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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 74 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Island of Halavra  (Read 1422 times)
Valamir
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Posts: 5574


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« on: August 23, 2006, 07:43:27 PM »

Ok, so I'll throw the outline of the island up in the Island thread, but I thought it would be fun to walk through the the mental process of creating the island.

 The Island of Halavra

I decided to use as much of the random generation capability as possible to test it out, changing as little as possible.  I did pretty well, only having to change a couple items to make them fit.  I noted those below.

My results:
Communities:

Sun dappled forests and lush green grasslands – used
Devout worshippers with immaculate temples and shrines – I expanded this to be a small city known for its devotion.
Nomadic Band of Proud Hunters – this one I expanded.  Lush grasslands…proud hunters…greek mythology…a tribe of Centaurs…sure they’re “monsters” and this result is from the “men” table…but it was too cool to pass up.
Savage Cultists of some ancient god-thing – at first this one seemed the odd result, but I think I managed to make it work
Events
Peace agreement between warring groups – used
Occupied by army from another island – used
Funeral for great hero or king – used
gods
Ares, Athena, Posiedon – I eventually swapped Ares out for Artemis in order to make things fit.  Swapped OUT Ares?…yeah, I’ll save him for later…heh
god’s desires
Release (something must be set free) – used
Restore (something must be fixed) – used
Calm (conflict must be ended) – used
items and beasts
Ring or amulet, Ancient Stone, and Crown or scepter – managed to use all of these
Copper Beetle, Crystal Spider, Shadow Ape – decided the beetle was too much, used the others


Ok, so at first I wasn’t all that thrilled with these results…Release, Restore, Calm, Peace agreements…sounded rather tame.  I was tempted to reroll but that would be a totally lame cop out.   So I decided to work with what I had.

What I had was 4 groups of people: devout worshippers, proud nomads, and cultists were rolled up, and the occupying army event provided a fourth.  The other events were a peace treaty and a funeral for a king.

So clearly the occupying army had conquered the city of devout worshippers…but I didn’t want the peace treaty to be with them…the invaders needed to be beaten down.  And Savage Cultists are for killing.  So my next thought was that the peace treaty had to be between the city folk and the nomads.  That was easy…the city folk were expanding into the interior with their farms and settlements and squeezing the nomads…who being proud didn’t like it…so they’d been feuding for years.  It was at this time I decided to make the nomads into centaurs.

Ok, so who was the occupying army…well here I went back to the Men list and picked the Hundred Swords…they sounded cool…a band of mercenaries looking for plunder…no…not plunder, the event was “occupied”…they were going to use the city as a base.  I figure the mercenaries are a band of deserters and refugees from the war, looking for a place to call home and use to raid from.

Ok…so…what to do with all that…I got an occupied city, some feud with centaurs…its kinda neat but its not going anywhere, where’s the adventure?  Here I’ll say the advice on page 85 to frame the gods’ desires proved helpful.  I’d initially skimmed over it, but when I was stuck for ideas I went back and reread that part and it helped.

The primary objectives
The first one to click was “restore”.  Restore what?  Restore the city to its rightful owners, of course…restore the king to his throne.  No…not the king, the king’s heir…the king is dead…the funeral event, remember.  Ooohh, and the crown.  The crown artifact.  There’s a good secondary objective…recover the crown, fight the mercenaries, restore the king…cool, that’s coming together.  So which god wants the city restored?  Could be any one of them, the city is full of devout worshippers so…whoever they worship.  I mentally penciled in Athena…she’s a solid supporter of cities and civilization.

But what about “release” and where do these cultists come in.  Click.  “ancient god-thing”…”release”.  God Thing…Release.  Release the god thing.  Bingo.  But why would a god want some ancient god thing released?  Hmmm…because its not a god thing at all, the cultists just think it is…its really just a monster they’ve captured and worshipped…a monster that is a favorite of one of the gods.  Ok, which god…which monster.  Easy.  Poseidon, making the monster a sea monster, one of the Ketos.  Sea Monsters aren’t on the monster list, but so what.  The cultists have imprisoned a Sea Monster which they worship.  Imprisoned a sea monster?  How’d they manage that? The amulet…obviously.  They use the amulet to control the sea monster.  Item number two down.

Ok, that leaves “calm” and Ares.  Not a good match.  And I already decided I wanted peace between the city folk and the centaurs…proud nomadic hunters…what god would want the best for a group of proud nomadic hunters…Artemis, of course.  Out with Ares, in with Artemis.

So Artemis wants the heroes to make peace between the city folk and the centaurs
Athena wants the heroes to restore the heir to the throne of Halavra
Poseidon wants the heroes to free the captured sea monster.


So what about the secondary objectives.

Quest #1: Artemis Demands There be Peace Between Halavra and the Centaurs


Ok, so how about we start with a test.  These are centaurs after all…proud and noble…the heroes must be found worthy.  And centaurs are somewhat primitive…so they’d be likely to perform this test in a ceremony at…a sacred stone…ha…item #3 down.  I think I’ll have the tests rack up advantages…or maybe oaths…that can be used later.

What else…how about a fight…how about we have some of those nasty mercenary types hunting centaurs for sport…yeah that would work.  I can stat up some ultimate bow guy and his hunter minions.  We’ll call him Derkylos the Reaver.  If the heroes are found worthy, the centaurs will ask them to deal with Derkylos.

Then what…I need at least 3 per the rule.  Obviously a peace treaty takes two sides to agree to it so the last secondary objective will be to convince the King of Halavra to make peace as well.  That will provide a good opportunity for non combat contests.  Ooohhh but here’s a cool trick.  They can’t get the King to make peace, until there is a king…Athena’s quest will have to be finished first.  I like it.


Quest #2:  Athena Demands that the rightful King of Halavra be restored

The first one is obvious.  The heroes have to recover the crown.  But recover it from what?  Why does the crown need recovered?  Hmmm…how about to keep it out of the hands of the invaders a Halavran hero…we’ll call him Brison…smuggled the crown out of the city to save it from the mercs.  Yeah, that will work.  So to get it back…the heroes have to track down Brison.  Hunting rolls, maybe an obstacle test…fine.

But just tracking down Brison…that’s boring…and we haven’t yet used any beasts.  Sooo, poor Brison, he’s gone into the wilderness and got himself killed by a band of Shadow Apes who want to keep the pretty bauble he’s carrying.  Cool, I can stat up a big ape and his little ape minions.

Ok, so what next.  Well, we haven’t used the funeral yet…the funeral for the king…the funeral that the occupying mercs haven’t let the grieving family hold…but maybe that funeral can be held now that the heroes are here.  There’s the next objective.  Protect the funeral from merc soldiers.   Hmmm, maybe to mix things up, I’ll have a fight with a horde of minions but no boss present.  That’s it.  Hacking through waves of soldiers while the funeral ceremony goes on in the back ground. 

Well, the next step is obvious…a show down with the merc captain…We’ll call him Malleus…sounds grim enough… and more of his minions.  Kill Malleus and the rest of the mercenaries leave, leaving the heroes free to restore the king…good.  Ooohhh but here’s a cool twist.  They CAN’T leave…not as long as the Sea Monster is around right…because leaving takes ships, and sea monsters sink ships.  So if the heroes kill Malleus before freeing the monster the mercs can’t leave…they’ll just recruit another leader (same stats as Malleus) and the heroes will have to fight him all over again.  I’ll be sure to allow some Lore type rolls to discover this, but if the players don’t investigate…we’ll have a rematch.  I like it.

Ok, so that should end it, right.  Once the mercs are gone, the king is crowned.  That will allow the heroes to convince him to make peace with the centaurs and finish the first quest…but not so fast.  What if there are TWO heirs to the throne…We’ll call these guys Peritas and Sesklio, and the players have to choose which one to put on the throne.  And what if one of them is willing to make peace with the centaurs and the other isn’t.  With the right rolls the players could find out which, but otherwise, they could put the wrong brother on the throne…which will come back to bite them when finishing Artemis’s quest…heh that’s a good one.


Quest #3:  Poseidon Demands That the Sea Monster be Released from Captivity

Ok, so this one should be pretty straight forward.  If you have savage cultists worshipping an ancient “god” you gotta have a secret temple.  So step one, locate the secret temple…some kind of hunt the widget rolls here.

Step two…travel to the secret temple…a hard road…some obstacle contests.  Ooohh, and if the heroes haven’t encountered the centaurs yet, here’s where they can get intercepted and tested.

Ok…enough with the simple contests.  Time for a battle…but with what…hmmm…I haven’t used the crystal spiders or the copper beetle yet…spiders, yeah, that’s definitely more cult like.  So…let’s see, the temple is at the end of a canyon, and the canyon is guarded by stone spiders with bronze webs strung across…nice.

Then its on to the inner sanctum to fight the high priest and his cultist minions and recover the amulet.  Nasty cultist minions are kinda cool.  Here’s a chance to use some of those more off the wall powers…like fear…yeah, rising tendrils of sickly green fog that smells like dead sea things…that’s good for fear…oooohhhh and how about Reposition…for when those scary tendrils of fog grab the heroes and toss them around…heh.

Finally using the amulet to free the Sea Monster.  Some kind of Insight contest or something here.


Wow.  So initially I was pretty bummed that my rolls seemed lame.  But this island’s pretty hawt.  All that remains is statting me out some NPCs
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John Harper
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Posts: 1054

flip you for real


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« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2006, 09:24:18 PM »

Ralph, this is the best gift a game designer could hope for. I am so happy right now, I am about to bounce off the walls. Thank you so much for writing this up. It is so, so gratifying for me to see the system click for you like that.

Also, this island is awesome. I love how the three quests fit together and how you've pre-loaded some possible consequences for the heroes' actions. This is black-belt level Antagonist play at its best. Fantastic.
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Agon: An ancient Greek RPG. Prove the glory of your name!
Darren Hill
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Posts: 861


« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2006, 05:55:05 AM »

That looks fun. I can definitely see myself stealing that (and the associated NPCs) when the time comes for me to run a proper island.
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