This post is some raw ideas transcribed from some very loose notes from a one-shot adventure I put together for Swords & Wizardry. I present them here as a loose framework for anyone to use however they wish in their own games.
The immediate area surrounding the town of Silverbrooke has long been protected by the “witch” of the Citrine Tower. Though human, she’s been around as long as a lot of elves can remember. Her tower pulses with a fresh, yellowish glow that casts a serene light by nightfall (and is even noticeable by day.) She only leaves her estate two days a month to acquire goods from the local markets. It’s unknown where her wealth comes from — many speculate she’s a master alchemist, but her coins always have the imperial stamps of the time.
In the past year, however, her absence has been felt across the whole of the countryside. The fresh yellow of her Citrine tower is now a shade akin to a gingivitis grin. The crops around Silverbrooke have been suffering from a blight, and vines of thorns tendril out of the woods as if to suffocate the farmlands.
Continue reading The Witch of the Citrine Tower
Revisiting my old fantasy setting ideas in a new way — using the Cypher System Rulebook.
Last month, for my 33rd birthday, I decided to take a break from The Strange and run a more “traditional” fantasy game using the Cypher System Rulebook. The tricky part was I knew a couple of my players were burned out on the fantasy stuff, which made the weird aspects of our previous game so appealing. Having a conversation with one of them, I decided to scale back and lean towards a more ancient world/bronze-age setting to remedy the bad accents and tropes of high-fantasy feudalism.
What I ended up doing was recycling the setting notes I had for my Scorn of the God-Eaters setting (as well as a couple of other settings I ran using ACKS/LoTFP). The original concept was sort of a colonial/baroque era setting where exiled prisoners and heretics of an empire were forced to survive on a savage continent. Now, it’s been revised to: Descendants of a conquered empire have fled across the Shattered Seas to regroup and rebuild away from the wrath of an evil Pharaoh who usurped the throne.
It worked surprisingly well. The player characters felt unique and diverse, each one bringing a cool spin on old concepts. We were able to build off the flavor of the setting without having to adjust mechanics or house-rule everything crazy (the house rules I have are really just setting guidelines.) Even though we had a long play session, the pacing was pretty spot on — even with me going to the extremes of using miniatures (because I wanted to, not because they were needed) combat felt engaging and constant and wasn’t bogged down in rule-lookups or complex mechanics at all.
After a great session like that, everyone was on board for a campaign to emerge from this. Previously with The Strange, I was running episodic endeavors that were sort of a “Recursion of the Week” affair. Focusing on a specific setting and genre I felt would alleviate the sort of disconnect we were experiencing every time the characters hopped realities.
I’ll be blogging about this endeavor more throughout the rest of the year.
In the meantime, feel free to peruse my OneNote workbook for the campaign that I’ve set up for my players.