Sunday, July 7, 2024

Steal This Map!

 Whether or not you are listening to my semi-actual-play podcast Swords Against Madness or not, you might find the map and encounter tables I created for the podcast worth stealing (1 hex = 6 miles).

Nar is the island where the campaign is currently set. A tropical island colonized long ago by a culture of explorers, the Aldi Guilds (inspired by Mystara's Minrothad Guilds), and then abandoned when the motherland suffered an economic collapse.

The people who first settled Island encountered a race of alien beings who were using this (forbidden to space-farers) planet as a place to cache their contraband.  The "Starmen" (members of a criminal organization called the Trassi Syndicate)  set themselves up as deities and traded magical knowledge for indentured servants, handicrafts, and resources harvested by the settlers.

Eventually a group of cloistered magician-astronomers - The Order of the Stars - became the heart of a local mystery Cult, The most intelligent of Nar Village are recruited as apprentices and spend their lives studying alien magic, mapping the stars, and trying to understand cyphertexts and parables that the Trassi Syndicate left behind (mostly nonsense.)

In the century since its collapse a new religion, the Aldean Church, took power in the old homeland of the Aldi Guilds, and has been sending missionaries for about 20 years now They have a well-established mission, and have been slowly bringing in new settlers from 'Guilds; craftsmen, merchants, fishermen, and architects. They have the aim of encouraging the people of Nar to convert for political and financial gain.

Recently the village has come under attack by the Gorum, a race of immortal space barbarians that the Trassi syndicate was hiding on the island to sell as bio-weapons. A mysterious magician who is engaged in horrific flesh-crafting has found a way to awaken and control these monsters for his own purposes. He calls himself only The Master, and his motives are yet unclear.

Some Locations:

0903: Nar Village: a small village that is a shambles after repeated Gorum raids. 

The only location not damaged is the new Aldean Church - this temple is protected by wards that the Gorum cannot cross. Anyone is free to shelter during a raid, so long as they listen to proselytizing and join in community prayer.

The buildings at the North end of town are older and of poorer construction: they belong to the islanders who have lived here since the original colonization - the Nareen. At the South end of town a few warehouses, a trading post and several new buildings show rich craftsmanship and clever design: these belong to the recent Aldean immigrants, who have brought considerable resource with them.

1002: Kalmek's Manor: A watchtower North of the village is the home of a local miser who has lived off of his adventurer grandfather's plunder his whole life. A few minor magic and cursed items, a substantial pile of gold and jewels, and a few treasure maps can be found there inside.

0602: The Cloister of Stars: This five-storey tower is actually difficult to find, as the rain forest canopy tends to hide it. This is the home of the astronomers, astrologers, and initiated magic-users of the Order of Stars. This includes a High Stargazer (a 5th level magic user), 3 Stargazers (4th level magic users), 5 Initiates (3x 2nd level and 2x 3rd level magic users)  and 1d4+1 aspirants. A few local villagers run supplies back and forth from the village.

0402: The Pit of the Gorum: A floating space prison, it cosnists of a chamber full of suspension cells with 3d6 Gorum kept in torpor. They are guarded by a robot warden that is currently malfunctioning. There are sealed chambers deeper with  caches of contraband left by the Trassi syndicate. the entrance is a crack in the hull exposed to the surface. The very presence of the Gorum has caused local plant-life to become twisted and mutated.

0401: The Sanctum of the All-Knowing: When the Trassi first posed as deities to the settlers, they created an emergency cache of technology should they ever need it, which included advanced equipment, super-computers, and valuable treasure. They told the locals that the machines in the cache were the "all-knowing" and could be awakened by an emissary from the Stars when the village was at its greatest need, complete with false prophecies and misleading astronomical data. This helped keep the locals dialed into the false religion, and ensured that they would safeguard the cache and get any Trassi in distress to it quickly.

Since the coming of the Church, the Nareen have secretly moved the entire cache into a cave on the side of the Island's volcano; they rightly fear that the Church would destroy the "heretical" technology if they could. Only the faithful of the Order of Stars are privy to its location.

0204: Crashed Starship: Recently a starship - The Empyreal's Coin - was shot down from orbit and splashed down off of the South shore of the island. The waters near it are dangerously irradiated and still heated from the ship, even days later.  My podcast details the adventures of the captain of that ship.

Random Encounter Tables

I have built two random encounter tables for the island. Any encounter within a hex of the mountains is considered Uplands, the rest is considered lowlands. These 3d6 tables include a spot to express the activity of the creatures found, which can be rolled separately. Some of these, such as "fleeing" or "fighting" can be used as a cue to roll a second time for a mixed encounter. (These are inspired by the random encounter tables in Hot Springs Island.)

I will be expanding on the content of these encounters as my game goes on here.

  • The Ravaging Caterpillar is going to be a slight reskin of a carrion crawler, while it's metamorphic form, the Spectral Moth will be a giant moth that has hypnotic abilities and a defensive colour spray.
  • The Kujibird is a monster from Hot Springs Island: a bird with mind-bending squawks and solid gold feathers and scales on its body.
  • The Trassi Probe is a 1HD robot with not much fighting ability.
  • Armorollos can be found in the Basic Fantasy Field Guide of Creatures Malevolent and Benign.
  • The Manta will by a levitating spellcasting manta ray, stats TBD.

Hopefully a few of you out there will find this material helpful.

No comments:

Post a Comment