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My Fantasy RPG World, Feedback and Ideas appreciated

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Scalenex, May 17, 2019.

  1. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    Let them eat seals. And Dire Otters.

    (The seals and D. otters eat herring and mackerel. The herring and mackerel eat a tiny species of fish to be named later. Tiny fish eats krill. Krill eat plankton. Krill also support the existence of an assortment of whales. For protein variety the wretched wizard sometimes sends forth minions on his schooner to do some whaling.)

    Let them eat seals. Don’t overthink it:
    This is very Potterverse ^ compliant. Although potterlike wizards could “apparate” rather effectively. (Rule 3) At least across an area the size of England, but perhaps not all the way to Australia.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~

    A Wizard held island up in the arctic could be rather like Azkaban, but with a couple of smelly, noisy, seal colonies; (and minus the dementors).
     
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  2. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    King Henryk...

    (wait is it Henyrk or Henryk? Is his nickname King Henry K?)

    ...could now rebuild Fumaya into Fumaya 2.0, better walls, well fortified, bigger trading fleet / warfleet.

    I have forgotten what his other problems are.
     
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  3. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    Proposed postulates...

    4. No amount of base materials can ever be turned into any amount of precious metals.

    It would be awesome if a wizard could turn a five pound sandstone boulder into one three ounce gold ring.....but, No. No lead into gold either. Maybe five pounds of boulder could become three lumps of coal.

    5. Magic can never transmute a lesser creature into a greater creature.

    A five ••••• Spell could maybe turn a common green Dragon into a Sheep (alá Warcraft 2) ...But there is no magick that could turn a Beagle into a Bear.

    The only exception to Rule 5 would be removing the curse to restore a sheep that was originally a Dragon.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2019
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  4. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    I liked Mera’s Lake better as an Oval on the earliest map. It seems strange that it became a circle. If the equator is the perfect temperature for whatever the biome is in there, when that biome grows ( “Expand or Die” — Rule 95, FRoA ) it would have to (or at least want to) grow laterally, creating some sort of Oval.

    In theory it has had thousands? hundreds? of years to grow.
     
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  5. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    This sounds very much like the Meridian rivalry between Greenwich, England and Lisbon, Portugal.

    How do sailors find or determine the center of Mera’s Lake? Air breathers usually need something solid to point a sextant toward — fixed point of reference to establish the zero meridian.

    The Lunatans have probably built a grand tower on a prominent peak or something.
     
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  6. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    I recommend that you steal from the best. This is a sample from the best random generator I have ever seen:

    45EFE9FF-168D-4A5C-861B-5DFBC2D5BC42.jpeg

    Web address is:
    https://watabou.itch.io/one-page-dungeon

    Every time I refresh (or unintentionally accidentally refresh) the browser tab it generates a new dungeon of 5-12 rooms. The descriptor callouts are a little hit or miss. Were it me I’d use them as inspiration changing them as needed.

    For example Number 1: “A basket holds a jeweled statue.”

    Would be changed to match the visual better:

    “A crate against the far wall holds a jeweled statue of a centaur archer. The statue is made of bronze, it fits comfortably inside the 2x2x2ft crate.”

    Combining several by grabbing screenshots and pasting them (4-6 or so) together would yield a 30 room or 40 room Dungeon Crawl in no time. (It might be more fun to grab the screenshots but transfer them to and combine them on graph paper making little changes to suit.)

    If a theme is wanted (?) The Secret Treasure Vault of Etch sounds promising. (Rumour has it that Old Etch did a deal with Daargazar the Necromancer to hide away a large consignment of gems and other ill gotten gains prior to his demise.)
     
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  7. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    For now, I am going to make 400 mile squares the official tally. That makes the world 6400 x 19,200 miles.

    It's Henryk. That's an old Polish variant of Henry.

    Fumaya has a lot of rivers and lakes, but no ocean action, so no warfleet.

    His main other problems are that orcs are raiding villages to the north and his primary vassal to the north is incompetent and cowardly.

    To the south, the nation of Swynfaredia is probing for weakness and seems interesting in annexing Fumaya, or at least a chunk of it.

    Also, he is a young unproven king and his father was a spendthrift who blew most of the nation's treasury on wine and prostitutes before Henryk took the throne.

    His vassals also have a bunch of dirty laundry. Since Etch was trying to dig up their dirty laundry, and the PCs uncovered some of his notes, but they were not interested in using it. They turned it over to the king, so now King Henryk and his agents at least knows which nobles met with Etch (in various disguises) on a regular basis. King Henryk was also able to flush out most of the soldiers and servants in his employ that were corrupt. At least those that were on Etch's payroll.

    So I guess thanks to the PCs, King Henryk doesn't have a bunch of criminals bleeding his subjects dry and he doesn't have people in his own castle fleecing him. Now he has a little bit more money to throw at things and he can be reasonably sure that the servants he has left are trustworthy.

    The players have pointed out that there are three of them. The three of them are not especially well-suited to holding back the Swynfaredian army (thousands of soldiers and dozens of spell-casters) by themselves. They also are not interesting in fighting orc raiders by themselves. They'd only be outnumbered fifty to one, but still. The players are well aware that death in my setting is irreversible.

    Yeah, that's a good rule. No magicking previous metals into existence.

    Well, King Drosst is a dragon that was turned into a human. But he was transformed by the Nine themselves, all of them. If mortal magic can restore him, Dross has found it.

    No one has used it yet, but Animal ●●●● can let divine casters take the form of animals, subject to the Law of Conversation of Mass. Animal ●●●●● lets a humanoid turn into a tiny bird or a large polar bear.


    As for Arcane magic, this is what I came up with Trasnmutation magic polymorphing.

    Polymorph: You turn into something else. Even when polymorphed some aspect of your original form remain. At best you look like a generic member of the species you turned into. This spell lets you mimick a generic goblin, but doesn’t let you polymorph into General Martok, the feared goblin warlord, at least not well enough to fool his men.

    If the subject you want to polymorph has a supernatural power that you don’t (flight, a breath weapon, etc), you need extra successes to mimic these power. For instance if you want to be a Pegasus, one success can turn you into a horse with wings, but you need at least three successes for your wings not to just be purely cosmetic. You would need five successes to have strong enough wings to bear the weight of an armored rider in flight.


    At three dots, the wizard can polymorph himself. At four dots, the wizard can polymorph willing subjects. At five dots, the wizard can polymorph unwilling subjects.

    I hadn't gone into the weeds on the limitations of either Polymorph or Animal Power because the PCs are not interested in developing these powers and I haven't had reason to send and NPC with these powers against the PCs or to support the PCs.

    I am set on that if a wizard tried to use polymorph someone into a dragon the best the wizard could manage would be a big scary lizard with big claws and fangs. But the faux-dragon would not be able to fly, breath fire, cast innate magic spells, have eyes like an eagle, a nose like a blood hound, and the faux-dragon would not be nearly as well armored as a true dragon (though the faux dragon would probably be better armored than he was before the transformation).

    Well during the First Age, Mera's Lake was an ordinary, albeit very large, fresh water lake. During the Second and Third Ages, Mera's Lake is now in the middle of a salty ocean. The only thing that keeps Mera's Lake from being salty is the 24/7 patronage of a water goddess. If figured Mera's Lake would be smaller than it used to be, not larger. I don't see why it would be growing unless Mera herself is getting stronger.

    I prefer a circular lake over an oval lake. I don't have a rational reason for Mera's Lake to be round. I just like it aesthetically.

    That's a good point. The Lunatans can easily use a prominent geographic feature as their Prime Meridian but since I established that Mera's Lake is almost invisible to the naked eye, that makes it tough to use as a map reference point.

    I'm sure the Scaraquans have a beautiful Mera temple at the center of the Lake but that doesn't help the sailors crossing over it. Maybe I'll have a constant unmoving star mark the center of Mera's Lake at night. Maybe I'll toss out the idea of a Mera's Lake Meridian.

    Originally, the found the map to the dungeon on the body of a dead Maylar priest they fought. I think the Secret Treasure Vault of Etch is a better idea. I could retcon that the clue that points them at the dungeon is from Etch and not from a minor villain the PCs thwarted in less than three hours of real time as opposed to Etch who six or seven game sessions to defeat.
     
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  8. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    I hate RetCons.
    Maybe the Priest of Maylar was trying to spy out where Etch had stashed the consignment of gems.

    Backstory:
    A couple of years ago there was a gem heist.
    The Maylar Priesthood was investigating.
    They had a lead.
    It was the map to this dungeon.
    (The Maylar Clue says whatever ..?.. it says. But the Maylar had no idea that they’d actually stumbled onto the Secret Treasure Vault of Etch.)
    Later it is revealed that this is the case.
    A further reveal can be that other things were hidden away there.
    Additional gold and a Silver Hoard.
    A great stockpile of weapons (because Etch had grandiose plans...)

    I hate Retcons but Reveals that connect the dots are fun.

    If your PCs prevail maybe they will be rich enough to hire a warband and well provisioned enough to kit out a warband. Then they could go take on some of the Marauding Orc Raiders.

    Or they could hand over all those resources in return for a minor title or two and a bit of land and Henryk could go do it.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~||~~~~~~~~~~

    Meanwhile back in the dungeon...

    C00B37A5-B1BD-4232-8147-85AD0070F578.jpeg
    That random generator created ^ this today. The callouts were forgettable. And I discovered that my phone will obligingly auto-rotate the image so that the grid is squared up if I let it. I have no idea what the Grey Shading Inside the dungeon is supposed to represent: water flooded zone where the floor collapsed a bit? charring from a horrible fire? an inundation of mud—like a hardened mudflow? basic but extensive water seepage—Not Deep But every step is spish-splash...?



    Edit: I did some digging around at the Watabou Page and I believe the dark grey is meant to be water.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2019
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  9. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    You make a valid point.

    That is a pretty cool dungeon builder, but I think I want to come up with a broad dungeon concept to adapt what the randomizer comes up with into a cohesive concept.

    Okay so here is what I got from brainstorming so far..

    Obligatory Side Quest: Regent Hunting before the dungeon

    When the player characters are traveling from point A to point B, Neshik's player will want to take detours to look for regents. Over the course of a week of searching a typical stretch of empty wilderness, Neshik will gather 25 gold pieces per success, which statistically means Neshik will average 75 to 100 gold pieces of Regents. Closer to the dungeon where vegetation is more sparse, he'll probably gather a mere 10 gold pieces per success rolled. At which point I'm betting Neshik's player will throw in the towel on regent gathering. A few magical laden areas are teeming with regents, and produce double, triple, or quadruple the goodies per roll, but these areas are all claimed by someone.

    50 gold pieces of regents can be turned into a healing potion. If Neshik rolls well he can get two healing potions with 50 gold pieces of regents but if he flubs his roll the regents are wasted. Neshik could theoretically sell his healing potions for 80-90 gold a pop, but Neshik generally uses these potions to keep his friend's alive rather than to make a profit. The big fight against Etch and his goons? Six or seven healing potions were consumed, largely because the PCs wanted to keep the redshirts they were borrowing alive. I guess the more they become leaders of men, the more they view potions as a cost of doing business.

    I don't begrudge Neshik's player for wanting to go on regent hunts. In any event, regent hunting will slow the groups overland travel rate to one tenth or one quarter of their normal overland travel rate.

    It's not quantifiable, but poking around the wilderness to look for regents means the characters are MUCH more likely to attract random encounters. That's why professional regent gatherers have to charge big money, because they need to pay for their guards.

    Early on, some Goblin scouts spotted them poking around (without being detected themselves) and the a small goblin raiding party tried to murder the PCs in their sleep. In fact that was the very first session I ever ran. They beat the goblins in a very dramatic fashion and left terrified survivors to spread tales of their might. No goblins bothered them again.

    Also, magical creatures tend to dwell in areas with regents. The last time I got bored with the Neshik aimlessly searching for regents, I sent a Chimera at them, indirectly. So Aranil could have something to do, I had him make some survival checks. He spotted Chimera tracks. At which point, he said, "Hey, let's not fight a chimera and move on to the city instead of poking around for regents."

    So, in theory I can pull this trick again. If I want to make the PCs hurry about towards the dungeon I can threaten them with a powerful zero treasure monster like a chimera.

    Anyway I can use regent hunting induced random encounters to justify almost any random encounter. I'm leaning towards elementals, giants, or a young dragon. I could also throw in a group of monsters the PCs could theoretically negotiate with, bully, or bluff such as kobolds, goblins, barbarian humans, or orcs.

    Optional Side Quest: Questing Spirits

    I mentioned before that the Nine send questing spirits to test mortals.

    Khemra: Most likely Neshik and his companions will be tested by a Khemra spirit, in fact I'm thinking Neshik's secret mother is the spirit who would be Neshik's questing spirit. Neshik's mother might not have to put additional challenges in the way of Neshik. If the dungeon is infested with undead, killing them is enough of a service to Khemra. Also, Neshik helped reduce crime in Fumaya and encouraged Khemra worship.

    Neshik's mother, under the guise of a generic Khemra spirit could provide minor hints and possibly give out magical prizes at the end of the dungeon as a reward. She also could provide healing support (though Neshik is a mighty fine healer himself), she could heal the PCs of energy drain if they run across Void Demons or something similar. Though per the rules, Neshik's mother could only heal her son and her son's friends after they have defeated the bad guys, not before. If a Khemra spirit creates obstacles, they will be non-lethal riddles or puzzles.

    The gist is that Neshik's mother would love to shower her illegitimate son in magical goodies, but it's against the rules for her to do so unless he proves himself worthy.


    Nami: Nami is Khemra's rival and Neshik is a favored soul of Khemra who happens to have a mystical flaw that attracts Khemra's enemies. I am not 100% sure what a Nami spirit would do. It's very unlikely that a Nami spirit would try to kill Neshik and the other PCs, but a Nami spirit is going to try to make things more difficult. Ideally, a Nami spirit will create a prank or difficulty that the PCs will learn a lesson or gain wisdom by overcoming. Teaching lessons is something Nami encourages her minions to do, but not all of Nami's minions are unorthodox crazy teachers. Some of them are just jerks.

    While a Nami spirit is not likely to try to murder the PCs outright, a hostile Nami spirit might not be above hexing the PCs during a fight with something else.


    Maylar: A Maylar questing spirit is not going to go for anything fancy. A Maylar questing spirit is going to take the form of some kind of powerful monster and will try to kill the PCs.

    The PCs did kill a Maylar priest, but they killed him in fair combat. Maylar isn't the type to hold a grudge. That said there could be a Maylar spirit haunting the dungeon or the area around it. Or the player characters might bump into a random Maylar spirit while poking around for regents. Maylar has more questing spirits than the rest of the Nine combined, so if someone is going to run into a questing spirit by accident, it's probably a Maylar spirit.


    It's not really feasible that a questing spirit of Mera, Hallisan, Zarthus, Greymoria, or Phidas would get involved unless I decide the dungeon includes an ancient temple. Even then, I'm not sure what these sorts of questing spirits would want. Though I suppose if they were guarding a magical item or relic sacred to their god or goddess they would defend it viciously against the player characters, and probably any nearby villains too.


    Optional Side Quest: The Dirty Crow Orc Tribe

    Given that the Dirty Crow orc tribe is extorting Fumayan villages in the north and the dungeon is north of Fumaya, the PCs might cross paths with these orcs on their way to the dungeon, or not.

    It just so happens that the power behind the throne in the Dirty Crows is a priest of Nami. Nami is generally opposed to Khemra, but rarely lethally so. Though given how violent orcs are, a Orc Nami priest might decide killing Neshik is a good idea just on principle. Assuming he somehow finds out that Neshik is Eclipse Touched, the elite of Khemra. Alternatively the second most powerful spell-caster, a priestess of Maylar who has an unrequited crush on the Nami priest may decide she could win his favor with the severed head of an Eclipse Touched.


    Thoughts on the Dungeon Itself

    Dungeon Backstory

    So my thought is that in the First Age, the dungeon was a small bastion for a minor Dragon lord and his/her retinue. Maybe a stone tower originally. The First Unmaking knocked over the tower.

    Even during the peak of the elves power during the Second Age, the site of these ruins was far from civilization. The area has such long winters, that the land is not suitable for farming though seasonal herding is possible. During the Second Age, the ruins were picked over by relic hunters several times. Assorted monsters have claimed the the ruins as a lair over the many centuries. Maybe a few barbarians have sought winter shelter here. Maybe a few asocial wizards created a base of operations here.

    During the Second Unmaking, some refugees tried to hide in the ruins, and it worked for a time. The refugees probably scuffled with Void Demon skirmishers here. There might be tiny pockets of Void Demons from the Second Unmaking that never left after killing the survivors here.

    Or maybe the Void Demons haunting the dungeon are recent arrivals that trickled in during the Third Age to traffic with Infernalists. Or maybe they aren't negotiating with Infernalists, maybe they just are using this as a base to marshal forces before attacking populated others. In the Third Age, Void Demons don't generally attack highly populated areas till they have at least a dozen or two dozen soldiers. Demons tend to escape through the Barrier in ones and twos.

    I had the idea a long time ago about creating a dungeon with a magic spear that is extremely potent against demons but the spear broadcasts it's location to demons and attracts them. The Void Demons cannot touch the spear, so they stand guard around it. I figured it'd be an interesting MacGuffin if the PCs found a seemingly random dungeon room with demons surrounding a true silver spear.

    That might be a too epic for my game as of yet. I can save it for a future dungeon. At this point, if the PCs gained a magic weapon like that it would steer the campaign into an anti-demon direction forever, and I don't want to do that. At this point, I would prefer the campaign be a Variety Pack rather than being focused on a specific type of story.

    Or maybe I don't include any Void Demons at all. I could sustain the creepy dungeon vibe going with conventional undead.

    Dungeon Evolution

    One thought is to make the dungeon ruins very large. It could have more than one set of occupants. I don't always do this, but I like two-part dungeons with "wild" and "occupied" sections of the dungeon. I often have dungeons that are half-cave half-man made dungeons.

    For instance, the basement of the original tower could have turned into a cavern system from flooding. In the real world, caves are typically formed via millions of years of water damage, but given that Scarterra is a magical world, I could have caves form in mere centuries.

    Given that the PCs do not have a master thief amongst them, I probably want to go relatively light on traps. I'm betting if they do encounter a trap their methods to beat it would be very crude. Either Aranil blows it up with a magical blast, or the group loads up on abjuration spells and runs through hoping the trap doesn't kill them, followed by Neshik's healing magic.



    Dungeon Present Occupants

    I'm thinking I could put an evil anti-social wizard here, probably a lich, a relatively weak lich so three PCs could take it out. The section of the dungeon that the lich cares about would probably be patrolled by the lich's undead minions.


    I'd like at least a small portion of the dungeon to be occupied by a large animalistic monster like a basilisk or a swarm of smaller monsters like giant spiders (in which case the dungeon might be patrolled). The lich might encourage the monster(s) to dwell there as security or maybe the lich and the monster just don't care about the other faction. The monster is a predator, and predators generally avoid the undead. For it's part, the lich isn't threatened by the monster as long as the monster doesn't come near it's magical laboratory.


    As mentioned before, I could include a pocket of Void Demons. They could either be working with the lich (though if they are, combined they would be nearly impossible for my three PCs to defeat if the Void Demons and the lich are coordinated).

    Or it could just be the Void Demons are indifferent to the lich. Powerful Void Demons can command undead, but low level common demons cannot. Given that Void Demons exist solely to feed on the living, a small pocket of lesser Void Demons could very well completely ignore a lich and its undead minions.


    As mentioned before I could have a Questing spirit that is dwelling in the dungeon ruins. A Nami or Khemra questing spirit would not be dwelling in the dungeon but they might follow the PCs in.


    The dungeon ruins might attract humanoids that value their privacy such as kobolds, goblins, nycter (bat people) or aranea (spider people). If the dungeon also has Void Demons or a lich, I probably need a good reason why the lich and/or undead allow these people to dwell near their territory in peace.

    In theory, I could make the humanoids living near or in the dungeon friendly, or at least potentially friendly. In such a case, they could team up with the PCs against the real bad guys, of course then the PCs would be obligated to share any treasure they find.



    As mentioned by @pendrake, a part of the dungeon could be used as a storehouse for Etch or other thieves and raiders. That might be a tie-in if I want to incorporate a group of orc or goblin raiders into this story arc. In fact, I could tie the dungeon in with the Dirty Crow Orc tribe, who happen to be extorting northern Fumayan villages. Perhaps the Dirty Crow tribe had some dealing with Etch.

    This area of the dungeon is the most likely to have booby traps, but it would have the most treasure.


    I could also throw in a dragon, a fairly young dragon. If I do this, the dragon would be instead of the lich and not in addition to the lich. If there was a tribe of humanoids, the dragon might command them, or they could have negotiated a mutually beneficial arrangement if the dragon and the humanoid collective are on equal terms powerwise. It could be the case that the dragon and the humanoids are enemies, in which case the humanoids are probably stronger collectively albeit they cannot corner an enemy who flies.
     
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  10. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    Have the Questing spirit from Maylar curse gift the PCs with whatever the Priest was trying to accomplish by Gathering Intel (the map they found) about the Dungeon.

    Maybe the shipment of heisted gems was intended for a Maylar temple?

    His Quest becomes theirs.

    Thus the Questing Spirit handles one of the Reveals: The Dungeon they’ve found a map to and The Treasure Vault of Etch are one in the same!..!!

    You could have that Dirty Crow Orc Tribe be a recurring obstacle. They have to be distracted/fooled, disarmed/foiled somehow when entering or egressing the Dungeon site. They function like a moat monster around a castle.
     
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  11. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    You could, but might it be better to have a variety of tactics to spring on them.

    This is not a Random Encounter Chart, Instead it is a Random Type of Motivator Chart:

    1. They stumble across a powerful zero treasure monster. (BTDT, but hey, never the same monster twice...)
    2. They blunder into the patrol area of a Heavily Armed Orc Warband (cue the Dirty Crow Orc Tribe)
    3. They find a lone survivor of another group of Reageant Hunters (Who needs their help, wounded, little food or water left, this is an opportunity to insert an NPC, and maybe impart some information.)
    4. They trip across a previously unknown underground delving of unknown type (See below.)
    5. (Insert a genius Scolenex idea here...perhaps involving a Stone Golem in the shape of a Panda...fashioned from Obsidian and White Onyx, obviously.)
    6. They blunder into a tiny hidden freehold, ...a little Thorp... consisting of: 8 dwarf miners, a cobbler, a woodturner, a woodcutter, a couple of Rangers, it's too small for an Inn or a Tavern, but there is a Smithy, a Potter, and a Trading Post/General Store. About 5 battle hardened watchmen. Maybe a healer. (That’s about twenty folk, there are additionally 15 spouses, and around 30 children.) The place is built around (it is mostly a stockade) the rather new mine the dwarfs are working. One Dwarf doubles as the smith. Potentially, this can become the PC’s base in the wilderness if they earn the trust of these folk.
    7. __________
    8. __________ (Why 8? Because six choice charts have been done to death and your d8 is getting bored.)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    2EC0E3CF-352E-41C6-87DD-B34A11597CEB.jpeg
    I really liked this ^ one. Changes I would make:
    #1 and #5 rewrite, keep the statues idea but make them interact or relate somehow.

    #4 Is hilarious. Total rewrite, but all the while wondering how a USN Seal Team blundered in here and took out a Druid. (Maybe the corpse of something is floating in the water...maybe touching it triggers the activation of a bunch of skeletons hidden in the murky 30 inches of water.)

    #3 I would move the number to the throne room above. But mostly keep the idea. Embellish and lengthen, provide more detail.

    #2 Pretty much keep as is.

    Map changes:
    Entrance gets moved to room 5, or the 2x4 room above it, or to a new room added at the bottom (about where callout #4 is).

    The top three rooms get mirror flipped. That make the flooded zone consistently a rough diagonal from upper left to lower right.

    The original entrance stairs can remain but they are noted as hopelessly choked with rubble.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2019
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  12. Aginor
    Slann

    Aginor Fifth Spawning Staff Member

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    Gah.... maybe not even that. Ask anyone about value and they would gladly take that.
    The problem with precious materials is that it depends a lot on the circumstances. If something is rare and/or useful it will most likely be worth a lot of other stuff and/or effort.


    That's pretty hard actually. Getting the latitude correct is rather easy, but the meridian, that's hard to get exact. Even with modern tools (a good sextant, maybe even stabilized, and a good clock with only a few seconds drift in a year) that's not an easy task.

    So if they can create some sort of fixed point to navigate with (at least two would be ideal) that would he a major help.

    Btw @Scalenex: have you computed the horizon distance already? That's of huge importance for navigation. ...which, now that I think about it, is pretty weird on a cylinder, since the horizon distance in north-south direction is infinity. I guess that will help a lot with navigation!

    That's awesome!
    Thanks for posting, this will come in handy very soon!
     
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  13. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    This is a good idea, I'm definitely going to use it. The Dirty Crow tribe will be near the dungeon. Aranil the elf really loaded his character with Perception and Survival skills, so he can probably spot evidence of where the orcs are before the orcs find the PCs, but if the PCs linger too much hunting regeants, the Dirty Crows will find them.

    My d8 is very bored. As is my d12. Even my d20 is jealous of my d10s. My d4 has accepted it's lot in life, sometimes I roll a d6 and just ignore 5s and 6s to simulate a d4. After all a pyramid cannot really roll.

    I like the idea of a partially flooded dungeon. Though I might make the water icy since I'm going with a cold based theme. Might actually let Aranil use his Abjuration magic a bit. He sunk a lot of his character creation points into Abjuration spells and barely ever uses them. Now his Endure Elements spell might be useful.

    I've been thinking of Etch storing treasure in the dungeon and I don't think it would make any sense if he wanted to store treasure in a far away remote locations.



    Though maybe he was concocting a scheme to raid the dungeon himself. And perhaps, Vusnitt, his gnome lieutenant who is escaped is seeking that treasure now. Vusnitt, unlike Neshik and the player characters is unlikely to go on side trips to hunt for regents, but he needs to recruit a posse, so that will take some time.

    How much time will it take Vusnitt to recruit a crew of rival adventurers. I'm predicting he might arrive at the dungeon at the same time the player characters get there...

    I'm not 100% sure if I want to run with this subplot, but I can always have Vusnitt show up a with a posse of evil adventurers opposing the PCs later. The players are moderately interested in stomping Vusnitt, so I'd hate to let my B-tier villain character go to waste. I guess if the dungeon adventure is getting stale or too easy, I can throw in Vusnitt. If the players are having a fun and challenging adventure without Vusnitt, I can leave him out.

    I was initially thinking a troll. Well a Frost Troll or an Ice Troll. Then I thought. Why make it a generic troll adapted to the cold when I could say make it a wendigo. I could make wendigo a type of Maylar or Greymoria spirit or I could make wendigo an earthly monster owing it's origin to humanoid cannibals being warped into monsters. It doesn't make a huge difference. Either way they are going to be stealthy, strong, agile humanoid monsters that hunger for flesh and have cold based powers.

    So I guess I should name my lich. He (or I suppose she, gender identity matters little when you are a flesh less skeleton) will be called Guldur, pulled from a fantasy name generator.

    Going for a simple backstory. Guldur was terrified of dying, so he researched necromancy and became a lich. He hadn't thought very far in advance. "I'm a lich and I won't grow old or get sick. What do I now?" "Oh no, people don't like liches, they'll try to kill me. I better go build a base in an isolated area."

    So Guldur sits in his dungeon, sometimes doing magical research but mostly building traps and killing anyone who comes nearby and is remotely threatening. He's not going to be super powerful magically, at least compared to the average lich, but he's going to be pretty good at making traps. So there is going to be a trapped section the lich occupies and a run down section the Wendigo occupies.

    He's going to have Necromancy 5, because that is required to be a lich. I'm giving him Abjuration 4 because he is a paranoid nutball. He is going to have Conjuration 3 because he is a recluse and you can conjure basic tools and supplies this way. He is going to avoid combat putting as many undead minions and traps between him and the intruders. He is not going to start attacking until he has all his protection spells in place which means if the PCs dispel his protections, he will be knocked back to square one. Maybe give him a dot or two of Divination because it's so utilitarian at low levels.

    The lich is going to have created a vault with the valuables of people he or the Wendigo killed, unless he cannot use said loot for magical purposes, so a few trinkets will be lying in random places.

    I have considered the weirdness of an unlimited north south horizon. I might reshape Scarterra into a spheroid cylinder.

    As for the distance. I am currently looking at ScarAquaTerra being 6,400 miles north-south, and 19,200 miles east-west. My graph paper diagram is 16 x 48 squares and Pendrake convinced me that 400 mile squares is reasonable. Earth has a circumference of 24,901 miles for comparison. Magellan's famous expedition went approximately 42,000 miles. It'd be a lot easier to circumnavigate Scarterra because if a sailor stayed close to the equator they would not have to sail around any large continents.

    I am vaguely aware that if I re-imagine Scarterra as a spheroid cylinder this will change the distance a bit and alter the shape of landmasses a bit. To which my response is, "Math is hard. The world is flat for the purpose of map drawing and mathematical computation of distance, but the world is curved for the purpose of sextants and navigation."

    With no magnetic poles, I suppose compasses wouldn't work, but I suppose I could invent some SCIENCE rationale for a compass that uses the pull of the Void to operate.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2019
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  14. Aginor
    Slann

    Aginor Fifth Spawning Staff Member

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    Hmmm... one cool thing about the infinity horizon would be that it would replace the compass. You just have to see where you can look the farthest, that's either north or south.

    If the horizon bothers you and you don't want to swit h away from the cylinder shape, then you can just add an atmospheric property: if there are enough particles in the air at all times then the hiw distance is limited by that instead of the horizon. That removes some of the weirdness of an infinite horizon distance.
     
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  15. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    That is exactly how it would work with real physics. Astronomers deal with this all the time. It is called atmospheric distortion.

    There is a practical limit to how much air can a telescope look through but be able to see anything. Telescopes on 15,000 foot peaks have a very distant effective horizon. But they are never used to observe celestial objects that are say one degree above that horizon. Too much atmospheric distortion viewing at such a low angle.

    Stick with your cylinder World @Scalenex If you have settled on a circumference the East-West viewable horizon can be worked out for a given altitude. (I’d recommend learning six values: 6 feet AGL, crows nest height, lighthouse height, view from 200 foot cliff, view from a light house built on a cliff (350 ft or so), view from a 14,000 foot mountain.)

    The effective viewable horizon looking to North-South won’t be infinity just use 2 times the East-West distance for view from a Crow’s Nest as the max.

    By the way, much of this was discussed earlier in the thread.
     
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  16. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Funny that we were talking about math. I was having a nice relaxing lunch and I brainstormed my dungeon. The dungeon is going to be very math intensive.

    So I'm really going to lean into Guldur the lich greedy, paranoid, and very obsessive compulsive.

    I like the idea of a small army of skeletons with mops, brooms, and feather dusters cleaning the occupied areas of the dungeon for eternity. This will accomplish a few useful things.

    1-It should make the dungeon memorable
    2-If an area is not 100% dust free, the player characters can be guaranteed there are no traps, no treasure and no clues.
    3-The PCs might be able to trick the cleaning skeletons to lure them to the lich or trigger some traps for them.
    4-If the players are clever, they might be able to distract Guldur during a fight by causing messes.

    Guldur going to have a large library with valuable books but most of the books are dummy books with no useful information in them that are magically enchanted to explode if opened, but it's based on pi. (and pi is going to be written out on the wall of the dungeon to at least a hundred digits somewhere).

    So there are going to be three dummy books, than a real book, then one dummy book, then a real book, then four dummy books, then one dummy book, then a real book, then five dummy books.

    Coins, regents, and gems in jars and treasure chests containers are going to be similar but reversed. Three real ones, one dummy, one real one, one dummy, four real ones, one dummy. The combination to any vault or locked door will not be based on pi, but they will be based on common mathematical equations.

    That's not going to let the PCs bypass all the traps because the doorways and Guldur's spell books will have non-mathematical traps, but figuring this out will bypass most of the traps.

    Guldur is going to have a lot of magical alarms which the players may find annoying, but Guldur has to renew these every single day. There are a bunch of things enchanted to explode. In theory, a low level magical diviner (such as Neshik) could check to see which items have a magical aura of abjuration magic on them and say "These are the trapped, these are not." Except Guldur has enough low level illusion spells to give every object a fake magical aura that resembles the magical traps.

    Since Guldur is constantly re-casting his alarms, traps, and illusion spells to keep them running 24/7, That means when Guldur is forced to fight directly, he'll only have about 50-75% of his total magic power. Given his focus on magical defense over offense they might be able to use rope-a-dope tactics. If they can trick the OCD wizard into wasting a lot of his Quintessence (arcane magic points) on defensive spells that don't really matter. If they wear him down to zero Quintessence, Guldur is basically helpless.

    Alrighty, I got my general concept, I just need to draw a map or use an internet dungeon creator to adapt one.

    Outer moat monster: Dirty Crow Orc Tribe
    Inner moat Monster: Wendigo

    Dungeon Villain: Guldur the Lich
    Main Defense: Undead warriors
    Secondary Defense: A bunch of traps

    X-Factor: Vusnitt's rival adventuring party

    Treasure
    ~3000 gold pieces of assorted coins
    ~5000 gold pieces of assorted gems
    ~3000 gold pieces of regents
    ~3000 gold pieces of loot-able stuff from the alchemy lab.
    ~3000 gold pieces of rare books
    -Maybe give Guldur a few magic items that he has on his person.

    Guldur's spell book which could be sold for about 2000 gold or be used to jump start Aranil learning a bunch of new spells.

    If the PCs engage and defeat Vusnitt's adventuring party, they could loot the corpses.

    If I'm feeling extra generous (or the PCs choose to donate the books to Khemra), Neshik's mother might show up and give each of the PCs a Khemra themed magical gems (fire gems because they are orange and have fire like patterns when put to the light). I was thinking giving Aranil and Svetlanna magic gems that can upgrade their weapons into flaming weapons and give Neshik a magic gem that he can draw emergency magical fuel from.
     
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  17. Aginor
    Slann

    Aginor Fifth Spawning Staff Member

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    Yeah I know, I just wanted to bring it up again since the topic was navigation just now.
     
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  18. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    It began on page 2. With three ships on the Ocean.

    There ought to be an online calculator for distance to the horizon somewhere. But it is a complex subject.

    I found a formula. ( ! )
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2019
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  19. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    You should build in a surprise reveal to this plot line.

    Somewhere in this library there should be a painting of a beautiful, drop/dead gorgeous woman. Wearing a gown in Guldur’s colors.

    If the PCs defeat Guldur they should be able to discover that He was, when alive, a She. In fact, the painting is what She looked like in life, before descending into Necromancy and becoming a Lich.

    A gorgeous beautiful woman. An absolute doll.


    Doll Guldur the Necromancer.
     
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  20. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Is there a pun I'm not getting?

    I was pondering making the lich a dwarf. Apart from being a coward and a wizard, the lich I envisioned fits stereotypical dwarf traits. I could make it a beautiful lady dwarf I guess.

    What I got so far is.
    -Guldur became a lich primarily to avoid death and not for temporal power.
    -Most liches have multiple derangements. Guldur's derangements are paranoia and OCD focusing on mathematical order and cleanliness.
    -Apart from magic, Guldur is good at very few things. Guldur is skilled at metalworking, engineering, poisons, and alchemy. Guldur is above average in alertness out of a sense of paranoia. That's about it. Guldur is not especially social, wilderness savvy, athletic, or combat trained.

    The biggest question that is stumping me is how should I deploy Guldur's minions.

    If I run this dungeon like a video game, the ruins are going to have progressively more and harder minions until the PCs reach Guldur.
    u
    I like an iota of realism. How would a paranoid, cowardly, mathematical OCD lich deploy his/her/it's undead minion.

    About two dozen tier one skeletons "armed" with mops, brooms, and feather dusters.

    I'm thinking of about two dozen tier two zombies and skeletons of orc explorers and adventurers that died in the area before. If I want variety I might swap some of these out for small animal undead warriors such as wolves. Maybe one in four of the warriors has a missile weapon.

    About 6-10 elite humanoid skeleton warriors. They are fast, well equipped, and have Melee skills.

    About 2-6 bears or small monster corpses turned into undead warriors.

    One really bad ass undead warrior like a reanimated dragon or large chimera.

    The wendigo prowls the areas of the dungeon Guldur doesn't use.


    The wendigo is the moat monster. I don't know if Guldur would put most of his minions at the entrance to his lair or if he would put most of his minions around him, or if he would mathematically split them up evenly.

    Every room of the occupied section has magical alarms. Once the first alarm is triggered. What will Guldur do? Guldur wants to kill all intruders and avoid Guldur's destruction. Will Guldur (A) swarm the intrusion part with all his minions or (B) turtle up in the most defensive room.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2019
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