Castles and Ruins

Author Topic: No Quarter Under the Crown  (Read 1044 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Wolfhound

  • Moderator
  • ****
  • Posts: 914
  • OIC Points 10/10
  • nothin' ta see here...
  • Awards Gencon GM 2014 OIC Member
    • World of Ærnth/Channel Cities
    • Awards
No Quarter Under the Crown
« on: July 19, 2013, 02:18:52 PM »
For those who have been following this setting, and may not have heard either myself or Nicholas mention it, I'm working on a campaign module (intended to take characters from around 12th lvl up to about 18th or 20th lvl or so). 

The current tentative plan for a title is "No Quarter Under the Crown" (although my original plan was for "No Quarter Under the Iron Crown", but there were some reservations about that, so a decision has not been made yet). 

it will start out with heroic characters of around 12th to 15th level being invited to a small kingdom to deal with a problem for the local king.  This kingdom is north-west of the Channel Cities (in particular just north of the Gorled Kingdom) and north-east of the Archendurn Kingdom. There are also notes and suggestions for how best to import the campaign into various other home-brew settings, as such it is like the other modules I've written thus far in that it can easily work in any generic setting as well as the intended World of Ærnth/Channel Cities setting.

However, it is intended that what appears to a simple task for this king (rid his kingdom of a troublesome beast) ends up leading to a much more involved plot-line that involves betrayal and political turmoil on mutiple levels.  Most of the campaign will actually take place in a huge mountain valley, where more and more of the twisted plots of several different factions vying for power are slowly revealed. 

So far the play-testing has gone well, but we are only about 20-25% of the way through it so far.  The first play-test group was started just before the end of last year, with roughly an every-other week schedule (although the sessions tend to be short), and I'm hoping to start to import parts of what has been written so far (more than 100 pages) into Fantasy Grounds for use in running a second virtual play-test group in the near future.  When I submitted the proposal to Nicholas late last year, I gave him a tentative rough draft date of the end of this year, however it may be closer to early next year before he has it in hand due to progress being a little slower in converting the past material into the new RMU system and improving the scores of maps and floorplans that will be included. 

This is also set up such that there are a lot of additional details and plot-hooks for GM's to use to expand the campaign, as well as the turmoil in the mountain valley leading to (if the characters pursue the intended story-arc) the collapse of some of these political/military powers, which will in turn create a possible location for the characters to claim their own lands to rule over if they so choose (what I like to call a "retirement kingdom"). 

The current plan includes several fortresses (two castles as well as a couple of smaller tower fortresses) and cavern complexes (one very large and several smaller ones) as well as a large arboreal wilderness area and a village, along with many of the classic creatures that players love/hate to face. 

The current plan is for it to be written for use with RMU and HARP. 

Also, with Nicholas now managing the ICE product lines through Guild Companion Publishing, my faith in the long-term viability of the ICE product lines and as such, I've got plans to release additional materials for the setting in the coming years, both as commercial modules through Guild Companion Publishign as well as through the GuildCompanion.com e-zine in the form of many planned articles covering various aspects of the Channel Cities portion of the setting.  And if all of these other project go well, then my end goal is to one day put out a single large volume that details the Channel Cities themselves (however this would be a massive work due to level of detail present).

Comments?  Questions?
Wolfhound (aka Aaron Smalley)
RM fan since the early 80s
www.Guild Companion.com (Writer/Spacemaster Editor)
World of Aernth/Channel Cities setting: www.ChannelCities.com
City of Archendurn & Dun Cru author (for RM/HARP)
Cur. proj: No Quarter Under the Crown

Offline Ironmaul

  • Senior Adept
  • **
  • Posts: 710
  • OIC Points 0/0
  • I'll work for free, if you can pay all my debts.
    • The Art of Rick Hansen
    • Awards
Re: No Quarter Under the Crown
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2013, 12:49:46 AM »
Sounds interesting. I think there are a few people still waiting for RMU to be released before any steps to creativity will be initiated.
But what you have sounds good, is it a high abundant magic setting or low abundant magic setting?

Offline markc

  • Elder Loremaster
  • ****
  • Posts: 10,423
  • OIC Points 0/0
  • Awards OIC Member
    • Awards
Re: No Quarter Under the Crown
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2013, 07:04:34 AM »
 I also think it is cool. And if you could have some tools to export your modules directly to FG I think that is even better. Note I do not use FG and do not know about any of the options in it, but I bet any work that can be done by the author for a reasonable price would be greatly appreciated by ICE and FG.
MDC
Rule #0: A GM has the right to change any rule in a book to fit their game.
Role Play not Roll Play
Use a System to tell the story do not let the system play you.

Offline Wolfhound

  • Moderator
  • ****
  • Posts: 914
  • OIC Points 10/10
  • nothin' ta see here...
  • Awards Gencon GM 2014 OIC Member
    • World of Ærnth/Channel Cities
    • Awards
Re: No Quarter Under the Crown
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2013, 12:15:10 PM »
Sounds interesting. I think there are a few people still waiting for RMU to be released before any steps to creativity will be initiated.
But what you have sounds good, is it a high abundant magic setting or low abundant magic setting?

It is a low to mid-abundance magic setting.  Magic and magic items do exist within the setting, but are uncommon at best.  As written people capable and trained in spellcasting make up less than 1% of the population and quality items are much more common that magic items.  However as an example, this campaign module has dozens of magic items as treasure, but at the same time is pretty lengthy in its scope.

I also think it is cool. And if you could have some tools to export your modules directly to FG I think that is even better. Note I do not use FG and do not know about any of the options in it, but I bet any work that can be done by the author for a reasonable price would be greatly appreciated by ICE and FG.
MDC

I’m also hoping (pending Nicholas' approval) to also release it as a Fantasy Grounds module that can be downloaded and used with this software for running, once the RMU rules-set module is also released. 
Wolfhound (aka Aaron Smalley)
RM fan since the early 80s
www.Guild Companion.com (Writer/Spacemaster Editor)
World of Aernth/Channel Cities setting: www.ChannelCities.com
City of Archendurn & Dun Cru author (for RM/HARP)
Cur. proj: No Quarter Under the Crown

Offline Ironmaul

  • Senior Adept
  • **
  • Posts: 710
  • OIC Points 0/0
  • I'll work for free, if you can pay all my debts.
    • The Art of Rick Hansen
    • Awards
Re: No Quarter Under the Crown
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2013, 01:24:21 AM »
A low to mid abundant magic setting is appealing, something that I think is becoming more popular. I've always liked the idea of magic items being few and far between, and each item having a specific background of why it was created in the first place. Anyway, I hope it all goes well as this is something I think is fresh and new for RM settings.

Offline Cory Magel

  • Loremaster
  • ****
  • Posts: 5,181
  • OIC Points 5/5
  • Fun > Balance > Realism
  • Awards OIC Member
    • Awards
Re: No Quarter Under the Crown
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2013, 02:44:46 AM »
It's akin to the setting I will use most time in terms of quality items and magic.  Technically "magic" as a whole is somewhat common (as high as 20%), but not really seen as magic due to it's very limited nature/scope for most those with any ability.  Semi and Pure spell casters however make up a fairly small percentage of that 20%, so it ends up being around 1% of the population - and much of that is made up of Channeling Users (Priests, Paladins, etc).  I don't want magic items to be common, but the group will obviously eventually obtain them over the course of their adventures.  I also have heavy armor setup to be somewhat rare.  Essentially, Chain Mail is what a somewhat veteran adventurer would likely have and normally only Military Heavy Cavalry, Knights, and Paladins would have full plate armor.  You can get it, if you can afford it, but you are going to be mistaken for one of those three forms of 'fighter'.

So... my rambling point... I agree with Ironmaul, I think the market has room for a lower magic form of setting.
- Cory Magel

Game design priority: Fun > Balance > Realism (> = greater than).
(Channeling Companion, RMQ 1 & 2, and various Guild Companion articles author).

"The only thing I know about adults is that they are obsolete children." - Dr Seuss

Offline Ironmaul

  • Senior Adept
  • **
  • Posts: 710
  • OIC Points 0/0
  • I'll work for free, if you can pay all my debts.
    • The Art of Rick Hansen
    • Awards
Re: No Quarter Under the Crown
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2013, 04:23:09 PM »
I've been watching the TV series "Conquest" by Peter Woodward about the history of weapons and armour of various cultures and time periods. He has a great deal of info on swords their types and the pros and cons of them, quite interesting. Although the over the top commentary and shouting get's a bit old after awhile, definitely worth checking out though. It was mentioned that it was outlawed to own or carry a sword except knights and nobles, something I thought interesting to have in a game world. What if the adventurers discovered a magical/enchanted sword but the laws prohibited the use of it because of there low status? Makes for an interesting adventure in itself.
On a side note you just have to look at Game of Thrones. It has low abundant magic in it's setting and look how popular it is with people that normally isn't into fantasy type genres. It's not the magic that makes it a successful setting but the culture the diversity of it all. The small bit of magic use we see in it is just enough to keep everyone guessing and intrigued.
So anyone that wants to create a low magic setting will have me cheering at the side lines screaming go go go!.  8)

Offline Wolfhound

  • Moderator
  • ****
  • Posts: 914
  • OIC Points 10/10
  • nothin' ta see here...
  • Awards Gencon GM 2014 OIC Member
    • World of Ærnth/Channel Cities
    • Awards
Re: No Quarter Under the Crown
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2013, 07:09:00 PM »
Yup, love Game of Thrones.  Very little magic, but it is there (although it is portrait almost as if magic had nearly disappeared from the world or was largely lost and is just now starting to re-appear). 

In other ways kind of reminiscent of Tolkien's Middle Earth, where it is present but not very common, and in some cases tends to be feared or distrusted (that is something that I've toyed with in this setting, but only with a few of the cultures within the setting). 
Wolfhound (aka Aaron Smalley)
RM fan since the early 80s
www.Guild Companion.com (Writer/Spacemaster Editor)
World of Aernth/Channel Cities setting: www.ChannelCities.com
City of Archendurn & Dun Cru author (for RM/HARP)
Cur. proj: No Quarter Under the Crown

Offline Cory Magel

  • Loremaster
  • ****
  • Posts: 5,181
  • OIC Points 5/5
  • Fun > Balance > Realism
  • Awards OIC Member
    • Awards
Re: No Quarter Under the Crown
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2013, 12:29:22 AM »
Yeah, I mentioned elsewhere the way people look at magic in my setting depends largely on the population density rather than if they are within a certain kingdom or culture.  Essentially how "backwoods" they are.

For example, if you tossed a Firebolt on a busy street in a large city you'd be a spectacle, but the worst that might happen is you get tossed in jail for a night (assuming you didn't hurt someone innocent or cause damage and didn't resist the city guard).  But if you did the same thing in a small village odds are you'd either clear it out due to people fleeing in terror or have the locals attempt to lynch you (although they'd probably try to drown you rather than burn you since you obviously have the power of fire on your side).

There are also Church Knights (of the more zealous churches) that would potentially hunt you down and kill you if they could get away with it since you're obviously in league with demons, devils, evil gods, whatever...
- Cory Magel

Game design priority: Fun > Balance > Realism (> = greater than).
(Channeling Companion, RMQ 1 & 2, and various Guild Companion articles author).

"The only thing I know about adults is that they are obsolete children." - Dr Seuss

Offline markc

  • Elder Loremaster
  • ****
  • Posts: 10,423
  • OIC Points 0/0
  • Awards OIC Member
    • Awards
Re: No Quarter Under the Crown
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2013, 08:16:21 AM »
 And the best thing is that in RM you can go off the road so to speak or out of the box and select and restrict spell lists for specific professions.
 Think of the paladin who had super strong detect/dispel/find magic lists but no showy spell lists, or the elementalist who had to learn way off in the woods to prevent being caught. ect the game world almost writes itself. Also the other fact is that over time a person or population will grow accustom to what you are trying to do and relax or revolt to go back to the old (somewhat modified) way.
 ie a vigilante crusade against essence users not branded by the crown, at the beginning everyone may be on the look out but over time as they do not see the "boogie' essence users they let their guard down and maybe even not spend so many PP searching everyone who comes in as they would have before.  The underground movement of people is also good for the "night trades" so to speak as well.


Well back to cradling my injured wing.
MDC
Rule #0: A GM has the right to change any rule in a book to fit their game.
Role Play not Roll Play
Use a System to tell the story do not let the system play you.

Offline Wolfhound

  • Moderator
  • ****
  • Posts: 914
  • OIC Points 10/10
  • nothin' ta see here...
  • Awards Gencon GM 2014 OIC Member
    • World of Ærnth/Channel Cities
    • Awards
Re: No Quarter Under the Crown
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2013, 09:45:34 AM »
Yup, such things can have a bit impact on the setting.  Within this setting, there is one powerful spellcasters guild (although most of the clerical spellcasters, which are the most common do not associated with it since they are "religion' based and thus don't agree with some of the tenets of the guild) that most spell-casters belong too.  However there are a few other spell-caster organizations that generally stay out of sight as much as they can manage (and are actually hunted and persecuted by the large guild).  This large guild is also part of the reason that spell-casters are not as common within the setting, as they try to limit their numbers (and by doing so increase demand while limiting supply and thus can "corner the market" so to speak of the magic trade). 

As such these smaller spell-casting guilds tend to be very specialized and also very secretive.  They also tend to work to some degree with the underworld guilds (of which there are several in the Channel Cities region of the world). 

But then again guilds are a major factor in nearly all industries within this setting, which in effect creates a "middle-class" of trained (but in limited numbers) artisans within the world.  All together there are in excess of 100 guilds that are fully detailed within the World of Ærnth/Channel Cities setting.  With around 75-80% of those being artisan/industry based and the remainder being mostly underworld with a handful of magical based guilds as mentioned.
Wolfhound (aka Aaron Smalley)
RM fan since the early 80s
www.Guild Companion.com (Writer/Spacemaster Editor)
World of Aernth/Channel Cities setting: www.ChannelCities.com
City of Archendurn & Dun Cru author (for RM/HARP)
Cur. proj: No Quarter Under the Crown

 

Friends and Rivals