Friday, November 16, 2018

Guilds of Alnwich: Eklund Clan

The Eklund Clan

Rank: Rank 0 to 3.
In Charge: Kari (Cleric of Yaunävä).
In the Ranks: Agents, archers, initiates, native guides, skirmishers, and non-adventuring people.
On the Payroll: Laborers, servants, and non-adventuring people.
Influencing the AR: Savoir-Faire (High Society).

The Eklund Clan is one the oldest families in Alnwich, and they proudly trace their ancestory back to the Skidafolk who populated the area before Usk rule. They have made their living from time immemorial hunting, trapping, and trading in meats, leathers, and furs. Since the fur boom, the Eklunds, who were never especially poor, have come into a tremendous amount of wealth selling their wares to the RMS and providing guides and transport services in the wilderlands.

While the Eklunds have the largest share of the raw pelt market of any single organization, they still have their competitors: the Holts, the newcomer Dahlgaards, and the other smaller companies. It’s hard to tell who the Eklunds dislike more, though. They see the Dahlgaards as outsiders trying to take what rightly belongs to Alnwich, and they have been in a cold feud with the Holts for two generations over a wedding that fell through. They generally don’t see the smaller companies as a threat to their business, though.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The Gods of Alnwich: Jürä


The Deep One, The Time Lord

Greater Deity
Spheres of Influence: Boating, Confusion, Fog, Time, the Trollenmere, Water.
Symbols: Cup, Egg, Gray, Hour Glass, Pike, Twilight, Water, Wheel of Time.
Relationships: Married to Ziluma and father of the Vi­łni.

Jürä is the timeless god of the Trollenmere and lord of all waters in the region. He commands all that happens in and on the water, everything that lives in the water, and the weather above the lake. Within his domain, none can oppose him. He is the viciousness of a sudden storm and the smashing waves; the father of sea monsters, and the husband of the Deep. His wife, Ziluma, whose symbol is a circular net, is the Queen of the Deep and receives the souls of those who drown to death. Their children are the Viłni – the multitudes of waves and horrific lake creatures that plague fishermen and coastal homesteads around the Trollenmere.

Jürä’s waters existed from the beginning and will flow until the end, giving him mastery over time itself. Much as the waters of the lake give life in the fish and drink they provide, all while claiming the lives of countless fishermen and sailor, so too does Jürä’s wheel of time heal old wounds while slowly grinding souls and mountains to dust. His memory spans eons, giving him the wisdom of ages and vision through the mists of time, but he does not see the future. He simply steers the flow and peers into its depths.

Jürä most often appears as an old man in a gray robe holding a staff but rarely makes a personal appearance anywhere. He is stern, unrelenting, vengeful, and destructive, but also honest, steadfast, and trustworthy.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Expanding Languages in Dungeon Fantasy

A while back, I wrote a bit about languages in DF and in Starfall, and an interesting suggestion was made in the comments. I immediately decided to explore the idea and wrote this. Of course, because I write about a month out in advance, this response is only now getting published. I hope it was worth the wait! 

On its own, speaking a language other than the locally common one lets players avoid some nuisances and give a minor situational benefit. This really sounds like a perk to me. Similarly, reading a language gives players access to information and another means of communication, but otherwise isn’t terribly useful. So why does each of these things cost so much in GURPS? Simply put, because GURPS isn’t DF.

Saturday, November 10, 2018


Ankhegs are giant burrowing insects that can grow as long as nine feet. They usually hunt along by burrowing undergrown and waiting for unsuspecting prey to walk overhead before bursting from the earth and attacking with fangs dripping with acid. This usually catches its quarry by surprise. When threatened, ankhegs will spray acid from glands in its mouth in an attempt to blind its attackers before fleeing underground.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Update to Monster Template

I have been thinking a bit about other information that would be useful to include in my monster template, and I noticed I missed a couple of things.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Mapping Update

I just finished mapping another level. These keep ending up pretty massive, so I think players will have plenty to do regardless of where they enter the dungeon. Pretty soon, I'll be starting in on the last easily accessed entrance, so I'm kind of pleased with that. I figure once that one is finished, it'll be time to make a serious go at getting these maps completely stocked, detailed, and ready for play. That way, I can start at any time.

Of course, being 100% ready for play will still require a lot of monsters to be statted, a few more random encounter tables, finishing up my Town guilds and organizations, and wrapping up the gods. So still lots to do, but getting closer to playability. Barring life eating me, I should still be on track to have a playable game ready to go by summer, with a ton of mapping already complete. Overall, I'm pleased with progress.

Sunday, November 4, 2018


This is a good general purpose horse, useful for work and war – assuming you can’t afford a dedicated warhorse. Rouncies weigh about 1,000 pounds.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Starfall Progress Report

I was checking my to-do list today and realized I don't have that much more that's absolutely necessary to begin playing in a Starfall game. Sure, I have a lot of work for the megadungeon, still, but once I wrap up the deities, I'll have all the building blocks for players to start making characters. That has me pretty happy, since that means I don't technically have to wait to begin playing, even though I will.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Horror in the Megadungeon

Today is Halloween, so I figured I’d celebrate by posting about horror in the megadungeon. As I may or may not have mentioned, the megadungeon is starting to get a serious dose of horror elements, and lately I’ve been contemplating how they fit in with the tenants I originally laid out when I talked about how I run Dungeon Fantasy. So with that in mind, I’m going to talk about the various things that I look for in good horror and see if they support or run up against what I look for in a good Dungeon Fantasy game.

Monday, October 29, 2018

A Divine Template

At this point, we’ve spent a good bit of time talking about what gods are like, how they are worshipped, what they can do, and how all of that is handled with game mechanics, so today, we will wrap things up by assembling all of that into a template for individual gods. This probably won’t be the wordiest post, since most of the template is fairly self-explanatory, especially if you have DF Clerics. Still, I’ll go bit by bit with brief descriptions, just in case it isn’t as clear as I think it is.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Dividing the Universe

So far, we have talked a lot about gods, what they can do, why the do what they do, how people treat gods, etc., but we haven’t addressed which gods exist near the Trollenmere. So let’s finally get down to brass tacks. Today, I’ll start off by dividing reality into a bunch of aspects and then assign them to deities. Of course, I’ll do this with lots of longwinded reasoning, and I’ll probably meander as usual, too. So buckle up; we’re making gods.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Divine Magic in Starfall

Today, we will talk a little bit about the mechanics of divine magic, holy powers, and so forth. I know I said last time, we would be jumping into developing a pantheon and template for gods, but without the mechanics first, we don’t know what information we even need to write down. So first is first; we nail down the mechanics that will go into clerics, holy warriors, dungeon saints, favored souls, paladins, druids, or whatever else you want to call holy people who do supernatural stuff.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Mapping Progress Report

I've finished mapping another dungeon entrance down three levels, and I've noticed that I'm not doing as much with set pieces as I really would like. I feel like each area should probably have that one memorable location that players will talk about and reference again and again, but I just really haven't been designing with that in mind.

I think what I will do is see if any such areas emerge while stocking, and if not, add some in during Pass #2. I have purposely left a lot of empty space around my dungeon for that very reason, in fact. Now I am glad I did.

Of course this does beg the question: What should a set piece be? Obviously, it should be unique and memorable. Just another 10-by-10 room won't do. But that doesn't mean it needs to be a giant, cavernous room, either. It could be a maze of claustrophobic tunnels in which the PCs are forced to fight ratmen on their own turf, or maybe it's the tops of a series of pillars sprouting from a bottomless pit.

I think the main thing is that it is different from the rest of the area and not encountered before this point in the dungeon. Sure, pillars through the bottomless pit of mist might exist somewhere else as a level unto itself, but here is the first time you see it. These are the bottomless pit pillars, and that level is "the one like the bottomless pit pillars" - not the other way around.

Still, I don't think I'll reuse set pieces as a basis for entire levels too often. Anything can be overdone, and frankly, it's better if the unique areas stay unique. Also, I'm starting to think there will be an area with pillars thrusting out of a bottomless pit filled with mist. Go figure.

So, what sort of set pieces have you used in your dungeons? What is your favorite published one?

Friday, October 19, 2018


A small, hot-tempered pony useful for war, and sometimes riding. Mares lack Combat Reflexes and Bad Temper (15), and make good riding ponies. Jennets weigh about 730 pounds.