Dec 12, 2010

13th blog entry - Campaign introduction idea, No.7

Woah, it's been some time since my last post, but no worries, I'm still around. So, 'ere we go:

The story, or what's believed to be the one, goes: In the ancient times, countless millenia ago, long before mortals came into existance, universe was ruled by a single God, which nowdays has countless names, one of which is Bron. He wasn't alone however, countless undergods existed, which were his "people". Bron, being far the most powerful one, took little care of his subordinates, and enjoyed watching them do whatever they did, just as we enjoy watching insects live their little lives, knowing that if we wish to, we can easily help, or destroy them. Everything they did was interesting to him, and rarely did he interfere with their actions, but even if he did, it was only for his own satisfaction.
Undergods were many, and they lived all around, throughout the universe. They were all different from each other, just as people nowdays. They had feelings, sense of creativity, certain level of inteligence, power, etc... That's why some of them lived peacefully, and some of them fought each other for love, glory, practice, or just to be noticed by Bron, who often rewarded those who amused him alot. Considering that all of them had certain desires, quarrels were inevitable, which eventually led to fights, which led to hate, which led to war. Soon, undergods were organized into clans, which have in time grown into kingdoms, which battled each other, or formed alliances.
A couple of billions years later, two opposing sides existed. Lanatis and Undrogh. And guess what, they were in war. War, which has already taken too many lives, and the end to is was an insane idea. Undergods were now few, but hate for their enemies was stronger than ever. That is when they started creating worlds, where armies of soldiers were supposed to be bred, only so they can fight their God's battles. One of the first worlds which was created by the prince Andalor of Lanatis, was Aena, where this campaign takes place.
About ten thousand years later, most of the gods are dead or captured by the opposing side, and rarely does any mortal serve them anymore. Worlds are now self-governed, often composed of many different kingdoms. Portals which were in the past used for invading other worlds are now mostly destroyed, disabled or forgotten. Some have sunk deeply below the surface of the oceans, along with whole continents, others are buried deeply under the ground, never to be found again. Aena however, as it was one of the largest battlegrounds, and often invaded, still has one working portal, known to it's inhabitants, but it is speculated that many more exist, and are still active, but forgotten, somewhere in ancient temples, scattered throughout the land. Some of them are deep underground, some occupy the most unaccessible mountaintops, and for sure there are some laying in unexplored swamps, deserts, jungles or in the frosty wastes of Aena's North or South pole.
Now, the one known portal is what is causing the distrurbance on Aena. It started when the world was created, and has never actually stopped. In fact, it has only gotten worse since the prince Andalor was captured by the forces of Undrogh, because now, the Aenians are left to fend for themselves, with no help from their creator, and the forces of evil are invading through the portal no less. These are dark times, when hope is starting to wither, and Aena is desperate for heroes to rise and battle the darkness.

This introduction defines the epic history of the world and also the whole universe, and still leaves DMs with a lot of choices for creating the campaigns, and micro managing the events which take place before, and during the game.

I hope you liked it! x)

Nov 3, 2010

12th blog entry - Campaign introduction idea, No.6

No time to lose! There are sessions to be had!

What once seemed like a quick military campaign, has turned to be a 70-year long war, which is taking two things: too long, and it's toll. There's not a single piece of land, and not a single soul that lives on the continent of Garland, who hasn't felt the consequences of hate and devastation.
After the Age of Creation, the land was divided among the strongest clans which possessed power and influence. Seven kingdoms formed, which have in time expanded their range of controll and influence onto the no-man's lands, taking the lone and unprotected settlements under their wings. Five hundred years later, six, out of seven great kingdoms remain. Frisbane (northern men), Harran (eastern, all races), Gladiis (central, men and elves), Lahalaron (western, elves), Draggath (southern, dwarves) and Eywind (southeastern, men and elves). Peace existed between kingdoms, but only formally. In secret, the governments fought each other for influence over the land.
The war began when Gladiis declared war on Eywind, and soon after attacked. The invasion was supposed to be quick, but Eywind had put together an alliance with the Harran, and had their military support in defending the borders. Soon after, Frisbane joined forces with Gladiis, and the dwarves of Draggath attacked both Eywind and Lahlaron, who formed an alliance to battle them. The situation was: Eywind, Harran and Lahlaron vs Frisbane, Gladiis and Draggath.
Since everyone were long prepared and ready for war, none of the kingdoms managed to take much of the opposing side's land. Seventy years later, the war still goes on, and the battlefields are the same which were in the early days of the conflict. Everyone's exausted, and it is only the hate for the opponents which still gives people the strength to fight. Although the battlefields are the same, the battles aren't. In the beginning, battles were fought head-on, in a large-scale attacks, but now, everyone seems to have dugged-in into trenches, shooting stone blocks from the catapults onto each other. Hand-to-hand clashes are rare, but still present.
It is the battlefield where the characters start their campaign. Arnan, the young, brave and charismatic captain of Eywind is in a command of a small group of soldiers, stationed on the eastern side of the battlefield between Eywind and Gladiis. The characters are under his command, along with about hundred more soldiers. In the previous months, he had much success in attacking the forces of Gladiis, and with the warriors under his command, he has brought many losses to the opposing side's forces. Now, the king of Eywind has commanded all of his troops stationed on the northern front to push an attack and break the enemy forces in a single blow. The time of the attack has come, and Arnan is expected to play an important role in it. He and his men are ordered to push through the enemy lines, and occupy the nearby ruins of the Rosewind village.
The order has been given, and Arnan charges out of the trenches into the no-man's land, followed by his brethren of battle. On the other side, soldiers of Gladiis are quickly strenghtening their lines to defend from the attack.
What happens next, DM will tell :)

I saw some guys playing Magic the Gathering today on college, I'll have to approach them sometime and ask if they're in a mood for some DnD xD

Have fun guys!

Oct 31, 2010

11th blog entry - Campaign introduction idea, No.5

Haai guyz, howyadoin, let's get to it.

The year is 665th off the fourth age, and the world is frightened of an upcoming year, as there are tales of a demon of unimaginable power which is supposed to come to earth and bring destruction and death.
Thousands of studies and explorations have been done, but none of them gave any evidence or a reason to believe that the horrors of which the ancient prophecy tells about are going to happen.
The story goes: Once upon a time, estimated about 10.000 years ago, there was a continent caled Krataana, bathed in magic, whose inhabitants were more than regular men, elves, dwarves, orks, and all the living beings which now live. They were so gifted by the continents afinity for magic, that they had no trouble casting even the most powerfull spells, with just a swift fingermove and a quick thought. Krataana was a peaceful place, as everyone understood the power of magic, and were careful about using it against each other. Beside that, everything they ever needed in their lives was easily created by spells, so the poverty and hunger were unknown. Then, one day, out of nowhere,  a great fireball fell from the sky bringing a great demon inside it, who killed everyone in a matter of days, and sunk the continent deeply below the water surface. After that, the demon disappeared without a trace, and Krataana was no more.
It is unknown what the demon was looking for, but there's a story, told by a surviving guardsman, which tells of the demon shrinking, to the size of a man, when he was done dispatching all who would oppose him, and entering the greatest temple of Krataana. In the main room of the temple, he summoned a black pearl, the size of an apple, put it on the pedestal, and cast a spell which made the pearl glow darkness and consume all light around it. The guardsman fleed, and somehow survived the destruction of the continent.
Great mages and wisepeople of the current world predict that the pearl is put there so it can gather the sunken continents magic, untill it reaches the amount of power needed. Then, the demon will come back to claim it. What will happen afterwards, we can only guess, but you can bet it aint gonna be pretty.
The players start off in one of the greatest coastal towns of the known world, which is a starting point for many expeditions which venture across the great ocean of Rohun, looking for anything which would indicate the existance of the sunken continent.
The world prays for a miracle, and the thousands of brave adventurers are those that everyone put their hopes into.

I'm off to have a lunch, and you guys, take care, and have a good time :)

Oct 24, 2010

10th blog entry - Campaign introduction idea, No.4

Hey guys, sorry I haven't been around for the last few weeks. I'll make it up to you, so let's get started!

There is a continent, the only one known to civilized world so far, that stretches for thousands of miles from east to west, and also for thousands of miles from north to south. It has dozens, or even hundreds of names, all drawn from legends, but the most widely used is Arania. Others include Akhanor, Aldriiz, Orton and others, but “Arania” is the only one known to every single one of it's inhabitants.
Now, on the eastern part of the continent lies a great rocky chain of mountains called Rudar. It too has many other names, but let's stick to this one, as it's the most-used one. It is a land of dwarves. In fact, it's a series of caves which stretch for hundreds of miles, filled with all sorts of dwarvenfolk, with hundreds of thousands entrances to the caves, all scattered throughout the mountains. The exact number of dwarves living there is known to none, not even to the most powerful and influential of them, but those who try to estimate usually say about one billion. Now, that is a lot of dwarves, who could easily make the strongest kingdom on Arania, if they were united under a single banner, but, that is not the case. It is said that there are over ten thousand tribes and clans of dwarves on Rudar, and all of them, as dwarves always do, live underground, in great mountain halls, cut through and into the rock. It is pointless trying to explain their lifestyle or interests, as all of them try hard to differ from each other. Some value smithwork, some value stonecutting. Some value gems, others gold. There are even those clans that value magic, as there are those who believe brute force is the key to solving all of the life's problems.
You could say the only thing they have in common is digging. Digging into the depths, looking for resources and rare and even unique materials. Considering that the dwarves are many, and the tunnels and halls are even more than many, the Rudar mountains are starting to crumble on itself, leaving behind thousands of cut-off passages and treasuries, sometimes even whole little kingdoms, filled with... Treasure. To better explain the proportions of underground kingdoms, I'll say that there are rumors that some of them go so deep, to the hell itself. There are also rumors that some lead to another worlds, and some even go beyond the borders of imagination and/or reality and end up delivering the explorer to the non-existent places of the universe. Of course, none of this is proven to be true.
You guys (characters) are a group of tomb-raiders, brought together by interest, sense of loyalty, friendship, luck or something else. Of course, you are not the only such group. In fact, you are just one out of thousands of them. You look for abandoned mines, passages and halls where dwarves used to, or still live, and loot them, providing that there is anything to loot. Sometimes you venture into the depths, and during one such raid, your party was attacked by a group of dwarves, who carefully laid out an ambush, waiting for a curious group of adventurers to walk into their trap. After a short fight, you realized the only way to keep the head on your shoulders is to flee, but with the path back to the surface being blocked by angry dwarves, the only way you could run is deeper under the ground. After about an hour and a half of being pursued, and then finally losing your pursuers, you find yourself lost, with no idea of which way to go.
Not knowing if the next living being you encounter is going to be friendly or hostile, you carefully choose your path and quietly walk through endless passages and halls of Rudar, hoping to meet the daylight as soon as possible.

Hope you like it, c ya soon!

Oct 6, 2010

9th blog entry - Campaign introduction idea, No.3

Here's another one:

It has been seventeen years since the Magnus clan, a group of the the most powerful spellcasters in the land, has overthrown the king and established Magocracy as the political system, with the Ang-Alahil-Manor as the supreme ruler, unequaled in the knowledge and spellwielding skill. The king, along with his whole family, and all of his closest associates and advisors, have been captured and sent throughout the land to be put behind the lock. Since that day, which is known as the "Day of Fire and Blood", the land has constantly been falling apart. Taxes have risen, unrest plagues the cities and the bands of robbers roam throughout the land untouched, terrorizing the people. All the funds, raised by tax-collectors, are now being used by the Magnus clan members to develop new and devastating spells, and Ang-Alahil-Manor hasn't been seen in public for the last 4 years. The people are suffering. The strict regime, conducted by the Magnus clan is quick to punish all those who dare to speak against it. Needless to say, the spellcasters working for the magocracy are present everywhere, and their numbers are rising with each day. Everyone who has even the least talent in wielding the spell is quickly recruited into the ranks of the clan.
You guys (characters) are members of a secret resistance organization, sworn to free the king and put him back onto the throne. The organization has no name, no permanent place of gathering, and no leader. It's members not necessarily know each other. It is a group of people, united, not under one banner, but under one goal. It is even known that inside the organization, many unique groups exist, and although they differ from each other, a common goal is what keeps them together.
On one warm summer night, you (characters), gather in a small cottage in a forest, not too far from one of the larger cities in the kingdom, to meet Akron, a member of a resistance group. After all the precations have beeen taken, and the comrade's identity confirmed by a unique password which only he could have known, you all sit and he quietly starts speaking: "There is a job that needs to be done...".

Hope you like it, see ya laterz ;)

Oct 3, 2010

8th blog entry - Campaign introduction idea, No.2

This just came across my mind:

After you guys (characters) spent hours walking through Garonium, which is a small city, looking for the Red Tavern, about midnight, you finally found the place you've been told about. No wonder noone knew this tavern's whereabouts, as it seems to be a bit more than just a tavern. First, to get to it, you got to pass through a narrow passage between two houses, then through some dark backyard, into the small ruined temple, which seems to have been burnt years ago. There you encountered three tall figures, hooded under brown cloaks, who are supposed to look like priests. You bribed them with three rubies and 33 copper pieces, as you were instructed to do, to let you through a hidden door, into a small house, hidden between other buildings. In the house, you've been searched for weapons or other dangerous objects, which have been taken away from you, by the tavern guards, who look more like regular mercenaries and cut-throats, paid to have fun beating the life out of those who disobey the house rules. Once you gave away the items you weren't allowed to bring in, you climbed down the long wooden stairs, into one of the largest taverns you've ever seen. Rich and poor, drunkards, bandits, prostitutes of all sorts and races, alcohol, illegal substances, music, singing, arm wrestling, fires cracking out of the fireplaces, a fat inkeeper with golden teeth and an eye bandage, and a few busty waitresses, constantly bringing more booze to the guests, and running away from the curious hands of those who had a drink or a few too many. You (characters) already feel a few eyes pointed at you, and quickly sit at the nearest unoccupied table. After a few moments, one of the waitresses, who just freed herself from the grasp of a young and very drunk nobleman, approaches you putting her boobs back behind the dress and says: "Drink or women, fellas ?". Your turn :)

Hope you enjoyed, stay tuned for more :)

Oct 2, 2010

7th blog entry - Campaign introduction idea, No.1

Heya, and thanks for taking interest in my blog! Today, I give you a suggestion on how to start the first session of your new campaign, as the "After a long trip, you guys finally make it to a small village..." beginning is now officially being over-over-overused.  So, here's an example:

After the battle of Hareigh, the forces of both the elven kingdom and the orkish hordes have been reduced to mere nothingness. Still, elven determination to defend the holy tree of Leleigh remains strong, and the orkish warlord's hate for the light is still deeply cut into his mind. For the last three months, there have been no real military action on both sides. Everything now comes down to sending skirmishing units into the no-man's land, hoping they catch enemy's party off-guard. On one cold and rainy september morning, the group of orks ambushed and killed most of general Lohilem's unit which has been ordered to scout a small hilly portion of the northern front. The few who managed to save their lives (characters) have found shelter from the rain in a small and hidden cave. Considering the circumstances, they realize that no rescue party is likely to be dispatched, and the enemy unit might just be hiding around the next hill. With the night slowly creeping around the corners, food almost gone, bleeding cuts and painful bruises from the fight, and the rain which is only getting heavier, the survivors will have to use all their skills to survive and get back to a friendly fort. 

More to come! :)

Sep 30, 2010

6th blog entry - A little about DM ethics

So, there's this thing that every DM needs to know. Okay now, I know I said you need not follow what I tell you, but at least consider this thing I'm about to throw at you in this post.

I've heard countless times about Dungeon Masters who, for some reason, got angry at players, and simply killed them ingame. Well, to me, that's just stupid. Being a DM doesn't mean you're playing against the fellowship. In fact, a DM is a player as well, it's just that his role in the game is a bit different.

First of all, before starting a campaign, the DM should point out to his players that he is also playing the game for fun, just as they do. Then, players should be told not to question DM's decisions, even if they happen to go against the rules, because a DM wouldn't do stupid or irrational things for no reason.

Be friendly to your players, give them a good campaign with lots of opportunities and fun, try to make the game smooth, and if they happen to mess up big time, always give them a way out of the trouble they've put themselves in. Having your player's characters die is a bad thing, and intentionally killing them is even worse. Of course, I'm not saying you should defend them at all costs, if they really deserve to get killed, there's nothing you can do, but you should always make sure they know what dangers lie ahead.

Here's a little example:
Player wishes to try and jump from one cliff to another. The gap is pretty wide, and the height is frightening. The fall would surely kill him.
  • DM: The cliff you're trying to jump on is pretty far, the difficulty class is 25, your jump skill is 7, so, a roll of 12 or less instantly results in your death, while on the rolls of 13-17 you still got a chance to grab to the side of the cliff and maybe pull yourself up. Do you still wish to proceed ?
  • Player: I do.
  • DM: Do you understand that you got more than 50% chance to get your character killed if you try to jump to that cliff ?
  • Player: I do, and I still want to take my chances.
  • DM: Okay, I warned you. Roll the dice.
Now, on the rolls of 13-17, a good DM would find a way for that character to save his life, while a bad one would make sure the character falls and dies.

Thanks for reading and have fun playing! :)

Sep 28, 2010

5th blog entry - Creating a settlement, part 3

Hello people, it's time for some more tips for Dungeon Masters, and everyone who want to become one x)

So, the 3rd part of this "Creating a settlement" tutorial shall be about different ways it can be managed and ruled, and also a bit about towns and their surroundings in general. Most of the stuff I'm gonna say here are taken from Dungeon Master's Guide and reworked a bit. So, here we go!

When you have decided on the size of your settlement and it's ways of getting needed resources, it's time to figure out who's gonna run the thing. Well, that's where it becomes interesting. DMGuide offers a few solutions to that, which are more than enough, and which i'll tell you about here. Of course, you're always free to come up with something on your own. In fact, if you do, let me know :)

  1. Monarchy - The rule of one man of royal blood, who is always drawn from the same family tree. He has an absolute power over military and economy, and usually deeply influences religion. The ruler usually has advisors and nobles who help him, or do the work in his stead. A monarch almost always resides in the largest settlement of his kingdom. Other cities are run by those chosen by the monarch. Regular citizens have little rights in such political system.
  2. Tribal or Clan structure - Tribes and clans are usually smaller settlements, up to the size of the village. They are ruled by a chief, leader or a warlord who has almost absolute power, and is chosen by either the rule of the strongest, or is voted out by the village elders. He pays respect to the elders, and to the religion, he's a supreme military leader, and influences the tribe's or clan's economy (if they have one). The difference between Monarchy and Tribe/Clan structure is in the way the leaders are chosen, and in the size of the settlement they rule.
  3. Feudalism - This is the type of political system that you can find everywhere throughout kingdoms ruled by a monarch. It is a complicated multi-layer system of classes. The lowest of people (peasants) work for their feudal lord, who "works" for the higher lord, who, again, "works" for even higher lord, all the way to a monarch. Peasants got almost no rights, and slavery is an often find, and the lords are in many cases cruel to their subordinates, and even to other, lower lords. Although the feudalism and monarchy seem to be unable to exist without each other, there are differences by which you can tell them apart: In monarchy, all soldiers are commanded directly by the monarch, while in feudalism, monarch (the supreme ruler) commands his lords, who command his lower lords, who command his even lower lords, who command soldiers.
  4. Republic - Republic is by far the best possible system, as it allows people to choose their representatives, who then gather in senates and vote for or against the propositions which concern the well-being of people. On the other hand, this is fertile soil for corruption. Democracy works best in city-states of any size. Regular people obtain the right to vote by a few means: Being born in an republic, by a bloodline, by paying for it, or by deserving it through a public service such as serving the military or performing a deed of bravery.
  5. Magocracy - Political system in which the ruler is either the most powerful spellcaster, or the oldest child of the current ruler, able to cast spells. Leader of a magocracy has an absolute rule over all aspects of his kingdom, but usually has a group of consultants and sdvisors by his side. Arcane magic is much more appreciated than divine, and divine spellcasters are often looked down on, although they are still treated better than those unable to wield magic. Lands with a majocratic political systems are rich with magic of all kinds. Divine and arcane universities are an often find, and even their military always has spellcasters in the ranks. If the ruler is the most powerful spellcaster, he may be challenged by those who believe to be even more powerful than he is.
  6. Theocracy - System in which the religion plays the most important role. Rulers are often clerics or druids, chosen as a representative of a deity. In some cases, leadership over the land is inherited through a bloodline. Once the ruler is chosen or inherits the throne, he usually stays on the function to the end if his days.
More about these six political systems i've shortly described here you can find in the Dungeon Master's Guide v3.5 pages 140-141. Other than that, the DMG gives a LOT if information and suggestions on economics, demographics, politics and various other aspects of a settlement or a kingdom. Be sure to check it out if you're looking to become a real Dungeon Master, as the well laid-out kingdom or a town is the base of an awesome campaign.

Now, about the other thing i wanted to tell you about... Creating a town in accordance to it's surroundings:

Well, this is quite simple, and thus, I'll point you in a right direction, and you'll soon realize how easy it is not to turn off the right road.

If you got a settlement with an approach to a sea or an ocean, it would be normal to find a lot of fish in the market. Also, almost everyone from the given settlement should have some points in their swim skill, sailor profession, fisherman profession and even some in craft (shipmaking). It just comes normal.
If you got a settlement which is in the middle of a desert or a plain, with no mountains or hills nearby, it would be strange for it to have massive walls made out of stone blocks. The primary source of food for such a settlement should be agronomy and animal husbandry, rather than fish.
If you got a settlement on a riverbank, make sure they use that river for fishing and transport.
And so on...

Well, I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial. Until the next time, may the sword and sorcery be with you!

Sep 25, 2010

4th blog entry - Creating a settlement, part 2

Allright, so far i've told you about different size categories of the settlements, and the resources that every one of them need. This time, we talk about what's inside the city walls.

So, every settlement, regardless of it's size, has got have buildings, of course. I dedicate this whole post to naming each building that could find it's place in a settlement. Here we go:

  1. Inns - Places where people come to mainly eat, maybe have a little drink, and go to sleep. Inns provide mainly food and bed, and only a few of them got alcohol on their menu.
  2. Taverns - Typical party houses. Music, prostitutes, lots of alcohol, drunkards, fights, etc...
  3. Blacksmiths - Blacksmiths mainly craft tools like hammers, scythes, rakes, shovels, hoes, etc...
  4. Healers - Healers could have their own houses which could serve as clinics, or could have a larger place, something like a hospital, where they would come work. Their healing can be magical, herbal, or both.
  5. Weaponsmiths - Blacksmiths specialized in forging weapons. This is where you'll find the best and the largest selection of weapons a town can offer.
  6. Armorsmiths - Armorsmiths are, like weaponsmiths, blacksmiths specialized in forging armor plates, and then putting them together. Note that armorsmiths craft only armors which are made out of metal, and those would be medium and heavy armors.
  7. Bowyers - Craftsmen skilled in bending wood who produce bows and crossbows.
  8. Magic shops - These are those interesting shophouses, usually all colorful and with a long-bearded spellwielder sitting in front and selling spellbooks, scrolls, magic items of all kinds, spell components, etc...
  9. Merchants - Places where you can buy almost everything. Merchants are typical grocery stores where you can get everything you need in a daily life, plus some exotic goods, which they bought from other travelling merchants.
  10. Leatherworkers - Shops where goods made of leather are made. Boots, gloves, light armors, belts, backpacks of all kinds, caps, etc...
  11. Tailors - People who sew regular clothes.
  12. Jewelers - Those shops which you'd most definitely love to loot. Here you can get your hands on various jevelry, including rings, bracelets, amulets, tiaras, and who-knows-what else.
  13. Cobblers - Craftsmen of shoes, and other footwear.
  14. Fishmongers - Fish and other sea stuff. They usually buy from fishermen, and then resell it.
  15. Farriers - Guys who make horseshoes, and somehow manage to put them on horses hooves.
  16. Carpenters - Builders who make objects from wood. They know wood's durability, strengths and weaknesses, and know which type of wood to use for which building.
  17. Masons - Builders who make objects out of stone. Like carpenters, masons are also proficient in what they do.
  18. Herbalists - People who know a lot about different types and species of plants. They are the ones who brew the best potions.
  19. Temples - Holy places where people go and pray to a certain God. Nothing else needs to be said.
  20. Stables - Large wooden halls. Horse inns. Farriers are usually closeby.
  21. Guard houses - Small houses where guardsmen come just before and after their shift to gear up or gear down and maybe have a drunk with other guardsmen.
  22. Guard HQ - Something like a main guard house. This is the place where guard leaders gather, and where the chief executive of the town's guard is sitting and giving orders.
  23. Watchtowers and walls - Name says all.
  24. Guard armory - In smaller towns, there's usually only one guard armory, while in the larger ones, more than one ar an often find. They are usually adjecent to guard houses and headquarters, or can even be in the exact same building as them.
  25. City HQ - This is the town hall, a place where the mayor makes all the decisions regarding the settlement. Place where businessmen and respectable citizens gather to discuss town-related stuff.
  26. Wizard tower/colony - Place where magicians of all sorts can practice their skills without affecting and disrupting normal citizens. Usually separated from public by a high wall or hedgerow. This is usually the place where old and high-level spellcasters live and study their books.
That's about it. In the next entry, we discuss types of government, and types of settlements, according to their surroundings :)

Sep 23, 2010

3rd blog entry - Creating a settlement, part 1

Hello again, we got work to do today, so let's get started! Some of the stuff you'll read here are things I learned from Dungeon Master's Guide, and others are those I figured out myself.

In Dungeons & Dragons, settlements have been divided into eight size categories:

  1. Thorp ( 20 - 80 inhabitants )
  2. Hamlet ( 81 - 400 inhabitants )
  3. Village ( 401 - 900 inhabitants )
  4. Small town ( 901 - 2000 inhabitants )
  5. Large town ( 2001 - 5000 inhabitants )
  6. Small city ( 5001 - 12000 inhabitants )
  7. Large city ( 12001 - 25000 inhabitants )
  8. Megalopolis ( >25000 inhabitants )
Note that the number of inhabitants you see here only includes adults, so the final number of inhabitants would be 10% - 40% more.

Now, when you decide how big your settlement will be, it's time to start creating it step by step (size of the settlement usually depends on the number of inhabitants).

Advice: The larger the settlement is, the more opportunities, in the means of experience-earning and money-making, it gives. Putting the characters in such an environment, full of opportunities, could make them stay there for longer than you expected, thus disrupting DM's plans.

Next step is to figure out the geographic aspect of the settlement's location. They are almost always founded near water, and on a high terrain, compared to the surroundings. Nearby mountains could affect climate, give valuable resources, and even provide protection. Simplified, people need water, food, protection and resources to build an economy on. In fact, there are very few settlents which are self-serving communities, and do not import nor export products. Those are mainly Thorps and Hamlets, and maybe some Villages.
  • Water comes from rivers, lakes, seas, oceans, wells, etc.
  • Food comes from farming, fishing, livestock, etc.
  • Protection comes mainly from high ground and distance to cities which could provide military support.
  • Resources could be any, or all of these three, plus a lot of things including natural and human resources.

That's it for part 1, next time we go under the hood ;)

Sep 18, 2010

2nd blog entry - Village map

Hey hey, I got something for you!

Yesterday while thinking about what will I make my second blog post about, an idea stormed through my mind: I remembered I have a neat map of a village that I drew about half a year ago. So, here it is, and again, feel free to use it! ^_^

That is a river you see there, and a bridge across it, population should be about 300 people, which makes it a Hamlet, larger buildings could be taverns, guard barracks (if any), stables, inns, town halls, temples, prisons, etc... The squares with an "x" inside are supposed to be guard towers

In my next blog entry, I could tell you a bit about how I create villages/towns/cities for my campaigns :)

Google removed my pic :|
I'll have to re-scan it and upload it again.

Sep 16, 2010

1st blog entry - Map of a dungeon

Oookay, my first post!

Being a Dungeon Master can be extremely boring and difficult, especially if you got a demanding company of experienced players. I know it all. That's why I'm here to help you, Masters of the Dungeon, in your attempt to lead an awesome campaign.

I've been doing the DM thing for quite some time now, and although I'm definitely not the smartest and most experienced DM on Earth, I think I found out a few things over the time that I'll share with you. Read my blogs, share it with other people, think about what I say, and in the end, if you like the tips I've given - follow them!