Telengard 2.0

Last night we played a FATE-based game (A Fistful of FATE, I believe it was called; I missed part of the beginning as I had some parenting to do).  It was pretty good, once we got accustomed to it.  The pre-generated characters were interesting, but I chose very poorly: an assassin whose attack was really only usable on living foes (all the foes were undead) and who had next to nothing for equipment (a short sword, bracers, & a backpack with pen, paper, and chalk).  So, there were several situations where I really didn’t have a lot to contribute to the adventure.  I think we all had fun though. 

Right before that, I had the group ‘roll up’ their PCs for Telengard 2.0, which will run on a simplified C&C, basically eliminating “primes” and changing the saving throws to the three ones in 3e, which will be based not on attributes but level.   Also demihumans are classes.  So really a B/X-C&C hybrid.  They chose a Bard, Ranger, Cleric, Rogue, Fighter, and I think a Dwarf (Tom was going back and forth on that or a Wizard).   I had them use the “Iron Heroes” stat arrays rather than rolling, and max HP at level one, since there are some crybabies players who like to start out more heroic.  Then they got to roll on the Bogey chart, lifted from Fantasy Wargaming but minus a lot of the sexual fetishes and with a number of GURPS advantages and disadvantages added. I’ll post that later. Some “Bogeys” had mechanical effects, and some are just for role-playing.  I think I put in too many “DM’s choice” and “Player’s choice” results…either should have had them pick, or made no choices. Oh well.   I gave a three sentence or so explanation of the setting (I was kind of scattered) but said I’d send out some more background by email.

Since I wrote up this long-ass email anyway, I might as well put it on the blog too for reference.  I sent this to the players to give them some frame reference of what the ‘known adventure areas’ are in the setting.  There are some in-jokes, mainly garbling the old PC’s names, because it’s funny, and to maybe add an unwritten goal of achieving lasting fame…the last group just kept having their just glory denied them.

email follows … I edited out some types etc.

Most of you played in the first  Telengard campaign, but Chad and Aaron did not, so for their benefit here’s a very brief outline, before moving on to the situation as the new campaign begins (everyone else can skip the next paragraph if you want):

 There was a small, bustling city called Skara Brae at the foot of a mountain range, the nearest and tallest mountain being called Mt. Telengard. Mt. Telengard was the site of numerous ancient mining operations. The culture is similar to the Vikings, but with later medieval technology and a medieval-style church — The Norse Catholic Church (Imagine Odin = the Father, Thor = the Son, & Yggdrasil the World Tree = the Holy Spirit, with the other Norse gods as saints, and giants, trolls, etc. as devils). Several hundred years ago, humans arrived and established Skara Brae, and about that time the dwarves disappeared, possibly due to some sort of conflict between the humans and dwarves. Some time later the mining operations were reopened, and at the time the last campaign began, a mine intersected with a some ancient underground passages — in fact an underworld filled with monsters and magic, a dungeon which was also called Telengard. A band of adventurers (the party) explored part of Telengard, and some of the other old mines and tombs dug into Mt. Telengard. They explored two and a half levels of Telengard, two other mine complexes on the mountain (the Ancient Copper Mine and the Haunted Mine), part of the Ancient Crypts, and also a cavern lair that erupted from the face of Mt. Telengard overnight. There was also a vast open pit mine on the side of the mountain, and the party explored part of that. They had a few adventures in the city and surrounding countryside as well, slaying ogres that preyed on a halfling village, clearing a tavern’s basement of a rat-cult, exploring a sunken pond, looting the Alabaster Tower that appears only during certain phases of the moon, entering and destroying a vast demon (no, really), excavating some dwarven ruins beneath the city, and finally getting involved in defending the city from an invasion of pirates and humanoids. The last adventure involved saving a gnomish community from a family of fire giants. Along the way a number of PCs and hirelings died, some being raised, and one being reincarnated as a hobgoblin, who became an NPC. I ran out of steam and put the game campaign “on hiatus” with a lot of loose threads.

So, picking up the campaign, I decided to move forward about 500 years. Skara Brae has fallen to invaders (the Vulking Empire* to the west), but these invaders eventually left when the Vulking Empire collapsed. All that remains of the Vulkings is their religion: the region has adopted the Lords of Light as their gods. The Lords of Light are a pantheon of a dozen or score of deities, each of whom assumes various names, so that Thor and Baldur from the Norse Church are accepted as Lords of Light, smoothing over the transition. Skara Brae has fallen into ruin and was mostly abandoned, as a Vulking city was built on the site of the old Porttown to the south. Puddington, the halfling village, survived the years of chaos by fortifying their village and establishing a disciplined militia under the reforms of “Quincy”. Gnomestead, the gnomish village, has dwindled to a few huts in the woods. The old heroes of Skara Brae are all but forgotten. They are said to have disappeared on a flying ship, pursuing a vampire called Swindle or Swingo. All that remains of their legacy are some statues in Skara Brae’s ruined plaza. The locals still hope that “The battle leader Stonefoot, and his companions Maxim, Little Cam, Orroz, Quincy, Charmin, and their captain, Mr. Growley” will return some day in Skara Barae’s hour of need.

A number of towers have appeared on the landscape — some overnight — dark and ominous but silent and impenetrable. The legendary Alabaster Tower, absent for hundred of years, has reappeared on the shore, stained green and draped with seaweed. Skara Brae has a few diehard holdouts living in it, but much of the old city has been overrun with goblins, morlocks, serpentfolk, and other undesirables, and is walled off. The once proud Adventurer’s Guild was bought out long ago by the Hireling’s Guild, which in turn was dissolved when the dungeon-looting industry fell into recession. The old dungeons of Telengard have not been entered for many years, and most people believe they are empty, trap-laden tombs.

As if the appearance of the towers were not portentous enough, lately a series of comets or shooting stars were observed over Mt. Telengard, and the sages say this can mean nothing good. But lo! A band of promising young scalawags has gathered at the Goodly Mead Inn, and perhaps they will turn the tides of chaos and ruin?

[then I closed with an oft-cited passage from Perdido Street Station:]

“There were three of them. They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers; rogues who wandered the Ragamoll and the Cymek and Fellid and probably the whole of Bas-Lag. They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came. They were inspired by dubious virtues. A few performed useful services: research, cartography, and the like. Most were nothing but tomb raiders. They were scum who died violent deaths, hanging on to a certain cachet among the impressionable through their undeniable bravery and their occasionally impressive exploits.”–China Mieville, Perdido Street Station




*The Vulkings were on the map in the last campaign, but never came into play.  Completely ripped off from The well of the unicorn.

Published in: on January 12, 2012 at 2:20 pm  Comments (1)  
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  1. Return To Telengard!

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