Thursday, December 31, 2015

Map contest and the beaver-folk....

As part of Erik Tenkar's OSR Christmas+matt jackson teamed up with Erik to offer a collection of his original hand-drawn maps. The entry stipulated that a comment describing how the following map would be used was required for entering the drawing:

It was apparent to me: "Swimming pool and rec center for beaver-men complete with dams, diving boards, sunning platforms and +1 pool floaties."

So, on a quiet New Year's Eve, have a quick and dirty statting and description of the 'pool' and its inhabitants:

Beaver-folk are stocky, semi-aquatic humanoids who inhabit temperate rivers and ponds.  They are covered in short, dense fur. Sporting a wide, fleshy tail, their webbed hands and feet allow them to move at the same pace whether on land or in the water.  Beaver-folk live in generally peaceful, isolated colonies of 15 to 30 individuals.  The colonies are communal lodges located in inundated area behind wooden dams.  When they do choose to interact with other races, they typically limit their commerce to trading fish or finely-crafted wooden utensils and art objects for copper or bronze tools and utensils.

S&W Attributes: HD: 1+1; AC: as leather; Atk: 1 by weapon (club or spear) or tail-slap (dmg 1d3), 1/6 chance of carrying net (entangles foe on successful hit, 1d4 rounds to disentangle, may not attack, +2 to be hit); Move: 12 (swimming or on land); Save: 17; AL: L; CL/XP: 1/15; Special: May hold breath for up to 3 turns.

Beaver-folk Spring:  A hot spring along the riverbank has eroded a side-channel into the main riverbed and has been modified by the local colony of beaver-folk as a ‘spa’ and ritual area.  The spring issues into a pond with a small island before emptying into the riverbed through a series of riffles and pools.  The waterways have been excavated and modified by the beaver-folk, including dams and other structures for their use and recreation.


1. Hot spring: The spring upwells into a rocky pool at the northwest side of the island.  The water temperature is similar to a hot bath, not quite scalding, but potentially uncomfortable after a few minutes.  The further from the spring, the more tolerable the temperature.  Small dams have been built east and west of the spring to deepen the pool for users.

2. Western pool: This pool is set aside for ritual games, including a version of King of the Mountain, where a defender attempts to avoid being knocked off a large rock into the pool.  Opponents scrabble out of the water onto small wet rocks and attempt to dislodge the defender with flexible sticks (called ‘floaties’ in the beaver-folk vernacular). Upon a successful hit, the defender must make a successful roll-under dexterity or be upended into the water, and the victor takes their place.  There is a 5% chance that a floatie has been surreptitiously enchanted, with both a +1 to-hit and penalizing the defender +1 on their DEX roll.  Scoring is an esoteric combination of avoiding falls and style points granted when toppled.

3. Island: A small island sits in the middle of the waterway and is a sacred place for the local colony.  Because the spring prevents the pool area from freezing, the beaver-folk conduct sacred rituals and games year-round in the surrounding water. The island is bare but for four stones.  An observer standing on the western stone will see the rising sun line up with the three eastern stones during the following events: Southern stone – Winter solstice; Central stone - Spring and Autumn equinoxes; Northern stone – Summer solstice.  Petroglyphs signifying these events are carved into the eastern stones.  The beaver-folk shaman will lead ceremonies praying for such things as gentle spring melts, abundant fish runs, communal tranquility, and strong teeth.

4. Diving boards: Beaver-folk love acrobatic displays in the water, as well as diving.  There are four rough-hewn boards or logs extending over the water at various locations where the folk flip and somersault into pools.  If a PC is challenged to a contest of acrobatic diving, it is poor form to decline.  For any attempted dive, an unencumbered PC has a 5% chance of success per point of dexterity.  At the gamemaster’s discretion, an ‘easy’ dive may be attempted at +10% chance of success, and a ‘hard’ dive at a -10% chance. There is a 10% chance of hitting bottom or a submerged object, causing 1d6 points of damage (Beaver-folk will never misjudge a dive).  If the PC takes damage, there is a 5% chance of a debilitating head or neck wound: 1. Coma 1d6 days; 2. Blindness; 3. Speech/language impediment or loss; 4. Debilitating headaches and nausea; 5. Personality/alignment change; 6. paralysis (80% paraplegic, 20% quadriplegic).  Requires cure serious wounds or equivalent to cure.

5. Sunning platforms: Several of these rectangular platforms are arrayed in the eastern channel.  They are built of a combination of wood, matting, and stone, and beaver-folk will sun themselves on these, while preening their dense fur. Young ‘uns will often scrabble about on the platforms, and couples may be seen courting.

6. Fishing weir: Submerged stakes and wattle at mouth of spring outfall captures fish attracted by the warm current. The fish are either consumed by the colony or dried for trade.

Happy New Year's all!

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