Finally, I am in a position to describe Rime Tower in (hopefully succinct) detail. I started more than two weeks ago looking for Inspiration, applied some Perspiration, and now move to Implementation.
Potential (because I’m not describing them now) other entities are highlighted in bold. Text in <angle brackets> indicates a placeholder — I am not defining or naming fully the entity now, but I expect there would be one.
Okay, ‘succinct’ got stabbed in the face. I have not tried for evocative descriptions here, since this format is usually better suited for reference notes. I also have written more than the notes I might normally have kept for myself, since I am trying to be more clear than I need to jog my own memory.
While there are still a lot of questions to answer (yay! Stuff I can make my PCs look for) and gaps to fill (ditto!) I have enough that I can use this in scenario or setting development. This will undoubtedly fill in some holes and open some others (just why is that character the commander of the port of Evermelt, and why doesn’t the bay there ever freeze over?), but to me, that is a good thing.
Bastion of good, protectors of the icy north from the warm landers who would invade.
- Constantly vigilant against the warm landers, sometimes invade (or ‘counter-invade’) to limit staging opportunities by the warm landers.
- Rime Tower is located over a place of power held in high interest by Count Linnorm of the Frost Court (a faction of the fey found locally). Linnorm may be interested in gaining control of this place of power, though the cost he is willing to pay — or to see paid, if he can avoid paying it himself — is not known.
- One of the <royal cousins> was sent here to gain seasoning and credibility as a leader, so he can be a worthy contender for the throne when the king dies. He is ambitious but honest and frankly somewhat naive, and may be overzealous. He rarely lacks incautiousness, but has so far been lucky enough that he is gaining something of a following among the Tower defenders.
- Various local creatures. Pretty much all creatures appropriate to Cold terrains (especially mountains and forest), though most of the actually evil ones will have been eradicated if possible. Many have the (Cold) subtype (either naturally or through templates).
A couple of days ago I came up with the idea of Rime Tower. I started basically from a blank sheet of paper, some dice, and a small (mmm… about six-inch) stack of RPG books and went looking for ideas.
I ended up with a rough idea of what I was going to build– Rime Tower, a tower of ice where a band of divine champions… does something. At least some of them having flying mounts of a type not yet determined, they probably have some abilities relating to the sun and to winter and cold. I have identified a number of other potential entities to consider and questions to answer, including:
- Obsidian Spire, and the followers of the Sunlord there
- The Sunlord himself
- Smaller bastions of the orders of Rime Tower and Obsidian Spire.
- What kind of opponents do they face?
- What precise goals?
- Prestige classes (or talents, in Echelon).
- What kinds of mounts do they use? I feel like I don’t want a ‘normal’ or ‘common’ flying mount.
- What other affiliations and associations do they have? Check other terrain types, climates.
In short, while I now have an idea where I’m going, I’ve got a fair bit of work ahead of me.
… but this time it should be less than last time. I’ve got things tuned so I can cover more ground when I’m reading. I should have a post in the hopper in the next couple of days, no labs to do this week.
I’ve been reading B/X Blackrazor since I really started getting into RPG blogs, and I have a copy of a Companion set, but… where can I find the base set? Context suggests it’s a specific rule set, but my google-fu is failing me and I have been unable to put my hands on it. I suspect I may have misunderstood and it is a generic term used for OSR-style low-level D&D rules and play, but I don’t really get that feeling.
Can anyone help me out here? Thanks.
‘Falls off the RNG’ is an expression many designers use to describe designs that cause two characters of comparable power to have large enough differences that they exceed the size of the random number generator (RNG, usually dice in a tabletop RPG). At this point it is impossible for the lower-score character to defeat the higher-score character on the relevant check. It can be impossible to find a challenge that one will find interesting (i.e. some chance of success and some of failure) that the other either will not fail automatically or succeed automatically.
Many people consider this a bad design. I am no longer convinced.
Comparing Existing Editions
I will start with a summary comparison of three editions of Dungeons & Dragons. I am not so familiar with D&D 4e so I had help from Nik (thanks Nik!), D&D 3.x I’m quite familiar with but stuck mostly to core, AD&D 2e I have not played in somewhat over a decade but do still have the books handy.
The details behind the values described below (‘showing the work’) can be seen in Falling off the RNG (Heavy Lifting).