Thursday, December 26, 2019

Ten-Year Anniversary Reflection

Given that 26 December 2019 marks the ten-year anniversary of this blog, I feel it's appropriate to reflect on how things have gone.

Skull & Bones
The first focus of the blog—and the reason why it's called d20 Pirates—was the mostly historical setting for 3rd Edition D&D called Skull & Bones. Indeed, the entirety of the first four years were dedicated to that purpose. In that time the content included a series of nineteen adventures, maps and descriptions of locations, scenes to add as filler, NPCs, magical items, reviews of pirate-themed books and shows, and other elements. 

All in all I was pleased with how that turned out; even though it needed polishing, it provided a good outlet for my creative energies. I ran a number of these scenarios at local game days and private gatherings, mostly for friends, but never played all the way through to the end.

The first change to that early focus came early in 2014, when I published a party of Pathfinder characters for use with the Freeport campaign setting. I was running some scenarios at Con of the North in the Twin Cities, and decided to share them. Eventually this material included a handful of scenarios and some articles, along with a few reviews. I have fond memories of these sessions, both from CotN as well as from MisCon (in Montana) in 2015 and Gen Con in 2016.

Later that year I also shared a couple of scenarios for the Al-Qadim campaign setting, one that I'd loved since it first appeared in 1992. I didn't end up making too much content for it, but it was fun. I still wonder sometimes about running an AQ campaign using D&D 5th Edition.

Space Fantasy—Aetherial Adventures
May of 2014 brought another change of focus, this time on writing rules and scenarios for use with the Pathfinder RPG, ones that emulated the space fantasy style of the old Spelljammer campaign setting. This came to include a setting based on our own solar system that I used for my home campaign, which I eventually ran during the 2017-18 school year and wrote up as the Godsharp Saga. I really enjoyed the process of developing a world and its cultures, something that I'd never done to this extent before. This of all the content for this blog is probably the one thing of which I am the most proud.

Pirates of the Spanish Main
My first delve into the Savage Worlds RPG came in April of 2015. I'd picked up the Pirates of the Spanish Main rulebook at some point, and had played some Savage Worlds in a series that helped playtest the Broken Earth campaign setting with Matthew Hanson. Since I enjoyed the “Fast, Furious, Fun” nature of those rules, I decided to try using them to write a few adventures for PotSM. I loved just how easy it was to do so, especially the process of creating NPCs.

D20 Sidewinder and The Sixth Gun for Savage Worlds
Most recently I've been channeling a lot of my creative energy into material for the RPG based on The Sixth Gun comics. I'd previously dabbled with the Sidewinder rulebook, which uses the (in my opinion) underappreciated D20 Modern rules for Old West adventures and campaigns. While that book is remarkably comprehensive, though, I didn't love the amount of work that went in to writing stats for characters. I'd also started reading The Sixth Gun comic series starting from Free Comic Book Day in 2011, and quite enjoyed it. When Pinnacle Entertainment Group announced that they would be kickstarting an RPG using the Savage Worlds rules, I knew they'd be a good match. This led into setting and scenarios that came to form the Manifested Destinies campaign, which I ran during the 2018-19 school year.

Moving Forward
Currently, of course, I'm running the Return to Freeport campaign for the 2019-20 school year. We're in a bit of a hiatus right now for the holidays, but intend to be back at it in the New Year. I'll include weekly updates once we're back underway, and an overall reflection when we finish. Due to personal reasons, I'm looking to finish this campaign by the middle of March.

Personal Stuff
The past ten years have brought a lot of changes in my life.
  • I have moved five times since I started the blog, due in part to some of the circumstances that I'll mention below.
  • After nearly ten years, I emerged from a challenging and ultimately unhealthy relationship. That's been a very positive change.
  • My mom passed away in July of 2017, and my dad in March of 2019. That was hard for me, of course, but I had the support of family and friends.
  • I've been fortunate to keep the same job for the past ten years, as an English teacher at an alternative high school.
  • In March of 2017 I started dating someone new; we became engaged in November of that year, and were married in that same December. That was a whirlwind, to say the least.
  • Finally, my wife and I are expecting a son in March of 2020. That will be a tremendous adventure in its own right, but I have could people in my life coming along for it.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Artificers for Savage Worlds and The Sixth Gun

This article details how the Savage Worlds rules can be used for creating patent medicine and other magical items.

Throughout the world there are many people who can wield magic in one form or another, and a few in every society even know how to imbue it into physical items that can be carried by others and used at a later time. Detailed below are a few of the ways in which this ability could be represented in adventures and campaigns using the Savage Worlds Adventure Edition RPG and the setting of The Sixth Gun.

Game Mechanics for Creating Magical Items
Refer to page 153 of the Savage Worlds Adventure Edition to find rules for the Artificer edge. While there is no cost involved in making many of these items, the GM may wish to require the character making them to acquire certain unusual ingredients, especially ones related to the item being made. For example, a rabbit's whiskers might be part of the recipe for make the Quickening Quaff (see below). Also, the type of Arcane Background being used informs the nature of the item made. For instance, an amulet made by someone with the Sorcery AB might be a metal object inscribed with mystic ruins, while one made a practitioner of Voodoo could be a pouch containing potent materials.

Note, too, that the artificer can feel the ebb and flow of magical energies, without specifically knowing which items have or have not been used. For example, a maker of patent medicine might use all of his power points one day to brew up a batch of bottles; as they are consumed, he feels his power points being restored—and thus can invest in creating new items.

Patent Medicine
The production of amazing elixirs, spectacular panaceas and other such nostrums is no new thing; one need only page through a newspaper to find advertisements for offerings with names like “Kickapoo Indian Sagwa,” “Bonnore's Electro Magnetic Bathing Fluid,” or “Clark Stanley's Snake Oil Liniment.” Even though the medicinal benefits of those concoctions is unproven, there are in fact a few individuals who can brew potables that produce real benefits. Keep in mind that these usually still have fancy names, in order to increase their appeal to potential customers.
  • Quickening Quaff”—(Boost Trait: Agility)
  • Mental Magnifier”—(Smarts)
  • Elixir of Enlightenment”—(Spirit)
  • Potion of Power”—(Strength)
  • Holistic Health Enhancer”—(Vigor)

What is more, the concoction that might make the most sense is the sleeping draught. This might be marketed in a way similar to the items mentioned above, as a home remedy for insomnia, or it could be something created on the basis of need in a more clandestine kind of way.
  • The Sleeping Draught invokes the Slumber power; it must be ingested by the intended target in order to work.

Protective Amulets
These items can take different forms, but all are worn, usually around the neck. As mentioned above, they can be made from precious metals or from natural materials, depending on the Arcane Background used to make them. Some options include the following.
  • Ones with Arcane Protection act as a ward against mystical influences.
  • Those with Deflection are effective wards against ranged attacks.

Divination Tools

Certain items can be endowed with energy similar to the Divination power, but that works in slightly different way. In this case, the device in question is prepared for a specific purpose, including some of the following possibilities. Rather than allowing the user to commune with an intelligent spirit, however, it instead leads to a desired item or provides an answer via a specific set of circumstances.
  • The dowsing rod is commonly used to find clean water, but has also been used in the hunt for buried loot, lost graves and the like. The energy inside it seems to draw the wielder in the direction of the desired item, until reaching its location.
  • The method known as the I Ching use coins or similar items to generate hexagrams, sets of six broken or unbroken lines. Those, in turn, can be compared to standardized lists of meanings in order to provide the message desired.

Spencer Hoyt
This oldtimer makes his way around the American frontier, gathering unusual ingredients and using them to prepare his Hoyt's brand of patent medicines. In this way he has become a font of curious information, picking up little bits of western legends, native lore, and smatterings of the occult.
Attributes: Agility d4, Smarts d8, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d4
Skills: Academics d6, Common Knowledge d8, Healing d8, Language d6, Notice d6, Persuasion d6, Research d6, Spellcasting d8, Stealth d4, Survival d4
Pace: 6, Parry: 2, Toughness: 4
Edges: Arcane Background (Sorcery), Artificer
Hindrances: Elderly
Special Abilities
  • Powers: Boost/lower Trait, deflection, dispel; Power points: 10
Gear: Clothing, ox-driven wagon, week's worth of food and water, folding knife (Damage Str + d4). 

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Return to Freeport--The Halfway Point

The last session in my weekly home campaign brings us to the halfway point; as such, I've updated my campaign notes on this blog for the first time in about two months.


Return to Freeport Campaign Notes

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Aetherial Adventures at Con of the North 2020

I am happy to announce that I'll be running four rounds of Pathfinder space fantasy at Con of the North 2020, February 14th-16th in the Twin Cities. Check out their website for more information.


The first scenario is called "The Wages of Sin." I'll be running it at 10:00 and 2:00 on Saturday the 15th. Here's the blurb:

When an ally recruits the PCs to help protect a meeting of the Celestial Council, 
it's up to them to prevent an interstellar tragedy.

The second one is "Lead or Gold." I'll run it at 10:00 and 2:00 on Sunday the 16th.

A cryptic message leads the PCs into the pursuit of a valuable treasure--
but how much will they sacrifice to obtain it?

Wednesday, October 30, 2019


Just in time for Halloween, here's an article that presents Druids for use in Savage Worlds adventures and campaigns. 


Centuries ago, before the soldiers of the Roman Empire or the idea of Christianity had touched the British Isles, there flourished in that isolated region a religion that revered the forces of nature and called on them to provide food for the people and strength in battle. While they did not leaving behind much in the way of written doctrine, what is known about their ways was reported by Roman soldiers who visited the area. They were regarded as being the holy ministers to a savage people, especially when it came to their practice of human sacrifice (see below).

Edge: Arcane Background (Druidism)
Requirements: Wild Card, Novice, Druidism d6+, Spirit d6+.
Arcane Skill: Druidism (Spirit).
Power Points: 10
Starting Powers: 2
Backlash: When a druid rolls a critical failure, double 1s, on his Druidism roll, he is automatically Shaken. This can cause a wound if he is already Shaken.
Trappings: Powers used by druids are invoked through ritualistic chanting and the brandishing of some natural talisman, often a sprig from a sacred tree.
Available Powers: Beast Friend, Boost/Lower Trait, Deflection, Dispel, Divination, Elemental Manipulation, Entangle, Environmental Protection, Protection, Smite, Warrior's Gift.

Druid Archetypes
Presented here are stats for typical practitioners of this faith.

Aspirant (Novice)
Those individuals who show some affinity for the ways of the Druids must seek out an existing member, demonstrate one's potential, and then seek further instruction.
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4, Spirit d8, Strength d8, Vigor d8
Skills: Athletics d6, Common Knowledge d4, Druidism d8, Fighting d6, Healing d8, Notice d4, Persuasion d4, Stealth d4, Survival d8
Pace: 6”, Parry: 5, Toughness: 6
Edges: Arcane Background (Druidism), Beast Bond
Hindrances: All Thumbs
Special Abilities
  • Powers: Beast Friend, Environmental Protection; Power Points: 10
Gear: Clothing, silver sickle (Damage Str + d6), sacred sprig.

Initiate (Seasoned)
Those who learn well from tutelage become assistants to the druids who lead their independent faith communities.
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4, Spirit d8, Strength d8, Vigor d8
Skills: Athletics d6, Common Knowledge d4, Druidism d10, Fighting d6, Healing d8, Notice d4, Persuasion d4, Stealth d4, Survival d8
Pace: 6”, Parry: 5, Toughness: 6
Edges: Arcane Background (Druidism), Beast Bond, Beast Master, New Power, Power Points; Power Points: 15
Hindrances: All Thumbs
Special Abilities
  • Powers: Beast Friend, Boost/Lower Trait, Divination, Environmental Protection
Gear: Clothing, silver sickle (Damage Str + d6), sacred sprig.

Druid (Veteran)
Once they've proven themselves, full druids eventually set out to become leaders of their own new faith communities.
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4, Spirit d8, Strength d8, Vigor d8
Skills: Athletics d6, Common Knowledge d4, Druidism d12, Fighting d6, Healing d8, Notice d4, Persuasion d4, Stealth d4, Survival d8
Pace: 6”, Parry: 5, Toughness: 6
Edges: Arcane Background (Druidism), Beast Bond, Beast Master, Channeling, New Power x2, Power Points x2, Woodsman
Hindrances: All Thumbs
Special Abilities
  • Powers: Beast Friend, Boost/Lower Trait, Deflection, Dispel, Divination, Entangle, Environmental Protection, Smite; Power Points: 20
Gear: Clothing, silver sickle (Damage Str + d6), sacred sprig.

The leader of all the druids in a particular region is this powerful individual. Each Archdruid can choose to retire from active leadership, becoming part of the group known as Hierophants (see below).
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4, Spirit d8, Strength d8, Vigor d8
Skills: Athletics d6, Common Knowledge d4, Druidism d12+1, Fighting d6, Healing d8, Notice d4, Persuasion d4, Stealth d4, Survival d8
Pace: 6”, Parry: 5, Toughness: 6
Edges: Arcane Background (Druidism), Beast Bond, Beast Master, Channeling, New Power x3, Power Points x3, Power Surge,Woodsman
Hindrances: All Thumbs
Special Abilities
  • Powers: Beast Friend, Boost/Lower Trait, Deflection, Dispel, Divination, Environmental Protection, Protection, Smite; Power Points: 25
Gear: Clothing, silver sickle (Damage Str + d6), sacred sprig.

Those Archdruids who have served their time as leaders in their regions can give up the mantle of power and choose to serve on this shadowy council, which provides guidance to the other Druids in times of need.
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4, Spirit d8, Strength d8, Vigor d8
Skills: Athletics d6, Common Knowledge d4, Druidism d12+2, Fighting d6, Healing d8, Notice d4, Persuasion d4, Stealth d4, Survival d8
Pace: 6”, Parry: 5, Toughness: 6
Edges: Arcane Background (Druidism), Beast Bond, Beast Master, Channeling, New Power x4, Power Points x4, Power Surge,Soul Drain, Woodsman
Hindrances: All Thumbs
Special Abilities
  • Powers: Beast Friend, Boost/Lower Trait, Deflection, Dispel, Divination, Entangle, Environmental Protection, Protection, Smite, Warrior's Gift; Power Points: 20
Gear: Clothing, silver sickle (Damage Str + d6), sacred sprig.

While the Druids were not known to have kept records in book form, it is believed that they sometimes did use marks engraved on sticks to communicate—the language known as Ogham. This had the advantage of using materials that were readily available, even in a wild setting, and they could be destroyed without attracting much suspicion by simply casting them into the fire.


Burial Mounds
Important places of worship for the Druids were those locations where they buried their dead. A famous example of this is Newgrange, which hearkens back to the Stone Age. It consists of a long entrance tunnel with a low ceiling that leads to three interior chambers, each of which functioned as a tomb or ossuary. Some legends maintain that burial mounds such as this could be gateways between this world and whatever lies beyond it.

Plot Hooks
Suggested here are a few of the ways in which Druids can be involved in Savage Worlds adventures and campaigns.
  • Given their long conflict with the various denominations of Christianity, Druids tend to keep their activities secret.
  • Common places of worship for them are rings of standing stones and burial mounds.
  • The wave of migration that occurred in the United States after the Civil War, combined with the settlement of the vast western frontier, provided many opportunities for Druids to create new communities.
  • Given their reverence for nature and ability to influence animals, this made these newcomers ideally suited to the professions of farming and ranching.
  • For the Druids the two main holidays are Samhain, which marks the transition into winter, and Beltain, which is observed as spring is leading back into summer. These have been co-opted by the Christian traditions of All Hallows' Eve/All Saints' Day and May Day.
  • It has frequently been claimed that the Druids practiced blood sacrifice in order to appease the forces of nature, thereby gaining fertility for the livestock and crops as well as strength for the warriors who protected them.
  • Indeed, no less than Julius Caesar himself described how they sometimes built human-shaped structures out of wicker-like material, which they then filled with human victims and then burned in colossal, fiery sacrifices.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Savage Worlds Adventure Edition Review

Late in September I picked up a hardcover copy of the Savage Worlds Adventure Edition RPG; I've finally finished reading it and am ready to write a review.


Savage Worlds Adventure Edition Review
Last month I finally picked up a hardcover copy of this new RPG, and wanted to share my thoughts about it.
  • I like the size of the book. As a graphic-novel-sized hardcover, it matches my book for The Sixth Gun campaign setting.
  • The added comments, by a GM and the players Emily and Nate, are a fun touch.
  • The Skills section did a nice job of cleaning up some overlap, especially with the Knowledge skills. Also, the fact that all characters start with d4 in Athletics, Common Knowledge, Notice, Persuasion and Stealth opens up points for other choices.
  • There are some interesting new Edges, too, and the use of the social ones seems clearer than it was in the previous edition.
  • I like the flexibility that's encouraged for character advancement, with suggestions for faster or slower character development.
  • The same goes for the use of Bennies to affect the story.
  • The Power modifiers provide a good means of letting characters with arcane backgrounds adapt the Powers they invoke for specific situations.
  • As before, the Game Mastering section provides a solid overview of how to plan and run adventures and campaigns using these rules.

All in all, this is a solid, compact game that I would recommend for all manner of campaign settings and styles.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Small Raven's Flock

This post presents the ghost of Small Raven and how he has taken to living in the Winding Way.


It's no secret that life is hard on the western frontier in the United States of America, but it can also be a place of almost unlimited opportunity. Few know this better than a Native American boy named Small Raven. After seeing many of his fellows give up their traditional lifestyle—along with important artifacts—while signing a treaty at Fort Arneson, he decided to steal back the items and flee the area. Unfortunately, he was wounded during the attempt and ended up in Smith's Crossing, a settlement under the sway of powerful occultists, Dr. and Mrs. Smith. The bad doctor murdered the boy and cut off his right hand, knowing that he could use it to create a Hand of Glory. The rest of Small Raven's body was buried in the cemetery by the local church and, as a result, his spirit was unable to find the eternal rest of the afterlife. 

That wasn't the end of Small Raven's story, however. Possessing a normal raven, the boy began to search for his missing hand. That brought him into contact with a band of adventurers, ones who led him down beneath Fort Arneson and into that realm between different places, times and possibilities, the Winding Way. Realizing that he could acquire knowledge and influence beyond any past imagining, Small Raven decided to establish himself in that location, gathering a flock of other birds around himself who could act as guides and protectors for other travelers.

The Tree and Nest
Small Raven's nest is located in a tree that forms part of a grove surrounding a strange old manor house inside the Winding Way. That house stands in the middle of a steeply walled canyon, one that is surrounded by sheer rock walls and has four tunnels leading out of it. Those tunnels lead to the passages under Fort Arneson (A), the cistern beneath a stronghold of the Knights of Solomon (B), a wardrobe in the underground level of the New Globe Theater in London (C), and an area that has not yet been explored. 

The nest is made from sticks, bits of string, and other materials. It sits amid the outstretched limbs of the tree, which hold it almost like a skeletal hand. Said tree is devoid of leaves, but is decorated by various baubles hanging from its branches; these are shiny trinkets collected by Small Raven and his flock. Those, combined with the numerous black birds that sit on its branches, make for an impressive sight. 

Small Raven and his fellow birds can act as guides for those who travel the Winding Way, as long as they provide suitable gifts. They are most fond of shiny baubles, with which they decorate their nest and the rest of the tree, or relatively fresh meat for them to eat. In the latter case, the birds save the eyes of any given creature for their leader to devour. As long as they are satisfied with a visitor's offerings, the birds share what they know and even lead parties through the hazards of this strange and otherworldly realm.

Refer to the following articles and adventures for more information about this location.

Small Raven
Use the stats for a Haint, from pages 75-6 of the Sixth Gun RPG, but add the following abilities: Arcane Background (Shamanism), with powers deflect, dispel and speak language, and 15 Power Points.

The Flock—When pressed, the birds can attack as a swarm (refer to page 189 of the Savage Worlds Adventure Editionbook for stats).

Plot Hooks
Here are just a few ways in which Small Raven and his flock can be used in adventures and campaigns.
  • As mentioned above, Small Raven needs to recover his right hand—which has been made into a hand of glory—in order to find eternal rest.
  • He would also like to retrieve the artifacts given up by members of his tribe, which would require raiding the exhibition put on by Miles Jameson.
  • The flock has acquired numerous items left behind by groups of travelers who met untimely ends in the Winding Way, which might include items of monetary value or ones that contain important information.
  • Any power who gained the cooperation of the flock—such as the Cabal, Black Stars, Knights of Solomon, Invisible College or others—would benefit from a powerful ally.
  • The birds are natural foes of the wolf raptors (see page 31 of The Winding Way for stats), who prey upon them. 
  • During interactions with travelers, Small Raven's spirit, as a haint, can try to take over the body of a new host, if the situation requires it. 

Sunday, October 13, 2019


This post presents three locations for use in Savage Worlds games in general, and in particular those that use the settings of The Sixth Gun and Shadow Roads.


Vodyanoi Lair
This underwater lair can only be accessed by swimming into its lower level through a narrow entrance (1). Beyond that is a series of twisting passages (2) that can confuse those who dare enter. Only one of the tunnels has a hole in the ceiling that leads into the upper chamber (3), where the vodyanoi live. Holes in the coral allow them to watch their surroundings, but don't admit any creature larger than size -2 (Small).

Refer to the supplement “Fey Creatures” to find more information about the vodyanoi. 

Old Mine
An open shaft leads down into this location (1); it still has a winch built above it for lowering in supplies and personnel. It leads into a broad, open chamber (2), from which numerous smaller side passages (3) lead further into the earth. In general, the height of any given passage is equal to its width at that point. 

This old mine could be home to Will-o'-the-Wisp (see page 31 of The Winding Way for stats), or even a ghost (pages 75-6 of The Sixth Gun RPG). 

Thunderbird's Aerie
This nest sits atop a towering pillar of stone located in the middle of the western desert. Climb checks, or the ability to fly, are needed to reach its pinnacle. The spire rises one hundred feet into the air, and is topped by a mix of branches, bones, and other materials—with any number of valuable items strewn in their midst.

Refer to pages 79-80 of The Sixth Gun RPG to find stats for these monsters. Given the truly daunting nature of these creatures, it seems more likely that the PCs might come here while the thunderbird is not present. They would most likely come seeking the remains of this creature's previous victims, such as those of an expedition that was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

The Ship in the Ice
This old-fashioned wooden sailing ship clearly ran into some kind of trouble, and in a cold environment; it has now become stuck in a floating mass of ice. Two masts still rise up from it, but the sails have long since fallen into tatters. The ship has a raised sterncastle (1) and forecastle (2), both of which can be reached by stairways from the main deck (3). In the stern, a narrow passageway (4) leads to two aft cabins (5 and 6). One was used by the captain, while the other was reserved for important passengers. Toward the bow is a cabin for other officers (7). A hatch opens into the vessel's cargo hold (8), and stairs lead down to the crew quarters (9) and mess (10). 

The ship in the ice could easily be inhabited by ghouls, a ghost, or even a plague spawn demon, trapped because it killed off the other passengers and crew. 

Reaching the ship, however, requires climbing over the surrounding mass of ice, which rises as high as thirty feet. 

Plot Hooks for the Lairs
Detailed below are just a few of the ways in which these locations might be used in adventures and campaigns.
  • The thunderbird has claimed many victims during its hunting, and there's a good chance that its aerie contains valuable items among their bones and rotting or rusted equipment.
  • Something lives in the old mine and enjoys luring victims into it so that it may feed. If it is a ghost, then there's a story behind why that unhappy spirit has not been able to move beyond this earth and into the next realm.
  • In addition to the items that they've scavenged for themselves, the vodyanoi know the location of every sunken vessel through their territory. They might be willing to trade that knowledge for some kind of service involving land dwellers who are harming the water.
  • The ship in the ice likely contains some old and potentially important cargo, along with the remains of the passengers and crew.
  • It's possible that all four of these areas are somehow connected, and that a group must visit all four, deal with their inhabitants, and recover some kind of materials in order discover that secret.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

The Hotel

Due to my recent retconning of the Diablerie supplement, I decided to create a new article detailing a hotel for use in The Sixth Gun campaign setting.


At some point the PCs are likely to be in a relatively populated area when they need to rest following previous business. This location is just the place—but that doesn't mean their stay is going to be uneventful. 

The hotel is two stories in height. The first floor has a broad main room (1) filled with tables and chairs, and with a bar along the inside wall. Behind the bar a door leads to the kitchen (2), and further back to the pantry (3). There are also two small rooms (4) available for gatherings that require a little more privacy. 

 Two stairways lead from the main room to the upper floor (5). Most of the rooms there (6) are furnished with a bed, a wardrobe and a small desk. There are also some rooms with two beds (7) for families. 

Refer to pages 17-19 in the Sixth Gun RPG supplement to find costs for lodging here, along with other possible services; these rooms should be considered “Low Class” for pricing, even if they are clean and comfortable.

Typical Hotel Employees
The people who work here are aware of their surroundings and open to potential opportunities, but otherwise fairly mundane.
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Knowledge (Area) d4, Notice d8, Persuasion d6, Stealth d4, Streetwise d6
Charisma: --, Pace: 6”, Parry: 2, Toughness: 5
Edges: Alertness
Hindrances: Curious
Gear: Comfortable clothing, miscellaneous personal items.

Plot Hooks
All kinds of complications could arise while the PCs are resting and recovering at these lodgings, including the following possibilities.
  • This is, of course, a great opportunity for the GM to introduce NPCs and plot hooks for future adventures via chance encounters.
  • One or more thieves could prowl around this establishment, adding a complication to whatever business the PCs had when they arrive here.
  • Taking that possibility a step further, a murder occurs while the PCs are staying here; everyone in the hotel is detained as a suspect, and they might need to help solve the case in order to clear their own names.
  • Time spent resting, recovering and relaxing is also a chance for the PCs to tell their own stories, in the form of an Interlude.
  • Just like with the Silver Palace in Brimstone, New Mexico, this establishment could be the base of operations for a powerful individual who's engaged in nefarious business. If such a person learned the nature of the PCs' business, then this could create a major complication as he or she tries to take it from them.
  • It's always possible that enemies track the PCs here, leading to a fight in which innocent bystanders—including newly found friends—are put at risk.
  • Really unscrupulous foes might set fire to the place and then wait in ambush outside as the PCs—and anyone they choose to help—tries to escape.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Aetherial Adventures 14

This PDF collects the space fantasy articles from the past year or so.


Sunday, September 29, 2019

Many Moons

Many Moons
For the inhabitants of Homeworld, the shape of Luna in the night sky is a familiar sight. Indeed, her waxing and waning follow the passing of the months during each year. On other worlds in the Sol System the night sky looks much different, however, as detailed below.

Wodan and Freya
Neither of these planets has a moon of its own; the night sky on the former is just a canopy of stars, while the latter is shrouded in cloud cover so thick that it is not noticeable. Note that the absence of a moon affects the shapechanging of lycanthrope characters, as detailed in the sidebar below.

As mentioned above, Luna has a strange connection to the lycanthropes. It should also be noted that, due to the fact that Luna's period of rotation on its axis is the same as its period of revolution around Homeworld, only one side of the moon is ever visible from that world. That is a fact that could make it an appealing base of operations for those who want to be close to Homeworld, but who want to come and go unobserved.

The two moons of this planet are named Phobos and Deimos. Both rocky little planetoids are pockmarked by numerous crater impacts. They are also tidally locked, just like Luna, thus showing only one side to Tyr. Due to its fast revolution around Tyr, some natural philosophers have surmised that Phobos will eventually be torn apart by the forces of gravity.

The Asteroid Belt
While it is commonly believed that this ring or rocky debris was once a planet like the others in the Sol System, it is not known if that world had any moons of its own.

This world has four known moons.
  1. Io, the first moon, is relatively large and highly volcanic. This makes it appealing to the Dwarven Mining Guild, who see it as a possible location for mining, smelting and smithing activities. Indeed, one dwarf captain and crew have been assigned with exploring the moon and its possibilities.
  2. The second, Europa, is covered in a thick layer of ice. The elves believe that, like Enceladus (detailed below), it could be a candidate for development through the use of elemental obelisks and similar means.
  3. Ganymede, third, is actually bigger than the planet Wodan. It, too, is covered by a thick layer of ice. Given that, it is considered less of a candidate for a development that Europa.
  4. Fourth is Callisto. It is tidally locked, just like the moons of Homeworld and Tyr. What is more, its surface is almost entirely covered by crates from meteoric impacts. Indeed, it boasts a huge crate surrounded by concentric rings of displaced soil, stretching more than 2000 miles in diameter. Just what might have caused that is open to speculation.
Finally, it should be noted that the Elven Navy keeps a ship in orbit around Thunar at all times, although the reason for doing so is not known.

Seven moons are known to orbit this world.
  1. Mimas, the first moon, is also predominantly made up of ice with some rock. Curiously, its location inside the ring debris of Kronos sweeps out an open area between the rings, which also means that its surface is frequently pummeled by meteoric impacts.
  2. Enceladus is the second moon. It is covered by layers of ice, but volcanism beneath the surface causes there to be liquid water and geyser activity. For that reason, the elves chose it as the first place that they would develop for habitation when they left Homeworld. It is the home of Star Fort Station, as detailed in previous articles.
  3. The third, Tethys, is a floating ball made up of more ice than rock. For that reason, some speculate that it could have been a comet that was somehow captured by the gravity of Kronos. If that is the case, then one wonders from where it originally came.
  4. Dione, the fourth moon, is similar to Enceladus in structure, and thus considered by the elves to be another candidate for development.
  5. The fifth, Rhea is very similar to Dione. Its atmosphere and surface are also affected by dust particles from the rings of Kronos. Indeed, the moon is slowly forming rings of its own.
  6. Titan, the sixth moon, has a nitrogen and methane atmosphere; in that way, it is similar to the planet Freya.
  7. The seventh and last moon, Iapetus, is also tidally locked. What is more, one side of the moon is dark in coloration, while the other is light. The reasons for this are unknown.

Moons and Lycanthropes
Worlds that have multiple moons, or none at all—and, thus, more frequent full moons or none—affect lycanthrope characters in different ways; refer to page 196 in the Bestiary for details.