It's been quiet here blogside as of late, real world business, writing and gaming (ironically) have conspired to delay my triumphant return into regular blogging. (But really how much is there to say about a hobby?)
Besides the Reavers of the Weird miniatures campaign which launched this week with six players, the weekly Hill Cantons game has been going in some interesting directions in the new explore/clear/colonize the Feral Shore sideline. In other words doing domain-level play several levels before "name level" and firmly shaking out the notion that it is some kind of end-game retirement phase.
A thriving (if squalid) little Jamestown-like fort settlement has sprung up and the players have already accomplished some rather heroic (for their general murderhobo scumbaggery) feats such as freeing an old pagan god chained to a lakefloor (who they think is the Cantons version of the Slavic god Veles), finding a book of a god, clearing a massive dam made wholly of human bones, exploring the Valley of Grot and its temple, etc.
As the foothold in the Weird expands, I find myself adapting many of the collection of subsystems designed for the two Domain Game experiments and the Borderlands (yeah, yeah eventually). Here is one of the ones I am currently using to set out what kind of broke-in-the-head people would be attracted to a muddy little clearing in the howling wilderness.
Colonists can recruited to the settlement by the promise of free or cheap land. Colonists will only begin to arrive when the following conditions are met:
1. A two-mile hex and it's surrounding hexes have been rigorously explored and cleared of threats.
2. The players have set twice a week patrols of all six of those hexes.
3. The passage from the coast to the settlement is also explored, cleared, and patrolled.
Every three months a call can be issued back home in the Cantons. With each seasonal call, the player can grant and settle up a square miles of arable land in the settlement hex. Each hex is assumed to have four square miles of potentially grantable land.
Colonists work their own land and provide their own means, thus the players have no direct obligation to house, feed, and pay them as they do for their retainers, hirelings, and followers. They do however come under the obligation of paying taxes, tithes, fees, tariffs and obeying the rules set by the players within reason. An average rate of taxation—1 gold sun per family per month--will tend to not produce riotous conditions.
Roll on the following two tables for each seasonal settlement (or if a special campaign event calls for it).
Interesting Immigrants Table
|1||Crazy old coot|
|3||Local gossip (also practices some kind of trade)|
|4||1d3 wanton harlots or strutting gigolos|
|5||Slave trader/Indentured Servant dealer or other scum bag, 1d3 slimy henchmen|
|6||Tavern/Wine den/Hallucinogen parlor keeper|
|7||Smelly kozak horse caravanserai and trade herd|
|8||Evening or Morning Star society heretic (also craftsmen)|
|9||Starry Void mystic (also craftsmen)|
|10||Silent God rebbe or Old Pahr pagan (also vinter, metalsmith, or sage)|
|11||Feral Dwarf hill scout|
|13||Black Hobbit professional maker of trouble|
|14||Fishing boatkeeper and family (or hunter if not on navigable water)|
|15||Recovering (perhaps) bandit/outlaw/poacher|
|16||Kezmaroki shabby gentily family (extravagant title but destitute)|
|17||1d3 defaulted Bonders (mercs) from Kezmarok (come with armor and weapons)|
|18||Guild of Condoterrie, Linkboys and Scalawags member (owes back dues)|
|19||Non-inimical monster from the Weird|
|20||Something truly fucked up (GM's discretion).|
Boring Immigrants Table
|2-3||16 families of tenant farmers|
|4-5||14 families of tenant farmers, 2 families of freeholders (80 suns for sale of land)|
|6||12 tenant farmers, 4 freeholders (160 suns sale)|
|7||12 tenant farmers, 4 military colonists|
|8||10 tenant farmers, 2 freeholder (80 suns sale), 1 boyar (160 suns)|
|9||10 tenant farmers, 2 military colonists (160suns sale), 1 boyar (160 suns)|
|10||8 tenant farmers, 4 freeholder (160suns sale), 1 boyar (160 suns)|
*Any emigrating family can be substituted for a family of tenant farmer if desired.
Free farming family that works a leased grant of 40 acres in exchange for farming work, militia service, and taxes. Typical family will be five with three working bodies that are available to work the landowner's seeding and harvest. The household will provide one unarmored combatant with club, dagger, or other makeshift weapon.
Free farming family of five that works a purchased grant of 40 acres. In an emergency situation, the household will provide one combatant with leather armor and a long bow or spear/shield.
Family headed by former mercenaries, landsknechts or Kezmaroki bonders that works a leased grant of 40 acres in exchange for militia service. The household will provide one combatant with half plate, short sword and a pike or crossbow.
Wealthy, but not titled landholder that purchases 120 acres. One family of five with 12 servants. In an emergency situation, the household will provide one mounted warrior with half plate, shield, sword and lance and three unarmored combatants with club, dagger, or other makeshift weapon.