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TheAuldGrump

Spelljammer/Starjammer - Background - Megans Allowed!

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21 minutes ago, Pezler the Polychromatic said:

Sounds like a fine design for space. ::D:

 

For space, I might make it double sided going out from the center.

 

ACK! Almost spoiled some stuff that will actually be coming up in a few weeks!

 

Last week the party got together - two are near-bankrupt nobility, that desperately need to rebuild their family fortunes (including an elf emigre). One is a ship's captain. One is an ex-marine, drummed out of the service for a crime that he... probably didn't commit, and even if he did he was drunk at the time, and doesn't remember (he has a story feat). One is a witch of the dark tapestry - and a trained ship's navigator. One is the ship's chaplain. One is the shanty man. One is... a procurement specialist... it doesn't count as theft if it wasn't nailed down, does it?

 

Right now they are chasing down rumors of a ship that may be open to salvage - and need to deal with a half-elf that is running a shop named 'Of Dubious Origin'. Best known for being able to find Shelathi Shelar*, an elven wine that is... technically... contraband, at least if acquired from the elves.

 

Certain crew positions are still open - they need an experienced gunner, and there is a rumor that one might be found on a prison hulk out in Coldwater Harbor.

 

The Auld Grump

 

* Wine of Dreams** - more like absinthe than a vintner's specialty. A wine with mild hallucinogenic qualities and divination enhancing properties.

 

** Or at least that is what the smugglers call it - Of Dubious Origins calls it 'Wine from the Island of Wine' - the elvish words for dream and wine share a common root.

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1 hour ago, TheAuldGrump said:

* Wine of Dreams** - more like absinthe than a vintner's specialty. A wine with mild hallucinogenic qualities and divination enhancing properties.

 

** Or at least that is what the smugglers call it - Of Dubious Origins calls it 'Wine from the Island of Wine' - the elvish words for dream and wine share a common root.

Maybe it actually translates as 'Dreams from the Island of Wine'. ::D:

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4 hours ago, Pezler the Polychromatic said:

Maybe it actually translates as 'Dreams from the Island of Wine'. ::D:

Hey, it's all Greek to me... (Oeno.)

 

The Auld Grump

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The party is going to have problems with the first person they need to talk to tonight - he is stone drunk on cheap wine. :devil:

 

They put off meeting him until too late. ::P: (He is a similar state every night at about this time - and his skin and eyes are already acquiring a yellow cast, as his liver begins to fail.)

 

The Auld Grump

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Deciding how dark I want to make the Secret of Star Travel - the method for making the flying ships is to coat the hulls with rendered grease from what are basically 'Space Whales'.

 

The question is, how sentient, or nearly sentient, do I want those whales to be?

 

I am leaning toward 'intelligent animals' - monkey or porpoise level intellect - with older examples reaching true sapience.

 

And the whalers favoring the older ones, for their equivalent of Ambergris - an enlarged pituitary gland that can be used to create potions that aid with navigation.

 

***

 

Beholders are also being added in - their shape makes more sense for space than it does for terrestrial adventuring.

 

***

 

Mindflayers aren't the ones from D&D - instead they implant an embryo in the heads of their victims, which first replace the victim - and are completely unaware of any change, then it eventually matures - tentacles bursting forth from the mouth, and similarity to the victim being lost.

 

50288_p_1_mj.jpg

Newly matured.

 

Over time, the appearance becomes completely alien - with the familiar mindflayer being replaced by the Reaper Bathalians. (Multiple castes - warriors, drones, and queens.)

80038_w_1.jpg

Warrior

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Drone

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Queen

 

Though the terms are misleading - they are codependent species, rather than dimorphic forms of a common species - a drone creates more drones, a warrior more warriors, etc..

 

Nor are all the victims human, or even sentient....

50289_p_1_mj.jpg

They never did find out what happened to Fluffy....

 

They do not breed quickly, nor do they much care about outsiders - though the Queens tend to favor sentient hosts over animals.

 

Their ships use an entirely different method of propulsion - not relying on the Whorls, faster than a ship tacking against the whorl, not as fast as a ship in a favorable whorl.

 

The Auld Grump - also, their ships are alive, and a related species. (Because I liked the Nautiloid ships they had in Spelljammer.)

Edited by TheAuldGrump
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Threading the Maze....

 

For things like mazes, sewers, or passage to secret bases in asteroid fields (as random examples) I have decided to steal a page from Sean K. Reynolds - and not use full maps.

 

Mazes are a literal waste of time - their point is to slow the adventurers - so... if the PCs need to get from Point A in the sewers to Point D then they will need four successes to make it through the sewers to their goal - but have a variety of skills that will work - Survival, Knowledge [Dungeoneering], Knowledge [Engineering], and Knowledge [Local] all being decent choices.

 

A die result that is 10 or more above the DC (or any natural 20) results in getting two successes, essentially skipping a roll. Failure means you got turned around for a bit, and still need to make a success to advance. 5 below means you got lost, and lose one of the successes that you already had.

 

Each roll is also the time when I roll for encounters - so the longer it takes for the PCs to make it through the maze/sewer/asteroids the more rolls will be made.

,

A, B, C, and D are fixed encounters, while the random encounters happen between those fixed locations.

 

A might be as simple as finding then opening the way into the sewers, B might be a group of extortionist wererats (you wanna go on? Ya gots to pay the toll), C might be the passage between the sewers to the storm drain (and there was much rejoicing). while D is when they find that the way out is guarded.

 

Random encounters might be rats, more wererats, hungry, hungry otyugh, or albino sewer gators.

 

And, characters with the right connections might be able to hire a guide through the sewers, and avoid almost all of the encounters.

 

Most importantly, the rolls represent time, not distance. For a short distance each roll might represent ten minutes, for a longer, more circuitous route each roll might be half an hour to an hour, or just more successes needed.

 

The Auld Grump

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