Too long in the making, here is my playtest/WIP Backgrounds and Station module for my re-imagined Al-Qadim campaign world.
I’ve been running Al-Qadim (well I have ran one session anyway) converting on the fly to 5th edition. I soon realized that I wanted to get a weapons, armor, and gear list set up for use with it, as a lot of the weapons and armor you see in Al-Qadim are different and there is quite a bit of variety in their goods and services.
So, I’ve spent two manic days putting this monstrous PDF together. I’ve come up with the items and prices based on scouring through the Al-Qadim books, the 2e Player’s Handbook, comparing it to the 5e Player’s Handbook, and a good bit of my own fiat. I’ve added even more items to the lists from the 2e Al-Qadim books that I felt were missing (no coffee beans listed for trade goods? come on!). I also made a table of clothing sets to give examples of how the clothing listed before that might be used by different people in the Land of Fate.
Anyway, here it is in one giant WIP PDF. Enjoy!
Fair warning: this post is very rambling, going in every which direction. This is because I’m coming up with ideas while talking about my inspirations as I write. Hopefully it’s not too weird.
I like to consider myself a writer, however amateurish I might be. I write a lot of stuff that never sees the light of day, I participate yearly in “NaNoWriMo“, and I feel like I have a pretty good handle on the basics of cultivating creativity. What I need to work is the back-end stuff. The finishing, the editing, the taking that creativity and turning it into something worthwhile.
One of the biggest fonts for creativity for me is music. We are all affected by music emotionally, and that definitely feeds into my creativity. When I am writing, I am almost always doing so with music playing. Usually this music is Metal, Rock, or some variation of Folk music, which I think provides such a wide range of ideas and emotions.
Another source of inspiration that I draw from frequently is mythology, folklore, and spirituality. I’m sure this has been pretty evident from anyone that has read this blog for a while.
Anyway, the reason why I’m talking about this is because recently I’ve been fomenting different things in my brain pan in order to come up with an adventure I’d like to write that would be a little bit different from other things I’ve done. At its core would be the Holy Mountain, a symbolic stand in for the sacred places, paths, and goals of mysticism, esoteric philosophies, and religions all over the world. Much of the inspiration and the blueprint will be based on pilgrimages and sacred journeys. I want to couple this with the symbolic ideas behind a lot of metal and other music that I enjoy. I’d like to write an adventure that draws its ideas out of both mysticism and that emotional rush and adrenaline that I get from heavier music.
This post will essentially be me talking about this adventure I’d like to write. Feel free to take the ideas and run with them. Hopefully I will have the actual adventure written sometime this year. I’m actually going to be using NaNoWriMo as a “rebel” this november, spending the 50,000 word count exclusively on my blog. I’m hoping a good chunk of that will be on this adventure.
East to the Holy Mountain
An Adventure Idea
Here it is! The third and final part of this setting module about Hill Dwarves. I hope I’ve given you something to work with, maybe helping you make Hill Dwarves a little more than the boring cousins of Mountain Dwarves.
This section will detail the Northern Taiga, that wild land north of the Fenglennary Highlands. The focus of this post will be adventure ideas and lore. Please enjoy!
(Snowy Forest – Andreas Achenbach)
The Northern Taiga
North of the Fenglennary Highlands
Finally! I’ve struggled through this post due to some writer’s block, but here it is. First, however, if you don’t mind clicking here and voting on that poll, I’d be appreciative. That is the first post I’ve ever done on the blog, and I still look to that poll to lead the content. So if you haven’t voted on what you’d like to see, please do so!
In this second part, I will go into detail about the Hill Dwarf town of Trobal’Brae and the people and places you can find within.
These two posts together should provide you with a good setting springboard for an adventure or two, or as a place to stick somewhere in your hex crawl. As always, feedback and suggestions are not only welcome but urged.
The third and final post will focus on the northern wilds, called The Taiga, expanding on the adventure oppurtunities.
What is there to say about the Trobal’brae? Everything’s muddy; the streets, the dogs, the dwarves, even the ale. I suppose it’s also home.
-Gwil Goldensong, King of the Fenglennarry Highlands
Tales abound of the staunch and heroic mountain dwarves, and of the vile schemes of the shadowy deep dwarves. But of the hill dwarves, there seems to be little to tell. The most humble of the dwarven tribes, civilizations, or subraces, they seem to fit seamlessly into human and halfling society.
Those that look, however, will find that there are some things to tell after all.
This first part will detail the Hill Dwarves of the Fenglennarry Highlands as well as the Highlands themselves. The second part will detail the town of Trobal’brae as well as mention locations near the highlands, like the northern taiga.
Trobal’brae is a town for use in your campaign, centered on a Hill Dwarf society. My goal with the town and it’s surroundings is to be easily slipped into a campaign, or plopped down somewhere in a hexcrawl. While not containing any sort of complete adventures, it will provide you with a good amount of adventure seeds and NPCs to get your own ball rolling.
The idea for this setting module actually comes from a campaign that I am a part of that my group plays off and on, in which all of the PCs are Dwarven Kings. It was an ‘epic’ level campaign, and my particular King was actually a bard. Sort of the odd man out, his kingdom was a small highland region of hill dwarves. I’ve enjoyed playing him, so in a way this is sort of an ode to that character. I sort of just lifted the kingdom out of our home world (Taern) and detailed it more thoroughly, so that you might use it.
(As an aside, I was recently invited on the podcast Warmachine V. Warhorse to discuss dark fairy tales and to insult the hosts. It’s a good podcast featuring comparative reviews of movies. The episode I was in (the only important one) can be found here.)
The Hill Dwarves of Trobal’brae and the Fenglennary Highlands
A highland region of hill dwarfs for use in your role playing campaign.
Firstly, apologies for my lateness on this post. I’ve had to transfer to a different work location as my old one has closed down, and I had to help close it, so time became very scarce in the last week or so. Hopefully my posts will become more frequent now that I’ve settled. We’ll see.
I divine one more post about Ghartha after this one, and I invite you to collaborate on this post with me! I’ll be listing some adventure locations, and if you’re inspired to write one in the comments I’ll add it to list!
I’m really excited about this setting and may use it as my main Dungeons and Dragons Next setting come August, or at least as one of them. After the last post of Ghartha, I’ll be working on an update of my Airship Rules, unifying them into a single post and simplifying the mechanics for better ease of use as well as offering more options for designs and stuff. Sound fun?
Ghartha, The Tomb-World IV
Adventuring in the Tomb-World
In this part of the Ghartha series, I wanted to explore Ghartha through the classic class system of Dungeons and Dragons. Essentially, I wanted to list each class and describe how something like that might fit into the world. Sometimes the fit is seamless, and other times some edges needed smoothing. I also wanted to talk a bit more about magic before talking about how the classes of D&D fit into Ghartha. If you want to use this world without a D&D system, by all means do so! This post might, however, give you a good idea about some of the peoples and characters you might find in the tomb-world.
My next post later in the week I think I’m going to talk a bit more about how people survive in the eternal darkness of Ghartha. tl:dr: glow sticks!
Ghartha, the Tomb-World III
I’ve been brain storming about this setting, and I think I’m going to extend it into three or four parts. In this part, I was trying to come up with ways to incorporate the typical Dungeons and Dragons races into the setting. I could leave them out and make it very system neutral, but I had some neat ideas (in my own humble opinion), so I decided to make them their own separate post. If you want to use a system and make this setting human only beyond the nasties in the world, then simply leave this part out.
Let’s just jump right into it, shall we?
Ghartha, The Tomb-World II
The idea of subterranean civilization is a powerful one to me. The impossibility coupled with the mystery of what lies beneath the earth has always attracted me to this rather niche trope in both fantasy and outlandish conspiracy theory. Writers like HP Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard used it effectively, and even artists and musicians like Miles Davis referenced the ‘Hollow Earth’ in their works as a spiritual symbol.
This world setting is one that exists completely underground, in large chambers or claustrophobic tunnels. It draws inspiration from the previously mentioned authors and their peers, as well as medieval mysticism and general themes of occultism. It’s a dangerous place, with societies huddled around glowing noxious vents for life support. Rampant religiosity is the engine of civilization, with many of the city-states ruled by classes of priests who leverage their positions with hidden knowledge and wisdom. Sacrificial rites are not uncommon, and are for the most part seen as necessary to appease those that dwell beyond the light of the vents, in the untouched darkness of the deep world.
This first part will overview the setting and focus on a city-state in particular, as well as mention some of the dangers of the world. The second part later this week will talk more about the application of this setting for your role playing game. Enjoy!
Ghartha, The Tomb-World
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