HOUSERULES and CAMPAIGN BACKGROUND (includes World Maps)

Longman's hex-based exploration PBP campaign

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HOUSERULES and CAMPAIGN BACKGROUND (includes World Maps)

Post Thu Apr 17, 2014 5:44 pm

HOUSERULES for DOWNLOAD
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Campaign Background stuff

Post Fri Apr 18, 2014 9:52 pm

The year is 1450.

The New Kingdoms, in the west, are separated from Boldenwald to the east, by a mountain range called the Mundines.

Boldenwald was once occupied by other human kingdoms, but the goblins invaded hundreds of years ago and killed or enslaved many people. The remainder all fled.

Recently, the goblin king Chukka Siki has died, and the goblin hegemony has fallen into dissaray. The tribes are at war.

Another story is that a disease has ravaged their numbers.

But whatever the reason, it's been clear for some time that the goblins are not the threat they once were. Their raids on human farms have decreased and scouts report less activity along the border than in many years.

The time is right for humans to reclaim their ancient lands beyond the mountains.

In the last six months, parties of brave adventurers have entered into the goblin lands. Most have set out from Calder’s Wall, a military base in the Kingdom of Yoll. North from there, some more have tried their luck reclaiming the ancient catacombs of Esbe, a holy site for the Church.

The party start out at Red Oak, a small frontier town in the central Kingdom of Brant. From here, a road leads eastward through no-man’s land for six miles and then stops rather abruptly at the forest’s edge. Beyond there, is the goblin lands, where no-one has been since the 8th century, except for hermits, traitors, madmen, fools and liars.

Rumors about Boldenwald abound. In particular, it is said that monsters dwell there, in addition to goblins; giants, hags, and even dragons. It is also rumored that the people on the Old Kingdoms knew the secret of arcane magic, a thing that no human now possesses. If the party can find the ancient City of Corin, where formerly the Black School was said to exist, they may be able to resurrect the lost art.

In the meantime, their goals may be more humble. About twelve miles from Red Oak, an old watchtower stands above the valley leading through the mountains. Fires have been seen there at night, and it is likely that goblins use the place as a base.

The adventurers of Red Oak want to reclaim an explore the land nearby. They will have to deal with the watchtower, sooner or later...
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Re: Campaign Background stuff

Post Fri Apr 18, 2014 9:54 pm

AVAILABLE LANGUAGES

Common = the human language of Brant. This is spoken by many people in Vanie and Yoll as well and is effectively the "Common" of this part of the world.
Sader (a Southern human speech)
Alleman (another southern human tongue
North human (Yoll)
Vanie (a dialect of Yoll, distinct enough to be its own language)
Elvish
Sylvan
Dwarvish

Islander (another group of humans further south)
Thieves Cant (city thieves only at this stage)
Old Speech - a religious language used by the church.

Goblinish is not available, for the reason that they communicate with squeaks and grunts and howls.

More languages will become available if we keep playing for a while. You can save one of our slots if you would like to.
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Re: Campaign Background stuff

Post Mon Apr 21, 2014 2:19 am

Goblins

Goblins come from the east, or underground, or both, and that is about as much as anyone knows for sure. The dwarves think they are subterranean in origin, and have learned to live above ground.

They look a bit like this:

Image

They are about 3.5’ tall and have about 5 hit points each. Most will take 1 hit and no more. They are evil, sadistic cowards who like torturing anything they can find including animals, just for fun. Their skin is greenish grey and their hygiene is questionable.

They are nocturnal, and can see in the dark, but they do operate during the day as well. They love fires, and love to burn things down. They tend the use fires in their cams even though they do not need them to see.

They live about 30 years and breed like rabbits. They use short bows and slings, and little swords or maces.

Until recently, the goblins have been united under a powerful series of tribal leaders that have lasted almost 400 years. In previous times, it is thought they were far less organized.

This situation has recently changed.

This is known because scouts have reported fighting between goblin tribes near the mountains.

The dwarves also report that many areas of the Old Kingdoms in the north are so badly denuded of animals that the goblins are probably suffering a food crisis.

Another theory is that a new disease has arisen and is wiping them out. Some diseased goblins have indeed been seen near Calder's Wall.


Goblins do not normally farm their food, although they may have forced some slave humans to do so.

Large, intelligent goblins tend to get called Hobgoblins. These are not really a difference race. Hob just means ‘High’.

‘Bugbears’ are actually larger cousins of the goblins and they are used as shock troops in goblin armies. They are more powerful but far less numerous.

Goblins have trained and domesticated large wolves to be their attack dogs and steeds. This is well known.

Goblins love traps, but are most are not actually very good at making them.

Goblins love ambushes and raids at night when humans are asleep.

They do not take prisoners or hostages, and almost never take captives to interrogate.

If you get caught by ‘hick’ goblins the most likely outcome is that they will torture you to death with fire over the course of several days.

If you get captured by smarter goblins they might make you work as a slave for a while before killing you.

Goblins do not mine for metals. They use metal objects from the Old Kingdoms, cut up into irregular coins.

It is rumored that some humans trade with them (alcohol, and food).

They do not make maps.

'Goblinish' is a language of grunts and squeals and chittering. You can't speak it at the start of the game and it will take a long time to learn.
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CAMPAIGN SKETCH

Post Sat Apr 26, 2014 6:05 pm

The northern kingdoms...best if you right click and save this, I made it pretty big.
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TRAVEL DISTANCES by COACH on ROAD

Post Sat Apr 26, 2014 6:18 pm

Brant - 12 days - large city with other elves, dwarves, traders, a good library, etc.
Nore - 4 days - mid-sized market city, mostly human, maybe travelling dwarves or elves, some decent shops, etc.

Fas Endil - another frontier town on the border of the Duchy of Vanie. More militarised then Red oak, less citizens, more soldiers.

There is another frontier town to the south, off the campaign ma, not yet named. It is 3 days voyage by coach. There is a bit of a bandit problem in that area, to the south of Red Oak, on the border with 'the southern kingdom'.

Not much good shopping to be had for a while in that direction.

Travel is by coach, and the fee is 1.5 gp per day per person. So for one person to get to Brant it would be 18gp on their own.

But if all of you go, you are hiring the whole coach, and the price is effectively halved if you pay upfront. So the whole price for all of you will be 36 gold to get to Brant. This includes food, although coach food isn't that great.

Coming back costs the same again.

On the subject, I'm fixing upkeep costs at 10gp a week in Red Oak, for all of you. The elves are probably renting a farmhouse.

This is pretty cheap. Bear in mind Talin's upkeep is free and you are pretty good hunter / gatherers.
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(Human) History, Archaeology and Treasure

Post Mon May 12, 2014 6:30 pm

Stone Age - up to 4000 years ago. No metal working, stone rows, circles and henges, rock symbols. Normally cremation / burned bones in mass burials.

Bronze Age - From 4000 to about 2500 years ago. Still using mounds but more likely to find bones not cremated. Metal grave goods, sometimes quite valuable. Standing stones and smaller tombs, but not so many henges and bigger monuments.

No one really has any knowledge of what these people did. Most remains in human inhabited lands have been dug up or plowed although there are persistent rumors among the common people that these tombs are cursed by various kinds of spirits. The remains in Boldenwald may be untouched.

2500 - 1450 years ago = Iron Age. Brochs, hill forts, and well made roundhouses. Grave pits, hard to detect. Proper hoards of metal and gems from this era.

1450 years ago = CE 1.

CE1 - CE 500: Early Medieval, more round houses leading to proper chambered and timber houses, increasing skill in jewelry and metal-working. Magic invented in this period (?)

CE 500 - CE 950: High Medieval. The golden age of human prosperity. This is where the real hordes will come from. Founding of Brant and Yoll and other places, much contact with elves and dwarves. Magic practiced by some powerful wizards in Corin, Mundina and Salen. Magic items made? Coins, fine weapons and armour, all sorts of other goodies.

CE 950 - goblins come out of the east / underground.

CE 950 - 1450 - Dark Age. Corin and other kingdoms of Boldenwald are destroyed. Art of magic lost. Some 'magic items' were taken by refugees to Calder's Wall, but none of these seem to function any more. Elves hang on in the far east (which is also the far west) for many years before finally being ousted. Dwarves also remain in their northern strongholds. Technology slips back in this period.

(1430 - 1450 beginning of the new age. Goblins in decline slowly over this period.)

1450 - New Age. Adventurers start to reclaim Boldenwald.
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NEW INFO on CRUTHY

Post Sat Jul 26, 2014 10:54 pm

From the mouseman:

Cruthy - a roughly defined area between Mundina (the mountains and beyond) and somewhere in Brant. Home to shape-changing animals?

Lucha - mousemen. 'Luchorpan' = mouse body.

Nisha, Nishen - weaselfolk.


Cu shen
- Dog people (seemingly in or near the mounds near the old quarry)

Fitheach, Fitha - Raven people.
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Sylvans - East to West

Post Wed Jul 30, 2014 7:23 pm

Do the elves know anything (from prior stories) about Cu Shen and Lucha?

HISTORY of the SYLVAN WORLD ACCORDING TO TIANA MOONGLADE.

In the beginning, the people of the rock and the people of air inhabited the Great Continent. The dwarves came from the ground, and lived in the north and in the Spine of Mundina. The elves came from the air, into the Enchanted Isles, which lie on the exact opposite side of the world to the Spine of Mundina. They lived in the woods, and the sylvan creatures lived there too. (Sylvan here means spirits of animals and plants. They exist throughout the world. They cannot migrate because they are bound to one place).

Then, after millennia, humans arose in the south and east and pushed west. (Stone Age). The dwarves and elves were pushed back, north and west, sometimes in war, but mostly because they did not wish to harm their new neighbors.

For a time (Bronze Age), humans, elves and the sylvan races lived alongside one another in the woods. More of the elves continued to move east, back to their original home, in the Enchanted Isles. Some stayed in kingdoms in the Great Wood, on either side of the mountains of Mundina. And the sylvan races remained where they were, because a sylvan creature can never move far from their natural place - as in, within about a hundred miles.

By the Medieval Period, humans had taken over much of the continent. The Old Kingdoms to the east of the Spine of Mundina were ancient indeed by this time. The humans accepted the elves well enough and made an alliance with them, but they did not like the Sylvan folk and would drive them away or kill them when they could. Sylvan creatures were few in the east. But to the west of the mountains, where humans were not so many, the Sylvans lived on in larger numbers. This place was apparently called Cruthy - the land of the shape-changers.

When the goblins came, the Sylvans went into hiding in Cruthy. The remaining elves in the wood were driven from their strongholds and completed the final migration to their original home in The Enchanted Isles. The sylvans were left behind.

It would now seem that the Sylvan races have maintained a presence in Cruthy for the last 400 years - the area between Old Kingdoms (Boldenwald) and the big cities of the New Kingdoms (Brant, Yoll). This is impressive because they do not live for that long.

Roddy's grasp on geography is vague and Tiana does not know how big the area of 'Cruthy' actually is. But there are plenty of stories about mischievous luchoprans and evil caithy (Cat - people) in places like Nore, so it may extend a long way towards the west coast.
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Population Size, Politics, Demographics, Military Stuff, etc

Post Sat Sep 27, 2014 8:15 pm

RED OAK - Population about 12,000. Total number of ROR on payroll is only 25. This can be increased to platoon size (50) by bringing in some irregulars, mostly young. There used to be a lot more rangers and soldiers and at one point a full battalion was stationed here but there has been no need for this over the last 20 years or so. If there is a big push into Boldenwald the demographics of the town will change considerably. Much of the town is behind a defensive wall which is in OK condition.

Red Oak is a special territory of Brant and is jointly governed by the Church, the ROR and the Town Guild, according to a special charter laid out about 300 years back.

Tor Manis - 3000. Walled, walls in bad repair. There are an additional 4-6 rangers stationed here. The town used to have a garrison (a troop of 100 specially trained defenders) stationed here permanently but it was disbanded some time ago when the goblins stopped coming so now there are a lot of out of work ex-soldiers in the area.

Cyn Dol - 5,000, and the last large town in the kingdom to the south. There are an additional 2 ROR stationed here. This town is nominally run by the Viscount of Cyn Dol and his personal guard (10) but in reality is quite lawless.

Another small town a day to the north, 1,000 also run by a Viscount - an additional 2 ROR stationed here. After that the ROR's influence stops, and the job of guarding the border falls to Fas Endil.

Nore - Population 25,000. There is a garrison here (100) who have pretty cushy jobs considering there is never any action there any more. Nore can also field several full battalions (500) of a mix of trained and untrained soldiers, drawn from all over the kingdom. These are sometimes employed in territorial disputes with the southern kingdom. Nore is the seat of a Duchy.

Brant - Population 60,000. Brant is the seat of the Kingdom. There is a large town guard garrison (500 part- and full-time) but the actual soldiers are all at Nore. There hasn't been active warfare anywhere near Brant in a long time and generally it is very civilized. The King spends most of his time in cultural pursuits and leaves military affairs to the Duke of Nore and his Knights.
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