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9/16/2014 10:01 am  #1


Brigands Bay

Well, after our TPK this past session, I decided on the fly to start the next group in Brigands Bay rather than the Gal Hills, where our game had been located (and so which had ended up getting some details in a combination of game play and ripping off BlackAdder23!). But Brigands Bay seems to suit the moral nature of my players better--and their racial diversity!

Has anyone developed anything in this area at all? All I've done so far is name one of the towns Fellchapel since that's a name given in the first entry on the megadungeon Kihago in Wizards Mutants Lazer Pistols. The dungeon entrance is in a ruined city some hours march away. I have vague thoughts about the town being built up around an ancient Hyperborean temple complex, which first provided some security and now some notoriety and trade for the local kinglet.

Anyone placed anything or worked anything up for the area?

 

9/16/2014 6:39 pm  #2


Re: Brigands Bay

I've done some very preliminary development of a hamlet on the northwest corner of Brigands Bay for a module I intend to write at some point, with an eye toward publication. (Jeff doesn't know it yet!) Given my workload, it's at least two years off. I envision what was once a simple agrarian community now living under the yoke (get it?) of a dæmon-summoning sorcerer and his minions (probably orcs, but still undecided), who have claimed the old keep overlooking the settlement. Some standard FRPG tropes, but there will be Hyperborean twists... This is all just wishful thinking right now, unless I win the lottery and retire. Handy, have at Brigands Bay. I'll happily steal—ahem, beg your permission to incorporate—whatever you develop.

 

9/16/2014 8:20 pm  #3


Re: Brigands Bay

Cool, DMP!

The starting town I'm using, I decided, is on the eastern* side of the bay, so we're not in close conflict. Seems like a good area for community development, even, since there are lots of petty kingdoms. Common features would be as laid out in the Gazetteer: banditry, diversity, wretched hives of sin and villainy, the best, Jerry, the best!

I used orcs in the Gal Hills game, and I'm going to see how long I can go without using them again. I like the Hyperborean origin for them, but I found that in practice, they functioned just like D&D orcs. I feel like I'd rather save them for something more immediately Pictish in origin or consequence. I'd like to make more use of the Hyperborean humanoids: bird-men, ape-men, vhuurmis, and so on. All still embryonic so far, of course. The WMLP dungeon is going to be fun, so I'll see what develops as they wander away from it.

     Thread Starter
 

9/16/2014 9:58 pm  #4


Re: Brigands Bay

Handy Haversack wrote:

I used orcs in the Gal Hills game, and I'm going to see how long I can go without using them again. I like the Hyperborean origin for them, but I found that in practice, they functioned just like D&D orcs.

May I suggesting "weirding" the orcs up a little, perhaps by having their trace humanity extracted through trepanning holes drilled in their foreheads?  Or maybe something like this:

SWINISH SHADES
No. Encountered 10-200
Alignment Chaotic Evil
Size See below
Movement See below
Dexterity 12
Armor Class See below
Hit Dice See below
No. of Attacks See below
Damage See below
Saving Throw See below
Morale 12
Experience Points 50 per shade dispelled
Treasure Class None or GM’s choice
Special See description

It is well known among savants that orcs are the spawn of fleshly men and daemons. What is not so well known is that the daemonic essence lingers even after the foul orcish flesh is buried, burned, or (most often) eaten by fellow orcs. In a place where many orcs died in a short period of time, such as a great battlefield or an orcish settlement whose inhabitants were massacred, these swinish shades can be numerous enough to affect the world of the living.

Swinish shades are only active between the hours of dusk and dawn. They present as an invisible force similar to a foul blowing wind that plucks and tears at the living; those who listen closely will perceive a sound like the squealing and shrieking of pigs. Swinish shades are always confined to an area within a mile or so of the place they died, but they can move almost instantly (within a round) to any point in that area. They hate all living things and will torment and slay them if they can. Swinish shades have no hit dice or armor class and no attack as such, nor can they be attacked (even with magical weapons) nor affected by most spells. But in sufficient numbers they can (and gleefully will) torment the living in other ways. There must be at least ten swinish shades present to affect the material world (fewer than that will just shriek and clutch impotently at the living). Ten or more swinish shades working together can hamper all attack rolls, damage rolls, saving throws, and thieving skill checks. For every ten swinish shades that cooperate, the victim will suffer a -1 on all such checks; he will feel a foul icy shrieking wind that seems to claw at his face and hands and hinder his every move. Any given group of swinish shades can affect only one victim at a time, but they may split their total number among two or more victims. For example, if 100 swinish shades are present they could hamper one victim at -10 on his rolls, two victims at -5, five victims at -2, and so forth. If 100 or more swinish shades are present they may instead choose to physically drag a victim, especially if there is a precipice or pit where the unwanted interloper can be deposited. All swinish shades present must drag one victim at a time. The victim can be dragged one foot per round per each swinish shade present; however, he may be able to cancel some or all of this with his normal movement rate, and companions who grab the unlucky victim can use their strength to help resist the dragging on a one point per one foot base (up to two companions can aid the victim, but they will be dragged along if their strength is not enough to halt the movement). The victim will feel as if he is struggling to stand and walk in the face of a shrieking cold wind which is dragging him to oblivion. Once the first victim is dumped somewhere deadly, the swinish shades will return for another. Note that spellcasting is impossible for someone being either hampered or dragged by swinish shades. Finally, the mere presence of 100 or more swinish shades is detrimental to the living, and someone exposed to that many will sicken and eventually die. Anyone who spends a full night (dusk to dawn) in an area haunted by 100 or more swinish shades will get no sleep and be unable to recover spells or heal lost hit points. In addition, on the first such night the victim must make a death saving throw or lose 1-4 hit points; on subsequent nights the loss of 1-4 hit points is automatic.

Swinish shades are immune to all physical attacks and most spells, and they cannot be turned. Protection from evil will keep them from affecting one protected by that spell in any way, and dispel evil will permanently eliminate swinish shades (no save) if cast within 30 feet of someone they are afflicting. Barring either of these spells, the best and only protection is simply to flee the area the swinish shades are haunting.
 


"The fear of death, its risk each time, is one of the most stimulating parts of the game. It therefore behooves the referee to include as many mystifying and dangerous areas as is consistent with a reasonable chance for survival." - J. Eric Holmes
 

9/17/2014 7:34 am  #5


Re: Brigands Bay

Blackadder23 wrote:

May I suggesting "weirding" the orcs up a little, perhaps by having their trace humanity extracted through trepanning holes drilled in their foreheads?  Or maybe something like this: . . .
 

Nice! I especially like thinking of the wreck the party left behind in one area of the Gal Hills. There, they stirred up the Thieves Guild running a town; wrecked Apollonalia, angering the gods; released a powerful wight that started making more wights; turned all wight control over to the necromancer who had been jerking them around; wiped out a war band of 30 orcs and their swine daemon leader; and sent a daemon to kill the necromancer! So that area is now overrun with wights and swinish shades. Sounds like my group.

I had some Brigands Bay ideas. Will post as soon as they are communicable.

     Thread Starter
 

9/17/2014 6:15 pm  #6


Re: Brigands Bay

OK! Here are some first (yet overlengthy!) thoughts on how Brigands Bay might work in my game:

http://i59.tinypic.com/zunv6h.jpg


Brigands Bay
•           1. Fellchapel: Town of ~1,500 grown around ancient Hyperborean temple complex. Huge, crumbling structure of black stone and strange metals. Originally served as shelter and hideouts for bandit gangs, eventually grew into a town. Never uninhabited by clerics, esp. of Xathoqqua and Rel. Now all the gods represented, though the numbers of their servitors wax and wane, and even the location of the various temples within the ruined pile shifts as their fortunes ebb or clerics set out as adventurers and fail to return. Only Xathoqqua’s fane is unchanging, and sometimes animals and even monsters make their way through the town on strange pilgrimages to honor the Toad-Sloth. These are considered holy and are never molested as they pass in or out.

Like most of the petty fiefdoms of Brigands Bay, Fellchapel can be a resource for adventurers. Almost anything can be fenced, though truly exotic items will be at a discount since the fence will have to send them on to Khromarium or farther. Moreover, dipping frequently into the well will certainly attract the attention of the local boss, styled the Kybernetes. His factors will soon demand right of first refusal on treasure brought in from the wilds and on loot taken from the bandits that infest them.

Law in Fellchapel is often a laissez-faire routine as long as disturbances do not grow too large, trade is not threatened, and the Kybernetes does not feel offended. But the law is also capricious, retroactive, and viciously enforced. It is wise to steer clear of the Kybernetes’ attention. Fellchapel is one of the few towns of Brigands Bay to spill beyond its walls, and some semblance of ordered patrols are mounted to make sure the farmers are able to produce for the populace without too much fear of banditry. Most retreat inside the walls during the years of darkness, though

The guards at the gates and in the town are generally brutally efficient but also good at minding their own—and the Kybernetes’—business. Many adventurers stand a stint of a week or more on guard duty as part of training, to work off debts or bail, or just to replenish their pockets after wasting their coin on gambling and drinking. This means that the guard tend to be randomly surprisingly competent.

The people of Fellchapel are independent, bloody-minded, cosmopolitan, and remarkably tolerant, if also selfish, brutal, and raucous. Racial diversity is the norm, and even Ixians barely raise an eyebrow. There are no brothels in Fellchapel. The people are too independent and greedy to sell their services on behalf of anyone else, though a great many will do so on their own for the right price.

Hirelings and henchmen are easy to come by, though they also hold no illusions about the dangers that fill the area. Common hirelings and mercenaries cost twice as much as elsewhere, and specialists will always insist on a full share of any treasure recovered. Henchmen, too, will need a generous offer to leave the relative safety of the town.

The Kybernetes and what passes for his court have their chambers at the top of the great ruined temple complex. The clerics and priests of the various gods, godlets, principles, and sects fill the rest of the dark mound, and a bazaar of licit and less-licit goods and services spills out from it and down to the docks. The temple walls are surrounded in turn by an outer wall that protects the town proper and extends to the sea. Like most ships of Brigands Bay, Fellchapel’s merchant cogs hug the coast and always travel with an escort galley carrying a troop of marines. Since both ships carry ballistae, it is hard for would-be pirates to know which has the goods. Nautical peace is one of the few points of agreement among the petty lords of Brigands Bay, and the peace of the bay is maintained by them all. The land is a different matter. Bandits or “Freerangers” associated with a given town wear distinctive masks or facial tattoos marking their loyalty.

The Kybernetes has never sought to hold more than this one town. He knows that overreach will doom anyone in the lawless wilds of Brigands Bay. Instead he seeks to make the place safe for adventurers and the treasures they bring. He keeps his contacts in Khromarium and Zangerios and makes sure trade in grave goods, ancient technology, slaves, and anything else the softer parts of the world wants stays strong and protected. He is a Kimmerian of fierce prowess and corrupt, pragmatic intelligence.

•           2. The mysterious ruins that surround the bizarre underworld known as Kihago (see Wizards Mutants Lazer Pistols) are several hours march from Fellchapel. It is said that no force on Hyperborea can affect the gates of Kihago when they are closed. On the rare times that they open, rumor seems to spread from nowhere, whispered  across the void by the rings of Kyranos and discerned in the cries of night monsters. For those who pass through once, the gates will always be open. More, the Dark Waters and their mysterious boatman might appear to those who have passed the gates almost anywhere underground after they have once entered Kihago. It knows its own, and it claims them.

The ruined city that surrounds the gate is a place of danger and power in its own right. Here the great thieves Satampra Zeiros of Uzuldaroum and Tirouv Ompallios met their fate. Here a jungle once thrived in the cold of Hyperborea. Here the feathered swine plunge into the ruins and sunken caves to make their nests. Here the oon have been known to emerge from Underborea on the errands of their alien masters. Iron gauntlets and machines of joy have found their telos here and faded into dangerous memories. Mysteries pile on mysteries and birth foulness and wonder in forgotten reaches. It is said that to pass the festival nights in the ruins brings power to any that survive, power and madness.

•           3. The Erinyes. The three islands of the Erinyes—Dagger, Whip, and Wing—are untenanted by man. Every would-be pirate lord who has sought to make a stronghold here has perished or fled. In the years of darkness, strange lights shine from the naked rocks of these islands. In the years of light, ships made of feathers and towed through the water by narwhals and serpents dock here. The mi-go flock when the moons go dark, and the musks of other worlds blow across the bay and haunt the dreams of bandits and townspeople alike. Yet clear ruins show among the crags and wooded hollows. From the sea, many a hungry mind has wondered what treasures hide in the Islands of Fury.
 

     Thread Starter
 

9/17/2014 7:17 pm  #7


Re: Brigands Bay

Great work, gentlemen -- a veritable explosion of creative collaboration in this thread! I have my own Brigand's Bay development that I have on the shelf for a future development. It goes like this:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

THE SEA-WOLF’S DAUGHTER
 
By Jeff Talanian
 
An Adventure in HYPERBOREA
For 4–6 Characters of 5th through 7th Levels
 
 
© 2014, North Wind Adventures, LLC
 
Mission: Rescue a Viking chieftain’s daughter.
 
Location: Blackbeard’s Isle, a small island in Brigand’s Bay, an inlet lined with the petty holdings of thieves, outlaws, and other villainous men.
 
Presently: The player characters (PCs) dine in the hall of a petty kinglet known as Björn Blackbeard. He has abducted Gunnhildr, the daughter of Ragnarr “The Sea-Wolf”, a Viking chieftain, and he intends to marry her when Selene (the larger of Hyperborea’s two moons) is next full. The young woman is somewhere in the compound. She must be rescued. Meantime, some 40 bloodthirsty Vikings, including Ragnarr himself, lie in wait, hidden in a nearby gulch.


Background (Read or Paraphrase to the Players): Ragnarr “The Sea-Wolf” is Viking of Hyperborea, a jarl from New Vinland. Ragnarr’s land is fertile, his flocks plentisome, his grain stores abundant. His steading is strong, a coastal village hemmed in by a wall of timber and stone. His dragons (Viking longships) number three, and he commands some 400 or more Vikings – thewy, broad-chested men, long-limbed women, and hardy children.
 
Ragnarr’s best years, are long behind him. One of his tree-trunk legs is locked at the knee, he lost his right hand to a dire wolf, and he lost an eye in a blood feud knife duel. Notwithstanding, Ragnarr is yet mighty; with his one good arm he could snap the neck of any fighting Kelt. How many Vikings of 68 years can boast the same?
 
Ragnarr has known many triumphs and defeats. His most devastating loss occured 19 years ago when his wife, Geira, took up the shield and spear as faceless devils, inky-black and winged, assaulted the steading from the sky, swarming like bats. One of the abominations lifted Geira from the ground and dropped her to her grisly death. Ragnarr’s Vikings ultimately drove off the otherworldly horrors, but the toll was heavy. Ragnarr never married again.

But before her untimely death, Geira gave Ragnarr a daughter. Gunnhildr became the apple of The Sea-Wolf’s eye, and as the years passed she blossomed into a rare beauty – tall, with long, lean legs, golden locks, ice-blue eyes, and a dimpled smile to melt the heart of any man. Jarls far and wide desired her for a wife or a son’s wife, but despite all the lavish offers, Ragnarr could not bear to let her go.
 
Most recently, a lowly, self-annointed kinglet from Brigand’s Bay arrived, a swarthy, pock-faced half-Viking called Björn Blackbeard, who claimed to be not only noble-blooded and rich, but gifted by Xathoqqua with powers divine. He offered a king’s ransom for the girl, but Ragnarr went into a rage, offended by the villain’s brash impudence and the leering gaze directed at his daughter. Blackbeard was ousted. That night, Gunnhildr disappeared.
 
Now, for the past three weeks, Ragnarr has conducted a desperate search to find his lost daughter. In Brigand’s Bay he crossed sails with a foe of old, and a bloody battle ensued. Of his three score Vikings, Ragnar lost a score. But from the lips of a dying enemy he learned the location of Blackbeard’s hideout.
 
Enter the PCs: How the PCs got involved with Ragnarr is up to the referee. Perhaps he rescued them from that enemy ship. Perhaps he met them shortly after, eager to bolster his own depleted crew. In any case, the old Viking knows that Blackbeard’s forces nearly double his own, and that his compound is secure. A frontal assault would be impossible ­– and it would endanger Gunnhildr.
 
The PCs, presenting as capable swordsmen and/or sorcerers, are relative unknowns in the conflict, so enlisting their aid was an easy decision. Ragnarr has offered 8,000 gp in gems and jewelery (the varied spoils of Viking many raids) to enter Björn Blackbeard’s compound under the guise of mercenaries seeking employment. They must then find out where the girl is, rescue her, and bring her to the forested gulch where Ragnarr and his 40 Vikings lie in wait. A simple task, right?

 


Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea - A Role-Playing Game of Swords, Sorcery, and Weird Fantasy
 

9/17/2014 11:10 pm  #8


Re: Brigands Bay

Awesome, I'd play that tomorrow!  How I enjoy viking campaigns!


ravengodgames.blogspot.com ~ cartography, writing, game design
Author, Forgotten Fane of the Coiled Goddess
 

9/18/2014 4:03 am  #9


Re: Brigands Bay

Huh, first I read "The She-Wolf's Daughter"... That's not a bad title, actually; I'll think about it some more.
 

 

9/18/2014 12:29 pm  #10


Re: Brigands Bay

That sounds like a great adventure!  Love the title too.  Put me down for a preorder. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/smile.png

Ghul wrote:

Ragnarr’s best years, are long behind him. One of his tree-trunk legs is locked at the knee, he lost his right hand to a dire wolf, and he lost an eye in a blood feud knife duel.

I think this would be even more hilarious the longer his list of injuries ran, such as "...left shoulder involuntarily tatooed with an eldritch rune, ear notched by a bite from a rabid blink dog, one side of face permanently paralyzed by an infected ghast scratch, teeth marks from a probably-female orc on an unspecified part of his anatomy, giant bee stinger embedded in his left buttock..."

And then roleplay all those ailments while the PCs are interacting with him. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/cute.png


"The fear of death, its risk each time, is one of the most stimulating parts of the game. It therefore behooves the referee to include as many mystifying and dangerous areas as is consistent with a reasonable chance for survival." - J. Eric Holmes
 

9/18/2014 3:08 pm  #11


Re: Brigands Bay

Ha! That would be pretty funny, BA23.

Of course, I shouldn't have a comma after "are" in that sentence, but that piece was typed late one night about six months ago. Were it not for this thread, I might've forgotten it!


Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea - A Role-Playing Game of Swords, Sorcery, and Weird Fantasy
 

9/19/2014 12:48 pm  #12


Re: Brigands Bay

Ghul wrote:

The PCs, presenting as capable swordsmen and/or sorcerers, are relative unknowns in the conflict, so enlisting their aid was an easy decision. Ragnarr has offered 8,000 gp in gems and jewelery (the varied spoils of Viking many raids) to enter Björn Blackbeard’s compound under the guise of mercenaries seeking employment. They must then find out where the girl is, rescue her, and bring her to the forested gulch where Ragnarr and his 40 Vikings lie in wait. A simple task, right?
 

I especially like how many different ways this could go--infiltrating as mercenaries; frontal assault (stand-up fight); sneak, search, rescue, destroy (another effin bug hunt). Lots of ways to play this out.

I also like the background ideas of a fluid substratum below the level of the Brigan Bay towns and kinglets of blackguards (for lack of a better word) setting themselves up in redoubts wherever they can carve one out. Possibly a good many of these would be NPCs hitting ninth level and setting up their strongholds, which would provide a good guideline for stocking them with troops and be a good way of tying an AS&SH mechanic to the area. Plus, a ninth-level purloiner or death soldier or whatever Blackbeard is makes a good, tough foe!

Plus, I definitely see the Vikings as the major hassle for the kinglets of BB and their efforts to profit on what they extract from the region and its adventurers. The best way to get things to Khromarium or Zangeiros is by sea, and that goes right by Vinland . . .

Good stuff!

Blackadder23 wrote:

...left shoulder involuntarily tatooed with an eldritch rune, ear notched by a bite from a rabid blink dog, one side of face permanently paralyzed by an infected ghast scratch, teeth marks from a probably-female orc on an unspecified part of his anatomy, giant bee stinger embedded in his left buttock..."

... football to the groin ...

     Thread Starter
 

9/19/2014 1:00 pm  #13


Re: Brigands Bay

And then he took an arrow in the knee!


"The fear of death, its risk each time, is one of the most stimulating parts of the game. It therefore behooves the referee to include as many mystifying and dangerous areas as is consistent with a reasonable chance for survival." - J. Eric Holmes
 

6/23/2016 10:19 pm  #14


Re: Brigands Bay

I'm swiping (the most excellent) Fellchapel and the Kybernetes in my Astonishing ACKS home campaign.

I posted today about the realm of Brigands Bay, mentioning your background info: Hyperborean Demographics - Brigand's Bay.

The Sea-Wolf's Daughter might make an appearance too...

 

6/24/2016 8:11 am  #15


Re: Brigands Bay

Cool, kslacker! Thanks for the shoutout!

In my game, the Kybernetes ended up being a level 10 thief. And "he" turned out to be the wrong pronoun. Though it's possible that the post above is part of her disinformation campaign. She didn't get where she is by being public!

     Thread Starter
 

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