Friday Night Daydreams

Friday Night Daydreams

Woke up and jotted down some gaming notes. Found monsters I like for the upcoming Shadowfell Exodus or as the Thursday Night Gamers are calling it, Shadowfell Oregon Trail. The process reminds me of looking at the Monster Manuals when I was 14, reverently reading each entry, daydreaming about how I’d use them in a game. I can still remember borrowing Rob’s copies of Monster Manuals 1 and 2 and his Fiend Folio; I remember that his Monster Manual 1 had no cover. Odd, I can see that coverless book so vividly.

Shadowfell Oregon Trail

I am digging Cawood Publishing‘s Monsters of the Underworld and will likely make use of Monsters of the City: Sins & Virtues when they eventually reach Gloomwrought. I am still very much a sucker for monster manuals and these are fun bits of world building and monster design.

Cawood Publishing books mentioned above, as they sit on my desk.

There’s an idea that needs marinating inspired by Blades in the Dark‘s Entanglement’s tables, starting out as 1d6 but adding d6’s, up to 3d6, as the Shadows grow long. The idea crystalized for me when I realized what I wanted the 18 result to be. Also, notes for things moving, sometimes randomly and other times at the whim of Fell Powers, out there in the Shadowfell on the map creating chaos. While I’m at it, I should probably think about my Context, Cool Shit and Consequences.

Map of the upcoming exodus to Gloomwrought
Spears Subject Divider
From: https://www.clevelandart.org/art/1916.1789

Mothership is a published adventure, so I am perusing and digesting that over again during this week off. Slowly moving to get a game going with my dad. I showed him the following and he said the first two spoke to him most. We’ll make a character this week, I hope.

I need to write something about GMing published adventures rather than running from personal notes. It really feels like a different muscle all-together. When it works it feels like running with support and having room to move and improvise within a well wrought structure. When it doesn’t work, for me, it feels like homework in junior high school.

Spears Subject Divider
From: https://www.clevelandart.org/art/1916.1789

I went to bed fairly early and woke up in the middle of the night. Now it is more Saturday morning than Friday evening but I’ve got ideas for the dragon-slaying D&D-houserules-turned-game project that has been on my mind since Jay mentioned that he had not ever encountered a dragon as a player at the gaming table. Those notes are dangerously close to being playtestable.

My artish hobby that began with getting the Affinity Art Suite for a birthday gift a few years ago means that sometimes I start making images for games or book-covers for books long before those games/books/vague ideas are ready for it. Speaking of which…

Dragonslayers twitter pic: DRAGONSLAYERS: There is a beast that embodies all that is wondrous and fell in humanity. It rules over your people, using its power to feed an unquenchable greed. Slay it.

Jay‘s going to hunt some dragon before 2022 is done.

How is your gaming going? What are you working on? What are you daydreaming about?

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Blog of Judd Karlman from Daydreaming about Dragons

Conan, Context, Cool Shit & Consequences

Conan, Context, Cool Shit & Consequences

A gaming buddy who I know through the Indie Games Reading Club took Context, Cool Shit & Consequences out for a spin.

https://githyankidiaspora.com/2022/03/09/context-cool-shit-consequences-structure-for-dms-notes/

I used Judd‘s session prep sheet for the next session of our Conan 2d20 campaign, and I liked it a lot! It definitely shook a bunch of things out for me, drew my attention to some undeveloped areas, and helped stoke my enthusiasm for the game (the Cool Shit section is good for that).

The prompts for the consequences section worked a bit less well than the ones for the other sections for me, but that’s probably just me and I’m not sure what would fit my brain better.

I’ll need to do some more final prep based on this, but I think this is a really great tool for breaking down what you want do to in the next session, and pulling things together.

Chris Gardiner
Spears Subject Divider Image
From: https://www.clevelandart.org/art/1922.26.a

“Undersea abysses, deeper than the blackest hell.”

Cool Shit, indeed! Blanks are in the link in the first line but just in case, here is a blank image and a pdf.

https://githyankidiaspora.com/2022/03/09/context-cool-shit-consequences-structure-for-dms-notes/

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Context, Cool Shit & Consequences: structure for DM’s notes

Context, Cool Shit & Consequences: structure for DM’s notes

Folks who say they improv when they DM have a structure that they have often internalized. Here’s one type of structure that might help you out during those moments when you are brainstorming before a game or taking notes while DMing (PDF at the bottom of the post). NOTE: I’ve also included a PG version, Context, Cool Stuff and Consequences, in case you need to use this in a school or professional environment.

The worksheet below is meant to be a tool for jotting down bullet-points for pre-game daydreaming as well as in-game note-taking. Names, places, ideas, encounters, whatever inspirational bits you need when the game is on.

Context, Cool Shit and Consequences notes and inspiration sheet
Cool Art Assets in the bottom corners are from the Feral Indie Game Studios

Context

The questions on the sheet above are meant to inspire, not to overwhelm. Answer however many you need to feel comfortable walking into the game. You’ll find your rhythm and what you like to have when you walk up to the table.

They’re arriving at the place you’ve prepared. Tell them what they see, hear, smell. Tell them what the place looks like as they approach.

Under Hollow Hills by Meguey and Vincent Baker

What is happening in your game? What dynamic forces are in motion? What is at stake? In Burning Wheel this is known as The Situation – the imbalance, problem or injustice that will drive the campaign forward.

Maps, heraldry, pinterest boards, inspiration lists (music, books, movies, etc.) are other ways to get that context in place.

There is an instinct to have a hidden antagonist and spend extraordinary amounts of time and energy hiding their presence from the players and the characters. Fight that instinct. Yes, Vecna is the Lich-God of Secrets and Sorcery but their secret bid for world dominance is more interesting if the players are one of the few to know the secret. The more the players know the more dynamic their plans can become and the more invested they are in learning more.

Have an idea what is happening just beyond what they can see and then watch for opportunities for them to uncover that lore. Don’t waste time and energy hiding information. The players will always see more mysteries just beyond the horizon and even if they know EVERYTHING there is still the thrill of what they will do with the information and how the future conflicts will shake out.

Leave some questions that you aren’t sure about. Have some NPC’s who could go to the Dark Side or become Born-again Paladins. If you aren’t sure where some lost lore ended up or how the players will uncover it, find out in play. The answer might become more clear once the players have kicked the tires of the world and gotten some dents in the fender. Let answers come to you in play not prep. Prep is for interesting questions and of course – cool shit.

Spears Subject Divider 
From: https://www.clevelandart.org/art/1916.1789

Cool Shit

Consequences are what end up at the table because the players’ actions. Cool Shit is about putting toys on the table because they bring you joy. It could be your favorite monster, or your favorite type of NPC (good teachers and sly, reasonable villains for me). Hopefully, the Cool Shit relates to the context and reacts to the consequences but sometimes strange things have travelled in from far reaches of your imagination.

What do you like in a story? Put some of that in. You are the Story Guide, after all.

The Shadow of Yesterday by Clinton R. Nixon

Even if it is just Githyanki Hunting Party on your Shadowfell Encounter Table and you never get that encounter into the game, put the possibility of it out there.

Was there a part of a character’s back-story that you want to delve into or an NPC family member who you think is interesting? Get them in the game.

You are playing too. Have fun. Put a treat in there for yourself.

Spears Subject Divider 
From: https://www.clevelandart.org/art/1916.1789

Consequences

Sometimes this is when the players make an enemy and that enemy strikes back, looking for vengeance. Diversify those consequences. Maybe the enemy they have antagonized also has an enemy who sees the players’ chaotic conflicts as an opportunity. Let the players’ actions cause ripples across the world and inspire folk. Have a bard write a song about their prowess or a theatre troupe write a play about their exploits.

NPC’s react according to their goals and methods. Events snowball. You don’t need to “manage” the game. Action, reaction and consequences will drive everything.

Blades in the Dark by John Harper

Make their actions a dynamic part of the world for good and/or for ill. I notice lots of rookie DM’s tend to look for negative consequences. Constant negative consequences might push players to avoid interacting with the world out of fear of causing any ripples in the pond. Find that balance based on the vibe of the table.

Think about what an NPC might’ve heard about the characters in a world of rumor and sorcery and how they might react. Make the characters’ actions meaningful.

Establish situations with several actors or factions pursuing their own ends. Let the players’ actions affect this environment, and let the consequences affect the players in turn.

Principia Apocrypha, Elementary Axioms & Aphorisms on Running & Playing Tabletop RPGs in the Old School Style by Ben Milton, Steven Lumpkin and David Perry
Spears Subject Divider 
From: https://www.clevelandart.org/art/1916.1789

I hope this structure is useful. If it helps (or fails miserably) I’d love to hear about why it worked or how it could be better.

This post was inspired by spending time on the DM Academy Subreddit; these are things I have found myself saying or thinking as I read new GM’s posts. Good luck!

Art assets in the corner of the C, C & C worksheet are from Feral Indie Studios.

Cool Art Assets in the bottom corners are from the Feral Indie Game Studios

What others are saying about C, CS & C:

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The Key to the Wolf Door

The Key to the Wolf Door

https://society6.com/black_dog_black_works
The Key to the Wolf Door by Bill

Check out Bill’s work at Society 6.

Someone on twitter asked for names for swords and after spewing a bunch of bullshit, The words, Key to the Wolf Door spilled out of my keyboard right before I headed to bed. When I woke up the next morning, that was the one that stuck with me.

Bill agreed and drew the sword up. Now I started daydreaming. What does the Key to the Wolf Door do?

Key and Sword Subject Divider

The Key to the Wolf Door is the pathway to bloody conflict – war, feuds, kinstrife – where trained warriors are doing their damnedest to murder one another.

The Key to the Wolf Door allows its wielder to see the people at the crux of those blood-soaked events beginning or ending. Those people are so marked because they begin to spit blood, where they step and leave a hand-print tracks blood that only the Key’s wielder can see.

Now you know that your favorite nephew’s death can end the war. What will you do with that terrible knowledge?

Check out Bill’s work at Society 6.

https://society6.com/black_dog_black_works
The Key to the Wolf Door by Bill

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Spending the Dragon Hoard without counting every copper piece

Spending the Dragon Hoard without counting every copper piece

The players have killed the dragon and dragged the treasure down from the mountain. Here’s a way to make the spending of those riches without having to do accounting and putting rolls onto the table. This system will create adventure-making problems.

PNG and PDF below.

NOTE: Very much inspired by the Resources system in Burning Wheel.

Spears Subject Divider Image
From: https://www.clevelandart.org/art/1922.26.a
The coins you swept off the floor, pryed from the scales of the dragon's corpse and dragged down the mountain are not only coins. They are a catalogue of civilizations destroyed by the dragon’s greed. Spending this kind of ancient coinage attracts attention. Your dreams have been strange since acquiring it, as if the dragon's arcane blood has seeped into the gold. When you spend money from the the Dragon's Hoard, tell the DM what you want to buy and in what marketplace you are trying to purchase this item. The DM will set a DC if it is possible to find such a thing in the marketplace. If not, the DM will let you know who the merchants' gossip networks say might have such an item or a map to a tomb where such an item could be found. If the item is common, the DM might just ask you to check off a gold coin or two (maybe three if it is really opulent) without a roll. When you roll, mark a gold piece off of the fortune below. You may add +1 for every gold piece you mark off of the fortune. If you succeed, you purchase the item without a problem. If you fail the roll, you do one of the following:
Characters draw attention from a dangerous faction
The purchased item/service has a complication
The merchant demands some adventurous skill bartering, wanting access to the characters’ unique skillset
1 Gold Coin Checked = 1 month room & board in most cities for 6 adventurers.
Spears Subject Divider Image
From: https://www.clevelandart.org/art/1922.26.
Spears Subject Divider Image
From: https://www.clevelandart.org/art/1922.26.a

I’d give advantage if the character’s background match up with what they are purchasing – knights if they are purchasing armor or horses, spy buying poison, folk hero purchasing rooms or pipeweed in an inn where they were heroic, or a noble purchasing land or title (depending on the nobles’ relationship with money in the setting), etc.

If this looks familiar, I made something just like this for the Thursday Night Game last week but wanted something here that might be more useful. Coins are from the Cleveland Museum of Art.

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Setting up camp – Altars and Shrines

The rituals from my childhood D&D games fascinate me. Setting up camp was one of them.

  • Was this going to be a place where we made a last stand?
  • Was this going to be a place we abandoned because of an attack we couldn’t defend?
  • Would we be meeting and welcoming a new friend, patron, enemy or deity by the fire?

The structure was familiar and comforting, even though the world all around our characters was dangerous and unknown.

The Travel Shrine

The travel shrine or travel altar can be a tree stump or an actual stone shrine, a folding table or just a clean bit of carpet with holy inscriptions laid out over dry ground. When you make camp for the night, before setting up watches, lighting the fire or eating, you set up your shrine. Everyone contributes something.

One could contribute an icon depicting a deity or saint. They might contribute a piece of vellum with a prayer or holy phrase or even a whole book or scroll. If they have lost someone important recently they might put one of their belongings on the shrine or an item commemorating an elder or ancestor.

The travel altar offers an aegis of protection. If a fellow traveler should offer their own icon on the altar should violate the trust of anyone else who has put down an icon it inspires the ire of every power invested. Being god-cursed is a terrible fate, though some bandits and thieves have been known to do their best to survive with a fell mark against them. Even refusing to sit and robbing those who have contributed to a travel shrine is known to bring about the anger and retribution of the icons represented.

Every character says something short about what that piece means to them. Over the course of the night one might talk about how two pieces on the shrine might interact or ask questions about an icon, remembrance or text. Discussions occur about how the different ideas interact. In this way, travel shrines and altars help mythologies become woven into one another as travelers talk under its aegis and make sense of one another’s ideas and traditions.

Of course this gets complicated. When larger retinues or even armies meet on the road. When larger groups meet before a traveling shrine there will often be a spiritual leader who represents each group. In these cases, sometimes this leader might put down several icons to represent the factions within their group or put down more remembrances if they have lost comrades on the road or in battles. Sometimes armies will put icons down for units who took heavy casualties or an icon for the unit or army’s patron saint. Sometimes an army that has been routed or a group of adventurers who have been decimated put down an icon for an incarnation of death.

Among smaller groups it is often a less complicated endeavor. Travelers have been known to use discussions around the shrines and altars to celebrate their comrade’s heroism or to take a moment to remember those who have fallen. It can be used to remember where they are going and why or what they learned from where they are coming from.

Around the shrines and altars powers have been known to offer visions and dreams; sometimes there is even a disguised or direct visitation.

Things to do at the Travel Altar:

  • Ask each other questions about your homes, backgrounds, families and cultures
  • Relate a story about the powers on the altar and how they relate to one another
  • Seek forgiveness from a comrade
  • Air a grievance before higher powers and your fellow travelers
  • Seek guidance from those around you and from higher powers
  • Remember a dead comrade

Icons

There are many different types of icons for the various deities, saints, elemental lords, devils, demons, angels, and more alien powers worshipped in these lands and beyond. If someone’s icons are lost, often they will search for material to make a new one, often taking the material they first find as a kind of calling towards that power.

The Spring Maiden (also known as the Spring Queen in some areas)
Made of corn husks and fresh grass.

The Winter Matron (also known as the Winter Queen or even the Death Queen in some areas)
Made of pine needles, oak roots, raven feathers and winter roses.

The Empress with Five Crowns (part of the dragon pantheon, you know Her name)
Made of five different minerals of varied local meaning.

The Platinum Emperor (you get the idea)
Made of copper, brass, silver, gold or even platinum – sometimes a cheaper mineral that seems like any of these colors.

The Arch-Mage
Made of intricately folded vellum into an origami wizard with arcane theories written all over it.

Patron Saint of Apprentices and Squires (often given a common name to that village or area)
Made of a scrap piece of leather or a carved dagger.

The Imperial Emperor (a Hobgoblin icon)
Made of melted down Hobgoblin coins.

The Eight Legged Empress
Made of spider silk and dried mushrooms.

The Devil-God
Made of a slim piece of black basalt with a crown on top.

Froghemoth
Made of a slimy frog-shaped rock.

Notes

I wanted an in-game reason for characters to set time aside to palaver, discuss their deities and saints, celebrate each other’s heroism and toast the sacrifice of the dead. Inspired by the hero quests in Glorantha. What if myths changed in a more mundane way? What if myths were altered by people sitting around a fire in dangerous places talking about how their deities might interact.

Please let me know if it is helpful at your table.


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If you liked this blog post you might like the pdf linked below about the Raven Queen warring with the Ghoul King.

All Who Fight & Pray are Monsters & Fiends

From this twitter-thread…

Those Who Fight (lords, ladies, knights, squires, kings and queens) Those Who Pray (nuns, priests, monks, cardinals and popes) are monsters, like right out of the Monster Manual and Fiend Folio. Dungeons are knightly manors, churches, cathedrals, castles and even burial mounds and tombs.

Very often monsters are in the dark forest, on the edge of town, out in the mountains and other places where people pushed to the margin might go. Let’s put them on thrones, at pulpits and at the head of armies and see what happens to the usual D&D adventurers.

In this setting, the idea of a human king or queen or any humanoid is laughable. Every once in a while there is an orc, troll, ogre or hobgoblin king but that is as close as it gets.

There is no human pantheon. Maybe there was one and the monsters ate it or maybe humans have never ascended. Clerics gain powers through scrappy saints who are tapping into wells of power so that humans can have access to healing and all that stuff. For the monster pantheon, I’ll build it off of Tiamat and Bahamut with some Gruumsh.

Keep all of the dynastic, crazy shit nobles got up to in history: inbreeding, feuding, marrying for political gain. Merchants who are baseborn human trying to upjump into nobility, marrying their children into desperate monstrous families. Their coats of armies are stylized humans giving them what they want.

It recontextualizes humanoids as creatures bred for specific purposes. Suddenly, Half-Orcs and their monster blood means they are most likely to rule along with Tieflings and Dragonborn, bred to specifically serve devils and dragons.

Adventurers are villains or villeins from the old meaning of the word.

villain oed

I love flipping through monster manuals. Here’s how we make up a monstrous kingdom. Roll 6d6 or flip through a monster manual or 3 and think about who…

  • rules this duchy
  1. Manticore
  2. Ogre Magi
  3. Hydra
  4. Medusa
  5. Angel or Devil of your choice
  6. Dragon
  • wears the the crown and who rules over the dukes
  1. Tarrasque
  2. Sphinx
  3. Rakshasa
  4. Kraken
  5. Unicorn
  6. Dragon
  • enforces laws and collects taxes
  1. Troll
  2. Will’o’the’wisp
  3. Orc
  4. Treeant
  5. Satyr
  6. Dragon
  • puts down rebellions
  1. Iillithid
  2. Modron
  3. Beholder
  4. Oozes
  5. Purple Worm
  6. Dragon
  • sees over local religious services, sermons blessings and marriages
  1. Elemental
  2. Ettin
  3. Owlbear
  4. Golem
  5. Kuo-Toa
  6. Dragon
  • executes vyleyns
  1. Yuan-ti
  2. Griffon
  3. Salamander
  4. Roc
  5. Vampire
  6. Dragon

We’ll start the game at a young fort-town, a human enclave struggling to survive. Humans have no idea how to rule themselves and so have defaulted to a kind of medieval anarchist glorious mess called Thousand Councils that is a messy mix of the chaos of the elves and the rigid guilds of the dwarves. Of course there is always some asshole who wants to be king. Or maybe there is no human enclave. Let the players carve it out of the world and see what kind of world the players set up.

What about undead?

Undead are what monsters say will inevitably happen whenever humans rule over anything. They are the disease that comes from non-monsters on thrones because of their villainous, non-noble blood. Radical humans say that undead are what happens when humans are corrupted by the evil feudal system. Undead hunters say that undead are just a disease that needs to be purged and nothing more.

What about good monsters?

Good monsters are still monsters. Unicorns, angels, gold dragons might treat Those Who Toil in a kinder way but only because they think it will serve them better in the end. A Lawful Good monster’s views on humans are still condescending and ultimately selfish; they still don’t think humans can take care of themselves and don’t think they should be autonomous.

What happens when different monsters breed?

butt monster.jpg

Pick a monster that seems like it would be made by those 2 monsters breeding. Make it one of the parents with a slight change. Make up a new monster. Have fun.

Do you need more setting?

There is a dragon-empress but she is sleeping and her children are not up to the task of keeping her empire together. Until she wakes up it is monster feuding and cold war.

 

 

Spencer Collection, The New York Public Library. “The doome warning all men to the Iudgemente” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1581. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/fc2a81f0-7aab-0130-9b52-58d385a7bbd0

“villain, n.” OED Online, Oxford University Press, July 2018, oed.com/view/Entry/223…. Accessed 8 September 2018.

 

Sorcerer – Poker Demons

Sorcerers are all playing in a Texas Hold’em style poker game where all of the cards are demons. Face-cards are demons that can pass as human. Number cards are objects.

Cards in the river are out in the world fucking shit up. Sorcerers can only make Pacts with cards that have relationships to their own cards, no bindings.

nypl.digitalcollections.510d47dd-cddd-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99.001.w

Once the sorcerers are done with gathering their cards the time for summoning is over and they traditionally fight to the death. Sometimes they form a cabal and if they go too long, often another game will start somewhere.

Going to 0 Humanity means folding, losing all of one’s demons and usually everything good in one’s life – so that is what is at stake, being bet on, though it is never spoken aloud.

When it is your turn to draw a card you do a binding, done through ritualized acts of crime that make sense for the card you are attempting to summon.

Media Inspirations: True Detective Season 1, Heat, Dog Day Afternoon, Thomas Ligotti short stories, Margaret Killjoy’s Daniel Caine books (The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion and The Barrow Will Send What it May), Rounders, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Casino, Go

EDIT: Thinking more about this on the G+ post on the Sorcerer RPG community:

I want to use cards as a way to give demons color and structure and relationships with one another – a kind of family/clan/rivals thing and thinking about crime and the seediest sides of gambling as inspiration

Rare Book Division, The New York Public Library. “Two of diamonds.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47dd-cddd-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Seclusiopolis

I’ve been rereading Seclusion of Orphone of the Three Visions and now a city is in my head.

It is a filthy, fading arcane metropolis that was ruled by a senate of inhuman wizards who have faded into various stages of comatose seclusion. Their apprentices, pale imitations of their masters and mistresses wage bloody gang wars in the streets with spells, staves and pistol.

The old wizard’s senate has been officially disbanded by the Olde Sword Republic and the new government is offering the Delver’s Guild everything their intrepid members can carry out of any registered seclusium. The players can also post a flag on behalf of a sect within the city, having a say of who takes over the seclusium once it is sacked and looted.

Players can take the seclusia offered by the guild or bid on having first crack at new ones as they are uncovered and tagged by municipal workers.

I started a pinterest board collecting Delver’s Guild members.

P.S. That is not what I would call the city.

 

 

Our Dances with Dragons: the map and the battles

Westeros is a really fun map, lots of castles and rivers and with folks who are fans of the books and/or show, lots of fun background. Also, making up stuff in Westeros history is a good time. I said something about the north still being made at the Starks over the King Who Knelt and had just put down the Bear Rebellion, in which the Mormonts rose up to attempt to take the north.

dadinwesteroswithnumbers

1) In which the Warden of the North quickly musters banner-men who can answer quickly and sets up camp in Moat Callin. He didn’t have the numbers he could have had but he had speed, aggression and a little bit of surprise at this point.

2) In which the Warden and his bastard brother take a segment of the army and go to the Twins in order to marry his brother to one of the Frey daughters while the bulk of his army, led by Lord Umber guided by a Maester to cross the river near Harrenhall, where an army loyal to the Princess is on the move. When the scouts note dragons on the horizon, they send 3 separate forces to draw them off. Two return but one substantial group of men is never heard from again.

Due to Riverrun being ruled by a child whose duties are seen to by an indecisive Regents Council, Lord Walder throws in with the North.

3) The Northern army overruns Silverhall and proceeds to pick the surrounding lands dry. Using the castle’s ravens and trickery, the Warden tricks the Lannister Army mustering at Casterly Rock into thinking that the northern host is moving down the Goldroad towards King’s Landing. They march hard to catch an army that is not there, leaving Casterly Rock open. When the Northern Host approaches Casterly Rock, the Iron Islanders are already burning and pillaging the city with plans to go right down the west coast of Westeros. The Warden convinces the leader of the raids to take him by boat to Dragonstone to break the siege.

At this point, they have around 7 dragons, picked up out of the westlands and from various Targaryen dragon-riders who have been cut off from other armies loyal to the princess.

4 – 5) The Ironmen’s fleet takes the Northern Host to Dragonstone where they break the siege and capture the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. When the commander insults the Warden of the North, mentioning the death of his son who had been squired to a knight who served the queen, the Warden showed restraint when the princess (the heir) ordered him to stand down and leave the hostage alive.

It was fun; we were hitting on beliefs and that is the crux of BW. Having huge battles resolved all in one roll wasn’t as satisfying as I had hoped, particularly because the opposing side was not fully burned up, so I erred on the side of less dice, leaving the Warden outnumbering the Lord-Commander’s die pool in every conflict. Several key rolls needed artha to cause sixes to explode and my dad rolled 6’s very, very often that night.

I’ve begun work on a slightly expanded battle mechanic based on Bloody Versus. If you want to take a look at how it is going, you can look at Clashing Storm of Sword-Kings here or see it on the thread itself.

We were talking numbers at the table but they were hugely inflated and I have left them out so that any professional or amateur historians wouldn’t hurt their neck wincing. Going by GRRM’s numbers, the armies of Westeros, like the castles, are far more numerous and grand than the European counterparts.

Ravens are a big deal.  When the army is on the move, they can’t receive ravens and so they don’t know what is going on around the kingdom. My dad decided to keep things moving, mostly so no dragons could zero-in on them and decimate their forces. It was a smart gamble but they lost the ability to know what was going on in the rest of the war. When they take Silverhall, they learned what was where, where the dragons were and learned that half of the King’s Landing fleet had sailed north to sack White Harbor. It was neat and gave yet another advantage to those who stay behind their safe walls.

 

Other Posts:

Winter is Coming and the Dragons are Dancing

Visiting Westeros…

How we got to Westeros with BW

Clash of Kings: BW Thread about Big Battle Mechanics

https://shopofjudd.threadless.com/designs/what-do-we-say-to-the-god-of-death