The village of Laewas is inhabited entirely by ghosts. How did the inhabitants of Laewas die? You can ask them, but even they aren’t sure. From a distance, the village looks completely normal if a little ramshackle and decayed. Farmers, carpenters and housewives roam the streets, carrying baskets of apples or shepherding packs of dirty children. They laugh, gossip and greet outsiders under the heat of the sun. It’s almost easy to forget everybody here is dead. But as the days roll by, the ghosts lose their memories. They are stuck in an endless loop, doomed to constantly relive their final hours. These shades are totally unaware of their current plight. They are convinced they are still living, breathing creatures in a perfectly normal farming village.
Long voyages can be deathly boring, and sometimes the GM just glosses over the journey. Occasionally, pirates, sea monsters or worse intercept the ship, which relieves the boredom!
The Last Resort sits on a lonely stretch of nearly forgotten road passing through withered, brambly forest and cracked, barren hills. The collection of inns comprising the Last Resort offers a variety of services, some for more peculiar tastes than others for it is not only a waypoint for living travellers, but is also the interim destination for those who have died without a clear path to the afterlife. These wayward souls have a chance to account for their actions in life to improve their ultimate lot. Those lost souls whose final destination remains unclear, linger on at the inn—doomed to dwell there until their place in the afterlife becomes clear.
A troupe of masked actors and comics crew the floating village-theatre of Masquerade. The village—really three rickety barges that visits both riverfront and coastal villages, hides a secret many guests would find unpalatable—most of the performers suffer from leprosy. The infected—generally those with very early stages of the illness—hide behind their masks, costumes and gaiety. Forced to keep moving to keep their terrible secret hidden the folk of Masquerade are on a perpetual pilgrimage to visit holy sites in hopes of a magical cure for their horrendous affliction. The worst afflicted are kept below, treated with kindness and cares as the village floats onwards seeking salvation. However, the true ruler of Masquerade is an even more unpalatable guest—a vampire—but no ordinary queen of the night, no simple bloodsucker is the so-called Silent Queen for an ancient vow binds her more tightly than the stoutest chain….
Are you a busy GM? Does session prep take too long? Do you never have time to work on the cool little details that can bring your session to life? Well, fear not! That’s where the 20 Things line comes in. Compiled from the free 20 Things posts available at Raging Swan’s website, this short, focused compilation gives you, the time-crunched GM, the tools to effortlessly add verisimilitude and detail to your adventure. Use the material herein either before or during play and bask in your players’ adulation. This instalment provides eight tables designed to help you flesh out and bring to life a fallen dwarven hold.
20 Things #23: Fallen Dwarven Hold comprises the following 20 Things articles:
- 10 Dwarven Workshop Features
- 10 Dwarven Statues
- 10 Dwarven Temple Features
- 10 Minor Dwarven Treasures
- 10 Signs of Previous Explorations
- 10 Triggered Traps
- 20 Pieces of Dwarven Hold Dressing
A System Neutral Edition GM’s Resource by Creighton Broadhurst
Released 5 February 2018; Pages 10
PDF ($2.45) DriveThruRPG, RPGNow or sign up to Raging Swan’s Patreon campaign before 4 February and get it for free!
During a voyage, the vast majority of a ship’s crew fade into the background—nothing more than faceless NPCs or window dressing. Usually, an adventure details the ship’s captain, but few other crew members.
Most ship’s masters are keen to make as much money as possible from their voyage. Thus, most ships carry a few extra passengers, and the PCs might not be the only such folk onboard.
Sometimes not everyone aboard ship should actually be on it. Folk stowaway for any number of reasons and such illicit travellers always have a good story.