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Winter Adventures in Dragon Pass


Bill the barbarian

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So, I couple of minutes ago I posted this in another thread and then it occurred to me,.. a better way to mine for great winter modules would be to start a new topic. So:

 

 

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I must say that as I read that cheery ”Winter in Sartar” Topic heading from my browser this morning (the sound of Canada Geese preparing for a southward journey out my open window, a hint of chill in the air) my imagination began to draw fluffy inviting snow piles on the letters—Charles Shultz style,  you know, the cute ones that threaten to topple over at any moment, My thoughts turned to the smell of peppermint and hot cocoa and the feel of mufflers and toques. Yeah, picturing and presenting winter at my table is not a problem. I have run Alan LaVergne’s wonderful solo module for my tables. It's about getting the princess (and what a great orlanthi princess she was) across the mountains in winter to a wedding, I believe that’s the story. a few times. Great module, solo or not. Lot’s of fun.

Have had many great times running the Vikings horror at yule module lifted from Norway and set down gently in Sartar. Good times. Made me think of Carpenter’s the Thing a few times. So, are there any suggestions for great winter modules in Sartar out there in Grognard land.

What about the battle for Iceland from SkoH?

Oooh, I felt that shiver right through me, time to break out another blanket! and another cup of cocoa!

 

 

Remember to use [spoileroo] tags...

Well, that is my request, Looking for ideas for adventures in Dragon Pass in the winter. Or how about published winter adventures for Dragon Pass? 

Hey what about that module someone here wrote as a sequel to the Broken Tower as a yule adventure anyone play it and want to comment? Be nice, he or she is somewhere hereabouts.

PS What is Yule/Solstice/Midwinter fest in Dragon Pass anyway?

PSSI know by the way, its not winter it’s dark season, but alas, that does not have the same evocation I was looking for in setting this post.

Cheers and thanx in advance, all.

Edited by Bill the barbarian

... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

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23 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

So, I couple of minutes ago I posted this in another thread and then it occurred to me,.. a better way to mine for great winter modules would be to start a new topic. So:

 

 

 

Remember to use [spoileroo] tags...

Well, that is my request, Hey what about that module someone here wrote as a sequel to the Broken Tower as a yule adventure anyone play it and want to comment? Be nice, he or she is somewhere hereabouts.

PS What is Yule/Solstice/Midwinter fest in Dragon Pass anyway?

PSSI know by the way, its not winter it’s dark season, but alas, that does not have the same evocation I was looking for in setting this post.

Cheers and thanx in advance, all.

Winter solstice is Friday of Illusion Week in Dark Season. Interestingly that is Magasta's High Holy Day. In Clearwine you can expect a normal day is somewhere between a low of -10 C and a high of 4 C. It can get colder of course, but that's not a normal day. It is also generally when the snows start coming down steadily and regularly - about 40 cm typically falls in the last half of Dark Season. The heavy snows fall in early Storm Season - 70 cm in the first half of the season.

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The Midwinter festival doesn't have to happen exactly on the solstice, as our own date for Christmas (inherited from Sol Invictus) shows.

There is no myth about Yelm regaining strength at the peak of the Darkness, though. There may be some myths about the living Cold Sun recovering, though - so we have to look at Elmal/Yelmalio or Kargzant or Shargash/Tolat.

Neither Orlanth nor Ernalda have anything to add to a Darkness recovery myth. We have to look at the Grey Age demigods and heroes for those actions. Now Heort's I Fought We Won myth is already used in the Initiation rites, and his other myths (like finding and unfreezing Ivarne) haven't seen much attention. Maybe it is time to look into that.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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12 hours ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Looking for ideas for adventures in Dragon Pass in the winter. Or how about published winter adventures for Dragon Pass?

Are you looking for a module for an upcoming session, or just browsing around?

I'm working on converting/editing a scenario based on Scandinavian legends of the Krampus for the Jonstown Compendium if that's something you'd be interested in.

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Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here. Disclaimer: affiliate link.

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1 hour ago, Crel said:

Are you looking for a module for an upcoming session, or just browsing around?

As I was saying in Winter in Dragon Pass (I misquoted when I said Winter in Sartar) and again above,  I felt a little wintry this morning. I mean, with the exception of our antipodean friends, I’m looking at you MOB, most of us come from or live in colder climes some of us even like it. Now  half of our gaming material is for Dragon Pass or Balazar or other cold places as contrasted to Prax, the other half. Yet even with 50% representation we seem to lack winter (Dark Season) adventures.

The ones I mention above our standouts, and by name they are The Snow Kings Bride (solo), and Hunt from the AH RQ 3 Vikings Pack. Loved them. The other two I can think of are The Battle Iceland (a Hero Wars game, but perhaps it can be mined... soltakss has a thread on it that would be worth a check. And SmokeBadger I believe, wrote what he called a Christmas mini-adventure  he named  Casse Noisette (the Nut Cracker) just last year. that I have not even read, yet.  The Topics name is FreeChristmas  Mini Adventure written by me - merry xmas. So I count four, not even a handful lest you pen one. Then I will know of a mittfull of winter (dark season, I know....) adventures.

Now, you can only tell the kids about the stealing of death a thousand times (a thousand and one grandpa... sigh) before the kids can’t take it anymore. Draughts, after a week or two one is feeding the pieces to the kittens. Plowing, now this is promising. On the plus side, no mosquitos. On the negative, no earth let one wishes to dig out a shovel and spend a day or two looking for it (there was a hide of land here last season, I am sure of it).  You fixed the chair twice this morning and a book under the table fixed that. Well, if gramps doesn’t get a change of pace and soon. some one will die!

Why should his kin suffer for his cabin fever, Throw him outside, with his shield and sword and word to not come back without riches or until the snow has melted and he can find that damn hide of land (and the %#@% mosquitos) again. Yes, Dark Season (hah, remembered it, YES!) might well be he best season to adventure. Remember, no mosquitoes and don’t forget Qizilbaswoman says leave your togas at home. :)

Cheers

Edited by Bill the barbarian
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7 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

As I was saying in Winter in Dragon Pass (I misquoted when I said Winter in Sartar) and again above,  I felt a little wintry this morning. I mean, with the exception of our antipodean friends, I’m looking at you MOB, most of us come from or live in colder climes some of us even like it. Now  half of our gaming material is for Dragon Pass or Balazar or other cold places as contrasted to Prax, the other half. Yet even with 50% representation we seem to lack winter (Dark Season) adventures.

The ones I mention above our standouts, and by name they are The Snow Kings Bride (solo), and Hunt from the AH RQ 3 Vikings Pack. Loved them. The other two I can think of are The Battle Iceland (a Hero Wars game, but perhaps it can be mined... soltakss has a thread on it that would be worth a check. And SmokeBadger I believe, wrote what he called a Christmas mini-adventure  he named  Casse Noisette (the Nut Cracker) just last year. that I have not even read, yet.  The Topics name is FreeChristmas  Mini Adventure written by me - merry xmas. So I count four, not even a handful lest you pen one. Then I will know of a mittfull of winter (dark season, I know....) adventures.

Now, you can only tell the kids about the stealing of death a thousand times (a thousand and one grandpa... sigh) before the kids can’t take it anymore. Draughts, after a week or two one is feeding the pieces to the kittens. Plowing, now this is promising. On the plus side, no mosquitos. On the negative, no earth let one wishes to dig out a shovel and spend a day or two looking for it (there was a hide of land here last season, I am sure of it).  You fixed the chair twice this morning and a book under the table fixed that. Well, if gramps doesn’t get a change of pace and soon. some one will die!

Why should his kin suffer for his cabin fever, Throw him outside, with his shield and sword and word to not come back without riches or until the snow has melted and he can find that damn hide of land (and the %#@% mosquitos) again. Yes, Dark Season (hah, remembered it, YES!) might well be he best season to adventure. Remember, no mosquitoes and don’t forget Qizilbaswoman says leave your togas at home. :)

Cheers

The Battle of the Auroch Hills takes place in Earth Season, but during the Great Winter - so temperatures were totally haywire. Dark Season didn't end and rather than start thawing in Storm Season, it just kept dropping. Normally the range in late Dark Season is -10/4. During the Great Winter it might have gone:

early Storm -12/2

late Storm -14/0

early Sea - 16/-2

late Sea -18/-4

early Fire -20/-2

late Fire -22/-4

early Earth -24/-6

late Earth 7/18.

So basically, in Dragon Pass and Kethaela, we have a huge harvest failure in 1622. So in truth, 1623 is the hardest hit year. Which gives a wrinkle to the siege of Nochet. Nochet is likely running low on food, but the besiegers are completely out of food (at least initially). Nochet likely is able to supply itself from abroad (echoes of Athens in the Peloponnesian War). 1625 is an excellent harvest, and ends the several years-long famine. 

 

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7 minutes ago, Jeff said:

The Battle of the Auroch Hills takes place in Earth Season, but during the Great Winter - so temperatures were totally haywire. Dark Season didn't end and rather than start thawing in Storm Season, it just kept dropping. Normally the range in late Dark Season is -10/4. During the Great Winter it might have gone:

 

Shades of Mordor, Frodo. Shall we go on.

Grim and harrowing, but if grim is your meat and potatoes (funny, I just misspelled grim, as grimm or maybe I did not.) this particular unnatural winter might hold adventure. Definitely apocalyptic—I am thinking some german winter wolf, hungry children and hungrier ogres, tough decisions and doors locking, curtains being drawn kind of adventures  during these intense couple of years.  Perhaps joining the battle that highlights this period (the Battle of Iceland al a the Battle of Queens might be an option for a climatic point. Granted one would have to time shift a little as this would fall 3 years before dragonrise but... might be interesting in a darkish way.

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29 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Shades of Mordor, Frodo. Shall we go on.

Grim and harrowing, but if grim is your meat and potatoes (funny, I just misspelled grim, as grimm or maybe I did not.) this particular unnatural winter might hold adventure. Definitely apocalyptic—I am thinking some german winter wolf, hungry children and hungrier ogres, tough decisions and doors locking, curtains being drawn kind of adventures  during these intense couple of years.  Perhaps joining the battle that highlights this period (the Battle of Iceland al a the Battle of Queens might be an option for a climatic point. Granted one would have to time shift a little as this would fall 3 years before dragonrise but... might be interesting in a darkish way.

That's why the Great Winter plays a big part in character generation family history.

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You're isolated at your stead by heavy snowfalls. The nights are long, dark and cold. Food is starting to run low. Outside the wind howls... but it is not just the wind. Something is closing in. And it's hungry...

(Basically, bronze age survival horror, adding some nasty to the already bad problem of winter. All kinds of fun stuff available, from digging in at the stead under appalling circumstances, to attempting to face whatever is outside in the dark and biting cold, to trying to send someone on skis or snowshoes to the nearest stead for help.)

((I would be inclined to go with some RQ version of the Wendigo, some monstrosity originally created by cannibalism. Now it's equally happy to eat you as to have you turn to cannibalism yourselves. I would make it seriously hard to beat in a straight-up fight, because that's likely to be the go-to option for PCs, and we want more interesting stuff than just a fight. If a fight is going to solve things, make them earn it through preparation and hardships!))

Edited by Akhôrahil
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1 minute ago, Akhôrahil said:

You're isolated at your stead by heavy snowfalls. The nights are long, dark and cold. Food is starting to run low. Outside the wind howls... but it is not just the wind. Something is closing in. And it's hungry...

(Basically, bronze age survival horror, adding some nasty to the already bad problem of winter. All kinds of fun stuff available, from digging in at the stead under appalling circumstances, to attempting to face whatever is outside in the dark and biting cold, to trying to send someone on skis or snowshoes to the nearest stead for help.)

((I would be inclined to go with some RQ version of the Wendigo, some monstrosity originally created by cannibalism. Now it's equally happy to eat you as to have you turn to cannibalism yourselves.))

A good source of new ogres!

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A lot of those caught outside communities (eg outlaws and bandits) are going to turn to propitiary worship of the winter gods, who will be enjoying a rare chance to dance in the valleys. 

When turning to (propitiary?) Valind worship is one of the good options, you are in a bad place. Valind is a miserable deity who kills many of those who try to become priests, and whose priests tend to ally with the ice demons against the rest of humanity. 

There is that wonderfully macabre bit in the S:KoH clan creation system in which one of the great Darkness survival stories is making skates from the bones of your dead fathers and escaping the monsters by skating on the ice. 

On 9/22/2019 at 2:52 PM, Bill the barbarian said:

I mean, with the exception of our antipodean friends, I’m looking at you MOB, most of us come from or live in colder climes some of us even like it.

Actually Melbourne (where MOB lives) is regarded as pretty cold by Australian standards! Still warm for most of you - ie does not get snow - but nothing compared to a Perth summer, and then there are the really hot parts of the country, some of which make Death Valley look comparitively lush. 

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14 hours ago, Jeff said:

A good source of new ogres!

i'd love to have a really grim adventure involving starvation times and ogres and madness like some of the really terrifying films that have come out,

and then have the harrowed, terrified escaping survivors stumble upon some uz, who are handily eating mushroom stew in a cavern. said uz then have a mental breakdown trying to understand that cannibalism is an irrevocable and horrifying path to darkest Chaos? sorry, what did you say, you tiny little enlo wannabe?

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2 hours ago, Sumath said:

The Chaosium blog has news today of 'Highwall Inn', a free Ian Cooper HQ scenario set in a snow storm on the road to Alda-Chur, in which a group of strangers are pursued by ghouls and have to hole up in an inn to survive the storm.

That could be fun.

... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

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6 hours ago, Sumath said:

The Chaosium blog has news today of 'Highwall Inn', a free Ian Cooper HQ scenario set in a snow storm on the road to Alda-Chur, in which a group of strangers are pursued by ghouls and have to hole up in an inn to survive the storm.

Ian Cooper does the best ghouls. Brangbane and his people are just horrible.

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1 hour ago, Akhôrahil said:

Ian Cooper does the best ghouls. Brangbane and his people are just horrible.

Danger I just might sound like a fan boy!

Ian Cooper does the best "everything story" in my most humble opinion.

Cheers

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In the spirit of the thread, here's an idea for a scenario!

This adventure could take place any time during the Winter in Dragon Pass: Either late Dark season or early Storm season, when the snow is deep.

THE TROLLBALL TRUCE

A fairly large group of Dark Trolls and Trollkin are spotted on clan lands. They're not traders, because they don't have much with them, but they're clearly not a war party either. If attacked without warning and badly wounded, they retreat and don't come back. If threatened or only lightly injured, they come back later. If approached peacefully, or at least without obvious violence, their leader - a priest of Argan Argar - attempts to communicate in broken tradetalk that they're here "during the truce" to invite the clan's warriors to play a curious game called Trollball. They have brought several tasty Ham Beetles as gifts. The way they speak is somewhat odd and doesn't convey clearly notions of what time, day, or precise season it is - only that they're here for an important reason. Astute characters might figure out that the Trolls are actually a Heroquesting band!

The Trolls are This World Heroquesters here to enact an ancestral myth from their tribe. Apparently, at some point during the Lesser Darkness, when the Uz were at war with the Vingkotlings, these trolls' ancestors and the players' clan's ancestors had a winter-time truce. One year, when there was great danger from the coming Chaos and many Uz warriors were injured, the Uz clan only had enough able-bodied trolls to field one team. Some Trolls from their tribe came here and played a round of Trollball with the humans in a spirit of cooperation against the coming evils. Consulting the clan's ancestors from that age will confirm that this event took place. Consulting the clan's ancestors from a later age will confirm that these trolls were on the Clan's side during the I Fought, We Won Battle.

Participating in the Trollball Truce Heroquest - win or lose, the ancestors and the Trolls can't remember who won - will give minor magical rewards to the players and strengthen the clan's magic during the hardest season of the year. Winning the game, obviously, will provide more powerful benefits. Either way, the quest will bind the players' and trolls' clans into a continued truce. Not participating in the Trolls' Heroquest won't have negative consequences unless the players' tribe has a specific mythic history of peace with Trolls.

There are some potential complications:

  • It won't be easy to convince the Tribe's warriors, or its chief and ring, that they shouldn't simply drive off or kill the trolls.
  • Trollball is an exceedingly violent game. They may need to convince the Trolls of a few unorthodox house rules - perhaps no edged weapons?
  • Someone neutral will have to be found to serve as referee. A human Argan Argar cultist would be ideal. A Humakti or summoned Law spirit would do well. A Lhankhor Mhy or Issaries initiate would do in a pinch.
  • Trolls are not very good guests, by Orlanthi standards. Corralling them for the night(s) before the game is played will be required. (The game is to take place during the grey winter dawn when neither team has an advantage.)
  • Peaceful PCs will likely take exception to the result of most Trollball games: A dead Trollkin.
  • Be sure to review the rules for grappling before running this quest. Otherwise this whole thing is going to go pretty slow.

Should the whole event go well, the players could reciprocate this quest next Dark Season to strengthen its effects, perhaps leading to some long-term friends and Heroquest Allies among an Uz clan (as far as such a thing can exist) or protection from Chaos for both clans. The quest could then be reciprocated, year after year, between the two clans.

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56 minutes ago, JonBolds said:

A human Argan Argar cultist would be ideal.

Just remember that an Argan Argar worshipper (of any non-lay level) is required for a legal game of trollball! They cannot sponsor a team, though they can probably play just fine - but I've always supposed the reason one must be present is that AA cultists have unusual abilities to compel as referee during a game. Like, refereeing trolls? Seriously. That's gotta be a special ability from the cult. An official ruling will ring through the thickest of heads.

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6 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

Just remember that an Argan Argar worshipper (of any non-lay level) is required for a legal game of trollball!

I don't actually know that much about the "real rules" of Trollball 😅 because I haven't read many of the older books, but it seems like a comfortable substitution in terms of Heroquesting/Myths. Like having a Yelmalio cultist stand in for Elmal, any given Thunder Brother stand in for another (e.g. Vinga for Hedkoranth), or an Eiritha cultist stand in for Ernalda. Either way, the trolls brought an Argan Argar cultist with them. 😀

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1 hour ago, JonBolds said:

I don't actually know that much about the "real rules" of Trollball 😅 because I haven't read many of the older books, but it seems like a comfortable substitution in terms of Heroquesting/Myths. Like having a Yelmalio cultist stand in for Elmal, any given Thunder Brother stand in for another (e.g. Vinga for Hedkoranth), or an Eiritha cultist stand in for Ernalda. Either way, the trolls brought an Argan Argar cultist with them. 😀

That's the only rule I know. I think someone with the Exchange rune would do in a heroquest, absolutely. You are suggesting a literal game, though, aren't you? I think a heroquest game would be fairer: you can't honestly play IRL trollball with trolls on one side and humans on another, even if you only fielded enlo.

I just realised the reward for this could be the invention of false-war among humans. Like stickball (> lacrosse), the Mesoamerican ballgame, and other sports, it provides a way for clans to settle disputes with much less murder and dismemberment than pitched battles, a significant invention for societies with legal systems that are clan law. These involved really significant investment of warfare techniques: spiritual practices, shamanism, taboo periods, charms, even human sacrifice, and they were used to settle hostilities.

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4 hours ago, JonBolds said:

In the spirit of the thread, here's an idea for a scenario!

 

Fantastic, that was what I was thinking of when starting this thread,

3 hours ago, JonBolds said:

I don't actually know that much about the "real rules" of Trollbal

Well here follows a few of the rules.

dramatis personae

2 Referees: giants who literally must kick rule breakers off the field. 

a beautiful Xiola Unbar Priestess : she is in mindlink with the trollkin, should the trollkin die she passes out. The trollkin is replaced, she is revived and play continues.

The sponsor A team must be sponsored by a Rune Lord who often does the healing.

two teams: A team consists of 7 players, one of whom can be a great troll. Five may be on the field at any time.One as a goalie and may not leave the red zone four are fielders and can go anywhere on the fields. The other tow are spares and can go anywhere off the field.

The Ball: in the dark past of Hell, the ball was a whirring whiz beetle now extinct, on the surface a badger was favoured, and since the curse trollkin have been used.

Object of the game:

move the live portion of a trollkin across the goal-line to score a point at the end of a set period of time the most points win.If no score results in the time set the first team to score wins.

The Field:

30 x 51 metres , goals on either side, red zones 10 metres before the goals. (Red zoes are sacred places which house the teams espirit, and sacrifices and prayers are made to the god of the game.

Rules

a/ blunt weapons only

b/no magic

c/ no missiles at any time may be thrown by any players... note the trollkin is not a player.

d/ 4 fielders and 1 goalie per team only on the  field.

e/ it is illegal to try to maim a trollkin that is being held.

f/ goalies may not leave the red zone.

g/ a team may not enter the opposing red zone without the trollkin

h/ Spectators may throw anything at any player other than the goalie in any redzone, the players may not harm the spectators in any way

this is just the basics but it should be enough for your game.

A few special notes:

The dead on the field are resurrected at the end of the game by the god of the game.

Trollin will always get free Determine randomly the direction.

Nowhere in the rules I have is Argan Argar mentioned

From RQ 2 Trollpak .Into Uzdom page  62-64

Edited by Bill the barbarian
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50 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

It's mentioned in the rules for Argan Argar worship, I believe

Cheers

49 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Just one question: what did the trolls use for a ball in the Vingkotling Age? There weren't any trollkin available back then.

Badgers

2 hours ago, Bill the barbarian said:

The Ball: in the dark past of Hell, the ball was a whirring whiz beetle now extinct, on the surface a badger was favoured, and since the curse trollkin have been used.

Edited by Bill the barbarian

... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

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