Search This Blog

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Holystone - City Guard Patrols

City Guard Patrols
City Guard patrols vary according to the District and for holidays or large gatherings. 

Throughout the Lord’s City, Guard patrols consist of one mage (M3) and two soldiers (F2). These men often have noble or wealthy merchant relatives. They are well-schooled in the treatment of nobles and how to deal with normal citizens who don’t belong in the area. Their main concern is making sure the nobles are not bothered by anyone.

The North Ward patrols feature three soldiers (F1 or F2). They are mostly concerned with maintaining a quiet neighborhood and protecting the businesses and houses of the merchants. 

The Market District patrols are two man teams (F1 and T1), focused on settling arguments and catching thieves. 

The Docks has squad patrols of one mage (M3) and four soldiers (F2 and F1). These men mostly break up fights and guard ships and warehouses. New recruits are often stationed here to learn the ropes.

The Gates has squad patrols of four soldiers (F1 and T1). They are mainly concerned with directing traffic and watching the prison. This is also a prime location for new recruits.

South Ward, the Wharf, and Fishtown have squad patrols of four soldiers (F2, F1, and T1). They maintain quiet neighborhoods and protect the citizens from thieves.

Cliffside has a special detachment of the City Guard composed of dwarves and halflings. They travel in small groups of two or three soldiers (F2, F1, and T1). They are mostly concerned with keeping the riff-raff of the Triangle out of the neighborhood. 

South Point features squad patrols consisting of a mage (M2 or M3) and four soldiers (F2, F1, T2, or T1). They protect the warehouses and businesses, and make very sure that the Triangle border is well patrolled.

The Triangle is not well-patrolled. About once a month, a company of 100 City Guard will sweep the neighborhood, rounding up felons. 

The City Guard does not patrol Hilltown. Specially designated halfling militia perform all the of the police duties there.

Tent City is also not generally patrolled. Maybe once per evening a squad of City Guard will go through the area, just to make its presence known.

City Guard Uniforms

City Guardsmen wear quilted or leather armor under a blue tabard featuring a yellow lighthouse. They may have a steel pot helm. They carry maces and daggers. If needed for crowd control, they will have a shield emblazoned with the city’s heraldry.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Holystone - Ratmen

This is modified from my BFRPG supplement. Alternatively, you could use my skaven write-up for Swords & Wizardry White Box if you want.

Armor Class: 14
Hit Dice: 1 (see descriptions)
No. of Attacks: 1
Damage: 1d6 + poison
Movement: 30’
No. Appearing: 2d6
Save As: Normal Man
Morale: 8
Treasure Type: L (C, O, Qx10, S in lair)
XP Value:
Ratman: 25 XP
Ratter: 100 XP
Brute: 145 XP
Sorcerer: 235 XP

Ratmen are humanoid rats, nearly man-size in height. They walk on their hind legs and they use their hands as would a human. They are typically brown or black, though whites are seen. Their eyes are a deep red and reflect light, making them appear to glow at night. It appears that their goal is the complete domination of the land and the slavery of all other races. As such, they have no allies among the other races. 

All ratmen have darkvision. They speak their own ratman tongue and some (20%) speak Common. Ratmen also have the ability to speak with rats of any type, and often use rats as spies and forward lookouts. Ratmen are constantly exposed to disease, and thus gain a +4 on their saves when exposed to some form of plague. Regular rats will not attack ratmen unless magically compelled.
Ratmen weapons are poisoned. Anyone hit by one must Save vs. Poison or take an additional 1d6 points of damage.

The majority of ratmen have no special skills (~85%). They are usually encountered in packs of 2 to 12. They conform to the listed statistics, and have no special abilities. If ratmen are preparing for a major battle, they don chainmail and have an AC of 15. They wield spears and short swords in battle. They can muster hundreds of ratmen before a major battle.

Ratters are ratmen who have an innate ability to command rats, equivalent to a Charm Animal spell. They will be leading 4 - 16 giant rats when encountered. If in an area populated by rats, they can summon an additional giant rat each round along with engaging in normal combat. Ratters have 2 HD, with maximum hit points. They fight with a short sword in one hand and a whip in the other. They have only a -2 to hit with their second weapon (the whip). They Save as a Fighter 2.

Brutes are the ratmen warrior elite. They average 6 feet in height and are quite muscular (+1 to hit and damage with a weapon). They have 3 HD, with maximum hit points. They wear plate mail (AC 17) and wield two-handed swords, great axes, and halberds in combat. They are immune to fear (including spells, dragons, etc), and have a Morale of 10. They are often used as bodyguards by the clan elite, as well as being excellent shock troops in battle. Brutes typically aren't too bright (Int 7 - 8), and as such are rarely encountered in any type of leadership capacity (except for leading other Brutes). They Save as a Fighter 3.

Sorcerers are extremely rare. They have 3 HD, but cast spells as a 9th level magic-user. They have a bodyguard of 30 brutes with them at all times. They are the masters of the ratmen race, and all ratmen defer to them. Sorcerers maintain a library and a laboratory much as human mages do. Each Sorcerer has his own selection of spells, but they all tend to prefer spells that cause lots of damage (such as fireballs), as well as using curses and spells that cause disease or prolonged pain. They Save as a Magic User 9.

Ratmen are extremely territorial, and often war with each other. A different clan rules each area, and if members of another clan enter the area, it is considered an act of war. These wars are often very vicious, and are one of the main reasons the ratmen do not overrun everyone just by numbers. 

Ratmen also fight amongst themselves to determine rank within the clan. These fights are seldom fatal, but all ratmen are scarred, with many missing an eye or ear. The Sorcerers encourage this behavior, as their god says that only the strong may rule. Sorcerers are above inter-clan warfare, and often visit each other. No ratman would dare assault a Sorcerer or his bodyguards. 

Ratmen in Holystone

Ratmen have hundreds of tunnels built under the city, with many hidden entrances into the sewer systems. They have been known to raid into The Triangle District, taking people as slaves or worse.
Some ratmen scout the city nightly. They stick to alleys and rooftops, spying upon the city. They break into businesses and homes, stealing weapons, clothes, and food. 

Ratmen are killed wherever they are found. The city offers a bounty of 1 silver piece per set of ratmen ears. Anyone who helps the ratmen is accused of treason and judged accordingly.

There is one ratmen clan controlling the tunnels beneath the city. Three Sorcerers rule them, one for the north, one for the area around the South Ward, and one for the area around The Triangle. Their reach extends out a couple miles from the city. 

The other underworld races have to sneak through the ratmen tunnels in order to reach the city. Occasionally, a well-armed band of drow may travel through. The ratmen usually leave them alone, as the drow are too dangerous to face head-on when they travel in force.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Beastmen for BFRPG (and Holystone)

Armor Class: 13 (14 with shield)
Hit Dice: 2*
No. of Attacks: 2 (weapon/bite)
Damage: by weapon / 1d6 (special)
Movement: 30’
No. Appearing: 1d6 (4d6 in lair)
Save As: Fighter 2
Morale: 9
Treasure Type:  Q, S (B in lair)
XP: 100

Beastmen are strange mixes of humanoid and animal, with many having the head or legs of an animal race. Most beastmen have the head, legs, and hooves of goats. Other varieties have been seen, such as hybrids of bears, large cats, and wolves. 

All beastmen are filthy creatures and havens for disease. Anyone bitten by a beastman must save vs. disease with a -2 penalty or begin to lose one point of Constitution per day. If their Constitution drops to zero, they die. The disease can only be cured with magical healing.

All beastmen appear to be male. They reproduce by capturing females of other races and raping them. They then keep the women prisoners until they give birth. Baby beastmen eat their way out of their mother’s stomach, so the birth is always fatal for the mother. Beastmen appear to be able to reproduce with all sentient races. The baby is always a beastman male, and often looks nothing like either of its parents.

Beastmen raiders typically attack a village at night, killing all of the men and children, and herding the women back to their camps. The slaughtered men and children are typically eaten, with many beastmen carrying a hacked-off arm or leg home as a snack.

Beastmen are quite tough, and have a natural Armor Class of 13. They use weapons and shields, preferring spears, swords, and axes. Each beastman also has either fangs or tusks, which they use in combat. They have darkvision to 60 feet, allowing them to easily raid at night.

Beastmen live in forests, preferably close to farmlands that they can easily raid. Within the forest, they live in caves or villages that they’ve taken from other races. They do not build things themselves.

Beastmen have no allies among the monster races. Even orcs and goblins hate them, as the beastmen view all other races as food sources and potential breeders.

Beastmen near Holystone

Beastmen are found in the large forests located to the north of Holystone. There appear to be numerous villages of them. The forests had been filled with goblins years ago, but the beastmen moved in and have gradually taken over the southern portions. Unfortunately, this places the beastmen next to the farmlands that support the city.

The Order of the Blazing Sun guards the farmlands just to the south of the woods. They have set up permanently-manned waystations every five miles. Each waystation has a complement of one knight and 20 soldiers. In addition, patrols roam between the waystations at irregular intervals.

The Warriors of the Sidhe send patrols directly into the forests, actively hunting the monsters. Their skill at woodcraft is superior to the beastmen, and they conduct hit-and-run raids against isolated groups of the monsters.

The city offers a standing bounty of two silver pieces for each set of beastmen ears turned in. In addition, adventurers do not have to pay taxes on loot obtained from raids against the beastmen. Parties of adventurers periodically enter the woods in search of the beastmen. Not all return.

(Based upon the broo of Glorantha and the beastmen of Warhammer).

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Holystone - Calendar and Holidays

There are 12 months per year, with each month having 30 days. The month is divided into 5 six-day weeks. An example of what one would call a certain day is 'third Solsday of Melting'.

Godsday, Gaiasday, Forgeday, Tradeday, Lunasday, Solsday

Snowfall, Coldwind, Melting, Planting, Mending, Trademoon, Highsun, Reaping, Storms, Baretrees, Frost, Icemoon

Holidays of the High Church
Rite of Spring - Melting 1st Godsday.
The people pray to Sol, asking for the sun to be revealed. They also pray to Luna, asking her to calm the seas. They thank Gaia for providing for them through the winter. People celebrate with great feasts, followed by music and dancing. Alcohol features prominently. The bonds of marriage do not hold on this day, and there is much promiscuity. The poor are given food as part of the services to the gods.

Ritual of Growing - Planting 1st Gaiasday.
The farmers come together to pray to Gaia for good crops. This day marks the coming of age for people just reaching adulthood. Elders take all the young adults and relate the city's customs and laws, as well as telling stories about their own youth.

Ritual of the Sea - Planting 3rd Lunasday.
Sailors and merchants pray to Luna, asking for her blessing as they cross the seas. A great parade is held in the Docks district, with donations being given to Lunas temples.

Rite of the Hearth - Mending 3rd Godsday.
People pray to Gaia to bless all the lovers and married couples so that they may stay together. A parade is held in each District with all the couples wed that year. Following them are the older married couples. After them come the children and the unwed. There is a festival held, with much dancing and music. Many marriages are held this night.

Dance of Rain - Highsun 1st Godsday.
The farmers pray to Sol, asking for rain for the crops. The elders come together in the center of each farming village and weave through the fields, dancing as they go. The affair lasts all morning, and is a somber occasion.

Fires of War - Reaping 1st Forgeday.
Soldiers pray to Sol and Luna, asking for their aid in battle. Sols temples have large bonfires stoked so that they stand tens of feet into the air. Much warlike drumming and chanting occurs. Old soldiers tell tales of battle to the youths of the city. The priests then lead these veterans into a nearby temple where they are blessed and thanked for their services.

Ritual of the Hunt - Storms 1st Forgeday.
Hunters pray to Gaia, asking her to grant them good hunting throughout the year. Hunting parties leave the city and the local farming villages early in the morning, and do not return until late at night. Hunters favored by Gaia will catch a large deer or boar, which is shared by everyone. It is a sign of Gaias displeasure if nothing is caught.

Rite of Remembrance – Baretrees 4th Lunasday
This holiday is a mix of the somber and the macabre. Quiet services are held at Lunas temples in the morning, where the lists of the dead are read aloud to the assembled worshippers. In the evening, everyone dresses up in costumes and attends parties. Children are given many treats as they go door to door. Everyone stays behind locked doors once it is truly dark. The undead become especially active late at night until the dawn.

Rite of Winter - Icemoon 1st Godsday.
The city prays to Sol to spare them the worst of the winter storms. Large donations are given to Sols temples this day. Sol's priests hand out cold weather gear to the needy. Houses are decorated with candles and wreathes, and the children receive gifts from Saint Aerick.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Holystone - Lighthouses

The city runs five lighthouses along the coast. Each lighthouse is manned by a squad of five city guardsmen and a mage (M3). This assignment is used as a reward for long-time service, and most of the men assigned are older veterans. The mages assigned here get to spend a lot of time in study, so they are generally pretty happy about the post, as well. 

Each lighthouse is a tower that raises 30 feet into the air, with a large magical bonfire at the top. A metal-lined roof sits over the fire, with the sides open to the air. The fire needs no fuel, it just has to be overseen by a mage. 

Each lighthouse has a wall enclosing a yard going around it, with a gate leading to the entrance. The wall is only five foot high. It’s intended to keep children and other citizens away from the building and is not really suitable for defense. The bottom floor holds a lobby and the mage quarters. Troop quarters are on the second floor. Each tower has a basement for storage of food, water, and weapons.

Each lighthouse flame burns a different color.

Lighthouse                     Flame Color
North Point                    Orange
Northern Harbor Isle    Blue
Southern Harbor Isle    Yellow
South Point                    Green
Cliffside                          Red

Attempting to extinguish a lighthouse blaze is counted as attempted destruction of a ship, and the perpetrators will be hanged. 

The lighthouses can be seen from large sections of the city at night and many use them for directions.

The Harbor Pilot conducts periodic inspections of each lighthouse. He knows most of the men stationed at them, and the inspections are largely formalities.

Unknown to everyone, ratmen have a secret entrance into the basement of the Cliffside lighthouse. The door looks just like the surrounding brick. It had been used for smuggler tunnels 150 years ago but has since been commandeered by the ratmen. They have taken some food and water, but are careful to leave no trace of their visits.

Runequest II news

Mongoose and Issaries have ended their agreement over RQII. Mongoose won't be making any more Glorantha books. They are going to reissue RQII as Wayfarer, in a smaller book format. I'm guessing it will be more generic.

I recommend at least picking up the main rulebook and Monster Coliseum if you are interested in the game line. The leather-bound books are really, really nice.

More news from Mongoose site:

We have recently announced that Mongoose and Issaries have mutually decided to part ways which, on the face of things, means no more RuneQuest and Glorantha (at least, from us). However, Mongoose retains ownership of the (frankly, absolutely cracking) core rules system which we intend to keep as our central fantasy roleplaying game mechanics.

We will therefore be republishing the current RuneQuest II core rules as the Wayfarer rules system (as Traveller covers science fiction, Wayfarer seemed the logical choice for fantasy!). We will be using the same ‘half-size’ format currently in use for the Lone Wolf Multiplayer Gamebooks, ensuring the rules system carries on.

The new Wayfarer rulebook will be 100% compatible with the current RuneQuest II range, albeit with some RuneQuest and Gloranthan-specific items removed/changed. In short, if you have any RuneQuest II books right now, they will be 100% compatible with Wayfarer. If you pick up Wayfarer, it will be 100% compatible with any RuneQuest II books available now. They are, after all, the same game system!

The Wayfarer rulebook will be appearing in the winter this year, and the current RuneQuest II range will remain available until this time – so if you want to grab the last of the ‘larger’ (and leather bound) format books, you can do so and be assured they will remain compatible with any new material.

There will be no more Glorantha books from Mongoose when Wayfarer appears, so if you want some Second Age goodness, get them before they disappear for good!

We will be moving Deus Vult, Wraith Recon, Eternal Champion and the forthcoming Age of Treason to Wayfarer, along with many books in the core RuneQuest II line, such as Vikings.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Holystone - Marshall's Menagerie

Marshall’s Menagerie

Marshall’s Menagerie is a mix of carnival, circus, and zoo, and is located on the east end of Tent City. Ringmaster Milo Marshall (T4) is the owner and operator of the Menagerie. The Menagerie is open every day from the afternoon until around midnight. Opening and closing times vary, depending upon weather, the amount of people at the Menagerie, or holidays.

There is a zoo with many mundane creatures and a few exotic monsters. Part of it is a petting zoo with goats, sheep, dogs, and other friendly creatures. Pony rides are available for children. The main section contains a lion, a tiger, a few elephants, some bears, a pair of camels, a bugbear, a gnoll, a griffon, a couple lizardmen, an owlbear, and a rust monster (that is kept in a wooden cage). It costs 1 sp per adult and 1 cp per child to explore the menagerie.

The circus features Mirabulos the Magnificent (M6), who specializes in illusions. There are also acrobats, a dancing bear, a griffon rider, troubadours, clowns, and mock jousts between “knights”. An evening at the big tent costs 1 sp per adult and 1 cp per child. The show starts at 7:00 and ends around 9:00.

The carnival outside the big tent has many games of chance to win prizes such as stuffed animals, toys, or cheap jewelry, a fortune-teller (maybe a real diviner or maybe a charlatan), exotic wares on sale from across the sea, and many food and drink stands. 

Some gypsies work the carnival, performing knife throwing tricks and dances for the crowd. Milo encourages them and maintains good relations between the carnies and the gypsies. The two groups ally themselves against anyone else who might harass them.

A priestess of Luna (C3) has a small tent set up, open to any who would seek her help. Usually, she just offers a non-magical blessing for luck to visitors before they play the games at the carnival. She and Milo have a deal where she won’t grant any carnival-goers magical luck.

A priestess of Mabb (C7) also has a small tent, hidden in the carnival grounds. Only a follower of Mabb or those actively seeking her aid are able to find it. The tent will not appear until after night falls. The priestess does not help followers with things like luck at the carnival games. She is only concerned with matters such as adulterers and professional thieves. Milo knows her tent is around but has never found it.

There is a freak show behind the big tent, for those who wish to see it. It features a few cambions, a few deformed humans, a room with illusions that affect the appearance of those who enter, and a ghoul chained to a wall. How the ghoul is fed is a mystery. Entry is 1 sp for adults and children. 

A burlesque tent that features musicians and strippers is located near the freak show tent. Elven and halfling prostitutes work the crowd. It is very popular. Local minstrels try very hard to get a gig here, as it pays very well. A bar serves wine and ale. Entry is 2 sp and no children are allowed inside.
Milo has a few hired guards wandering the grounds, mainly to prevent brawls and catch thieves. Brawlers are sent home and thieves are turned over to the city guard.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Banshee for BFRPG

Flipping through my copy of BFRPG, I was surprised to find that the banshee is not in the book. I didn't realize it, or I'd have included it in S&B. So I went and made my version, which doesn't really fit with some of the other versions for OSR games, but I like it.

The pdf is HERE.

Armor Class: 19
Hit Dice: 7**
No. of Attacks: 1 fist/1 wail
Damage: 1d8/1d10
Movement: 30’
No. Appearing: 1
Save As: Magic-User 7
Morale: 9
Treasure Type: special; M, N, special in lair
XP: 800

Banshees are the spirits of young women who were murdered, usually by a lover. They haunt the area around where they died. They appear as translucent women, much as they did in life. All banshees carry a silver comb worth 100 gp. When first encountered, they are often found combing their hair.
Banshees may be turned as Vampires. They may only be struck by magical weapons or spells. In combat, they will always target men before women.
They are intelligent and may be bargained with. If anyone in the party is a male of the race of their murderer, they will attack that individual. They generally won’t attack women unless they are attacked first.
Banshees are very strong and do 1d8 damage when striking someone. Once per turn they can wail, which causes 1d10 damage in a 30’cone. When the banshee is first encountered, characters must Save vs. Paralysis or run away in fear for 1d6 rounds.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Holystone - The Tower of Tiafel

The Tower of Tiafel

This old, run-down tower is located on the southern outskirts of Hilltown. Rocks have toppled from the top and lay scattered about the base of the tower. The tower is haunted, but has been there for so long that it is mostly just avoided. A few adventurers have entered the tower in an effort to clean it out, but none have ever returned. 

Centuries ago, it was the abode of an elven enchantress named Tiafel. She lived here when the area was still a forest, before the city was built. Elves living in the area say that she was killed by a man that she loved. His name was Roderick, and he was a human rogue and minstrel. 

Roderick wooed Tiafel for weeks, claiming he loved her and wanted to spend his life with her. Unfortunately for Tiafel, Roderick was far more interested in her treasure than her love. Once he had located her more valuable possessions, he planned to steal them and leave the area forever. He waited until a day when Tiafel was upset about something, and started a great argument. He then told her that he was leaving.

Tiafel was distraught and tried to charm him. Her spells failed, as he had an amulet that protected him from charms. Realizing that she would never stop chasing him, Roderick knifed her and watched her die. After murdering Tiafel, Roderick began to loot the tower. He had loaded up a pack mule and his horse, when to his surprise, Tiafel rose as a banshee. Tiafel took bloody vengeance upon the thief, dragging him into the tower and keeping him alive for days before he died. 

She now roams the tower, often glimpsed on dark, moonless nights by the locals. During thunderstorms, she has been known to wail at the sky, still mourning Roderick’s betrayal and her own untimely death. 

It is rumored that the horses bolted into the forest upon Tiafel’s arrival, carrying much treasure with them. The treasure was never recovered, in any case. 

Unbeknownst to anyone, Roderick is now a wight and is chained to the wall on the third floor of the tower, unable to escape. He still wears his amulet, although it no longer does him any good. If encountered, he will plead with the adventurers to release him, lying about how he was imprisoned by the “evil banshee”, and that he will help them to defeat her. Of course, if he is freed, he will attack his rescuers. If it becomes obvious that he will not be freed, he will just scream and jump up and down in a tantrum. If attacked, he can only get about five feet away from the wall before the chains stop him.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Holystone - Piracy and Privateers

Piracy is one of the most serious crimes a person can be accused of in the city. Holystone is a major shipping port and anything that interferes with it endangers the city’s economy.

There is a small archipelago about 50 miles to the southwest of the city that is a know haven for pirates. The pirate city of Freeport is located there. The Count would like nothing better than to raze that city to the ground, but his navy is not up to the task.

Any time a pirate ship is captured, the pirates will be killed. The ship captain who defeated the pirates will usually just hang them immediately following the battle. Sometimes, especially if the pirates are well-known and have a bounty on their heads, they will be brought back to the city to face judgment. Several navy captains have made their fortune after capturing notorious pirates. 

A pirate’s only chance of survival after capture is if he aids the City in capturing other pirate vessels. Forty years ago, Captain Jasper the Bloody was made a privateer of the city after he provided information on several pirate captains’ whereabouts and led them into a trap. He served the city well for ten years before his ship disappeared while on a voyage near Freeport.

The Count issues Letters of Marque to privateer captains. These privateers are allowed to dock at Harbor Isle, where they can sell any goods they have acquired. They also restock their ships with food, water, and ammunition while at the Isle. Privateers are allowed to attack ships who fly the flag of an enemy city, humanoid ships such as those sailed by goblins and orcs, and pirate ships. They also serve as convoy-runners if Holystone is besieged by sea. 

Privateer Captains
Captain Sir Rory Blackstone (F6) commands the Sparrow. He is a Knight of the Rose. He is a Holystone noble and is related to Baron Blackstone, who lives in Lord’s City. He is well-dressed, has a refined accent, and is more than happy to murder anyone who gets in his way.

Captain Colette Kelly (M5) commands the Avenger. She is a heavy-set, tough woman, raised in the wilds south of the city. She uses spells that manipulate the air and water, making her ship much faster and more maneuverable than it should be. She has been known to let captured enemies go, leaving them on the shore somewhere.

Captain Marv Eagle-Eyes (Halfling F7) commands the Waverider. He is famous for his excellent eyesight, which was magically enhanced years ago by a mage he knew. He is a tough scrapper and is considered one of the best knife-fighters on the coast.