Monday, November 5, 2018

Shobhad Oasis

Given their nomadic lifestyle, the shobhads do not build large structures in the manner of the kasathas; rather, they dwell in tents made from the hides of the creatures they use for mounts, always moving from place to place. While their migrations are difficult to predict, chances are good that they settle around the numerous wells that they have found and dug throughout the desert.

An Oasis
A typical shobhad encampment has three major features. In the center of everything is the well, a broad circular excavation that can be covered with a protective tarp, and with a four-legged structure raised over it to protect against blowing sand when it's not in use. That structure includes a block and tackle with a rope for lowering and raising large buckets. Spaced around the well are large pavilion tents, each home to either a pair of warriors or a family. Finally, the shobhad's mounts are tethered in a location such that the tents provide some protection against blowing wind and sand.

Shobhad Nomads and their Mounts
Refer to page 242 of Bestiary 4 to find stats for typical shobhads, and to page 83 of the Bestiary (using the ankylosaurus) for their mounts. A previous article has stats for the sergeant and clan leader.

Using the Oasis in an Aetherial Adventures Campaign
This location can be used in all sorts of adventures, including a few of the following possibilities.
  • Characters seeking to meet with a raiding party or clan—for mercantile, diplomatic or other purposes—would likely find them at just such an oasis.
  • As the source of gunpowder, the shobhad have a valuable source of income—not to mention one that they jealously guard.
  • The PCs could always find the inhabitants slaughtered, either by a wild beast or by some other type of enemy.
  • As nomads, the shobhad look down on, and thus are more likely to end up in conflict with, the monastic kasatha.
  • If their water sources were ever threatened, it could rally the whole shobhad clan for battle.

Low Gravity on this Alien World?
Page 31 of the Aethernaut's Handbook provides rules for the effects of a low-gravity world on ranged combat, movement and the like. What is more, the description of the shobhads from Bestiary 4 describes them as coming from a such a planet. With that in mind, the GM has a few options for running adventures on this world.
  • It could have standard gravity, and thus would ignore the notion that shobhad longrifles only function on low-gravity worlds.
  • If it is a low-gravity world, then the PCs would receive notable (and potentially dramatic) benefits while visiting it.
  • There's also the question of the kasatha, who may or may not be natives of this planet, but have likely grown accustomed to (and thus have been weakened by) the lack of gravity.

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