Saturday, July 15, 2017

1 Starting Town, 10 Other Towns, and the Sea


Use this post along side this one to make a map similar to the above.

Starting Town: Hamesgard


Hamesgard is build as a pair of concentric rings. The first ring is a wooden palisade which surrounds the town and has only a central entrance. The second ring is a stone wall, which surrounds the very center of town and may be used as defensible position in times of crisis but otherwise serves as an indicator of where the wealth and power of the town is concentrated. Most houses are built of wood and 1 story tall. People are generally happy and life goes on without much tragedy. There is little corruption or crime. This is the only predetermined town on the hex map. All other Towns and Cities are rolled for if and when they come about as the end of a road.

The notable features of the Hamesgard are dependent upon which classes each player chooses to play as at the start of the game.

If a player chooses to play as an Acrobat then most of the buildings consist of several stories and all have pointed roofs, if there are more than 3 Acrobats a large circus makes it's home within the walls of Hamesgard.
If a player chooses to play as a Barbarian then there exists a district of town which is mainly populated by a tribe of people who at one point used to be nomadic brigands, if there are more than 3 Barbarians then one of the nobles living in the center of town is from the tribe.
If a player chooses to play as a Fighter the outer wall has two towers outside the central entrance where soldiers keep watch, if there are more than 3 Fighters than there is a battalion of soldiers who man stations along both walls.
If a player chooses to play as a Hierophant there is a Cathedral of St. Pale in the center of town, if there are more than 3 Hierophants then there is also a Monastery of St. Pale.
If a player chooses to play as a Knight of Faerie there is a crom lech a small distance outside the entrance into the city, if there are more than 3 Knights of Faerie then each winter solstice there is a tradition for the people to offer a baby to the standing stones.
If a player chooses to play as a Monster Hunter then there is a statue in town to Sigfried, who slew a dragon once living near these lands, if there are more than 3 Monster Hunters the hexes adjacent to Hamesgard don't count as Polite Lands but instead count as wilderness.
If a player chooses to play as an Occultist then a massive crematorium roars nearby the central wall, if there are more than 3 Occultists then the city of Hamesgard has been built over a massive mausoleum.
If a player chooses to play as a Thief then there are public executions by a hangman rather than a headsman, if there are more than 3 Thieves than you can purchase things as if Hamesgard was a city.
If a player chooses to play as a Wizard then a famed wizard Burzum the Insufferable was born here, if there are more than 3 Wizards then half of Hamesgard was once destroyed when the tower of Burzum the Insufferable was rended asunder by foul magic.
If a player chooses to play as a Woodsman then most people in town fear women met in the woods fearing them to be huldras, if there are more than 3 Woodsmen then all the terrain adjacent to Hamesgard is Forest (this includes the hex where Hamesgard is located).

There is a 3 in 6 chance that a character has a benefactor (1: Family Member, 2: Mentor, or 3: Close Friend) in Hamesgard, this benefactor reduces the price they pay for staying a week in Hamesgard by 50 silver. Further there is a 2 in 6 chance that a character has a nuisance (1: Scorned Lover or 2: Resentful Adversary) in Hamesgard, this nuisance imparts a penalty of -4 to carousing checks made within Hamesgard.


Authors Note: The first town the player's experience will set the tone of the setting and their expectations in general. For that reason Hamesgard, will be friendlier to the characters and actively hospitable to them. No characters should be playing an Outlander until they have been met by the party at least thrice, so no character would be an outsider to Hamesgard. Also I really like the idea of the player's choices of which class to play to decide how the world works because it retroactively explains why there were so many of that kind of people from that town


10 Towns


The following is a series of towns (those with an asterisk are on the sea).


Southcove*


Description
Located beyond a sprawl of trees and above a series of sea-side bluffs, a tall vast rampart of numerous oaks rises. Smoke billows from many chimneys and the sea roars. A series of cobbled steps lead down to the seas to a small port built upon sharp stones. A militia practices in open view of the town and a single tower rises from which militia men look for enemies.

Notable Features
Several charcoal kilns burn wood refining it into charcoal. Many carpenters in town have been turned to armorers recently, a sense of coming doom grips the town and now they make shields rather than houses. Many youth seek to leave the town rather than serve in the militia and will become hirelings payed at a reduced rate if they get to leave the town. On a hex adjacent to both the town and the sea, a sea cavern referred to as the Great Hole can be found, here the people of Southcove hunt for seals. 

Traditions
A ritualized hunt for seals occurs under the full moon's light. Many seek to return with a pristine seal pelt, using clubs to simply crush the animal's head rather than arrows or spears. [Southcove Seal, HD 1, Def 1 or 5 if attacking in an attempt to not ruin the skin, Move 8, Save 5, Morale 3] Many caves riddle the bluffs around the cove and often they are used to smuggle illicit goods. 

Unique Purchase
Charcoal - Burns for 4 hours and provides light for 5 feet, can power contraptions. Costs 5 silver and takes up 1/3 of an inventory slot.
Great Shield - Rather than granting a +1 to a Defense scores and can be splintered preventing 1d12 damage, it provides a +2 to Defense scores and can be splintered to preventing 1d12+4 damage. Costs 100 silver and takes up 2 inventory slots.

Velos


Description
A singular bell tower looms over a passage between cliffs. At it's heart a stone fortress stands and outwards many cliff-side roads lead to buildings. Only a single winding road leads into the heart of the fortress passing many choke-points. 

Notable Features
The central bell-tower is now a place of healing, filled by monks who offer to cure the cursed and afflicted. Those visiting the tower may donate 20 silver to cure and curse which has be fallen them and the next curse that may effect them has a 1 in 6 chance of not working. The town of Velos is in is a mountains terrain hex. The hex opposite to the hex containing the road going into Velos is also a mountains terrain hex and is home to a massive man eating ogre. [HD 7, Def 3, Dam 2d6, Move 11, Save 11, Morale 16, 5 in 6 chance of surprising those looking for it, 4 times the size of a man and if killed turns to stone]

Traditions
Many have taken up falconry as a hobby and flocks can be seen flying between the cliffs. Every man born in Velos is trained in how to use the bow and there are often contests to see the best archer. 

Unique Purchase
Sanctified Bell - A replica of the bell inside the bell-tower, shatters in the presence of the undead. Costs 25 silver.
Whistling Arrows - Fly through the air releasing a shrill sound. Cost a silver each, 20 fill up a quiver.

Svassheim


Description
A road passes fields of cherry trees as it winds into a sleepy town. Solidly built houses of fine woodwork rise two stories in the air beside cobbled stone streets. 

Notable Features
Outside of the cherry fields there is not too much notable about Svassheim, except for the fact there will need to be a new Jarl elected after the characters arrive. There are 4 candidates (his daughters who each hate each other) which are described below roll a 1d4 for which one was the one who killed the old Jarl.

1. Astrid - Blond Haired, wants to increase taxes to create a fund for widows and orphans 
2. Gwyndelin - Black Haired, wants to burn down the local church and put up a new one
3. Sigurd - Red Haired, just wants to install her husband and then her son into rulership
4. Brunhilda - Carries a sword with her, only recently got back into town after traveling for a few years

Traditions
Jarl Olar, who was the rightful ruler of Svassheim, was killed a week prior to the characters arriving in Svassheim, now a strict curfew is enforced at sundown. Each cherry tree is planted over a grave the sprawling fields outside Svassheim the site of a once great battle. 

Unique Purchase
Cherry Wine - Only made here, this can fetch a high price elsewhere. Costs 20 silver and 3 take up an inventory slot.

Tokobald


Description
An extended mass of shabby looking homes extends outwards from a vast stone gate. Past the oppressive garrison gate numerous tall buildings of stones can be seen. The town is divided into two parts by the garrison gate. Lower Tokobald is a grimy and sad place full of people who wish they could have gotten past the gate. Upper Tokobald is a pristine and haughty place full of people who think they are better than you. 

Notable Features
Lower Tokobald: There is a 1 in 6 chance of characters wandering through this district get mugged by 1d6 muggers. [HD 1, Def 2, Dam 1d6, Move 12, Save 8, Morale 6]
Massive Gate: Characters wearing fancy clothes may pass through the garrison gate for the price of 100 silver pieces. 
Upper Tokobald: You may purchase things here as if in a city, but everything here costs triple the normal price! Characters who are able to enter Upper Tokobald can buy an invitation to a fancy dinner with the nobles of Tokobald, those who do roll under half their Charisma Score and if successful are able given a token of influence which they can present to any legitimate authority to avoid the consequences of their actions.

Traditions
Tokobald was once a retreat for nobles during a period of conflict. After staying at the garrison along their retinues and guards they decided to simply live here

Unique Purchase
Ticket to Fancy Dinner - Costs 1000 silver and includes a plus one.

Tula


Description
A haze of choking smoke sits above the valley where Tula is located. Vast iron pipes rise out of the ground filling the horizon and releasing waves of heat and nearly all structures are made out of stone. Many soot faced people march carrying pick axes and few children stare out at windows as you pass.

Notable Features
A singular Museum of Artifacts in the center of town holds old things pulled out of the earth, the scholars examining them can help anyone else who brings in old artifacts. Numerous orphanages bear the orphaned children of the many miners who die in the mines. There is a multitude of Mining Companies who dig up precious ores from the earth, each then owns a host of factories where those crude materials are refined into arms, armor, and various amalgams of metal. A bomb distillery lies in the outskirts of town, where a character may purchase bombados and powder satchels.

Traditions
Many of the Mining Companies adopt the children of the miners who die in their mines. It is common for the children to simply then take the name of the company as their own, the last name of a man isn't indicative of them being part of the rich family who owns the company.

Unique Purchase
Gingerbread Cookies - Delicious costs 3 silver for 10 and each package takes up an inventory slot. 
Dynamite - Deals 5d10 damage in a 15 foot radius and creates a deafening explosion making those within 30 feet save or go deaf. Costs 300 silver takes up 1 slot of inventory and if you take any fire damage it explodes. 
Orphaned Child - Acts as a hireling you don't have to pay but cannot aid you in combat. Can be used for convoluted schemes as most people won't give a child a second glance. A fee of 25 silver is need for adoption. 

Authors Note: Yeah, your players can buy child slaves. I've noticed though that any of my players when they encounter children treat them well. I would have any monsters target the children for eating and watch the players react. 

New Rind


Description
Vast towers of stone rise above wooden buildings each bearing a different banner. A thin rampart of stone surrounds the towns and various men clad in armor walk weapons upon their back. A vast arena filled by wooden seats is adjacent to the road flowing into town

Notable Features
What was once a large castle is now know as the Academy of Knighthood where many a sons of nobility are sent to learn the finer arts of chivalry. While the majority of those granted titles of nobility follow these traditions the older generations of men who earned titles of nobility did so by valor in combat. A contingent of them still linger in town decrying "polite warfare waged by a man clad in steel upon the back of a horse" and advocate a return to the time where "slaughter wrought by a man naked save for the blood splattered across his brow was a measure of his worth".  A vast Cathedral named after the Angelic Winged Mirage ushers benedictions to those who pass through. 

Traditions
The arena outside of town hosts jousting and melee tournaments every first of the month, many squires and many passing knights seek to earn valor and fame there. Crippling alcoholism grips the town and many of the men passed out drunk in alleys are in fact prolific combatants regardless of age.

Unique Purchase
Edict of Chivalry - This is essentially an insurance policy purchased from the Academy of Knight hood offering a ransom to those who would instead kill you. Costs any amount of silver and offers ten times that in ransom to those who hold your prisoner and takes up 1 inventory slot.
Journal of Aged Berserker - Reading this memoir takes a month and offers advice on how to slay your foes. After reading it make an Attack Roll and if it would miss then you gain a permanent +1 to your attack score. Costs 250 silver, takes up 1 inventory slot, and is easily ruined.

Rasa*


Description
Calm waves lap at the shores of a wide port. Sandstone has been used for most of the buildings and each roof is made up of red clay tiles. A single stone tower stands on the edge of town and numerous fountains rise in the center of the city.

Notable Features
Two houses of open nobility control most of what goes on in the town. Members of these house can be found in any other town and scheme to change the world. The Noble House Oak owns many buildings and seeks to act in charity for the fellow man. Its members can obtain an invite to most high society functions. The Noble House Silver owns a single stone tower and believes that the noble end justifies the means taken to achieve them. Its members can obtain a dose poison dealing 1d10 damage for 100 silver.

Traditions
All those born in Rasa are encouraged to leave the town and see the world outside. Many have acquaintances in other settlements and there is a 1 in 10 that there is a friendly face of someone who previously met a character elsewhere. 

Unique Purchase
House Oak Emblem - Allows membership to the House of Oak and makes an enemy of House Silver. Costs 50 silver.
House Silver Emblem - Allows membership to the House of Silver and makes an enemy of House Oak. Costs 100 silver.

Chara


Description
Among fetid fens and the vegetation of the swamp a series of wooden platforms rise. Above them sit numerous longhouses. Few boats sail between the platforms ferrying travelers from one cluster of buildings to another.

Notable Features
A wild menagerie exists within Chara and the proprietors seek to obtain new specimens offering 100 silver per HD of creature brought in. A hall of mirrors lies in the center of town, a winding labyrinth of reflective surfaces somewhere in that maze is a trapdoor which leads to a school of assassins. The hex containing Chara and all 6 adjacent hexes are swamp terrain.

Traditions
Many sail shallow boats in the swamps around Chara, dredging the swamps for gold which is said to have been lost underneath the muck. There are no laws in Chara except the weregild and unless seen by others crime is ignored.

Unique Purchase
Assassination Orders - One can pay to have another assassinated. One simply needs to pay double the weregild of their murder in advance. Weregilds for a common man is 200 silver, nobles and clergy have a weregild of 1200 silver, the cost of weregilds are thrice-fold for any man acting in service to the king.

Authors Note: I'd be really interested in a player's reaction if someone gave them their weregild alongside a notice that they are gonna be assassinated soon. If you use this please let me know how it goes.


Jasp*


Description
A tall mountain slowly billows smoke from it's soft slopes. At the base a winding stone wall surrounds numerous houses. The lumbering volcano above the town enriches the soil around Jasp and many vibrant farms surround it.

Notable Features
The hex containing Jasp is mountain terrain, but the terrain of the adjacent hexes is rolled as if they were adjacent to a plains hex. A famous University sits in the center of town, founded by the wizards Fenris the Innocent and Deyd the Euronymous. Those inside are taught occult secrets and those attending have a 1 in 6 chance per year spent in the University to gain a single Magic Dice as a wizard and a 1 in 10 chance per year spent in the university of dying to some awful experiment, like making fireproof clothes. After 5 years one must leave the University. Relic Traders sit at the ports of Jasp and trade with those who arrive from the islands past the sea, these are generally graduates from the University who go out looking for thinks to investigate. A rebuilt Cathedral named after the Ash-Faced Martyr stands in the center of town and numerous clergy men walk the streets. Soldiers are stationed around Cathedral the first was burnt down by an insufferable wizard ages ago.

Traditions
Anyone may attempt to pass the Test of Merit offered by the University for a chance of sponsorship by the nobility to serve as a bureaucrat. Once can pass by rolling under one's Intelligence score three days in a row. Those who pass are encouraged to attend the University. 

Unique Purchase
Test of Merit Cheats - These reduce the amount of times needed to roll under Intelligence by one but only have a 1 in 6 chance of being legitimate. Costs 40 silver.
University Loans - This is buying the debt that a student allegedly still enrolled at the university has so that they serve you as a hireling but with 1 randomly rolled spell. This costs 200 silver per year of the student attending the university, roll to see if they Magic Dice and in fact are alive.


Authors Note: This works out to 1000 silver for a 60% chance of the student (who essentially you buy as a slave) having a Magic Dice and only 40% chance of being dead. These ratios if incorrectly applied as an analysis of a class of a hundred students means that sixty survive and of those sixty who survive only 36 are actually magical. If we apply the mechanics of the university to a 100 students we get the following. In Year 1, ten die and only fourteen gain magical ability. In Year 2, eight die and fifteen gain magical ability. In Year 3, ten die and four gain magical ability. In Year 4, five die and five gain magical ability. In the final year: only two die, only one gains magical ability, and thirty are left with nothing but memories of their friends dying and the need to lie about having magic. I'm okay with an academy of magic existing in an allegedly "low fantasy" setting because the mechanics of the academy produces many of it's students dead and many charlatans. Also I'd let characters who already have 4 magic dice attend the academy because there is a 10% chance of them dying with no guarantee of success.


The Sea


While most of the terrain can be procedurally generated, the sea presents a problem. Oceans are impossibly large and can't be generated one hex at a time. My solution to this is to have the sea be generated by port cities. Civilization tend to spring up near water, so why not simply use that trend in order to invoke the opposite. If a road is generated that leads to a town or city which is on the sea then the hex that city is in borders the sea. Towns and Cities on a sea's edge have been labeled with an asterisk.

Hexes with Towns on the sea are flanked laterally by a pair of coasts 5 hexes long while hexes with Cities on the sea are flanked laterally by a pair of coasts 10 hexes long. Coasts from Towns are 3 hexes deep while, Coasts from Cities are 5 hexes deep. Laterally in this case refers to the hex from which the road enters the town.

This is an ideal outcome with no other nearby hexes being explored


Coastline Mechanisms


Now if there are other explored hexes which have already been noted, then simply adjust the coastline outwards to accommodate those hexes.

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