Monday, September 4, 2017

Whisper: Places and Faces

 Residents like to joke that if Autumn's entropy poisoned the North, you couldn't tell the difference. Only the most truculent Folk brave the dismal moors. Their pugnacious bravado conceals fear that the world has left them behind, a weakness the Prophet has exploited.  Whisper's prodigal daughter, she appealled to that unspoken terror and has struck a secret deal to resurrect the Red Rock Cult, a brutal sect of Tooth & Claw. The nihilistic faith that pre-dates Thumb & Fist, dictating Folks' place as predator and prey. An orthodoxy that bars hope and building for the future. Increasingly attacked by raiders from the Frozen Baronies to the Far North, the Prophet and her inner circle wonder is they should be taking the tithe. Rather than the Old Fox down in Borchardbriar.

Places of Interest in Whisper

The Gray Shard - A tall, granite menhir whose base is stained with blood from sacrifices in the distant path. Here the Prophet and her cohort preach their sermons.

Red's Rest - A roadhouse and hunting lodge south of Whisper. Red, the Fox proprietor, does what he can to warn visitors about the dangers of Whisper.

The Leaky Moon Distillery - Whisper is the only holdfast that allows the legal sale and consumption of snakebite, a distilled liquor made from malted grain. The Leaky Moon is foremost among the local distilleries but they stymie would-be bootleggers by only releasing in small, numbered batches,

High Table - Another worship site from the bad old days. Before the Prophet's ascendance it was the meeting place of city leaders, the First & Equals. Since then, some of the Prophet's zealots have taken to ritual scarification and bloodletting.

Hammer & Tongs - A large smithy in the heart of downtown Whisper, demand outstrips supply considering pressure from the Far North. It also doesn't help that the roads are thick with bandits.

Maugrim Manor - Falling into disrepair, the Prophet's ancestral manse holds bitter memories and her decrepit father. Tokens are 

Saltbite Keep - A watch tower on a desolate island to the North, the first line of detection against raiders from the Baronies. The Folk stationed here often want to disappear, or have a death wish.

Beasts of Interest

Hadrian - The captain of Saltbite Keep. He keeps the faith of Thumb & Fist alive out on his lonely rock. Because none of his soldiers are as strong as all of his soldiers.

Lady Windstone - A captured raider from the Frozen North, she claims to be a Jarl with 200 axes pledged to her. In deference to her vaunted title, he's kept in a decent room and the Prophet is trying to ransom her.

Raymond & Dawn McAvow - These Beaver politicos are on the outs since the Prophet took over. Once among the First & Equals, they now seek to parley their previous status into something over in the the Vault.

Fyodor - This Sphynx travelled to Whisper all the way from Clowdertown to sit at the Prophet's feet. He's now poised to become her right paw.

Maeve - Most snakebite distilleries follow the Leaky Moon's example. This erstwhile bootlegger figures she needs to destroy the Leaky Moon as an example in order to get the others to sell to her.

Ignatius -Easily overlooked, this Wolf archivist maintains the oldest depository of knowledge in the Land. He seeks a successor to care for the books once he's gone.

Next up - Furred Wolk of Whisper - Wolves, Beavers, and Bears! Oh my!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Furred Folk of the Vault

Quick footed and clannish, the Hares of Sunset Hills often clashed with the Ironwood Clans in the past. After the Accord, they're combined efforts created the greatest holdfast in the Land. Since then, their great numbers have gone from an asset to a liability and the Senate of Sky and Soil exclusively sent Hares and Squirrels to Borchardbriar. Though public unrest turned over governing assemblies. The founding families retain their grip on power in the new Committee.

Long Feet - Hares have +2 Pace and increase their Running die one die type. They also jump twice the normal distance.
Long Ears - Their big ears give +2 to Notice checks with hearing.
Hearts on Their Noses - With floppy ears and constantly twitching noses, Hares haven't got a poker face. They suffer a -2 to deceive others.

Quick to fight and slow to back down, the former Ironwood Clans grasp at traditions long
past before it all slips through their fingers. Visitors flock to the Vault each year for the Battle of Red Branch, when all eligible young Squirrels fight a vicious "King of the Hill" in the boughs of Last Tree. The winner is exempt from the Tithe.

Born Battling in the Boughs - Squirrels start with Fighting at d6, they double the normal jumping distance and can walk on vertical surfaces at normal pace.
All in the Reflexes - +1 Parry
Higher Than Honor- The former Clans hold to a high standard of personal behavior. They start with the Code of Honor hindrance and a tendency to start duels.
Short Attention Span - Squirrels have a hard time focusing. They suffer -1 on Smarts rolls.
Known for hospitality and high spirits, Hedgehogs are welcome anywhere. Which is good because they can be found anywhere. It's traditional that upon reaching age of majority, troupes of pricklepigs venture out into the world and fully experience it for themselves. Some love the places they visit so much that they stay, and home becomes a distant memory.

Well Traveled - Hedgehogs start with a free Novice Edge of their choice, all requirements are reduced by 1.
Defensive Curl - With a back full of spines and enough body mass to protect their vital organs, Hedgehogs have +1 Toughness However they lose this trait if they wear ill-fitted armor. See below.
Awkward Shape - Hedgehogs have an odd shape. Armor needs to be custom designed and fitted. Doubling the purchase and repair prices. You may opt not to, but you lose access to the Defensive Curl trait.

Where there's water, there's Otters. Born to the river and in love with the sea, they work hard and play harder. Organized into clan-like crews, they fish and revel with no-holds-barred. It's a point of pride amongst the Riverfolk that none of their number have gone to the tottering castle at the heart of the Land.

Play Rough- Otters have +1 Reach and the Dirty Fighter Edge.
Riverborn - Otters have a swimming Pace is equal to their normal Pace.
Never Back Down - Otters start with either the Heroic or Overconfident Hindrances.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Vault: Places and Faces

Out in the Sunset Hills of the Land's west coast stands her largest city: the Vault. Built upon, around, and beneath gargantuan ironwood tree stumps, the city was founded after a peace accord was struck between warring clans of Hares and Squirrels. The Accord states that anybeast may find safe harbor in the Vault. That promise draws Folk from the farthest corners of the Land and beyond, and they bring their culture with them. Whether it's Manykings curry, Clowdertown anchovies, Blackheart coffee, Burning Land textiles, or steelwork from the Frozen Baronies, you can find it in the myriad stalls & markets of the Vault.

That individual freedom comes at a cost, the Vault is a democracy and the only Folk with votes belong to one of the two political parties: the Long-Ears and the Long-Tails. Originally legacy associations of the city's founding families. They parties have a love-hate relationship among themselves but presents a united front against interlopers. And that's all immigrating Folk are: outsiders and interlopers.

Municipal policy follows this outlook with curfews and segregation. Divided into three districts: Uptown, Middleground, and Downtown, most of the Vault's populace are relegated to Middleground. Hares and Squirrels are the only ones allowed in Downtown and Uptown respectively, after curfew.Similarly, the city guard often handles party members with a patience and care foreign to Middlegrounders. Riots over food shortages cause a popular coup, replacing the Senate of Sky and Soil with the Public Safety Committee. Though the assembly's changed its name, the game stays the same.

Places of Interest in The Vault

The Accord Memorial - An overlooked shrine to Thumb & Fist. The lone caretaker, Lochlain, isn't long for this world.

Saffron Point - The premier spice shop in the city. Saffron, the shop's Pangolin owner, aspires to join the Long-Tails. Her shop is on a ramp leading to Uptown. Prime real estate. For an Middlegrounder.

Thumper's - Though herbivorous, a surprising number of hares enjoy the spectacle of combat and Thumper attracts top shelf talent. Located in the Middleground you can often find Long-Ear party members slumming among the crowds.

Deeproot Hall - Built from petrified ironwood, the oldest structure in Downtown embodies the Vaulters' commitment to clan and community above all. Here the Senate of Sky and Soil once convened to make hard decisions. Including whose young are sent to Borchardbriar.

This Old Chestnut - This Uptown pub is the personal stomping ground of Setanta Half-Tail, a Squirrel mobster long in the tooth and short on patience.

Allbright Books - A tiny bookshop tucked away in a far corner of Downtown. Its stacks and shelves host myriad secret meetings and cabals masquerading as "book clubs."

Beasts of Interest

Lochlain -  An elderly Squirrel monk, he claims to remember the Accord.

Benedict Barkstripe - The disgraced Ironlord-turned-stevedore-boss won't discuss his past. These days he's focused on organizing the Middlegrounders into a new party - the Snub-Tails.

Loyola - Benedict's right hand Hare, she's a true believer in his dream. Too bad her father, Senator Cohen, doesn't share her convictions.

Z. Allbright - She isn't the original "Ms. Albreicht" - she's a pirate from the Blackheart Isles laying low. Ever since she double crossed her crew, a mysterious black spot has appeared on her paw..

Curren - A touring musician from the northern holdfast, Whisper. His songs have a rabble-rousing aspect to them. Making him popular with Middlegrounders and rebellious youngsters from Uptown.

Thumper - This grizzled kick boxer defends what's his. A stance that's put him on a collision course with Tagger, a Squirrel looking to corner the market in combat spectacles.

Farrell - Ambitious Squirrel enforcer, sees his way to the top goes through Setanta Half-Tail. But first he needs to rustle up some cash.

Nadine & the Shakes - A Cat & Roden musical duo, their repertoire largely consists of old folk music. Their ballads often invoke the Forgotten 3 and are often accompanied by spooky events.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Furred Folk of Stonebones

Great in girth and stature, the great lords of Stonebones all belong to different clans, each holding a Book of Sacred Grudges. Ascending to the Iron Council requires erasing a grudge with the perpetrator's blood.

Big Boned- Start with a d8 in Strength and can raie it to a d12+1. Also the Brawny Edge if their Vigor qualifies.
Rival - Every clan has bad blood with someone.  Ever Badger has the Enemy Hindrance (Major).
Sluggish - Badger can be a bit slow, trusting in their mass to prevent injury. -1 Parry

Before the Badgers came and Stonebones was even a city, the Moles burrowed through the Eastmarches. Their shallower tunnels were used by the Ironlors before the strip mining began in earnest. Mole darkseers fear the Pits may release sightless horrors if they go too deep.

Burrowing - Moles can burrow through loose  earth and move through it at half Pace
Claws - A Mole's heavy claws keep him from counting as unarmed. They also deal Str+d6 with AP 2.
Bad Eyes - Moles suffer a -2 on any Trait roll to Shoot or Notice something further than 5' away.
Whether they're Rats or Mice is an internal division, to everyone else they're Roden. Small, quick and always on edge, they've found a niche in Stonebones operating the foundries and furnaces. A dangerous place for any Beast, but there will always be more Roden.

Everybody's Punching Bag - Constant. Vigiliance. Sums up the Rodens' life. They start with the Danger Sense and the Quick edges.
Small - Roden just run short. -1 Toughness.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Stonebones: Places and Faces

You know you're getting close to Stonebones when the forest withers away under a heavy coat of soot, replaced by hills of cinders and waste. The few trees left stab upward, twisted and barren. A smog choked sparrow or the odd poisoned fish are your only company beyond the Pits. These strip mines encircle the smoke-belching urban beast, worked by a combination of convict labor and freebeast.

The Badgers rule their city in a "gentler" mirror of Reynard's tyranny. The city's majority population are held by indentured servitude, contractually serving the Ironlords and every expense adding to their time. The only way to shorten their time is by volunteering their young for Reynard's Cooking Pot. The Resistance thought the city would be a fertile recruiting ground amongst the Rocen. Unfortunately the Velvet Glove dispenses hefty rewards to informants snitching on demagogues and Resistance operatives. 

Places of Interest

Church of the Chain- This church of Tooth & Claw holds to the food chain as it's liturgy.

Rodrig's Box & Tackle - This shop sells fishing gear and other... useful things even if there isn't any real demand for it. Whatever you pull from the streams is too wrong and too poisoned to eat. Rodrig's been dead awhile now. His son, Ronauld, can't bring himself to change the sign.

The Love Below - To escape the crushing work-day, most Roden fall iunto vice. No place caters to their needs with bawdy entertainment or a bottle of Snakebite quicker, or cheaper, than the Love Below.

The Ingot - This upper crust establishment works to maintain a "working class" feel. A gang of Badger roustabouts slum and racketeer surrounding businesses. 

Sunny Burrows Golf Course - One of the oldest Pits has since been converted into a sprawling golf course. With high fences and dense security patrols, only the richest make it through the front door. The smoke filled clubhouse has become a center of power.

Beasts of Interest
Rojo-   A Hardback smuggler, she usually hustles ore. But for a low price she will transport  Roden indentures as well.

Rollosson- The life of the party, this Bear acrobat's smiling face conceals a cold heart. He hasn't come to Stonebones looking for a good time. 

Nicolo -  A Minister of the Velvet Glove, the Ironlords' secret police. Nicolo feels guilt for his part in Roden oppression.

The Magnificent Aurelius - A "medium" who puts Roden families in touch with their "departed" children. He crosses over 3 nights a week to a packed house. Tickets start at 50 coin.

 Alphonsus Sunflash - An Ironlord eager for stories from outside and Far Away. He retains an extensive entourage of exotic Folk to entertain him. Rolloson is one such member.

The Blind Man - Same as any Mole prospector by day. At night she stalks Stonebones' slouching buildings and shadowy alleyways, handing out vigilante justice.

The Murder - Concealed by sooty clouds and blackened roofs, a cabal of Crows wind skeins of secrets and blackmail across the city.  See them if you've got pressing business but no starting place. 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Borchardbriar: Sorcerery, Spellcasting, and other Strangeness part 1

Arcane Background (Magic)
Arcane Skill: Spellcasting (Smarts)

If you listen to a magician they'll tell you everything has a place and a time, a Great Work woven by the mysterious Spinners. Magic is simply tugging the yarns of Mystery. This oversimple explanation downplays the dangers of Magic. There are limits to how much a cautious magician can accomplish without putting herself at risk. Luckily others have stretched the ties that bind, they just happen to be jealous of their knowledge. Their paranoia is rather justified.
There are rumors that a cabal, the Cradle, is snuffing out magicians and hiding their grimoires.
Starting Powers: 3
Available Powers: armor, banish, blind, boost/lower trait, clairvoyance, deflection, detect/conceal arcana, dispel, puppet, slow, slumber, teleport, wall walker
Backlash:  The Spinners hate it when someone meddles in their Great Work. When the magician's Spellcasting die rolls a 1, the caster suffers 2d6 damage

Arcane Background (Miracles)
Arcane Skill: Channel (Spirit)
The Lost History chronicles great wars between numerous Patrons and their followers among the Folk tearing apart the Land.  But that time lays beyond anybeast's living memory and now there are only two Patrons: the Fox King Reynard and the Forgotten 3. The miracleworker is a conduit for the Patron's power often directly infusing their Patron's properties upon their bodies.
Miracleworking Folk for Far Away places like the Burning Lands and Manykings bring foreign Patrons with them.
Starting Powers: 2
Available Powers: armor, barrier, boost trait, darksight, deflection, environmental protection, healing, quickness, speak language, and more depending on the Patron.
Trappings: The performer requires a totem representing their Patron to connect with their power. Without it, they suffer a -2 to their Channel rolls. If lost or destroyed, a new one can be created in 1d6 hours and costs a level of Fatigue. It will take 24 hours to recover.
Backlash: Patrons are greedy. When the miracleworker's Channel die rolls a 1, they lose a Fatigue level. Fatigue lost this way cannot be recovered without making a sacrifice.
Reynard's Favors: blast, confusion, lower trait, shape change, speed
Forgotten 3's Favors: beast friend, burrow, intangibility, succor

Reminder: Borchardbriar uses the "No Power Points" rules variant found in Savage Worlds Deluxe Edition.