Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Darius West

Pavis (the hard way). My New Campaign.

Recommended Posts

I will be running a campaign set in Pavis starting in 1611 (to end whenever...) with a family of 3 kids of different ages who lost their father (he was a guard on the Old Gate), and whose mother is now sick at the start of one of the epidemics that swept the city directly after the invasion (the Chalana Arroy cultists left for Horn Gate, leaving the city vulnerable to outbreaks).  They have family friends that they can turn to within reason, but to get treatment for their mother will cost money that they presently don't have.  The family has managed to keep their house in Riverside, but mainly due to the fact that their mother has been secretly prostituting herself to the Lunars of an evening, which his where she got sick.  The eldest is a boy aged 15, the next is a girl aged 13, and the youngest is a boy aged 11.  If their mother dies the youngest boy will probably have to go and live with their strict Yelmalio relatives in Harpoon (which no-one wants).  There is also the strong possibility that without their mother that the Lunars may seek to evict the children.  They get a list of their full home and contents, and there are no weapons except for their old woodcutting hatchet and their grandpa's ship building maul.  They don't know that they have a rare map of the Big Rubble in the form of an old wall hanging, and that the strange leather thong drapes that they have hanging over the windows to deter flies are actually 2 old Praxian maps to treasures in Prax.  If they fail to get their mother treatment within 7 days she will certainly die, and the longer they take, the worse her condition will be even if she recovers.  The players will also get a list of about 50 NPCs with whom they have some familiarity. The two prime sources of disease treatment are Xiola Umbar, and the Seven Mothers, or they might track down one of the remaining Chalana Arroys in the area, or even a Mallian!  Their father was an initiate of Pavis and Humakt, while their Mother was an initiate of Ernalda and an Elf Friend of Aldrya (initiate).   The players will have some ability to trade on these connections as their parents are (or were) respected members of these cults, but the cults won't answer the problems or simply offer them treatment (with the exception of Aldrya, but who will require an adventure to reach).  

Currently the oldest boy is working as a porter, the girl is carrying her mother's washing business, and the youngest is running messages for whoever will pay him.  They are each getting about 2 clacks a day.  None of the player characters has a cult yet. Their mother was earning 8 clacks a day, but that rose to 1d20 Lunars an evening when she turned to prostitution.  On the other hand, if her "new job" became known, a number of people might be less willing to help the family.  The money has been spent on new clothes, and a season's food and fuel already. 

Players will get their age x5 in percentages to distribute between their skills, which are all townsman base, and free literacy in Tradetalk at 35%, 30% and 25% respectively, that their parents traded for them.  They also get 1 point of spirit magic each.  They also get a handout that presents the problem to them clearly and gives them a sense of their options, their contacts, and what is possible.  They are all new players who have never tried RQ before, though they have tried other RPGs, and are familiar with BRP as a system, but not Glorantha.   I am interested in seeing how the players adapt to the setting.  Will they tug their forelock to the hated invaders in the hopes of mercy?  Will they turn to crime or rebellion, or even worse?  Will they opt to try their luck in the rubble knowing their chances of survival as untrained youngsters are slim indeed?  Can they save their mother?  Will their little family fall apart as so many others have since the invasion?  Will they discover their family's secret legacy in Esrolia?  Will they ever find out what happened to their missing uncle?  Can they get initiatied, and if so, to which deity?  It is always interesting to see what players choose to do, but never more-so than when players are completely new to a game world.  I want to give Pavis that gritty high risk boom town feel, and the Lunars are just about to ease restrictions and issue the first adventuring and weapon licenses (curfew is still in effect however).  I want the players to get a strong sense of character identification, and to get a solid feeling for the many NPCs with whom they will interact, so it comes across like a Griselda story, but where the competence of the protagonists is far from certain, unlike Griselda's competence (which is seldom if ever disputed).  Pavis will be pretty unforgiving, but it is possible to save their mother if they are cunning and follow certain clues, and there will definitely be more than one way to solve it.  

I am interested in how you the reader would go about it, and any encounters you would recommend to spice things up.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi

Me too, i m starting a new campaign in Pavis, but 1622. I m reading all scenarii i can find about this. If you want, i can share here. :)

I really like the way you introduice your campaign, its original and dramatic.

What kind of encounters are you looking for?

For example (based on the father)

- what if the father was a corrupted guard? his former coleague can be worry about what his widow know about their affairs?

For example (based on the prostitution thing) :

- a client, Lunar officer, who fall in love with the mother and want to save her, but in Lunar way, make all the family become Lunar.

- a client, Lunar sorcerer, who searching for a virgin brithdate special for astrological and sorcery reasons, what if he learn his favorite prostitute have a daughter who fits?

- a Yelmalion worshipper who want to bring the family in a strict way of Live, send by the relative. But he starts to blackmail the family about they way of live.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Darius West said:

I want the players to get a strong sense of character identification, and to get a solid feeling for the many NPCs with whom they will interact

For my Nochet campaign, I built out a table of named NPC's, each with a certain ability and a specific flaw.  I then had the players either roll randomly or choose an NPC for each of six categories:  best friend, primary contact, current mentor, significant rival, worst foe, and biggest pain in the ...  As given NPC's could turn up in different roles for different PC's, it created an instant matrix of relationships.  I then used some of those NPC's to kick off the campaign (and they provide regular individuals the PC's can go to for certain types of help). 

The other key piece is identifying the villain(s)/antagonist(s) that are going to drive your plot line.  Who are they and why do they care about (or even notice) the PC's?  Who has it out for their mother and is blackmailing her (or has their eye on the 13 year old)?  Who is trying to entice the 15 year old (who is of age to become an adult) to their secret rites (and why)? 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding magic, I'd be looking at defensive spells (Befuddle, Binding, Countermagic, Detect Enemies, Healing, Mobility, Silence), and as for skills, a weapon skill based on what's available, Hide, Move Silently, possibly Tracking or Riding.  I'm guessing that they've already sold their father's sword (what guard and Humakti wouldn't have one?), so that's out.  And one of them has to figure out the value of those maps.

Aldrya is the most workable choice just as far as getting healing is concerned.  Alternatively, they could find a Chalana Arroy priestess and the daughter could offer to work for them in return for healing Mom.  Being an Elf-friend could conceivably help there too.  I don't find Xiola Umbar very likely as a solution.

They'll also need to find some kind of guide (unless the maps are really informative), whether it's for the Rubble, an overland journey to the Paps (through The Long Dry, oh joy), or a trip downriver followed by a shorter (and somewhat more hospitable) journey to Horn Gate.  The long journeys would be pushing the time limit, too.  And then there's the issue of dealing with Mom; carting her along if going overland or having someone tend to her if the choice is the Rubble.

First thing I'd try would be to beg/borrow/cajole a group of escorts for an excursion with the promise of all the treasure they find, using either the Rubble map or one of the Prax maps, hopefully being conveniently close to Horn Gate.  They're not a particularly trustworthy lot, though...  Selling the maps isn't much of an option, either, unless the Rubble map is really rare.  Assuming that there really is someone there who could help them and they knew where that person would be, if worse came to worst they could strike out on their own.  RP'ing the eldest son, I'd suggest to my sibs that I try it alone.  However, the sister would probably bring up that, even if they were to let him go off on his own, if something happened to him, they'd be in the same predicament but it'd be at least a couple of days later before they even knew about it.  And Mom would waste away even more.  So it's either leave the 11-year old to deal with Mom or get a close friend to care for her while the three of them strike off.

And that's just off the top of my head.  There's still some info lacking for me to go into much more detail, but I'm just spitballin' here anyway...  :)

ETA:  Just remembered that Sun County has a Chalana Arroy healer priestess who should theoretically be in residence.  Best solution of all; they'd only have to figure out how to pay for a shortish river passage, negotiating landing fees or finding a way around them, and a ~10 km trip from there to the Sun Dome Temple.

Edited by Yelm's Light
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This sounds like an excellent scenario to kick off a Pavis & Prax campaign!

One query however - starting the characters with 1pt of Spirit Magic each.

Is this in the form of an enchanted charm, or is it a known spell? If the later then I am a bit confused as I always thought characters would only receive magical training through a Cult, and it sounds like these characters are not yet initates of any deity.

I could envision that they have enchanted Charms which they have inherited or perhaps even bartered (or stolen) through the marketplace.

I really like the premise of this setting, down and dusty, it sounds great!

Edited by Mankcam
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hajimi-  I want to give the characters a father who they can more-or-less look up to, but yes, he will have pulled a few deals and will have made a few enemies, so that suggestion is a good one.  I didn't want to sic an enemy onto them straight away, but kicking a dog when its down is the Pavis way.  As for the other 3 ideas, I hadn't considered the Lunar sorcerer idea, but the other 2 I sort of had plans for, and it is perceptive of you to have pre-empted them.  Good work.  As for the sort of encounters they are going to run into, I was hoping for archetypal Pavic experiences, or Gloranthan experiences.  There is only 1 caveat.  One player has a huge duck-hate and refused to play RQ for years as a result and will only play if there are no duck encounters.  Plenty of room for baboons, and morokanth and newtlings etc to fill that space.

Jajagappa- So you are a fan of the MOB maximum fun style of NPC?  Far from a bad answer.  I have a paragraph or 2 on most of the NPCs, with room for more info as needed that summarizes who they are and their relations with the characters.  NPCs who become frequent ports of call I usually develop complete sheets for.  I also use a sort of shorthand "cult reaction" system for their relations with the characters at the time.  This will change of course.  Your point is well taken however.  Initially their major adversaries will be a lunar land speculator who will try to get them to sell the house, a Lunar Hoplite who is an ogre, the Dolphins street gang, and their awful situation.

Yelm's Light - Firstly, their father's gift and geas wasn't sword related, he had a skill bonus.  His swords were also captured as Lunar booty.  Players will have a hard time finding them.  As for why Xiola Umbar gets a mention, she is a neutral healing deity and she has a decent sized temple.  If you don't want to go to the Lunars, XU is one of the few obvious places to go.  As to finding a Chalana Arroy and offering to work for them, that is a distinct possibility.  Traipsing around Prax or going downriver will be a problem as it will take too long to save their mother, and she isn't in a fit state to travel except by boat, after they haul her there by litter.    Your idea about Alrdya is a good one, getting to the Garden and convincing the elves to help is one of the main adventure paths I envisage.  The Sun Dome trip is also possible, and not a bad idea.  I wouldn't advise going to Horn Gate, as the journey is way too long.  Good spitballing.

Mankcam- the 1pt of Spirit magic is rationalized as being either something the family traded to obtain for the kids, or something their parents or relatives spent 1POW obtaining a non-reusable Spell Teaching for (at least that is how we used to rationalize things like that back in RQ2 days).  I agree that this is a bit artificial, but I wanted them to start out by having to choose a common spell, and that means becoming a bit familiar with what common spells there are, so they could convince themselves they chose wisely. There are definitely right and wrong choices IMO.  You are right, they are not yet initiates, and normally wouldn't have spells, but there are many work-arounds, such as money and favours owed by Daka Fal and Lhankor Mhy in the past.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you :)

1 hour ago, Darius West said:

Plenty of room for baboons, and morokanth and newtlings etc to fill that space.

A trader may offer the elder boy a job as apprentice. The trader sells some meat to wealthy people on the Hill. What if the boy find the trader has a patron? What if the patron is a morrokanth? what if the meat is human meat? What if if the younger boy find that severals orphans disappear since the trader works there? :)

ok its creepy :)

Edited by Haimji
spelling
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remember that Pavis is stunningly cosmopolitan for a minor city out in the wastelands -- so Xiola Umbar certainly has a presence in Pavis, and some far-looking Argan Argar cultist might convince X.U. healers to do a favor for these kids, with an eye to further favorable interactions down the road and eventually a close ally in New Pavis:  if the Trolls save the mother, and otherwise ease their lives (occasional favors, food, minor bits of cash, etc.) the family might well end up feeling like the Trolls care more about their well-being that the rest of the city does...

Overall, I really like the set-up you have provided ... Very nice job !

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Haimiji - Actually I was going to go one worse with that... A Morokanth loan shark.  Do the maths :)

g33k - Amen to the cosmopolitan nature of Pavis.  That is one of the reasons I like it as a newbie starting area, you get a bit of everything in one place.  As to Argan Argar cultists and Xiola Umbar cultists looking after the kids, that is an interesting idea, but they will want a bit more quid pro quo than simply earning a few poor friends.  Argan Argar isn't in the habit of attracting human mendicants.  On the other hand, the children of an Elf Friend might provide valuable intelligence about the Garden to the trolls.  THAT would be valuable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I came up with a different subplot that could turn out to be really interesting...it ties a series of things together.

Suppose that Mom used to be an Amazon who, for whatever reason, left her Yelornan sisters in such a way as to leave them on peaceful terms.  (One possibility is to be with her lover, who becomes her husband, and because she no longer wishes to be a virgin and wants to have children.  She also wants them to be able to make their own choices of life path and so moves to New Pavis...or other reasons that are strong enough for her to want to live in Riverside instead of the Rubble.)  This would explain her being an Elf-friend.

So the kids make their way to the Garden with her, and some Aldryami in the first group she encounters recognizes Mom, and during the process of the curing a Unicorn comes to the daughter.  Or the kids go alone first to negotiate and, instead, meet a Unicorn, who offers himself to the daughter.  Of course, this only works if she is a virgin.  She leads her brothers into the Garden, and the sight of her leading/riding the Unicorn gives her enough time to explain the situation to the first Aldryami she meets, at which point her mother is recognized.  And then things get interesting...

Will she join the cult?  If so, what about her brothers?  Will they stay with her, or will they go back home?  How will the logistics work out?  Will she decline the Unicorn and cult membership?  Could this possibly be her mother's Unicorn?  How would the Yelornans feel about it?  The Aldryami?  For that matter, how about her mother?  Etc.

Edited by Yelm's Light
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a good plot idea YL, but their mum Imarjana Flowersinger has a well developed plot behind her already to do with Esrolia, Ernalda and Aldrya in the Garden and assuming she survives her illness, the players will have interesting new plots to chase.   As the players will have neighbors and friends of their own age in a similar situation, I could easily find a way to incorporate that into the ongoing stories of some of their friends that they might want to help out with, and have the possibility of Hanni (the 13yo girl) potentially joining Yelorna as a result.  As you suggest, that might make the party a bit more difficult to maintain as Yelornans can't really go adventuring with their brothers. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Darius West said:

Haimiji - Actually I was going to go one worse with that... A Morokanth loan shark.  Do the maths :)

"If i pay thee not in gold..." (like in Piers Anthony & Mercedes Lackey novel)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/10/2016 at 4:19 AM, Darius West said:

One player has a huge duck-hate and refused to play RQ for years as a result and will only play if there are no duck encounters.  .

Yes this is not uncommon to hear. Fair enough, Ducks are quite ridiculous.

I managed to get around this in my Glorantha by making the Durulz essentially halflings. Not that they resemble Tolkien's hobbits at all, rather I made them quite militant and defensive. They remain very aquatic, living in riverine pole house villages using reed boats etc and I kept Ducks as their sacred animal. 

It just seemed to make the setting more realistic, and worked quite well. I recommend doing this with all except hardcore Gloranthanphiles, it works well.

Edited by Mankcam
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alternatively you could ask the player to channel his hate for Durulz through his PC. The ducks are often despised. Let him make his passion part of his character. Maybe he (the player) will even start to love (hating) them. :-)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think his issue has to do with breaking immersion or some such.  Players, huh?  Finicky bunch.

Edited by Darius West
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/10/2016 at 2:13 AM, g33k said:

Remember that Pavis is stunningly cosmopolitan for a minor city out in the wastelands -- so Xiola Umbar certainly has a presence in Pavis, and some far-looking Argan Argar cultist might convince X.U. healers to do a favor for these kids, with an eye to further favorable interactions down the road and eventually a close ally in New Pavis:  if the Trolls save the mother, and otherwise ease their lives (occasional favors, food, minor bits of cash, etc.) the family might well end up feeling like the Trolls care more about their well-being that the rest of the city does...

Don't forget the prejudice and hatred against trolls in Pavis. Xiola Umbar would definitely be available in the Big Rubble, in Trolltown, though. There might be a Xiola Umbar presence in New Pavis itself, but it would probably be human cultists with maybe a visiting troll acolyte. If the PCs became troll-friends then that would give them a definite advantage in the Big Rubble.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Darius West said:

I think his issue has to do with breaking immersion or some such.  Players, huh?  Finicky bunch.

Tru dat.  My group took off one day because one of the guys saw the list of potential characters and seized upon playing a duck.  In all the years since, we've had a duck in nearly every campaign.  The last time, the same guy says "I want to play a duck." I said, "you always play a duck."  He says, "But they're so fun."  I say, "You've played every kind of duck imaginable.  What could you possibly play now?"  He nearly whispers, "Necro duck."  That stops me in my tracks.  No.  Not a necro duck.  Just no.  That's just wrong.  I sigh and hang my head.  How can you say no to a necro duck?  How?  "yeah, alright, you got a duck."

Edited by Pentallion
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Pentallion said:

Tru dat.  My group took off one day because one of the guys saw the list of potential characters and seized upon playing a duck.  In all the years since, we've had a duck in nearly every campaign.  The last time, the same guy says "I want to play a duck." I said, "you always play a duck."  He says, "But they're so fun."  I say, "You've played every kind of duck imaginable.  What could you possibly play now?"  He nearly whispers, "Necro duck."  That stops me in my tracks.  No.  Not a necro duck.  Just no.  That's just wrong.  I sigh and hang my head.  How can you say no to a necro duck?  How?  "yeah, alright, you got a duck."

It actually makes sense when you think about it, character rationale-wise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Pentallion said:

Tru dat.  My group took off one day because one of the guys saw the list of potential characters and seized upon playing a duck.  In all the years since, we've had a duck in nearly every campaign.  The last time, the same guy says "I want to play a duck." I said, "you always play a duck."  He says, "But they're so fun."  I say, "You've played every kind of duck imaginable.  What could you possibly play now?"  He nearly whispers, "Necro duck."  That stops me in my tracks.  No.  Not a necro duck.  Just no.  That's just wrong.  I sigh and hang my head.  How can you say no to a necro duck?  How?  "yeah, alright, you got a duck."

ROFL!

Damn you, Pentallion!  DAMN YOU!

<I must NOT read forums in class!  I must NOT read forums in class!  I must NOT read forums in class!  I must NOT read forums in class!  I must NOT read forums in class!  I must NOT read forums in class!  I must NOT read forums in class!  I must NOT read forums in class!  I must NOT read forums in class!  I must NOT read forums in class!>

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah. if you think about it, in the game Dragon Pass, Sartar/Argrath pretty much always sacrifices a unit of Ducks to Delecti to ally him.  Ducks get a move bonus in the marsh so they always get there first.  Necroduck is inevitable.  Humaktiduck is just a precursor to necroduck.

Edited by Darius West
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/12/2016 at 0:53 PM, g33k said:

ROFL!

Damn you, Pentallion!  DAMN YOU!

<I must NOT read forums in class!  I must NOT read forums in class!  I must NOT read forums in class!  I must NOT read forums in class!  I must NOT read forums in class!  I must NOT read forums in class!  I must NOT read forums in class!  I must NOT read forums in class!  I must NOT read forums in class!  I must NOT read forums in class!>

Damn ME?!?  I'm the one who had to listen to him humming that accursed song over and over again.   Necro, Necro Duck (Donald Duck voice:  Got to have me a zombie!)  Necro, Necro Duck. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Body...wanna feel his body?
Feathers...such a thrill his feathers
Beaky...wanna touch his beaky?
Corpsey...kinda smells his corpsey
Check it out his dead body.
Don't you doubt his dead body.
talkin' bout his dead body,
check it out his corpse
 
Every duck wants to be a brave humakti duck
to have the kind of feathers, always in demand
Bandit in the mornings, go duck go
Ambush at the swamp ford, shimmer glow
Then he was send to Delecti, now he's a necroduck
Ready to reanimate anyone he can
 
Hey! Hey! Hey, hey, hey!
Necro necro duck (necro duck)
He got drained, he's a necro duck
Necro necro duck
He got to be a necro! Ow....
 
Necro necro duck
He got to be, a necro duck
Necro necro duck (yeah, yeah)
He got to be a necro!
Body, its so cold, his body,
Body, love to pop his eyeballs,
Body, love
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...