Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Big, Round and Down: The Unfinished Domain of the Scarlet Prince - Part 6

Big, Round and Down 
Area 1 Room 3 

Quick Look - the walls extend away, curving inward. Your torch light doesn't find the far wall. Your footsteps echo slightly in the large gloomy chamber. You see a wooden well cover lying on the floor. 

Detailed Examination - the room is an 80 foot diameter circle, slightly truncated where other rooms have been built. Under the well cover is a 5 foot shaft leading down. The only other object in the room is a bundle of leather. Examining it determines that it is a crumpled, small leather pouch containing flower bulbs. Lily bulbs if they check. 

By F. A. Waugh - F. A. Waugh:A Conspectus of the Genus Lilium (Concluded), May 1899, in: Botanical Gazette, Vol. 27, No. 5, p. 343, Public Domain,

To Room 1 - Normal Door, although it has an unusual disk carved (standing out from the surface of the door) under the latch.. To open and disarm the trap: Slide the disk down while the door to Room 2 is closed. The door from Room 1 to Room 2 must be closed to open this door. If the disk is lowered, while the door to Room 2 is open, the trap triggers. The trap sprays a slimy gel on the hands of the door opener, making it impossible to grasp objects. Clean off with wine or vinegar. 

To Room 2 - the door posts are carved with flowers. Lilies, if anyone checks. The door itself is a normal door, it shows no unusual damage on this side. There is no trap. 

Shaft - a five foot diameter shaft leading down. There are rungs bolted to the side of it

5 foot squares
Adding details as I generate the rooms

Room size and presence of the shaft created with the DMG tables.  

 Decided that doorway decorations should usually repeat on the other side of the door.

Tome of Adventure Design, Tables 3-27 through 3-29 for the door and latch/trap trigger to Room 1, which only became apparent when I laid the room out on the map.   The trap itself was generated using Tables 3-126 Basic Traps and 3-129 Trap Liquids.  They gave me the inspiration for the effect and remedy.

The pouch and contents were generated from Table 3-144 Dungeon Dressing and 3-159 Herbs.

Monday, May 10, 2021

The Unfinished Domain of Scarlet Prince - Part 5

   Doorway behind stage - when I looked at my drawing, I changed it to the rear left corner of the stage - a player's entrance.    ToAD Tables 3-27 through 3-29 - archway is painted in a repeating pattern. The theme of the dungeon gave me the inspiration for the pattern,  Doorway is painted with red and white tragedy/comedy masks.  Door itself is plain.  Room 2 is a 30x40 Rectangle.  I used ToAD Table 3-39, think I'll just use the DMG in the future for room sizes, more variety.  Contains monster only. DMG Table V-F. Undead, incorporeal, semi-intelligent, does not create more monsters.  ToAD Tables 2-1 Monster Type and 2-64 Undead.  I then went through the incorporeal undead from the Monster Manual and settled on Shadow.  This differs from the the ToAD result as Shadows can reproduce by creating other Shadows. 

Area 1 Room 2 

Shadow of the Prop Master  

Room 2 is accessed by the doorway off of the rear left corner of the stage.  The door posts are painted with a pattern crimson masks of comedy and tragedy running down them, the door itself is unadorned. Try as you might you discover no indication of a trap.  The door is not locked, nor is it stuck.

Quick Look - shadows predominate in this room.  Your light striking tables and chairs, rolls of canvas stacked haphazardly and racks of clothing decaying into gossamer spider webs, casts them on the far walls and between piles. The room is about 30 feet across and extends to the right into the gloom past what your light illuminates

Detailed Examination - the room is 30x40 and piled with theater props. Bards will recognize this immediately, as will anyone with any skill or experience in acting. For the others, the clothing looks expensive, but the cloth is cheap. Armor is knitted chain mail and tin plate. The rolls of canvas, if unrolled, are painted scenery. Of more interest, to the pecuniary minded adventurers, are the unlocked chests on the far wall. They will prove to contain wood discs painted gold, obviously fake, and costume jewelry. If the party has determined this is a prop room, give them a +4 on any appraisal check to determine the gems and jewelry are fake. Otherwise they can carry them out and pay to learn they are fake. Under a jumble of canvas rolls is a skeleton.

Monster - the room is haunted by the Shadow of the Property Master. This being will use the shadows to hide and reach out to steal life from random characters. The only way to avoid the shadows would be to push all the props up against the walls. To banish the Prop Master, the skull from the skeleton must be taken on stage and a play performed with the skull playing the lead role.

Shadow (14 HP), AC 7, 3+3 HD, One attack for 1d4+1 Damage + Strength Drain (1 pt/hit). Shadows are 90% undetectable and require a +1 weapon or better to hit. Strength loss returns in 2d4 turns. Characters reduced to 0 Hit Points or Strength are turned into Shadows themselves.

5 foot squares
Updating the layout as I generate the rooms

Getting a sense of how to combine Tome of Adventure Design with the DMG.

The Unfinished Domain of Scarlet Prince

Part I - The Entry

Part 2 - The Grating Chasm

Part 3 - Area 1 Layout

Part 4 - Theater of the Crimson Mime

Sunday, May 9, 2021

The Unfinished Domain of Scarlet Prince - Part 4

    In which I determine what the Tome of Adventure Design isn't and start detailing the rooms in Area 1.

   ToAD is not a dungeon generation system, which isn't obvious at first look, although I had my suspicions by the third look.  Great tables for coming up with creative features, but no guidance on how often such features should crop up.  This isn't an issue for anyone with access to the DMG, it's really a matter of choosing when to move between the two.

   I really like ToAD's area design, so starting with that, as I said in the previous post, I know  Area 1 Room 1 will be of unusual size.  Table 3-40 gives me a room nominally 50x80, with far end a ziggurat like stepped triangle with a 20' point. 

   OK, what about the door into the room from the chasm?  Have to jump around, but Tables 3-27 and 3-28 treat Archways.  ToAD defines an Archway as where ever a tunnel or corridor leads out of the room.  Leading into one is the same thing, so I have a Trap!   We'll leave that for a minute while I get more information.   Table 3-29 Normal Doors; Basic Description of - comes to the rescue saying the door while otherwise normal is painted an unusual color.  Table 3-30 tells me it's painted a red and white checkerboard.

   Traps, there's a whole chapter in ToAD with tables for randomly generating a trap.   And none of my random rolls gave me anything I liked.  Finally I started reading the table entries and after eight pages came across a magical trap effect "Floating image of person, monster or animal."  That, with the door pattern, gave me an idea.

   Other than that, ToAD has lots of random room content tables, but as I said no room content distribution table, so back to the DMG Table V-F Chamber or Room Contents.  If I roll a Special I'll jump back to ToAD.  And I roll an eleven, it's empty.

Area 1 Room 1

Theater of the Crimson Mime.

     Crossing the grating, the ledge on the other side is differs only in minor details.  The wall on the far side contains a gaily painted door in a red and white harlequin pattern.  Successfully detecting traps will find a spring compressed at the top of the door.  The trap may be disabled.  Detect Magic will detect a a strong illusion dweomer.

     Opening the Door- if the trap has been disabled, nothing happens.  If it was not disabled, the crimson figure of human wearing a jesters cap and bells appears to have opened the door, it mimes pulling a stout rope (seemingly connected to the party) towards itself, bows and vanishes.  Behind it, there is darkness as your feeble light doesn't illuminate the far wall.

    Quick Search -  the room is 80 feet long and 50 feet wide, the final fifteen feet decrease to a twenty foot width as shown.  The last twenty feet of the room, including the reduced width, are raised approximately five feet higher than the floor, forming a stage.  There are three doors in the other walls (to be subsequently placed and detailed when I create the rooms.)  

    Detailed Examination - nothing new.

Area 1 Room 1 
5 foot square

(Edit) Exits
The Prop Room is accessed by the doorway off of the rear left corner of the stage. The door posts are painted with a pattern crimson masks of comedy and tragedy running down them, the door itself is unadorned. Try as you might you discover no indication of a trap. The door is not locked, nor is it stuck.

To Room 4   A curtain of moth-eaten linen, undyed, but painted with red swirls is reveals a plain wooden door, opening outwards. when the curtain is moved.  A pressure plate on the Theater side of the door will cause the ceiling to grind down over the next four rounds.  Two characters can clear through the doorway each round, but if the character ahead of you has a lower dexterity bonus than your character, you must delay clearing the doorway until the start of the next round - and everyone backs up behind you.  

And now I know more about the Scarlet Prince, it's the title given to  the Guildmaster of the Community of the Crimson Clowns, a guild of Bards and Jesters.

The Unfinished Domain of Scarlet Prince

Part I - The Entry

Part 2 - The Grating Chasm

Part 3 - Area 1 Layout

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Feudal Wilderlands Part IX - Population Distribution

    So a recent conversation with my gaming group is leading to the possibility of my running a campaign, which - if I do - will be set in my version of the Feudal Wilderlands.

   On a related note, since 19 - frikkin' -78!, I have been entranced by a line in the old Chivalry & Sorcery Redbook - "In the designers own wargaming group, an elaborate set of tables was designed by a member which can locate a character literally within miles of a particular town in France..."  Never gotten to that level of detail, never played in a campaign with that level of detail, but... I realized how close last years efforts put me to that goal.  

   I'd already pulled the urban (town and village) population from Rob Conley's Wilderlands version into a spreadsheet.  I'd worked out, using Chivalry & Sorcery, the highest nobles and their immediate vassals.  All I needed to do was some quick population subtotals in Excel and roll up the holdings of all of the sub-vassals, which would give me the rural population.  I excluded all non-human settlements, and the totals only include the 'civilized' residents on the fiefs, so bandits, exiles and barbarians are extra.

For census purposes - there are only 413,020 humans in the City State of the Invincible Overlord and his vassals; 67,660 are urban (for a very low bar) and 345.360 live on the various fiefs.
Region    Rural      Urban       Total      Pct  
Altanian Marches 24.520 4,166 28,686 6.95%
Brythange 11,800 650 12,450 3.01%
CSIO 16,970 21,185 38,1559.24%
Difiros 19.980 6894 26,8746.51%
East Romilia 14,890 2,610 17,500 4.24%
Gwalion 34,280 762 35,042 8.48%
Gwarenne 30,080 12,190 42,270 10.23%
Losthaine 12,560 1,239 13,799 3.34%
Rorystone 18,770 2,956 21,726 5.26%
Saule 18,1102,055 20,165 4.88%
Severnais 40,240 1,417 41,837 10.13%
Skandry 47,780 7,95855,738 13.5%
Tungraine 12,6101,499 14,109 3.42%
Vinnior 17,850 722 18,572 4.5%
Zothiem 24.740 1,357 26,097 6.32%

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