Thursday, May 30, 2013

Merchant Guild Hall in Bloodhelm

These two buildings are three stories, beautifully built in wood and river rock and guarded round the clock.  One of the two buildings is the guild house itself.  Here guild contracts are reviewed and signed, new guild laws are discussed and customers are debated.  This is also where petitioners for work as well as contracts come to plead their case.  Though not of the noble class, these people hold a lot of sway in not only Bloodhelm, but all through out the kingdom, so the merchant guild heads act like nobles and expect everyone to treat them as thus.

The second building is a place of rest of sorts.  The merchant agents call this home when not enforcing merchant guild law or finalizing contracts in far off places.  It also is place for merchants down on their luck, as long as they are good standing of the guild.

The contracts are well guarded since so much of the money of the guild is tied up in those contracts.  There are all sorts of traps, both mechanical and magical, a thief would have to bypass to reach the contracts, not to mention the guards that are present twenty four hours a day.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Devon of noble House Ganlian in Bloodhelm

Devon is second boy, (fourth child), of the Lady Marilyn and Lord Jeffery of noble House Ganlian.  Though he is trained as a Knight, and very good at being one, he would really like to be a merchant, traveling the world, selling his goods and meeting all sorts of people around the world.  His noble House has some merchant ties and Devon loves to be part of the business when his father allows.  Jeffery, who had to work hard at learning his numbers and letters, even as a noble, doesn't understand Devon's infatuation, but with Devon running the family business the noble House has been making nearly 20% more a year for the last few years.  Devon is an average looking man, though there are women ready and willing to marry him if for no other reason to be married into a prominent family.  He is average size and has his blond hair pulled back in a small pony tail, as is the fashion amongst the nobles.

The party may meet up with Devon as part of an escort mission or maybe on the way to or from an escort mission on the road.  Devon usually is with a caravan between Bloodhelm and Weatherworn, because that is the safest route his father will allow him to be on.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Calanders for Your Campaign

Everybody, whether in the real or the make believe world, is busy.  So here is a suggestion I've found very useful in my own campaigns.  I make up a calender for my world, what ever the campaign world, and write down where the players are in time.  I also write down dates where things will get done, when they will arrive at a certain place, or perhaps when major events will happen.  In Dragonlance it was very vital to keep track of time because of the moons and their influence on player magic.  You don't want to spend ten minutes of precious game time trying to figure out where the moons are just so you know how your players' (or bad guys') magic is affected.  Some other important reasons would be for travel rations and supplies (if you are an evil DM and keep track of that :) ), when the person really has their magical armor or arms, and when curses/ill magic might wear off.  The calender doesn't have to be fancy, (excel is a wonderful thing), but just something you can put notes on and the players can consult if need be.  If you want, keep two calenders, one for you to plan events and one for the players where they don't need to see all the events!

Happy Gaming!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sea Travel on Martapa

Traveling by sea is not something most people do.  It is dangerous because, even with mages, its hard to see underwater dangers, predict storms, or avoid pirates.  Shipping of goods from coastal cities to coastal cities, as well as from the Dwarven Islands and Ariella, has to be done by ship, but even then the profits may not outweigh the risks.  Each merchant ship usually have a crew of 20, with merchants and sometimes passengers, just depends on the size of the merchant ship.  Travel between ports takes time, but is still faster then by wagon or by horse.  Most of the major cities along the coast have at least two or three ships that belong to the House, most are for fighting pirates, though.  Merchants will take passengers, mostly to defer some of their costs, but most expect the passengers to either stay out of the way or work.  It isn't for sight seeing.  Merchants particularly like the money they can make crossing the ocean to Ariella to bring back exotic goods.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Arms and Armor in Bloodhelm

There are several armor and arms shops in Bloodhelm, but this shop is one of the oldest in Bloodhelm.  The building is well built and sturdy, a small keep in itself.  There is a solid basement, warded against magic and flood, with three floors above ground.  The top two floors are for the owner and his workers to live in, while the main floor is for displaying the arms and armor they sell.  There is a small smithy outside where speciality items are made. Most of the armor and weapons are made else where, imported from the best makers of Martapa.  The current owners, Sydney and Thera Wagonhitch bought the place twenty years before, and enjoy their jobs.  They use to be adventurers at one point in their lives and love to hear tales of adventure from others.

In terms of roleplaying, this shop has all the standard equipment available for your world, but a 20% chance of having a speciality item a player may want.  Prices are standard, but if the shop has to make something, the item will cost 30% more then list.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Torm the Druid

I don't talk much about druids in my stories, other then they are people who tend the wild places and don't like intrusions from the outside world.  These are people who tend animals and plants with more love then they would show another human, but that doesn't mean they hate or even dislike humans, per say.  They just feel more comfortable with the wilds.

That is how it is with Torm.  He never meant to be anything but a farmer, but when he saw how a local druid fixed up his father's beloved draft horse, Torm wanted nothing more then to be a druid.  When he was close to the age of majority he found the same druid and talked to him, begging him to take  him on as an apprentice.  The druid agreed, saying it was time and then spent the next four years teaching Torm what he knew.  After the training, the druid found a patch of unattended forest/farm land and let Torm watch over it.  Torm takes his responsibility very seriously, watching over not only the plants and animals, but the locals as well.  Most people don't want to harm the wilderness or animals, so Torm understands they do not do most of their harm on purpose.  He teaches them how to use properly the wilds as well as protect them.

Torm is an average sized man, wearing brown robes and plain gear.  He speaks slow and deliberate, never mincing words.  He does not put up with people who abuse the wilds, or innocent people, and will take appropriate steps to stop it.  Your adventuring party can meet him when they need help, or the druid needs help, or can be approached by him if they are abusing the wilderness.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Life of a Mom...

No blogging this week, for which I apologize.  My oldest is at Outdoor School this week and being the loving mom I am, I'm helping out!  Barely have time for breakfast!  See you all next week!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Magical Cloaks

Like any good roleplaying/fantasy world, my world has cloaks of magical abilities.  They can be elaborately decorated to just an ordinary wool cloak.  Enchantments can range anywhere from keeping the wearer extra warm to protection against harm.  Here are some criteria for the cloaks.

1) No matter the material, the material needs to be in good repair for that material.  No holes before enchanting, nothing that needs mending.

2)  The cloak, after being made but before being enchanted, needs to be purified by moon light for three nights.  Cloudy days will interrupt this cycle and it will have to be started over again.

3)  Enchants can range widely, but the more elaborate and more complex the more money and specialized components a mage or priest will need to make it.

4)  Depending on the enchant, looked upon by mages or priests with spells up to look for such things, the item will glow lightly to brightly.  The color will give a clue to what sort of spell it might be, but unless spells to identify the enchantment are used the mage or priest will not know the exact enchantment.

Happy Gaming.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Maybell's Paints in Bloodhelm

With so many nobles, and actors, in Bloodhelm, Maybell's Paints does some good business.  Made from local roots and plants, Maybell makes all her own make-up.  She takes pride in each one she sells, guaranteeing you can't get any better pigments anywhere.  She is 6th generation in the business and wants to uphold the family name.

This small building, having one main room and a living quarters upstairs, is always full  of nobles and ordinary people during the day.  During the evening Maybell and her apprentices are busy turning roots and plants into pigments.

A good way to use this in game is to need pigments for a job or to have the mage need some pigment for their magical item/potion/scroll.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Kalesdi, Young Warrior of Bloodhelm

Many young people come to Bloodhelm and other major cities to join the warrior or mage colleges and learn a trade.  Kalesdi is no exception.  Just in to her 17th year she left her farming life to learn the way of the sword.  Her parents were fine with that, helping her by giving her sever silver eagles to make her way there that they had saved for her dowry.  She is small, but able to keep up with any boy her age and her parents figured she'd never settle down anytime in the foreseeable future.  She hopes to learn to use all sorts of weapons and perhaps be part of the city guard at some point.  She wouldn't mind adventuring, either, if it gave her experience in using weapons and protecting people.

Kalesdi is a just a little over five feet, dark hair, light skin and covered in freckles, (which she hates anyone pointing out).  Her eyes are green and she has a lovely face when she smiles.  She is likely to be found at the warrior school or a near by tavern in Bloodhelm, trying to hear war stories, but not drinking.  Her uncle drink himself to death and so she doesn't touch more then a mug in an evening, if that.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wagon of Holding

Though gypsies do actually live in big, covered wagons, they usually just pack up their things into the wagon, after bringing it all out for dinner.  One very powerful gypsy, many years ago, got sick of having to pack and unpack so decided to have his own portable house, the size of a wagon.  Being a powerful mage, he anchored an extradimensonal place to his wagon.  Inside is a full blown house with 3 bedrooms, a living room, a working kitchen, pantry, and a small library.  The house is stocked, most of the time, and can comfortably house and feed up to ten people.  The beds are comfortable, have silk sheets and thick blankets, and there are lots of books from all over Martapa to read.  The man who made the wagon is long gone, but the wagon turns up every now and again, and is a wonderful addition to the wandering gypsy train or adventure party.