Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Dragon #3 part 2

The Gnome Cache Chapter 3 and 4: Gary's serialised novel continues. In these two chapters, Dunstan escapes from the ruffians he hooked up with last time, and takes the stableboy Mellerd into his employ. As for tidbits for me to include in the World of Greyhawk, see below.

  • The Inn of the Riven Oak is run by Innkeeper Krell, with the help of Meggin the buxom tavern wench.
  • The soldiers searching for Dunstan serve the Overking, and are called Warders.
  • Silver pieces are known as nobs, and there are 20 coppers to 1 silver. This is different to the exchange rate from D&D, which is 5 copper to a silver.
  • South of the area around Endstad are forbidding deserts. To the east, not far from Endstad, are the Monley Isles. West lies the vast expanse of Silent Forest, and beyond that the outpost of Far Pass and then nothing but arid steppes. North the realm of the Overking stretches for a time, into the blue Upplands, until reaching Arnn River, where the independent northern folk give strong resistance.
  • The Overking is named Eddoric IV.
  • The badge of knighthood in the Overking's realm is a pennon and acorn.
  • Huddlefoot is a small village at the base of the Upplands, about a day's ride by horse from the Inn of the Riven Oak. It is on a secondary lane which connects Forgel Road at Dyrham to the Wild Road just above Edgewood. It has a large inn, stables, a blacksmith, other businesses and yeoman's cottages.
  • Mellerd is a stableboy at Huddlefoot's inn, apprenticed to Master Grund. His brother is named Taddy.
  • About half a day's walk north from Huddlefoot is a stream that is the only inlet to Lake Dyrn. The Hills of Dyrn continue for two days travel beyond this, at which point Crosshill Street cuts across them.
  • Not far from the Hills of Dyrn are the Hills of Nyrn, said to be home to gnolls, and slimy creatures that live in cursed lakes.

Birth Tables for D&D: This article provides a much more complex method of character generation, one that shows what sort of social standing and wealth your PC will have. All sorts of things are determined by rolling on charts: social class, how many siblings you have and your rank among them, whether you are an orphan or a bastard, how much money the character starts with, how much money the character gets as a monthly allowance, the character's skills, his father's occupation, etc.

There's an option for randomly determining race, which has a few interesting tidbits. The first is the mention of half-goblins and half-orcs, the first time we've seen either thus far. The second is the spread of races in each social class. Elves are never less than gentlemen or nobility, while half-orcs and half-goblins are never more than commoners.

Race also now determines how many dice are rolled for each ability score. For example, Hobbits now roll 2d6 for Strength, but 4d6 for Constitution and Dexterity (presumably taking the best three, though it doesn't say). In addition, there are now ability score requirements for each race. A Hobbit's Strength must range from 3-12, and both Dexterity and Contitution must be 13 or higher.

The final step is a doozy: you roll percentile on a chart based on your social class, and this determines how many experience points you begin with. And yes, this means characters can begin at higher than 1st level. A character could conceivably begin with 13,000 xp if he's very lucky!

The writer notes that in his campaign demi-humans cannot rank higher than Earls. This is fair enough I think, so far as human lands are concerned. And it can be assumed that any demi-human who is important in his own lands won't be gallivanting around in dungeons.

Finally, an example character is created who I'm going to use as an NPC. This character is a noble bastard who is well-to-do. His father is a Duke, a courtier, an interpreter, and also a 4th-level Magic-User. The character is a human cleric who begins at 2nd level. Looking at the authors of this article, I see that their names are Brad Stock and Brian Lane. I will combine the two names, and call this NPC Briad Stane. Eh, it's passable.

So what does this mean for the campaign (besides a new form of character generation)? I would say that it indicates an influx of adventurers trained from outside the Adventurer's Guild, from all walks of life, seeking their fortunes from the lands abroad. It will certainly make for some interesting party dynamics, that's for sure.

Next: More of The Dragon #3.

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