Being the Official Discussion Forum for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea™


Visit us at the HYPERBOREA web site!

You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?

1/28/2015 10:39 pm  #1


Next Stop: Khromarium

So, the group I run for have sailed for weeks from their stronghold on the Boreal Coast all the way to Khromarium. After many dangerous sea encounters, they closed out the last sesssion safely sailing into the crowed harbor of the coastal metropolis.  

I'm not sure where to go from here. I am considering borrowing stuff from from Judges Guild "City State of the Invincible Overlord" for the city encounters. I have the Vornheim PDF but I haven't looked at that in a while. Does anyone have any other suggestions for filling in their trip to the city?

FWIW, this party is your quinessential "Murderhobos" rabble.  I forsee a problem with the authorites rather quickly. 

 

1/28/2015 10:57 pm  #2


Re: Next Stop: Khromarium

Hey man. This thread might be of interest if you haven't read it.

Also in case you care... I threw together half a dozen inn and tavern ideas for my campaign. Feel free to use and abuse as you see fit. Spoilers follow, so my players should not read!

Death's Door Inn and TavernAn Ixian named Nabazos Methakos owns and operates the Death’s Door Inn and Tavern. After recovering a small fortune while adventuring in the Spiral Array, he returned to Khromarium, bought an inn and gave it a name honoring his many brushes with death. Surprisingly charismatic, Nabazos can frequently be seen welcoming patrons, tending the bar and even busing tables, aided by a dimwitted, but harmless servant. Adventurers seeking information on the perils of the Spiral Array often seek out Nabazos for his wisdom, which he usually gives freely to patrons.

In truth, the man behind the bar is not Nabazos at all, but Pagos Methakos (WARLOCK 5), his cousin. The real Nabazos poses as the dimwitted servant, but is actually a chaotic, evil necromancer (NECROMANCER 7). Nabazos acquired the building when his research revealed it was located on top of a forgotten temple to Thaumagorga. He has discovered an entrance to the temple's catacombs, from which he engages in an active slave trade and various wicked experiments. To avoid raising suspicion, Nabazos does not prey on his patrons, choosing instead to kidnap his victims from other parts of the city. Through Pagos, Nabazos maintains a strong relationship with the local thieves guild, offering to “dispose” of any unwanted bodies in exchange for privacy and protection from the guards. Nabazos has also recently discovered a magically sealed door within the catacombs, but has found no means to open it yet.

Activities/hooks: investigating the disappearance of an NPC could lead the PCs to the inn; the PCs could discover a treasure map or other rumor revealing the crypt beneath the inn.

Spiral Hell Inn and Tavern – Artigan McLoran, a gregarious Kimmeri-Kelt, successful adventurer and long-time Khromarium resident runs the Spiral Hell. Artigan offers the widest selection of libations in Khromarium, making the Spiral Hell popular among locals and travelers alike. Drinking contests are common, music plays without end and the crowds can be rowdy! Perhaps more importantly, Artigan is well known to trade in treasure maps, acquired through a vast network of contacts throughout Hyperborea. Sadly, these do not come free. Artigan typically charges north of 250GP per map, but the portraits on his Wall of Heroes, commemorating those made wealthy, make this price seem cheap. Occasionally, dissatisfied customers return to grumble, but Artigan’s famous Laser Blade often discourage real complaints.

In truth, Artigan (THIEF 4) is an inactive, but well-respected member of the thieves guild. As such, he pays tribute to the guild, in both coin and intelligence, to secure protection and access to information, which he often uses to create his maps (he is an expert forger). He does not participate in missions or guild politics, but, if sufficiently persuaded, can make introductions to the Fat Man (see The Laughing Skull).

Activities/hooks: purchase a treasure map from Artigan; attempt to win the drinking title; attempt to contact the thieves guild through Artigan (usually requires money or a favor).

The Laughing Skull – Everyone knows that The Laughing Skull Tavern serves as a hangout for bushwhackers, ruffians, rogues, bandits and dangerous men of all sorts. Vicious fights break out on a daily basis, with the skulls of the slain hung on the interior walls in rows. Most locals avoid the Laughing Skull and the town guard steers clear as well. Nevertheless, many adventurers seek it out, as it also well known as a place to hire experienced mercenaries and get profitable, if dangerous work. Rarely has the same person been seen tending bar, though an exceptionally fat man (“The Fat Man”) can usually be found in one corner, sharing whispered conversations and smoking lotus.

In truth, The Laughing Skull is a well-known front for the thieves guild, overseen by the Fat Man (LEGERDEMAINIST 5), who is actually very fit and agile, but uses a magical ring to disguise his appearance. He is also an important fence for the guild. Any newcomer entering without an invitation is eventually challenged by the newest available guild apprentice through some contrived affront (looking at someone wrong, talking too loud, refusing to buy the house a round or simply having the wrong appearance). Survivors of these challenges usually find mercenaries available (actually guild assassins or spies) or job opportunities (ambushes or further vetting).

Activities/hooks: hire mercenaries; look for work; fence stolen goods; interact with the Fat Man.

Diamond Jim’s – The viking Jimorung Raudbjornson (“Jim”) owns and operates Diamond Jim’s, an inn and tavern that famously sells a chance to recover the Sunken Hoard of Erik the Red. Many years ago, a great and terrible storm supposedly swept the remains of Erik’s long sunken ships into the caves beneath Khromarium, where they sit now, waiting to be found. Anyone who pays Jim 100 GP is led to a sewer entrance in the cellar, then given some directions to an ocean-carved cave system, wherein supposedly lies the vast treasure hoard. Sometimes explorers return bearing loot, but more often they’re simply happy to be alive, as the sewers and caves harbor all manner of nasty creatures. When the fee for access (and directions) is paid, the party enjoys a customary night of revelry, then departs in the afternoon of the following day.

In truth, although the Sunken Hoard of Erik the Red is considered just a children's bedtime story by most, Jim actually believes that it lies somewhere beneath Khromarium. He has paid historians, sages, seers and magicians enormous sums of money to research the hoard’s existence and location – and all the evidence points back to Khromarium. Nevertheless, Jim intentionally appears not to take the legend seriously and cultivates a circus-like atmosphere in his inn, while he slowly accumulates information that he hopes will eventually lead him to the treasure. Unbeknownst to Jim, two dangerous and warring cults reside in the caves (one to Kthulhu, one to the Kraken) and enjoy the steady flow of sacrificial victims, occasionally allowing some to return with planted “treasure,” so as to encourage more delves.

Activities/hooks: find the Sunken Hoard of Erik the Red; investigating disappearances could lead to the cults.

The Watery Grave (aka Harpoon’s) – An Esquimaux known as “Harpoon” runs The Watery Grave, an infamous tavern on the docks. Card and dice games are popular, but betting on more dangerous games and stunts, such as five finger fillet (aka, “the knife game”) and swallowing live octopi, often takes the spotlight. Despite the establishment’s gloomy name, it’s often a traveler’s first choice for hiring a boat, as the best captains and sailors in Khromarium are drawn to Harpoon’s gritty atmosphere. Those looking for rumors and information from lands afar often look to Harpoon’s as well, given its status as a popular stop for many sailors.

In truth, Harpoon (FIGHTER 3) has fallen in love with the viking slave girl (Halla) of a Hyperborean magician (Xanikon Kloon, WIZARD 6) that occasionally frequents his tavern to trade with sailors. Harpoon's offers to purchase her freedom have been spurned (rudely, he says). To make matters worse, Harpoon is deeply indebted to the thieves guild as a result of gambling losses. Perceptive PCs will be able to determine rather easily that all’s not well, as Harpoon will seem nervous and patrons will likely comment that he’s not been himself.

Activities/hooks: gambling; hiring a ship; if approached tactfully or after hours, Harpoon may share his sorrows, suggesting that if the PCs can kill the magician, all would be fixed – his love would be freed and they could split the Ixian’s treasure, with his share going to repay his debts. He tells them that he has recently learned where the magician lives.

King's Ransom Inn and Tavern – The King's Ransom Inn and Tavern, offers upscale food, drink, rooms and entertainment to wealthy patrons. Xulan Rhaan, youngest son of a prominent Hyperborean family, owns and operates the inn, which has become a popular and neutral spot for Khromarium's more powerful residents and visitors to socialize, gamble and conduct business. Xulan charges 100GP to even enter the building, thus preventing the baser elements from spoiling the mood, and employs a score of bouncers to keep the peace. Adventurers seeking council with Khromarium's more influential citizens often head to the King's Ransom.

In truth, all is mostly as it appears at the King's Ransom. The thieves guild leaves Xulan Rhaan (MAGICIAN 3) alone, probably because of his family's strong connection to the local temple of Xathoqqua, where his uncle serves as one of the high priests. Nevertheless, Xulan still has some enemies, including the Hyperborean Kolozun Graax, who believes he has insulted him by refusing the hand of his eldest daughter. Supposedly several attempts have been made on Xulan's life.

Activities/hooks: Kolozun Graax, through agents claiming to represent a notable Khromarium figure, hires the PCs to kill Xulan for treason; Xulan hires the PCs to carry a message to Swampgate, but he is using the PCs as bait to draw out and capture a suspected spy; a local sorcerer has advertised at lesser establishments for help collecting alchemical ingredients, requesting the PCs meet him at the King's Ransom to discuss the job.


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

1/28/2015 11:08 pm  #3


Re: Next Stop: Khromarium

HOLY MiGo! Thanks, Chainsaw. That some impressive stuff. 

     Thread Starter
 

1/28/2015 11:24 pm  #4


Re: Next Stop: Khromarium

There is an adventure that Ghul wrote that takes place in Khromarium called 'The Lamia's Heart' .

It is ideally designed as an 'all thief' (or purloiner) adventure but could be altered I would think to a standard party adventure with the right tweaks. It has some fleshing out of the City in it.

It is printed in AFS magazine issue #4, which if it interests you to obtain, and don't already own, I should have available again in early March.


I filled my palace with deadly traps so trap admirers will come and visit me

AFS magazine - pulp literature meets old school gaming http://hallsoftizunthane.blogspot.com/
 

1/28/2015 11:43 pm  #5


Re: Next Stop: Khromarium

Excellnet. Thanks for the tips. 

     Thread Starter
 

1/29/2015 7:30 am  #6


Re: Next Stop: Khromarium

WSmith wrote:

HOLY MiGo! Thanks, Chainsaw. That some impressive stuff. 

I don't know about impressive, given that there aren't any accompanying maps or keys, but I hope it's helpful somehow, even if just to spark your imagination a bit.

When we play, I usually treat Khromarium as big enough that having a detailed location map is not necessary, though I do note in which general areas of the city (slums, warehouses, docks, factories, etc) have a particular named location (The Watery Grave is on the docks, for example, but I don't have a detailed map of everything on the docks). If a fight breaks out away from a known structure, I just draft up a quick random alleyway/street, settle it there and toss the doodle afterward. City's always changing! One day there's an alley here, next week or month, after some haphazard construction or a new temple, maybe not.


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

1/29/2015 8:33 am  #7


Re: Next Stop: Khromarium

Hey, Wsmith.

FWIW, Khromarium in my mind has no "authorities" in the traditional feudal sense but a LOT of interwoven power structures that can function much the same and are also easy to piss off! I think Vornheim could be a really useful reference, at least for flavor and random tables. Not 100 percent compatible, but close. Denethix from ASE could be useful, too. It's important to remember, I think, that the towers of K are CRAZY and likely to be claimed by only the very dangerous or suicidally greedy. The newer parts of town I picture as a combo of Bladerunner LA, Mos Eisley, Republican Spain, and Vornheim. All with a Melnibonéab vibe! This is all in my fevered brain, of course, but I just don't see any reason to port feudal Europe into Hyperborea.

I also think that Khromarium knows its own. There's an indefinable *something* about those born and raised in the city. It's recognizable by guards, by wanderers, by some of the towers themselves. For good or ill, the people of the fallen and risen city are marked . . .

EDIT: Chainsaw, those are awesome! (Though I'm going to have to change the name of the "King's Ransom"; no kings in my Khromarium!) Totally great stuff.

Last edited by Handy Haversack (1/29/2015 8:49 am)

 

1/29/2015 1:50 pm  #8


Re: Next Stop: Khromarium

I've used Vornheim with Khromarium and I like it. Unfortunately the names in the random tables don't sound very Hyperborea to me, so I usually change or modify them.

 

1/29/2015 4:57 pm  #9


Re: Next Stop: Khromarium

Great write-up Chainsaw. Some good hooks in there too. 

 

1/29/2015 5:33 pm  #10


Re: Next Stop: Khromarium

Nice of you all to say, though I promise I was not fishing for compliments. 


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

2/06/2015 12:26 pm  #11


Re: Next Stop: Khromarium

The official 'Charnel Crypt' adventure ties in nicely with the city too, being set there initially.

 

2/06/2015 8:21 pm  #12


Re: Next Stop: Khromarium

Rastus_Burne wrote:

The official 'Charnel Crypt' adventure ties in nicely with the city too, being set there initially.

You can riff off of T1's moathouse very easily too. I kept the entire ground floor and part of the first dungeon level before switching into my own stuff.


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

2/06/2015 9:12 pm  #13


Re: Next Stop: Khromarium

Chainsaw wrote:

Rastus_Burne wrote:

The official 'Charnel Crypt' adventure ties in nicely with the city too, being set there initially.

You can riff off of T1's moathouse very easily too. I kept the entire ground floor and part of the first dungeon level before switching into my own stuff.

Yeah that would be pretty badass.

 

2/11/2015 1:49 pm  #14


Re: Next Stop: Khromarium

Handy Haversack wrote:

FWIW, Khromarium in my mind has no "authorities" in the traditional feudal sense but a LOT of interwoven power structures that can function much the same and are also easy to piss off!

The session went great with this little bit of information and the Judges Guild CISO PDF. They are getting the vibe that there is no city watch, and that the merchants pay for their own security. I told them there is a wall guard payed for by all the guilds and merchant associations, but otherwise, it is kind of lawless. Most areas are claimed by different Thieves Guilds, of which, they have found themselves caught in between two different ones. 
 

     Thread Starter
 

2/11/2015 5:43 pm  #15


Re: Next Stop: Khromarium

WSmith wrote:

The session went great with this little bit of information and the Judges Guild CISO PDF. They are getting the vibe that there is no city watch, and that the merchants pay for their own security. I told them there is a wall guard payed for by all the guilds and merchant associations, but otherwise, it is kind of lawless. Most areas are claimed by different Thieves Guilds, of which, they have found themselves caught in between two different ones. 
 

Excellent, WSmith! Can't wait to hear more.

 

2/12/2015 10:59 pm  #16


Re: Next Stop: Khromarium

Once when I was running a group of mid level adventurers through a City I stuck this adventure in:
Asflag's Unintentional Emporium
by Willie Walsh (the best of the adventure writers to grace the pages of Dungeon Magazine in my opinion, and one of the most prolific)

With a little tweaking it could be made ultra cool. Think electric fence around a crazed Wizard;s mansehttp://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/cool.png

http://tenfootpole.org/ironspike/?p=2478

It's in Dungeon Magazine #36 if anyone has interest in checking it out to potentially use. Sort of a dungeon within a City, with no sewers involved.


I filled my palace with deadly traps so trap admirers will come and visit me

AFS magazine - pulp literature meets old school gaming http://hallsoftizunthane.blogspot.com/
 

2/12/2015 11:35 pm  #17


Re: Next Stop: Khromarium

For city books, Bill, I recommend the following in particular for an ASSH vibe:

- Thieves World (Chaosium, boxed set)
- Lankhmar City of Adventure (TSR)
- Outdoor Geomorphs: Walled City (TSR; on my site)
- Cities (Mikdemia Press)
- The Free City of Haven (plus supplements, by Gamelords; various Thieves Guild materials would also fit in nicely)
- Barnacus: City in Peril" (Dragon Magazine #80)
- Irillian (White Dwarf 42-47)

The Thieves World boxed set uses updated/tweaked tables from Cities, which are somewhat more low-fantasy in nature than the raw Cities tables, so they may be a better fit (depending on your sense of Khromarium, of course; and, depending on that, you might even find the tables for Erelhei Cinlu in D3 helpful ;) ). 

Last edited by grodog (2/12/2015 11:37 pm)

 

Board footera





“Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea”, “AS&SH”, and all other North Wind Adventures product names and their respective logos are trademarks of North Wind Adventures, LLC in the USA and other countries. ©2019 North Wind Adventures, LLC.