Monday, January 1, 2024

Emirikol Brainstorming

Having decided on a swashbuckling game, an afternoon of general brainstorming gave me the following:

·       1st Ed DMG P193, Emirikol the Chaotic, more specifically the city represented. There are also docks with a high seas trade, if the PCs decide to go privateering.

·       Key Inspirations: Three Musketeers et al; The Phoenix Guards et al; Captain Alatriste et al

·       The empire has no emperor - the last emperor, who lived well over a century, ascended to Godhood and left a republic in his wake. Most of the noble houses admit this is for the best, and the larger houses are major landholders and are hardly without power in the republic.

·       The mercantile class is burying up lesser nobility’s lands; technically they are purchasing a lien, as only the emperor/an act of the republic can deprive a noble property. Nobles in bad luck lien out lands to get funds to survive until the next lien period, leading to lots of landless nobles.

·       These landless nobles are the PCs. The Aristocrat is being beefed up to be a full character class, and if any PCs takes levels in that they still have some family land (and therefore funds).

·       The landless nobility take personal honor, and dueling to protect it, very seriously. There are dozens of different fencing schools, each proclaiming their own superiority, along with church forces and the republic’s armies.

·       Like fencing, magical combat is taken seriously. Sorcerers are those who have trained in specific spell and weapon combinations so obsessively that they can perform them unprepared (often by lesser nobility), and they also gain the short sword proficiency .

·       Some of these schools are so well developed as to have their own prestige classes, enterable at or around 6th level. Paladins have become a Prestige Class; once the emperor’s personal guard, with the last emperor’s ascension these incorruptible swordsmen are beacons of justice.

·       Legal duels require a witness (preferably a paladin), fought to first blood or unconsciousness. With a Paladin and Lay on hands present, it means legal duels are seldom fatal - though the Paladin will heal 1 point to keep you from bleeding out and you can heal the rest on your own....

·       As far as weapons are concerned, Emirikol has no heavy armor. Classes with heavy armor proficiency get 1 extra skill point per level instead. There is no heavy armor because there are firearms - single shot guns that do d6 or d8 damage with a threat range of 17-20 and a x4 crit multiplier – and heavy crossbows. Basically, why heavy armor died in the real world.

·       Short bows, longbows, and light crossbows are illegal inside the city, and not considered the weapons of noblemen outside them. There are laws/customs for who can carry what weapon where, all designed to keep the PCs armed with daggers, short swords, rapiers, and longswords.

·       There was some time of chaos in the past, from which the law-driven empire was founded. Over time some noble lines fell into chaos cults, building elaborate chaos crypts for their rituals and treasures. Those lines ushered in a chaos invasion, and when that was beaten back the lines were destroyed. Anything found in a chaos crypt is fair game, tax free.  

·       Monsters that can’t be affected by critical hits (especially corporeal undead) are exceedingly rare; beast men of all sorts and chaos agents are the real threat. Clerics worship the 4 elements plus ancestors and the divine emperor. Turn Undead will get a boost since undead are rare.

·       Since the 1st level multi-classing rules are a pain, and I want PCs to define early with multi-class (especially with Aristocrat) I am letting people stat out at 2nd level, but they still have to earn the 1000 XP to get from 1st to second (so at 3000 xp earned they get their first in game level up).

·       limit the starting PC races to Human, Elf, Half Elf, Gnome, and Halfling; I am hoping to see more gnomes and halflings, I don’t want to deal with Dwarves/Half Orcs. Human names are Spanish; Elven, French; Halfling, German; Gnomes, Hungarian. Avoid random collections of syllables.

This was enough to get started and share with the players for character concepts.

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