Sep 29, 2013

Game Summary- Session 3

After being nursed back to health by their fellow thieves, the players awake in the warehouse lair of the gang, and those who fell early are made aware of the loss of their friend, Inigo.
They travel out to his grave to find a priest speaking holy words over their fallen comrade. Corpse of their friend hardly buried, they recruit the cleric, Jean, into their party.
Asking around the gang for jobs to do, they learn of an impending execution that the gang plans to interrupt. Illegal halflings in Marsheville have been captured and will be hanged for unlicensed emigration from Halfhill.
The players have only a few days to prepare, and they lend their assistance in strategizing.
When the day comes, the halfling fugitives are led out from the courthouse into the square. A crowd gathers to see the hanging. Eight guards line the gallows, a small band of thieves looms on the adjacent rooftop, including the players, with bows at the ready.
Before the charges are read, a hail of arrows falls upon the guards, some wounding, others bouncing off armor, one striking into the crowd. The crowd begins to scatter as ropes fall from the rooftops. Clause descends into the maelstrom as guards scramble to the ready.
The next volley of arrows begins to fell guards, and the crowd still stands between the law and a direct fight. Halfling prisoners throw themselves low in fear, uncomprehending of what is happening.
When the crowd is gone from the square, only three guards remain. Clause runs to the gallows, deflecting blows and hacks down one guard. A citizen tries to interfere and is likewise cut down. When Clause turns to face his final opponent, the guard lies dead with an arrow in his throat.
The halfhlings are quickly untied and lead up ropes to the rooftop. A scout shouts that more guards are on their way. The gang slips down the other side of the roof, where escape ropes have been readied. Down a series of tight alleyways, carrying the slower of the halfling refugees, the gang ducks into a winery cellar, where they have been allowed refuge by a sympathetic citizen. They lie low in tentative celebration until nightfall, when groups split off to return one-by-one to the gang's hideout.
On the way back, the party's group encounters a group of young men beating a homeless man. With little hesitation Clause slaughters two of the men, and the third is slain with an arrow as he tries  to flee. They lift the limp and broken body of the homeless man and carry him back to base. Amidst the party they do what they can to make the injured man comfortable and bind his wounds.

Sep 24, 2013

MetaWarGame Revisions and Additions

In a battle between two factions:
Former Rule: Winner loses 25% of his forces
                       Loser loses 75% of his forces
Revision: Because this does not make tons of sense for armies dramatically separated in size:
                      Winner loses forces equal to 25% of the opponents army
                      Loser loses forces equal to 75% of the opponents army
               Thus, you must be careful when facing a larger force, as a Pyrrhic victory is entirely possible.

To combat another faction's mass recruiting, a new ability:
Slander- Works just like recruiting ( [Fol]d[Rep] ), but you choose a faction to target, and your propaganda troops sully that faction's name. Targeted faction loses troops in location where you slander, equal to your roll.

Also, in order to maintain at least the semblance of a regular schedule, I will send out the MetaWarGame emails every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday.
This way, people with Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedules can send in actions on Tuesday and Wednesday; and Tuesday, Thursday schedules can send in Monday and Wednesday.
Since Friday is game night (if we can keep that consistent), there's Saturday to send in actions for Sunday.
If you don't send anything in, it is assumed your faction is busy with other things, as are you. However, this will not confer the benefits of lying in wait.

Sep 19, 2013

Gods of Hommund

Weirdunn, the Grieving God
Weirdunn is the most ancient of the gods. He is father to the natural world and to the other gods. After he had created the earth, he was seduced by a woman, who bore him three children and revealed herself to be the evil goddess Vessa. Vessa brought chaos into Weirdunn's world, and he wept for what his creation had become, and his tears became the world's heroes.
  • Weirdunn presides over the fortunes of heroes, and is the god of wisdom and learning.
  • He is depicted as an old man, often weeping.
  • Weirdunn is worshipped in temples of marble, usually only sparsely decorated. The church looks down upon opulence, and prefers minimal frivolity in its architecture.
  • Weirdunn's followers fast at the change of seasons to feel the sorrow of their god. This is usually accompanied by meditation. Winter is the most important fast.
  • Weirdunn's color is white, sometimes with blue trim.
  • His elements are water and ice.
  • His animal is the owl, and white owls are especially sacred. It is believed that there is somewhere a white owl with a man's eyes, through which the god can see his world more closely.
  • His clerics wield the halberd, some scholars believe this has to do with the extensive reach of the god, or possibly with his greater distance from the mortal world.
  • The church of Weirdunn preaches understanding toward heretics and nonbelievers.
Rensol, The Avenger
The first son of Weirdunn and Vessa, Rensol was born and went forth unto the world, told by Vessa to create as he would. Rensol gave form to the Dwarves, a fierce race after his own mind, and gave them courage and skill in practical crafts.
  • Rensol is the god of battle and all honorable competition. He watches over soldiers and the brave. He is the patron of the Dwarves, and among them is known as Dwarvenhammer. The souls of those who die in battle are his to reassign.
  • Rensol is always depicted in armor.
  • Rensol is worshiped in mead halls constructed out of the strongest trees. The prestige of such halls, used for warriors' celebrations, is judged by the weapons and armor hung on the walls by storied and pious soldiers and heroes.
  • Those who wish to serve Rensol as priests must have served in conflict before appointment, and upon each rise in rank swear an oath to combat a chosen sin. In order to maintain rank, the highest ranking member of any congregation of Rensol must lead a crusade against his chosen sin every five years, and rid the world of one sinner for each man under his command. As such, many armies have a squadron, sometimes even a legion, of battle priests fighting in the name of Rensol to purge the world of the wicked.
  • Rensol's color is red, with black and sometimes gold.
  • His elements are stone and lightning. Which of these is most prominent varied by culture.
  • His animal is the ram.
  • His clerics and paladins wield the hammer or the great sword. This too varies by region.
  • Rensol's priests think nonbelievers honorless cowards, and will respond violently to heresy.
Tsura, The Gladewalker
The only daughter of Weirdunn and Vessa, Tsura went forth into the world and created the Elves. She gave them the forests that she so loved, and imbued them with her special gift: arcane magic.
  • Tsura presides over the forests, and governs the forces of arcane magic. She is the goddess of love, lust, and marriage. She is the patron goddess of the Elves.
  • Tsura is depicted in thin or sheer robes, or in a garb of vines, with fine features and long black hair worn down or in braids.
  • Tsura is traditionally praised in natural, often vine-covered and surrounded by gardens, wooden buildings. Her priests are all women, and none who serve her may be virgins, for all who serve Tsura must know Her gifts. For this reason, many houses of prostitution will contain a small shrine to the goddess, and many temples are havens for sorceresses.
  • Houses of Tsura year-round practice the growing of grapes for wine where possible, and at the start of Spring a festival is held. Plays are performed (comedies are the most honored), wine and other drugs are consumed, and often orgies break out, but violence is absolutely forbidden. The festival lasts until all the temple's wine from the past year has been consumed, and it is custom for attendees to bring their own stores to extend this time. This festival usually takes place in a field outside town, and the festival is seen as a necessary release of restraint, so that it does not build up in the public so as to become harmful.
  • Tsura's colors are green and pink.
  • Her elements are air and vegetation.
  • Her animal is the elk.
  • Her clerics wield staves, either the thick bludgeoning sort, or quarterstaves, varying by region.
  • Her church preaches understanding towards nonbelievers.
Gulmar, The Gluttonous God
The last child of Weirdunn and Vessa was diverted from the others. When Weirdunn was able to caution Rensol and Tsura about their dual nature, Vessa distracted Gulmar with the promise of food, and told her favorite son to create whatever he wished. So Gulmar in his sloth lazily created the humans, a race without any particular talents.
  • Gulmar is the god of wealth and civilization. He is the creator of humans. His nature makes him a gluttonous god, and his vices make him Vessa's favorite son. Merchants and politicians pray to Gulmar.
  • Gulmar is depicted as a jovial and rotund man in elaborate robes.
  • Gulmar is worshiped in elaborate and ornate marble temples, often with high ceilings and decorations of gold.
  • Gulmar's pious observe a day of rest every tenth day, where shops are closed and families are expected to eat together. A feast is held in the temple, with wealthy members bringing dishes and drinks. During the night, the doors are left open for the poor to feed on the scraps.
  • Gulmar's colors are green and black, sometimes gold.
  • His element is metal.
  • His animal is the boar, though sometimes satirized as the pig.
  • His clerics wield the mace primarily, and any of their weapons is often richly crafted and decorated.
  • Gulmar's church denounces heretics and nonbelievers.
Vessa, The Queen of Devils
Vessa seduced the Father of Gods to loose her creation upon the world, but seeing most of her children won back to the side of Weirdunn, she was enraged and cursed their creations. She banished the Dwarves to deep below the earth, where no one could ever see their magnificent towers and wondrous fortresses. She cursed the Elves with near-endless life, such that they would be forced to watch all the mortal things in their forests wither and die, and when the other gods in pity granted the humans their best traits, Vessa imbued them also with her worst, and forced them to always be in conflict between their natures.
  • Vessa is the goddess of chaos and evil creatures. The souls are the wicked fall under her domain, to be reincarnated as twisted monsters.
  • Vessa's face is never depicted, as to do so is believed to bring the worst of ill-fortune, even to her own followers.
  • Her colors are black and grey, and occasionally deep purple.
  • Vessa's worshipers are opposed to any sort of law or government.
  • Her animal is the jaguar, or similar cats. Black panthers (/lions/cougars/etc) are especially sinister.
  • Her clerics wield morning stars, or sometimes whips.

Sep 17, 2013

Faction Leaders

The Empire
Emperor Locke Nosc Rohan
Lvl 10 Vampire Fighter (Ranger) perpetually Age 29 (chronologically 53)
Better known as Emperor Rohan, the fearsome former adventurer is relegated often to his palace because of his vampirism. Nevertheless, he still stalks prey and has lost not a whit of his killer instinct. This gives him a fearsome aura which adds intimidation to his skills as a master manipulator in diplomacy.
In MetaWarGame, Emperor Rohan can be used to grant a bonus to Rep

The Explorers' Corps
General Michael Cunningham
Lvl 8 Human Fighter Age 53
Appointed by Rohan to lead his explorers, the former knight of Dale was given by Vessa a loyal black feldragon, which makes him a fearsome sight on the battlefield.
In MetaWarGame, General Cunningham can grant a bonus to Mgt

The Halfhill Regime
Lord Ferdinand
Lvl 9 Human Paladin (Vessa) Age 51
The paladin of Vessa has an evil vision: he sees many possibilities of what could be. Of mercenaries, he saw an army, of the halflings, a workforce, of Halfhill, an industrial city-state. Ferdinand has nearly enslaved the halfling city, and brought forth untold wonders of industry, many of his own ingenious design.
In MetaWarGame, Lord Ferinand can grant a bonus to Res

The Halfhill Resistance
Commander Abram Burrowdale
Lvl 10 Halfling Fighter Age 48
The guerilla captain of the Halfhill resistance grew up a poor bandit in Marsheville. Taken in by the military, he served in the early days of the Empire before defecting due to disagreements with the imperial zeitgeist. Thinking to remove himself from Rohan’s Empire, he retired to Halfhill, only to find a cause that dearly needed his experience. He has taken his training home and carefully gathered a rebellion as the walls have risen around Halfhill and now leads covert bands to bring down Ferdinand.
In MetaWarGame, Commander Burrowdale can grant a bonus to Rec

The Diebenstadt
Guildmaster Bertram Geiger
 Lvl 10 Human Thief Age 45
The master of the city of thieves had a vision as a young man: to draw together all Riverstadt’s myriad gangs under one roof for the benefit of all whose ambitions were held back by the law. A master diplomat, Geiger tentatively attained this vision, and though the trials have been many, this day he sits atop the Throne of the Undercity, above a counsel of crime family Godfathers and psychotic gang leaders, and with his silver tongue directs them all.
In MetaWarGame, Guildmaster Geiger can grant a bonus to Rep

The Hexenshard
Archmage Kedra Shultz
Lvl 11 Human Magic User Age 30
The daughter of the previous archmage, Kedra was a child prodigy of the Hexenshard. By her late teens, she had acquired skills many would not achieve until late in their lives. Now, though half the age of most members, the young genius leads the Hexenshard from her fathers’ manse outside Sudenport, scrying on the goings-on in the faraway Empire and waiting patiently to achieve her ends.
In MetaWarGame, Archmage Shultz can grant a bonus to Res

The Adventurers' Guild
Guildmaster Aaron Maas
Lvl 11 Human Fighter Age 41
As a young man, Aaron Maas ventured deep into the Great Forest and did not return for nearly a decade. It is said a different man returned from that forest than entered it, some believe he was taken by spirits, others that he fought so ruthlessly for survival as to have become something less than human. His gaunt features and sunken dead eyes certainly do not contradict this. Nonetheless, he returned to save the Adventurers’ Guild, which had floundered under the weight of Imperial restrictions. An avid freedom fighter, even in the middle of his life, Maas can be a cold strategist or a berserk warrior, and this combination makes him one of the most effective hands-on leaders in Hommund
In MetaWarGame, Guildmaster Maas can grant a bonus to Rec

The Weisekirk
Archbishop Marissa Leon
Lvl 10 Human Cleric Age 56
An orphan raised by the church, Marissa joined the Order of Clerics and quickly ascended the ranks, vetted by countless field missions, and spent years training new Clerics. By the time the Archbishop died, she had proven herself his most trusted aide, and her fellow clergymen knew that Weirdunn wished her to lead them. Though aged, Marissa’s roots have not left her, and she is still a warrior at heart. Restrictions of the church keep her from frequent military engagement, but as a general, she has a fearsome fire that inspires troops.
In MetaWarGame, Archbishop Marissa can grant a bonus to Mgt

For MetaWarGame, all leaders will begin the game in the faction's headquarters.

Sep 16, 2013

MetaWarGame Player Map

Just a utility post, folks.

For those involved in the MetaWarGame, here is your map:

I recommend printing it out so you can mark it up, since some of you know information about locations and bases, etc, and others may learn more. Also, those that choose to send out exploration bands will want to fill in blank hexes.

Sep 15, 2013

Hommund 99 - Session 2

                The day is the Eighth of Winter, the year 99 PB (Post Bellum)
                Having packed the requisite supplies and convinced their companions Leia and Inigo to join them, the intrepid party bids farewell to Mesa. Goodbyes are said to parents, and Alvaro gives his son Inigo his Guards’ Shortsword, in exchange for the promise that he will be safe.
                The group descends into the cold winter desert: Clause, Inigo, Leia, Adam, Roderick, and Leia’s hanger-on Eko. The meet the exiled cleric Ulrich on the lift and agree to travel together. By the end of the first day they reach the snowy mountains to the north of the desert and set up camp.
                Unprepared for the bitter cold, members of the party begin to succumb to illness, which only worsens in the three day journey through the mountains. The group manages to avoid confrontation with a small pack of wolves, and they scrape by on the meager rations they have. Out of the mountains, they are forced to camp through a snowstorm until morning when they can see the trade post town of Hanbei.
                The group, short on cash, spends what they can afford on warm beds for Adam, Roderick, and Ulrich, those most shaken by illness, and the rest of the party sleeps on the floor. Since their thief is too sick to steal more coin, they buy a few winter coats where they can.
                Ulrich, once up and moving, spots a group of prostitutes in the town, and takes it upon himself to shame them on behalf of the church. Finding their counter-argument surprisingly convincing, he turns to soliciting services, but doesn’t have enough money. Ashamed and discouraged, before leaving he reaches out for a full two-hand grope and finds, after the initial shock, a knife slipped between his ribs. In shocked anger, he draws his halberd as the courtesan shouts for her companions. As the other girls round the corner, Ulrich’s polearm falls and slices halfway through the woman’s neck. She falls, gasping, to the snow and dies. Her backup stands, shocked, before the priest frantically brandishing his weapon. Ulrich fails to notices the soft steps behind him, and when the garrote seizes his neck he falls, choked, and is dragged into the wagon.
                Inigo sees Ulrich dragged into the cart and rushes to see the courtesans, who deny knowledge. But Inigo clearly knows what happened. “Look, can I at least get a finger or something?”. The girl disappears for a moment into the wagon and returns to drop something into Inigo’s open palm. The Halfling quickly pulls back and kicks snow over Ulrich’s severed member. Eyes wide, he turns and tells the party that they have lost Ulrich. Later Clause, who has been hiding out in the inn, goes out into the cold to intimidate the prostitutes into returning Ulrich’s belonging to the party. Inigo leaves some coin behind as a sort of karmic recompense.
                Looking for work to be able to afford to leave, the group encounters a small band of gang members. Anti-imperials, they plan to attack the caravan that has just arrived for supplies, and which is headed out to the Border Fort with a load of rations. The party, though some are still recovering from illness, decides to help, and they formulate a plan. The robbery is to occur on the third day the party has been in town.
                The party and thieves station three groups of archers along the street, one for each group of three guards around the caravan (the thieves have assessed that there are twelve guards total, so more are likely on break). Another thief waits to give the signal to the thieves’ wagon, which will circle and pick up the group in the event that things take a turn for the worse. An unfortunate situation complicates this, though: with heavy snow, some archers have been forced to remain behind to dig out the cart and part of a path, and help will surely come slowly when it does.
                Inigo volunteers to sneak into the midst of the carts once the guards are distracted, to set fire to them and then run. The archers are meant to shoot to provoke the guards into giving chase. In their heavy armor, the caravan guards will be unable to pursue.
                As an alternate plan, the group first sends the prostitutes to solicit the guards, but the imperial men are steadfast, and the women walk away unsuccessful. The archers share their cue, and open fire.
                As planned, the guards rush to attack the bowmen, and Inigo, waiting for them to run further, launches his own arrows.
                When the guards gain ground, the thieves turn to flee as per the plan, but the adventurers decide to hold their ground and fight. Inigo, realizing he may have less time than he thought, runs at full speed into the midst of the caravan.
                The guards take their first swings, and the adventurers too. Some thieves continue to flee, but most, seeing their companions in trouble, stop to continue shooting. Inigo, arriving swiftly among the wagons, realizes the mistake of his speed: the other three guards are sitting in one of the wagons, and he has run nearly straight into them. They draw their weapons and step down into the snow.
                Things are clearly taking a turn for the worse. Guards knock down Eko and Adam quickly. Clause follows after felling a pair of guards. A valiant thief holds off an imperial man long enough for Leia to stabilize Adam. In the midst of the melee, Inigo takes a blow to the leg and falls to his knees, the next swing cleaves his jaw off into the snow. Grasping his mangled face, Inigo gasps as blood runs over his open hand. Everything begins to go dim as he falls for the last time.
                Eko’s dogs rush to save Inigo, unaware that they are dragging a corpse. One of the band of thieves rushes in to grab Inigo’s torch and lights a wagon, dodging the swords of the other guards.
                Soon Leia too falls, and the thieves’ cart is arriving in the distance. Arrows and blades have by this time slain numerous guards and thieves alike. Roderick makes a run for the bandits’ wagon. The thief in the center manages to set all four wagons ablaze before he is slain.
                When the wagon arrives, it is only in time to drop off men to give aid to the fallen. By the time the conflict ends, Inigo, four thieves, and ten guards are dead, and the imperial wagons all ablaze. The dead are gathered and the wagon quickly leaves town. All the adventurers besides Roderick (who avoided the bulk of combat) are unconscious with grave wounds.
                Over the next ten days, the party regains consciousness one-by-one, and find that they have been nursed to health in a gang hideout in Riverstadt, and that their companion and brother is dead.
                The day is the 25th of Winter, 99PB.

Sep 12, 2013

MetaWarGame Draft 2

Faction Attributes:
Following (Fol) - Abstract number of units and amount of resources available for actions.
Speed (Spd) - Initiative Order

Might (Mgt) - Multiplier die for military efforts
Recon (Rec) - Multiplier die for covert tasks
Resourcefulness (Res) - Multiplier die for research and innovation
Reputation (Rep) - Multiplier for diplomatic endeavors

Faction Actions:
Contested rolls are written as attacker vs defender.
Fol represents the resources assigned to a particular task.
Actions marked with a * need not be completed in a single attempt. If an attempt to recruit yields a number less than 1 (a decimal), you may keep this number and add it to a later attempt to recruit. Research bonuses may be added together and used at once, so that decimals may likewise be added.

Move - Transport units up to 4 hexes (24 miles) per day. For each day of travel without stopping at a base, troops incur a cumulative -1 penalty to combat rolls.
Attack - Fol x Mgt vs. Fol x Might (+Fort)
Spy - Fol x Rec vs Fol x Rec (+Fort) where the defender's Fol is the number of units in a base.
Spying takes travel times+1d4 days.
A failure by 5 or less indicates that the spies have been spotted, and fled without finding information.
Failure by more than 5 indicates that 1d4 quarters of the Fol has been lost, and defender can make a roll (Fol x Rec vs Fol x Rec; where your following is what remains after loss) to interrogate the spy and gain information as a normal spying attempt, without risk of loss.
Research* - Assign a number of Fol and an area of research (Mgt, Rec, Res, Rep, Spd)
Assigned Fol is occupied for Res/Fol x1d10 days.
When complete, research grants a Res x Fol/10 bonus that can be applied to a roll in the chosen area at any time.
Once a research bonus is used, all factions who are aware of its use roll Res and subtract from 10. This is the number of days for which the bonus may be used against them. Factions who learn of an unused research bonus through spying may make this roll as soon as they learn of the bonus.
Recruit* - Gain Fol x Rep/20 points of Rep
Build Base - Assign Fol for 1d10 days to build a base. The number of Fol you assigned is the Base's Fortification (Fort). You may fortify an existing base in this same way in 1d6 days.
Lie in Wait - Factions that take no action in a day go first in the next day. Multiple factions winning initiative this way go in order according to their initiative.

Secret Actions - Roll Rec and add as many points as you want. Subtract the number of points added to the Rec roll from your roll for the action you are trying to do secretly. The adjusted Rec roll will be subtracted from any Spy rolls to try to learn of your actions.

Thanks go to Noisms for bonuses and the general idea.
Bonuses to combat rolls.
+1 to troops stationed on higher ground
+1 if the battleground has been fortified (stakes, ditches, etc.)
+2 if the battleground has been strongly fortified (walls, towers, etc have been constructed)
+2 if surprising or ambushing
+1 for each battle won without disbanding, rearranging, reassigning this army (e.g.: the name of the Tenth Legion carries weight as long as it is the Tenth Legion, and not a different group of the same name)
The winner of a military conflict loses 1/4 the assigned Fol.
The loser of a military conflict loses 3/4 the assigned Fol.
The same goes for the Fort score of any bases involved.

A faction's Fol is distributed among its bases.
It is not necessary to have more than one base in a city.
Building a base is rather noticeable, and other factions with bases in the city are likely to know if a new base is being built.
If you do not have a base in an area where you are trying to act, you must move Fol to that location, taking travel time. The same goes if you do not have enough Fol to complete a given action.
An empty base (one where all Fol has been assigned to actions and moved elsewhere), if known to another faction, may be claimed while its occupants are away.
If all a faction's bases are destroyed, that faction loses half of its Fol (calculated after any losses from combat or any such attempts.

Faction Leaders
Some factions already have leaders, others have councils or generals who are unknown. I will post the known leaders here, and tell the rest of you in secret who leads your factions.
Leaders will each have an area of specialty. A leader is assumed most often to be overseeing the workings of the faction as a whole. Thus, a leader assigned to a specific task grants a +1 bonus to rolls with that task, at the cost of -1 to all the faction's other actions during the time of the chosen task. A leader assigned to assist in a task which is his/her area of expertise grants a +3 bonus to rolls, and the same penalty to other actions.
You must always know where your faction's leader is located. This location is often secret, but may be discovered by spies.
If a faction's leader is killed, the faction incurs a penalty of -5 to all rolls for 1d6 days until a new leader can be found, whereupon the penalty decreases by 1 point each day until it is 0.

Known Leaders:
Empire - Emperor Locke Nosc Rohan
Explorers' Corps - Captain Michael Cunningham
Weisekirk - Archbishop Marissa Leon
Halfhill Regime - Lord Ferdinand

Sep 8, 2013

MetaWarGame First Draft Rules

Large-scale faction war game, inspired by Slow War, taking place in the background of my campaign world. Here is my first draft of the rules, subject to change.

Each faction's ability to act is determined by the size of its Following (Fol). This encompasses the number of followers a faction has, as well as the resources available to it.

Factions take turns in order of Speed (Spd).

The other attributes of a faction are measured in dice. A faction with an average ability rolls 1d8 for a stat. The weakest stat is 1d4 and the strongest 1d12. The attributes are:

Might (Mgt) The military power of a faction.

Recon (Rec) The efficacy of covert units such as spies and code breakers who can bring in information.

Resourcefulness (Res) The quality of scientific/magical intelligences within a faction, in order to invent new technologies and strategies.

Reputation (Rep) The diplomatic face of a faction; how it is seen by the public.

Each day, the following options are available to players:

Move: Units may move 4 hexes (24 miles) each day. For each day of travel without rest at a base, the troops suffer a 1 point penalty to any combats they encounter.

Attack: Here's the first use of the core mechanic: Multiply the Following you have assigned to a combat by your faction's Might. The opponent also does this. If one army is in a base, that base's Fortification (detailed below) is subtracted from the roll of the army which is not in a base.
The winner of a military conflict loses 1/4 of the following spent in the attack; the loser loses 3/4 of spent following. The same goes for the Fortification score of any base involved.
Summary: Fol x Mgt (- Fort) vs. Fol x Mgt

Spy: Fol x Rec vs Fol x Fort. The defending Fol score is that of the Following present at the location where the spy is investigating. Spying may instead cover an area, requiring 1 Fol per observed hex. Finding specific information takes travel times plus 1d4 days.

Research: A faction may attempt to research new strategies and technologies. Choose the area (Might, Recon, Resourcefulness, Reputation) that you wish to research and allocate Fol. That following is occupied for Res/Fol x1d4 days in research. When research is complete, that faction receives a counter for Res x Fol/10 points to be added to a roll of that attribute at any time.

Recruit: Gain Fol x Rep/20 points of Fol

Build Base: Occupy a number of Fol for 1d10 days to build a base. The base has that number of Fol for Fortification (Fort). You may fortify an existing base this same way in 1d6 days.
If all a factions bases are destroyed, the faction loses half of its Following (after losses for battles, etc.)

This is how most actions will be resolved. Ask me if you want to do something not stated here. For instance if you wanted to attempt to move troops in secret:
Roll Rec and add as many points as you want to the roll. The number of points will be subtracted from combat rolls with that force (you are shrinking your army to try to not be noticed). The Rec number will be subtracted from Spying rolls to observe your movements.

Following is distributed among your bases. If you need more Fol in an area, you must move them at the normal rates. Followings in different locations being counted as one for purposes of a roll take 4x as long to accomplish a task.

I think that's everything. Please comment with questions, recommendations, critiques, etc. I expect to revise this.

Hommund 99- Session 1

It is winter in Mesa city, in the desert south of the valley of Hommund. The year is 99 after the Great War.

Day 1:It all started when Adam, out hunting, saw a man stumbling through the desert on the brink of death. He came to the stranger's aid and led him back to Mesa.
Clause, returning to the fort from his guard shift, saw his friend and the stranger arrive, and helped take the newcomer in to the guard house. The man, Roderick, reported that he was in town to collect a debt. The guards offered help, but would not allow vigilante justice.
The debtor, Dieter, arrived about a week ago, and the guards' records show that two men have arrived in town in that time, the shop owner Alphonse Gerber, and a guard by the name of Aldous Stark.
Clause, Adam, and Roderick decide to investigate the guard first. Not in his quarters, Stark is said to be out at the market. The group finds him there, and when he is recognized by Roderick, Stark runs but is tackled to the ground and injured. The party takes him in to custody.
Captain of the Guard Cassidy, orders Roderick and Stark jailed for assault and suspected debt evasion respectively.
Roderick gives a description of the debt, though he can give no physical evidence. 120gp was stolen from Roderick's uncle. Stark says he arrived with 80gp, bought his starting equipment to join the guards, and has just made up the cost working at a brewery. Clause sends a guard to the brewery to confirm the story while he himself decides to search Stark's room at the barracks. He finds 80gp in a bag, as said, but when checking under the bed finds spots of dried blood. He lifts up the mattress to find a severed human hand, that of a woman, wearing a ring, and with bite marks.
A late night investigation unearths rumors of women disappearing at night in the town square, Stark's midnight watch. A formerly convicted drug dealer mentions that Maria, an alleged prostitute, has not been seen on her usual block.
Clause finds her address and knocks, but the men who share the dilapidated building are less than cooperative.
Day 2: Clause talks to Cassidy and decides to bring in the men who share Maria's building for questioning. Two men are brought in, addicts and not fans of the local law enforcement, but hearing that their room mate is in danger reluctantly cooperate. Clause asks about the ring, and whether Maria wore one. The first roommate does not know, but the second, Heller, and former romantic interest of Maria's, is able to give a description of the heirloom that matches the ring on the severed hand.
Shown the hand, Heller is able to confirm that it is the ring Maria wore.
Presented with the evidence, Cassidy decides to court martial Stark that evening.
In the trial, evidence weighs heavily against Stark, who is discharged from the guards, and it is proposed that he be kept in jail for two more days to see whether the disappearances continue.
Roderick, too, is kept in jail until the conclusion of Stark's case.
Day 3: Roderick and the imprisoned bum "Shanky" attempt a sly escape, but are unsuccessful. Luckily the guard does not fully realize the plan, and no suspicion is raised against the outsider.
Day 4: No more disappearances have occurred, and it is deemed that Stark will be executed for murder. Adam visits Roderick to talk about the outside world. Roderick agrees that he can show them the valley, but he must return with his uncle's money.
Stark vows to come back in the next life to kill Roderick, and he is executed at sunset. Roderick is released from jail.
Clause proposes that the group leave Mesa for a month or so, to see the outside world, and Adam eagerly agrees.

The New Cast:
Adam Rohanson

 Human Fighter. Employed as a hunter at Mesa. Son of Rohan/Locke, doesn't know it. The eldest of the party at 31.

Roderick Booker
 Human Thief from Marsheville. Came to Mesa to collect a debt, still needs to collect it from somewhere.

Clause Struben
 Adopted bugbear child. Fighter. Intense sense of duty due to natural difficulties of growing up a monster in a racist human civilization. Incredibly strong.

Ulrich Von Leland

Crazed cleric. Jailed for breaking into a pub to buy wine for a communion service. ("But I left money on the counter!")

 Half-fey druid. Gardener at Mesa. Supernatural beauty. Daughter of Locke and the mute nymph Nymphadora.

Inigo Jaeger Alvaron
 Son of the illusionist Ienzo (doesn't know it) and Emily, raised by Emily and the former Captain of the Guard of Halfhill, Alvaro. Aspiring wizard. Frail in body, strong in magic.

Sep 3, 2013

Weapon and Armor Deterioration

Houserule for weapon and armor deterioration:

After each dungeon, your armor is damaged and grants 1 point less to your total AC. Pay 10% of the armor's cost, per point, to repair.
After each dungeon mark one point of deterioration on your weapon. When the number of points exceeds the max damage of your weapon, it breaks. Magic weapons don't deteriorate.

I figured this requires minimal tracking, but still some element of realism, a small limiting factor on money, and motivation to head into the cities, where I have some nice encounter tables and quest hooks.

Much to my surprise, however, my players opted to keep track of more things in favor of greater realism, thus:

Whenever you take more damage in a single hit than your armor bonus+dex (dex because of the assumption that you are able to deflect blows enough to less severely damage your armor), you lose one point of your armor bonus.
Ex: A fighter with a dex bonus of +2 and leather armor (+2 AC) is cut with a short sword for 6 damage, which reduces his leather armor to +1 AC. But a knife stabbing him for 2 damage is not enough to deteriorate his armor.

Whenever you critically fail (natural roll of 1 to hit) with a weapon, mark one point of deterioration on your weapon. When this exceeds your weapon's maximum damage, it will break.
I.e.: After 6 critical fails (avg.: 120 swings) a short sword (1d6 damage) will break. It is assumed that larger weapons are sturdier.

Sep 1, 2013

Factions of the Valley of Hommund in the Year 99 [Update: Pictures]

So I recently typed this up for my players and I'll do it again here because why not and it'll help me memorize it all. The following illustrations are my own. Please give credit if used, and let me know.

Emperor Rohan

The Empire 
Leader: The Empire of Hommund is ruled over by the Emperor Locke Nosc Rohan (who was a PC and is now a secret vampire), commonly referred to as Emperor Rohan.
Goals: Expansion and control. Rohan is spearheading the first expeditions out from the valley since the Great War against the magical races 100 years ago. The Empire maintains control through fear, parading the Battle Mages through the streets to keep the citizenry in check.
Alignment: Lawful Evil. Rohan gained his power through a deal with the evil goddess Vessa, and though his intentions may not have begun that way, the deal draws to him corrupt and twisted followers who cheat taxation, pursue personal wealth, and bend the system in their favor.
Appearance: Agents of the Empire are vastly more wealthy than the average Hommunder, and can often be spotted by their noblemen's attire and lavish style.

Excuse the quality, I just took these with my phone.

The Battle Mages
The Emperor's personal legions. Raised up in a civilization where magic has been illegal for one hundred years, the valley was simply not ready when the Battle Mages appeared. The populace has no suitable way to combat the Mages, and magic is still illegal for non-members. The Emperor uses the Mages to strike fear into the masses and hold control.
Leader: Headmaster Thomas Whiteskies (former PC, deal with Vessa, supernatural charisma), formerly of the Bard's College, oversees the conduct secret training center, more as a carry-over ever since wizards were found illegally practicing magic in the Bard's College and the whole school was converted. He remains now like a relic in the place where he once had use.
Goals: Subservient to the Emperor.
Alignment: Lawful Evil.
Appearance: The uniform of the Battle Mages is a long cloak of dark blue. These are often stitched with obscure white markings, presumed denote rank. Battle Mages also wear baldrics to which they affix large spellbooks with a metal chain. Helmets hide the faces of these troops, only adding to the appearance of inhumanity.

The Explorers' Corps
The Emperor's para-military organization for the exploration of new territory and settlement in the name of the Empire of Hommund. The Explorers set up outposts for colonization, and claim the surrounding area for the Emperor.
Leader: Captain Michael Cunningham (former PC, rides undead black dragon, also made a deal with Vessa)
Goals: Exploration. Subservient to the Emperor.
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Appearance: The uniform of the Explorers' Corps includes loose beige trousers, robust boots, and occasionally light armor. Most carry a large knife. They are most easily recognized by their trademark yellow cloak or sash.

The Adventurers' Guild
Travelers, fighters, and treasure-hunters, often for hire, or otherwise bound together for protection. The guild is notorious for its flagrant disregard for the Emperors' laws, which require an Imperial Ambassador in every official guild to oversee conduct, and that a tax be paid on any found treasure, and new cites reported, as well as mandatory sale of magical items to the government. As such, the Guild frequently falls under assault by Imperial guards or the Explorers' Corps.
Leader: It is unknown whether the Guild acts under the command of a single person or simply acts as an amalgam of like-minded individuals.
Goals: The exploration and claim of unexplored lands and treasures despite/before such things are taken or forbidden by the Empire.
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Appearance: Members of the Guild are marked by their trademark red sash, and members for hire will often loiter on street corners or in taverns waiting for employers.

An old Illo I did of Marissa Leon. She will be older in this campaign.

The Weisekirk and the Order of Clerics
The Church of Weirdunn in Hommund. Since the rise of the Empire, little has changed in the church. The Order of Clerics is no longer a secret, as they necessarily emerged to protect the Temple of Weirdunn's Children from seizure by the Empire. They still keep to themselves, collecting magical artifacts in secret, and while some clerics are seen as freedom fighters, it is clear that they are not officially backed by the Weisekirk.
Leader: Marissa Leon, formerly in charge of the training of the Clerics, was promoted to Arch Priest of the Weisekirk after the death of the previous Arch Priest.
Goals: The collection of magical artifacts for preservation until such a time that the Valley is deemed ready for their existence in the world.
Alignment: Neutral inactive.
Appearance: Members of the church dress in white robes, and Clerics often wear white tabards or the colors of their patron deity.

The Grunkleid
The Grunkleid are the wandering ascetics of Hommund. These strange vagrants travel from one place to another through the wilds, living off the land. Reception ranges from fear to outright hostility, but the Grunkleid have never known to speak, even in the face of verbal and physical abuse.
Leader and Goals: Very little is known about the rank and motivations of the Grunkleid.
Alignment: True Neutral
Appearance: The Grunkleid can easily be rcognized by their green cloaks, ratty and tattered and often worn to the exclusion of other clothing.

The Diebenstadt
The Diebenstadt is the collective name of the many crime syndicates centered largely in Riverstadt.
Leader: The Diebenstadt, despite common misconception, is in fact a catch-all for many individual gangs and crime families, each with their own ranks and leaders.
Goals: Various individual groups work towards different goals. A common motivation has become the smuggling of new technologies out of Halfhill. The collective Diebenstadt exists for the assembly of new groups, finding of specialists, mutual employment opportunities, and the fencing of stolen goods. A community of thieves is held together by a shared knowledge that any member could betray any other, and face the consequences at the hands of the greater group.
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Appearance: Most of the Diebenstadt attempts to go unnoticed, though specific gangs might be recognized by their own signs.

The Hexenshard
The remains, after a century, of the ancient Circle of Sorcerers, the Hexencranz. This illegal organization operates secret apothecaries and sorcerer training.
Goals: The Hexenshard facilitates the learning of magic illegally, and trade between magic users in scrolls, spells, potions, and the like.
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral

Halfhill has been closed off from the rest of the valley since Lord Ferdinand's seizure of power. Few know what goes on besides Ferdinand's strict regulation of everything. Word spreads of two things: the strange new technologies being developed and smuggled, and the Resistance.
The Resistance is, as it sounds, a group of halflings working to take down Lord Ferdinand's government and open Halfhill once again.

One of the things I most look forward to is the interplay of these various factions, which should hopefully make world events more dynamic and interesting.