Sunday, December 1, 2019

Maidens and the Moon - The Cursed City

The Cursed City


For years, the Sun King ruled Gafferdy fair and well, but he passed away, leaving the kingdom to his daughter and heir, Princess Sun. 

The Kingdom of Gafferdy is comprised of several independent city states formed in a loose confederation. All of the individual cities pay tribute to the capital city (also called just "Gafferdy," also called the Blessed City). 

When the Moon King performed his blasphemous rites, he took everything away from Princess Sun. When he did so, he positioned the moon directly above the capital city. It is now called the Cursed City (also called the Wicked City).

Now, the moon hangs leering like a drunken, groping uncle in the sky. It is eternally night and never day. Masked half-men are sold into indentured servitude and their masks are given to hideous moon demons. Everybody is poor and nobody is happy. 

Here, however, is the body of Princess Sun, sitting miserable in a bath of milk and honey. She is watched over by Reverend Mother Wisdom, the last of her holy order. As her handmaidens adventure, they bring back all that the Moon King stole from their princess to this Cursed City.

And, high above the city, is the floating Moon Castle. It is guarded by a terrible dragon. Somewhere in those pale halls is the Moon King. What further wickedness is he working, and how will our heroes save the princess and make him answer for his crimes?

Background

The essential flow of His Majesty the Worm is the Crawl, broken up by Camps, and punctuated by the City. As such, it was essential to me to get the feeling of the City correct for this game. It is the beginning and ending of each errantry. 

In HMtW vanilla, the City is essentially Byzantium/Rome squatting like a pregnant Rosemary above the Ur-City/Hell/Garden of Eden. For my Maidens and the Moon campaign, I wanted to capture that feeling of the Zelda hub-world, like Hyrule in Ocarina. Goblinpunch's attempt at this varies dramatically from my own. For my part, I wanted the city to operate more like a hub and less like an adventure location. There were too many districts in Arnold's post to present the city succinctly, and I wanted the PCs mostly to engage the shop keeps and folk for quest hooks outside of the city. 

I have to admit, I stole almost all of this content from other blogs. I believe I got most of this content from either Silent Titans or Ten-Foot Polemic. If you have claim to any of this and want me to credit you or take it down, just let me know.  

So, without further ado...


Caveat

And, again, there's material here that my players have not uncovered yet. If you're in my game, be ye warned that this way lies ruin(ed fun). 

Rules of the City

Source
This is the print out I gave my players. They know there are three districts (essentially: very poor, poor, and rich) with different shops which allow them to take different actions. 

When the maidens return to civilization, laden with treasure and light on supplies, the City Phase begins. 

Here is the summary of the City Phase:
1)    The GM checks for City Events
2) Turn in your bounty to Reverend Mother Wisdom and receive 4XP 
3) Pay your upkeep
a) If you pay no upkeep, you are Destitute for this City Phase
b) Impoverished costs 25s / Refill your pack with Impoverished-level gear from the Forge
c) Common costs 50s / Refill your pack with Common-level gear from the Forge / Treat 
your City Phase as a Camp Action in terms of expending charges and healing Wounds
d) Luxurious costs 100s / Refill your pack with Luxurious-level gear from the Forge / Heal all Wounds and refresh all Resolve
4) Perform a City Action
5) Before next session, the GM restocks their random encounter tables. 

1. City Events

  1. [Rumor] Two women hang laundry. Did you hear? The Master Thief came and stole Mistress Quick’s collection of scissors and left behind only orange peels. I hear the Master Thief is also a master lover! Oh you!
  2. [Rumor] A woman sings as she empties a jar of nightwater: The ouzel cock so black of hue / With orange and tawny bill / He singeth with a word so true / When you write him with his quill
  3. [Rumor] Oy! Missy! Headed out on expedition are ye? If ye visit all 20 trollbridges, the mayor hisself has to give ye the key to the city. Tis true! Ye’ll be dubbed “Lord of the Purse,” for the good taxes ye’ve paid. 
  4. [Rumor] Two black-robed students talk in the street. “It’s said that the Pentangled Knight is as wise as he is brave! He always wrote down pages of lore as he travelled, carefully detailing strange creatures he encountered! A scholar knight!”
  5. [Rumor] A man sings as he pilots a gondola down a canal: The starveling cat, the starveling cat, / It knows what we're thinking, And we don't like that! The starveling cat, the starveling cat /  It likes your bones! It prefers your fat! / The starveling cat, the starveling cat / Sits on your chest when you're sleeping flat!
  6. [Rumor] Your group crosses a puppet show well attended by grubby looking street urchins. The puppet show features the Black Witch skinning a man and making a big hairy sausage out of his skin! The shrieking laugh sounds awfully lifelike... 
  7. [Rumor] In a crowded town square, you come upon an auction of half-men selling themselves into indentured servitude for periods of seven years. A devil wearing a smiling mask with huge blue horns, a cravat, and long velveteen coat leads the auction. Other devils, leading maskless animals by chains, bid on the masks. 
  8. [Rumor] Mermaid EGGS for sale! Mermaid EGGS for sale! 1 in 10 is a princess!
  9. [Rumor] You pass a woman in the street wearing a heavy wooden shame mask--the mask has a jeering face and a kingly crown and a huge nose. A sign around her neck reads, “Dream crimes.” 
  10. [Rumor] The crowds are parted by silent knights. Unspeaking, they push you to the side of the street so a merchant’s palanquin can pass. The palanquin is loaded with bundles of goods tied with linen cords. An old woman next to you says, “Ah, that’s Hainlik Heavycoin! I wish I could afford a beautiful dress. Do you know they grant you small charms or magic spells?”
  11. [Bizarre edict] The Mayor, Hugh Lupus, is reading one of the Moon King’s bizarre edicts. Silent knights are near at hand to immediately enforce it.  
  12. [Bizarre edict] Bizarre edict
  13. [Bizarre edict] Bizarre edict
  14. [Bizarre edict] Bizarre edict
  15. [Bizarre edict] Bizarre edict
  16. [Dream audit]  Dream auditors wearing long black robes and masquerade masks flanked by silent knights accost [discard suit] PC and ask them about their latest dreams. The dream auditors seem HIGHLY suspicious and GRAVELY concerned about these dreams. Oblige them to submit to “dream distillation,” and have them breathe into strange, long, chemistry tubes. This robs them of 1 lore bid. 
  17. [Dream audit] Dream auditors 
  18. [Dream audit] Dream auditors 
  19. [Dream audit] Dream auditors 
  20. The Court of Wappentake
  21. The Court of Wassail

The Moon King's Bizarre Edicts

  1. No boots
  2. No water (even if abundant. no, especially if abundant)
  3. No money (barter only)
  4. No food 
  5. No weapons (actually pretty realistic, keeps the nobles armed and the peasants vulnerable)
  6. No armor (see above)
  7. No dogs
  8. No books
  9. No tattoos (pay or take a wound as the tattoo is cut off)
  10. No spells (They have no way to actually tell who is a wizard, randomly take money from party members)
  11. No names (Loose your legal name unless you pay. Foreign and noble names are extra. Starts a blackmarket of identities)
  12. No livestock (charge for any and all NPC companions)
  13. No hair (pay or be shaved bald)
  14. No taxes (pay a coin for each other type of tax you’ve had to pay. It covers the cost of collecting those other taxes)
  15. No snakes (Having trouble getting snakes to pay, will give bounty to characters that round up illegal snakes and turn them in)
  16. No colors (Charge characters with more expensive clothing or vibrant hair/eye colors)
  17. Penalize foot size (Larger feet wear down the roads faster. It’s only fair)
  18. No iron
  19. Tax diseases (charge to make up for the danger to community)
  20. Tax youth (pay to make up for not contributing to society)
  21. [Refer to the number that triggered the silent knight]

2. Reverend Mother Wisdom and Princess Sun


In the midst of the decadence is a temple: the Collegium Vestal--simple, elegant, and abandoned. A palace in the forum built around an elegant elongated atrium with a double pool. 

Grotesquely, the pool reflects the leering face of the moon and the floating Moon Castle. 

To the east is an open vaulted hall with a statue of the goddess of the city, Gafferdy. 
  • To your horror, you fail to see the familiar red glow of the hearthfire that should be lit at the statue’s feet. 
  • The statue is unmolested, but the huge brazier that holds the city’s sacred fire is cold and dark. 
The Collegium is mostly abandoned, the sisterhood dismissed, except for a single light flickering in an upstairs window. This is Princess Sun and Reverend Mother Wisdom. 


Princess Sun. They stole everything from her. 

At this moment she floats, skinless, in a bath of milk and honey, with new fresh milk and new fresh honey being brought every hour and drizzled all over her horrible body. 
She has no hair. 
  • Her hair is hidden in the Siege Castle. 
She has no skin. 
  • Her skin is hidden in the Forest Castle. 
She has no eyes.
  • Her eyes are hidden in the Mirage Castle.  
She cries voicelessly. 
  • Her voice is hidden in the Slime Castle
She doesn’t seem to remember anything. 
  • Her memory is hidden in the Skeleton Castle. 

Reverend Mother Wisdom tends Princess Sun. Revered Mother Wisdom has kept the hearthfire burning in the brazier at the foot of the copper tub. A single, golden flame flickers on a bed of round, red coals.

She is the oldest woman you’ve ever seen. Bent double with her years. Long grey hair. A red wimple, tall like a tent, and a red cloak over white robes.

3. Pay Your Upkeep

When you return to the Cursed City, you either pay 0, 25, 50, or 100 silver. Whatever you pay determines what City Actions you have available to you. See the image (above).

If you pay nothing, you're essentially sleeping on the street and you forego and a City Action.
If you pay 25 silver, you're "impoverished." You can perform an action in the Moat.

The Moat


Sights: A canal town built into the massive (elfish built) walls of the City. Whole families live in crows nests built into partially collapsed towers with narrow bridges linking together neighborhoods. Houseboats are common.  

Beggars huddle in rags around fires on islands in the canal. Unused houseboats are pulled apart for kindling. People have a emaciated, wary look.

Sounds: The songs of gondolieri, the gossip of old women smoking pipes and leaning outside of their windows across a canal, orphans hawking cockles and muscles, gulls crying 

Smells: Drying fish on lines, drying laundry on lines, emptying slop buckets into the canal, brackish water

Rations: Pickled pigs feet, pickled okra, pickled spicy cabbage, pickled turnips - in a word, pickles
Breakfast: A thick oat porridge (they apologize that there’s no fruit or honey to sweeten it anymore) - fermented milk. 
Lunch: Barbecued rat on a stick (they apologize there’s no fresh watermelon anymore. Don’t you love barbecue and watermelon?) - sour ale
Dinner: Cheese lit with rum and extinguished with a lemon squeeze, fried squid - sour wine


If you pay 50 silver, you're "common." You can perform an action in Highbridge.

Highbridge


Sights: Huge stone statues of mythical queens and city founders lift bridges out of the foaming water. Multi-story gothic buildings rise up from the bridges. 

Smaller stone statues once graced pillars and plaza fountains. Now, most of them are toppled. In their place, terrifying images of the Moon King, with statues of adoring devils gazing up at him. 

On plinth reads: flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo
  • Anybody who has a Cups of 4 recognizes this ancient mode to translate to: “If I cannot bend the will of Heaven, I shall move Hell.”

In the perpetual night, the stone buildings are lit by manifold smoking torches. Beggars crowd the steps of the buildings. 

There are one thousand cats. In the ruins of an older city, they sit and wait for food from the citizens--which they are given in abundance. 

Black smoke rises from a multitude of silver smithies. 

Sounds: “Lady bless you, spare a penny?” as you pass beggars. Water falling. Merchant’s hawking 24/7. Falling hammers of forges working throughout the ever-lasting night. 

Smells: The smell of burning coal. Cook fires of street vendors. Pitch covered torches. Waste water. 

Rations: Salt pork, turtle jerky, hard cheese, dried fish, flat bread
Breakfast: Hand pies of bacon and eggs
Lunch: Blood sausage, black bread, sowbelly, salads of watercress and crumbled feta - small beer 
Dinner: Broth with a poached duck egg and green onions, stuffed meat dumplings, grilled lamprey and leeks - watered wine

If you pay 100 silver, you're living "luxuriously." You can perform an action in Goldtower.

Goldtower



Sights: Goldtower is an acropolis set on a high plateau--a monumental white stone. The trees that once greened this district are cut down. 

Many mask wearing devils walk with animals on chain leashes. Dumb animals wait, blank faced, in pens and stables. Inside the opulent buildings, you see the shadows of parties. 

At every street corner, motionless guards in silvery armor stand silently. You’d think them empty suits of armor, except sometimes they suddenly explode into violent motion and arrest a passer by. 

Above you, beneath the leering face of the moon is the Moon Castle, once the castle of the queen of Gafferdy. Plucked from the earth, it sits on a cloud, above a gaping crater. As you gaze at it, you see a dragon winding its way around the towers of the stolen castle. 

Sounds: Drunken laughter coming from mansion. Cicadas. The screaming of a horse, distantly. Haunting, minor-keyed music wafting from an open window. 

Smells: The waft of a strong perfume from a passing lady. 

Rations: Dried fruits: figs, apricots, plantains, date, raisins, apple, honeycomb, cheeses
Breakfast: Crepes with jam, quiche - thick (Americano-style) coffee, sparkling wine
Lunch: Moist cakes, flan, cream-cheese slathered bread with cucumbers - tea, dandelion wine 
Dinner: Honey-baked quail, pineapple duck curry, sweet and sour cabbage soup, bacon-wrapped dates, gelatin salad - plum wine


4. City Action

You have different City Actions based on whatever you paid for your upkeep. Choose one from your district or from one "poorer."

The Moat


The Coffin Fields The place of the dead | The place to die The Coffin Fields was the city cemetery. Is sits in squamulous grounds outside the actual ancient city walls. Coffins sit half buried in the sinking mud, standing upright. The old necropolis of the old king Ot crawled away when the Moon King took power. The Coffin Fields also serve as the fighting pits, a place where half-men are kept in unofficial slavery to fight for the entertainment of the city. The fighting pits are in an abandoned amphitheater, with various low-lifes watching the gladiatorial matches from the stands. You can find the coffin of Modest Madoff here. It is obviously broken into and ransacked. His epitaph reads: “At length, my friends, the feast of life is o'er, I've eat sufficient, and I'll drink no more; My night is come, I've spent a jovial day, 'This time to part, but oh!--what is to pay?" If you open the smashed door, you find a staircase that descends into darkness. The grave is a small dungeon. If you bring any light source into it, zombies will attack you. If you make a wrong turn, zombies will attack you. Inscription: At the base of the stairs, there is a stone marker, on which are inscribed the words: “If you can read this, beware! Snuff out your light before you onward fare By the ringing of the bell Will I guide you from this hell” Journey in the Dark: If you ring Madroff's bell, you'll hear Madroff ringing his corresponding bell to guide you through the dungeon. (Any bell will work, not just the bell you recovered from the Cemetery Kids.) Madroff rings a “high tone” for right, and a “low tone” for left. Correct path: Is Left, Right, Left, Left, Right Modest Madroff: Meet up with the now-undead Modest Madroff, now captaining his sunken ship, the Modest Maiden through the rivers of the underworld. Pay him the fee (1000s or his other bell) and he'll transport you along the River Lethe until you come to the Necropolis of Ot. If the PCs have any questions about coffins, quote a few epiatphs from: https://kingsquest.fandom.com/wiki/Epitaphs Proprietor: Manni Prince Monkey and the Graveyard Boys “Aren’t you a strong looking one? Trying to make your way in this Wicked City? Well, you’ve come to the right half-man.” The proprietor is a half man capuchin monkey named Manni Prince Monkey—small, adorable, endlessly persuasive and a manipulative greedy bastard. Rumor has it, he steals the masks from the losers and sells them. Manni Prince Monkey is protected by the Graveyard Boys. They’re a gang of ⅓ cat half men, ⅓ humans, and ⅓ goblins that sits in the Coffin Fields and beat up anybody that comes into their turf. Check out the “Wreckers” in Silent Titans if they ever befriend these dudes. The Graveyard Boys have stolen the bell of Modest Madoff. You have to beat them up to get it back. City Action: Fight! You can fight in the fighting pits and bet on yourself. How much money you earn depends on whether you win or lose and how late in the evening you fight. For brevity and respect for everybody’s table time, the fight is abstracted to Blackjack. If you fight early in the evening, you duel to first blood. You suffer 1 Wound if you lose and 10% of your bet if you win. If you fight around midnight, the sport is bloody. You suffer a number of Wounds equal to your bust (less your Swords, minimum 1) and 25% of your bet if you win. No matter how high you bust, you’ll be pulled out of the pit before you die. If you fight in the early morning, the sport is deadly. You are on death’s door if you bust, but gain 50% of your bet if you win. City Action: Train in the Mortal Arts Practice in the pits and study the techniques of the half-men slaves bound to its service. You can learn any Swords Talent for 50s per XP spent.
The Mudlark See what you can dredge up | Nothing is for free Proprietor: Asaph “You owe me a penny, Peck!” A grey, clenched, continually-shivering figure. Sits fishing on a castle-painted boat He seethes with resentment for anything and everyone, but has particular ire for: The Moon King The mayor of the City for being a decadent sot The half-men (PECKS!) for being inhuman freaks The goblins and monsters outside the walls He suspects the PCs of being secret police of the Moon King Interrogates them about their recent history Won’t believe them At best he believes they’re ignorant flotsam City Action: Go Mudlarking If you rent fishing gear from Asaph, you can dredge up junk from the Moat. Draw from the minor arcana deck. You gain silver equal to the value of the card + your Cups score + one random sodden item.
The Slums “Gor! In debt for a penny I don’t have. Gor!” “Proprietor”: Malgo Moon-pig and his wife, Annabelle Bored out of his mind in the Moat. Asks at least one question for every one asked of him. Usually asks two. Doesn’t always wait for the answer. Speaks in a Southern accent apparently City Action: Philanthropy If you repay Malgo’s debt to you, his wife Annabelle will start a charity drive and distribute the funds to the poor people of the Moat. Every 100s donated to the people in this way creates a notable milestone where the poor and oppressed resist the Moon King. The Teahouse Where to get drunk | Where to talk shop Proprietor: Regina Cow-Queen “Oh you poor dears, wherever have you been?” Sympathetic, likeable and helpful She provides endless cups of bitter tea and shockingly bad alfalfa sandwiches She also offers vague geographical information Career criminal, sociopath, and murderer From the minute she meets the PCs, Regina is planning to manipulate, use, and destroy them While offering endless cups of tea She subtly sounds them out about extra-legal activity “Oh you are a cheeky sort aren’t you?” “Well, rules are for bending, that’s what my old dad used to say.” “You know how to keep a secret don’t you?” “Would you help an old lady?” “Could you take this to my friend in Highbridge?” “Ecub Half-Mask.” “Say it’s from me.” “And don’t tell the guards.” If the item is successfully delivered to Ecub Half-Mask, a shopkeeper in Goldtower, Regina asks them to deliver the next item on the list the next time that they meet. If the PCs try to back out or cause any problems, Regina will try and kill them via poisoned tea City Action: Training in the Clandestine Arts Regina will train you in any Pentacles Talent you wish to learn. She requires 50s per XP invested. City Action: Carousing Get drunk at the Teahouse. If you spend 50% of the silver you brought back, you get 1XP. If you spend 100% of the silver you brought back, you’ll get 2XP. Draw on the Hangover table to see if you have any complications later. City Action: Gossip Spend money to grease palms and get people drunk enough to talk. 50g. Test Wands. For a success, you can ask the GM one question about any subject. If you have a great success, you can ask three.
Turnus’s Reputable House of Credit Pre-loved adventuring gear | Treasures bought and sold | No credit history necessary Slightly damaged arms and armor available for loan Lines of credit extended to honest gentlemen (and ladies) at 30% monthly interest Proprietor: Turnus Goat Star “Two shillings and five for adventurin’ gear! Or be eaten by DREAMS!” Stupid, greedy and mercantile Has no idea he is an idiot. Follows the PCs, ‘warning’ them of terrible dangers. Which they can evade for 25 silvers, buying from his shop-boat “Monsters outside the walls, oh aye! Monsters indeed! Cyclops! The crazed court of Wappentake, cursed with catastrophic power! Goblins piloting war machines! You’ll need good adventurin gear, you will.” City Action: Take Out a Loan You can take out loans, with 30% interest being charged. It’s not a great idea.

Highbridge


Bellringer’s Street Iron helms shaped like a bull | Pair of swords with Venus de Milo nudes as hilts | Set of armor to fit your weird hunchback A squat black hill where the city’s smithies are housed. Here, you can purchase exquisite works wrought in metal--silver is favored right now. Fitted armor and bespoke weaponry, beyond what one can purchase at the second-hand retailers in the Forum, are available here. The higher you climb on Bellringer’s Street, the better quality and more expensive the shops. City Action: Shopping and Commission Will commission clothes for 10s per syllable of the garment’s name Will offer the following outfits: Leathers of Kerry Green This color of green is favored by scoundrels and bandits that dwell in the Green Belt. People might suspect you of being such a bandit. In the forest, you have favor to hide among the branches of trees. Fishscale Armor This leather armour comes from the pirates of the Crescent Coast. Their warriors fight bare-chested, the better to display their scars. Grey Desert Leather Made from the thick skin of a desert dog, this leather armour clearly marks the wearer as an explorer or tomb raider. It smells. Large beasts actually don’t want to eat it. Mercenary Chain Repaired many times by many hands, this armour has served many masters. Not many would give it a second look, for good or for ill.
The House of Panacea A physick for every malady. | Humours balanced, bad blood bled | The Suppository of All Wisdom Proprietor: Atrox Morbus “You are safe. You will be whole.” I will cure you Do not question my motives I am a Golden Chirurgeon from afar (Oasis) I will diagnose your malady for a single silver piece. I will administer several treatments if I deem it necessary. City Action: Recover If you fell in battle and suffered a physical scar, you can spend some time resting, retraining, and outfitting yourself with prosthetic gear. Your scar no longer provides a meaningful detriment to you. This requires 100g. Lamister’s Roost The five-storied tavern is the traditional haunt of the black robed scholars. Famous for its cider. Open continuously for the past two-hundred years. It is a tall, timbered building that leans toward the south and has a common room and a torchlit terrace. There is an apple tree by the river. The island connects to the rest of the city by way of a covered bridge. Proprietor: Cerseor Gigas “Ah, some townies! Well sitcher self down. Will ye be having the cider or the cider?” Part of the family that’s owned this tavern for 200 years She doesn't believe in magic. Is actually immune to magic. This is because she knows too much philosophy. Enjoys challenging people to log-throwing contests (star sign of the Beast), and will wager a treasure map (leads to a buried chest 60 miles away that contains 6 animate skeletons draped in gold). City Action: Training in the Classical Arts Get drunk. Argue with students. The Socratic method will teach you what you need about all subjects moral and diverting. Learn any Cups Talent you wish to learn. Requires 50s per XP to keep your fellow scholars drunk. City Action: Carousing Get drunk at the Roost. If you spend 50% of the silver you brought back, you get 1XP. If you spend 100% of the silver you brought back, you’ll get 2XP. Draw on the Hangover table to see if you have any complications later. City Action: Gossip Spend money to grease palms and get people drunk enough to talk. 50g. Test Wands. For a success, you can ask the GM one question about any subject. If you have a great success, you can ask three.
The Pennywise Pioneer Gear for All Occasions and Vocations | Inexpensive but not Cheap! Proprietor: Lanimel Smittens “Bloody ‘ell, you ladies are tough.” Professional cave explorer Smokes a corn cob pipe. Her (artificial) right arm is hot metal that continually emits a small amount of smoke. Given to her by the House of Panacea. Owns a clever hound named Ripper. City Action: Shopping and Commission Will commission clothes for 10s per syllable of the garment’s name Will offer the following outfits: Black Scholar's Robes Thick hard-wearing cloth dyed with enduring ink. Scholars are ubiquitous in every city. Since they often lack funds, thieves and tax-collectors leave these poor students to their studies. Oasis Merchant’s Robes The merchants that travel the desert wear these heavy robes to protect themselves from the sun and sand. Harlequin Motley Piebald cloth laden with bells, the motley is favored by fools and jesters. It carries an acrobatic enchantment. Its wearer cannot be knocked prone. Gallbladder Musk Perfume Until you Camp, you have a powerful pheromonal scent. Animals (and half-men!) are extremely well disposed towards you. At the same time, humans are revolted by you and can’t stand to be near you.
Royal Post Messages delivered across the land | Ravens trained to fly to all major cities Proprietor: Postmaster Agnocious “My my my! I say! Do you have any lucky pig cards?” Big stupid glasses, little stupid face Dreams of being in the theater Friends with birds Very interested in your birdwatching exploits Loves lucky pig cards City Action: Send Letter Messages delivered even through warzones. Carrier birds can be bought for any city. Costs 10s City Action: Trade Lucky Pig Cards This particular tavern is very obsessed with the lucky pig statues and deals a lively trade of the lucky pig cards. A random aficionado will trade you cards you might not have from areas you’ve already visited.
The Whip and Bridle Budget mounts for the discerning rider. | Low mileage, high quality, all inspections passed. | For when your horse is knackered ™ Proprietor: Honest Bill “Honest Bill knows horseflesh!” Always smiling Loves milk Nervous about the silent knights Insists on his honesty Severely lacks honesty City Action: Shopping Half price horses, mules and ponies. Random flaw each. Horse loans available at 10% monthly interest. Will buy horses in any condition for 50g

Goldtower


The Beaming Barber & the Happy Haberdasher Stylish haircuts at the forefront of fashion | Range of dyes, wigs and extensions |Bloodletting, leeching, dentistry, etc. Proprietors: Mr. Hats and Mr. Hair “No, I’m Mr. Hats. Mr. Hair is my brother.” Twins who often take each others’ place Huge, colored beehive haircuts, like the B52s Quite mad Pretty good at fashion City Action: Makeover Is it time to have a dramatic change? Let Mr. Hats and Mr. Hair take care of you. They’ll give you a real mad eye for the sane guy treatment. Totally rewrite your appearance. Men’s Haircut – 1g. Women’s Haircut – 5g City Action: Fancy Dress Shopping Elaborate Ivory Gown A dress in an antique style. Its elegant silk folds cannot be stained by dirt, rain or blood. 40s Pearl Mermaid Robes A gift from a mermaid princess to a pen-pal. The enchanted pearls sewn into this robe allow the wearer to breathe underwater. 400s Wormskin Jerkin Once worn by a cunning scoundrel. The worms of the catacombs have soaked in death for untold generations. Once per day, the wearer of this armour can appear as a rotting corpse for up to 10 hours. 150s Raincrow Feather Cloak A cloak made out of the feathers of the raincrow, whose cry makes the sky weep. If you fall while wearing these, you gently float. 250s
Bliss The world is but a bad dream | Come here to wake up “Bliss” is a decadent opium den where almost any sin can be indulged in. It is also full of the Moon King’s spies. Whatever you say here is essentially reported directly to the ear of the Moon King. Proprietor: Dhuutholmel “Gallywodger plumpkins, wouldn’t you say? Oi, for vittles and vitals ain’t going wrong with Bliss. But Bliss is going wrong with you.” Barley intelligible. Speaks like Golliwog from the Black Dossier. Extraordinarily untrustworthy. A true, true villain. Even SAYS he’s evil. Interested in purchasing the masks from any half-men to bring more of his evil demons into the world as devils. City Action: Carousing Indulge in the dream-enhancing laudanum and opium of Bliss. If you spend 50% of the silver you brought back, you get 1XP. If you spend 100% of the silver you brought back, you’ll get 2XP. Draw on the Hangover table to see if you have any complications later.
City Action: Gossip Spend money to grease palms and get people drunk enough to talk. 50g. Test Wands. For a success, you can ask the GM one question about any subject. If you have a great success, you can ask three.
Flower’s Bower of Power Protective charms and gewgaws for sale. | Witch-hunter weaponry available. | We buy monster parts. Proprietor: Flower Smilingdog “Wow, you have, like, really great energy. What’s your star sign?” Half-man Dog Hippie Chick Serious about hunting the unnatural Hates werewolves, who are a real danger with the constantly full moon City Action: Shopping and Commission “Evil Eye” Charms grant a one-time 50% chance to give you a +1 to your Initiative when used – 10s “Magic Eggs” - Will sell pastel-colored eggs to the party. If thrown into a fire, the egg will hatch, releasing a small, strange animal (like a 8" tall giraffe) that prances around for a few seconds, singing a song, before expiring. Silver and cold-forged iron weapons can be purchased here. Will buy monster claws/teeth/glands/etc for 1s+, depending on monster rarity Will taxidermy your finest kill for 55g
The Fifth Labor Premium pets. | New and unusual breeds imported weekly. | Barding custom fitted. Proprietor: Mark Killby “These animals love me they do. It’s a pity to let them go, but if you love something, let it go, they say.” Has a pet peacock on his shoulder Is racist - calls half-men “pecks” Into blonde chicks City Action: Shopping All pets are loyal and well trained. Know Attack, Heel, Stay and Roll Over – 25s per trick Leather dog armour with spiked collar Barding Sells two random animals per City phase: 1, Lucky Chicken--This chicken is lucky. Survives danger like it has 12 HD. 2, Riding Goat--Trained by goblins, dyed with purple spots. Does a knockdown when it Attacks but if you run into any goblins and they make a check they might get it to respond to their commands. 3, Escape Goat--If a goat should slay a troll, it inherits the victim's regeneration abilities. This is one such individual--it regenerates a Wound every minute. 4, Sexy Hawk--God you look good with that hawk on your shoulder. +2 Wands when attempting seduction. 5, One-eyed Hawk--First it's a bargain second it's secretly mega-obedient, like collie obedient. 6, Marbling horse--Or at least that's what the idiots here call it. It's actually half-zebra (thus: a zorse or zebroid)--tawny with thin black stripes. As medium warhorse, just more interesting 7, Squealing mule--Shrieks bloody fucking murder whenever anyone comes near it with drawn steel. Probably useful if adventurers park it outside a camp or dungeon--complete pain for anyone else. Cheap. 8, Adolescent panther--Not in any sense trained. At all. 4hd. 9, Messenger pigeon--Pretty good at its job. 10, Truffle pig--Finds truffles! Never go hungry! Ok, kind of: truffles are low on nutritional value but make rations tastier. 11, Riding boar--Fur spiked with lard. 12, Paranoid songbird--Sings pretty much only when unfamiliar creatures are nearby. Unlike the squealing mule, the intruder is unlikely to realize the bird is acting as an alarm. 13, Canary--great for detecting poison gas. 14, Oddspotted newt--this rare, tiny, small, fragile, brightly-colored species survives by immediately crawling into the darkest narrowest place it can find. Good for finding hidden seams in the architecture. 15, Eastern leopard-cat--merchant selling it just thinks it's a fancy domestic cat left by sailors from Yoon-Suin. Which it is. However, it also has literally nine lives. Well, eight. It used one getting here. 16. Frog prince--Appears to be simply a fascinating, indigo-patterned frog, medium-sized. Unbeknownst to the merchant it is frog royalty--other frogs, toads, bullywugs, blindheims, slaads and batrachians of all kinds will defer to it and pay it homage. 17. Thrusting pheasant--Trained to peck and chase anything smaller than itself. Does no damage but irritating enough to grant advantage to anyone else attacking the same target. Allegedly bred for fairy-catching. 18. Blue-sided viper--1 hp, save or take 2d20. Not trained or trainable. Handle with care. 19. Amusing bunny--overweight and dalmatian-spotted, it loves to gambol, hop and romp. Anyone possessed of such a bunny will be at advantage when a basically decent person tries to determine if you yourself are a decent person. 20. Literal skillmonkey--likely a variety of capuchin, it has either pick locks (1-2) or pick pockets (3-4) as a 3rd level thief focusing on those skills in whatever system.
The Honest Smith Fair fare for ferro for fair fighting | No silver work! Garden gate around the smithy is hedged by swords driven into the ground Proprietor: Anette the Ox “I told you last time - I won’t work with silver for you f...oh! Sorry. How can I help?” Dark skinned with huge natural hair Unshaven pits and legs Like, so strong Would totally beat you in an arm wrestling contest Hates the Moon King Hates the silent knights Hates the dream auditors Loves Princess Sun City Action: Shopping and Commission Will commission arms and armor for 25s per syllable of the armor’s name Will offer the following armor: Black Iron Chain Hardened by dragon’s fire, this crudely made armour always feels cold. This iron armor can absorb 1 extra damage from fire. Mirage Knight Plate Oasis has fallen. The folk of Oasis pulled themselves into a dream to escape the Moon King. Their knights once wore armour covered in gold foil and elaborate scale patterns. Wearing this scaled armor forces the wearer to obey a Vow: “I will never tell a lie.” This armor allows you to see through illusions by spending a Resolve. Flower Knight Plate The elegant druid knights were destroyed by the War Castle. Wearing their vine-carved armour forces the wearer to obey a Vow: "I will protect all things beautiful." This armor repairs itself. Silver Chain Cloak This cloak of woven silver links is blessed by the Goddess of the City. It is treated like light armor. It can carry a Welkin spell cast into it for a later time.
The Wild Inventoria Marvels commissioned | Impossibilities realized | Pushing the limits of Science Proprietor: Obb the Gobb(lin) “Hoo hoo hoo! I’ll make ya anything ya can canny. But ya have to try it out!” Nimble as the dickens. Cartwheels everywhere. Everywhere. Enjoys scaring babies, stealing candy, and falling asleep in people's bags. When you think he's wandered off, he's probably just asleep in your satchel. Immune to fear City Action: Commission Invention Price dependent on syllables needed to name the item (10s per syllable) Builds heretofore unknown marvels at your request. You will likely have to test the prototypes.



5 comments:

  1. I think the interaction between the "upkeep" levels and the "city actions" is really interesting.

    (That's to say nothing of the interaction between "upkeep" and gear and "upkeep" and healing!)

    So the level of "upkeep" you pay determines which neighborhoods you get to hang out in, and then each neighborhood has a number of possible "city actions" you can take? And the more expensive neighborhoods offer more beneficial actions?

    I REALLY like the way you've set this up. I haven't been having particularly dedicated downtimes in the last few games I've run, but this is a really nice procedure for running them.

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  2. Replies
    1. Also: maybe consider repurposing some random tables from Warhammer or Mordheim for the 0 upkeep situation, so that something still happens but it's purely random and seldom very good.
      Anyway, the tiered experience of the city related to what you pay is excellent.

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