Jonathan: Stephen, tell us a bit about A12: When the Ship Goes Down and what inspired you to write this adventure.
Stephen: Well, this was inspired by one of the two comments from our group that have stuck with me most as I DMed. Foz, a player that really likes to know what’s going on before he flies into action, had been caught out by a trap and for a while, his character’s mantra became;
“I check there’s a floor to this room…”
(For the record, the other comment is, “You greedy dwarf, you’ve eaten all the candles!” But that’s another tale.)
I’m also a big fan of confusing PCs’ expectations. PCs are mostly used to getting their own way, so, for example, in A6, they are thwarted at every turn and have to go through a lot before they succeed and in areas of A9, many of their expected ways of doing something have to be changed completely around.
So it struck me that PCs expect “the dungeon” to be a certain way up. We’d looked at zero-gravity in A9, so didn’t want a repeat, but sometimes it’s a minor difference rather than a major one that becomes the inconvenience. What might that inconvenience be?
Two films came to mind as well. “The Cube”, which has been an inspiration in many ways for a decade and a half, as it goes from providing ideas for deadly traps all the way to showing the way characters’ feelings ebb and flow, albeit in a shortened timeframe, and to a lesser degree, “The Undiscovered Country” with its the assassination scene, not because of the anti-gravity, but the way it looks with the assassins in the magnetic boots, climbing up and down at different angles.
Of course, creatures that can fly, climb well or just plain float won’t ave any probem with any of this, so the inconvenience is only for the PCs, who must either be well equipped, use lots of magic or just climb a lot. That fighter in his banded mail, boy, I bet he wishes it wasn’t quite so heavy…
Jonathan: You can read Stephen Yeardley’s adventure “When the Ship Goes Down” right now on Adventureaweek.com or purchase the PDF which should be released on Paizo and RPGnow sometime next week! Enjoy!
Todd has updated the map and added the country of NaeraCull. NaeraCull and Pradjna are not available to choose as your primary country. You may however choose to assist Todd in his development of Pradjna as he will need some assistance with statistical information and editing as he builds his part of the world. You can be sure it will be filled with all manner of amazing inventions and wonderful sketches/works of art!
Make sure you jump into the forum and voice your opinion if you’re interested in becoming involved in the world building on Adventureaweek.com. If you’ve never been active on the site you may still have the chance to get involved. Simply sign up for a free account and get involved now! It’s never too late to get started. There are still many territories to be explored and defined.
Let us shed some light on the new country of NaeraCull shall we?
NaeraCull has been an ongoing project designed by Joshua Gullion of Adventureaweek.com. Due to his daily hard work on Adventureaweek.com and non-stop work on PDF development and HERO LAB files, Todd and Jonathan have agreed to grant him this section of the world to develop however he sees fit. I would like to take a moment to thank Joshua for all his hard work, introducing us to HERO LAB, and pushing all of us to make our website, the PDFs, and the artwork the best it can be. Salute Joshua, here’s to your dedication and impeccable work ethic.
Country Name: NaeraCull (pronounced Nair-a-cool)
Climate: Temperate, think Mexico (desert, dense tree coverage, and coastlines)
Ruling Race(s): Lands ruled by three powerful undead, with a conglomeration of two distinctly different cultures of humans populating their lands (an Incan inspired people, and classic fantasy gypsy) 70% human, 17% lizardmen, 3% kobold, 3% elven, 3% dwarven, 3% other (standard), 1% construct.
Davional, classic elder vampire with a deeply ingrained sense of patriarchal responsibility to his “people”. Davional still interacts with his people on a daily basis as time permits, and treats them as much like his children as a food source….there is a loyalty between them that goes both ways, he provides for them and keeps watch over them (an unholy guardian angel if you will), and they in return watch while he sleeps, and give freely when he hungers and can find no other source for sustanance.. He participates in their wedding ceremonies, and celebrations of birth, as well as funerals for friends he has watched grow their entire lives…he sits in judgement when crimes must be heard, and punished.
Kham-u-Tael, a former holy ruler of these lands who returned from the grave believing himself to be the voice of his Gods, until Davional arrvied to educate him as to the nature of the undead. A mummy, but not in the sense of a rag wrapped corpse, Kham-u-Tael is still coming to terms with what he is, and that he is not an agent of his Gods…not wishing to shatter his people, and their new founded faith and sense of purpose, he continues to uphold their belief that the Gods have returned him to them to guide them through life. Understanding that to “live” as openly as he is, he would need support from powerful allies, he struck a bargain with Davional when the vampire sought him out, and the corpse that haunted the vampire’s shadow, Malakittal.
And Malakittal (the lich who did not wish to be), found over a hundred years ago by Davional, and hidden from the world by possibly one of the only things on this planet that could ever befriend it. Cursed by his former master for slaying him and stealing his grimmoires, Malakittal found himself thrust into the existence of a lich against his will by the power of an unresolved demonic pact, unresolved since he slew his master before he had fulfilled his obligations in the pact. Hiding himself from all, sealing himself away in an attempt to not meet the working end of an adventurer’s weapon, Malakittal might have simply faded away had it not been for a chance encounter with a certain vampire seeking shelter from a paladin that was hunting him. Befriending the pitiful lich, and promising him that he would never again face the curse of eternity alone, Malakittal has been a trusted and dangerous comrade to Davional ever since. Whereas he cannot rule as openly as his peers within NaeraCull, his thoughts and opinions still carry much weight and power, and all know there is a dark shadow behind the men who share these lands. One who must never be crossed.
Together these three have formed an alliance that allows them the freedom to exist without drawing unwanted attention from “do-gooder” types who seem to always want to end the existence of those challenging the concept of traditional life. Their lands are rich in exportable materials (coffee, cocoa, wood, spice, iron, gold and gems to name but a few), and they have established “buffer” communities along the edges of their land mainly comprised of Davional’s people, allowing those who have had the most contact with the outside nations to deal with them the most, sheltering Kham-u-Tael’s people from as much outside influence as possible while still leaving a lifeline for commerce open to facilitate export and import with many of the world’s largest conglomerates and organizations, all the while hiding their true nature as undead.