Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Age of Myth: An Iron Age Campaign

This is largely a placeholder to serve as a reference for campaign information in my new Iron Age campaign, set in the mythic land of Cromspoint.

 The game is set at the dawn of the iron age among "The People".

Both the home group and the online group are all be members of the elite class of one of the clans (each group is a different clan), out to forge a proper kingdom out of scattered tribes. KoDP is a big influence.

The most prominent god of the region is Crom, and as such no priestly magic is granted. Lesser gods often try to interfere in the affairs of mortals but that is frowned upon and considered dishonourable, unlike sorcery which is a craft one must hone and thus is a source of pride.

The main unit of currency that you would deal with is the reindeer, as domesticated reindeer herds are the primary source of wealth.  Longhaired goats are also kept,  but there are no dogs in the region only domesticated foxes.   Chariots exist, but riding an animal directly is considered unclean and perverse. Wars are mostly duels and ceremony, consequently you will have an entourage of freedmen who in theory will fight with you but mostly just jeer your opponents and maybe throw things at extreme range.

Some clans have iron,  most still use bronze.   Each group secretly picks their clan specialty.

Clan specialties:
  Now that the game has progressed for a while, exactly what these do is being spelled out.

Iron Working
    Clans with the secret of iron may make iron versions of bronze items. These iron versions are a little worse (its pig iron) but only 1/4 the cost. This makes many bronze valuable items available as iron simply items. There is also a very slight chance each year that a steal item is accidentally made and is available as a treasure.

      Clans with the secrets of being wainwrights know how to build metal bound spoked wheels. These allow access to both chariots and wagons.  Wagons primary purposes is for logistics, but a thrall with a wagon and a reindeer to pull it can work one clear hex further than normal.  A chariot has obvious advantages in war, but a chariot pulled by a team of deer allows its rider to roll d12's on deer raids.

     Bowyers have access to make powerful longbows, rather than the simple hunting bows most of the people construct. This allows for weapons useful in warfare.  A thrall who hunts with a longbow also brings back an extra unit of food when hunting in a forest hex.

     Clans who know the secrets of runes are literate.  They have the ability make scrolls and carve messages into stone.  Those who started in a clan with runecraft also each began with their family knowing an extra three spells.

      The only domesticated animals among the people are reindeer, foxes, and sort-of boars.  The clan who started with this specialty stumbled upon strange eggs in years past and learned to raise 70 lb birds similar to chickens in appearance.  They don't have the same benefits of egg volume as chickens, but they are more social and the roosters are trained as attack and guard animals.  In addition to being able to have these trained greatcocks as personal protection, having one with you grants you +1 to die results on deer raids or +2 if you have three or more.  Having handlers with them back on your lands give -1 to enemy deer raids, up to -2 if you have three or more.

       A clan who knows the secrets of sailing has the ability to build the much superior Catamaran instead of a terrible currach. Thralls in a catamaran can also fish at sea in the winter and fish one hextare further out to sea.

        Two clans started with the secrets of mercantilism. They can build birch bark canoes (slightly better than a currach),  but they also have proto-currency.  One clan can freely convert deers of goods to food,  the other can convert deers of food to goods.

         Two clans started militarized.  Their freemen each have a single pie piece in warrior.  One with dual wield, the other with guard.  This makes their armies much more dangerous.  Players from one of these clans also began with 6 thralls in addition to 6 deer.

           A clan with the secret of armoursmithing has the ability to build great helms, bronze shields, and scale armour.  This secret provides little benefit to the common man of the clan.

           A clan with the secret of masonry may build stone structures for four times the cost of regular structures.  These structures do not require any goods for maintenance.  The clan that started with this secret also began with a stone hillfort.  This hillfort gives -5 to any attempts to enemy attempts to raid their deer.

Joining a tribe or kingdom with other clans with other specialties will then let you gain more options as you try to form a cohesive nation.

Lesser Specialities

Several lesser secrets not available to starting clans have been found.

Blade smithing
     A clan with the secret of blade smithing can make Khopesh swords (a medium sword) and scythes.  A thrall with a scythe can harvest two fields a season.

      A clan with the secrets of glass has the ability to build a glass forge to allow a thrall to build baubles with a value of 1D each season. Glass versions of bronze items are also available at the same price.

For equipment,  only valuable items are kept between sessions (treasured items).  Simple items can simply be picked up at will at the start of a game session (which represents a season). They are simply taken from peasants as needed.

Valuable Equipment

1 D - Bronze Knife/ Javelin/ 6 Arrows
2 D - Bronze Spear/ Hatchet
4 D - Bronze Battle Axe
8 D - Bronze Seax / Great Axe
4 D - Bronze Helmet
5 D - Antler Splint Armour
1 D - Currach
1 D - Bronze Leatherworking tools
1 D - Large Skin of Maple Wine
4 D - Bronze Pot
12 D - Velvet Cape

Clan Specialty goods

2 D - Longbow
2 D - Trained Greatcock
8 D - Bronze Great Helmet
12 D - Bronze Shield
16 D - Bronze Scale
2 D - Birch Bark Canoe
4 D - Catamaran
4 D - Chariot or Wagon
16 D - Khopesh
8 D - Scythe

Iron is 1/4 the price of bronze and items under 1D are not treasure.

Simple Equipment

Sling (Short or Long)
Large Wicker Shield
Leatherbound Medium Shield
Solid Wood Buckler
Stone Hand Axe
Stone Spear
Stone Arrows
Bone Javelin
Bone Knife
Hunting Bow (medium, ineffective)
Leather Armour
Leather Cap
Wooden Splint Armour (Medium Crude Mail)
Quivers, Backpacks, Pouches, and the like
Dark Cloak
Raiding Sash
Peace Sash
Pouch of Corn Flour
Wicker Backpack
Leather Pouch or Sack
Clay Pot

The Gods

Crom - The Smith, the high god who cares not for mortal concerns
Glaa - The Crone, goddess of caves, necromancy, and unwanted children
Moff - The Arbiter, god of reason, punishment, and salt
Vix - The Maiden-Mother,  goddess of royalty, fertility, and bears
Zer - The Eternal Child, godling of fire, raiding, and briars
Zuul - The Gatekeeper, goddess of the veil between worlds, revenge, and disease
Vel - The Singer, goddess of storms, trade, and reindeer
Bal - The Stalker, god of forests, hunting, and shields
Ancestor Spirits - Some clans also know how to appeal to the ghosts of their dead relatives to inconspicuously tilt the odds in their favour.

Key insults to provoke a fight:

Moss Farmer -  You are of unimportant social status
Beggar Friend - You are a recipient of charity
Beast Rider - You are a pervert
Lichen Eater - You are poor

Living Expenses and Downtime Activities between seasons

Working alongside your clan
Cost: No charge
Effect: Nothing

Training a new skill
Cost: 1D of food
Effect: You may attempt to learn a new skill

Cost: 1D of food
Effect: Ask questions or make offers to other clans

Cost: 1D of food
Effect: You heal 2d6 stress and gain +2 on any backlogged healing checks.

Warrior Training
Cost: 1D of food and 1D of goods as gifts
Effect: Learn all the basic combat tricks of a clan's warriors

Conspicuous Generosity
Cost: 2D of goods
Effect: Gain Charisma die of Piety/Honour

Deer Raid
Cost: No charge
Effect: Possibly gain 1 deer, plus up to 1 deer per pie piece of rogue from a target. Take !d6-2 damage.
Deer are gained on a d8 roll of 6+  (d12 with chariot).

Ritualized Warfare
Cost: No charge
Effect: Possibly gain 1 or more thralls, lose 1 or more soldiers, die, kill, its a whole thing.
Lead a unit of 20 warriors with 1 champion. All opposing champions must be fought. Wars must be declared in spring, including all participants. Thralls are expected to be traded back in equal numbers (if you take 4 but lose six, you are expected to gain none and lose 2). Honour is lost as if you don't.

Roll !d8 and 1 additional !d8 for each pie piece in warrior.
The opposing champion takes that much damage as if from attacks with damage dice
Each 7+ is the capture of one thrall and each 5-6 is the death of one enemy freeman.
Simultaneously the opposing champion makes the same roll.  If a champion dies, their equipment is claimed by the victor.

The following change the size of the die:
Increase by one step:  Oration (pw), Chariot (eq)
Decrease by one step: Fetch warriors, Thrall soldiers
Decrease by two steps: Drafted elderly and children (max 1 unit of 20 per clan, costs 5 honour per loss)
Lowering the kill threshold (1): Longbow (eq),  Iron Working (t), Champion has ranged attack magic
Raising the kill threshold (1): Opponent has sewing (t)
Bonus to roll: Warrior cults (t), Militia (t), Roosters (eq)
Penalty to roll: Opponent has Warrior Cult (t), Militia (t), Leadership (pw) per milestone, Counterspells* (pw)

*only if opponent has ranged attack magic

Defending is not a downtime action, but you can die "off camera"

Demean Yourself
Cost: 5 honour, 1D of food
Effect: You may take an action as if you were a Thrall in your own service.

Thralls take 1D of food each season to live but can also work to provide value.

Entourage: Follow the party around
Planting: Spring only, plant one field (10 fields per clan meadow)
Harvest: Fall only,  harvest one field for 1d6D of Food.
Hunter/Gatherer:  Feeds self in spring, summer, or fall. Max 3 per clan forest hex.
Worker:  Produce 1D worth of goods
Fisher: As H/G. Requires boat, max 5 per water hex. Catamarans can be used year round.

You may construct the following structures for each character.

Pasture:  Free (starting),  holds 10 Deer. (limit 1 per player)
Barn: 8D (1D of goods yearly), holds 20 deer
Stockade: 10D (1D of goods yearly), reduces deer raid losses (-1)
Watchtower: 4D (1D of goods, 1D of food yearly), reduces deer raid losses (-1)
Boar Pit: 4D (1D of food yearly), produces 1d4-1 D of food each spring.
Granary: 12D (2D of goods yearly) can store 20D of food
Shed: 1D (1D of goods yearly) can store up to 5D of goods.
Loom: 4D. A thrall worker produces 2D of goods with a loom (1 per thrall. 5 max in clan).
Shrine: 8D (1D of goods yearly). 1 Honour each winter. (limit 1 per understood god).
Forge:  8D (3D of goods yearly). Special abilities, limit of 1 per clan per type.


*note that rivers are not straight lines, those are how the locals would represent them in terms of point to point transportation.