I like these quiet little moments before the storm. It reminds me of Beethoven. Can you hear it? Its like, when you put your head to the grass. You can hear them crawling. You can hear the insects.
We finished up our Burning Wheel game, in which the players spent their dragon’s hoard, killed the serpent pope, unveiled the trinity who rule the Thieves’ Guild and started a wizard’s college founded on the concepts of adventuring, sorcery and carousing (its the wizardly party school, as per their whoring founder). We stuck with Versus tests and it was good fun.
Next up for us is Houses of the Blooded. I read over the descriptions of the counties and we agreed to set the game in Dawn County.
Description: These islands are on the easternmost face of Shanri. The seas beyond Dawn County are guarded by ferocious orcs, bred by the Sorcerer Kings to both guard their eastern shores and thwart the escape of their slaves by boat. The county seat is a sprawling port city called Garshan di’Nathorc Haas (Where Slaughter Rests) or as the peasants call it, Scabbard City. Unethen I’ilinnen (High Kings Sword) is the river that runs from the capital city in central Shanri to the east coast.
Nickname: The Sunrise Barons
Count: Your countess is a fearless admiral of a fleet. A baron would have a difficult time figuring out where she might show up as she is often out hunting sea orc or whaling or using one of these pretenses as an excuse to visit one of her barons without warning. She is an old ven, the crone of the sea, who will likely fade from the world before too long. Some say she will become a suaven prayed to by sailors and fisher-folk.
Her husband is Blooded of the Bear and rules the city with an iron fist while raising their many children.
Invoke: You gain 3 dice when you are traveling by sea, braving Shanri’s tides.
Tag: Your opponent may gain 2 dice when they use stone terrain against you.
Compel: Feels compelled to risk life, limb, ship and crew while at sea for glory.
Invoke: You gain 3 dice when you awaken at first light to get work done.
Tag: Your opponent may gain 2 dice when they are in a conflict with you late in the evening.
Compel: Feels compelled to take terrible risks at first light.
We’ll make characters next week and until then, there isn’t much to do. I’ll dig up a map of the county’s islands, maybe have some island outlines, the coast with the river and county seat. Rather than have a hard and fast map, I’ll likely have some islands to choose from and the players will choose them, place them on the coast and we’ll make the map as we go.
I’ve got some details to daydream about – an adventurous elder countess/admiral, her hardy husband, their many children, a sprawling port city, the river that leads past the River Barons to the capital city, the Hub of all Revenge. Fun toys.
The nice thing about having a menu of counties is that I not only have ideas for the county where the players will have their baronies but I have rough concepts for other neighboring counts and such.
Anthony was in the original playtest group and Aaron has read the book but the other two players are not familiar with the setting at all, which will be fine. I’m thinking about a primer for setting info:
- Revenge/ Love, same word, different inflection.
- A timeline with Sorcerer Kings gone, High King mad and deposed, return of the Falcon, modern day…
- Meaning behind wearing different colors
- Sub systems: Dueling, Mass Murder, Romance, Insults, Art, Season Actions
- Little details to pick up in play: Sorcery, Armies, Senate, Shanri as enemy, Revenge, Opera
That is what’s brewing on the winter gaming table. I’m eager to see it all come together.
Links for my own storage: