. Investigators for the Crown continue to be tight lipped as to the villain behind this crime.

Friar Alar Ganus
Frairs Almanac



PRIME MINISTER TAKEN BY FIEND
In a rare break in the foul weather that has smothered Mirros; the carriage of the Prime Minister, overdue from his return from the Synod was discovered outside the city walls, its coachman slaughtered, the horses decapitated and fed upon along with most of the Prime Minister‘s Staff. While Investigators for the Crown are tight lipped as to the fate of the Prime Minister, a trail of blood leading into the Harbour district has been discovered. According to denizens who frequent the area of the old river-barge docks, a large fiend with the appearance of a dog or a wolf has been using the area as a hunting ground. If the people of this once great capitol were in need of proof that the demon tower had extended its reach beyond the foreign district we are told will protect the northern half of the city, the loss of the Prime Minister would be it.

In light of this terrible news, the King has assumed direct control of the Parliament until such time as the crisis is ended.

IN OTHER NEWS a fire is burning uncontrolled through the ministry. The timber structure thought abandoned since the fiend incursion of several months ago has been devoured by a fire that has added to the red miasma that is killing the city. Firewardens have refused to enter the no mans land that is the district of ministry and it is now certain that the hill will be lost once the fire spreads beyond the Ministry building itself. The Crown has asked for Volunteers to enter ministry and pull down buildings along the riverside district.

Friar Alar Ganus
Frairs Almanac



PRINCESS FOUND ALIVE IN MINISTRY
Volunteer crews tasked with pulling down the burning Ministry have discovered the Princess. Missing these four dark months and thought murdered in some ritual just prior to the appearance of the Demon Tower, the Princess, dishevelled and soot covered, was found by a group of Volunteers who were pulling down a building near Inkmans Lane . It wasn’t until a Volunteer Guardsman previously of the Royal Household Guard recognized the child and rushed her to the safety of the Palace.

The Palace is yet to comment on the Princess Winfried’s condition other than the fact that the Princess is recovering.

IN RELATED NEWS the heroes who rescued the Princess were attacked by fiends while exploring the Palace Grounds as part of their reward from the King. Though the King was not with them at the time, the Minister for War who was escorting them around the grounds, perished during the attack.

The Palace is yet to comment on the terrible breach of Palace security that allowed the fiends into the grounds or the previous slaying of the Royal Astronomer.

IN OTHER NEWS the King has declared a bounty on every fiend killed of one hundred gold Royals. Bounty hunters of all persuasions are invited to the Capitol to hunt these fiends into the Darkness.

Friar Alar Ganus
Frairs Almanac


ROYAL PROCLAMATION
I have looked this day upon our dirtied and poisoned Jewel of civilization. Though our Losses are great, and our wounds deep, we shall be restored through the blood, sweat, and tears of our own souls. For are we not the heart of the Kingdom. Evidence having surfaced implicating several citizens in Treason, we shall stand tall and bring them to Justice.

Ministry will be rebuilt, and the Southern Shore reclaimed from the evil that plagues us. Let every Man, Woman and Child know that their King holds their Loyalty to heart.

The previous editor and founder of Friars Almanac, Alar Ganus Friar was killed resisting arrest under charge of Treason. After I was presented with overwhelming evidence, I instructed Royal Investigators that Friar Alar Ganus was intimately involved in the Abduction of the Princess, Numerous murders including that of the Prime Minister, and the Arson of Ministry and was to be arrested for Treason. The Monster of course resisted arrest and was killed in a siege in the Print-works of Friars Almanac along with several hostages. Though the Royal Investigators were not able to bring him to trial, this wretched villain has been duly punished for his crimes. Friars Almanac will however continue on without him under Royal Seal.


This fifth day of Beetles,


RUR King Stephan Karameikos


For the DM: This should provide a selection of events over a week that terrify your Players.

Dungeon Mastery: Bringing Civilization to the Savage

Civilizations and the Monster Manual
Even though we talk about all those other non-human civilizations very little is done to move them out of the smart animal hold up in a cave with others of its kind version of the D&D game. At some point if your party is weak they are captured and dragged before the Kobold King and forced to beg for their miserable lives. In the end you perceive the Kobold as little more than smart monkey who sets better traps than your PCs can handle. But like many of these monster races they are civilizations. Civilizations that have rules as to how they are structured and how they function.



ASPECTS OF CIVILIZATION

MULTIPLE LARGE URBAN CENTRES
This is going to be VILLAGE or better.

A WRITING SYSTEM
It could be simple Pictograms, Marks identifying an individual family, or images describing a larger spoken story.

SPECIALIST LABOUR
Certain people become valued for their skills in certain areas. They become Artisans, Priests, Leaders, Slaves.

SOCIAL INTEGRATION
How do your Slaves get along with the other specialists? Does your ruler even look on them or are they kept out of sight.

TRADE NETWORKS
The development of Trade networks linking communities.

MASS TRADE
How is surplus produce collected and traded.

RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL ART
 What have your Artisans created to prop up the religious and Political Authority of your civilization?

IMPORTANT STRUCTURES
The Palace, The Granaries, The Temples, The Monuments, Mass Irrigation Systems, Water Supply, and Drainage.

AUTHORITY FIGURES
These are your Priests, Your Kings, your Special organizations like the Kings guard, the Merchant Guild.

THE BUREAUCRACY
The rise of Mathematics, Geometry, and Record Keeping.

THE RULING ELITE
More than just authority, these are the families of the rulers. They have access to material goods and special education.

ELITE
families of the rulers. They have access to material goods and special education.

A LEGAL CODE
The development of Writing for expressing Laws and rules.




THE STRUCTURES OF AUTHORITY

MONARCHICAL ABSOLUTISM
The King or independent Chief enjoys absolute power.

EMINENT DOMAIN
All land, Livestock, and Game are the property of the monarch providing a right to income.

DIVINE AUTHORITY
The Ruler is a divine power or has access to divine Power.

RITUAL ISOLATION
The Monarch resides in physical isolation with a few attendants to do the Monarchs Bidding. Meetings involve acts of isolation by curtains, designated speakers,

INSIGNIA OF OFFICE
Royal status is displayed through symbolic regalia,

CAPITAL TOWNS
The Monarch resides in a capital and new rulers establish a new capital or residence.

ROYAL COURTS
The Monarch maintains a Court with assorted specialized staff. Pages, guards, chamberlains, etc.

PROTOCOL
Behaviour in the presence almost universally requires conformity to a process of behaviour. Indirect Interaction, Gifts, Abject Prostration, etc.

HAREMS
The ruler has a great many wives and or concubines.

QUEENS
At most royal courts a queen mother, a queen consort, a Queen Sister enjoy prestige sometimes outranking the Monarch. They will likely have their own estates and enjoy some political authority.

TERRITORIAL BUREACRACY
For Administrative purposes, the state is divided into administrative provinces with their own officials tasked with taxation and labour management. Such provinces will be subordinate to a central authority.

MINISTERS
Located in the Capital they work as assistants to the Monarch in the central Bureaucracy.

DUALITY OF ROLES
Ministers function in an assortment of areas of the bureaucracy.

TITLES
Hereditary or Term of Service.

SECURITY
Rivals for the throne are killed, imprisoned, or deported to maintain stability.

ELECTORAL SUCCESSION
Though the Monarch designates an Heir, the final say is in the hands of ministers.

PERIOD OF MOURNING
After the death of the Monarch. A period of social disorder occurs when candidates vie for power.

HECATOMB
Funerary Rites for a Monarch include acts of sacrifice, sometimes large scale slaughter.



EVEN KOBOLDS MAY APPLY
What our kobold looks like is not the primitive cave dweller in a lone and isolated cave, rather the Cave is a part of a network of interconnected, trading settlements that share a common belief systems, behaviour codes, laws and traditions (written or oral). Our kobold civilization may have gone to considerable effort to enlarge caves so they can be used as food stores, Tunnels cut better so they can access an underground river for water, The Kobold monarch might have first pick of the Female Kobolds (or males) depending on the monarch.

While Sutsu the Mottled is King of the Kobolds he doesn’t sit at the back of his cave in his own faeces surrounded by bodyguards waiting for PCs to show up and put him out of his misery. He will have enveloped himself in some structure of the society in which he lives. He like those before him carved their own throne from a Rock which is why a bunch of similar rocks line the walls of his cave or perhaps he abandoned the previous caves for a 'new capital'. His own siege perilous is covered by the leather hide of his father, and the chest of blue stones next to him is the offering he expects of you. if you don’t cough up some blue rock for his collection in the first thirty seconds as you are forced to prostrate yourself before him, his advisors standing behind him wearing the wooden masks will likely suggest you be killed. All this because you had to come and stop the raids on your little village...of course the raids are in fact a Funerary rite called Hecatomb where they must slaughter in sacrifice to the departing old Kobold King so they came and killed everyone in your village because that fool of an adventuring party came through last week and butchered the last King of the Kobolds. Of course the only way out is for you to surrender your village and become part of the Kobold Kingdom...after all they don’t sacrifice members of the Tribe.

It doesn’t take much to go through the above lists and simply make notes on your Civilization. I hope you will give it a try when you decide the time is right to flesh out the Smelly Kobold Cave.

Dungeon Mastery: The D&D Treasure Hoard

D&D TREASURE HOARD
Treasure in D&D has been far more interesting than a generic collection of coins and gems. Here is a list of Various loot items found in The B Series Adventure Modules.

ITEM: DESCRIPTION; VALUE (GP)
Bell: Wrought Iron; 1gp
Bell: Copper; 5gp
Bell: Brass; 10gp
Mask: Woman’s Face, Bronze; 10g
Goblet: Silver; 20gp
Mask: Child’s Face, Silver; 20gp
Silk: Square foot; 20gp
Goblet: Silver; 30gp
Neck chain: Silver; 30gp
Carpet: Phoenix Art Embroidered, 300cn; 40gp
Armband: Silver; 50gp
Bell: Silver; 50gp
Bowl: Fine wrought Copper inlaid w/silver; 50gp
Chest: Leather strapped, Wooden, 2000cnc; 50gp
Earring: gold; 50gp
Goblet: Crystal; 50gp
Laboratory Equipment: wizards; 50gp
Scroll Tube: Ivory; 50gp
Tapestry: Basic Cloth; 50gp
Barrel: Small, Good Quality Wine; 55gp
Bottle: Fine Wine; 80gp
Keg: Brandy; 80gp
Mask: Bird, Inlaid with gold; 80gp
Pitcher: Silver; 80gp
Cup: Silver; 90gp
Bracelet: Ivory; 100gp
Crate: Fireworks; 100gp
Dagger: Bejewelled; 100gp
Mask: Bearded Man’s Face, Gold; 100gp
Necklace: Jewelled; 100gp
Statue: Man, Bronze & ruby eyes; 100gp
Wristband: Gold; 100gp
Armlet: Silver; 135gp
Belt: Silver with gold buckle; 160gp
Urn: Silver; 175gp
Bracelet: Silver; 200gp
China: Fine Bone Ceramic Plates & Bowls; 200gp
Crown: Silver; 200gp
Statue: Alabaster & Ivory (300cn); 200gp
Tiara: Platinum; 200gp
Belt: Gold & Silver Coins; 250gp
Ring: Dragon, Jade; 250gp
Ring: Wolf Head, Silver & Sapphire eyes; 300gp
Serving Tray: Gold; 300gp
Chain: Thin Silver & Gems; 400gp
Necklace: Jewelled; 400gp
Necklace: Pearls; 400gp
Statue: Demon Idol, Gem Eyes; 400gp
Cloak: Sable; 450gp
Bell: Gold; 500gp
Bracelet: platinum; 500gp
Pedestal: Mahogany, 2’x2’x3’; 500gp
Belt: Silver & Gem studded; 600gp
Cutlery: Set of knives, forks, spoons, Silver; 600gp
Necklace: String of Pearls; 600gp
Necklace: intricate, platinum; 700gp
Ring: Set with Gem; 700gp
Statue: Bird, Platinum; 700gp
Necklace: Jewelled; 800gp
Tapestry: Gold & Silver thread; 900gp
Jar: Marble & gem encrusted; 1000gp
Necklace: Pearls; 1000gp
Ring: Gold & Gem; 1400gp
Throne: Set with Garnets; 2000gp
Crown: Jewelled; 5000gp
Throne: Ivory & Gems; 7000gp

SOURCE: BASIC ADVENTURE MODULES B1-B9