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Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.



Leraika posted:

I guess the better-phrased question is 'is this gonna be like the end of the last book where everything was one extended cutscene of horrid poo poo happening'.
Fair question. The last simulation is basically pulling out all of the stops when it comes to inappropriate content. You're made to be a witness of it but not necessarily a participant and you can fight back against it. Which they probably will. It is not, however, gently caress you lose anyway.

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Fossilized Rappy
Dec 26, 2012




Part 5: "Ironically, most practitioners of either Voodoo or Lodge magic will be quick to deride the other style as inferior, and will bristle at the idea that, essentially, they are doing the same thing by different names!"


Chapter 3: Magic
As a universal gaming system that has existed for multiple decades, thereís not really anything suprising about the fact that GURPS has had various different magic systems over its lifespan, from the core GURPS magic system wherein you buy each spell as its own skill with its own skill ranks to roll by to the recent sorcery system that fully transfers spells into an advantage-based system. GURPS Voodoo uses what it calls ritual magic, which would act as the progenitor of the Ritual Path Magic system that is one of the most popular in GURPS Fourth Edition. Ritual magic is subtle but powerful, relying on going through the motions to invoke a specific end result rather than casting Magic Missile at your problems. You make your preparations, call the spirits, give them your request, make your offering, and hope for the best.

The skill system for ritual magic consists of three tiers: the Ritual Magic skill itself, a skill for each of the five types of magic (known as Paths), and a skill for each ritual within the Path. Each of these tiers requires the previous one, but not vice versa; for instance, you can cast a ritual via its Path skill or Ritual Magic for a modest penalty, while you canít put skill points in the ritual at all if you havenít already put at least one point into Ritual Magic and its Path skill first. This means that you can have a character with points calculated down to every ritual they want to perform with little chance of failure, or you could go the opposite way and have someone who has a bunch of points put into just Ritual Magic so that theyíre a magical jack of all trades but master of none. As itís a system where magic is produced by asking favors of the spirits, you can even have a non-Initiate who knows the general practices of the sacred ceremonies cast a spell...at a hefty penalty to their skill roll, of course.

Rituals also have three "elements" tied to them that affect their skill rolls as well. The Element of Time dictates that rituals typically have a preparation period of ten minutes to an hour, wherein dancing, chanting, playing of musical instruments, or other ceremonial gestures are performed. A caster in a hurry can take a hit to their skill roll to skip the performance, while one with a lot of time on their hands can repeat the ritual for several days in order to keep boosting their roll. The Element of Consecrated Ground dictates that spells are harder to cast when not on hallowed soil. Temples and sacred sites that have had magical rituals conducted in them continuously for twenty years or more have become consecrated; if you aren't in one of these places, you either eat the penalty or take a few minutes to temporarily consecrate your location by placing candles, symbols, and arcane etchings around you.


Finally, there's the Element of Material Components, which reflects offerings to the spirits as well as what is known as the Law of Contagion. The former is pretty self-explanatory, as you give the spirits something they like such as rum, cigars, a sacrificed chicken, or whatever. The latter is the concept that your magic is more powerful if you have created a link to the target (this link being the titular contagion): an effigy of the target is nice, a photograph's even better, and a DNA sample such as hair or blood gives the spirit you're invoking plenty to work on. There are also certain symbols that work particularly well with specific rituals and spirits. For example, the traditional asson rattle pleases the coupled loas Damballa and Ayida-Wedo, while Ogun loves images of himself engraved on a nice metal blade. There are also negative modifiers for the more people a ritual is meant to target and positive ones for multiple individuals working toward the same ritual, but ultimately those are less interesting topics for a review and will only get this sentence.

Closing out the magic chapter are the Paths and the rituals themselves. The Path of Dreams allows for both the astral travel to the world of dreams and the ability to manipulate the dreams of others, the Path of Health is the two-way street of both healing and harming others, the Path of Luck covers blessings and curses, the Path of Protection helps ward against both physical and spiritual threats, and the Path of Spirits deals with influencing both entities of the spirit world and souls of the living. Initiates of all creeds and backgrounds draw on these same five forces, though some rituals are called different names by different groups even though they are ultimately the same thing. An example for this would be the ritual for sanctifying a home against intruding spirits, which Voudonistas call Sanctuary and the Lodges call Aegis.

As for actual rituals, there arenít a massive amount, presumably due to page count restrictions: five each for the Path of Dreams, Path of Health, and Path of Protection, eight for the Path of Luck, and eleven for the Path of the Spirit. You also get a paragraph on making your own rituals that can be summed up as "I dunno, just make stuff up I guess, just remember to have the three elements and a skill penalty if it's particularly hard to do". A few of the rituals presented include...
  • Succor, which lets you slap some herbs and sugar on a wound and have it work as well as actual proper first aid.
  • Evil Eye has you call on spirits to let you cause someone to have a heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure with a glance. If you gently caress the ritual up too badly, though, the spirits will target you for the attack instead.
  • Journeymanís Course makes the target suffer an injury or loss of pay at their job. As spirits are often fickle assholes, this ritual affects both the target and the caster if it fails badly enough.
  • Ghost Shirt, known to the Lodges are Achilles' Shield, creates a probability bubble that makes projectiles less likely to hit you. It's stated that members of the Boxer Rebellion and the Ghost Dance tradition Ė yep, it's the 90s alright Ė made use of this ritual.
  • Raise Zombie lets you create a zombie of the actual Haitian lore sort, not the walking dead sort. After poisoning the victim with ritually-prepared powder made of various unsavory materials such as the tetrodotoxin of a pufferfish, they go into a death-like state that is almost impossible to discern from actual death. When you go and dig them up after the funeral, they seemingly miraculously come back to life, though now as a brainwashed slave with near-immunity to pain.



Next Time: After this shorter update, the next oneís going to bury you with its size. Itís time for a spectral spectacular.

kommy5
Dec 6, 2016


Just looking at the character art for that Fetish Foursome makes me cringe in AAH. And then there are the names. I started banging my head on my desk when I skimmed through their actual descriptions. I have this frequent urge when reading these riffs to smack the author(s) and shout "NO! Bad! You are not good enough to attempt this!" I mean, seriously. They should've stopped at those names and faces, realized they were beginning a long and graceful arc of fiery destruction into the ground, then gone back to the drawing board to redo everything from scratch.

But I suppose that's a common refrain here.

Horrible Lurkbeast posted:

Just how scary is a blood dragon lord/grail knight? What power level are we talking about here?

The Grail Knight/Blood Dragon mix is... slightly nebulous in legality, but not outright illegal. The Lady specifically chooses Grail Knights and won't fall for any tricks. But it doesn't specifically preclude someone who is already a Grail Knight becoming a vampire. The bigger mechanical hurdle is that going all the way through Grail Knight is a minimum of four whole Careers, followed by three whole Careers to become a Vampire Lord. And these aren't short Careers, either. You're talking many thousands of EXP. Haven't done that math, but it's probably along the lines of 20000+ EXP.

That said, should such a being exist, it would be an ender of armies. Blood Dragon Blood Gifts and the Bret Knightly Virtues can both be immensely powerful. Together, there are undoubtedly some absolutely horrendous combinations. My first impulse would be to try combining the charge bonus abilities or the debuffing enemy bonuses. And this is on top of a statline that is superhuman twice over. Taking the Grail Knight Career, the stat boosting Talents you'll get, and the stat bonuses for being a vampire, you'll end up being something like +55 WS, +45 Str, +50 Tou, +45 Agi, +15 Wounds on top of whatever the base rolled stats were with 5 Attacks and 6 Movement.

If you somehow had max stat rolls there, you'd be hanging around in Greater Demon of Khorne territory. A PC party's only hope would be to hope it has a crippling vampire weakness, find out what it is, and desperately exploit it.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


It'd be a pretty good way to represent Abhorash stats-wise if you ever felt you needed to, I think.

E: When we get there, you'll understand how powerful Grail Knights are, but stats-wise they are hands down the best human fighting career in any of the books. And they are genuinely superhuman, getting a few things like 'immune to Chaos mutation and extremely resistant to magic'.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 23:54 on Aug 4, 2017

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!




A Grail knight and his friends who are all secretly vampire ignoring human politics in favour of chasing the next high XP and fame could make for a nice campaign.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


When a PC can take a Greater Demon of Khorne in open combat by themselves the system really can't handle them anymore.

Which was one of the big warnings about vampiric PCs in the Vamp Book. It was twofold in nature: One, someone with 90+ stats isn't something the system was made to handle in the first place, but two, someone at that level legitimately doesn't have anything left to gain/buy, and progression is a key part of the game.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



I could also see an interesting campaign built around a vampire seeking the Grail - and maybe even attaining it. Would break one of the rules of the setting, but could be an interesting idea.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!




World breaking sure but it probably won't be as bad as the end times.
E: which could be the point in itself "gently caress you GW, no one destroy the world but us"

By popular demand fucked around with this message at 00:14 on Aug 5, 2017

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.

So I'm going to try and review a thing again. We'll see how this goes!

So, let's think back to 1983. Indiana Jones had just come out two years ago, and the sequel was on the way the next year. Tales of the Gold Monkey was on TV. There was a sort of retropulp revival going on, and naturally, at least one game company decided to try and capitalize on that.

That's right, we're talking about Flying Buffalo, Inc, creators of Tunnels and Trolls, and the game by some freelancer no one had ever heard of named Michael Stackpole.

That's right: It's time for:




MERCENARIES, SPIES, and PRIVATE EYES.

The thing about MS&PE is that it's pretty much "Heavily houseruled Tunnels and Trolls." Like, not even kidding; the main difference is that they've tacked on a not all that great skill system.

So to talk about this game, we've got to talk a little bit about T&T.


Some days you assassinate the polar bear, some days the polar bear assassinates you.

T&T was one of the early challengers to D&D; with an unsurprisingly similar stat spread, classes, levels and so on. It did, however, do several things fairly differently, some of which are kinda neat: for example, most monsters had basically one attribute: A monster rating, which counted as hit points and determined the monster's dice to roll in a fight.

It also didn't really have a 'to hit roll' in basic melee combat. instead, each side would roll all their dice, add all their bonuses, and compare totals; the losing side would take the difference as damage and divide it among everyone.

It also had a sort of built in system to improvise crazy stunts, the saving throw. Unlike a D&D saving throw, the T&T saving throw was used for things like I wanna try to roll between the giant's legs and cut his hamstrings'- the GM would say "Okay, that's a level 2 dex saving throw, and then rule on what benefit you'd get. (A suggested option would be, to, say "If you make the roll, even if you lose the contested melee roll, you can apply your rolled damage to the enemy- this is how missile weapons and some spells worked, for example.) You might make a luck saving throw to avoid surprise attacks, a strength saving throw to push heavy objects down.

Mercenaries expands on the saving throw system (and throws out the kinda rudimentary T&T classes) to add a skill system.

(As a side note, editions before the most recent revival of T&T featured what may be some of the first muscle wizards in gaming- all spells were cast in T&T by spending some of your strength, which doubled as fatigue. The swolest wizards could cast the most powerful spells.)

Anyway, that's enough T&T. Next time we go in depth into MS&PE.

Wapole Languray
Jul 4, 2012



Chapter 3: Game System

Iíll whip through this quick because learning about dice mechanics isnít that interesting unless itís very unique or very bad and WŁrm is neither, just simple and well made. Also, I HOPE YOU LIKE TABLES.

The basic roll is 2d6. Youíre trying to beat or equal a set difficulty, which the game calls the Threshold (DT). Recommended difficulty ranges from 3 to 15. WŁrm points out that you donít need to roll for stuff where thereís no possibility of failure, or that just flat canít be done. The game also points out that you should judge difficulty off of what is hard or easy for prehistoric man to do, not what your pasty neckbearded self can. While making a flint biface, butchering a deer, skinning and preserving the hide, and preparing the flesh for consumption are all things you might not know how to do your character does that poo poo every day of his life and itís no big deal.



Opposed actions are the same, highest wins. If a tie, the ďdefenderĒ wins.

There are also the standard Critical rules for both successes and failures. A critical failure, called a Catastrophe, occurs when you roll all 1s. This means the more dice you roll, the lower the chances of getting all 1s, so more dice are better. Static bonuses donít counteract a Catastrophe: Even if you have a static bonus to a roll that would mean a success, the double ones override it. If youíre able to roll 4d6 or more, then you can get four 6s for a Legendary Success. This works the same as a Critical, but you immediately get 4 Prestige if anybody saw you do the thing you did, and you get to double the effects of the Critical Success.

Critical Successes happen when you roll double 6s. It doesnít matter how many die you roll, you just need 2 of them to be 6 to Critical. So, once again rolling more dice is more better. Once again the actual result of the roll doesnít matter, two 6s are a success automatically regardless of the total. This allows characters who are only rolling 2d6 to succeed at tasks of a DT13+, though it is very unlikely.

There is also the Brilliant Success, which is when you beat the DT by 6 or more on your roll. What this means depends on what youíre doing, with some special rules for stuff like weapon damage. If you get a Critical and a Brilliant success, you choose which youíd like to apply for the roll. So you can consider a roll a critical or a brilliant, not both.



You cannot ever roll more than 5d6, any additional bonuses just donít apply once you get up to that point.



Tribal Activities

This section is just some case-by-case suggestions for arbitrating difficulty and results for various common activities players will roll for. Iím condensing this down for brevity, but Iíll go over them real quick:

  • Lighting a Fire: If youíre near a fire you get +2 to Resistance to Cold Tests. Normally it takes 10 minutes.

  • Building a Shelter: Shelters by default hold four people. Building smaller shelters doesnít change anything, building bigger adds an additional -1 penalty to the roll for every person over four you want to accommodate. Shelters provide a +2 bonus to Resistance to Cold Tests, and a Critical Success while building means the shelter provides a +4 bonus. Building a shelter takes 15 minutes per person to be sheltered, so smaller shelters are quicker to make.

  • Caring for the Sick and Wounded: To hela a light wound is a DT 7 roll, a Serious Wound is DT 9, with a limit of one roll per character after each combat. A Success gives the character being treated 1d3 Stamina back. A Critical doubles the stamina gain. If you use a cataplasm made of medicinal herbs itís a 1d6 Stamina regain. One dose of cataplasm is used per attempt to heal someone, and it is lost whether the roll succeeds or fails.

  • Carrying Out a Ceremony: You can perform a ritual ceremony at a DT 9 to give a one time 1d6 bonus to all participants. The bonuses applies to one roll of a type determined when performing the test (such as for a ranged attack, tracking roll, etc). You can do a ceremony once every half-day, and if you fail you have to wait until the next day to try again. This represents hunting ceremonies, war ceremonies, etc.

  • Courtship and Seduction: This section actually lacks any solid rules, instead giving the totally reasonable response that you shouldnít be able to sleep with someone based off a single dice roll. The GM should take the characters various strengths, current Prestige, past actions, etc. into consideration, as well as making the character attempting the courtship provide gifts, perform favors, etc. SoÖ donít just ďRoll to gently caress, DT 10Ē.



  • Procreation If you ever get it on with another person, the character rolls 2d6. If they get any doubles at all, then they (or their partner if male) is now pregnant. You check what you rolled on the Pregnancy Table to see what sex the new kid is, or if youíre having twins. When a woman gives birth, she suffers 6d6 Damage.



  • Playing Music If you play a Flute (normally made from bone) then you can use it to freak people out, giving them a -2 to Steady Nerves Tests. If using Drums then you can give your listeners a +2 to Steady Nerves, -2 to Steady Nerves, or a +2 for Trance Tests. These act as an opposed roll to resist the effects, and the bonuses or penalties only last as long a the music is playing. Criticals double the effects, while Catastrophes reverse them (+2 Bonus becomes -2 Penalty).

  • Detecting Lies: Opposed roll, and you get a -1 penalty to detect lies or read the emotions of someone of another people than you. (Long Men canít read Bear Men as easily, etc.) Optionally the GM can give female characters a +1 to detect lies or read others emotions.

  • Building and Maneuvering a Boat Default crafts can carry two people. Larger craft get a -1 penalty for each additional person they are made to carry for both building and maneuvering it. Building a watercraft takes 1 hour per person it is meant to carry.

Hunting and Food

As a game based in the paleolithic, there is plenty of support for hunting, fishing, and other methods of finding and killing animals. A lot of these rules are meant for simulationist sandbox-esque play, and can be easily replaced just by the GM pre-planning stuff.

Tracking is pretty much just a simple roll to find and follow any tracks or signs of animals, with a default of DT 7 to track a small herd of herbivores that passed several hours ago. Then you just adjust up or down from there to fit the situation. If you get a Catastrophe on the roll then you wind up getting hunted by a predatory animal instead. If itís a Critical Success then you find a Legendary or fantastical animal. Thereís a random prey generation table to roll up a random animal you find if the GM is feeling lazy.



Tests are also recommended for approaching the prey stealthily and without being seen, by testing vs the preyís Alertness, an NPC stat. Because actually talking to each other while sneaking up on a deer is a bad idea, hunters often used silent signals, like handsigns, trailmarks, etc. to communicate. Both making and reading these signals requires a test, which is DT 5 if the signaler and reader are in the same clan, but DT 9 if theyíre of different clans.

Once you get close, you can loose a Hunting Roar, a loud scream or shout meant to scare prey or other humans. Itís a roll vs the targetís Steady Nerves score. A success affects 1d6 targets, a Critical is 2d6. The affected targets panic, getting a -2 to all dice rolls (except Damage) for the next 2d6 Rounds of combat. You can get a +2 to your Hunting Roar Test if you wield a flaming stick or torch and wave it about. This can also be used to chase animals into traps or ambushes.

Combat works as usual, but when fighting an animal thatís wounded every round they have to make a special Panic roll. The animal has to roll 2d6 and get under their Steady Nerves score. If they fail it immediately tries to run away. The players have 1d3 rounds to try and catch it and reinitiate combat, and 1 round more to make ranged attacks before it escapes combat and has to be tracked down again. If it succeeds it can continue to fight as normal, and if the animal rolls double 6s they get a +2 bonus on all Attack rolls for the next round.

If an animal does run away, the hunter who tries to catch them has to run after it, rolling higher on a Test than the animalís Running stat. If successful, the hunter is re-engaged and combat resumes as normal, if not then he has to try again next round.

And of course there are Butchery rules, because just killing the thing is only half the job. Butchering something takes two tests: Skinning and Butchery. Skinning is to get the hide off the thing in a usable state. The DT goes up the more damaged the hide is and the more precious or hard to handle it is. A mammoth hide that was hacked to pieces in a long bloody fight is harder to skin than a deer that died to a single spear-thrust.

Butchering the animal is a DT 5, or DT 7 in exceptional circumstances. If youíre able to bring the corpse back to camp to be cut up the bones, entrails, sinews, and meats can be divided into parts equal to half the animals weight. Each part is considered enough for a full meal for one person. If you canít get the animal corpse back to a camp, or set up camp around it, you can instead chop off enough to equal one tenth the animal's weight. Helpfully, the game does include a chart of weights for the animals in the Bestiary section here.



Liver Rules!
This is put down as a sidebar but is actually super useful and one of the coolest rules in the game. If, in the moments after death, a hunter cuts out and eats the raw liver of an animal, they gain the associated Strength of that animal until the next dawn. More strengths to use for this rule are added in later supplements, and of course the GM can create a new strength for any animal not associated with one. The book states that this power only applies to mammals, but Iíd house rule that out. Thereís plenty of strengths associated with birds, fish, and reptiles, so it makes no sense to limit the rules like that to me.



Traps

Of course hunting big game isnít the only way to get meat! Traps are also usable, everything from a simple snare to a punji-pit of spears. The Trap Making Test is rolled to see if the trap is made adequately, not to test if something is caught in it. That is a separate roll based on the size of the trap and the size of the prey that wanders into it. Small traps for small game are passive: itís a random chance each day/night that something gets caught in it on a 1d6 roll. The difficulty is determined by the GM based on location, season, etc. Small animals like this always provide 1d3 meals.

Complex traps like pit-traps, deadfalls, tension traps, etc. instead do damage. Large traps do between 1d6 and 6d6 Damage, and take increasing DT and time to make deadlier traps. Higher damage traps can also catch larger animals though. The test is done at the end of the time to make the trap: A failure means the trap does half-damage when triggered, a catastrophe mens it doesnít work at all, and a Brilliant Success makes one of the damage die an automatic 6, and a Critical success adds an additional 2d6 to the Damage.



Fishing and Gathering

Both use basically the same rolls/rules. Standard test, and you get more food the better you roll to catch fish or find edible plants. You can also gather medicinal or magical plants, and the roll determines how many doses you find. Each dose allows the preparation of a single cataplasm, or Sorcery creation. By default Fishing/Gathering tests are DT 5, though the DT can be higher in difficult situations, or if youíre looking for specific plants to use in Sorcery.




On the Threshold of the Cave. - Pencil & Watercolour, 2006

Movement

Did I mention most of these rules are meant for Sandbox style play? Because thereís terrain-dependent movement rules. Thankfully theyíre dog simple. Rougher terrain = move slower, and thereís a chart to tell you what terrain makes you move what max speed.



When a character has walked half the distance for a max-days travel they have to make a Fatigue Test of DT 7 to not become Tired. If you then go the full max-days travel you have to make a second Fatigue Test of DT 9. If you fail both tests you are now Exhausted, if only one then youíre Tired, and if none no effects at all. Conditions are covered in chapter 4 along with environmental hazards, etc.

Orientation

Each half-day traveling characters have to make an Orientation Test to not get lost. This test can also be forced in specific situations such as inclement weather. The DT varies based on how familiar the characters are with the environment, and how difficult it is to navigate. Itís hard to get lost in your well-tread hunting grounds, but much easier in an endless swamp youíve never been in before with a heavy fog.

Running

Want to move faster? Thereís two speeds over walking you can go: Jog and Sprint. A Jog lasts for half a day and lets you essentially doubles your daily-max travel distance, covering twice the distance in the same time. To keep jogging you have to succeed every half-day, and if you fail you can only jog for 1d3 hours before running out of breath and having to wait until the next half-day to try again.

Sprinting is mostly used to chase prey and enemies, or to run away from pursuers. It is tested against the Running Score (if an animal) or opposing Sprint test (If a human). If you get a catastrophe on a Sprint test it means your character ate poo poo and you trip and faceplant.

The difficulty for both Jog and Sprint are based on terrain.



Whoof that was a long, dry rear end chapter. Next time is way better! Chapter 4: Combat and Dangers!

megane
Jun 20, 2008





FATAL & Friends: When a woman gives birth, she suffers 6d6 Damage.

occamsnailfile
Nov 4, 2007



zamtrios so lonely

Grimey Drawer

unseenlibrarian posted:


MERCENARIES, SPIES, and PRIVATE EYES.


T&T was one of the early challengers to D&D; with an unsurprisingly similar stat spread, classes, levels and so on. It did, however, do several things fairly differently, some of which are kinda neat: for example, most monsters had basically one attribute: A monster rating, which counted as hit points and determined the monster's dice to roll in a fight.


The thing I remember most about T&T was that it had a digest-sized rulebook way back in the 80s before games did that, it offered at least a few solo adventures using the system, and some rando dude decided he was going to infringe the poo poo out of their copyrights for no sane reason I ever heard of and kept publishing their materials as his own despite repeated lawsuits and basically said he was never going to stop. He may be doing it to this day, I have no idea.

Anyway though I never even saw a copy of MS&PE so this should be interesting.

Wrestlepig
Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool



Toilet Rascal

Tunnels and Trolls is really cool, it's like the burgess shale of RPGs. It does really strange and interesting stuff that never really happened anywhere else. I'm interested in how this side-thing goes.

Humbug Scoolbus
Apr 25, 2008

The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers, stern and wild ones, and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss.


Clapping Larry

unseenlibrarian posted:

So I'm going to try and review a thing again. We'll see how this goes!

So, let's think back to 1983. Indiana Jones had just come out two years ago, and the sequel was on the way the next year. Tales of the Gold Monkey was on TV. There was a sort of retropulp revival going on, and naturally, at least one game company decided to try and capitalize on that.

That's right, we're talking about Flying Buffalo, Inc, creators of Tunnels and Trolls, and the game by some freelancer no one had ever heard of named Michael Stackpole.

That's right: It's time for:




MERCENARIES, SPIES, and PRIVATE EYES.




I unironically love this game. It has all the T&T quirks and somehow smooths them out.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



Just how high can a sufficiently badass and loyal peasant rise in Bretonnia? Officially, I mean. Without needing to resort to 'discovering' documents showing they actually have a pedigree.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


The Lone Badger posted:

Just how high can a sufficiently badass and loyal peasant rise in Bretonnia? Officially, I mean. Without needing to resort to 'discovering' documents showing they actually have a pedigree.

It depends on how you measure a rise. A peasant can become captain of his lord's men at arms and a very important person via valor and success in battle, or an influential preacher and warrior with the Battle Pilgrims. Merchants are very wealthy and have an actual chance at ruling L'Anguille, at least, and can acquire a lot of power in their own way. The King *can* knight you, usually if you saved a Grail Damsel or performed some similarly epic act, though your children won't be nobles. At that point, though, you're technically a noble and could actually go grail questing and knighting, even. Wall Wardens are generally peasants, and they build all the castles and fortifications of Bretonnia and are generally rich and respected people.

The real problem for a peasant climbing their way up is that a lot of their power is at pleasure of a Lord and can be revoked if they wish or feel threatened.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




Cythereal posted:

I could also see an interesting campaign built around a vampire seeking the Grail - and maybe even attaining it. Would break one of the rules of the setting, but could be an interesting idea.

Behold the Black Grail. There is power in the blood.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Halloween Jack posted:

Behold the Black Grail. There is power in the blood.

Or just a skilled knight who's turned into a vampire against his will and strives to not let it master him. Not even necessarily a Blood Dragon, though that is the most obvious option. Would be quite the dramatic choice for a Von Carstein to do it.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!




The king is rather pragmatic is he not? I could definitely see a "you keep on killing gigantic monstrosities and I'll make sure to divert any nosy investigators away" deal.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Horrible Lurkbeast posted:

The king is rather pragmatic is he not? I could definitely see a "you keep on killing gigantic monstrosities and I'll make sure to divert any nosy investigators away" deal.

Louen is not a pragmatic man. His disagreements with Duke Hagen are mostly about the spirit vs. letter of the laws of chivalry, with Louen falling on the side of the spirit and generally arguing for mercy and compassion over strict adherence to the letter of chivalric law.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Yeah, pragmatism is a thing that is not highly valued by traditionalist Bretonnians.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!




Awwwww.... So he'll fall on the burn the abomination side?
Forcing the knight in question to go carve a bloody path across the norselands.:black101:

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Bretonnian 'tolerance' for Blood Dragons isn't really because they like them or aren't trying to kill them, but rather because they imagine them the romantic opposite of a Questing Knight, and thus as a worthy foe for Questing Knights to kill to prove they should find the Grail. An honorable, tragic black knight who dies in glorious single combat with a hero of Bretonnian chivalry is great!

It's just the Dragons usually find that means they face a succession of very talented and brave Bretonnian warriors, which suits them fine anyway. Both sides want a challenge.

Also, the average Dragon wants you to fight him 'honorably' because he's basically invincible there and most of them are, deep down, still murderous pieces of poo poo that wear honor as an excuse. The ones who are looking for real challenges rather than just death and proving how 'good' they already are aren't the majority.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 03:24 on Aug 5, 2017

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!




That would be rather deleterious to the amount of Knights though, it's a good thing that the setting is run on the "just repeat to yourself: it's just a show" model.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Well, also, the average Dragon Thrall (and remember, most of them don't live to Count) will lose a fight with a Questing Knight a little more than half the time.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Yeah, it's important to remember that most vampires don't get to the level where they can shrug off a knight. Knights are badasses.

E: Like, to illustrate from the tabletop games - back when the rules were only somewhat bad, an exchange between Bret knights and Skaven clanrats in which one knight died for every five skaven deaths was considered to be a victory for the skaven.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!




All I got to say is that WFRP2d seems like the most interesting and full of adventure hooks setting for Tolkien-esk fantasy.

Wapole Languray
Jul 4, 2012



megane posted:

FATAL & Friends: When a woman gives birth, she suffers 6d6 Damage.

Yep, turns out Paleolithic medical practices means childbirth is really dangerous without help. There's lots of rituals, enchantments, etc. that can be done to mitigate it though. It's pretty much guaranteed that the clan shaman is going to be doing some spirit-talking whenever a woman goes into labor to help her and the child survive.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



unseenlibrarian posted:

Anyway, that's enough T&T. Next time we go in depth into MS&PE.

You are going to go into Brian Fargo's Wasteland, which used MS&PE as a basis for it's engine, and go into detail what exactly Combat Shooting is as a skill?

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

Secure. Contain. Protect.


Fallen Rib

Maternal mortality in pre-modern eras has been pretty badly exaggerated. Prior to the 19th century, it was about 1 in 100. Much less safe than today's 1-2 in 10,000, but not as bad as you'd think. We can't be entirely sure what the rates were in the paleolithic era, but the relatively rapid population growth humans experienced suggest that the vast majority of women survived. Especially when you factor in the high rates of infant and childhood mortality, it couldn't be too lethal.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



Horrible Lurkbeast posted:

Awwwww.... So he'll fall on the burn the abomination side?

What? No! How barbaric.
Unholy abomination or not, he's still a knight. And you don't just execute knights unless they've committed treason or something.
No, Bretonnian jurisprudence on subjects like this is quite clear. As a knight who has failed to live up to the highest ideals of chivalry he shall be assigned... a quest!

JackMann posted:

Maternal mortality in pre-modern eras has been pretty badly exaggerated. Prior to the 19th century, it was about 1 in 100. Much less safe than today's 1-2 in 10,000, but not as bad as you'd think. We can't be entirely sure what the rates were in the paleolithic era, but the relatively rapid population growth humans experienced suggest that the vast majority of women survived. Especially when you factor in the high rates of infant and childhood mortality, it couldn't be too lethal.

I believe childbirth mortality went way up when women started getting assisted by doctors in hospitals but they hadn't invented the theory of sepsis yet. Doctors went straight from autopsies to assisting in childbirth without so much as washing their hands. Lots of deaths from infection.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Warhammer Fantasy: Knights of the Grail

Parravon: Dwarfs, caves, and living too close to the hellforest

To begin with Parravon, I'll give two of the flavor quotes, directly from the book:

"The Fay have entrusted this part of the forest to us. If we betray that trust, the trees themselves will weep. And the Fay will come, and disembowel us, and hang our entrails from the branches." -Old Elric, Village Elder.

"We grant them that forest on sufferance. We watch them carefully, and if they become a threat to us or the forest, we will come, and disembowel them, and hang their entrails from the branches." -Lessiantar, Elven Warband Leader.

Parravon contains the northern part of the Athel Loren, and the southern section of the Grey Mountains. Between these two are livable, arable plains that feed the population, and the sections of the mountain within the duchy's borders are actually pretty livable; plenty of folk live in worked caves, the nobles claiming this is alright in order to get around the sumptuary law about peasants living in stone dwellings (since it's just a cave). Where the duchy borders the forest and the river, the branches of the trees lock together in an unnatural way to form a great barrier, warning humans to stay out. The forest and the Fay allow some villages and some work in parts of the Loren, only on their sufferance, and even where Bretonnians live and work they know they are unwelcome in that alien place. There is also a strange sense that the wood has something to do with the Enchantress, and that it is thus sacred; wood from the Loren is in high demand to be used in Grail Chapels, even as the people who harvest it do so sparingly and generally while afraid for their lives.

Other villages and cities are built in a great valley nestled in the mountains, near the home of the Grey Mountain pegasi. Parravon is Bretonnia's best source of winged horses, and most Pegasus Knights come from this duchy. This leads to a preference for high towers built in high places; pegasi naturally roost and perch in tall places to protect their foals and nests, and it's easier to breed and keep them in settings they find comfortable. The mountain valleys are often fertile, and so people build their homes on slopes or out of caves instead so as to avoid wasting land that could be used for planting. This leads to a lot of Parrovonese having fantastic balance. There's also a curious custom of travel in Parravon: Children of families both noble and peasant will leave to join another village or household and marry there, rather than letting bloodlines stagnate and marrying within one's settlement. This means Parrovonese are A: Less inbred and B: Much more likely to know there's a wider world outside of their village. Their confidence in travel and the nobles' tradition of permitting their serfs to move about means Parravon produces more peasant Adventurers than any other duchy in Bretonnia.

Duke Caysson is a brave, handsome young man in his early twenties who has found the Grail faster than anyone has any right to. He is idealistic, friendly, and incapable of malice. He also believes he can rule his dukedom solely by flying his royal pegasus around and fighting great monsters, and that if he just kills enough impressive stuff and acts friendly to everyone, all political problems will sort themselves out. This means matters of justice, administration, and especially feuds between his vassals are not being attended to. He's hard to dislike, and his vassals spread stories of his prowess and laud his work, which I suspect is done partly to keep him doing what he does and stop him from actually intervening in any of their affairs. His lack of interest means that lack of ducal resolution is starting to hurt river trade, and one of his idiot vassals is planning to attack part of Imperial territory and hope he can seize a parcel of land before anyone stops him, then negotiate keeping it. This could be a disaster for all of Bretonnia.

I was wrong earlier: The Glade of Children is in Parravon, and it's still the most heartbreaking place in Bretonnia. The Fay will only return a child if all the parents there are asleep, which means it always has Bretonnians trying to sleep in the middle of a dangerous forest with no guards in the prayer that their child will be returned to them. If it is, they leave the child's doll behind as thanks for the Fay, and return to their homes, even if the child is not theirs. Many die here, instead, or give up, finding the monsters will never return their babe.

Parravon itself is a lovely city built from an outcrop of the mountains, near the river Grismerie. The abundant stone has given it plenty of material to build from, and as noted above, even peasant houses are made of stone since they're classified as 'caves' to avoid the sumptuary laws. Parravon is also notable for being the only city in Bretonnia with an actual dwarf quarter. Dwarf families from the Empire and the Grey Mountain holds live and work in the city, and are a normal part of city life. The habit of tunneling down to build new 'caves' and add space by building basements means there's a huge network of old and forgotten tunnels under the city, tunnels that sometimes attract dark things and need adventurers to go clean them out.

Next Time: Quenelles, Which Is Even More Too Close To The Hellforest.

Wapole Languray
Jul 4, 2012



The lowest health an average PC would have is 24, if they don't have the Fragile Weakness. I just did some math using Anydice, and an average Long Man has roughly an 80% chance of living through delivery perfectly well, though they'll be laid up recovering for a while afterwards. A weak character would have 16 stamina which is a much worse rate of Approx. 15% of passing out, though they also would generally survive with medical treatment. Once you add in relevant strengths though and it becomes really unlikely that the mother would die from childbirth, but she would be very weak until her Stamina recovers. Heck, with Protection of the Vixen rolling 4d6, it's literally impossible to die in childbirth, you just can't get the numbers high enough. Remember, you have to hit -10 Stamina to straight die, 0 just means they're unconscious or too weak to be active in any meaningful way. Statistically it would take a woman about a week after giving birth before she's up to full health, but would be mobile and fine after a day or so.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

Secure. Contain. Protect.


Fallen Rib

The Lone Badger posted:

I believe childbirth mortality went way up when women started getting assisted by doctors in hospitals but they hadn't invented the theory of sepsis yet. Doctors went straight from autopsies to assisting in childbirth without so much as washing their hands. Lots of deaths from infection.

Yep! Especially among the rich. It was one of the only types of death that was much more common among the rich than the poor, since the poor were less likely to see a doctor for childbirth. Ignaz Semmelweis figured it out, but no one would listen to him because A) they were offended at the implication their hands were dirty, B) he couldn't offer any mechanism for why it should work since germ theory didn't exist yet, and C) Semmelweis was an rear end in a top hat.

Terry van Feleday
Jun 6, 2010

Free Your Mind


Hostile V posted:

Out of Buzzkill, Bad Habit, Ice Queen, Peacemaker and Jackpot, who falls into which category:
Well, I haven't seen many people vote on this, so. Ice Queen is clearly the most innocent, but she also seems to be the youngest (next to Jackpot), and I think I'd like her to face off against the shittier version of her mentor, so I'll go with this:

Most innocent: Buzzkill
Most beautiful: Bad Habit
Quickest: Jackpot
Youngest: Ice Queen

It's funny how invested I am in a group of characters only created to show off a terrible game. I guess I feel bad for G-Unit having to go through all this bullshit, haha.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




Surprised that the Skaven writeup last page didn't mention their utterly brutal blood feud with the Lizardmen.

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Inescapable Duck posted:

Surprised that the Skaven writeup last page didn't mention their utterly brutal blood feud with the Lizardmen.

Presumably we'll get to that when the book talks about the specific clans.

kommy5
Dec 6, 2016


Inescapable Duck posted:

Surprised that the Skaven writeup last page didn't mention their utterly brutal blood feud with the Lizardmen.

Due to space, time, lack of ideas, or a conscious decision to keep WFRP focused on the Old World, the WFRP writers never bother with Lizardmen. They're mentioned off-hand where they need to be when talking about the larger canon, but Lizardmen simply aren't considered relevant due to simply not appearing in the places WFRP was intended to be set.

For example, that one-off line I mentioned about the history of Clan Pestilens fighting lizard people while in Lustria? That's pretty much the only mention of Lizardmen in all of CotHR. And that might be the entire mention of Lizardmen in the entire line of WFRP books other than obligatory bits in timelines that were copy/pasted from the wargame books.

To be fair, going into a long and epic history of fighting a race of people you have absolutely no intention of writing a book for or giving mechanical stats for would be kind of a dick move. And if they wanted to, they could've detailed this war when they wrote a Lizardman/Lustria book should they had gotten around to writing one. Remember, this game and line of books was sold off before it was ever truly finished and there are a lot of big, gaping holes in the splatbook line. There's no book about any elves at all. Or dwarves or greenskins. Let alone the Lizardmen.

kommy5 fucked around with this message at 11:52 on Aug 5, 2017

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Rifts World Book 15: Spirit West, Part 17: "Many extremist Traditionalists credit Uktena with the arrival of the Europeans to the New World and the subsequent destruction of Indian Nations."

The only thing I could really identify as being based on anything is Uktena. Time for some ridiculous statblocks!


Burning for you.

Old Flame Dancing
Great Fire Elemental Spirit


So, often a giant flaming snake or giant... giant, Old Flame Dancing is the embodiment of fire and is supposed to be passionate but quickly burns out and do you get the metaphor? He is, of course, fond of Native Americans just like 90% of all the spirits we've had so far. Mind, he's racially equitable and doesn't support war on people just based on their racial or genetic makeup, which earns him some enemies amongst the more extremist Traditionalists. He particularly doesn't like the Coalition, either. With over 15,000 MDC, he can summon elemental spirits and "true elementals" alike, cast any Warlock fire spell, cast some dimensional magic, and "Mega-Pyrokinesis" that has six times the normal effect.

Rifts World Book 15: Spirit West posted:

Vulnerabilities: Cold and water based attacks and magic do double damage.

...

Another weakness is food and alcohol, which he consumes to excess, as well as parties and festivals which he throws himself into and which consume his complete and total attention (making him, other people, places and secrets vulnerable to intruders, thieves, assassins and entire armies lurking in the shadows). Women can have a similar effect on him, although it is he who is known to be a seducer.

"I know, you're thinking 'he's a giant two-story flaming snake skeleton, I'm flammable, this will never work', but I assure you my boner is very real. Because I'm made of boners. Hot boners."


Open your hearrrt.

Ever Tide
Great Elemental Spirit


A 150' long water crocodile that constantly changes shape into different forms... wait, is the end boss of Sonic Adventure?... Ever Tide believes in the survival of the fittest and can be fickle and often changes alignment. Basically, he's chaotic annoying, whats the book terms "schizophrenic" without literally meaning schizophrenia. He has nearly 20,000 MDC, can talk with water, ooze around, can be immune to physical attacks while in water form, and actually does decent damage for a godwith his bite or "tail slash". He can also summon elemental spirits or regular elementals, gets powered-up electrokinesis and hydrokinesis, all Water Warlock magic, dimensional magic, etc., etc., etc. Also he hangs out with Splynncryth the Splugorth (of Atlantis) because apparently Splynn is sooo cunning he can exploit Ever Tide's dumb chaotic nature.


"I am the great elemental mountain of stone and- what? Breaux just drew a stern-looking dude? Dammit, Breaux!"

Standing Mountain
Great Earth Elemental Spirit


Generically stoic and relentless and earthy, he's mostly upset by those who "misuse the land", whatever that might entail. But he usually doesn't act other than to send pass-aggy messages, figuring those kind of mistakes fall back upon those who perpetrate them. (Tip to Standing Mountain: they often don't.) Apparently this guy dances to cause earthquakes to punish those who anger the gods. The gods are, apparently, cool with the Coalition, judging by the seeming lack of earthquakes in Indiana. He's around 14,000 MDC, senses earth stuff, can possess a hill or mountain (but not move around or anything, just... be a hill), summon earth elementals, has all physical psionics, all earth magic, all plant and paradox shaman spells, and a bunch of other stuff besides. Water based magic does "50% more damage", but water magic rarely does damage outside of the occasional ice spell.


I started counting the spikes in this picture and literally got too bored to finish when I rolled past 100.

Uktena
Great Dark Serpent


Apparently Uktena as the original water elemental spirit big boss, but "slowly succumbed to evil and insanity". Why?

:iiam:

So yeah, he's sadistic and greedy and generically destructive and only doesn't get kicked out of the Spirit Realm because his access is grandfathered in. Also there's some lip service about him being necessary because he represents darkness and death, but neither of those godly domains necessarily involve him being the slavering monster he apparently is. Apparently he has portals to Earth through lakes so he can boss Ukt serpents and demons around and gently caress with people nessie-style. He particularly hates Native Americans because "they are the favored mortals of his peers" but generally acts through catspaws. This apparently lets him get away with things despite being around a bunch of relatively omniscient beings. He apparently uses the Coalition States, Xiticix, and Federation of Magic as tools, even though the former two subjects seem like they would be hard for him to easily manipulate, being either A) decent at noticing the supernatural or B) impossible to communicate with. Also, apparently he might have manipulated European settlers into coming to the new world or starting the wars that caused the rifts - wait, how would he do that if the magic was mostly dead around that time? Well, apparently somehow he may have did that. Yeeep, the evils of American colonization and the apocalypse, all him. Apparently he went to war with Thunderbird at some point for whatever lost reason and that's why the Ukt and Ondi Thunderbirds hate each other and conflict to this day.

In any case, he's a 20,000 mega-evil nessie, can dowse (all the better to find evil water, I guess), shapechange into nearly anything, summon water and air elementals, summon ukt serpents, has all psionic powers (except physical), knows all regular spells (except legendary), most water elemental spells, and all shaman spirit and paradox wells. He's vulnerable to fire and his insanities are listed as a weakness as if this were the Champions RPG or something. He hangs around all sort of eeevil baddies, because they may as well have a worker's union in this setting.

In Cherokee mythology, Uktena is a water serpent with a crystal that hypnotizes / blinds / drives insane / kills witnesses and has a poisonous breath, and is generally just an evil monster. Also, it's killed in at least three legends, but it may have had offspring suitable for a monster manual... but nothing like this. There are dozens of similar "great snakes" amongst various tribal mythologies, mind. Bizarrely, Ugaya, an spirit that hides in caves and hates light and decency, would be a better fit for this role.


The most bored / boring of the elemental spirits, apparently.

Whispering Maiden
She Doesn't Get a Subtitle


So, given we only have one element left, this is the air elemental spirit head honcho. Apparently many think she's "aloof" but apparently she's just "elusive". Glad we could establish that. Apparently she's often spying on things curiously and sometimes repeats things she overhears to a "champion", sometimes through an elemental intermediary. She likes to appears as a "attractive Native American woman in her late teens or early twenties" or a falcon and causes bad weather when she gets upset. She's a 13,000 MDC creature (making her the weakest of the elementals), she can fly around at the speed of sound, turn invisible, "possess the wind" or birds, summon elementals, has all sensitive psionic powers plus some mental stuff and kinesises, knows all elemental air spells, shaman spirits spells, and a variety of other regular spells. Her "weakness" is that electrical attacks can stun her (but don't actually hurt her). Not much of a weakness...

Next: More overpowered meddlers.

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Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Warhammer Fantasy: Knights of the Grail

Quenelles: Lots of land, hellforest, and the monster mountain

Quenelles forms the south-eastern part of Bretonnia, and it's the largest of all the duchies, bordering the Athel Loren and containing a free-standing mountain range called the Massif Orcal. It also has a wide, ancient plain where one of the ancient tribes of Bretoni bravely went to their deaths alone, the horsemen trying to defend their lands but lacking the Lady's blessing that protected Giles or the aid of other tribes. The Grave of Cuileux and the great burial mounds of the ancient horsemen still stand in the south-west part of the duchy. The Massif Orcal, as you can tell from it having Orc in its name and being a mountain range in Bretonnia, is infested with greenskins. Like most Bretonnian duchies, Quenelles is constantly dealing with raids from atop the ancient mountains, and they've tried (and repeatedly failed) the clear the place out and found castles and towns to keep them bottled up. Quenelles' long border with the Athel Loren and the proximity of its ducal capitol to the dread wood means it does a lot of business with the Fae. Sometimes they're even seen speaking to the Duke, and people in other provinces make up ridiculous stories about how they walk the streets of the city openly.

One oddity about the people of Quenelles is that they hate greenskins more than any other Bretonnians, even the people of Carcassone, despite the fact that the raids from the Massif Orcal are a nuisance rather than a threat. It's said to be some sort of passion passed down from the dead horselords of the Cuileux, demanding revenge across the ages for their slaughter at their great last stand. This also leads Quenellers to end up allied with dwarfs as often as their neighbors in Parravon, since both of them love trying to wipe out the endless green tide. The border with the Fae means they see them more than most in Bretonnia, but the book doesn't go into much about what and how they deal with one another, disappointingly. Instead, it focuses on the 'we hate orcs' thing, which is far less interesting and I kinda wish it would go into more detail about how living on the Loren's border affects the people. You'd think this would be the place to write up some stuff about how to adventure in Athel Loren.

Duke Tancred is old, and his sons are likely all dead. His youngest son has been on grail quest for 10 years without word, his second youngest died of alcohol poisoning, his second eldest fell in the great battle that made Tancred famous, when he stopped the terrible necromancer Heinrich Kimmler and his formerly-a-Chaos-Champion Wight bodyguard Krell at the Abbey of La Maisontell 30 years ago, and his eldest died defeating a great and independent wight king that had risen up to try to sack the land. While those latter two deaths are honorable and noble, they've left Tancred without an heir. He isn't given much personality besides 'old, sons likely dead, succession crisis looming', but PCs might be asked to find his youngest son so he knows for sure if he's dead.

The actual city of Quenelles is at the southwest edge of the Athel Loren, built within sight of the forest. There are no walls on the eastern edge of the city; they run up to the trees and then stop, because the Fae will not permit them to build walls there and nothing seems to come out of the woods to attack them as it is. The Fae have similarly forbidden any expansion of the Duke's castle for over a thousand years. Since most of the knights live where they have fortifications, this has made the eastern half of the city a place for houses of ill repute, crime lords, taverns, and a surprisingly extensive red light district that doesn't seem to bother the Fae at all. Near the edge of the forest stands a unique Grail Chapel, dedicated to the Fae Enchantress rather than the Lady. The Enchantress visits often, at least once a year, and the chapel is always guarded by multiple grail knights to serve as her bodyguards. She also has regular dealings with the Duke and the city; Quenelles is special to her for some reason.

Quenelles' writeup honestly isn't that interesting. It gets bogged down in succession crisis and More Mountains With Orcs In 'Em instead of the thing I'm pretty sure everyone (myself included) wanted some page count dedicated to, namely the crazy terrifying hellforest full of baby-stealing monster elves.

Next Time: Bretonnian Careers and Character Rules

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