Thursday, 19 January 2012

Queenstown part 4

The pseudo-district of Outwall is a shantytown built up along the main approaches to the city, as well as around the walls themselves. By far the largest outpouring is along the Old Kings Highway, west towards Kingsmead, also close to the Midlands River.
The poorest of the poor and those scraping the bottom of the barrel of their luck are to be found hereabouts, though some residents work inside the city walls and choose to stay by choice (or in some cases, coercion).

The place has none of the amenities of the city - no sewage system, no space for cellars or the frosthouses sometimes built within them t store food, and certainly little to no militia presence. These shortcomings are somewhat made up for by a can-do attitude of many of the residents, as well as beings able to openly bear arms without a formal writ. This loophole is what has let various streetgangs flourish, and it is ironically these and an overarching guild of thieves that keep the streets of Outwall safe (or as safe as anywhere without real law can be).

Hidden within the piecemeal markets, stench of tanners and crash of forges (for there is much industry in Outwall), there are several landmarks hidden away.
The Kingsroad Gate is among the grandest pieces of architecture in Queenstown. The Pit is an illegal coliseum, frequented by the rich and poor alike. The Thieves Guild operate out of Scabber's Den, a secret safehouse-cum-bar-cum-marketplace. The Riverwitch's Bridge is an old, now collapsed bridge that crossed the Midlands River at a wider but shallower part of its estuary, and some say the crumbling ruins are haunted.

The characters encountered in Outwall are some of the most colourful in the city, if also the least clean.
Shadrack is a scruffy beggar, often mistaken for a pile of rags when he sleeps. He also seems to know the in and outs of what goes on in Outwall, and in Queenstown itself, though he rarely converses with anyone who isn't a beggar.
Scabber runs the Thieves Guild with an iron fist, and any who cross him soon find themselves joining the ghosts at the Riverwitch's Bridge.
The Raven is a mystery wrapped in an enigma. A vigilante, he is only known by his raven-feather calling card, left upon the unconscious bodies of the crooks he encounters.
At any time, a wandering priest of the Traveler will minister to those that will listen, and sometimes more naive priests of the other gods and goddesses will attempt something similar.

That's all for now, next up will be the nobles and their houses.

Monday, 16 January 2012

A long gap in updates

First off, a quick apology. It's been almost three months since I last wrote something here. I've been busy toying with ideas over at my other blog, and doing various other projects, with the Old Crown sat on the back burner whilst things stewed over in my mind. I'll be resuming regular service soon. Today I'm focusing on some overall setting information that's been stored up, and I'll be back to more specific details shortly.

I've been toying with converting the setting to FATE but I think that most of that conversion should be handled by player. It shouldn't just be up to me how different races and powers interact. The Legends of Anglerre has rules for everything from siege warfare to guild political machinations, so I'm sure there's an easy resource to tap there, when I finish reading it all.

The different flavours of magic in the system have had a bit of a change, and therefore so have some of the adventurer archetypes.
Elementality was the magical style that directly manipulates the classical elements of fire, earth, water and air. I've recently been thinking that it made less sense to have Chi representing only the warrior monk archetype, so an idea of Chi being expressed internally and externally formed.
Internally focused Chi is what makes the warrior monk so powerful, making his fists more powerful, his muscles able to leap further or run faster. Externally focused Chi is now the expression of an individual's connection to the world around them, and is always attuned to one element most strongly (therefore the element there are able to manipulate). The rules I had been working with come from a D&D 4E fan document of an Avatar: the Last Airbender setting, so I might be less stringent and allow multiclassing or hybrids of two elements, but not opposites (no air/earth controllers, no fire/water controller, but certainly space for earth/fire or earth/water etc.)

Next, I think some of the races might need to be culled a bit. Gnomes are gone entirely, since they barely registered at all, as are warforged. I may remove halflings from the Margravate too, but have them mentioned in passing as living in the Northern Imperial Republic, or appear among some crews of trade ships. They were going to include all manner of oddities like the now displaced warforged, mermen and dogmen (I may enjoy the film Treasure Planet a bit too much...)

Since there's little to no extraplanar contact to any but Ascended beings (at least for the start of any adventures I had in mind), there's a case for fauna to be touched in other ways. I had thought of any wild animal encounters to be warped by magic in some cases, perhaps dire animals, or perhaps oddities like owlbears or chimerae. I haven't quite decided how that plays out, though I've a feeling I will when I develop the Raethmoore area in more detail.

And that's it for that update. Next I'm going back to Queenstown to detail Outwall and the poorest parts of the city, and characters all over the place.
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