Wednesday, 24 August 2016

A new world... and a new campaign

Some colleagues and I are starting a  gaming group - we played our first game on Saturday gone and are planning to get together perhaps on a weekend every month or so. I won't be running this game, as someone else has volunteered to be DM, so for the first time in ages, I'm actually playing a PC!

My character is Sir Darlan of the House of Vong, a minor noble who is also a Paladin. I've never played a Paladin before, and I've never played 5th Ed either, so it's all new to me. There will be a report at some point soonish.

Meanwhile, I'd done a bit of work on a setting for a game if I ended up running an old-school game (we only worked out who was DMing about 9 days ago). As it won't see action in its current form in either of my other campaigns, I thought I might post it up here. This was the basis for a campaign I was planning...

Iriond 1411336555

The plan was to start simple - a location, with a few encounters round it, possibly with a vaguely oriental feel - somewhere with plains-nomads and ancient and empires. Something away from my normal generic western/northern Europe setting anyway. Perhaps I can utilise some means of generating adventures from the pdf I just downloaded - the Swords and Wizardry scenario generator pdf, which though its more geared to a faux-Japanese setting is close enough to what I'm after I think.

I rolled 4 4 8 4 9 10

So the party meets in a Tavern
with a Sensei (Senior cleric?)
They hear of a Kidnap
by a Ninja (thief/assassin?)
Which they can foil by going to a Dark fortress
and Winning a contest.

I could have just taken it from there, though of course the players might not.

Except that I got a bit carried away with a hex-mapping technique from - though in line with the hex-maps of the Known World from BECMI, I'm not using the very sensible 1-5-25 mile hex-progression suggested, but the slightly-more-difficult 1-6-24 mile progression.

Anyway this is the 6/24 map I came up with, based on a small area of the far north-west of the Iriond map, in the area between the Bladegrass Plains, Tumunzar Spires mountain range, and Forest of Thorns, all of which seem like excellent adventuring locales to me (I started making icons for the hexes, but then decided on colour-coding instead):

The marker is for settlement for the PCs to begin in; the area is mostly mixed plain and forest, with some hills and a few little bits of other odd terrain thrown in - a few lakes (one of which is large enough to make it onto the Iriond map if you look really hard), some hills and swamps, and some odd bits of desert, which I'm thinking are more like dust-bowl type areas than proper desert.

I've subsequently started keying in the hexes with encounters (a few individual hexes have changed since I started so this doesn't quite represent an accurate map), and pretty rapidly populated the area, as least in outline. I also spent far too long playing with the random generators at Chaotic Shiny...

The hex with the settlement and the six surrounding large hexes are done - at least in terms of keyed encounters. That's pretty much an area with a radius of 36 miles around the town. There are 49 keyed encounters in that zone including a dozen settlements of different types, a few monster lairs, 6 different terrain types and some locations where frankly weird stuff is going on.

I also had a blast thinking of various themes and stuff that I wanted to include. Not sure where it's all going in the end, perhaps it'll be used somewhere!

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Oldhammer Giaks

Every so often, something floats across my consciousness that isn't to do with D&D. Sometimes, it has to do with another facet of my nostalgia for fantasy gaming in the 1980s - Oldhammer.

Some time ago I was talking about Giaks in Warhammer/Oldhammer. That post included a link to a Giak Army ('Orgar') list of 9 units that goes something like this:

Orgar Rekenar (Rekenar = 'Scouts')

Name of Regiment    Colour    Regiment Symbol    Special Notes

Gorakim                          Red           Fanged Jawbone          Gourgaz leader
('The Animals')

Konkorim                       Yellow      Bow crossed by            All armed with
('The Hunters')                                 3 arrows                       short bows

Kaggazheg                    Orange       Flaming                        Leader wears
('Fire-Dogs')                                      Dog's Head                 a Doomwolf Pelt

Moggador                      Dark           Crossed                        No Edged Weapons
('The Hammerers')         Blue           Warhammers

Nadul-Nak                     Black         Black Flag                    Dressed in Black

Lajakann                        Grey          Grey Heart &                Gourgaz leader    
('The Stonehearts')                           Scimitar

Ogshashez                     Purple         Serrated Dagger          No Blunt Weapons
('The Throat-                                                                         No Pole-arms

Nanenrakim                    Light            Black Arrows             All armed with
('The Life-stealers')       Blue                                                 short bows

Orgadak-Taagim            Dull             Human Head            All armed with
('The Humankillers')      Red              on a pole                   Pole-arms

There are no Gourgaz (Giant Troglodytes) in other games, but perhaps were I ever to field a 'proper' Giak Army, for WH 2nd Ed using these rules, I could get something to stand in for them (using Heroquest Fimir perhaps).



Merely using this as a template for organisation however, I've decided that (at least for the moment) 'Giak' isn't a particular kind of Goblin; I'm going to assume that any kind of O&G type can be slotted into this list. A concession to later editions? Probably. However, I'll still play by the stipulations of the list - no more than 25% of troops may be archers, and they can only use short-bows. This means, in effect, that I have to use Goblins or Night Goblins as archers. Obviously, the plan is to eventually do these units as armoured Goblins, but in the meantime, I think I can be a bit more flexible (while I work out what would be a decent source for 'Oldhammer' style Goblins with different weapons, as there are only really two Goblin foot units, Common Goblins with spears or bows, and Night Goblins with spears, bows or slashing weapons - now all called 'Grots' apparently).

So - how best to field these units as an O&G army?

Gorakim                      Red         Fanged Jawbone        Gourgaz leader
('The Animals')

I think their 'animal' nature is probably a reference to their ferocity. So, they're likely a close-combat unit. Probably Orcs then, let's say with axes or other slashing weapons. Maybe they could have two hand weapons, as opposed to the more usual slashing weapon/shield combo.

Konkorim                    Yellow    Bow crossed by          All armed with
('The Hunters')                            3 arrows                     short bows

This unit could be Night Goblins or Common Goblins, as both can use shortbows. Night Goblins are cheaper (points-wise) in later editions, so maybe they're the way to go here. But given that the ultimate aim is to field (Common) Goblin units corresponding to the units on this list, maybe I should go straight for that and cut out the middle stage.  As the point of this unit is to stay out of the way and just shoot, having slightly better fighters makes no real sense from a points-based point of view, but it does in terms of eventual development of the list.

Kaggazheg                  Orange    Flaming                      Leader wears
('Fire-Dogs')                                Dog's Head                a Doomwolf Pelt

This is best as a close-combat unit, and in general that would mean an Orc unit I think - again axes seems appropriate.

Moggador                   Dark         Crossed                      No Edged Weapons
('The Hammerers')      Blue         Warhammers

Orcs with bludgeoning weapons is I think the best way to go here. Of course, bludgeoning or slashing weapons have the same profiles in 2nd Ed, they're all 'hand weapons'. But there are 3rd Ed (? I think) plastic Orc minis with mace-type weapons. However, I also have a bunch of Dwarf hammer-heads (alternate weapons from the old 60-to-a-box white plastic figures) so if I can get some Goblins with weapon-grips maybe I can add the hammer-heads myself.

Nadul-Nak                  Black        Black Flag                 Dressed in Black

This is almost designed for Night Goblins I think, with hand-weapons or spears, it matters not.

Lajakann                     Grey         Grey Heart &            Gourgaz leader  
('The Stonehearts')                       Scimitar

I have a few small 'Goblin' shields with a heart & sword motif. Perhaps, if I can get about 30 more of them, they can be the shields for a unit of Night Goblins, who at least can have hand weapons.

Ogshashez                   Purple       Serrated Dagger        No Blunt Weapons
('The Throat-                                                                   No Pole-arms

I think, a unit of Orcs armed with slashing weapons. Or possibly Night Goblins again with slashing weapons, but Night Goblins are nothing like as good at fighting.

Nanenrakim                Light           Black Arrows           All armed with
('The Life-stealers')     Blue                                             short bows

As with the other bow-unit, the choice is between getting a Night Goblin unit and eventually replacing it or going for a Goblin unit from the start.

Orgadak-Taagim         Dull           Human Head            All armed with
('The Humankillers')   Red            on a pole                  Pole-arms

Well, this is a bit tricky as 'pole arms' per se aren't a viable option but two-handed axes might be. I'd settle for that as an alternative - I think this was an option for some Orcs back in the day. Otherwise, Goblins with spears might be a basis for some conversions using large blades attached to the spear-shafts.

That would get me my 9 units. Whether this actually gets anywhere as a project is a bit more difficult to tell at the moment though...