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The island: (adventure seed)

From the prow of your ship you see the island come into view. At first it is nothing but a glint on the horizon, then a shining sphere.. a ...

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The punch bowl of absurdity.

Here use these three charts to make a stupid place.

Terrain at present location:
  1. Rocky: This is a hard scrabble place, covered in boulders rock and shale. Tufts of hard grass cling to meager soil wherever they can. Move like the  goats.
  2. Verdant Meadows: Rolling hills dappled with sunlight. Good grazing, lush  grasses. Occasionally  violent storms lash the hills
  3. Deciduous forests: Tall Trees which lose their leaves over the winter. A thick layer of  old leaves covers the ground making worn trails easier to see.
  4. Fungal Grotto: A vast cave system featuring an underground lake, water system. Large tree like  fungus are the  dominant flora.
  5. A vast city scape. Dark, Cramped, Old, Overpopulated. Deep sewers, tall spires, rats, and refuse. Built on the ruins of it's own past the  homeless and the  hungry sleep in the superstructure of  brickwork bridges.
  6. Jungle: Soaring canopy, dark undergrowth, vines everywhere. Monkeys and birds chatter from all directions. It seems like everything is alive and  half of every thing is poisonous. This brush is thick enough to hide anything.
  7. Ice floes: Living on the  eidge of metabolic tolerance. It's always cold, it's always  dark. Salty water below freezing will kill you  more quickly than falling into a fire. Giant sea mammals are you  food, you  shelter, your gods.
  8. Shadows: you land is made of shadow stuff. You live between the waking and dreams. Filtered light in hews of blue and purple streak all around. capturing swallowed impulses from those in the waking  world sustain your people.
  9. The living land: You live inside of some organism of unknowable size. You exist in tunnels and caves of membranes and vascularity, it all pulses it all throbs. Living organic matter.
  10. Desert: Arid , Dry, vast. The  dunes cover everything eventually, your home is built to ride the dunes, to move with the sand. You are a wanderer not by choice but by construction. Food water shelter are primary. Giant Scarabs, tunnels in the sand, those who dwell below the sand, frigid nights.
What is locally most valued as a trade item:
    1d6  then 1d6
  1. Gold: (Or any other metal) Gold: is mined and  used as currency in the form of.
    1. Treads, length = value.
    2. Small Beads, strung on ropes.
    3. Coins, which can be broken down to make smaller values.
    4. Small figurines, usually in lustful poses.
    5. Kept in a liquid state on a  household's sacred flame. Intricate family hot boxes are used to transport liquid gold for transactions. Transporting the  molten gold is only done on festival days, at all other times debts are recorded in complicated ledgers and with detailed receipts. Possession of  cooled gold is a high crime.
    6. Stitched into clothing as fine thread. Parts of  scarves and sleves can be ripped off and used as currency.
  2. Rare snails: 
    1. The snails secrete a mucus which has a very soothing almost narcotic effect. They are exchanged for goods and services. Most of the population are addicted to snail mucus, but this is a cultural norm.
    2. The  shells of the  snails are an iridescent orange. they are broken into chips, polished and used a currency, often while set into jewelry.
    3. It's the snails themselves that represent wealth. Large snails eat small snails, the larger a family's largest snail the greater the family's wealth, the more  they can ask of other  community members. If there is ever any dispute the  family with the larger snail simply takes the lesser snail and feeds it to their own. The  now snail free family a has to find a replacement.
    4. The snails are the  community's only source of  Vitamin C. in the form of an odd jelly that collects under their shells. Without the  snails the community would  all die of scurvy. The wealthy sect control most of the  sails and use them as trade items for goods and services.
    5. The straight exchange of  snail shells. The bigger the shell the more valuable it is. Well to do members of the populations often wear "shell bandoliers."
    6. Shells are traded and valued based on the  purity of  sound which can be made by blowing through them. Some breeds of snails produce a better sound than others. Great expeditions are mounted to find and harvest these, "Snails of purest timber."
  3. Water:
    1. Potable water is rare and as such can be exchanged in  measures as large as a  gallon and as small as a dram, (about 1/8 ounce.) These measure are corked and waxed in glass vials of various sizes. A rich  person is known as a "clinker" due to the  sound of vials knocking together when he or she walks.
    2. Water is collected and stored in large rain bassins, each member of the  population gets their share of water each day. These being the only fresh water in the area it has become a commodity  used in exchange for goods and services.
    3. This is a land of a thousand streams each snaking it's way through the valley. A faimlies wealth is judged by how many small streamlets they have diverted to travel through their  farm lands.
    4. Simple, a script as old as movies, one group controls the  water, everyone else trades for it. Usually the trade is in the form of food, or manufactured items. Sometimes it's in the form of  slaves and sins of the flesh. Either way it's a system of exploitation and the  populous is getting damn tired of it.
  4. Magical Energy:
    1. Siphoned from the earth Dark Sun style
    2. Captured in Gems.
    3. Siphoned from people turning them into  depressed, emo wraiths. The energy is contained in thing crystals.
    4. Contained in small balls of energy  which are held in the eyes.
    5. which can be traded by spilling some of ones life force into another. those who earn more live longer. Those who have to pay out too much wither and ... die.
    6. The energy is harvested from caves containing a type of lichen that can  extract natural magical energies from stone.


    GOVERNMENT TYPE: 
    Roll ((2d20 + 1d6) -5)  Result is -2 to 41 
    Use the D6 result in stead of any negative results.
    There are 41 government types listed.
    Government type list wholesale lifted from here. It's a good site though.
    1. Anarchism
    A form of government (or lack thereof) with no ruling hierarchy, instead decisions are made at a directly democratic level: laws are created by citizens alone, although they may be enforced by institutions that are not publicly controlled.
    2. Anarcho-capitalism
    A stateless society composed of sovereign individuals living within the constraints of a corporatist market
    3. Anarchy
    Anarchy is lack of a central government, as there is no one recognized governing authority; in anarchy there is no effective government (as opposed to an "ineffective government") and each (rugged) individual has absolute liberty. It is important to note, however, that the lack of a government to enforce laws does not automatically imply that there are no laws; anarcho-capitalism in particular posits a form of anarchy with a body of explicit laws.
    4. Aristocracy
    A form of government in which a select few rule based on inherited hereditary right.
    5. Autocracy
    A form of government in which the political power is held by a single, self-appointed ruler.
    6. Capracracy
    Rule by goats.
    7. Communist state
    A hypothetical stateless entity that follows after socialism as according to Marxist theory.
    8. Corporatocracy
    A form of government where a corporation, a group of corporations, or government entities with private components control the direction and governance of a country. (See USA.)
    9. Demarchy
    A hypothetical political system run by randomly selected deciders decision makers who have been selected by sortition (drawing lots). Think selecting a legislature or executive in the same manner that a jury is presently selected.
    10. Democracy
    Refers to a broad range of types of government based upon the "consent of the governed." In its purest form it is the same thing as mobocracy, but it is usually practiced in the form of a republic, which provides checks and balances and an establishment that is able to tap an unruly mob on its collective head.
    11. Despotism
    Rule by an all-powerful individual. A less polite term for "autocracy."
    12. Dictatorship
    Rule by a dictator instead of a despot. Political science is very nuanced.
    13. Epistemocracy
    utopian type of society and government in which people of rank, including those holding political office, are those who possess epistemic humility, whatever that is.
    14. Ethnocracy
    A form of government where representatives of a particular ethnic group hold a number of government posts disproportionately large to the percentage of the total population that the particular ethnic group(s) represents and use them to advance the position of their particular ethnic group(s) to the detriment of others. In Nazi Germany ethnic groups Hitler supported held all the power. Neo-Nazisoften accuse Jews of possessing an ethnocracy in the person of the U.S. government, which they call the Zionist Occupation Government.
    15. Exilarchy
    A form of government, usually theocratic or monarchic, that is established and constituted for rule over an ethnic or religious diaspora rather than over the place of origin whence the diaspora originated.
    16. Fascism
    Rule by a totalitarian and corporatist government. It has also gone by the names NazismBaathism, Corporatism, and Falangism.
    17. Feudalism
    Government by a usually hereditary class of military landowners, who exact goods and services from a peasant class in exchange for protection. Usually features complex webs of loyalties and ranks.
    18. Futarchy
    System of government proposed by economist Robin Hanson based on the idea of voting on a certain outcome and then figuring out how to achieve it.
    19. Geniocracy
    A system of government first proposed by Rael (leader of the International RaĆ«lian Movement) in 1977, which advocates problem-solving and creative intelligence as criteria for regional governance.
    20. Holacracy
    a specific social technology or system of organisational governance developed by HolacracyOne, LLC in which authority and decision making are distributed throughout a holarchy of self organising teams rather than being vested in a management hierarchy. (from Wikipedia)
    21. Kakistocracy
    Government by the least qualified or most unprincipled citizens, "Government by the worst."
    22. Kleptocracy
    A term applied to a government that extends the personal wealth and political power of government officials and the ruling class (collectively, kleptocrats) at the expense of the population.
    23. Kratocracy
    Rule by those who are strong enough to seize power through force or cunning.
    24. Kritocracy or Krytocracy
    Rule by judges. See also judicial activism.
    25. Matriarchy
    Rule by women, or a government which regards female humans as entitled to rule and to exercise power over men.
    26. Meritocracy
    A government wherein appointments are made and responsibilities are given based on demonstrated talent and ability, usually incentivising "merit".
    27. Minarchy
    A political ideology which maintains that the state's only legitimate function is the protection of individuals from aggression.
    28. Mobocracy or Ochlocracy
    Rule by mob or a mass of people, or the intimidation of constitutional authorities; think Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail "witch/duck" mob.
    29. Monarchy
    Rule by an individual for life or until abdication, often hereditary. On a positive note, a monarchy usually possesses more checks and balances than an autocracy or dictatorship.
    30. Oligarchy
    A form of government in which power effectively rests with a small elite segment of society distinguished by royal, wealth, intellectual, family, military or religious hegemony.
    31. Panarchracy
    A political philosophy emphasizing each individual's right to freely join and leave the jurisdiction of any governments they choose, without being forced to move from their current locale.
    32. Patriarchy
    Rule by men, or a government which regards male humans as entitled to rule and to exercise power over women.
    33. Plutocracy
    Rule by the wealthy, or power provided by wealth.
    34. Republic
    Historical definition: Any of a wide variety of non-monarchical governments where eligibility to rule is determined by law. US definition: Rule by elected individuals representing the citizen body and exercising power according to the rule of law.
    35. Socialist republic or people's republic
    A state run by a communist party, or worker representative democracy, with a centrally controlled economy and resources distributed by need and produced by ability, where workers, or the Party, control the means of production.
    36. Stratocracy
    A system of government in which there is no distinction between the military and the civil power.
    37. Technocracy
    A form of government in which engineersscientists, and other technical experts are in control of decision making in their respective fields.
    38. Theocracy
    A form of government in which a god or deity is recognized as the state's supreme civil ruler. Since said god or deity is usually absent from decision making, a self-appointed or elected leader or leaders of the religion of said god or deity will rule instead through personal interpretation of the laws commanded by the god in that religion's written law.
    39. Theodemocracy
    A political system theorized by Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of the Latter Day Saint movement (Mormons). As the name implies, theodemocracy was meant to be a fusion of traditional republican democratic rights under the US Constitution combined with theocratic elements.
    40. Timocracy
    Either a state where only property owners may participate in government or where rulers are selected and perpetuated based on the degree of honor they hold relative to others in their society, peer group or class.
    41. Tyranny
    Rule by a selfish or otherwise bad single ruler

    Why am I doing this?
    No reason..

    Anyone remember Soul Calibur 2 on the PS2?
    First, when you lose in that game, then choose to continue. The  booming announcer voice says "The Fire Still BURNS.." Which I think is great and could lead me down a whole path of digression about why I still write this blog and play RPG's at the age of forty one. No one wants to read that shit.

    My real reason for mentioning a thirteen year old game is a bit more gamerly.

    Perhaps it was the weapon based fighting. Perhaps it was the  inclusion of the market and the  "conquest mode." I don't know why exactly but I have always thought that game would make a great paper and pencil RPG.
    I think that the setting is a sublime mash up of the year 1591, cursed magic swords, a samurai, magic, and whatever the hell this is..

    Voldo-rific-pantsuit
    My point being  settings are fun, settings are the  underpinning of  everything that happens at the table, and if a group is only going to use it once, settings can get odd.

    Enjoy !

    Thank you for reading.
    -Mark.