Tuesday, May 15, 2012

D&D b/x: Take 2 Continues Finally

180 degrees away from the straight-forward hack-n-slash no characterization of my Dungeon Squad game, I finally started on my new D&D b/x game. In addition to the two rule books, I'm using Mythic GME as intended - with scenes, interrupts and chaos factors.

Since Lady Shadowmoss does not like dungeon crawls - she prefers solving puzzles and such when she plays RPGs - it's also an attempt to see how I might incorporate more of that into the game. Simply fighting orcs to rescue a prisoner isn't really going to cut it if I want to run a session or two for her on our vacation. I've heard her and her friends talk about their LARP events ,so I have a general idea of the kinds of things she gets enthusiastic about.

Inspired by the setup for "Locket Away" (and I recommend you download and play it if you haven't - it's quite fun and a good intro to USR), my two characters are private investigators in a town at least in part inspired by reading Telengard session reports over on Swords and Dorkery. I've never run a game where humanoids of all kinds could be found in the town itself- but that's what I want. Something like Mos Eisley, with taverns more like the cantina in Star Wars than found in a homogeneous medieval setting.

The town of Annwyn-Beneath-the-Waves* is described after the jump along with three NPCs (painted with broad strokes). I've tried to include hints of the kinds of things (people and places) that can be found there while minimizing details so that I can generate them during play (one of Mythic's strengths). Essentially, I'm playing two games at once - one as player characters and the other a world building game.

The waterfront and lower Annwyn generally is a seedy underbelly of a community that operates in full view, populated by humans, orcs, goblins, ogres, gnolls, dwarves, elves, etc. Violence and theft are frequent. The less “civilized”, more tribal humanoids, such as lizard men, and some goblinoid clans, rarely make an appearance. The undead are always unwelcome - although this doesn’t mean they are not there. The thieves guild and a variety of places of worship are located here, although the former is located in a predominantly human section of Lower Annwyn - monsters don’t feel they need sanction to steal, while the latter is scattered according to the needs of the populace. The monsters tend to live in a portion of Lower Annwyn known by the humans there as “Monster Town.”The town guard is provided by Upper Annwyn. Some of the wealthier inhabitants of Lower Annwyn, such as say, certain nefarious criminals or powerful dark wizards, maintain their own small forces to protect their residences and businesses.

Upper Annwyn is a walled off section of the city up on a large hill/plateau and inhabited entirely by humans (and some ½ elves that pass as human and who do not wish to live with elven-kind). They tend to be of the merchant class although there are some craftspeople, sages, alchemists and other specialists. Many own ships which come and go from the port below and as such, can on occasion, be found on the waterfront.

Passage into Upper Annwyn is highly restricted (Residents, can of course, come and go as required by their needs - although they would be advised to bring a bodyguard or two if going to the rougher parts of town ) and it is unlikely a non-resident would be allowed in without an invite from a current resident, a letter of introduction from a recognized authority (noble or otherwise) or completing a lengthy application process and waiting period. This doesn’t stop the more enterprising criminals from finding their way in however. Nor are all of Upper Annwyn’s residents on the side of law and order.

In all of Annywyn, there is no magic-user’s guild properly speaking, although a loose association of practitioners from both sides of town known as the Annwyn Sages and Mages Club does gather from time to time to discuss their research and findings and to trade/sell tomes, ingredients, artifacts, etc. Those wishing to learn magic must seek out individuals or attempt to find out where and when the association will meet and gain entrance.

The characters have arrived in town recently and have hung out their shingle as a private investigative agency in Lower Annwyn. Their business is located in a small room in the back of the Sleeping Beggar - its patrons representative of the rough and rowdy population of Lower Annwyn.

The Starting Cast of NPCs:

Vichorn, half-orc, equivalent to 1st level fighter. Pours beer, breaks up fights, breaks the knees of those who won’t settle their tab. Not much for conversation but he overhears quite a bit of it.

“The Boss”, a shadowy figure of which the characters know little and see even less. He apparently owns the Sleeping Beggar.

Graye Hindwind, 3rd level fighter, Captain of the Lower Annwyn Town Watch

*Annwyn-Beneath-the-Waves is the title of a Faith and the Muse song

It seems like this is a milestone to at least acknowledge - this is my 100th post. And now it's self-referential!

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