Friday, November 24, 2023

Mini-Review: "Home" Sandbox Toolkit

Home: A Light in the Darkness, by Scott Wegener

Scott is also author of Glaive, a rules-lite OSR RPG built off the Knave chassis. I personally find Glaive to be a bit more readable variant of the two.

More importantly, Scott is also the artist on the long-running Atomic Robo comic, which if you haven't taken a look, I highly recommend.

Anyway, on to the actual topic of this review:

"Home" is a toolkit supplement designed to catalyse sandbox play by creating a base town with surrounding hexes, a threat on the horizon, a collection of resources, and a pathway for worldbuilding via play. 

This is a good tool for players and gamerunners who enjoy playing characters starting at the "you're a nobody from nowhere" style of play, as well as players who like their gameplay to have a direct and tangible effect on their world.

At the heart of the "Home" approach is the "steading" or base town. At the beginning of play, the steading is little more than a wide spot in the road, or clearing in the woods, with the characters as locals with itchy feet.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Campaign Journal: A Visit to St. Vivinna's Home for the Wayward

Session roll call:

  • Frederick
  • Jax
  • Fulvus
  • Rondel
  • And their various hangers-on
The party is seen departing the Temple of Khador after a mixed interaction with the city leadership. Rondel appears from points unknown with Henry Cee and Toby the Charmed Chaos Crab-man. 

Wandering across the center square of town, they enter a walled grove across the way from the temple. The grove consists of aged apple trees, and Jax and Fulvus poach a couple, which causes them to be set upon by the caretaker. Rude. The grove was not in honor of Khador, but was present since the time of the city's previous settlement, generations ago. The grove was in the honor of Asaxsxas, a saint risen to godhood long ago (she is first presented here). The caretaker explained the myth of the saint, and that he had a special dispensation from the Temple of Khador to maintain the grove. Fulvus tossed him a few coins in offering, which seem to satisfy the caretaker for their incursion. They then asked after the location of St. Vivinna's Home for the Wayward, and were pointed toward a sprawling building along the river.

The party headed over. A fellow draped in multiple tattered cloaks asked, "Alms for St. Vivinna?" Fulvus threw him some coins while Frederick subtly threw some not-a-thief gang signs. The fellow appraised this, and told the party to wait, suggesting that they step to the river side of the building, to take in the view, of course.

They did, and a few minutes later, a side door opened, and they were led into an apparent combination orphanage/flophouse/brothel. Following their guide upstairs, they stepped into the chambers of Brother Sigeric, which were considerably more opulent than the rest of the building. Brother Sigeric was obviously a man who enjoyed his delicacies. He greeted the party, and got a quick run-down that his charity had been recommended by Mellia Saber. The brother took the recommendation, and offered the party drinks from a well-stocked cabinet. Rondel tried to assess which bottle of wine looked the most expensive and requested that one...

The party enjoyed their drinks and gave the brother a rundown of their time in town, as well as generalized overview of their quest. In an information-sharing mood, Sigeric traded a few bits of news and rumors, as well as his take on the leadership of the city. Brother Sigeric seemed to enjoy his position on th margins of the theocracy, and noted that there were more things to be gained in these lands than mere souls.

Frederick, always the cooperative one, asked if there might be any jobs that the party could help with to support the charity's work... The affable brother said he'd think on it...

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Campaign Journal: The Road to Opharel

Quite a few more miles traveled, quite a bit more lore uncovered. And nasty beasts.

Firstly, the protagonists:

  • Frederick
  • Fulvus
  • Jax
  • Slick
  • 3 henches
With their 3 rescued expeditionary force survivors in tow, the party struck eastward on cart tracks toward Opharel, the regional stronghold of the Acroria Theocracy.

The morning dawned clear and cold, and the party made good time. Hearing traffic ahead, they paused, cautious. They were met by a caravan drover and his most unusual beasts of burden:

Slick was immediately enamored with the camels and wanted to pet one. The first one was tolerant, but blew snot on him and tried to bite him as soon as he turned his back... 

The caravan driver, Salemu, was hauling fabrics and asked on the condition of the trade road ahead. The party shared news, and asked if he might have any other goods. Looking about, Salemu suggested that Slick meet his favorite camel, Rosie. Rosie was much friendlier, and also transporting a portable pharmacy of questionable elixirs. Some haggling got the party some party goodies, and they bid Salemu adieu. Slick now wants a camel.