Campaign Rules and Background Posts

A PbP version of J.D Neal's Lost World setting

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Campaign Rules and Background Posts

Post Sat Oct 24, 2015 1:04 am

Black Powder Weapons

Pistol - range 20/40/60. 1d8. Rate of Fire: 1/2. Powder 1. Cost 160. Any one can use. Weight 2.

Turn over pistol - fancy pistol with 2 barrels allowing 2 shots before reloading. Cost 400 gp. Weight 3. Any one can use.

Musket: classic soldier's weapon, range 60/120/180, damage 1d8+4, rate of fire 1/2. Weight 15. Cost 500gp. Fighter and ranger only.

Rifle: long range specialist weapon, fighter and ranger only. Range 90/180/270, damage 1d8+4. Weight 15. Cost 800gp.

All firearms may misfire on a natural 1, with annoying or harmful results rolled by the DM. All firearms also do double damage on a roll of 20.

Powder costs 1gp per charge. It's expensive stuff.

All firearms use 1 powder charge per use. 'Powder use is only tracked for peple carrying flasks.

Grenades: purchase for 20gp or manufacture with 5 powder charges and a 1' length of cord. Damage 1d6+4 in a 15' radius.

Powder containers:
Flask: 10 shots, 10gp, Weight 1, damage 2d6+8, 10’ radius. Please track powder use.
Horn: 50 shots, 50gp Weight 5, damage if detonated 10d6+20, 25’ radius.
Keg: 250 shots, 250gp Weight 25, damage 25d6, 40’ radius.

You may purchase weapons and powder as you please. You may also ask for some of the ship's supply, once the game starts, but that will need to be role-played. The ship has 5 pistols, 2 muskets, 15 grenades, and two kegs left of powder. Some of the pirates also had weapons, and their own smaller supplies.

Rules might change a bit.
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Campaign Background, Rules, etc (DM only)

Post Sat Oct 24, 2015 1:45 am

You are sailing aboard the Ark-ari in the year 1292, on the way from Fark Athay via Siam, to some trading colonies in the southern islands of Salaya Sole, where spices, gold, and medicinal plants are to be purchased. There is a small fortune in gold on board, for the purposes of buying said trade goods, and maybe some slaves as well...

About a week out from Siam, an extremely well-executed mutiny takes place, and the captain plus all loyal to him are surprised in their berths, captured, and locked in the hold.

Soon after, the ship is boarded by pirates, under the command of the Dreaded Jab-Afri, who turns out to be in league with the mutineers. The whole thing has been planned long before the Ark-ari ever left port.

The pirates take the ship off course for a few days, probably heading for a base on the notoriously wild West Coast of Siam. But the joy of the mutineers and their pirate allies is short-lived. One night, ‘The Worst Storm In Living Memory’ strikes the ship and blows it miles off course, to the south-west, and into uncharted waters. Some sailors are lost to the waves that sweep across the vessel, and the pirate ship, an inferior craft, sinks completely. Many pirates drown, but some remain on the Ark-ari.

36 hours later when the storm finally clears out, those on board are totally lost, but spy land on the horizon and strike out for it with oars, the sails having been ruined in the storm. Still being driven by strong winds, they arrive on the north shore of an island not known on any chart, a large deep sea mount rearing straight from the deep blue water, with a large column of smoke arising from the south west part of it. Numerous offshore islands are also spotted.

As they attempt to make landing on the main island, the ship strikes reefs in a large bay, and founders offshore. The mutiny is temporarily forgotten as all on board the ship work together to ensure their survival. Men, treasure, blackpowder and other supplies are brought ashore in three longboats, onto a nearby beach. And so the game begins...

There are about 30 survivors.

The PCs may be members of the ship’s crew, mercenary adventurers hired for the purpose of guarding the ship and the treasure, freed slaves, or just plain old pirates.

There is 500 days worth of rations and water left, from the larger supply that was on board the Ark-ari. Fish look to be in plentiful supply in the waters around the island. Running water is also located soon after landfall. Many birds are to be seen in the jungle near the shore, and there is evidence of abundant animal life, too. This does not look like a place where you would struggle to find something to eat, but more a place where something might eat you!

The game begins on the first afternoon at about 2pm as the PCs and the other survivors begin to settle in for their first night on the unexplored island.
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Post Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:36 pm

Sea Trade (Common, free)
Athay (The language of Fark Athay - South East China)

(The Island Tongue is a mix of Salay and Siamese and can be understood by anyone with either language)

Chin (Northern Chinese)
Kona (Japanese?)
The Desert Tongue (Another kind of common, not free)

Racial Languages (members of these races get these languages free)

Zarga (Sea Elf)
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Post Thu Dec 03, 2015 7:27 pm

The Crew of the Ark-Ari

Quong Li - The Ship's Captain, under guard
Jiao Wu - First Mate, under guard (DEAD)
Chun Feng - A sailor and minstrel
"Far Between", a Siamese sailor and sail-wright
A sailor (DEAD)
Andaban, a Salayan merchant and sailor (DEAD)
Coroban, his assistant
Chuk (Chucky) Dan, a Chinese sailor who orchestrated the mutiny (DEAD)
Apinya, a Siamese sailor who turned mutineer, DEAD
A mutineer (DEAD)
A mutineerm, DROWNED by YC
A mutineer, DROWNED by YC
Maroo, a Canein priestess from the Isle of Tears, ship's Cleric
Her slave, Nooba, also from the Isle of Tears (very sick)

The PIrates
Jab-Afri, the pirate captain
Ash, a Lerini pirate and expert ship builder
Hurley (Hur-Li) - a big fat pirate (DEAD)
Saracen Fhajah, a sea-elf pirate
Kanya Jayde, a wanderer with a dark past (BLOWN UP< DEAD)
Fanda, a Kappa pirate (DEAD)
Farhan the Persian Poisoner, 5th level thief
A pirate
A pirate
A pirate

The Passengers
Maju, a magician from the Isle of Kona, who seeks his mentor's mentor in Salaya
Jaali, a wandering halfling, fleeing Fark Athay for his own reasons
Sonja Reis, a pirate hating mercenary from the far west (DEAD)
Yuan-Cheng, a Chinese monk, on a path of penance to Salaya, where a new monastery has been established.

The Villagers
Teruk, Prince of Sulan
Lina, his niece
Talhuk, Lord (Sandakan) of Sulan, Teruk's father
3 dead warriors, one named Mogar, who was killed by Jaali. The other 2 were killed by Saracen.
15 more warriors - 2 of whom are rangers
Ishakt, a witch-doctor, who has kidnapped Talhuk (DEAD)
Some Ogres (2 are dead)
Many other villagers of Sulan (1000 approx)

Note that many of the original mutineers, pirates and crew died in the mutiny, the attack on the ship, and the subsequent storm. At its fullest extent the ship had about 70 people on it. Numbers were reduced to 30 by the time it got to the beach. Names and numbers are flexible for the provision of new PCs.
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The Core Combat Rules

Post Thu Dec 03, 2015 10:19 pm

This post is to clarify a few things that have come up in recent combats. Please read it so you know what your characters can expect in combat.

In a few situations I will be rolling for initiative only once. In most close combat scenes, I will roll for it every round, simplifying the result a bit to make PbP easier. Mostly, either the monsters will act before key combatants, or, you will all act first. I will try to let you know what is happening for each fight.

You can move your movement rate and then attack or cast. You cannot do this the other way round. You can't say "I attack / cast and then move away." It has to be the other way round. Range and placement will become an issue after you have moved.

If you chose to flee from an opponent, you can move up to twice your move away from them, but they will get a "parting shot" (free attack) against you. Only one free attack per round is allowed per combatant, so if several combatants flee at once, the victim of the parting shot will be determined randomly unless I decide it is very obvious who it would have been.

If you move back from an opponent and then cast or fire, the opponent will still get a parting shot on you. That still counts as moving up to twice your move.

If you chose to withdraw from an opponent, you can move half your normal movement rate without attracting a parting shot. That is the only way you can move away from combat without attracting a parting shot. If you withdraw, you cannot do anything else that round.

The problem with withdrawing is: if your opponent moves after you in the current round, or if they win initiative in the next round, they can easily follow you and attack you, in many cases. For example, if you both have a normal move of 40, and you withdraw 20, your opponent can move 20 and then attack you, before you get to act again. Withdrawing tends to work best if there are other people still in combat to take up the fight. Or, if you are acting after your opponent in the current round, and then win initiative in the next one.

Please note that outdoors, ranges are actually in yards. You can say feet if you want, but we are talking yards in most cases.

It turns out there no no rules for fighting defensively in the core rules, so that option is not available. (Only one person has done it so far and the creature who attacked them would have missed anyway.)

If you want to run and then fire a missile weapon, you can do that, but not the other way around.

If you fire into a melee, you take a -4 penalty to avoid hitting your friends.

1 is always a miss and 20 is always a hit, provided the creature can be hit by your type of weapon. There are no other rules for critical hits and misses in this game. That means you cannot hit your friends.

I suspect that some experienced players are assuming supplements and generic house-rules will be in effect here, and they aren't. It would help if we all read the core rules.

In particular - if you reach 0 hit points, you are dead. No saves. No negative hp rules. Just Plain Dead.
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Post Sun Apr 17, 2016 10:47 pm

Maju's original quest was to find an old man called Korinaki, or at least find out what happened to him.

Korinaki was from Kona-Toro, and was a most powerful magician, who tutored many others, including Maju’s own teacher, and he was the head of the school of magic in Kona-Toro for a decade.

But he departed for the southern island of Salaya Sole many years ago, seeking something called “the Pillar of Balance” which he believed must be down south somewhere, because otherwise the “Pillar of Power” could not function.

The “Pillar of Power” is a natural rock formation in the mountains of Kona-Toro which has vast natural magical power and also magnetic power, and is covered in arcane writings made over many centuries.

The Pillar of Power the heart of the old order of Kona-Toro. Korinaki postulated that it must have a southern twin, and he took passage to Salaya, a colony which had only recently been founded at that time. From there, he may have been seeking further transport to the unexplored lands to the east.

Korinaki was supposed to come back after a few years, but he left twenty-five years ago.

Since then a younger wizard called Menai has tried to find him, but she did not return either. After her disappearance, the order has fallen into disarray – many of the wizards have died, fled or been exiled. Some of the local people have turned against magicians, confusing them with the witches who have arisen in the area.

Maju is now one of the most capable wizards remaining in the Kona-Toro order. His original quest was to get to Salaya Sole and then ask if anyone in the colony knew what happened to Korinaki, 25 years ago.

Unfortunately this whole thing with the mutiny and the pirates and the storm and the "lost" island full of monsters happened, so he got kinda sidetracked there.
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Post Wed Apr 20, 2016 6:20 pm

The Order of the Great Way has monasteries all over the eastern part of the world. It originated in the main part of China but now extends to Athay (south China), Kona, Siam, India and the Isle of Tears, and and within the last thirty years, a monastery has even been founded in the new trade colony of Salaya Sole, in the far south, in a place the locals call Gulam Buya.

Our monk Yuan-Cheng Fung has risen rapidly in his own local monastery in Athay, which is the parent monastery to Gulam Buya. Despite his rise, Yuan-Cheng still harbors some bitter thoughts about his past, and it is recognized by his Abbot, Fung-Ming Zhang, that the young man still needs to atone for various activities undertaken while he was a local gangster figure. Only then can he "progress further along the Great Way" (get to 9th level).

On a simple level, his purpose in the south is to deliver the sword to the new monastery, where the Abbott there will chose someone new to carry it. The sword has a long association with the order, and carrying it is symbolic of penance. (Yuan-Cheng isn't entirely sure about its origins. He has asked his own Abbott and been given very evasive answers).

A more complex aspect to his mission is that Fung-Ming Zhang believes the monastery at Gulam Buya has fallen from the Great Way, and is no longer observing the rites properly. Also, it isn't paying enough tax. So Yuan-Cheng has been sent to find out exactly what is going on in the distant southern monastery, and report back to his monastery in Athay.

But then there was that whole thing with the mutiny and the storm and the island... y'know.
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Post Tue Apr 26, 2016 11:36 pm

Shi Jen is a powerful Goddess of the Cathay people of Southern China.

She is the goddess of the forest, of time, of magic, and of mystery, and her token color is green.

Her temple in Fark Athay is said to be a sumptuous palace, but few can testify to that, because it is held inside a mysterious walled garden, containing a wide variety of rare trees and birds.

Legend has it that the palace contains a life-sized statue of Shi Jen, entirely covered in pure green emeralds, to represent her leaves.

It is said to be so valuable that it could buy the whole of the city. But no one has ever attempted to break in and steal it, because the priests of Shi Jen has placed a powerful curse upon it, that any who hold possession of the leaves of the Goddess will have ill luck and all sorts of strange enchantments befall them until they return the jewel to its rightful place...

Jaali was new to Cathay. He heard that someone had broken into the temple and stolen some of the leaves, but he thought little of it. It was only when he "found" some emeralds in the possession of a mysterious young woman, that he remembered what he'd heard of the legend...


It was widely known that priests and soldiers were scouring the city looking for the missing jewels. Rather than part with them, the halfling got on board the first ship out of the city, before the hunt was properly underway.

It was an old Arabic trader, by the name Ark-Ari, now manned by a motley mix of Cathy and Siamese sailors. No one asked him any questions.

As the ship sailed southward, he stared again and again at the mysterious gems. To his eye, they were rough cut, and looked to worth no more than 500 gold pieces. But according to the legend, they must be worth far more, and imbued with mysterious magic to boot...

"Probably a load of superstitious rubbish" thought Jaali. "I bet nothing bad happens at all..."
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Post Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:13 pm

The north-west Coast of Siam (in modern day Myanmar / Burma) is a very lawless and dangerous place, with few major towns, many isolated tribes and strange cults, and above all, lots of pirates, patrolling the trade between India and the more civilized southern eastern parts of Siam (Thailand and the coast of Vietnam).

The "king" of these pirates, a Burmese magician called Bo Zeya, has held sway over much of the piratical activity in the area for the last dozen years, building up a reputation as a fearsome and brutal warlord. Many other pirate leaders, such as the Arab Al-Jabafri, pay nominal allegiance to him, and sometimes even pay him tribute.

There's a rumor going around that a certain Sonja Reis, a mercenary from the west, infiltrated the camp of the pirate king, by pretending to join his crew, and managed to make her way into his bedchamber one evening after he had been drinking heavily, taking out two guards in the process. There, she did remove the pirate king's manly anatomy, before diving from a high cliff and swimming away to a waiting longboat.

This may or may not be true, but the pirate king has felt a need to protect his reputation, and has sworn revenge, placing a 5000gp reward on Sonja's head, for return to him alive.

Some of the crew of the Ark-Ari knew that Sonja was the wanted woman, fleeing to Salaya Sole until the heat had died down. But this information was unknown to Al-Jabafri until Sonja was already 4 days gone from the beach and well into the jungle. Jab-Afri responded by sending his pain priestess Kanya Jayde and her assistant Apinya to find Sonja, and look after the pirate Saracen...

No one has any idea where Sonja Reis has gone, after a failed attempt to kill Saracen on the evening of day 5.
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Post Sun Nov 13, 2016 5:20 pm

Pinewood, this is the rough sketch we have of Apinya the pirate. You can change his name if you like. Please post a full version (including saving throws, etc) on the character roster when you get posting access.

Str 16 +2
Int 8
Wis 12
Dex 12
Con 14 +1
Cha 11

Fighter 5. BAB +4. Melee +6, Missile +4.
Languages - Siamese. This allows you to speak and understand about 75% of what the island people are saying.

Pistol d8, +4
Cutlass d8+2, +6.

HP 34
AC 14 (leather, +2 ring of protection).

Potion of healing x2
Leather armor, cutlass, pistol, 9 days rations, 2 torches, tinderbox, waterskin, bedroll.

Has previously served in the Siamese military but quit because the pay was lousy. Became a pirate under Jab-Afri and met Kanya (another PC) while doing so.

Was involved in capturing a ship laden with treasure called the Ark-Ari several weeks ago. After capture, the ship was beset by a storm and blown ashore onto an unknown island. In the chaos of the shipwreck, various important prisoners managed to grab their stuff and run away. These included a ranger called Sonja, a thief called Jaali, a magician called Maju, and a monk called Yuan Cheng.

A pirate called Saracen was sent to follow them into the jungle, but after a few days it became clear he wasn't going to return. Also, a prisoner confessed that one of the escapees was actually a woman called Sonja Reis, a pirate killer for whom there is a large ransom.

The pirate leader Jab-Afri chose Apinya and his friend Kanya to go into the jungle and see if they could locate the escaped prisoners, Sonja, and Saracen.

When Apinya and Kanya located the group (except Sonja), they found them in the company of an Island prince and his retinue, who were headed eastward towards their village, to recapture it from some ogres and a witch-doctor who had taken it over. The deal was that if the party (escaped prisoners and pirates) helped free the village, the native people would help repair the Ark-Ari and help them leave the island.

This deal was done, and the PC team did eventually manage to get the village free from the witch-doctor - who was killed - and the ogres, who escaped and fled north.

Then the party returned and had sundry encounters along the way, with ghouls and other things. The island is full of dinosaurs and other potentially lethal encounters and everyone just wants to get off as fast as possible.

Now you are at a set of ruins in the desert, exploring them, and finding strange monkey men inside, who appear to have been made by magic, and are de-animated.

But, Saracen the elf pirate has gotten sick of the natives, who hate him, and he has tried to run back to the Ark-Ari, which is only about 6 miles to the north of here.

Play starts when you all finally manage to break down a dungeon door and free the monk, Yuan Cheng, and the thief, Jaali, who were both trapped inside a room. The monk runs at high speed through the desert, chasing the escaping elf Saracen, and you know he is going to catch him...

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