Hex Flower: Bastion Political Unrest

Hex Flower: Bastion Political Unrest

I’ve got this ridiculous Hex Flower on a Jamboard that is probably too complicated by a longshot. Maybe it should have half the crap on it. Maybe less. But here it is in all its glory.

A ludicrous hex flower for moving pieces around and getting inspired about the political unrest in the city of Bastion.

Let’s toss some factions into the soup.

Looking at the Oddpedia, Bastion’s Greatest Businesses, page 125, and the Red Ghost Roads and Carriages catches my eye.

Robber barons who pay pennies to laborers, doing back-breaking road building and paving while living in tent towns that move with them. If they perish at work they are buried under the road. Carriage drivers and those who ride shotgun are seen as more skilled labor but are also paid crap, though there are unattainable incentives. Corporate strongarms called the Scarlet Wraiths. I dig it.

I want one of the factions to be an alien incursion of some kind. When I look at the Weird Creation Inspiration on pages 126 and 127 the words Snail and Eerily Beautiful grab me. I roll for the twist. I get 24, a lucky number in my family, Teleports Self. I dig it.

This alien incursion manifests as shells show up in the homes of the rich and the powerful. The creatures within are so beautiful those they are beguiling can barely speak of it. They just wait for their orders, wanting to catch a glimpse. They can’t describe it with words.

Next up should be an Astral Cult. I look at the chart, thinking about rolling until the my eyes blur a bit and I see Sons of the Forgotten Ship. Adventurers who found a ship in the Underground but they need buildings cleared to get a clear take-off. Or that is what they think.

One could trace the Sons of the Forgotten Ship back to former adventurers who now own businesses having to do with demolition and salvage with some members of their family studying stars, navigation and other worlds.

Maybe some revolutionaries from the Deep Country?

Revolutionaries who critique Bastion with violence.

I’ll toss the Bastion Free Library in there because I want someone to root for and I think they are cool.

Driven to gather and catalog rare Arcana and Manuscripts from all over Bastion, the Underground and the Deep Country and provide access to Bastion’s citizenry. Their motto, “Cataloging the stars above / Accessing the mysteries below.”

Alright, let’s toss these tokens on the board and then roll some dice and see what comes of them.

I’ve got this thing set up. The Red Ghost Roads and Carriages is vying for Borough Control with the Sons of the Forgotten Ship and the Snailien Incursion. They could all land on that at once and we could decide that they are allied or controlling different boroughs. Put the Deep County Revolutionaries near Deep Country and the Bastion Free Library near nothing. Library funding is always the first to get cut (support your local library!).

Let’s roll some dice and see what happens.

Round 1

Red Ghost Roads and Carriage takes control of a Borough. The Sons of the Forgotten Ship and the Snailiens are on the same spot, vying for control of the borough; I think this means that they are rivals and know about each other, maybe sizing each other up. Meanwhile, Red Ghost passes stern laws against wandering the streets unattended. These Ghost Road Laws are put into place to encourage people to either hire a carriage or stay the fuck home. Those wandering the streets (walking) after certain hours can be declared vagrants and thrown in jail. The Bastion Free Library moves off the board and on to the other side, getting its hands on a Major Arcanum while the Deep Country Revolutionaries are just meandering.

What does this mean for a game?

Maybe rich patrons urged on by their Snailien overlords hire the players to look into the Sons of the Forgotten Ship. Maybe the Sons of the Forgotten Ship hire the players to look into what is giving certain rich folk in elite, shiny skyscrapers such insight into the Underground’s going’s on.

Do the players put together that the explosions that the press is writing off as gas explosions from bad pipes are actually revolutionaries trying to make a splash? Even though only corrupt foreman and violent constables seem to be catching the brunt of the explosions? Or it could be the players do something to gain a reputation for being against the status quo and the revolutionaries reach out to them, hoping to get some help.

Maybe the Bastion Free Library needs help moving the Arcanum they’ve uncovered without gaining attention. Red Ghost Agents are all over the roads. How can we move this thing across the city without tipping off the company assassins, the Scarlet Wraiths?

Maybe his stuff is just background noise, newspaper headlines and rumors around town.

Rolling could happen when the balance of power is somehow shifted or every game or every couple of games or when I just run out of ideas. I could see times when factions move around because of the players’ actions or events in-game.

This Hex Flower thing is a fun tool. Looking forward to talking about it more with you and hearing about your uses for it.

Kill Acererak 2: The Knife, the Jar and the Eye

Kill Acererak 2: The Knife, the Jar and the Eye

In which the Sigil 6 find Acererak’s Soul Jar, hidden near the Eye of Vecna – also Lord Soth gains power and a gaggle of necromancers gain the resources they need to make wealth management plans so they can start thinking about saving for their retirement.

TEXT: Traversing the Shadowfell's coldest mountains, the Sigil 6 are attempting to KILL ACERERAK.

PIC: Black and White negative volcano

Who are the Sigil 6 – Trundle, Helewynn, Bugwump, Kuru, Jusko and Shepherd what have they been up to?

Sigil 6 Subject Divider

With them help of Kuru’s abilities as an Arcane Trickster Rogue and Trundle’s abilities as a Ranger with levels as a Cleric of a God of Portals, the Sigil 6 made their way past the vicious Frost Giant clans whose mountain fortresses surround the archlich’s sanctum, a volcano in the Shadowfell that spews negative energy rather than lava.

Sword crossed with key subject divider

There were two gates, big enough to welcome a Frost Giant host in the side of the negacano. Shepherd communed with the Raven Queen to know that the doorway with the green limestone eyes was the true door and the doorway with thousands of green gems representing Acererak’s eyes as depicted on the gate’s carvings was the deathtrap. But even the true door had a Wraith Lord within it.

Jusko stepped up, with a dagger given to him from Lord Soth, as a way for the Knight of the Black Rose to find the fallen knight of House Hajek should he perish. Jusko invoked his noble background and addressed the wraith as a still-living king. “The Knight of the Black Rose is seeking you and your host.” I had him roll a Persuasion. It worked.

Why did this work? I’m thrilled you asked.

Sword crossed with key subject divider

Before the game, while eating dinner I grabbed an empty Hex Flower sheet I made ages ago. I set it up with 3 circles, with different resources the factions within Acererak’s mountain might fight to claim once they realized their Lich Lord was dead.

More on the Hex Flower tool here.

I rolled twice to see where each faction was – one roll for each day. Acererak’s wraiths, the Wyrmghasts, were on the verge of exodus, of deserting their posts just a day ago. The Wraith Lord was holding them in place by a slim margin and they still had the apprentices and ghouls to deal with. This was a powerful leader looking for a way out. The Hex Flower told me so. In walks this fallen knight with a token of The Death Knight in his hands and a promise of a way out.

I need a word for this, for those moments where the players gain something and then use it in ways you had never anticipated. Reincorporation, maybe? I don’t know. It is a thing and is always a source of delight.

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Hellewynne sniffed out the Soul Jar, having smelled the odd mix of alchemical agents and necromantic ritual items before. It was in an isolated crypt that none of the factions had attempted to go near. The door read, “My Greatest Rival.” They carefully dispelled the Power Word Kill trap and found a gauntlet holding the Eye of Vecna. A few spells let them know that the gauntlet was the Soul Jar, hidden next to a legendary and powerful necromantic artifact.

The group unloaded and ditched the vampire accountants they had been holding a portal hole since Gloomwrought and Mage Handed the items into said portable hole.

Sword crossed with key subject divider

Next Game: The Sigil 6 will try to get the Soul Jar to a swamp just outside of Greyhawk City – in a backwater Prime.

Meanwhile, Lord Soth just gained a host of wraithguards and the necromancer apprentices who followed Acererak will start thinking about investment opportunities.

Sigil 6 Subject Divider

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