Wednesday, November 5, 2014

What I've Been Working On

Last week was a rough week for me.  All total, I drove close to 1000 miles over the course of three days; from my home town of Rochester, NY to southern Maryland to visit my future brother-in-law, who has been suffering from severe depression (Halloween being his favorite holiday, we decided to time our visit to coincide with that), then driving back to Rochester the next day, so that on Saturday we could drive to Buffalo, NY for my grandmother's funeral, then finally back to Rochester.  I got a little bit of blogging done last weekend, but most of it was stuff I'd already begun or had otherwise extensively plotted out and merely had to transcribe.

Since I've gotten back to Rochester, I've received copies of the 1e AD&D Monster Manual, Oriental Adventures, and the 5E Monster Manual in the mail.

I spent a good chunk of Sunday playing with the yearly/monthly
events charts in Oriental Adventures, and generated three years' worth of yearly and monthly events for Vadhyislavia and then wove them together into a rough background "narrative" against which a series of PC adventures could take place, with the yearly events being geared towards big things affecting the entire kingdom and monthly events more focused (albeit very loosely so) around the town I'm developing as a campaign starting area.  I found it to be a really enjoyable exercise in creative thinking, exploring the relationships between both yearly and monthly events.

Along the way I hammered out an easy calendar for Vadhyislavia, composed of 12 months of 30 days each, broken down into four seasons, with five "empty" days filling out the year, which aren't part of any month; they're tacked on at the end of the calendar and local beliefs suggest these days are particularly unlucky days to be born or die, and that the forces of evil are more active during these "Dark Days."  I think I remember reading that the ancient Egyptians had this concept of "empty" days at the end of the calendar year, but I'm not sure.  I threw a couple major festivals/holy days/other celebrations in each month.  The calendar for Vadhyislavia is set so that the year begins on the first day of spring.

I've begun work on a preliminary list of local superstitions, like "it's unlucky to deliver your baby during the Dark Days" and "if a pregnant woman kisses you during the Feast of Spring, you will experience a good harvest in the fall" but I'm not sure how many is too many/not enough.

As previously alluded to, I've kind of got a "starter" region/home base sort of town in the works; the Village of Barschental, with a few major NPCs/hooks built in to get the players interested.  If things go the way I want (which, who knows if that'll happen) I'll be running this campaign for a few friends who have little to no RPG experience and a couple who have only ever played Pathfinder (and one session of Call of Cthulhu, courtesy me), and I want to provide/generate material that feels natural and comfortable for people who are maybe just dipping their toes into tabletop role-playing games for the first time ever.

And between the town of Barschental and the calendar of events I rolled up out of OA, the beginnings of a campaign suggest themselves...

Your characters have been celebrating the annual Feast of Spring in Barschental; drinking deeply from meadhorns and filling your face with joints of roasted mutton and creamy, buttery pastries, dancing with old friends and complete strangers, taking in the Pageant of Beauties hosted by the priestesses of the Sacred Mother (or perhaps joining in with the Clerics of Law in scowling disapproval of the gyrating hips and low-cut blouses of the voluptuous Sacred dancers).  As the evening wears on, the temperature takes a sudden downturn and the wind picks up.  Snow begins falling, lightly at first and then furiously as the Feast is interrupted by a freak, late-season blizzard...

No comments:

Post a Comment