Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Canoe

In the same vein as my last post, here's a layout for a native canoe to scale for use with miniatures. I can imagine a bunch of these swarming around a pirate ship, perhaps to offer trade goods, and perhaps to bring fire a storm of arrows. Like with the longboat, I recommend printing one or more of them, fixing them on cardstock and then keeping them handy for situations when the PC's must make a stealthy approach or a quick escape.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

When compared to the galleon, merchant ship, sloop or even the dhow, the ship's boat might seem pretty insignificant. Given that it's required for moving between vessels and making landings on shore, however, it's quite a necessity. With that in mind, presented here is a layout for a longboat, one with four benches for seating and two pairs of oarlocks--ideal for a party of pirates and perhaps a few passengers. Indeed, add a swivel gun in the bow, and it could even be used for an assault.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Interlude: The Assassin

Sometimes it takes a while for me to come up with ideas for posts, and other times they just flow from one to the next. In this case, the following interlude seems to develop naturally from possible outcomes in the scenario "Retribution."


Interlude 45: The Assassin
It is inevitable that a band of pirates will, throughout the course of their career, make some enemies. When that happens, some foes, rather than confronting them directly, choose instead to pay someone else to settle the score. This interlude presents one such nefarious individual, an assassin by the name of Desmond Mayes.

Desmond Mayes

Rogue 5/Assassin 6; CR 11; Size medium; HD 11d6+11; hp 52; Init +8 (+4 Dex, +4 Improved Initiative); Spd 30 ft.; AC 15 (+1 dueling jacket, +4 Dex); Atk +11/+6 (1d6+1, rapier) or +11/+6 (1d4+1, throwing knives); SQ Sneak Attack +6d6, trapfinding, Evasion, trap sense +1, Uncanny dodge, death attack, poison use, +3 save against poison, Improved uncanny dodge; AL X; SV: Fort +4, Ref +13, Will +3; Str 12, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 14.
Background: Details.
Skills: Bluff +10, Climb +12, Craft (poison) +6, Disable Device +8, Disguise +6, Hide +18, Move Silently +18, Open Locks +15, Search +8, Sleight of Hand +18, Tumble +18.
Feats: Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Point Blank Shot, Weapon Finesse (rapier).
Fortunes: Doll's Eyes.
Equipment: Dueling jacket, rapier, throwing knives, various types of poison.

Note that this version of the assassin does not have the ability to cast spells.

Desmond Mayes is, purely and simply, a cold-blooded killer. He enjoys murdering people, and the fact that others will pay him to do it makes the business that much sweeter. He takes a feeling of power from these wicked deeds, and delights in a sense of cleverness stemming from how he's never been caught. Generally it is never a personal matter between himself and his victims, but if he should ever be outsmarted or otherwise defeated, it would become one.

Using the Assassin in a Skull & Bones Campaign
This assassin could be worked into a campaign in numerous ways, including the following possibilities.
  • First and foremost, of course, he could be sent to kill the PC's by a enemy they've made through their past deeds.
  • Alternately, the PC's could happen to be present when Mayes is preparing to attack a target, and have a chance to stop him.
  • In the aftermath of an attack, the PC's could be called upon to help investigate the killing and find the culprit.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


A little while back I posted the first part of the next adventure in the Come Hell and High Water series, "Retribution." I struggled with figuring out how to handle this scenario, given the open-ended nature of the one before it, but now I've finally decided how to handle it. What is more, I think I know in which direction to head with the adventure that will follow it. Rather than create a new post for it, I've added the new material to the existing post.


Additionally, I thought I'd post an update about the forthcoming series Black Sails, set to premiere on Starz in January of 2014; check out its website.

Black Sails


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Interlude: The Chase 3

This interlude takes its inspiration from scene in such movies as Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Cutthroat Island: mounted urban chases.


Interlude 44: The Chase 3
Two previous interludes, “The Chase” and its sequel, have presented ideas for adding exciting to scenes invovling pursuit. The first of these focussed on foot chases in an urban area, while the second dealt with large-scale pursuit in the wilderness. This interlude suggests some rules and developments for resolving a chase on horseback in an urban setting, perhaps during a visit to London or some other major city.

Base Mechanic
It's a quirk of the D20 System movement rules that, technically speaking, unless they find a way to change their movement speed, characters with the same speed cannot gain or lose ground to each other; in the same way, a character with a lower speed cannot outrun a character with a higher one. While the system works well for combat in relatively small spaces, it is not so effective for conducting chases. Presented here, therefore, is a method for resolving chases on horseback that does allow the participants to gain or lose ground.

Each round, the characters who are involved should make Ride or Profession (teamster) checks to control their horses. The character with the higher result gains a length, while the character with the lower result loses a length. If the result is a tie, neither character gains or loses ground. In game terms, a "length" is twenty feet of distance for determining weapon range and the like. The GM should determine the lengths of seperation at the start of the chase, and perhaps also determine an amount of separation that triggers the end of the pursuit. For example, if one horse can reach one hundred feet (five lengths) away from the other, the rider can turn down an alleyway and lose a pursuer.

Note that, if the mounts involved have different speeds, the one with the higher movement grants a circumstance bonus of +2 to its rider for each five feet that its speed is higher than a pursuers.

The streets of a city can be crowded, of course, and provide a good way to spice up a chase scene. Consider including some of the following developments.

Other traffic, if it is moving, forces opposed DC 15 checks; those who fail lose a length to their pursuers or quarry. Failure by five or more causes the character to lose two lengths. If the other traffic should be stopped for some reason, the DC of the check increases to 25.

There is always the possibility that a crowd has gathered in the way of the riders. This can be treated in the same way as traffic, with a DC 15 for a normal crowd, such as in a marketplace, and a DC 25 for a heavy one, such as the people gathered to watch a hanging. Additionally, a character who succeeds at a DC 20 Intimidate check can coerce the crowd into scrambling out of the way, thereby eliminating the obstacle.

A common event in movies is that a child wanders into the street. Here the DC for avoiding it is only 10, but failure causes a collision, inflicting 2d6 damage to the unfortunate waif. Villains can always choose not to avoid the kid, of course. The same is the case if two workers carrying something large--such as a painting or a mirror--cross the riders' paths, although the DC for avoiding them increases to 20.

A fountain or similar obstacle provides another chance for characters to display their daring. In this case, a DC 20 Ride check allows a character to steer a horse up and over it, rather than going around it, thereby gaining a length. Failure means that a character doesn't gain a length, and failure by five or more causes a character to lose a length.

Involving Other Characters
Those characters not directly involved in controlling a horse or steering a wagon or carriage can become involved in other ways. For one thing, those who succeed in a DC 15 Knowledge (local) check could think of shortcuts to a given destination, or perhaps recognize chances to steer the chase toward particular obstacles. In a similar way, they might be able to create obstacles for pursuers, such as by throwing a pouch of coins into the road to draw a crowd, loosing a cartload of barrels to create an obstacle and the like. This is a good opportunity for the players to use their creativity, as adjudicated by the GM.

Monday, June 17, 2013

London Town

Presented here is a short article about London and how to use it as the backdrop for Skull & Bones adventures.


London Town
During a Skull & Bones campaign, at one time or another the PC's might need to head back to the Old World, paying a visit to Jolly Old England. When that happens, this article presents some suggestions for presenting that city and incorporating it in the party's adventures.

Note that this article owes much of its information to the book 1700: Scenes from London Life, by Maureen Waller. The timeline is based on The Timetables of History by Bernard Grun.

At first glance, London provides a real change of scenery from the more familiar grounds around the Caribbean. The city sprawls for miles along both sides of the Thames River, home to more than half a million people. Most of the buildings rise to four stories in height or more, crowding along the streets just like the people themselves. A pallor of coal smoke hangs over the city, the unfortunate result of the fuel preferred for heating. Despite these modern developments, however, most of the streets are still packed earth, turning to mud during wet weather. Pigs and chickens often roam loose, with cows venturing to the town towards the edge of it. That, combined with the fact that unmotivated servants might pitch the contents of chamber pots out the window, makes for a sometimes odiferous life.

Places of Interest
A tour of London would not be complete without seeing a number of famous and popular landmarks.
The riverfront is the area that should be most familiar to visiting mariners. After all, this is where ships from all over the world make landfall, bringing in passengers and cargoes just as diverse as the vessels' points of origin. This is where news can also be had, especially in the nearby taverns. Of course, any sailor looking for work would do well to come here, too. The goods that can be found here include tobacco, molasses, sugar and dyes from the West Indies; silk and spices from the Levant; calico and pepper from India; wine and foodstuffs from France and the Mediterranean; tea and porcelain from China; and coal from Newcastle.

Coffeehouses are of increasing importance in this city. It is here that the people gather to exchange news and talk politics; indeed, the growing business of printing newspapers is centered in these establishments. Additionally, different places cater to particular clientele. Members of the Royal Society--including Isaac Newton, Edmund Halley and Hans Sloane--congregate at the Grecian, while the clegy prefer Child's. Adherents of the Whig party favored St. James's, while Tories tended toward the Cocoa Tree. Lawyers were known to frequent Nandos.

London Bridge is one of the most distinctive landmarks, at least for newcomers traveling on the River Thames. Indeed, the pilings that support it create an artificial cataract, presenting a hazard to even the most skilled boatmen. Some travelers prefer to disembark on one side and then board again on the other side, rather than venturing through the rapids. From inside the city, however, it could be possible to cross the bridge without even realizing it, since houses and shops line both sides and the river is only visible in a few places.

Fleet Ditch is a less pleasant sight in town. It is where the effluvia that is washed through the streets by rain eventually collects in a stinking quagmire. What is more, people looking to dispose of dead animals and the like dump them here, adding to the mess.

This is also a time when many of the city's most famous landmarks are being built or rebuilt. In the aftermath of the Great London Fire, Christopher Wren is being given the task of planning and overseeing numerous construction projects, including Saint Paul's Cathedral, the Temple Bar, and the Theater Royal in Drury Lane, along with a monument to the Great Fire.

Food and Drink
London can boast a variety of foods. Common meats include beef or veal, mutton or lamb, pork and fresh or salted fish. People might also supplement with wild game such as venison, rabbit and various kinds of fowl. Vegetables include artichokes, beans, beets, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, lettuce, peas, potatoes, radishes and spinach and turnips. For fruit Londoners can choose from apples, artichokes, cherries, grapes, peaches, pears and plums. Cheese is an important staple, too, and milk is provided by milkmaids who roam the streets. Indeed, poorer citizens commonly make due with bread, cheese and beer for many a meal.

Most pirates won't be bothered by the fact that Londoners don't usually drink the local water, since it can be hard to find; rather, they consume a good deal of alcohol. Many houses keep at least a firkin of beer (eight gallons) on hand, along with French wine and Dutch gin. Of course, more exotic beverages such as rum can also be found, especially along the waterfront.

As mentioned above, coffee houses provide an important means of communication to Londoners. The same can be said for taverns and public houses, although they are supposed to be closed on Sundays. It is at such places, too, that entertainments like bear- and bull-baiting, cockfighting and gambling take place. The locals also enjoy making visits to local theaters, along with excursions to the Bethlem mental hospital, also known as Bedlam, to watch the patients and their doings.

Eight times a year the bells of London's churches are muffled and ring to herald what is possibly the most popular public spectacle: hangings. At these times the people gather to watch as criminals are paraded through the streets to the gallows; pitching rotten vegetables and fruit, and dead cats or dogs if they're available, adds to the humiliation.

Monetary Concerns
Refer to page 51 of the Skull & Bones rulebook to find a table for converting English currency into Spanish and other varieties.

A typical housemaid in London might earn from five to eight pounds a year, while a shopkeeper could bring in forty-five pounds. Merchants, on the other hand, could earn from two hundred to four hundre pounds annually. A typical middle class family could live on fifty pounds a year. Houses along main thoroughfares could rent for fifty to sixty pounds a year, while those along side streets go for twenty to thirty pounds.

Unusual Inhabitants
In addition to the types of characters already mentioned, various unusual inhabitants can also be found in the city. There is a strong French Huguenot minority, for example, made up of people who fled from religious persecution in France. They add to the strongly Protestant tendencies of the population, given that most people commit themselves to the Church of England. Even so, other religious minorities exist. The Puritans are becoming increasingly prominent. On the other hand, English catholics tend to keep a low profile, worshipping in secret.

Slaves find themselves in a curious situation in London. England has not yet prohibited slavery, although it is not practiced in the country and importing new slaves is forbidden. It is still permitted in overseas territories, however, and English ships do plenty of business making runs from Africa to the colonies. Because of this, slaves who come to London sometimes try to establish their freedom, albeit with limited success.

The Society for the Reformation of Manners is an organization of concerned citizens dedicated to eliminating the vices that, in the eyes of its members, plague English society. These include drinking, gambling and whoring, especially on the Sabbath. To that end, they publish a Black Roll containing the names of people who engage in such practices.

Optional Rules
Detailed here are some suggestions for adding different thematic elements to a Skull & Bones campaign.

According to the Player's Handbook, only characters of the barbarian class do not start playing being literate. In the 1700's literacy was not so common, however; only about fifty percent of women know how to read and write, and many pirates were known to make their marks with an X rather than signing their names. Given this, a GM might choose to have only characters of the cleric, wizard and shantyman classes be literate; others must spend skill ranks to do so.

Depending on when a particular campaign is set, the following events and occurences could be taking place.
1666--France and the Netherlands declare war on England; the Great Fire destroys much of London.
1668--England forms the Alliance of the Hague with the Netherlands.
1670--The Hudson's Bay Company is founded.
1671--Sir Henry Morgan becomes deputy governor of Jamaica.
1672--England declares war on the Netherlands; a charter is granted to the Royal African Company.
1675--Sir Christopher Wren begins rebuilding St. Paul's Cathedral.
1680--A penny postal service is established in London.
1683--William Dampier begins his voyage around the world.
1684--Alexander Esquemeling publishes his History of the Buccaneers of America.
1685--Charles II of England dies and is succeeded by James II.
1687--Isaac Newton publishes his "Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica."
1688--William of Orange is invited to England and becomes King William III one year later.
1689--France declares war on England.
1691--The Treaty of Limerick brings to an end the Irish rebellion.
1694--Queen Mary II dies; the Bank of England is founded.
1696--Edward Lloyd begins publishing a newsletter dealing with ships' voyages and cargoes.
1697--Whitehall Palace in London burns down.
1699--William Dampier leads an expedition that visits the northwest coast of Australia.
1701--The War of Spanish Succession begins; William Kidd is hanged in London.
1702--King William III dies and is succeeded by Queen Anne; she approves horse racing as a form of gambling.
1703--Isaac Newton is elected president of the Royal Society.
1705--Edmund Halley predicts the return in 1758 of a comet last seen in 1682.
1707--England and Scotland are united under the name Great Britain.
1710--The English South Sea Company is founded.
1712--The last execution for witchraft in England occurs.
1714--Queen Anne dies and is succeeded by King George I.
1715--A Jacobite rebellion occurs in Scotland.
1717--Handel's "Water Music" is first performed on the Thames; the Grand Lodge of the Freemasons is established.
1718--Bank notes begin to be used for the first time.
1719--France and Spain go to war; Daniel Defoe publishes Robinson Crusoe.

Adventure Hooks
All manner of adventures can begin in London; detailed here are just a few of the possibilities.
  • The Society for the Reformation of Manners provides a natural foil for the PC's, given the likelihood of them engaging in drinking, gambling or whoring. They could find their names included in the Black Roll, or even a mob of members protesting their doings.
  • A moral dilemma arises when a slave seeking freedom comes to the PC's for help, perhaps after having heard of previous their deeds helping the downtrodden.
  • When a boat runs into trouble in the London Bridge rapids, somebody needs to step in and help save the passengers.
  • Any number of characters--merchants, noblemen and the like--could require strong swordarms to settle some kind of problem.
Additionally, refer to such Interludes as "The Chase," "The Coffeehouse" and "The Theater" for more ideas regarding the evets that can happen in the city.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Agents of the Cabal

As promised in the previous post, here are Brother Simon and the other characters who inhabit the stronghold beneath the Cabal's repository.


Cabal Acolytes
Cleric 3/Wizard 3/Mystic Theurge 1; CR 7; Size medium; HD 3d8+4d4+7; hp 34; Init +1 (+1 Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 11 (+1 Dex); Atk +4 (1d6, staff) or +5 (ranged); SQ Scribe Scroll, summon familiar, spells, rebuke undead; AL TN; SV: Fort +6, Ref +3, Will +11; Str 10, Dex 13, Con 12, Int 15, Wis 14, Cha 8.
Background: NA.
Skills: Concentration +11, Decipher Script +12, Knowledge (arcane) +12, Knowledge (religion) +12, Spellcraft +12.
Feats: Combat Casting, Scribe Scroll.
Fortunes: None.
Cleric Spells (5/4+1/3+1): Refer to the article "Clerics in the New World" for a list of discreet divine spells from which the acolytes can choose.
Wizard Spells (4/4/3): Arcane mark, detect magic, read magic, resistance; identify, mage armor, magic weapon, shield, true strike; bear's endurance, bull's strength, cat's grace, eagle's splendor, fox's cunning, owl's wisdom.
Equipment: Clothing, spellbook, component pouch, holy symbol.

These followers have been hand-picked by Brother Simon and almost raised in service to the Cabal. As such, each is blindly loyal to the organization, having taken on the mentor's mission as one's own. Even so, the acolytes come from different backgrounds and have their own particular interests, a fact that could prove useful to someone wanthing to sway them away from perfect obedience to the secret society.

Cabal Guard
Fighter 1; CR 1; Size medium; HD 1d10+2; hp 12; Init +1 (+1 Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 13 (+1 Dex, +2 buff coat); Atk +4 (1d8+2, cutlass) or +2 (2d6, musket); AL LN; SV: Fort +5, Ref +1, Will +1; Str 15, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 8.
Background: Military (Survival 2 ranks).
Skills: Climb +6, Jump +6, Professions (sailor) +5, Survival +5.
Feats: Point Blank Shot, Rugged, Weapon Focus (cutlass).
Fortunes: None.
Equipment: Buff coat, cutlass.

Cabal Guard Sergeant
Fighter 3; CR 3; Size medium; HD 3d10+6; hp 27; Init +1 (+1 Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 13 (+1 Dex, +2 buff coat); Atk +6 (1d8+2, cutlass) or +4 (2d6, musket); AL LN; SV: Fort +6, Ref +2, Will +2; Str 15, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 8.
Background: Military (Survival 2 ranks).
Skills: Climb +8, Jump +8, Professions (sailor) +7, Survival +5.
Feats: Point Blank Shot, Power Attack, Precise Shot, Rugged, Weapon Focus (cutlass).
Fortunes: None.
Equipment: Buff coat, cutlass.

Cabal Guard Lieutenant
Fighter 6; CR 6; Size medium; HD 6d10+12; hp 49; Init +1 (+1 Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 13 (+1 Dex, +2 buff coat); Atk +9/+4 (1d8+7, cutlass) or +6 (2d6, musket); AL LN; SV: Fort +8, Ref +3, Will +3; Str 16, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 8.
Background: Military (Survival 2 ranks).
Skills: Climb +12, Jump +12, Professions (sailor) +11, Survival +5.
Feats: Cleave, Far Shot, Point Blank Shot, Power Attack, Precise Shot, Rugged, Weapon Focus (cutlass), Weapon Specialization (cutlass).
Fortunes: None.
Equipment: Buff coat, cutlass, musket, powder and shot.

These guards are, when all is said and done, mercenaries. As such, they enjoy the relatively easy service, comfortable life and good pay that they receive working for the Cabal. Should they find a more lucrative offer, however, they are not immunce to a change of loyalties.

Bert the Cook
Commoner 5; CR 4; Size medium; HD 5d4+15; hp 29; Init +0 (+0 Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 10 (+0 Dex); Atk +4 (1d6+2, buccaneer knife) or +2 (ranged); SQ none; AL TN; SV: Fort +6, Ref +1, Will +3; Str 14, Dex 10, Con 17, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 10.
Background: NA.
Skills: Craft (cooking) +13, Listen +12, Spot +10.
Feats: Alertness, Great Fortitude, Skill Emphasis (Craft: cooking).
Fortunes: None.
Equipment: Clothing, buccaneer knife.

At first glance, Bert the cook might seem to be of little interest when compared to the other agents of the Cabal around him. His seemingly mundane business can be something of an asset to opponents of that secret society, however, since the cook sees and hears much of what happens around the facility. Indeed, since he is always on the lookout for interesting foods and beverages, and visits markets by the river in order to find such things, he could become a valuable connection for outsiders.

Brother Simon, The Heretic

Cleric 3/Wizard 3/Mystic Theurge 9; CR 15; Size medium; HD 3d8+12d4; hp 47; Init +0 (+0 Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 10 (+0 Dex); Atk +7 (1d6, staff) or +7 (ranged); SQ Summon familiar, Scribe Scrolls, rebuke undead, spells; AL TN; SV: Fort +9, Ref +10, Will +17; Str 10, Dex 10, Con 11, Int 17, Wis 17, Cha 10.
Background: Religious (Diplomacy 4 ranks).
Skills: Concentration +18, Decipher Script +21, Diplomacy +4, Knowledge (arcana) +21, Knowledge (history) +21, Knowledge (religion) +21, Spellcraft +21.
Feats: Combat Casting, Craft Wondrous Item, Great Fortitude, Improved Counterspell, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Scribe Scrolls, Spiritual Determination.
Fortunes: Touched.
Cleric Spells (6/7+1/7+1/6+1/3+1/3+1/2+1): Refer to the article "Clerics in the New World" for a list of discreet divine spells from which Brother Simon can choose.
Domain: NA.
Wizard Spells (4/5/5/5/3/3/2): Arcane mark, detect magic, read magic, resistance; identify, mage armor, magic weapon, shield, true strike; bear's endurance, bull's strength, cat's grace, eagle's splendor, fox's cunning, owl's wisdom; arcane sight, dispel magic, haste, heroism, keen edge; bestow curse, lesser globe of invulnerability, locate creature, remove curse; break enchantment, contact other plane, permanency; analyze dweomer, antimagic field, globe of invulnerability, greater dispel magic, greater heroism.
Equipment: Robes, spellbook, component pouch, holy symbol.

At one time Brother Simon was not only a Catholic priest, but also a member of the Dominican Order and an agent of the Inquisition. At first he was zealous in his persecution of heretics, but over time he began to develop an obsession with the lore of non-Christians whom he encountered. This eventually led him to foresake his vows and begin studying arcane magic, hoping thus to learn the true secrets of the world. As he grew in knowledge, he also began to build connections with others who shared his interests, and thus formed the Cabal. Brother Simon's ultimate goal is to create a book of infinite spells, thereby gaining access to more powerful magic and thus to gain real power over the world around him. To that end, Simon is willing exploit any individual, and to commit any action, that he deems necessary.

Should Brother Simon become involved in a combat situation, he lets his associates deal with the danger while casts preparatory defensive spells, and then enters the fray with a potent arsenal of spells.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Beneath the Repository

Recently I've been working more on the Cabal and its agents; this article is the first part of that new material. Hopefully soon I'll have stats for the characters mentioned, too.


The Repository--Lower Levels
Beneath the building that houses an impressive collection of artifacts and antiquities is the headquarters of the organization known as the Cabal. In stark contrast to the open, airy and well-lit building that sits above the ground, the hidden section has low ceilings, narrow passages and a downright medieval feel to it. It is here that the conspirators, in their pursuit of eldritch power, form their plots and plans.
Refer to the appropriate map for the following area descriptions.

1. Hallways
These passages are only five feet wide, and ten high. Unless otherwise noted, doors leading off from them are not locked. Walls are one foot thick, having hardness 8 and 180 hit points, with a DC 50 required to break through them.

2. Priveys
Each side of the underground level boasts one of these small rooms, based on the medieval garderobe.

3. Storage
The walls of these rooms are lined with shelves that hold myriad contents. In these rooms one can find spare blankets, table linens, candles and the like.

4. Stairways
The stairs here lead up to the main level. Passage between the two levels is barred by stout doors of oak banded with iron; they have hardness 5 and 30 hit points; it takes a DC 25 Strength check to force them.

5. Guest Quarters
These rooms, intended for occupation by visitors to the stronghold, are each furnished with a bed, storage trunk, desk and chair. At any given time there is a 10% chance that a given room is occupied, perhaps by Morisson Kearns Fairmont, Lillian Whitmore, Muriel or Ephraim Grey, or another such operative of the Cabal.

6. Members' Quarters
These rooms are occupied by the acolytes who live in the stronghold. They contain the same furnishings as the guest quarters, along with a wardrobe for storing clothing.

7. Main Hall
This broad, open room sits at the heart of the stronghold. It contains stout wooden tables and benches, and is used for meals, relaxation, meetings and the like.

8. Barracks
Eight beds line the walls of this room, four on a side. Beneath each is a footlocker for holding the occupant's personal possessions. This makes for tight quarters, to be sure, which is why most of the guards only spend time here while sleeping. At any give time, from two to four of the beds are filled.

9. Armory
This is one of the few rooms that is kept locked at all times; only Brother Simon and the guard sergeants have keys to it. Inside there are two dozen muskets and twice that number of pistols, along with powder and shot to fire each weapon twenty times.

10. Kitchen
This is the second largest room in the facility. It boasts two large hearths, each of which has a spit for cooking meat. Two broad tables fill the center of the room, and two more sit against the outside walls. A row of barrels containing water, wine and beer stand against another wall.

11. Larder
More shelves line the walls of this room; they are filled with foodstuffs. What is more, a trapdoor in the center of the floor provides access to the cellar, where perishable items such as meat, cheese and vegetables are kept.

12. Cook's Quarters
This room, where Bert spends his time when not preparing meals or doing other things, is outfitted in the same manner as the members' quarters.

13. Prisoners' Cells
Each of these rooms is also locked in the same manner as the armory. Four sets of shackles are connected to the walls. They are not always occupied, but could hold associates of the PC's if the Cabal has been capturing and interrogating known practitioners of arcane magic.

14. Torture Chamber
A broad table, also with shackles, rests in the center of this room. Along the walls are shelves holding various implements for inflicting pain, including cutting tools, ones for applying heat and the like.

15. Study
This is where the Cabal keeps its collection of arcane tomes, scrolls, tablets and the like. The walls of the room are lined with shelves stacked with such materials, and three sets of tables and chairs provide space for the acolytes to study them. Additionally, a DC 25 Search or Spot check reveals that the section of wall in the outside corner is actually a secret door. What is more, on the wall is a panel engraved with symbols representing the heavenly bodies. Triggering the secret door requires pressing in the different symbols in the correct sequence. What may not be readily apparent, however, is that they need to be pressed in the order of the days of the week named for them: moon, Mars, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, sun. A DC 20 Knowledge (arcane) or DC 25 Knowledge (religion) check can reveal the association between the planets and the days of the week, but it's up to the PC's to put together this information.

16. Brother Simon's Quarters
Given the power and influence that Brother Simon possesses, his quarters might seem rather Spartan; they are furnished in the same manner as those of his acolytes. This is because the Cabal's real prizes are stored in the vault, as detailed below.

17. Vault
Hidden in this secret chamber are the most valuable and powerful of the Cabal's treasures, including the following items.
  • All of the material that the organization has collected in its pursuit of a codex of infinite spells
  • A pouch containing three applications' worth of moly
  • Spell scrolls from the collection of Circe the Enchantress
  • Unused stones of David
  • Etc.
As always, the GM should feel free to modify this list of items to suit the needs of the campaign.