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Re: CS1 Castle by the Sea

Posted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:19 am
by Solomoriah
I don't have an issue with the Dexterity requirement; rather, I'm having a hard time envisioning Dwarves participating in typical "barbarian" culture, as typified in the Conan stories.

But beyond that, my main thing is: how did all those dwarf women end up following a human woman? And how did a human woman from the nobility become a barbarian?

... okay, here's my breakdown of the situation:

1) You have to be raised as part of a barbarian culture in order to be a barbarian; you don't learn those skills casually.

2) Given that, a woman of the nobility becoming a barbarian would mean she became one as a girl. There are two obvious interpretations: (a) she was kidnapped, or (b) she ran away from home.

3) We already know she really doesn't like men. There must be a reason for that. If we accept 2(b) above, i.e. she ran away, we could say that she ran away because she was being abused by a man. But she really hates men, so perhaps she was abused by a man, and when she reported her abuse to another man, he refused to believe her.

Scenario: Abused by her uncle, she told her mother; her mother told her father, who called young Dawnivia on the carpet (so to speak) and chastised her for lying. Perhaps he even laughed at her accusation, that his brother did anything inappropriate to her.

So she ran away, and joined a band of barbarians. This would indicate that her father's territory is on the borderlands of the kingdom; the barbarians might be hillmen, or something of the sort. (This becomes relevant later.)

She encounters barbarian women doing chores, drawing water from a stream perhaps, and she tells them her story. They comfort her and tell her that she may remain with them for as long as she wants.

It is very unlikely that these barbarian women do not have husbands at all. For barbarians, family units are the main political entity; whether the culture is matriarchal or patriarchal, you need both sexes or you don't get another generation.

But Dawnivia really hates men. So let us say that she was rather shy of the barbarian men. Not surprising, considering what she went through. Before she had a chance to overcome the emotional damage of her experiences, the clan which sheltered her was attacked by a rival clan. This group, being mortal enemies of Dawnivia's adopted clan, wiped out the men and took what women they could handle as slaves, with young, pretty Dawnivia among them.

That about covers it... after that series of experiences, I can imagine how Dawnivia might hate men as much as she seems to. Any rational adult in a medieval world would understand that, like it or not, both sexes are needed. You can't just wipe one out. But a teenaged girl abused repeatedly would not be all that likely to grow up into a rational woman.

So she did grow up, surviving the abuse, and learned the ways of the barbarians. When she finally escaped into the forest, she was competent to survive on her own.

It would be at this point that she fell in with the dwarves. But I am at a loss to explain them... anyone care to try?


Having written all that, I have to say that we would need to cut down the descriptive text. This material is a bit adult for our target audience. I would write out her history in such a way that the abuse angle would not be explicit; easy enough for a savvy reader to understand, of course.

I'd still like to see Noah's response, of course.

Re: CS1 Castle by the Sea

Posted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 1:25 pm
by Dawnivia the Red
Hi guys! Here are my thoughts on the Barbarians.

First off, back when I wrote this I wasn't nearly as good of a writer as I am now. (In the time since then I've been working full time as a writer and realize just how messy my writing and stories used to be) I sort of just whipped out this adventure for fun without really thinking through intricate histories or backgrounds that would make it make sense.

But, here is what I have now after glancing at the adventure again.

1) The orb in the lower part of the castle is like a powerful weapon. Only men have the ability to use it. Dawnivia was born into a barbarian clan. When she was very young her clan stumbled upon the weapon. Against the warnings and begging pleas of the clan's women, the men tried to use the weapon to take out their enemies. Her father, the chieftain of the clan, was the main leader behind the use of the weapon. Unfortunately, they didn't have the ability to properly control the weapon and therefore ended up killing everyone in the village. The risen dead would murder the living and then the fresh dead would also rise. Eventually, the whole village was made up of undead. This horde moved on, taking up residence in a nearby cave to await unwary adventurers0.

Dawnivia was the sole survivor thanks to the fact that she was small (maybe 11-13 at the time?) and able to hide inside a chest inside the house. She was forced to survive on her own after that, wandering the wastes and becoming even more barbaric than ever before. She also blamed her suffering on her father and other men of the village, believing that it was the ignorance and power hungry attitude of men that brought the downfall of the clan.

2) Years later, another clan comes through the ruins of the town and finds the orb. Dawnivia is now an adult and realizes that history may repeat itself if the men find out the orb's power and use it. She is determined to stop it before it starts.

Similarly in this case, the women of the clan are begging the men to leave the weapon be. The men are unwilling to listen to reason. The first dead rise and begin to kill people in the clan. Dawnivia--now a little crazed from years on her own--comes out and tells the women that they need to kill all the men in the clan before it's too late. Some of the women follow her lead while others refuse to kill their own family members. Dawnivia says that the men will die one way or the other if they choose to continue using the orb. They uprising of women kill the men, and any women unwilling to follow.

The remaining clan women take up residence in the old fortress and hide the org, along with the severed heads of the men as a warning, in the castle. Their goal is to stand watch over the orb to make sure no men find it again.

3) In my original idea, the second clan is a dwarven clan. Now, I didn't have an explanation why they would be barbarians or even follow a human. Maybe the dwarves were a group of young teens looking to overturn the old patriarchy of kings in their mountain. When their plan was found out, the kind exiled them from the mountain into the wastes as traitors. They would maybe become wandering barbarians because of this.

On the other hand, maybe it's just easier that the rest of the barbarians are just human for ease of storytelling purposes.

Anyway, back when I wrote it, that was my original idea, even if it wasn't well fleshed out. I was just sort of having fun coming up with an adventure. Ideas on any tweaks to make this better?

Re: CS1 Castle by the Sea

Posted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:40 pm
by Solomoriah
I've just had a chance to review your adventure in light of the additional background material, and I'm seeing most of it clearly now. Though of course I know that barbarians have leaders etc. I don't associate "noblewoman" with "barbarian" in my mind normally. I assumed when you said she was of the nobility, she was originally from some civilized country before becoming a barbarian; my misunderstanding, in other words.

Still having a little trouble with the dwarves, but I'm going to roll with it tomorrow and see how it goes.

If, instead of "barbarians" we called them "berserkers" it would make a little more sense to me. Barbarian is a pretty broad term; not nearly all real-life barbarians were berserkers, yet the supplement class makes them all so.

Re: CS1 Castle by the Sea

Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:09 am
by chiisu81
CS1 Castle by the Sea, Release 12 -- July 23, 2017: This release includes enhancements and corrections that are a direct result of running two of the adventures, Conclave at the Conch Throne and Fortress of the Barbarian Queen, at Quincon XXXII. Particular improvements include touchups of the boxed text for both adventures, and centralization of the NPC stats for the Barbarian Queen adventure.

Re: CS1 Castle by the Sea

Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:37 am
by borgar

I have been lurking on these pages for a while after I found BF a couple a years ago. After 10 year break I have finally managed to start playing again, including BF (and some 5ed).

I've always wanted to contribute to projects like this but have never felt I had any stuff especially useful.

However, I've recently started drawing some maps for fun and though I might as well check if I could do some that would be of use. In this case I experimented with the first level of Castle by the Sea.

Not sure if you want something like this, but if you do I can provide higher resolution file and will do the second level as well.


Re: CS1 Castle by the Sea

Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:04 am
by Solomoriah
Okay, wow, first of all, that's nice! To use it in an adventure, it would need to be gridded, but I can do that myself.

Team, I'd like your opinions. Should we switch to hand-drawn maps like this (where available) or stick with MapMatic maps always?

Re: CS1 Castle by the Sea

Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:14 am
by chiisu81
Wow, that's a nice clean map. Besides needing a grid it also needs to be scanned in straight, but otherwise it's really cool!

As someone who has used (and admittedly relied on) others' maps, primarily Dyson's, I think the option is nice. However, I am still impressed with the ease of use and abilities that MapMatic offers, and it does provide a consistent look throughout all BFRPG materials.

Where I think these artistic maps could really be beneficial is for outdoor/wilderness maps, as well as those that may have a large number of unique features that MapMatic may not support. Perhaps maps like those in Wulfric's Tomb in AA2 that need to be re-done, borgar may want to try his/her hand at something like that?

Re: CS1 Castle by the Sea

Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:20 am
by Solomoriah
The ground floor map for CS1 isn't straight. I think he's just mimicking my style... :D

Re: CS1 Castle by the Sea

Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:24 am
by chiisu81

Re: CS1 Castle by the Sea

Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:53 am
by borgar
Solomoriah wrote:The ground floor map for CS1 isn't straight. I think he's just mimicking my style... :D

I basically just printed the original map, traced over with a pencil to get the lines and then inked new details, keeping it exactly the same angel for the castle.