Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Atlantis (A Lamentations of the Flame Princess Campaign Seed)

Game System: Lamentations of the Flame Princess.
The gist: It's old-school D&D (Basic/Expert base rules) with a twist: It's got weird magic, it's got a ton of metal influences, and it's set up to play in an "early Modern period" instead of the default "pseudo-Medieval" of Dungeons & Dragons. What I like is that it's a fairly straightforward, simple rule set in which you can easily make a character in 10 minutes. And that's great, because all characters are fragile and the world is a bizarre and brutal place.

The Setting:

It is June 1, 1618.

Atlantis has re-appeared in the North Atlantic after a two-hundred and twelve year absence. She is still inhabited by descendants of the brave French and Spanish settlers who risked all to settle her shores between her discovery by Admiral Diego de Camiña on August 4, 1450 and May 14, 1506, when the entire island disappeared without a trace.

The first continental power to re-establish communication (and thereby dominance) over the Atlanteans stands to profit substantially. Atlantis is rich in natural resources, as well as exotic creatures and rare metals found nowhere else in all the world. Whichever crown calls Atlantis her ally (or, better yet, her vassal) will stand tall above her enemies - and in these uncertain times, friends are few, and enemies are everywhere.

As a group, you'll need to choose a patron:

France. You are part of the entourage of Roul Pasquier, a Parisian diplomat. Your duty is to guard Pasquier as he conducts affairs in Soluna, Atlantis' capital, as well as to perform any 'unsavory' duties he assigns to you. Pasquier is a wealthy man, and his family owns several iron mines. He wants you to discover new sources of mineral wealth on Atlantis, and to buy, cajole, bully, coerce, and otherwise take the rights to that wealth. For the glory of France, of course.

Rome. You're part of the Vatican's expedition to Atlantis. Officially, you're there to act as guards for the esteemed Cardinal Francisco Bertello as he conducts affairs in Soluna, Atlantis' capital. Unofficially, you are relic hunters, acquiring magic, art, and treasure for the Catholic church. You are also tasked with endeavoring to understand how an island could disappear and re-appear in such an inexplicable fashion, and to root out and destroy heresy and darkness wherever it might appear.

Independent. You're mercenaries, adventurers, and privateers. Although you're under-funded and don't have any crowns backing you up, you're also completely unfettered by their expectations. Your story begins in Soluna, Atlantis' capital, shortly after you part ways with the Spanish merchant vessel which brought you here from Europe.

---

And if you're a GM wondering about influences and such:
The Default Setting. Essentially the skeleton I'm hanging the rest of the game on, at least as far as adventures in Atlantis go.
The Inspiration. Turtledove's prose is overly verbose and repetitive, but his ideas can be pretty neat sometimes.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Sewer Rats Primer (Chesterwick Part 2)

This is a long overdue continuation of this post about the Sewer Rats.

The year is 1542, and you've got the most thankless job in the Empire. If you don't die fighting oozes in a shit-pipe, you might just retire young and rich! And full of trauma, but whatever, gold pieces pay for therapy, so go on - get in there, draw your blade, and stop complaining about the smell!

THE SEWER RATS GUILD
Sheldon: Senile old human (?) druid. Primary questgiver. Can also provide curse removal and disease-curing services, though it’s a total crap-shoot as to whether or not it’ll work.
Captain Turk: Cocksure halfling fighter and veteran Sewer Rat. Competition / clean-up. Always gunning for your glory and taking your quests.
Gorgool: Earth Elemental. Will pay you with raw gold for metal, gems, and jewelry, and vice versa.
Grandma Hiderender: Retired half-orc barbarian. Buys and sells low-level magic items. Tells great stories from her wild killin’ and revelin’ days.
Maeve: Disgraced apprentice witch. Half-elf. Slightly mad. She helps write spells and collect material components for arcane casters who need that kind of thing.
Jerome: Intelligent, free-willed zombie. Leader of the Undead Collective.  Not a Sewer Rat, but very familiar with the sewers, and helpful toward the Guild.

Other Factions
The Kings’ Guard. Royal knights fond of taking all the credit whenever they intercede. They’re a big authority on all sorts of Fighter/Paladin stuff.
The Alchemists Guild. Notorious polluters who hate paying taxes.
Netherstorm University. The city’s premiere college of wizardry.
Akaga Dojo. Continuing a fine tradition of martial training and philosophy.
The Undead Collective. The city’s civic-minded, free-willed undead.
The Dwarf Quarter. Divided between Roeni mountain-dwarves who want to overthrow the king and city-dwarves who like Chesterwick better. They worship Moradin and (allegedly) give espionage quests.
The Thieves’ Guild. They’ve got a truce with the Sewer Rats at the beginning of the campaign, but that may change. They keep track of how much gold the PCs are accumulating and don’t like it when the Rats kill their members. Rogue stuff.
The Steamfitters’ Union. An endless source of escort quests and obnoxious NPCs.
The Great Library. Not affiliated with Netherstorm University, and they’ll let you know it, too, even if you don’t care. They’re mostly Clerics of Cobb, god of knowledge, and they’ll buy weird books and religious paraphernalia. They’re also a great source of general information. Cleric/Warlock stuff.
The Church of Heironeous. The ultra-baroque chivalric arch-paladin god watches over his people, and sometimes gives them quests. Cleric/Paladin stuff.
Stabby’s Place. The black-market, kobold-run undercity bar that every fantasy city needs.
The Lich King. The real ruler behind the scenes. High level stuff.
The Duergar. They really want to invade and take over the city.
The Stone Circle. Druids who are very concerned that life isn’t being extinguished willy-nilly, and will quite likely protest against most of the stuff the PCs do once they find out.
The Temple of Dagoth. Discount hexes and bingo on Thursdays. Side-quest-givers for evil PCs.


General Random Encounters in the Sewers (d100)
01-09
2d4 Rat Swarms
10-19
2d4 Wererats
20-29
1d6 Giant Spiders
30-39
3d6 Zombies
40-45
1d4 Gargoyles
46-65
3d10 Bandits (d6: 1-4 no leader, 5 5th level Fighter, 6 6th level Warlock)
66-75
Oozes (d6: 1-3 Gray Ooze, 4-5 Ochre Jelly, 6 Black Pudding)
76-99
No Encounter
100
Roll three times and triple the number of dice used to determine # of enemies.


Random Side-Quest Generator
1
The Stone Circle
Needs you to rescue one of their novice members from…
The Spider Pits
2
The Steamfitters’ Union
Is being threatened by a group of bloodthirsty bandits who are hiding in...
The Ant Caves
3
The Undead Collective
Discovered a screeching monolith; it’s awful and they want you to get rid of it by returning it to…
The Lost City of Zinje
4
The Alchemists’ Guild
One of their high-ranking members is sick and can only be cured by a fungus that grows in…
The Sinking Quarter
5
Netherstorm University
Lost an important McGuffin ages ago, but new information leads them to believe it’s in the…
The Old, Skull-filled Temple of Erythnul
6
The Church of Heironeous
Needs to perform a ritual / fix a pipe / etc., except there is a rampaging plutonium elemental who killed the last crew, and it was last seen in…
The Gypsum Caverns
7
The Thieves Guild
Needs you to scout out this place and make a map.
Be thorough. Don’t ask stupid questions.
The Dripping Forest
8
Akaga Dojo
Has important business in a weird spot, and needs bodyguards to make it safely through…
The Canyon of the Wurm
9
The Dwarf Quarter
Roll d8. It’s just like that, only a pack of gargoyles stalks the PCs the whole time and attack them if they get into a fight with something else.
The Pit of Annihilation
10
The Great Library
Roll d8. It’s just like that only there is an undisclosed faction opposed to it and they will send 2d6 Assassins to stop the Sewer Rats in their tracks.
The Duergar Pipes