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Author Topic: (Interest) Barrowmaze dungeon exploring  (Read 3669 times)

pbj44

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(Interest) Barrowmaze dungeon exploring
« on: February 28, 2014, 02:28:12 PM »
Hi Folks,

Testing the water to see if anyone is interested in playing in a new Barrowmaze campaign? Just got the pdf and it looks pretty atmospheric to me:

Local villagers whisper of a mysterious place deep in the marsh - a place shrouded in mist and dotted with barrow mounds, ruined columns, and standing stones. The tomb-robbers who ex-plore beneath the mounds - or rather the few who return - tell tales of labyrinthine passages, magnificent grave goods, and terrifying creatures waiting in the dark. Are you brave (or foolish) enough to enter Barrowmaze?



Barrowmaze is a classic exploration-style megadungeon intended for use with the Labyrinth LordTM Fantasy Role-Playing Game and is compatible with the Advanced Edition Companion. This dungeon setting can be played with any old school retro-clone and early versions of the original fantasy role-playing game.

I would like to explore this dungeon using the LL ruleset (download for free at http://www.goblinoidgames.com/labyrinthlord.html).

Just let me know if you are interested. I would like to get at least 4 players.

Cheers,

Phil
« Last Edit: March 02, 2014, 12:43:03 AM by pbj44 »

Black Vulmea

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(Interest) Barrowmaze dungeon exploring
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2014, 06:26:36 PM »
Sure, I'm in. Anything I need to know before I roll up a character?
"Of course five generic Kobolds in a plain room is going to be dull. Making it potentially not dull is kinda the GM's job." - #Ladybird, theRPGsite

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Werekoala

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« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2014, 08:08:02 PM »
I'd be up for it, don't know the rules though, thankfully they're free apparently. :)
Lan Astaslem


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pbj44

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« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2014, 10:33:38 PM »
Hi guys!

Okay, that's two!

It's been a very long time for me since I ran anything, so nudges will not be resented.

No special class requirements, but let's stick to LL core. I would encourage each of you to bring along two henchmen, as they will likely be needed. Go ahead and get your shopping done during character roll-up and let's meet back here so we can see your sheets.

Cheers!

Phil

Drohem

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« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2014, 11:19:59 AM »
I am in! :)

pbj44

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« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2014, 12:21:54 PM »
Glad to have you aboard! This game just went up a notch!

Okay, everyone can submit characters on this thread now and perhaps we will get one more taker. If not, onward!

Regards,

Phil
« Last Edit: March 01, 2014, 12:23:58 PM by pbj44 »

pbj44

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« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2014, 08:37:44 PM »
Custom character sheets can be downloaded from barrowmaze.com.

I encourage characters to bring along some sledgehammers -might come in handy.

Next post will have some background info.

Cheers!

Phil

pbj44

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« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2014, 10:28:13 PM »
Play will begin at the village of Habrigminster, some seven miles north of the Barrowmoors, the great bog that is home to the Barrowmaze.

Habrigminster village is about as remote within the Onderland as can be imagined. Timbers, furs, exotic plants, and veins of ore support the village, with an armed caravan traveling every week to the smallish city some 40 leagues to the north. It features a single large Inn - The Brazen Strumpet, which caters to merchants and suchlike, as well as a number of smaller grog dives that the locals tend to favor.

The village, though remote, is still a bustling place with many trappers, loggers, and miners calling it home. The local lord, Lord Otho, maintains a fortified manor home here and has some 50 men-at-arms to maintain the peace within the village as well as patrol all roads within a several mile radius of the village. There is also a Hexadic monastary dedicated to Huldra a mile south of the village along the old southern road.

It is common knowledge that Lord Otho and the monastary have sent separate requests for mercenaries to the great Lord of the city to the north. He has assisted in spreading the word, and as of late Habrigminster has many such folk, milling about, forming groups, and heading south to Barrowmaze.



And now a bit about the Onderland and faith (faith and priests are topics sure to come up in a barrowmound adventure)

Here in the Onderland the Hexadic faith reigns supreme.

Religion in the Onderland

The Three Worlds




The Onderland is part of the Middle World (the most important part from an Ondish perspective).
Far above is the Overworld, the realm of Law and the abode of the gods. The Overworld is inaccessible to the tribes of Man, although some legends suggest that one who knows the trick may ride the rainbow to that divine place.

Beneath lies the Underworld, realm of Chaos. The Underworld is, by contrast, all too accessible to mortals. Indeed, the Underworld is like a cauldron of boiling water, constantly bubbling upwards. It is entirely too easy for Demons to enter the Middle World and beings of the Middle World to wander off into the Nether Realm.

It is frequently accessed through caves and the misty meres of the land. This may account for the lack of interest shown by most Ondermen in exploration--any trip into the Wilds can easily become a journey into the Underworld.

Order and Chaos

The Ondermen recognize two principle forces of existence: Order and Chaos. These forces create, sustain, alter, and otherwise impel the Middle World. They are coeval and evenly matched. These powers have been imagined in different ways by different peoples, but their essence is undeniable.
 
During the Elder Days, the Fey-folk subscribed to a belief in the balanced dualism between Order and Chaos. However, by the end of that time, many Elder-folk had developed a preference for Chaos and had been led down a dark path thereby. The Wisse, in reaction, threw themselves behind the Lords of Order. After their victory and dominion, the Wissen faith in Law was justified and formalized as a pillar of the Old Kingdom. This institution still survives, albeit in a much lesser form, as the Holy Hexadic Church.
 
The Hexadic Church

The Hexadic Church is usually just referred to as the Church, but is more properly called "The Holy Church of the Six-Fold Archons of Law". It is dedicated to the six greater Gods of Order who are believed to have direct charge of the world and its symbol is a six-armed sunburst.  



The Hexadic Church is not a state-religion in the modern sense, as no state has the power to enforce such a thing. However, the Church is seen as one of the foundations of Ondish society.
 
Anyone who professes an alternate religion will be viewed most negatively and failure to respect the Church, its offices, and persons, is a crime. Moreover, anyone who publicly venerates the Lords of Disorder in any way is automatically considered a "wolf's-head", that is, an outlaw.
 
The Ondermen do not tolerate demon-worship and "freedom of religion" is a concept several centuries away.
 
Despite their reverence for the Hexarchs, Ondermen do not deny the existence of other gods. Indeed, they recognize a whole slew of god-lings, demi-gods, and spirits, from both the Over- and Underworlds.

The Six-fold Archons, however, are considered the supreme divinities and the only deserving of Ondish worship. Outright worship of other Overworld entities is considered eccentric and embarrassing at best.

Priests of the Church are referred to as "Father". Their duties are to perform the divine offices, giving proper worship to the Hexarchs; instructing others in the proper ways; and keeping the forces of Disorder from their communities.
Although there are many devout folk in the Onderland, there are others who see the priests as essentially technicians of the divine--granting blessings and rebukes as required--and no different from any other artisan.
 
[In game terms, any priest may duplicate the effects of a Bless or Protection from Evil spell by performing the sacred liturgy in a sanctified space such as a church.]

There is no formal education system in the Onderland with the exception of the holy city of Mertron, although pedagogy is a duty of the clergy. Prospective priests are apprenticed to full priests as in any other profession and ordained by their master when they have proved their readiness, with the best (or as critics say – the wealthiest) being invited for advanced study in Mertron.
 
It should be noted that there is no tradition of clerical celibacy in the Hexadic Church; although certain zealots fear the temptations of Chaos, such as succubi, in sexual desire, such persons are most generally regarded as extremists and cranks. Hexadic priests are expected to marry and support families like anyone else and their sons are expected to be apprenticed to them.

Because their office requires at least minimal literacy, priests are the most likely Ondermen to learn magic. The practice of magic is not considered wrong as such, however, the stench of the Wisse still clings to sorcery in many folk's minds. Nevertheless, there is nothing heretical or criminal about the practice of magic.
 
The Hexarchs

According to Hexadic Doctrine, the six-fold Archons are more akin to natural forces than people, each having governance over certain aspects of the Middle World. However, most common folk ignore this teaching and believe the Hexarchs to be much like ultra-powerful people, with distinct personalities, quirks, emotions, etc.

             The Hexarchs are:
•   Geatar, whose domain includes Leadership, Governance, Lords,
•   Diu, the Supreme Warrior, whose domain includes warfare, bravery,  
•   Wielent, the Divine Smith, whose domain includes crafting of all kinds and perfection.  
•   Huldra, often called "Mother Huldra". She is the Mistress of the Crossroads and oversees magic and mysteries. She also governs the Moon and is especially devoted to women. She is frequently invoked during childbirth and naming.
•   Silban, the Lady of Flowers, whose domain includes the fertile Earth and who succors those who fight to defend their lands (as opposed to the aggressive warfare of Diu)  
•   Neorth, whose domain includes commerce and its attendant elements such as coinage, horses, and rivers (frequently called "water-horses" by the equestrian Ondermen).

The Cult of the Holy Men

The Hexarchs are not the only benevolent powers in Hexadic practice. Certain men are beloved by the Archons for inscrutable reasons (although devotion is the usual explanation).
 
These Holy Men are granted some small share of archontic power in life and afterwards. Relics of Holy Men are prized as retaining measures of their benevolent influence.
 
They are typically referred to in Wisse terms and thus are generally called "Saint" from the Wisse Sanctus ("holy").

One of the most popular saints in Onderland during the Age of Lords was Saint Getorix. Getorix was a general in the Old Kingdom, who refused to bow down to the Lords of Disorder and persevered in his Hexadic faith, even after the Kings fell into sin. He maintained his position for a time due to his outstanding martial prowess, continually driving off hordes of Wild Men.
 
Eventually, the King plots to have Getorix murdered. There is a rich tradition of "the Trials of Getorix" in which the King hatches plot after plot to kill the faithful general, only to have his victim foil the plan.

At last, however, the King sends an entire legion after his opponent, a legion led by Getorix's faithless lieutenant. Despite inflicting great losses, Getorix is eventually killed and his corpse brought before the wicked King. But as the King gloats, the corpse of the general rises and strangles the monarch with his bare hands. It is asserted that the holy corpse was secreted away by faithful soldiers and his relics preserved.

As can be seen, Ondish hagiography often reads more like romance than sober religious reflection. The two were not seen as incompatible by the Ondermen. However, not all saints embodied the warrior-tradition of the Ondermen.  Saint Marcinus, for example, was a man of humble origin who wandered Onderland helping the farmers when crops failed and livestock took ill.
 
Saints Desidera and Euphania, two sisters, were princesses who were killed while still children as part of some palace intrigue; their cult is focused upon caring for the sick and destitute, particularly children.

Such humble saints were not the rule, though. More exemplary might be Saint Onorius, a nobleman of the Old Kingdom. He was an active participant in court-life, an advisor to Kings during the days when the Hexadic faith was new. He was also a scholar who wrote many of the important early Hexadic texts; he is particularly famed for his elegant yet emotional prayers to the various Archons.

Demons

Demon is the usual Ondish name for the Lords of Disorder and their minions. The Wisse eventually worshipped them as gods and, in the Elder Days, the Fey thought of them as impersonal forces equal and opposite to the forces of Order. Have their powers changed to meet the expectations of mortals?  Who knows?

Although there are countless beings of Chaos, the Hexadic Church traditionally counts six, great Arch-Demons as the counter-parts to the Hexarchs. The names of these Arch-Demons, sometimes called "the Princes of Chaos,” come from the Wisse-penned Book of the Majestic Sapphire, a mystical text. The names are therefore not Ondish (which probably adds to their uncanniness). The Arch-Demons are:
•   Aaman, the Destroyer, master of violence and battle.  
•   Astorath, the Imprisoner, master of oppression and bondage.
•   Baal, the Fury, master of storms, floods, droughts, and natural disaster.  
•   Moloche, the Whisperer, master of arcane secrets, alien sorceries, and things men were not meant to know.  
•   Nergal, the Torturer, master of cruelty, pain, and the slow death.  
•   Shax, the Deceiver, master of illusions, lies, and dreams.
 
Although this is the most common version of the hierarchs of Entropy, it is not universally accepted. Some scholars suggest that this is too great a simplification and that Chaos would never be bound to six, immortal lords. Certain texts indicate a vast series of Chaos Lords, ranging from princes to dukes to counts, in a bewildering array. Others have suggested that these may all be simply manifestations of the great Arch-Demons who, being of Chaos can appear howsoever they will.

All of the above speculation is a little interest to the average Onderman.
There are demons, great and small, that seek to inflict chaos on the Middle World and its inhabitants and tempt Man into service after death.
That's really all that matters.

After Death

Death is ever-present in Onderland and few take their lives for granted. On the other hand, death is expected and is a part of life, making Ondermen seem somewhat fatalistic.

The natural course of death is for a person's soul to descend into the Underworld, there to pass an indeterminate period as a plaything of the demons, perhaps occasionally bubbling up into the Middle World again, until his ghost finally fades away.

However, if a person has been devoted to the Church (even minimally) he is expected to be lifted up into the Overworld upon death, there to serve proudly at the sides of the Hexarchs.

Okay, I'm guessing that this is enough background to get the ball rolling.

Regards,

Phil
« Last Edit: August 17, 2014, 01:33:34 AM by pbj44 »

Black Vulmea

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« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2014, 12:25:00 AM »
Quote from: pbj44;733738
I would encourage each of you to bring along two henchmen, as they will likely be needed.

Do you want us to roll up retainers like starting characters? Are our 'main' characters responsible for equipping them out of our starting funds?
"Of course five generic Kobolds in a plain room is going to be dull. Making it potentially not dull is kinda the GM's job." - #Ladybird, theRPGsite

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pbj44

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« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2014, 12:51:17 AM »
Would-be mercenaries are flocking to the area, just looking for strong leaders such as you and your team-mates! They have their own equipment starting out, so here's a bucket of them for you:





The going rate in town is typically 1GP per Hireling combatant, per day, and generally some share of his employer's loot share, usually about 10%. Torchbearers and other such non-combatants usually get about 5SP per day, with small treasure gifts being gratefully accepted.



Regards,

Phil
« Last Edit: March 02, 2014, 01:23:25 AM by pbj44 »

Black Vulmea

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« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2014, 03:27:51 AM »


Numaeon the Unpleasant

Fighter 1
S 13 D 10 C 15 I 11 W10 CH 7
HP 7 AC 4 XP 0 AL N

GP 18

Chain mail and shield
Longsword, dagger, and spear

Backpack
Two pair of manacles
Flint and steel
8 torches
2 large sacks
3 flasks of oil
Waterskin
« Last Edit: March 02, 2014, 01:19:49 PM by Black Vulmea »
"Of course five generic Kobolds in a plain room is going to be dull. Making it potentially not dull is kinda the GM's job." - #Ladybird, theRPGsite

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pbj44

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« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2014, 07:57:54 AM »
Badass! And I won't even ask about the manacles!

Black Vulmea

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« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2014, 01:17:29 PM »
Quote from: pbj44;734018
And I won't even ask about the manacles!

He made his bones as a slaver . . .


I exercised the option to increase his prime requisite to receive an experience bonus, taking two points from Wisdom and bumping up his Strength by one ("Choosing a Class," p. 7).
"Of course five generic Kobolds in a plain room is going to be dull. Making it potentially not dull is kinda the GM's job." - #Ladybird, theRPGsite

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pbj44

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« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2014, 03:09:39 PM »
Quote from: Black Vulmea;734051
He made his bones as a slaver . . .


Okay, I'm relieved to hear that.

Black Vulmea

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« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2014, 01:05:53 AM »
Quote from: pbj44;734065
Okay, I'm relieved to hear that.

Not exactly the reaction I expected, I admit. ;)

So, I should probably ask, is there slavery in the Onderland?
"Of course five generic Kobolds in a plain room is going to be dull. Making it potentially not dull is kinda the GM's job." - #Ladybird, theRPGsite

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