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 Post subject: Re: The Onderland Campaign
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 10:56 pm 
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A bit of information on the sacred wells of the Onderland, enjoy!

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Holy Wells of the Onderland

- From the library of the Jarl

“Holy Wells have been revered since long before the arrival of the Wissen and the revealed message of the Hexarchs. The Elders extensively used the waters to promote health and well-being. These ancient ones understood that these places were powerful, and rightfully attributed this power to the Overworld, the spiritual source of everything. It is this power that has folk visiting Holy Wells to this day.

There are a number of such Holy Wells scattered about the Onderland, and each of them has a story. One is good for conception and another will surely cure the blind, and all acknowledge the truth of cures, conceptions, and insights after visits to the wells.

Some of the wells are said to contain prodigy of the great Salmon of Wisdom from the times of the Elder. In the Saint Guðmundr well in Mertron there is said to be a salmon and an eel, and whoever sees them both will gain extra benefit from having done the rounds, whether they seek health, wealth, or have a special need or intent.

The practice of "paying rounds" (circling a well three times and making the sign of the Holy Hexarchs on the stone of the well with a pebble) is still commonly practiced.

Pilgrimages to Holy Wells take place on venerated days of the church when it is understood that the veil between the living and the dead is at its most transparent. Near each well there are three stones, called the Head Stone, the Eye Stone and the Knee Stone.

At the Head Stone the faithful place their head onto it, praying for cure of any ailment of the head. At the Eye Stone they bathe their eyes with water fetched from the well. At the Knee Stone they kneel in the marks on the stone, praying for health and healing. On these celebrated days of the Hexadic calendar all manner of miracles are possible...

Churches have always been built near or above the Holy Wells. The early Wissen church used the waters for baptism. The later Ondish church did away with this practice and decreed that a font inside the church be used.

Still, a number of churches contain a crypt or grotto that opens into the well’s subterranean spring. This place---close to earth and water---is the hidden holy center of the sacred enclosure, and is especially beloved by the Holy Archons. A priest who bathes his feet and upper body with water of the spring will surely be granted a measure of archontic power.”


Properties of Holy Wells

If the GM does not have a specific type of Holy Well in mind he may roll 1D10 to select one or more blessings from the provided list:
1) Holy protection from evil
2) Insight into others
3) Clairvoyance
4) Clairaudience
5) Healing
6) Cleansing of disease
7) Restoration of sight
8) Removal of Curses
9) Resistance to fear
10) Spiritual armor

The effects of Healing, Cleansing of disease, Restoration of sight, and Removal of Curses are permanent, with other bestowed blessings fading after 1d6 days.

The base chance for a PC petitioner to receive a benefit from a Holy well is 10% X their Faith SA.

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 Post subject: Re: The Onderland Campaign
PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 7:23 pm 
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Hi Folks,

I have updated the Geography entry with a number of expanded descriptions, so enjoy! To close out my articles on sports of the Onderland, I am currently working on rules for chariot racing, as well as the favorite sport of the Ondish, Hadaul! (adapted from The Star Kings series by Jack Vance).

Regards,

Phil

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 Post subject: Re: The Onderland Campaign
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 2:57 am 
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Another way for characters to have a little fun!

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Chariot Racing in the Onderland

During the Age of Lords the Wissen enjoyed fine roads, the daily use of chariots, and the sport of chariot racing. Though the ancient Wissen road network is largely gone, and the Ondish none too keen on such transport, chariot racing itself remains enormously popular in the cities of the Ondish.

Racing, and gambling on races, is a part of everyday Ondish life, with arenas organizing many such events each month. In addition, races are played out on major holidays such as the Jarl’s birthday celebration.

Objective

The object of the game is to be the first to complete three laps around the track. Surviving the race is also a plus…

Equipment Needed

Dice, a track, and pieces of some type representing charioteers.

Create a track in the pattern of the one below:

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It should probably be made large enough so that each square is 1 inch by 1 inch. You will also need four pieces to mark chariots, painted in different colors. Possibilities include miniature chariots, ordinary miniatures, or simply four chess knights, each painted a different color.

Rules of the Race

No charioteer can wear armor, nor carry any weapon other than an ordinary whip (the small knives carried to cut a driver free from the reigns of a wrecked chariot are useless as weapons).

Each chariot starts in one of the four lanes immediately behind the starting line (the green line surrounded by the words "START" and "FINISH"). Poll position (i.e. which lane each chariot starts in) is determined randomly. The innermost lane is the most advantageous. All chariots move in the direction of the green arrow marked on the board.

Initiative and Movement

All players roll 1d10 initiative at the beginning of each round. The highest rolling charioteer can move first, or defer until another charioteer completes his turn before moving.

Each turn, each chariot must, at a minimum, move forward at its maximum speed in its own lane (the lanes are marked in alternating colors of light and dark brown on the board). Backward moves are not allowed, and chariots can only change lanes as listed below under Free Actions. Diagonal moves are not allowed.

The maximum speeds are: Heavy chariot=15 spaces, Light chariot=18 spaces. The only exception to this is that a chariot which is blocked by another chariot directly in front of it must stop movement unless it can use change lanes actions to get around the other chariot. No chariot can move through another chariot, the outer wall of the track, or the center area.

Charioteers unfortunate enough to be dismounted can be run over by other chariots, the dismounted figure then takes 1D10 randomly allocated levels of wound damage.

Free Actions
In addition to the mandatory forward movement, each charioteer can take one free action each turn from the list below. These actions can be made at any point during the move, and the remaining move completed afterwards (example: Hrothgar, in a heavy chariot, can move three spaces forward, change lanes, and then move his remaining 12 spaces to complete the turn):

1. Change Lanes: Move laterally one lane. The chariot can move to any square in a lane bordering its present lane that is adjacent to its present square (vertically or horizontally only, never diagonally) as long as that square is not occupied by another chariot.

2. Scythe Attack: When passing another chariot, the driver can attempt to use the sharpened blades attached to the hub of his chariot's wheels to destroy a wheel of the target chariot. The attacker and defender both make a AGL/TN7 check (see below under Risky Actions). The attack is successful if the attacker’s MOS is greater than the defender’s. If the attack is successful, roll 1d100 on the table below for the result. Add +20% if the defender is driving a light chariot:

Scythe Attack Table (D100)


1-29 Wheels Locked: Both chariots may be damaged. Roll again on this table for each chariot.
30-49 Driver stunned: The defending chariot can take no action next round except normal forward movement.
50-64 Chariot Out of Control: The defending chariot moves randomly one space in a random direction. Roll 1D100. 1-25=Left, 26-50=Right, 51-75 =Ahead, 76-100=Back. If this would cause the chariot to move into another chariot, the outer wall of the track, or the center area, see Crashes, below. The defending chariot can take no action next round except normal forward movement.
65-84 Wheel Damaged: The chariot takes no immediate damage, but place a marker on it indicating that the spokes on its wheel are partially cut through. At the beginning of each of the chariot's succeeding turns, roll 1d6. On a roll of 6, the wheel is destroyed and the chariot wrecks, as below.
85+ Defending Chariot Wrecked: The chariot wrecks. The driver remains tied to the reins, and is pulled along by his horses at maximum speed each turn, taking an automatic 1d6 random wound levels of damage per turn, until he can cut himself free of the reins by passing a AGL/TN8 check. Roll this before the chariot moves each turn.

3. Whip Horses: The driver whips greater speed out of his horses. The chariot gains a bonus of 1d6 spaces to normal forward movement. ALL OF THIS ADDITIONAL MOVEMENT MUST BE TAKEN (which may not be a good thing, if it puts him over maximum speed while in the turnaround, or causes him to crash into another chariot).

4. Whip Opponent: When passing another chariot, make a contested AGL/TN8 whip attack against one opponent. A successful attack inflicts 3 random wound levels of damage. In addition to random damage, the target must pass a WP/TN8 check, or he is temporarily stunned by the attack and can take no action next turn, other than normal forward movement.

Risky Actions

This is where the race becomes strategic. Any free action can be taken again, any number of times, as a risky action. However, as the name says, this is risky. Each risky action requires a AGL/TN7 check, with each subsequent check beyond the first raising the TN by 2). After the round has been completed, the TN for risky actions resets back to TN7.

A successful check means that an additional action (from the free actions list) can be performed normally. A failed roll means the chariot wrecks, as result 85+ on the Scythe Attack Table, above.

The Turnaround

Centrifugal force makes the turnaround (the curved area between the two red lines at each end of the track) the most dangerous place on the track. If a chariot is moving at over maximum speed (as a result of whipping horses) while in the turnaround, the driver must make an immediate AGL/TN7 at +1 to TN for the 4th (outermost) lane, +2 to TN for the 3rd lane, +3 to TN for the 2nd lane, and +4 to TN for the 1st (innermost) lane. A failed check means the chariot wrecks, as per result 85+ on the Scythe Attack Table, above.

Crashes

If a chariot crashes into another chariot, the outer wall of the track, or the center area, roll on the Scythe Attack table, above.

A chariot which crashes into the outer wall of the track or the center area remains in its own space, and further movement is allowed (if any remains), unless the results of the Scythe Attack Table say otherwise.

If a chariot crashes into another chariot, both are moved one space randomly, as per result 50-64 on the Scythe Attack Table, above, in addition to other results.

Note that multiple crashes can occur if several chariots are bunched up, and a crash causes one chariot to move into another

Charioteers

NPC charioteers are generally AGL5 and WP5.

Winning the Race

Victory goes to the chariot which moves into the space past the finish line first, after three laps have been completed, or to the remaining chariot if all others have been eliminated.

Throwing the Race

Characters are not allowed to bet against themselves, or make other arrangements that would result in financial advantage to them by purposely losing. The Jarl takes a dim view of this, and the crowd might well tear apart a character that threw off the results of the race in this shabby fashion.

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Last edited by pbj44 on Sat May 22, 2010 3:54 am, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Onderland Campaign
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 5:51 am 
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Nice, Phil. Easy but fun rules. :)

Reminds me fondly of the boardgame Circus Maximus. I had tons and tons of fun with that one many years ago.

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 Post subject: Re: The Onderland Campaign
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 7:43 am 
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Great stuff!

pbj44 wrote:
Centrifugal force makes the turnaround (the curved area between the two red lines at each end of the track) the most dangerous place on the track. If a chariot is moving at over maximum speed (as a result of whipping horses) at any point while passing through the turnaround, the driver must make an immediate (...)
But... doesn't that mean that whipping the horses (with a single rare exception) automatically means that you need to roll for the turnaround? I mean... straight lane is 16 spaces long, so, the only safe way to whip the horses is to have a heavy chariot right beyond the red line coming off the turn and then rolling a one. In all other cases, you're bound to enter the curved area as the straight lane is just not long enough to play it safe... or am I missing something?

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 Post subject: Re: The Onderland Campaign
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 11:42 pm 
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@Michael - Thank you very much!

@Higgins - Glad you like it and thanks for the catch! I thought about that as well and meant to update my notes. I have edited the article to make things a bit more balanced.

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 Post subject: Re: The Onderland Campaign
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 11:25 am 
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What exactly did you change? I totally failed to spot any differences. :oops:

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 Post subject: Re: The Onderland Campaign
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 12:21 pm 
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Hi Higgins,

The change I made was to restrict the penalty from "any point during the turn-around" to "when entering the turn around". This allows players who ended their turn while still in the turn-around to whip their horses at the start of a new turn and be able to take advantage of the extra movement before entering the next turn-around. I made this change on the fly so I have really not calculated this out, but it seems like it holds the possiblity of working a bit better than the previous method. Let me know what you think.

Phil

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 Post subject: Re: The Onderland Campaign
PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 6:14 am 
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That solution would allow a chariot to "stop" one space beyond entering the curve and then safely use whipping to cover the most dangerous area, which hardly makes sense.

How do you fancy this:
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If we keep the danger zone an "area" we can rule that any whipping "starting" on the danger zone also causes the risk roll.

Also, now the safe part of the innermost rim is 21 spaces long -- just enough to so-so safely whip your horses on a heavy chariot if you're lucky to end up right on the start of the safe path, but a gamble anyway (as you might roll 6 and end up moving 21 spaces... just into the danger zone)... and almost unfeasible gamble on a light chariot. Yet the safe part of the outer rim is 33 spaces long... it's waay safe to whip your horses there. Even if you're several spaces into the safe zone, it still has enough leeway to pick up your speed and play it safe. That would give the outer rims their unique (if die roll related related) edge, making them not so completely useless.

Edit: Now, another idea I had is to make the inner rim danger zones longer than the outer rim zones, which makes the (safe) whipping totally unfeasible in the inner rim, while one can safely whip away while on the outer.

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 Post subject: Re: The Onderland Campaign
PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 12:16 pm 
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Thanks Higgins!

I will try to sum up your proposals:

1) Any whipping of horses in the turnaround mandates an automatic speed check as outlined in the Turnaround section.

2) The turnaround zone should be extended a little for the two innermost lanes thereby adding a more strategic element to the use of the outermost ones.

Did I sum it up correctly?

Cheers!

Phil

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 Post subject: Re: The Onderland Campaign
PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 2:37 pm 
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pbj44 wrote:
1) Any whipping of horses in the turnaround mandates an automatic speed check as outlined in the Turnaround section.
Yes, I'd handle it by your original rules, but with a different "danger area".

pbj44 wrote:
2) The turnaround zone should be extended a little for the two innermost lanes thereby adding a more strategic element to the use of the outermost ones.
Basically yes. The track I presented above makes whipping much safer in the outer rims, but the turnaround risk area is equal for everyone. One of my ideas was indeed, making the turnaround area longer for the inner rim, making whipping increasingly risky.

Basically, you could view this as your original version with the outer lane danger areas decreased, as the centrifugal force is weaker there. Something like this:

Image

So, in essence, you can choose to go for the shortest lane or for making up the difference with the whipping on one of the outer rims... which also have much lower TNs for risk rolls. While I like the idea, I'm not really sure if this outer rim edge is good enough to really be a threat to the inner rim guys.

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 Post subject: Re: The Onderland Campaign
PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 3:11 pm 
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I will mess about with some playtesting this coming weekend and try various contests using different turnaround zones just to get an idea how different turnaround red zones actually play out. I will keep you posted, thanks!

Phil

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 Post subject: Re: The Onderland Campaign
PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 4:11 am 
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Okay,

We played about a bit this evening with the adjusted track now edited into the racing rules, and had a blast with plenty of wrecks and injuries! The preferred method of whipping the horses was to do so towards the end of the move,just as one's team cleared the turnaround. Since an individual move often ended in the middle of the turnaround, this method worked out well. With chariots manuevering for advantage, scythe attacks, as well as crashing, it seems as though all lanes got a workout, so we eventually left the track configuration alone and focused on beer and winning.

Phil

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Last edited by pbj44 on Sat May 22, 2010 4:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Onderland Campaign
PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 7:16 am 
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pbj44 wrote:
The preferred method of whipping the horses was to do so towards the end of the move,just as one's team cleared the turnaround. Since an individual move often ended in the middle of the turnaround, this method worked out well.
Ah! I assumed one must start whipping at the start of his turn to build up the speed! If this isn't necessary, it changes the whole perspective, as one can simply start whipping when he's outside danger zone. All my suggestions were made with the must-start-whipping-immediately concept in mind.

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 Post subject: Re: The Onderland Campaign
PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 4:24 pm 
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LOL! No problem, I am a fairly slapdash designer and had been thinking about redesigning the turnaround area anyway, mostly to make it a bit less dangerous to be in the outer lanes, so I was headed down that path before you mentioned anything. With an evenings playtest under my belt, I now feel very happy with the rules. Next up: The Ondish game of Hadaul!

Phil

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