Eons past, the Karu system was the home of an advanced civilization but little remains apart from a hideously radioactive former homeworld, and a new metal 'planet' further out.
The planet is the accumulated remains of the wreckage of two unimaginally large battlefleets. Through millions of years of bombardments, collisions and the impact of solar wind, the wreckage has collapsed onto itself forming a small, but very dense planet. During it's history sufficent amounts of transuranic metals collected at it's core and became a sustained nuclear reactor. The heat served to melt much of the metal that formed it, as well as creating a thick atmosphere. This atmosphere is rich in many chemicals and is dreadfully toxic.
The planet is 500km in diameter but has a gravitational force of about 1.3G. It has a thick atmosphere with usable amounts of oxygen, but has a pressure of 3 atmospheres at 'sea' level.
The remainder of the atmosphere is a devil's brew of hyrocarbons, radioactive gases, acids, and many other noxious chemicals.
Of course, this planet is considered a treasure trove of raw materials and even with its dangerous atmosphere, high radiation and powerful magnetic field, mining outposts exist. Go to Comment
Unlike the ancient dwarves, King Varamon and his visionary court magician Salidahn have discovered a different means to use the power of the Bottles.
Having uncovered an ancient tomb that had been boobytrapped by several of the devices (the traps failed, as the dragon's blood had long since lost it's potency) the King now had a small supply of the Bottles.
These bottles were harnessed into providing the motive power for a new, sail-less warship that would make King Varamon's navy the greatest in the world! The hull was thickly plated with bronze to prevent damage and fire.
The expense of operating the ship has led it to rarely put to sea, generally only in times of war. Other times it goes to sea only when a fresh supply of Dragon's Blood becomes available.
The few times it has seen battle, the effects were devestating to the enemy. Faster then any human-rowed ship, and with greater endurance, it has taken a frightful toll of enemy ships. Casualties among the ship's marines are still high, even with the signficant defences, due to the ship being used as agressively as possible.
To provide the necessary Dragon's Blood to power his new warship the King has commissioned many adventures and groups of soldiers to capture any Dragons which may be found.
10 Metalsmiths & carpenters
10 Mystical support (Enchanted weapons & power systems)
Length: 140 feet
Beam: 22 feet
Displacement: ~400 Tonnes empty
Teak Hull: 200 Tonnes
Bronze Armor: 85 Tonnes (.4 inch plate)
Dragon Bottles(4) + Propulsion System: 50 Tonnes
Remainder of tonnage made up from hull fittings, Galley (cooking), weapons & mantlets.
The Dreadnaught is capable of travelling 300 leagues on it's normal reserves of Dragon Blood. More blood can be carried, at the cost of additional cargo. Due to the weight of the proper stone storage vessels, and the dangerous nature of the substance, it is rarely overloaded.
The ship generally only carries sufficent provisions for 4 days supply and is not used more then a day's journey from land.
The Dreadnaught is built for anti-ship purposes and it's primary weapon system is a massive bronze ram built into the ships prow. It has 4 mounting points for medium-sized siege engines, with 1 Catapult and 3 Ballesta the normal deployment. Additional weapons can be mounted, but at the cost of deck space, reducing the number of archers which can be deployed.
In additional to many protective magics, including enhantments against fire, incorporeal creatures and teleportation, the ship has the following defences.
1. Bronze-cladded Teak hull, aproximately .4 inch thickness.
2. Folding mantlets which can be raised to provide additional cover to the ship's marines.
3. Illusions are used to create oars in motion to help conceal the ship's unique nature before closing to attack.
Several plot lines suggest themselves:
1. The PC's are hired by a rival nation to either discover the secrets of Varamon's Dreadnought or failing that, destroy it.
2. The PC's could easily sign on as Dragon Hunters to provide the blood.
3. The PC's could be hired on as crew of the ship, and engage in naval battle with the King's enemies or vengeful Dragons!
4. Several hundred years pass, after the Dreadnought is lost in a storm with all hands. Now, on a strange island, the PC's find an ancient bronze-hulled ship with no masts...
5. The PC's are sent to find more of the bottles, either to construct new ships, or to power some new weapons the King is planning to mount on the current one. Go to Comment
Tithinian the master smith was the first to recieve the new steel, the product of the recently founded Hilsatiri mines. The gnomes were only too happy to provide the odd new iron to make the fine Elvish Steel. He began the complex ritual that accompanied the making of the best of the elvish war-blades. His hammering of the steel followed an ancient proscribed rythym, one which if followed to perfection would lend the blade the full power and grace of the elvish people.
For hours he worked, the hammering pattern musical and unbroken, until just near the end. His mind slipped, for a moment, but no slips were allowed. His next hammer-strike was off, and instead of the harmonic ring, a dischordnant tone assaulted his ears. The blade, once shimmering with magic and harmony, became dark and ugly.
Enraged with himself, he cursed the blade, forgetting for the moment who he was, and where. Still raging, he took the spoiled blade over to the crucible and threw it in to be reforged later. It would be days before he'd be ready to work on the next blade.
Before he could do so, a second smith arrived at the shop and used the discarded steel to fashion into a fine steel breastplate.
Later on, the proud elvish warrior wearing the bright steel breastplate was struck by the spell of an enemy sorcerer, and this magical attack triggered the metal to revert to it's previous form, transfixing the elf. Go to Comment
Many in power never think through all the consequences of their actions. When the High Judges devised the Grinder, they thought they found a device horrific enough to discourage the most henious of crimes, never thinking of all it's effects...
Karv Masrharic was an unsual guard. Unlike most of his fellow guards, he did not find his duty onerous. Others drank heavily to drown out the screams.
He and the other guards were assigned to the Yunacoth, the Pit of Forlorn Hope (Literally, Pit of Dispair). This dungeon held many of the fiendish Kyeed 'Justice' devices, machines meant to render appropriate living hells to those guilty of the henious crimes. Treasoners, necromancers, murderers and rapists all met long, agonzing deaths here, or worse, ever pained and dreadful half lives.
Where Karv stood gaurd, he could hear the screams of those condemned to the Grinder, and could feel the low rumble causes by the rolling of the thousand-ton stone wheel. To him, or at least part, the screams were sweet music.
When the Grinder passed into disuse - a story that will be told, but not today, Karv found that he missed it. Go to Comment
None in Malver's way would ever make the mistake of believing this buisness is in any way legit. Outwardly, it is supposed to be selling goods salvaged from fires and other disasters, but is clearly a fensce. To maintain the facade, however, Kredal employs a handful of bully-boys who do serve as Malver's megre fire service. These men rarely put out any fires, but will enter structures to retrieve whatever valuables can be saved. Of course, only a few make it back to the original owners. It is also not unusual for fires to occur whenever things get too slow at Kredals.
The shop also sells regular goods - both stolen and occasionally legitmately sourced. Kredal also provides loans, sending his bully-boys to collect. Kredal himself lives in a villa quite some distance from Malvar's place, but does like being a big fish in a little scummy pond.
Kredal himself appears as a middle aged merchant who has endulged in too many vices, but his enemies have found that there is steel in that lardy package. And whatever faults he may have, his memory is not one of them. Go to Comment
When one enters this room, what one first notices is the smell of blood. Nearby the door is a large barrel filled to the brim with some liquid.
The other of this 20' square room is somewhat lower - the slope is gradual, but noticable.
The far wall features a stone door, but what really captures you attention is what appears to be a large summoning circle a few feet in front of the door. A vauge shadowy demonic figure can be seen standing in the middle, apprently watching your entry.
If any significant material crosses the lines of the summoning circle, the demon within will be released to lay an unholy whopping on any nearby.
The door is signficantly fortified by magic, and sports a false front which will fall inwards if physical attempts to open it fail. This of course will cross the circle and free the demon unless it is caught or otherwise prevented.
At the bottem of the barrel is the key to the door, but it must be removed without spilling much of its contents. Any significant amount of liquid will roll along the floor in nearly undetectable grooves to intersect with the summoning circle, and again, release the demon.
Reaching into the barrel will displace significant liquid.
The PCs could somehow evaporate the liquid, decant into other containers or even dam up the flood. Other solutions might suggest themselves as well, but only if the PCs understand what might happen should they spill the liquid.
Other props/bric-brac could be added to the room, but the barrel, door, circle and summoning circle are the real items of note. Go to Comment
In addition to the demons themselves,am suggesting the following distinctions with regards to possession:
4 Degrees of Possession:
1st Degree - Mindshadow
Demon in question only appears as an evil thought in the subject's mind. Only those on the edge are likely to be affected. Simple interventions can clear this, if the subject is aware of it.
2nd Degree - Power Struggle
Demon in question is a major force in the target's mind. Although the subject still has control, this is fragile.
It may take some effort, but moderate rituals can clear this.
3rd Degree - Possessed
Classical possession - Demon is in full control of the victim. Usually requires full exrocism to clear.
4th Degree - Consumed
The victims physical form is used to build a physical body for the subject demon. This transformation is usually very horrifying depending on the nature of the demon. It may appear as a simple morphing, like lycanthropes, or more spectacular, including the demon form bursting out of the victims body.
Please note that the names of the demons are inspired by latin, but are just
mock-latin, like mock swedish "Bork Bork!".
The Archnii are another of the Fear Eaters which assume a bizarre spider-like form. They appear as a spider with a ridiculous number of many segmented legs -looking more like a giant sea-urchin. Each leg ends in a jagged, clawlike tip it uses in combat. Exaggerated venomous fangs extend from its spherical form. Wherever it goes, hundreds of small, poisonous spiders appear out of the woodwork, only to evaporate soon after it leaves. The area where it passes becomes shrouded by webs which persist after it is gone. These webs are very sticky and any bare skin touching it will acquire a painful rash.
Interestingly enough, these demons are consumate mathematicians and if properly contacted can serve as an expert in this field. They have special insight into the the relationship of the various planes of existance and other dimensions.
They are capable of all forms of possession. 4th degree involves bursting forth as a mass of spider legs with the victim being reduced to tattered shreds.
This demon is motivated primarily by hunger but will also capture victims to serve as hosts to spawn additional Arach.
b>4. The Rumble
This demon appears as a great, square-built, yellow-skinned humanoid figure. Poking out of the yellow skin out of bloody wounds are dozens of black, jagged rocks.
The gaze of the demon will cause stone, brick and glass to burst in a spray of shards where desired, including the shards imbedded in it's own flesh. It will be bloodied by such an attack, but its power remains undiminished.
This demon does not possess victims - it appears only if summoned and has little desire apart from causing destruction.
This demon appears as a human-sized rat with 4 naked human arms and 2 naked human legs. Huge, red-colored eyes look out of black, greasy fur. It always moves in a half-crouch. Contact of any form almost invariably inflicts a lethal, contiguous disease on the victem that requires magic to cure. Any rat in the immediate area also becomes a carrier. This demon does not possess victims.
A highly intelligent race derived from all things, sea slugs.
-Can integrate their nervous system with larger 'host' creatures.
-Create pressure shells to allow them to live in more shallow water.
-Communicate electrically via touch or short range.
-Communicate longer range with ultrasonics, though this is slow.
Can master many chemcical processes - they have the means to work metal underwater through special enzymes and acids Go to Comment
The adventure is anachronistic and may not fit with everyone's tastes...
During a recent expedition through rarely travelled parts of a dangerous mountain range, the PC's caught sight of glittering metal high up a cliff, perhaps thousands of feet up. Perhaps they moved on, and are now returning to investigate, or they decided then and there to attempt the ascent. With a closer look or the use of magic, it appears to be some stange metal structure with long flat side-struts.
The object is a WWII Bomber that was lost over the Bermuda Triangle, a B-25 Mitchell.
Room One: Entrance and Guardian - There needs to be a reason why your dungeon hasn't been plundered or why your adventurers are the ones for the job.
What the hell was that? Our instruments went wild! Shit - look at the altimeter - we lost 5000 feet?.. Wait, there's something ahead.. PULL UP!!!!
Two hundred feet below, the hulk of the craft juts from the mountain side like a stray arrow, the nose crumpled and imbedded in a deep fissure. The cliff-face is sheer, and unstable, with rocks falling loose with ease. Falling here would be a several hundred foot drop before striking a ledge. PCs will need significant mountaineering skills to attempt the descent, or magic to compensate.
Complication: In addition to dangers of the crumbling rock, the local weather is strong and unpredictible. Winds could dash PCs hard against the rocks as they decend, perhaps rubbing ropes against sharp rocks, or triggering small rockfalls. The air is also bitterly cold and poses yet another hazard the PCs must prepare for.
Room Two: Puzzle or Roleplaying Challenge - A trial that cannot be solved by steel alone.
When the PCs get close to the aircraft, of course they will not recognise what it is (their Players might) and its function will be difficult to tell. Rust has taken a toll and the crash did much damage. All of the hatches have been ceased shut by the impact and rust. Much of the aircraft is coated by a thick layer of ice, leaving only a few possible entries that do not require hacking through ice. Of course, the ice and smooth metal skin will be quite difficult to climb upon. The aircraft also is imbedded at a fairly steep angle, the result of the crews frantic attempt to gain altitude.
Room Three: Trick or Setback - Build tension through tricks and setbacks and give them a double-dose of gameplay such as more combat or another roleplaying challenge.
Room Five: Reward, Revelation, Plot Twist - The dungeon is complete but what is it about this dungeon that made it different or memorable. What kind of mystery have they discovered, what kind of reward have they won, and what kind of information have they recovered?
« valadaar Oct 17, 2007 02:29 ( 0 )
Updated: Help! Is this even worth finishing? Brain dried up on this one.Stephie Oct 19, 2007 06:31 ( 0 )
I think there's potential in this. As I read through this, I tried to put myself in the position of a player and the first thing that came to mind was how old is the Bomber? You mention that it's rusted and has a thick layer of ice.
Are the PCs the first to find the craft or perhaps others have attempted to plunder its "treasures inside" but maybe were killed by the ghosts or undead?
What about not killing off all the crewmen and have one survivor who is barely alive, maybe he's so emaciated that the PCs could even mistake him to be an undead when he's not. This could almost be a test for the PC's. Or perhaps this one crewman has been plagued by the ghosts of his crewman.
Taking it even a step further, what if the one survived somewhere else entirely on the mountain and is the key to the players figuring out the mystery. There could easily be communication issues as the crewman and the PCs due to unknown languages.
Brought to you by http://www.strolen.com 13 Jupiter masses and Go to Comment
The Clockwork Oracle
Mechanical Astrologer (inspired by greek calculator!)
After waiting in line for what seemed to be ages, you are finally led into the dark room, choked with smoke and incense.
You can make out the figures of armored gaurds standing against the walls, and in front of you a large metal sphere.
The Clockwork Oracle is a sentiant machine driven by hundreds and hundreds of tiny gears, operating like a mechanical computer.
Originally built simply to calculate the future positions of astrological objects, the level of complexity of the system, as well as the influence of the magic metals which formed some of it's parts combine d
The Clockwork Oracle is quite curios about the outside world, but all it learns is from the questions of it's petitioners.
In return for answering questions, generally with odd, irrelevilent answers, it asks questions of it's own. Go to Comment
The Builders of Stoneholt are the greatest secret of the Caretakers. Three of the massive golems still exist, all sequestered in parts of the city not yet controlled by humans.
Plot DescriptionA set of adventures located in the vast metropolis of Stoneholt.
The Guardians's Revolt
Unknown to the humans of Stoneholt, the three groups of Guardians - Free, Survitor and Feral have been quietly plotting together over the years. With the opening of a cache of weapons left behind by the Giants, apparently for Gaurdian use, the Guardians rise up against the humans.Slaves openeing doors for groups of attacking Free and Feral groups. The sewer bear riding Ferals act as dangerous calvary and the humans suddenly find themselves fighting for their life in a city gone mad.rnrnFrom outside the city, another threat looms. ...SecretsExpanding the scenario
A city of immigrants - first by the Anasha people, displaced from their lands by the Rephatians, and then later, by the peoples of dozens of nations.
Stoic Theosians, fleeing their oppressive relgion, Neblians and D'Har seeking the free lands within the city as well as carrying on their own eternal feud, Saliadonians
and even a few Hanaset tribesman, exploring the world and finding a land so different then their forests.
A melting pot city.
The city of Stoneholt is seperated by the Saar river into three distinct sections, each fully enclosed by tall curtain walls Go to Comment
Additions to the Dangerous Aspects of spellcasting
1st, separation into power levels
Cantrip (minor spells which do not do terribly much a normal person could not do with cheaply obtained tools, materials or little skill).
Mythic (Beyond the norm for PC casters)
Divine (Sufficent to rework major aspects of local reality - used by dieties primarily)
Traditional side effects include:
Souring of Milk
Cows stop giving milk for a while
Mutant animals born - Calves with two heads, etc.
Mutations in human children
Major crop failure
Neyanthian Dwarves (First Wave before degeneration, and Second wave )fit the typical description of dwarves accross the multiverse. Topping out at 4'6" and averaging 140 lbs, Dwarven males are powerfully built and broad of chest and limb. Dwarven females are somewhat shorter - Averaging 4' in height and weighing on average 130 lbs. Apart from their size and stubbier proportions, dwarves are indistinguishable from humanity. Hair color tends to vary widely, with most human colors represented as well as a odd metallic slate exibited by a few clans. Eye color is more restricting, being almost exclusively deep grey.
The Degenerate First Wave Dwarves are a bit different then their newer fellows. They are more diverse in weight, with many appearing almost cadaverously thin, and they exibit odd mutations and occasional animalistic features. Hooved feet, fur, tails (various - dog-like, serpent, etc), odd ears and other features mark these Dwarves.
2 Culture and history
2.1 Clan Society
2.1.3 Clan fortresses
2.1.4 First Wave Degenerates
2.4 Combat and Honor
2.6 Magic & Technology
3 Dwarves and The World
4 See also
5 Notes and references
The dwarves of Neyathis are both older and younger then mankind.
There were two waves of Dwarves that came to Neyathis from afar, seeded here by their dieties.
The first wave actually came to dominate the world for several millenia until they finally destroyed themselves in a war of fratricide and fanatisim. No more then traces of this first wave remain - a few terribly inbred inclaves isolated miles below the surface. Their works have been found in many places, while other areas have been scoured clean during their last, dreadful war.
The new wave was reintroduced to Neyathis since the rise of Mankind, and so have appeared in isolated regions. They have established the kingdom of Kashaar which has on occasion warred with their human neighbors.
The Dwarves of Neyathis have the appearance typical of Dwarves on other worlds, but have a greater range of cultures. Some groups hold the beard with far less regard and formality then others, and, expecially in the Kingdom of Kashaar, occupy the surface in much the same way as humans. Go to Comment
Feng Shui applicable to Fantasy as a school of magic
"The original Feng Shui Masters were hired by emperors to wage war. It is said that they had the power to manipulate the wind, water and fog to help the outcome of battles. Folk Lore has it that the Emperor was fearful that they would use their skills against him, so he ordered the Feng Shui Masters put to death."
The effect of proper feng shui on the living is thought to carry over to the afterlife. In traditional feng shui belief, the feng shui of cemeteries affects the state of the dead spirits and, indirectly, their living descendants. Spirits of the buried were believed to remain at their gravesites or by the homes of their kin, and just as bad feng shui harms relaxation and ease of mind among the living, the spirits of people buried with bad feng shui will be anxious and restless, and therefore more likely to trouble the living. This reasoning led to careful feng shui planning of cemeteries.1 Conversely, desecrating the feng shui of the grave of an enemy's ancestor was thought to be a powerful weapon.2Go to Comment