Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Game Notes - Syri

In these posts I'll explore various people, places and information I've had need of preparing for my homebrew campaign, one that takes place on the RimWorld a partially group built setting. Im doing for my own reference, but feel free to use it as you like.


Total pop: 2051
Humans: 1231
Elves: 410
Half Elves: 205
Dwarves: 98
Halflings: 108
Full Time Guards: 21
Clergy: 26

Inns: Babes Roost, Markeeve's Place
Taprooms: Dead Harpy, Clever Wanderer, Greedy Demon, Emperors Arms.

Key features

  • Partial foundations on a rock outcropping by the banks of the Jade river.
  • Protected against the encroaching shifting sands. 
  • Historically important for trade with a levy on all boats travelling through, thriving market.
  • Provides Stone from local quarries, used in all major Empire building works.
  • Fully manned garrison and centre of local security.

Iconic Heralds

High Druid - Sinir Il-Ithellen Chief among the Krao
Emperor - Baron Obo Morrog,
Orc Lord - Ugrosh the Exile
Priestess - High Cleric Estlin Amberhand
Liche King - Amyr Hajan, member of the Gilded Brotherhood

Rumors and Events

  • A lost grove in the Feywild holds clues to the path to the Crown.
  • Prominent members of the Krao are detained under strict blasphemy charges.
  • Baron Obo succumbs to a fit of madness.
  • A member of the White Hearts makes an attempt on the Barons life.
  • The savage hill tribes broker a cease in hostilities with each other.
  • The shaman Gro'Vaak attempts to travel through the Feywild
  • An agitator seeks to stir up religious hatred 
  • A few members of the clergy are revealed to be corrupt.
  • A powerful member of the Gilded Brotherhood receives possession of an Armoured Arm.
  • The shifting sands begin washing up ancient relics.

In Town Today

  • 35 Mercenaries and Captain.
  • Travelling Minstrels and Poets.
  • Members of the Secret Police.
  • A gang of hardline religious dissidents.
  • Striking angry workers.
  • A band of child pickpockets
  • Mimes.
  • Duelling Aristocracy.
  • Exotic trade goods from the South.
  • Travelling Slavers.
  • A Bronze Dragon and a wizard.

Visual Inspiration

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Using Relationship Dice to shape your Campaign

Something I've wanted to talk about for a while is the way I use Relationship Dice and Icons in my ongoing campaign, Ive spoken to people on G+ about how its used, and now the rules have been out for a long while I think our group has finally had time to properly road test - and modify things to the way we like to play.

The 13A core book suggest rolling relationship dice at the start and during the game to generate drama and action, this is great - it works really well for one off's or for games that run only a handful of times. However I know my regular players in my campaigns felt the mechanic too forced, the action of rolling a dice broke the immersion - prescribed action they called it, things weren't just happening in the world, we are having to make a special roll to see what was happening.

I really like the Icons, they're a big focus of the rule system so I felt it would be a real shame to cut them, I turned to the core book for advice and wasn't surprised that the excellent conversational and options based approach to game design came up trumps, I opted to start rolling the Dice at the end of the session. This is great if your group isn't good at or doesn't care for improv, and in our case didn't like the intrusive/prescriptive nature of the rolls at the start/during the game.

So every week at the end of the session (or midweek over a Facebook chat window) my players roll their d6's - crossing their fingers and hoping for a 6. All the Icons are represented by their agents in the world, so no matter what's rolled - there's an NPC or organisation somewhere waiting to act.

I'll have these Organisation and NPC's worked out with a Campaign goal, What they want to achieve over the life of the campaign and a number of steps they must take in order to achieve that goal. Then no matter who is chosen the act i've got an idea of what they want to do and based on where the story's join i can decide (often loosely) what they'll do to make it happen.

Sometimes more relationship dice rolls crop up than there is feasible time/focus to deal with. I'll often resolve with the Icon or his agents making discreet actions designed not to draw any attention, yet hopefully render consequences later down the road.

The campaign has been running since August '13, and we've been using this method for the majority and so far my players feel as engaged and present in the ongoing story as they have for a very long while - which is great.

If you want more advice on bending the Relationship dice and Icons to your story needs I highly recommend dealing Blood & Lightning (the adventure from the core book) and Tales of the 13th Age (hit up +ASH LAW on G+) I also recommend the Dungeon World core book for advice on organising your NPC's and Organisations.