Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

As 2014 closes out, it is a time to reflect about how the year went and look forward to the year to come.  Like everyone else there are things I regret in the last year.  Not writing enough, not taking time for me, not finishing those projects I really wanted to get done.  My biggest revelation of the year was when I went in for an early colonoscopy, because my father had colon cancer, and they found a carcinoid tumor in the early stages.  It really puts a perspective on your life.  Though it wasn't entirely life threatening, (it would have been if left to it's own devices), it makes you stand up and take note.  My husband and I spend a lot of time volunteering for this and that and decided we don't have enough "us" time.  So we took a whole day for us on the launch of the World of Warcraft's last expansion.  You know, it was great.

As 2015 comes in, think of these few things.  Family is important.  Spend as much time as you can, (or can stand), with them.  Petty squabbles, throw them out the window.  They are not important.  Those projects, sitting on the shelf, take them off the shelf and get them done.  That trip you wanted to do but are putting if off because life is too busy, take it.  Tell those people you love that you love them.  I know it's all cliché, but they are all so true when your life is put in perspective. And if you are writing, keep writing!

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Races of Martapa Part XXVII

Ancient Elven Names: The names of Ancient Elves varies and are very eclectic. Names like Kia, Kiah, Kianna, Tyee, Tyrell and Tessa are examples.  A lot of more modern American names seem to fit this race of people. Very few take actual nature names, like Amber or Acorn, but may have a name that "translates" into a nature name.  Baby books are good for helping you with this.  Happy Gaming!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Races of Martapa Part XXVI

Ancient Elf Adventures: Ancient Elves would usually be good for mages, clerics, or rangers.  I have a class of Gryphon Riders, but these are the elite who protect the King and Queen so I wouldn't allow your players to be one of these on a whim, since they would have access to a Gryphon and should be restricted to being near the King or Queen.  I would give a plus to Intellect and perhaps Agility, (but you could argue their wings make them less agile at least on the ground), and take away from Strength and Constitution.  If your campaign requires a flying feat/proficiency to fly they should get this for free, though you could restrict their flight capabilities.  Spears are a favorite weapon of the Ancient Elves, so you might offer this up as a freebie.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Races of Martapa Part XXV

Ancient Elves Religion and Alignment: Ancient Elves worship the Lady Tymara, Goddess of Sun and Elements.  They also worship Wesa and Iktomi, as well as the Lady Catiana.  They are normally of Lawful Good alignment, though Neutral Good is not uncommon.  As a whole, they are never evil, though there are some neutral alignments on occasion.  They will stop any who worship dark gods and will aid those of the light.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Races of Martapa Part XXIV

Ancient Elves Relations: Ancient Elves stick to themselves for the most part and let the outside world be as it is.  They find everyone else as children and will treat them accordingly.  This is true even if said ancient elf is speaking to a three hundred year old dwarf and the ancient elf is merely a few decades old.  They appreciate the Akicitia, for both races live for so long and revere the Lady Catiana.  And though the Akicitia are ground bound, the ancients will come to their aid if need be.  They do not tolerate ogres or their kin.  Minotaurs are a case by case bases because they know the Black Wizards are using them.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Races of Martapa Part XXIII

Ancient Elves Society: These elves have maybe three or four children in a life time and thus are very protective of them, childhood not ending, really, until the child is close to 100 years old.  A single family will live in a small niche in the aerie and everyone uses the common spaces for other activities. This is a monarch society, where either there is a queen or a king, sex doesn't really matter on station.  Castes do, however, play a part in their society.  They speak, Ancient Elven and most speak the High King's tongue, as well.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Races of Martapa Part XXII

Ancient Elf Descriptions: Winged or Ancient Elves are the oldest of all the mortal races.  They live for several thousand years, tend to be soft spoken and graceful.  They stand around five and half feet tall, (taller then wood elves), and their skin can be pale to dark ebony.  Their wings, which appear to be soft angel wings, can range from silver to black, and this usually depends on family lineage.  Their wings are as tall as they are and their wing span is twice their height.  Their ears are tapered, their bodies lithe and they weigh 3/4 of what a wood elf would weigh.  They fly because of magic, not physics, so don't try to rationalize it biologically, (which I've tried).

Monday, December 15, 2014

Races of Martapa Part XXI

Wood Elf Names:  My naming of Wood Elves is random, though there is some rhyme or reason to it.  Many wood elves have names to do with items in nature, such as Amber, Crystal, Holly, and Pine, but other names are more "normal" names such as Chay or Nye.  My suggestion is to think of the character you are making.  If they are more the ranger type, go with the nature type names, if they are more a magic user or noble, go for a name which is more sophisticated.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Races of Martapa Part XX

Wood Elf Adventures: Some possible classes for your campaign world would be fighters, rangers, mages, clerics, and bards.  They would also be eligible for a class of my own making: Clan Warrior, a special kind of fighter/mage/cleric.  Elves should be given a free language and the option of the bow or a second free language they can write.  I would give a bonus to Agility, Charisma and intellect, but take from Constitution and Strength if you want to tweak them from your own stock elf.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Races of Martapa Part XIX

Wood Elves Religion and Alignment: Most Wood Elves worship Targon, Elven God of Magic, though Wesa, God of Animals, and Iktomi, God of Nature are also worshiped heavily..  Some also worship the Goddess of Neutrality, Catiana.  Most Wood Elves are Lawful to Chaotic Good, with some being Neutral.  Few are evil, but they can be corrupted to be so.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Races of Martapa Part XVIII

Wood Elf Relations:  Elves, in general, look at humans in disdain, thinking them too young and inexperienced. Not all elves feel this way, but most do.  Dwarves are too gruff for elven tastes and drink foul brews.  Akicitia are honorable and though barbaric in some ways, elves find them good friends.  Ancient Elves are revered, ogres are hated and feared, and Minotaurs, though hated for helping the Black Wizards, were once good friends.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Races of Martapa Part XVII

Wood Elf Society: Family size is small, usually only two or three children in their long lifetimes which can last a millennium.  They live in homes upon the ground amongst the trees or high in the tree branches if in the north.  In the south they like homes which are burrowed into the ground or hillsides.  These are a people ruled by a king or queen, though in the south they are called a Chief.  There are tiers of society, but an elf will always help an elf in need.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Races of Martapa Part XVI

Wood Elf Description: Wood Elves stand around five foot in height, though they can be taller, with ears which taper.  Hair color can range from white to purple, brown to black and everything in between, with one exception.  Only the elves of the Sunstar line have red hair.  Eye color also range, usually matching their color, though not always, especially for the odd colors like white or red.

There are two major subsets of Wood Elves, northern and southern.  The northern are more pale skinned and do actually live in the woods. the southern elves are black skinned and live more in the open plains and foothills.  The only difference in the subsets is the skin color.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Races of Martapa Part XV

Dwarven Names: Clan names usually have a stone or metal in part of the name, like Stonecrusher or Bluesteel.  Male names usually blend some sort of tree and metal or stone, or are just a stone or metal.  Some examples would be Stoneoak or Granite.  Female names are usually a blend of herbs or flowers with stone or metal, or just herbs or flowers.  Some examples would be Steelrose or Heather. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Races of Martapa Part XIV

Adventures: Dwarves could make good warriors, clerics, (because you have to be healed to keep fighting, rangers and thieves. Mages are possible, but they are very battle orientated. Barbarian rager types would be a good choice, though so would paladins.  I would give them the axe skill free, (regardless of class), and maybe a crafting skill for free or half price.  They get a bonus to strength and Constitution, but their Charisma and/or Intellect suffers.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Races of Martapa Part XIII

Religion and Alignment: Dwarves are usually Lawful to Chaotic Good, with some Neutral alignments.  Rarely are dwarves evil, but there are a few.  Most Dwarves worship Taniger, though all give heed to Cataina and Wesa.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Races of Martapa Part XII

Relations: Dwarves, for the most part, get along with other races, taking everything humans do with a grain of salt since they are short lived.  They use to have a connection with the Ancient Elves, serving as guards for the royalty, but that died out over the centuries for a reason they will not say and for the fact the ancient elves eventually died out.  Minotuars they view with a grudging respect, though they don't deal with them much since they are in league with the Black Wizards.  They dislike ogres and though they don't go out of their way to harm them, they most likely will not help them either.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Races of Martapa Part XI

Society: Dwarves live underground in large warrens of stone so they can be near mining nodes of one type or another.  There are settlements above ground who cultivate the timber needed for the ships and boats they make, as well as ports where the ships are made.  Also to produce the wool and cotton to weave with. They are ruled by a King and are broke up in Clans. Families train their young in their profession, making for generations of the same crafter in the same compound.   While humans live around 60 years, dwarves can live up to five hundred years.

Families vary in size and make up. Dwarves have on average three children.  Depending on the craft it will depend on ho many people live in a compound. Weavers will have more extended family then engineers. Those of more military strips will have large extended families in one area so those family members who are not serving in the military can help take care of family who have members in the military as well.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Races of Martapa Part X

Dwarven Descriptions: Dwarves are about four feet in height and bare a darker skin then humans.  Hair color varies, usually one color more prominent in a particular clan then another.  Eye color varies, though granite and slate gray are common.  Men bare long beards decorated with beads and other little trinkets, and woman usually have long braids. They wear stout cotton tunics (both females and males), heavy pants, leather boots which go to their knees and flop over, and usually a thick leather belt to carry their various tools and weapons.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Races of Martapa Part IX

Human Names:  This is more of a regional thing and my suggestion is to find a baby name book. (a baby name book for naming characters of any race is great!) For northwestern Tridon, I would use Irish or Scottish names.  For Southwestern Tridon I would use good, old English names.  For Tayke, Japanese and for Eastern Tridon I would use Native American names, and I don't mean Gold Eagle or Running River, I mean actual Native American names.  For Ariella I would use Roman names or even African names.  For any of these places snatching fun names from fantasy movies and books is always fun.

Next week: Dwarves

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Races of Martapa Part VIII

Adventurers: Humans become adventurers for a myriad of reasons.  Most want to see the world and find treasure.  Some what to find knowledge of magic or lost civilization.  Some leave because of a bad situations in their home village or town.  What ever the reason, humans are curious about the world around them and want to know about it or try to control it. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Races of Martapa Part VII

Religion and Alignment: Humans are very diverse.  Alignments run from Lawful Good to Chaotic Evil, though player characters should be more on the good side unless there is a really good reason not to be.  Religion is the same.  Every God in the pantheon is worshiped by humans, though the Gods of Light and Neutrality are more openly revered then the Gods of Dark.  The humans of Ariella and northern Tiana are much more religious then those of southern Tiana.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Races of Martapa Part VI

Relations: People of the north frown upon their southern counterparts.  They find them soft and unable to survive the rigors of true honor.  The people of the southern reaches find their northern neighbors ignorant barbarians and thus find them in disdain, even the nobility of the north.  The people of Tayke find other humans as children, though more in a protective parent way, then a degrading remark.  Their civilization was (and still is) more advanced then the rest of Tridon and they want to help the rest of the world settle into peace and harmony as they once had.  The people of the plains do not judge a person by origins, but on the person themselves.  They prefer to be left alone and the like the simple life, though that does not make them simple.  The people of the Empire believe themselves better then all other humans, and do not get along easily with the humans of the north.  Humans find all non-humans intriguing, though most do not care for minotuars or ogres.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Races of Martapa Part V

Occupations and Trade: Agriculture and forestry are very important, as is fishing, in northwestern Taina.  Calabay houses the largest fleet of merchant and fishing vessels and makes the finest ships in Tridon.  Timber, fishing, and farming are the big trading opportunities in south western Taina, along with trading with the Empire which brings in good amounts of gold.

   The peoples on the east side of Taina are dependent on agriculture, and in Tayke's case, intellectual pursuits are also important.  There are many foods on the east side that the west does not have, and visa versa.  Llama wool is also very sought after by those on the west side, and the people of eastern Taina do very well by selling this.

   Ariella has agriculture, minerals, (lots of gold and silver, along with gems), and meat.  But things like lumber have to be imported in great quantities.  Fishing on the coasts is also very important to the communities that live there.  The Empire has vast estates farmed by slaves, while free peoples are more like to hunt and gather.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Races in Martapa Part IV

Culture: Culture in the north Taina is very clannish.  People are not broken up by caste, but rather how they are related to one another.  Commoners play with royalty with out a second thought.  In the north the focus is on surviving the environment and creatures, not jockeying for power.  Protecting the clan's honor is more important then most everything in the north.

    The culture of southwestern Taina is very medieval knight like, with much more English roots then any other culture.  Caste is a big thing in southern Taina and people are reminded of how lowly they are all the time.

   The culture of Tayke is very Japanese, save women can have an equal role in the world.  Family is very important and loyalty to a leader is absolutely necessary.  The Tayke culture actually comes from a small island nation which is long gone by the time of the High King's Sword, so their culture is very well established.

    The culture of the Empire is very much like the Roman Empire of old.  Men serve in the military for two years, women are subservient to men, though not as bad as the old Roman Empire, and there are slaves.  Being a noble definitely means freedom here.  They are also very religious and take the Gods very seriously.  A slight against the Gods is a slight against them.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Races of Martapa Part III

   Physical Descriptions: The people of north Tiana and west of the Tsalagi Mountains are hardy individuals who are large, strong people with red or dark hair, though blond is also possible.  They tend to be pale in complexion and wear at least some bit of fur upon their clothes.  Most of the men grow beards not unlike dwarves, decorating not only them, but their hair as well with beads, small, hollow bones, and braids. Clothes of the north are sturdy, sometimes leather, other times of good, stout wool.  They are usually decorated with fanciful creatures or designs.  darker colors are preferred, though bright colors are used for wedding and other important events.

  Humans of southwestern Taina have blond or brunette hair, pale skin and most of blue eyes. They are more lithe then their northern counterparts.  Clothes are thick wool to stave off the chill of the ocean breezes.  Dress is conservative, and men wear doublets with billowing shirts beneath.  hats with long feathers for the men are the fashion, along with shoulder length hair, loose or in neat ponytails.  Woman wear their hair in fanciful braids or loose.  They speak with an English accent, heavier on the coast.

  Humans on the eastern side of the Tsalagi Mountains appear Japanese in appearance and a good portion of their culture is Japanese like.  Humans on the far eastern section of Taina are more Native American in appearance and somewhat in culture, leaning toward Lakota and Cherokee nationalities.

  Humans of Ariella are just as diverse as those in the north, but bare black skin, black hair with brown eyes.  They stand a little taller then the average Taina human. They wear togas with pallas defining those of the upper crust and of the military, or simple, no sleeve dresses for the woman with pallas of their own.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Races of Martapa Part II

   Humans are the most diverse and adaptable of all the races on Martapa.  They are independent thinkers, strong users of magic, and worship all of the Gods.  they also differ greatly from region to region.  Maratpa has two major continents, Tiana and Ariella.  The northern continent, Tiana, would be equivalent of say Ireland, northwest America, and the plains of North America all wrapped around by the typical northern hemisphere coasts.  The southern continent, Ariella, is a mixture of Africa and Australia, (just depending on where you are).  Ariella is by far the biggest, but Tiana is where I spend most of my story time, thus it is by far more flushed out, and thus, so are the races.
   The humans of Tiana vary by region. Tiana is separated by a large mountain range in the middle, Pacific northwest/Ireland region on the west, plains on the east side. On the west and the north would be more your Ireland region.  Here is the home of light skinned, red and brown haired, (and lack of a better term), barbarians.  They aren't really uncivilized but they are the most hand to hand trained, hulking humans of the kingdom of Tridon.  To the south lays your Pacific Northwest type people. They are lithe, blond and brown haired, blue eyes are common and these people would bring to mind your knights in shinning armor type of people.  On the east side of the mountains you have a lot of Native American looking people, (though in the time of my book there is a lot of western looking humans over on the east side, and a small pocket of Japanese looking people.
   To the south is the Empire of Ariella and free pockets of humanity.  The Empire covers nearly two-thirds of the continent, starting in the east, and the people here are black skinned, (though of varying hues,) and black haired.  To the west are the free pockets of humanity who live in free cities amongst the other races of Martapa. These people appear Indian, with olive skin and dark hair.

Tomorrow: Humans continued.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Races of Martapa

   The first step to making a character for the world of Martapa is to pick a race.  This will be an important choice as it will shape how a person speaks, looks, acts, and responds to various events, not to mention how others will view your character.  A dwarf or human will be accepted every where, an elf would be looked upon with awe, while a minotaur or half-ogre would be looked upon by disdain.  Elves make better mages, while minotuars will be great fighters.  The following entries will discuss the back ground of each race in a little bit of depth, what each race looks like, and where they are most likely to be found.

   Each race will have some sort of bonus to one or more stats along with some sort of negative to one or more stats.  Each one is meant to balanced, so no one race has an advantage over another, other then to make them better at one class or another depending on the race.

   On Martapa there are many races to choose from.  Following is a list of the races of men, though there are other races, such as fairies and centaurs.  These, I feel, are the races that should be allowed in a campaign.

    The races of men are: Humans, Dwarves, Wood Elves, Ancient Elves, Akicitia, Tsula, Half-elves, Minotaurs, Ogres, Half-Ogres and Skiegs.

Tomorrow: We'll start with Humans!

Monday, October 13, 2014

High King's Sword: The Roleplaying Game

I'm laughing as I type this.  My big project, now, since I'm only revising my stories at the moment, is to truly do a workable roleplaying game system.  Since my husband and I played so long in my world, you'd think it would be an easy task, but I'm beginning to see why it takes so many people to make a roleplaying game.  Over the next months, I'm going to try and write my blog articles like sections in a gaming book.  I'm hoping things will go smoothly, but we'll take it one day at a time.  Hopefully, by the end of this endeavor, I'll be able to give a person a working model of a roleplaying game system which they can just print out and go with.

I'm going with the assumption that this is more a supplement to a D20 gaming system, so all information will refer to rules for D20.  There are a lot of D20 gaming systems out there, though I recommend Pathfinder as your base D20 system.  Then, feel free to use my gaming world using that system.  I hope you have fun!

Tomorrow we will start with races!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Updating Your World

Just like writing a story, your roleplaying world may need to be revised from time to time.  As you play in your world you notice things, places, people which need to be changed in one way or another.  Perhaps the ability is not balanced, perhaps you found a better way to do something.  Here are a few ideas I have for putting these new items into your world without messing it up.

1) Keep track of your changes. Sometimes, in our busy lives, we forget what we've changed and players like continuity.  I changed my "Priest" title from "Mage" to "Priest" because it was just too confusing as to who was a Mage versus who was a Priest.  I had to go back through all my notes, (and stories) and fix all my "Mages" who needed to be "Priests".

2) Try not to make huge changes.  Don't suddenly make your world magical after having limited magic.  The repercussions in your campaign would be huge.  Try to keep them small, such as an item's ability changing from "protection from magic" to "protection from fire".  Try to keep the changes to your world small, unless there is a very good reason to change.

3) If you have to make a huge change, justify it.  I'm not sure about you, but when Dragonlance changed from super magical to no magic, I protested with my wallet.  Same can be said about the Star Wars series that went to a Borg like race.  Huge changes in the way a world has to make sense and not change the feel of the world.  Now if a huge earthquake rips the world apart, but doesn't change the use of magic, (or lack of use), but adds to the tension, then feel free to use it, just do so with caution.

Happy roleplaying!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Keeping Track of Your World

As I tried to think of a good topic today, whether help aids or ideas from my world, I couldn't think of something I hadn't done yet.  I know there are things that I haven't done yet, but trying to figure out what that is, I'm at a loss.  So here are a few things I think I'll do in the next week or so:

1) Make a list of topics.  I have been keeping track of my blog titles, but they are badly organized.  I think if you keep things organized by people, places, things, ideas, etc, it would be easier to see what I've done.

2)  Make a list of ideas you want to work on.  I have a lot of down time when I'm subbing for the secretaries at our schools, so I should use that to think of possible ideas.  Usually I've been using that time to work on Battle of the Books stuff, (also a school relate thing), but I can probably sneak in a few minutes for myself.

3) Have hard copies of each article so you can refer to them later.  I have a word document with my articles, separate one for each article type and then update about once a month my hard copy.  The updating is the hard part.  There is that time thing again!

4) Review what you've done on occasion.  It will make things easier if you know what you've written.

Happy Writing!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Tips on How to Keep Writing

As I miss doing my blog this week because of a bump in my life I realize that I need to keep writing, no matter what, especially after said bump.  So here are some things which I'm going to start doing in my own life to keep doing what I love.

1) Give myself time.  As busy as my life is with two kids, a temp job, and a ton of volunteering that feels like a full time job, I realized I need to give myself time to write.  I've scheduled myself, (because I live and die by a schedule), an hour in the morning which I use for writing, editing and brain storming.  It doesn't always work, but it's there so I will at least try.

2) Get that idea on paper.  As I lay in the hospital awaiting my procedure I realized there was so many story ideas I hadn't even written down and that how would my kids ever know about them?  Even if you just jot the idea down it will feel good.  Maybe you will never get to the idea, but maybe someone in your family will.

3) Write where ever.  I keep a tablet with me pretty much where ever I go.  You never know when a good idea will hit and you'll have to write it down or forget it.  I suggest pulling over if you are driving when the idea hits. :)

4) The most important thing is don't let an opportunity pass you by.  Just because you think you will never get published, as a amateur genealogist I love to read my dad's stories and the histories my grandma wrote down.  Maybe nobody but family will read it, but it doesn't mean it's not worth the effort!

Happy writing!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Deciding What Should Be in Your World Part III

1) What is transportation like?  Are horses common or is walking on foot the norm?  Or is there some other transportation to fit in with a steam punk setting?  This is important because sometimes you don't want the characters to get somewhere quickly and if they have access to horseless carriages, that might be harder for you to do.

2) What do your races look like?  Are they just as the book says or are there important differences?  In my world, elves with red hair have a special legacy, they are descended from Veo Sunstar, and only that line can bare elves with red hair.  Things like this are not only fun to put in, but gives your world depth.

3) What groups can your characters inspire to be part of?  In my world there is the Wolf Warriors and the Society of the King.  In Forgotten Realms, there is the Harpers.  Little groups like this help give depth to your world and give your players some goal to reach.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Deciding What Should Be In Your World Part II

Here is a few more things to think about in your world when you are creating it.

1) Technology.  I mentioned magic, but what if you want some steam punk type objects in your fantasy world.  Think hard on this.  If you give it to your players, your bad guys need to have them too, and that may let things to get out of hand.  Another way to put tech in is simple things, like water flowing into houses, sewers, gas lights, but no weapons.

2) What classes do you want?  We always have the core classes, and with Pathfinder, a few newer ones.  But my husband and I have said no to prestige classes.  They are not balanced, no matter what the creators say, especially if you have your own "Brian" in the form of my husband.  If there is a loop hole, he'll exploit it.  If you do want prestige classes because one player really wants one, I suggest you have a bad guy, (or three) with the same class or one that can counter that class.  It may seem unfair to the player, but it really is the only way to balance out the prestige classes.

3) How does the hierarchy work?  Do you have Kings and Queens, Emperors, Democracy, village elders, clans?  Is there a mix in your world?  This is important so your characters have an idea where they are in the scheme of things.

Part III tomorrow

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Deciding What Should Be In Your World

When taking on the project of being a GM, first you have to decide what setting and system you want to use.  Most of the time this is a group effort, because you want all your players to like the system you are using.  If you choose a genre and system, but make up your own world, (as I love to do), there are a few things you should consider:

1) Magic or no magic.  Depending on the system this may not even be a question.  You might want lots of magic, or no magic at all.  Maybe magic is hidden or hard to find or even frowned upon.

2) Treasure.  Will you hand out a lot or be stingy.  These are things to be determined before you start so you are consistent through out the campaign.

3) What races do you want?  Some people like lots of races, while other GMs don't like certain races at all.  Perhaps the elves are the bad guys in this world and you don't want your players to be elves.  In my world there are no gnomes or halflings.

4) Where do you adventure?  Is this a water world, sky world, or just a normal on the ground world.  It is good to establish this before you start so your players can take skills that will help in that world.

5)  What is the main evil?  This seems trivial, but every hero wants some huge darkness to fight.  Even if they don't get to that evil right away, they will work their way toward it.

Part II Tomorrow

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Working with Your Players

So the point of playing roleplaying games is to have fun with the people who are playing with you.  The players and the GM need to remember a few things.  Here are a few things to keep in mind.

1) Your GM is taking time out of his or her schedule to make up a story world and story for your characters to follow.  Be nice.  If you have a criticism, take the GM aside, don't blow up in front of the group.  The GM is going to take the criticism better and won't feel so resentful toward you.

2) GMs need to remember that the players at the table with you are there to have fun.  If you make things too hard, (or even too easy), they are not going to have fun.

3) As a player, the point is for everyone to have fun.  Don't expect everything to be wrapped around you.  There are other players at the table.

4) As a GM remember there is more then one player, or your NPCs.  Make sure everyone at the table gets a little "shine" time.

Happy gaming!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Tombs of Karoon Part III

Lord Varian of House Karoon was a beloved ruler by most.  He knew his subjects when he would go places, knew where his food came from, and addressed his servants with a smile and a laugh.  When he died at the ripe old age of eighty three he was dearly missed.  His tomb was simple, as he never really liked gaudy.  The swords and gear were simple, with simple embellishments, and the pictures painted on his walls were beautiful and elegant, but simple.  His sword, Thunder, was placed in the tomb with him, because his son couldn't bare to part his father from his sword even in death.

Possible adventure ideas for this tomb could be the following:
1) The House of Karoon would like the sword recovered from either a thief which stole it or from the tomb itself.

2) The tomb has been desecrated and the House wants the insult avenged.

3) The tomb has been cursed by someone who did not like Varian and the House of Karoon wants him laid to rest.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Tombs of House Karoon Part III

The contents of tomb will vary from age to age, and person to person.  Most will have a small horde of jewelry and wealth, if the tomb hasn't been plundered.  The wine, if any, might still be good or vinegar. The dead will be decked out in finery and beautiful weapons.  But this all hinges on whether the tomb has been plundered or the weather and time haven't opened the tombs to the air above.

The most common monsters to find are mummies, skeletons, guardian skeletons, golems and wights.  One can always scale the undead to their group.  It might even be fun to have a curse put on anyone who opens a tomb, (magical which can be dispelled in the normal means, but you might add in a hard way to get it done).

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Tombs of House Karoon Part II

The general layout of a tomb is fairly simple.   There are stairs which lead down from a secret door, (though not really that secret), from the decorations above ground.  The stair length can vary, but isn't usually longer then sixty feet.  These stairs lead to a large, open area meant as a greeting area with pictures and statues of the deceased.   From this room there are three doors.  The side doors lead to storage rooms.  One room usually holds weapons and armor, along with any hobbies the deceased may have had.  The other holds food and cloth.  The room which is straight across from the stairs is the tomb itself, holding the highly decorated stone sarcophagus.  The walls are decorated with stone sconces, murals, and/or tapestries.  Sometimes married couples are interned together, and both of their portraits and hobbies are present.

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Tombs of House Karoon

House Karoon was sundered in the time of the Chosen, but even before it fell, Karoon had huge tombs with beautiful decorations which were the talk of all Tridon.  They usually have an above ground component with underground components as well.  They are usually made of stone, (since wood is so rare out in Karoon), and carved with fanciful animals and scenes.  By the time of the High King's Sword, (about 3000 years after Karoon's fall), the outer parts of the tombs are destroyed by wind or looters, but most of the underground tombs remain intact.

Tomorrow: Details of plans for underground parts of the tombs.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Dungeon at Small Creek Part XXVI

The Goblin lair is very disorganized compared to the village of Darkstone and his people.  Crude huts are everywhere, pigs and chickens run around, and giant spiders have their run of the place.  The smell hits the party before they ever reach the lair and those who have a sensitive stomach it is quite a chore to carry on.  Most of the goblins have only crude spears, though the goblins have clearly looted pieces of human armor and metal weapons.

If the party attacks, the goblins only fight in mobs and if they are whittled down to a few goblins, those goblins will try to run away.  The number of goblins are up the GM.  Really it depends on how many your party can handle.

There are also the giant spiders.  These are standard monster manual giant spiders.  The number is also up to the GM, but there should be quite a few.

Treasure is also up to the GM.  These goblins have been raiding not only Darkston'e village, but surface villages as well, so they could have some good treasure.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Dungeon at Small Creek Part XXV

If the party takes Darkstone's offer, they are led to a tunnel that heads downward, (opposed to most of the other tunnels which lead up to the surface).  The tunnels winds on for quite some time with small off shoots here and there.  If the party side treks to these side tunnels, most of them are empty, hold bats, or have mushrooms growing in neat rows.  One side tunnel is bright, though.  This small tunnel runs into a small cavern and had giant crystals growing everywhere. In the ceiling there is a tube like structure which is bringing light in from the outside world.

Eventually the tunnel leads to a large cavern filled with stalactites and stalagmites, along with small little hovels, goblins and spiders.

Tomorrow: The Goblin Lair

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Dungeon at Small Creek Part XXIV

If the party is found they will be escorted, (at sword point), to Darkstone to decide what needs to be done with them.  Depending on answers from the party and the attitude of the party, there are several things that could happen.

1) Obviously, if Darkstone doesn't like their tone or answers he will ordered them killed.  There are fifty adults and around ten children in the village.  Around a quarter would prove to be a challenge to the party.  (These people should be considered fighters of the same if not a few levels lower then the players.)  They could fight their way out, but it would be bloody.

2) Darkstone takes their answers at face value and turns them around and sends them back to the surface, thinking they are not a threat. He will, however, require a payment for the freedom.  The GM can come up with what that is.

3) Darkstone may really like their answers and ask them to do something for him in exchange for their freedom.  This small task might be to go further into the tunnels and take out a batch of large spiders and their goblin keepers that keep attacking the village.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Dungeon at Small Creek Part XXIII

Darkstone is shrouded in mystery.  He appeared in the small village, named Cave, about fifty years ago, bedraggled, beaten and close to death.  The only thing which saved him was the fact he carried a small fortune in gems and weapons with him.  The healer at the time didn't take all his things, (just a few choice gems), and healed him up.  He limps a bit on his left leg, but his swordsmanship is unsurpassed.  Most believe he is a Blademaster on the run, (and rightfully so), and don't like to test his abilities. 

It took him time to show his leadership abilities. For nearly a year he just worked at retrieving medicinal herbs for Shay, the healer, and watching the workings of the small village.  At the time it was disorganized.  Who ever was the biggest and boldest ruled and took what they wanted of everyone else's.  One day Darkstone went up to the last self made leader and challenged him to a duel.  At the time, no one had seen Darkstone fight, but many liked him for he helped them out, pointed them in the right direction for certain things or gave them sound advice.  The leader in charge was a bully and a thief and when Darkstone ran him through in the first stroke of the duel, those of Cave were ready to follow him.

Darkstone has arranged the patrols, the raids, and the mushroom farming.  He also arranged trade with those denizens who live farther into the caves.  He is protective of his small village and doesn't want to see anyone harmed.

Darkstone appears human, but he looks all of about twenty, so many believe he is a half-elf, if not a full elf, who, for some reason, does not have pointy ears.  He stands a little shorter then a normal human, male, and has a thick head of chestnut hair.  He dresses like a noble, but is not afraid to get himself dirty helping around his village.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Dungeon at Small Creek Part XXII

This small village in the middle of a cave system has an interesting history.  Originally, the village's cavern was used by rogue elves to come to the surface and hunt and gather for a few weeks then return to their haunts underground.  When the village of Small Creek came in, the camp fell into disuse because the rogue elves didn't want to deal with the humans.  When the Wizard came and made his stronghold, the rogue elves approached him and began trade.  But when the Wizard fell to House Merryweather, all sorts started using the camp again, though using other surface to cavern tunnels then the one used by the Wizard.  Now all sorts live and work here, mining in nearby caverns and tunnels, farming mushrooms for trade along with the ore.  The community is fairly well run and cohesive, though these people are still a bunch of rogues who just happen to have a common goal.  They are bound together by the leader of this small village named Darkstone.

Tomorrow: Darkstone

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Dungeon at Small Creek Part XXI

This small town/village is fairly large for underground, (as is the cavern).  There are three large buildings and about two dozen smaller buildings.  The smaller building looks as if they are houses, maybe two rooms with a loft.  (It's hard to tell from the ledge).  One of the large buildings looks to be a shop, for people who seem to be leaving with goods when they hadn't any going in.  This building is close to one of the exits on the opposite side of the cavern from the ledge.  Another of the three large buildings is in the center of the town and perhaps is a meeting hall, for few seem to be going in or out of it at the moment.  And the last larger building looks to be a tavern, and is situated near the "meeting hall".

The ledge the party is on does lead down to the city, which is well lit with the magical crystals.  The town is bustling, as are the small mushroom fields on the edges of the cavern.

The longer the party sits and stares at the town the more likely they will be noticed.  (10% chance each "round", that they will be noticed.)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Dungeon at Small Creek Part XX

After taking out the Drow/rogue elves, the party can move on down the tunnel, which continues to slope downward.  There is still no natural lighting.  After about twenty or thirty minutes the tunnel does get subtly lighter until it's almost like sitting in a room with lamp light.  As they round a corner they will see a large cavern below them as they come out of the tunnel and are on a ledge.  The ledge continues down into the cavern, running downward to the right of where they come out of the tunnel.

The sight below is interesting.  There are dozens of buildings below, a small pond in the middle, the sounds of many echoing up from below.  There many tunnels out of the cavern, with terraced mushroom farms on the sides of the cavern.  There doesn't seem to be any patrols, but all the people that are seen below appeared to be obviously armed.  There is a mix of races below, with none really dominate, of humans, elves and dwarves.  Lighting seems to be produced my crystals in the ceiling of the very tall cavern.  The party can assume they are magical.

Tomorrow: A rough map of the cavern.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Dungeon at Small Creek Part XIX

The tunnel that continues on winds downward for quite some time, with small rock falls, dripping water and moss, but no natural light.  After a small bit of time traversing the tunnel, (since the stables), the party will hear small noises, (if they make a perception check of 25), such as foot scuffling, pebbles tumbling, a cough, something along those lines.   Up ahead is a small patrol of drow/rogue elves.  Make the level appropriate to the party level and add as many in this patrol as you feel necessary.

Small things to remember:
1) No natural light, so who ever has the light source may be a great target.
2) The hallway, at best, is 10 feet across with the ceiling being only 10 to 12 feet high.   This will effect combat.
3)  At best, two people can be up front.

Tomorrow, the small village under the ground.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Dungeon at Small Creek Part XVIII

The south eastern tunnel winds back and forth for quite sometime.  The width varies, but for the most part its between five and ten feet wide.  There are no traps.  Small caverns appear here and there, but none are bigger then a person height deep.  Eventually the tunnel splits, one into a large cavern and one just continues on.

The cavern is about as large as an inn and stables.  There is stone work around the opening and inside.  Noise of shuffling can be heard inside.  There is a light source inside, but it is a ways from the opening.

Inside there are riding lizards being taken care of by undead.  These undead are smarter then the regular zombie, more like a ghoul, but not needing to eat brains.  They will attack anyone who enters and doesn't give them the correct key phrase.  Level ghouls for the party.

There is writing carved into the stones around the doorway.  This was supposed to be a stables, eventually, for the wizard, (who claims to be the ruler of the world).  The stalls are set up more for horses then riding lizards, but clearly the wizard meant to have a large stable full of mounts.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Dungeon at Small Creek Part XVII

After the spiders are taken care of, the party can move down the tunnel for another hundred feet or so before it branches in a north branch and a southeast branch.  Today we'll talk about the north branch.  This winds north for a good fifty feet and opens up into a cavern.  It looks as if, at one time, there was a small pond in the middle of the cavern, but has long since dried up.  There are stalactites and stalagmites through out the room, making it hard to see across the cavern from edge to edge.  The roof is about twenty feet in the air, and with regular light sources a person can not see all across the cavern.

A DC of 25 will allow a person to notice light at the far side of the cavern.  (+5 if they are not standing in their own light circle.)  On the far side of the cavern is an outpost of Drow, (or the equivalent in your campaign), who need to make perception checks to make sure they are not surprised by the party.  In my world I don't have Drow, so these would be rogue elves who do not adhere to rules of society, but I know a lot of people prefer Drow as bad guys.  Make the Drow party a challenge for your party.  I would give them levels and make sure their numbers are a good challenge.

There is the standard treasure, there is a map of the tunnels with cryptic marks on the map, (they mark where the "Drow" camps are), and a note that states they are to wait for reinforcements to attack the nearby House and capture one of the royal family.  There is also camp supplies that can be plundered.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Dungeon at Small Creek Part XVI

The tunnel beyond is hand hewn for a good six hundred feet before returning to a natural tunnel of around ten feet wide, though it varies in width.  Where the worked stone ends there are picks, shovels and mortar buckets left in what looks like mid-use.  The wooden handles are dry and cracking, the mortar is solid, the wooden bucket falling apart around it.  There is no natural light and no light stones so torches or magic spells will have to be used to see anything.  Not too far into the natural tunnel spider webs start to become thick and eventually giant spiders appear in the tunnel.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Dungeon at Small Creek Part XV

The door to the east side of the ballroom leads into a small hallway, with three doors.  One of the doors leads to the east, one to the north and one to the south.  The door to the north leads into a bath room, with a huge bath tub with brass feet, but cracked in several places.  There is a small bit of rubble in the north east corner of the room, but the stone room looks mostly intact.  There are rotten towels on a broken, wooden set of shelves on the south wall near the door, and there is a small fire place on the east wall.  It looks as if charcoal was used in the fire place and a small chimney reaches for the sky beyond the dungeon.

The door to the south leads to a small office.  The place is wrecked, the south wall seems to be smashed in.  The furniture is broken a part, not fallen apart from years of neglect.

There is nothing of value in these two rooms.

The door way on the east end of the small hallway takes a bit to open.  (Part of the wooden frame is in the door's way because the stone above it has broken away.)  After some time the door will open and beyond lays a natural tunnel.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Dungeon at Small Creek Part XIV

The east wall rooms are completely carved out of the stone of the mountain side.  Neither have doors and inside are two obvious library rooms.  The bookcases, made of fine oak, are in pristine condition as our the books that line them.  A desk sits in the north room, which is also in pristine condition, along with chairs and a table.  In fact, even the ink upon on the desk is as fresh as if the vial was just set upon the desk.  This pair of rooms has a stasis spell upon them.  Everything is exactly how the wizard left his stronghold when he was fleeing the House Knights.

The surprise of this room are the skeletal knights which are summoned when someone walks through the door without the "key: tuned to this room.  Since the "key" to this room left with the wizard. There is another key for other locks in the house in the cloak wardrobe in a chest if the party looks. The skeletal knights should be appropriate level for the party, so you may have to tweak the three that are summoned.

The skeletons have no treasure, but there are a lot of books in these rooms that can be hauled off. There are three spellbooks scattered around the rooms on the shelves.  DC 30 to find each one.  Spells in these books are up to the GM, though at least 50% should be necromancy.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Dungeon at Small Creek Part XIII

The second room on the south wall is sad.  Not only is it in sad shape, but the scene within is something to stop the heart.  The room is full of rotten blankets, tapestries and drapes. Rotten pillows litter the room and three light stones still illuminate the dreadful scene.  Amongst the ruin are thirteen humanoid skeletons, all chained by a long, thick chain to the wall.  The skeletons all appear to be women, but it is hard to tell for sure.  As the door is opened the party will see in the center of the room a translucent figure of a beautiful woman.  She will turn to the party and if the first person in is male she will attack.  If the first person in is a female, the translucent figure will ask why she is there.

Three possible things can occur.  1) If the first person in is male, and the party is sufficient level, a banshee attacks.  2) If the first person is male, and the party is low level, a ghost attacks.  3) If the first person in is female the ghost/banshee will ask to be set free so she and her sisters can finally be free of the hell they are trapped in.  She will ask the party to unshackle all the skeletons and then disappear from view.

There is no treasure in this room. (If the ghost/banshee has "treasure" make sure to place it else where in the dungeon.)

Tomorrow: the east wall rooms.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Dungeon at Small Creek Part XII

The rooms on the south wall are large and palatial. Each are the same width as the other rooms but run back twice as far.  They are in perfect condition, compared to the other rooms in the "dungeon", and look as if this was where the wizard tried to sleep at night.  Both rooms are locked and trapped.  The DC on unlocking the doors is 25. The DC for finding the shock trap is 30 and 30 to disarm.  There is a key that will by pass the traps in the rooms on the east wall in a small chest hidden in a wardrobe, but the party would have had to find this first.

The first room is filled with a broken bed frame, (the mattress and blankets are, for the most part, deteriorated and bug eaten), huge brass tub, wardrobes, sculptures and a golem.  One of the sculptures is actually a golem that will activate if the door is unlocked without the key.  Make the golem appropriate for the level of the characters in your party.

There are lots of moth eaten clothes in the wardrobe, some jewels on such clothes salvageable and only worth a little bit.  In the mess of the bed frame is a small chest with some old coins worth roughly 500 gp.

Tomorrow, the second room.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Dungeon at Small Creek Part XI

The two rooms on the west wall upstairs are both bereft doors and about half their depth.  The stone walls in the back (west wall) are collapsed and rubble fills the back half of each room.  There are pebbles and broken beams in the front half of each room, along with broken desks.  Rats scurry in and out of the rubble and their bright red eyes glow in the darkness.  The room on the right has a glow stone which still works and lights up the disaster that use to be two work rooms of some sort.

If a search of these two rooms is done there are no traps, (unless the party is stupid enough to try and move the big boulders then there is a chance to be smashed beneath them), and little of value.  There is one tapestry along the east wall of the left room which is in good condition and worth about 500 gold and showing a scene of valleys and mountains.  There is also a small coffer in one of the smashed desk, with some gold and gems in it.  (The GM should decide how much he or she wants to put in.)

There are also ledgers with purchases, expenses and income, showing that the wizard was selling timber, food and gems which his undead servants were growing or harvesting.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Dungeon at Small Creek Part X

The second room on the wall with the top of the stairs has a shut, wooden door.  If a thief checks the door it is neither locked nor trapped.  There is a small chance that the party may hear noise from inside.  If the battle with the mimic went on for more then about 6 rounds then the ghouls in this room will know something is up and will not have a chance to be surprised.

This room is just as big as the first, with a semi-intact bed and wardrobe.  There is a small stash in this room, so put what you think is appropriate for this room for a treasure.  There are some books in this room and one appears to be a diary.  DC 30 search to find and actually want to take the diary.  The diary is of the wizard who took over the village and had the stronghold built.  You can stick in what ever you would like, but make sure to have the following things.  1) He is obviously sane at the beginning, but slowly goes crazy.  2) He thinks someone is out to get him.  (This does not include the Houses that want to take him out.)  And 3) He goes on about how the world owes him for forcing him to become a wizard when all he wanted to be a Knight.

This room smells horribly and there are pieces of dead everywhere.  If a character is squeamish this would be a good time to point out things like that.

These ghouls will not disappear when they are killed and act just like normal ghouls.  Treasure is appropriate for 1d6 ghouls.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Dungeon at Small Creek Part IX

The first room right next to the top of the stairs has a broken wooden door.  If a thief notices or checks there was a strong lock on the door, but it is busted as well.  The inside of the room is 15' x 20' and is piled with wood debris from broken furniture such as a bed, wardrobe and book shelves.  In one corner is a chest, one would store blankets in, and in the other is the remains of a wardrobe.

In the wardrobe there is rotten clothes.  If a search is done there is a small coffer inside with some necklaces and gems of various values, (up to the GM on values).

The chest is actually a mimic.  Mimics have a +20 to disguise checks, so the Players need to roll against such DCs.

There are no secret doors or other ways out.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Dungeon at Small Creek Part VIII

The stairs up from the ball room on the north room are wooden and rotting.  They are stable in some places but going up the stairs is tricky business.  A DC check against acrobatics or climbing of 20 for each step will keep any steps from breaking under a person or having the person note that the stair is too rotten to step on.  Fall damage is normal, no additional damage for any falls.  The highest spot, (the top of the stairs), is only 20 feet high.

Up above, the floor circling the ball room is in fairly good condition.  If you feel obnoxious have the players roll a perception check ever thirty feet or so to see if the spot any weak spots, but don't over do it, since the second floor is in pretty good condition and supported by stone supports.

There are eight rooms up on the second floor, two on each side.

Tomorrow: Room 1

Monday, July 21, 2014

Dungeon at Small Creek Part VII

The east doorway leads to a large, two story room, probably used as a ball and or feast room.  The tapestries and curtains around the room are torn, molding, moth eaten and falling from their rods.  The small niches for statues harbor some statues, but most are broken.  (A perception check of DC 25 reveals that the human shaped statues are all of one man.)  The floor is a hard wood overlay, broken in many places, as if something huge walked across the surface and left huge foot prints.  Tables and chairs are strewn about the room and when anyone enters magical light stones spring to life, lighting the room adequately, but there are still shadows.  There is a door to the east side of the room and stairs on the northern wall that leads to the balconies above as well as the room above.

When the party enters the room, a large shadow comes to life in the north west corner and unfolds into a large skeleton holding a two handed sword, bits of armor and clothing still attached.  This is a skeletal champion.  The CR is 2 normally, but scale this to fit your party. It should be at least 1 level higher then the party, if not 2 or 3.  On the skeleton is a magical 2-handed sword, a necklace of protection, (appropriate level for your campaign and make sure to add that into the skeleton's armor), and a small pouch of gems.

On top of being Skeletal Champion, if your party is fairly high level, have it able to summon a swarm of smaller skeletons.  Adjust accordingly.

There are no more creatures in this room.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Dungeon at Small Creek Part VI

The southern door leads into a small coat room.  There is a door in the far end of the coat room that leads into the kitchens.  There are broken metal hooks, broken chests and old velvet curtains that have become moth eaten and torn.  There are some old coats and cloaks, but all in a disrepair and covered in dust.  A detect magic will find a single blue cloak with simple embroidery with the aura of abjuration (protection) magic.  The cloak is a Cloak of Protection +3, (or an equivalent).  There is also a secret door that leads into a secret prison in the corner of the cloak room.  The DC to find the secret door is 30. It is not locked by difficult to find.

There are no monsters in this room, except for very large dust bunnies.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Dungeon at Small Creek V

The door to the north leads to what once was the way to the stables.  The hall is straight and goes through two sets of double doors.  The hall is plain, with just small niches for light stones or lamps.  The trap lays between the two sets of double doors.  The DC to find the trap is 25 and the disable it is also DC 25.  When someone steps on the pressure plate in the middle between the two sets of doors the doors lock and then sand begins to poor in and until it fills to almost the ceiling.  After the "fill" line is reached after 20 minutes the sand drains away, the trap resets and the doors unlock.

Past the second set of doors is what use to be the stables.  There enough room for 20 mounts and hay and grain for a good month for them.  There is a stone trough at one end that still holds drinkable water and if a detect magic is cast will show it has a conjuration spell laid upon it. Moss and mushrooms grow on around the trough.  There are skeletons of horses in some of the stalls and one human skeleton with a spear through the rib cage pinned in one of the stalls.

The party will also find a single ghost in here as well.  Two things can happen.  Either the party attacks and take care of the ghost that way, or they can talk to the ghost.  The ghost is the ghost of the stable hand pinned in the stall.  He tells a sad tale of trying to save his horses from the House war party and tried to explain he wasn't trying to help the wizard, but no one would listen to him and killed him.  The raiding party also just left the horse sealed in since they saw the horses as tainted.  This is what saddens the ghost the most, not his death.  The ghost will not attack the party first, but will wait to see what they do.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Dungeon at Small Creek Part IV

After walking into the keep/dungeon the first room was obviously meant to be a reception hall.  It is large, with three ways out on the north, west and east walls.  There are broken remains of benches, the cloth rotting.  Banners, tapestries, and paintings hang askew on the walls, while the floor looks as if there were pictures of tiles at one time. The pictures are hard to discern on the floor and the paintings and tapestries are covered in mold and dust.  Statues of wizards sit in niches, though the features are worn away.  (A perception check of about 40 would allow players to notice they are all of the same wizard in different poses.)

There are three trap pressure plates in this room.  Two, on the sides of the room trigger a patrol of zombies each (1d6+1 each trap).  These zombies have no treasure and disappear when "killed". The middle pressure plate results in a pit trap.  (Sixty feet with spikes.)  The wizard was able to turn this off and on, depending on who he was bringing in to his home and if he wanted them to die horribly.

The DC to find the trap is 20, and the DC to disarm the trap is 25.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Dungeon at Small Creek Part III

The opening to the Dungeon/Stronghold is set into the side of the hillside nearby.  Originally the Wizard had reliefs carved into the stone around the doorway, but was never finished.  Half finished reliefs look twisted, like the Wizard's soul as they writhe around the doorway.  The stout wooden doors are just starting to break down, but they are still strong enough to withstand battering rams for a while.  The doors are protected by a spell of protection which will shock a person with lightning if they try to open the door without the secret word.  A mage can dispel the magic but it takes a high DC to bypass or the runes can be disrupted by a thief, also with a high DC, as determined by the GM.

Just inside the doorway is a pressure plate which summons up zombies to attack those who activate the trap.  1d6+1 zombies are summoned and the DC is 20 to disarm the trap, with a 25 to locate.  The Zombies have no treasure and when they are "killed" they disappear in a poof of smoke like they were never there.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Dungeon at Small Creek Part II

Outside the "Dungeon" lay the ruins of a small town, foundations mostly, but stone chimneys and a few stone buildings still stand.  Trees and brush have begun to over run most of the buildings and there are a few feral farm animals, such as chickens, draft horses, sheep and a few milk cows who are the descendants of the original farm animals.  They stay around the town because predators will not enter the area and the animals know it.

If a group was to come into the town they may encounter several things:

1) Undead, mostly zombies and ghouls, appear occasionally, though they seem to ignore the farm animals.  (Some sort of bond still exists between these once farmers and their livestock, strangely.)  They come in groups, (1d4+1) and attack any living humans/humanoids on sight.

2) They may find the general store, or what remains.  There are some arrow heads, scythes, and metal instruments that still remain in somewhat good repair.  In one corner of the cellar is a small chest of coins the owner had from his business dealings.

3) In the Mayor's house in a rusted, old metal chest is a diary of sorts where he speaks about the Wizard who came and tried to take over the town without magic at first.  This may give some insight to how the Wizard thinks and what the stronghold may be laid out.

Tomorrow: The entrance to the "Dungeon".

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Dungeon of Small Creek

Once a bustling little town upon the Small Creek near Brightwater, this town was taken over by a rogue wizard who wanted his own little empire. He killed the residents, turned them into undead and used them to create a stronghold in the cliffs that ran behind the town.  When his deeds were heard of, House Brightwater sent Knights and mages to take him down, which they did after losing quite a few of their numbers.  The stronghold was blocked off by way of rocks and magic but over the years the wards have weakened and the stones have fallen away, showing the way in once more.  Beyond lays years of undiscovered surprises and what ever the wizard left behind. 

Thus begins our adventure.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Library of Tayke, After Shaniko

After Shaniko came through and crushed Tayke then tried to take over all of Martapa, the knowledge of the Library of Tayke was lost to the world, for the most part.  Some of the knowledge was rescued by a single librarian and his family, though it was only a fraction of what they had.  At this point, all contact with the original Tayke (see my fourth book...hehe), so there was no where to run to.  They headed to a small village in the north, that lived in the caves along the coast.  There he and his family copied every single scroll they had, though it did take time, and spread the knowledge to four winds.  Copies of these scrolls can still be found in treasure troves, private libraries and ruins of villages and towns on the east side of the Tsalagi Mountains.

The library itself was burned to the ground, though the cellar below was not completely destroyed.  If treasure hunters were to look around they would find a secret, magically hidden room in the cellar, (covered in debris and years of vegetation grown), and inside there is a small stash of scrolls.  The contents are up to the GM, but some of the scrolls have ancient magic, some have some engineering skills, and some is history and geography.  These are what the Tayke considered the most important so the GM should consider carefully what they put in.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Library of Tayke, Before Shaniko

The Library of Tayke was not huge by the standards of the Grand Library of Notitia, but it was large.  A single story, with a storage basement, this building had the sweeping roof lines and clay tiles of the city of Tayke, with the vibrant colors as well.  Several attendants took care of the building at all times, along with the scrolls and the few books it held.  (Tayke and its culture used scrolls more then books to hold information.)  Special cases were made for the scrolls, which were usually kept in fancy scroll cases made  of fine metals or carved woods.  Anyone could use the library, for the people of Tayke were all taught to read, from the lowest farmer to the Leader of Tayke himself.  Tayke's library held not only history, but talk about magic, engineering as well as geography.  Many Leaders of other Houses would send their young heirs here to learn about ancient realms, magic and the study of engineering.

Classes were held here every day, and the subject depended on the instructor.  A lot of the time it was history or geography, but sometimes magic and engineering would be taught.  Anyone who could come was welcome.  For a time there was an ogre who wanted to learn to read and the people of Tayke would not turn him away.  He proved to be a worthy ally, saving the House Leader from his own people, though it cost him his life.

Monday, June 30, 2014

The Library of Tayke

The library of Tayke will be different depending on the age someone is adventuring in.  Before the time of Shaniko, the library will be large, well staffed and anyone may access it.  After the War of the Chosen, or the Avatar Wars, the library is destroyed and very little of the knowledge is left, especially after three thousand years of neglect.  Over the next few days I'll go over the two ages of the library in use for your campaign.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Grand Library of Notitia's Gardens

Outside the library, but behind a huge, protecting wall, are the gardens of Notitia.  The gardens hold exotic plants, animals and statuary. Old trees dot the landscape, herbs from all over the world grow here and there are many small animals and birds that populate the area.  There are a few magical creatures, such as fairy dragons and sprites, but they are in the gardens on their own volition.  If they are harmed, the wrath of the Empire falls upon the violator.   There is a crew of forty that cares for the gardens and animals and live just off site with their families in a small little village against the wall.  They have their own gate to enter and exit through, though it is guarded, day and night.  Each year advisors try to outdo each other and give the emperor a rare and exotic gift of a plant or animal.  It's getting harder, but the Emperor loves the competition.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Layout of the Grand Library in Notitia

The Grand Library is three stories high, with a basement, in most places.  The center building is a single story, with a basement.  This center building is the original building and so very small.  There are very few books here, but mostly tables and chairs for people to meet and discuss their finds in the library.  There are two food vendors selling food to eat and drink to sip upon as they talk.

There are three "wings" to the building.  One on each side, except the entrance on the southern face.  Each wing is close to five acres, with three stories and the basement.  Each "wing" is broken down into subjects, one or so each floor.

The western wings holds history on the first floor, but the next two floors are restricted to the Emperor and whom he deems worthy, along with certain caretakers.  The eastern wings hold maps, language, some history from other realms, and studies of the Gods.  The northern wing holds books on plants, animals, mythical creatures, old ruins, old nations and peoples, along with some fictional writings.

The basement, which spans the whole building, holds the rarest of tomes and maps, along with samples of rare finds.  One "wing" is devoted to rewriting and making of new books. This is manned by at least three caretakers at all times and there are always novices and journeymen of all faiths and guilds copying books.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Library Keepers of the Grand Library of Notitia

This large library in Notitia has grown over the years.  It started as a small, one room building the first Emperor designated for the monks he saved to store the little bit of knowledge saved from Shaniko's minions.  But the Emperors that followed loved knowledge as much as they did expanding their empire, so the library continued to grow in size and content.  To take care of all these books and the large building, takes lots of man power.  There are twenty full time librarians, who are ruled by a single librarian who is usually a Priest of the Mother (Catiana).  Then there is the cleaning staff of about thirty, along with a cooking staff of five to feed all the people in small community.  There is always at least three librarians on at all times, even in the middle of the night, and novices and journeymen of many faiths come and copy the older books for the library on a continuous basis.  There are several sections only certain librarians and the Emperor can visit, but this rare because the Empire wants its citizens to be able to read, write and know their history.

Tomorrow the lay out.

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Grand Library of Notitia

The Emperor of Ariella has always harbored a fine library, seeing as the Empire started by protecting a small monastery from the undead of Shaniko.  The library, situated near the palace, but close to the edge of the palace compound so commoners can enter it, is Thirty acres in size.  Not all of it books, maps and scrolls, but also small gardens and zoos intermixed to make for a relaxing area to learn about the history of not only the Empire but the world.

Tomorrow we will discuss the library and it's keepers.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Cory's Library and Print Shop

Cory's has been in Devonshire almost as long as Devonshire has been free of Shaniko and his dark god.  This building is quite large, though most of the building is taken up by a print shop, where the owners of Cory's have always printed books and fliers.  Though expensive, at the beginning, Cory's has been around for so long the High King's people come to the store to learn how to print and how to fix things on the printing presses.  Cory's has several printing machines, all tweaked in some way that they are better then the average printing press.  Some say that Cory's machines are infused with magic, they work so well, but the owners never confirm or deny such claims.

Because they have such a large selection of printing presses, and easy access to the pulp needed for paper, (seeing as they live in a forest), Cory's prints lots of books and sells many of them on site.  Since Devonshire has become a large trading city in the time of High King's Sword, Cory's is always busy and has expanded to several nearby buildings to hold all the equipment, supplies and books.  Cory's will print anything, for a price, and will happily rebind books if asked.  It is likely to find, though not all at the same time, a copy of any book on Martapa in Cory's.

Cory's will also reprint maps and other documents as well.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Jordan Stanerio of Vandez's Library

A merchant of horses and riding gear, Stanerio loves books on horses, mounts of any kind and their gear.  His study's walls are covered in floor to ceiling book cases, most of which hold books on horses and the like.  He does have a few history books and family pedigree books, but most of the books have something to do with horses and other mounts.  Someone looking for a fine horse, with a fine background would do well to borrow some time in Stanerio's library to research the background of that horse. 

This library would be great for not only the paladin just looking for the best horse, but anyone who wishes to find or make magical gear for their mounts.  Stanerio has several books on different enchantment for mount gear, as well as where to get the necessary ingredients for such things.  Stanerio is willing to share his knowledge, for a price.  If someone is truly interested in horses, Stanerio may let them use the library for free.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Lord Ganlian's Private Library

The Ganlian family, though a rich, noble family doesn't produce a lot of outstanding Knights, but mostly scholars.  They are the keeper of Bloodhelm's history, and Martapa's history in general.  In so doing this the family has accumulated a large library of history.  One wing, though small, is nothing but a well organized library.  Lord Ganlian has two librarians who catalog any new arrivals and keep the library clean and organized.  There are the normal pedigree books, rows and rows of them, keeping track of even off shoot branches for hundreds of generations.  There is history books on just Bloodhelm, Tridon and even the Empire.  The Ganlian's have a few books on elves, dwarves, and even some Akicitia.  They have maps from so far back that a few maps are dated back to the founding of the kingdom.  They have picked a few books on magic here and there, but not many. They even have a small section of books that were produced simply for the joy of reading a story.

The section Lord Ganlian is most proud of is that harboring non-magical healing herbs and other non magical healing techniques.  He has books upon books on healing herbs, how to bind broken bones, even how to treat plagues.  Priests of Tinaka come here often to copy his books or to look them over, which the Ganlian family allows them to do for free.  Lord Ganlian always jokes that it never hurts to have a healer in  your corner.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Libraries on Martapa

Though education is pretty wide spread, to point even the non-nobles can learn to read and write, the stock piles of books are far and few between.  Every mage guild and temple has a collection of books from just a few to a whole wing, but there are few actual libraries of books out side such circles.  These collections of books are mostly privately owned, by rich factors that love to have knowledge for the sense of power or for just the knowledge itself.  In the next few days we'll talk about these private libraries and how they may be of use in your campaign.

Tomorrow: Lord Ganlian's private library.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Magic as a Part of Life

Magic is pretty common in Martapa.  You have light stones, magical communication, and magic to be able to speak different languages.  The common person of Martapa does not fear magic users, except if the magic user is attacking them or their city.  Depending on the area of the world, really changes how much magic is used outright.

Tridon has many magical amenities in every day life.  People of Tridon use it to heat their baths, light their homes and sometimes communicate with people far away.  Mages can affect the weather and navigate ships.  The same can be said for the Empire, though they also use it to move water, rid of sewage and garbage and upon the battle field to communicate and decimate their enemies. 

Dwarves use a bare minimum of magic. They use it for simple things like light stones and for sailing, but not much in battling or to make life very easy.  Elves use it in almost everything they do, even saddling a horse.

The hidden city of Tayke uses it in conjunction with engineering and have mechanical messengers, cleaners of sewers, even creation to rid of rodents.

Every location uses magic to heal in one form or another, but depending on the person, the healing can be amazing to just adequate.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Writing During the Summer...For Your Kids

I don't know about your children, but mine are out of school in a few days.  They plan on hanging with friends, playing video games and lounging a lot.  I plan for them to do chores and not let their brain die slowly over the summer.  One of my children loves to write, so I figured I'd have both of them write down what they do this summer.  No big long essays, though I'll shoot for essay type writing, but just something to keep their brain working.  Basically I'll have them write their own "Blog" but not on-line.  I also suggest, for other fun brain activities, that they read books and do a little math, just to keep sharp.  You can find good, free on-line worksheets for any level and there is usually good help guides for those parents that don't have an engineer or rocket scientist as a spouse to explain the math to their children.

Happy Summer!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Eating Habits of Humans

Humans, like most people, like to eat.  They have breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as a break in the afternoon.  Depending on the location, the afternoon meal changes.

Breakfast is usually light, whether in the north or south, though farmers break that rule.  Those in the city usually have bread and cheese, some of the richer people having eggs, as well.  Farmers have fried meat, bread, eggs and maybe a little milk.

Lunch, for most, is usually a soup, with bread and cheese, or fruit if it is available.  Farmers, for lunch, usually have some bread and maybe fruit or cheese, depending on what they have that time of year.  During the winter they may have soup, since they have less field work to do.

The mid-afternoon break is usually small, consisting of fruit, cheese or bread, and tea if one lives in the city, or wine if you live in the empire.  This is mostly to pass the hottest part of the day in the company of friends.

Dinner is the biggest meal of the day, usually consisting of soup with meat in it or a meat platter of some sort, bread, fruit or vegetables, and possible some cheese.  This is about the only time poorer people have meat, and maybe not even then.  Ale is a common drink with dinner, wine if the people are richer.  Richer people of sweet treats as desert, though even poorer people manage sweet treats on some holidays and special occasions.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Eating Habits of Wood Elves

Elves do eat three meals a day along with a small meal between lunch and dinner.  Breakfast is usually light, a bread and or fruit, with a light wine or water if on the trail.  Lunch adds a little meat or some sort of cheese.  If on the trail, elves will usually eat their version of hard tack with berries and nuts mixed in for a high protein meal.  Dinner is a large affair with three courses of salads, berries, fruits and nuts.  Usually a course of meat is served, as well, though it is a small portion.  The small meal between lunch and dinner is often called "Relaxation".  If in a city the "meal" consists of crackers, cheese and a little fruit.  Richer homes have wine with the "meal" that most use as a social and rest time before the last chores of the day must be finished.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Eating Habits of Dwarves

So every race has a certain way and certain diet they eat.  Dwarves are no exception.  The dwarven day is pretty similar to most other races, a breakfast, lunch and dinner.  But they also have a time called "Ale Time".  This is after dinner and before bed, a social time when many dwarves get together to meet friends or be with family and drink ale.

Dwarves eat a lot of meat and bread, though they like vegetables and fruit as much as the next person.  And every meal, no matter the time of day, is accompanied with ale.  Most of the bread is heavy, wheat bread, dark in color and grainy in texture.  Meat can range from goat to fish, though they prefer red meat if possible.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Communications on Martapa

There are several ways communications are sent and received on Martapa. Here are the major ways.

1) Letters brought by runners.  There is a whole network of runners not only in Tridon, but Ariella as well.  Stations are spread out for rest areas and supplies for the runners so they don't have to carry a lot of supplies and thus can run faster.

2) By falcon.  Nobles keep falcons to fly from known location to known location.  They can carry small, short messages which can be the beginnings of communications.

3) Magical means.  The use of mirrors to speak through, mages can talk to each other.  Though there are lots of mages, only a few are capable of doing this.  And it is straining, so only the rich can afford to have such means of communications.

4) And what we would refer to as "snail mail".  Letters can be written and brought by stage or boat to the next location until it reaches its destination sometimes months later.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

How to Guide to the Gift of the Gods

A central theme of my stories is the using of a powerful artifact, the Gift of the Gods.  The Gift of the Gods is actually four parts, (two gems, a staff and a circlet), but a strong magic user has to use the magic to make it work.  Though presented to the High King, who did learn magic to use the staff, a very strong magic user must use the Gift.  The only people to use the Gift was Amber Blackwolf and in my High King's Sword, Duncan.  Both were very gifted magic users and could take the surge of magic running through them to call upon the Gods themselves.

The staff originally called eight dragons to open the gate, but these dragons came from the Chosen, breaking a part of their souls off to create them.  Only Flash was the only flesh and blood dragon to be dragged into the mess.  The second time the Gift was used, the dragons created by the Gift were used once more.

To use the Gift, the mage must be in the Temple of the Gods chanting the incantation which is in Ancient Elven, his hand around the staff, the circlet upon his head.  The power surging through the user most likely will kill them, unless the Gods intervene and find the person worthy.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Hole

This inn is a very unusual stop over for those traveling from Merryweather to Varanath.  From the outside, there appears to only be a door and a small building, with a another door into the mountainside nearby.  But this small looking building is actually quite huge.  Beyond the door and greeting area, which is used to shed weapons and wet clothing, is a huge tavern in the mountain itself.  Beyond that are stairs leading downward to the three floors of rooms and storage.  The original owner of The Hole lost his original inn to an ogre attack and didn't want to rebuild again so made a strong hold.  The current owner keeps enough supplies on hand for the whole inn for several weeks, or his family for quite a long time.  He also has weapons and armor, just in case.  The second door leads to a secure stable large enough to hold two dozen horses with fodder to feed them all for several weeks. There is a tunnel between the inn and stables, as well.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Military Service on Martapa

Depending on where a person lives, a person may or may not be required to serve in the military.  In Tridon, peasants are not required to serve in the military, but can sign on willingly.  The nobles and merchants try hard to have a child or children as Knights or Knight Captains, since it is very prestige to be tied to one or the other.  A lot of second son peasants who will not inherit the farm from their parents join the local militia or the army of the House they live by.

In Ariella it varies.  If the person lives in the Empire, then a male of 18 years of age must serve 2 years in the military.  Women may join, but few do and they are not required to.  After the service time is up they may return to their homes, though if they are good enough the legions will try to entice them to stay.

Akicitia in Ariella do not have a standing army, but every adult, male or female, are trained to defend themselves and protect the village.

Elves on either continent do not have a standing military, but usually families, whether rich or poor, like to send one child to be trained in the martial arts so as to help with defense if need be.

Dwarves have a five year mandatory service for both men and women, though they engage very rarely.  The military practices their skills by protecting the stoneholds from ogres and the like, which bothers them often.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Spring Activities

In most villages as spring approaches the village spring into action.  Schooling of any sort winds down and everyone helps.  Fields have to be cleared and plowed, fences have to be mended, and orchard trees need to be tended.  Most of the field work and sheering is done by the men, though in smaller villages everyone able to lift a tool helps.  The woman begin the audacious chore of cleaning out a winter's worth of clutter and plant their herb gardens.  They also go into any nearby woods or wild areas and looks for berries and root items that will see them through until the fall.  Boys usually go and hunt small animals to add to the food supply.  Merchants will travel through the villages and the villagers will trade the crafts they made during the winter for those items they just can't make.

Monday, May 19, 2014

A Typical Small Village of Tridon

Villages are very small places that house anywhere from 10 to 50 people.  There is normally one small house per family, sometimes the houses are shared by several generations.  Depending on the area the houses can be made of wood or stone, with thatch, wood, or clay tile roofs.  Most villages, if they aren't too small, have a small gathering building, whether it is an inn, a communal building, or just the biggest house in the village.  Most have wells near the village or in the center, unless they depend on a river or creek for their water.  Most villagers help each other out, but all have the own small garden plots, even if it's not a farming village.  Depending on the village, the demographics can vary.  Lumber villages and trapping villages will have more men then women and few children, while farming and ranching villages will have more children then adults and an equal number of men and women.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Tunnels of Carown Part XII

The small house in the middle of the lake is rustic.  The walls, while stone, are roughly hewn and the roof seems to be put together from random logs and rushes. There are two windows, one on either side of the door, and the glass is mostly intact.  The door is slightly open and is wooden.  The hinges are rusted, but do move.  Once inside, though, things change.

The building is only an anchor point for what ever "magical house/refuge/extra dimensional space" your campaign has.  The house is actually quite large inside.  There is a large kitchen and pantry area, a dinning room, three bedrooms and a study inside along with a greeting room which has a nice fire place.  (There is a fire place in the kitchen, as well.)  Everything is perfectly preserved from books to furniture. It looks as if the owner just left.

Treasure in here consists of normal household goods, a small magical library, (your players can find d12 +5 new spells and notes on what ever you want to throw in), and a small stash of gems and jewelry. There is magically preserved food, lanterns and oil, and some camping supplies in a small storage room.

This was the retreat for a mage who needed time away from his family to study.  He died several centuries back, and his heirs had no idea this small home was in the tunnels.  He has maps of all over Martapa, (or your campaign world), though some are a little out of date.  The biggest change is the fact that a demon scholar has taken up residence in here and is a large reason no one makes it out of the tunnels alive.  Make this demon appropriate to the party level and ability.

His treasure will be book treasure, plus a little extra from all the adventurers he's had to kill that have disrupted his studies.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Tunnels of Carown Part XI

The left tunnel from the entrance winds down ward toward the north, spiraling, going straight, jogging back toward the entrance.  It's wide enough for two abreast in some areas, while a tight squeeze for one person in others.  No caverns open up for quite some time and nothing looks worked by human hands.  There is no light and not even the sounds of bats can be heard.  Water dripping can be heard on occasion, but otherwise it is very silent. 

This tunnel will run in its winding way for nearly a mile before it opens up into a cavern with a small lake.  The cavern itself is huge, the ceiling lost to any lamp light in the darkness.  The lake, though small, spans a good acre and 1/2, maybe two.  In the center is a small island with a building upon it.  From the shore it looks like a small hut, meant to house a couple or a very small family.  It actually looks in descent repair, considering where it is, but is quiet at the moment.

Tomorrow, the cottage.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Tunnels of Carown Part X

The cavern this last tunnel leads to is huge.  With a torch there is no way to see all the way across the cavern.  The walls are worked in areas of this almost round room.  In other areas, it is just a natural cavern.  The floor has mosaic tile here and there, but a lot of it's broken and no where near any other.  There appears to be writing on the tiles, but in an ancient language and there are hardly two words strung together. (This should be some ancient language in your campaign with a hard DC and very rare that anyone knows it.  This is a good place to fill in the history of the tunnels or to throw in a bone for your next adventure.)   The walls have alcoves here and there, with reliefs of warriors and dragons and other mystical creatures carved right into the walls.  The sounds of bats can be heard along with a raspy breathing, as if the whole cavern is breathing.  There are racks of weapons and chests of equipment here and there.

This room was the sparing room and meeting room for an ancient sect of warriors who fought demons.  In this room the party should find a demon appropriate for their level and his peons, (if appropriate for your campaign).  There are also a lot of dead adventurers in this room, so this is a place for good treasure placement.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Tunnels of Carown Part IX

The right tunnel from the mosaic room spirals downward, narrowing to about five feet wide at spots, the floor is smooth, (requiring a Dex checks in areas), and becomes smoother the further in a person goes.  About three hundred feet down the tunnel there is a break in the floor, with a rock fall to one side.  Characters need to make a Dex check to keep  from falling into the pit.  There are not only rocks at the bottom, but spikes as well.  Because of the rock fall there is only a 50% chance of hitting  a spike and it is an easy climb out of the pit.  There are two dead adventurers as the bottom of the pit and have a small amount of treasure on them.  (Make it level treasure for your characters for each of the dead adventurers.)

The tunnel continues on to a large cavern which is finished in places, but natural in others.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Tunnels of Carown Part VIII

After the room with the mosaics and sconces the tunnels branch off into three directions.  The one straight ahead dead ends soon after, a rock slide blocking the way.  There are a few damaged mosaics on the walls, but nothing else.  The tunnel to the left goes for a good three hundred feet and opens up into a room that looks like a barracks roughly hewn from the stone walls.  In places it looks more like a tomb, because the "bunks" are cut into the stone walls.  And on a few "bunks" lay men in armor, some appear to be sleeping peacefully, but others look as if they died painfully.  There are remnants of tables and chairs, rusty armor and swords, but no source of light and nothing living.  There are, however, walking dead. 

When the party enters the room six of the eight dead stand up from their "bunks" and attack the party.  Level them appropriately, but most have a sword and a shield.  One has a pole arm.

The third tunnel from the mosaic room continues on to the right.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tunnels of Carown Part VII

The tunnel continues on until if opens up into a small room that has been carved out of the tunnel.  Three more tunnels branch off from this small room of about thirty by thirty feet, all of the tunnels go down, the one straight across the steepest.  The room has old mosaics of monsters and knights with sconces that are empty on the walls.  The floor is smooth, but nothing else seems to be in this room.

There is a falling ceiling trap if the center tile is stepped on, but other then that, the room is empty.  The mosaics are of monsters usually found underground and were put there by an order of Knights who fought to keep the monsters of the depths at bay.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Tunnels of Carown Part VI

After the bat cavern, is a long stretch of winding tunnel. The walls in this area are smooth in spots and rough in others.  The height varies from further then a person can reach up and touch to a low height that some humans would have to stoop.  There are some bats in here, but not many.  It winds back and forth, always going downward.  Water flows here and there, moss growing randomly along the walls and floor. The only tricky part is a few pit traps that may or may not actually work.  (25% fail rate of the traps.)  These are 30 foot pits and of the three only one has spikes at the bottom.  The DC on these should be moderate for the first, easy for the second two.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tunnels of Carown Part V

The center tunnel winds for a good quarter of a mile, the width varying from one person to three people across.  The first wide area is a cavern filled with stalactites and stalagmites, water dripping somewhere in the background.  There is no natural light in this room and the east side of the room continues on down the tunnel.  There is a lot of feces on the ground, though it's so dark it's hard to tell if it's dirt or feces, along with small bones.  Bats fly in and out of this room, their small screeches filling the air if disturbed.  The surprise in this room is a flock of giant bats.

 You should be able to scale these to fit what ever level characters you have.  Either pump up hit points, numbers, or both.  For lower levels keep the numbers low.  There is no treasure in this room, unless they find the dead adventurer in the far corner, who is covered in moss and feces.  Most of his stuff is ruined, but there is a half decomposed map of part of the cavern.  You can throw any treasure in here, if you wish.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Tunnels of Carown Part IV

The center tunnel goes into the mountain for quite a ways, winding it's way deeper and deeper into the earth and rock.  There are many caverns, waterways and small tunnels that shoot off from this main tunnel, along with many death traps and creatures to bar the way.  This tunnel goes from the main opening almost all the way to the base of the mountain.  This tunnel system could take years to explore and could cause a person all sorts of harm.  Over the next few days I'll hit the highlights of this tunnel and the creatures and perils that can be found within.