Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Game of Taps: Answers to Jeff's Campaign Questions, Part 1

Ages ago (if slightly more than a year can be considered "ages"), Jeff Rients posted over on his blog a series of twenty short questions that every DM should be prepared to answer for his or her campaign. I was introduced to this series of questions not by Jeff's blog itself, but rather through the disparate posts scattered across the RPG blogosphere where DMs have endeavored to answer these questions themselves. And so, it's my turn. The following answers will pertain to my DCC campaign (the Game of Taps) and aren't definitive answers but more of an exploration of my initial thoughts about the campaign world. This is part 1 of 4.

What is the deal with my cleric's religion?

Religion varies strongly with alignment. Lawful clerics largely worship deities that represent some aspirational value or sphere of civilization; thus, there may be a god of valor alongside a god of aqueducts. Neutral clerics typically venerate deities tied to forces of nature or the elements or may worship gods far older than the civilizations of man (including the Old Ones). Chaotic clerics usually proffer sacrifices and perform rites in the name of demons, gods of passion and personal power and other beings that represent a "will to power" philosophy; chaotic clerics usually lead cults devoted to these deities and philosophies rather than large temples. Clerics of all alignments, however, may worship the pantheon known as the Metal Gods, though each cleric may focus on a different aspect of the pantheon (more on the Metal Gods is coming soon, I promise).

Where can we go to buy standard equipment?

Though stalls throughout the First City hawk wares of all sorts -- and adventurers will have little trouble in locating a full compliment of essential gear -- it is more likely that adventurers and sellswords find their supplies at any one of the many trading posts or frontier towns that dot the world. When in doubt, a wise adventurer goes looking for the nearest tavern where either the most basic gear can often be found (at a considerable markup) or directions to a nearby reputable merchant may be obtained, thus giving the ring of truth to the old adventurer saying, "Where there's swill, there's a way."

Where can we go to get plate mail custom fitted for this monster I just befriended?

Finding an armorer skilled enough to craft the plate mail isn't the problem; getting the monster to the armorer is. Rare as cities may be in the borderlands, the dwarven redoubt of Hulgaz-Arad has a reputation for straddling both the civilized and savage worlds. As such, traders from all races, peoples and nations are welcome there under the aegis of an ancient curse that prevents racial enmities or the war between Law and Chaos from erupting here. Thus, not only will you be able to get your bugbear friend fitted for plate, but it could even be fine dwarfcraft.

Who is the mightiest wizard in the land?

Many scholars debate whether Sezrekan the Elder indeed continues to count as a wizard or whether his (at least) demi-god nature precludes so mundane a moniker. Some speak with fear and wonder among the mages Emirikol or Lokerimon and rightly so. The Emerald Enchanter is the subject of many hushed, furtive whispers. All of these are contenders for the greatest wizard in the land, along with many other mages of today and ages past, and all would be right, as would all be wrong. Each wizard is truly unique, each with his own spells, powers and abilities to shape reality that are particular to him. In short, every wizard is the mightiest and each the least in power (when compared to any other mage).

Who is the greatest warrior in the land?

The names of few warriors are known to common men, but for those who are savvy, the prowess of the warlord Karas of Skall is purported to be the only reason that Chaotic beastmen haven't overrun the frozen steppes of Dalmohad; brutal with sword and axe, Karas long ago lost count of the souls he sent to meet the Yama Kings in the underworld, but a cult has sprung up in his wake collecting their skulls. Rumor has it that, when they collect enough skulls of Karas's fallen foes to build a temple, the cult believes that Karas will ascend to godhood and join the Metal Gods. Though a powerful and savage fighter, Karas's skill at arms may be matched by the strategic mind of pirate king Malice Vull. Vull raids the convoys of ships that ply the southern seas, be they owned by man or monster, with his fleet of devoted seamen. Nominally the ruler of Bastard's Rock -- once a notorious prison, liberated by a prisoner revolution more than a century ago -- Vull maintains a naval superiority that galls all maritime nations and causes all sailors (other than his loyal pirates) to curse his name.