Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Regional Meta-Event Tables for Tidelock

Change is a huge theme for my Tidelock home campaigns. The world is specifically designed to be an easily-tipped equilibrium, a breeding ground for chaos that players can easily exploit.

From Game of Thrones, Season 3 Episode 6

One of the things I discovered while running my home campaigns was that it was going to become necessary to create a resource or protocol for what happens when a group returns to an adventure region. Whether it was a party returning after having smashed the equilibrium, or the other party entering the region after the first party bulldozed through it.

These tables can double for "fill the power vacuum" suggestions, too. Although it's likely best to consider exactly what the party did when they first came through the area, one gets a certain degree of hand-waving due to the complex nature of the faction-power dynamics.

It's important that for each meta-event there is an adventure hook attached, or at least implied.

Meta-Events for the Tidelock Campaigns

The Feyfjord

A cold place where the sun barely touches the earth, save for the hilltops. Filled with strange negative-energy monsters and undead-labor farms.
  1. Roaming Zombie Hoards - Hoards of revolutionary zombies from the nearby death farms now roam en-masse across the countryside, attacking anything living. There is a bounty for each jawbone brought in.
  2. Land Rush - Incentives from Twilight City have sent settlers scrambling for arable land. Expect settler caravans and border wars in farming regions. Development of Necromancer-Warlords imminent.
  3. Mysterious Stalkers - A strange cloaked giant has been accosting travelers, causing them to eschew food and forget sleep. It finally hit someone important. Simultaneously, interest has grown in the so-called "Feral Procession" making its way across the region, causing those who look upon it to strip down and follow on all fours, like a beast. It, too, hit someone important.
  4. Were-Wolf Incursion - No, not Werewolves, those don't exist anymore. Were-Wolves. They can't stand fire or sunlight. Normally they haunt the Dark Wood but recently they've grown bold. A culling is needed, though nobody has any idea how to do it. Great reward promised.
  5. Monster Hunt - The Sky Halberd, a blimp-sized levitating river pike, has been targeted by several Houses in Twilight City for its harassment of their necromancer-overseers and their minions. Farming interests want it exterminated and its guts used as fertilizer. One House wants to capture it alive and tame it, turning it into a living airship.
  6. The Parliament of Bones - Apparently a host of skeletons have banded together to overthrow their masters and form their own government. The landowners of Twilight City just can't have that. What if they inspire other undead to rebel? It'll be chaos, CHAOS! Agents of new representative undead government in Feyfjord - Flesh taxes, bone tolls, and meat tariffs enforced at river crossings by new skeletal overlords. New roads and bridges being paved with bones of non-compliant.

The Northshore

Mediterranean climate with little food and water and 8 factions fighting over the scraps - Amazons, Dustfarmer-Militias, Sand Vikings, Imperial Devils, Wizard-Capitalists, Inbred Wood Elves, Violent Ladies (Thank you, Patrick Stuart!), Refugees. All factions (except Refugees) fight over central lone mountain called Golan's Demise in King-of-the-Hill fashion. Also: titanic monsters.

  1. Factional Dominance - Roll a d8, that faction has gained an edge in the ongoing conflict. Nearby rivals are pushed back into other enemies. Decisive victories prevent two factions from sending out raiding parties, makes them desperate for manpower.
  2. Unlikely Alliance - Two non-adjacent factions form strange alliance to gang up on neighbors. Threatens to break equilibrium in region. One faction sandwiched, on brink of oblivion, desperate for help.
  3. Imperial Invasion - The Solar Empire, with its meritocratic army of man-devils, has finally decided to invade the Northshore full-force and bring an end to the rampant injustice of its petty societies. All other factions form a loose alliance to combat the devils. Violent Ladies merely form non-aggression pact. Wizard-Capitalists eschew territorial ambitions and provide clandestine material support to non-imperialists.
  4. Reincarnasaur Population Boom - Additional 1 in 6 chance of Reincarnasaur per Turn. 100-year apex predator population boost discourages travel in region. Internal strife as important people are eaten and reincarnated. 2 in 6 chance each important NPC has changed race. Reincarnasaurs, though difficult to kill, offer a lot of meat and other resources.
  5. New Giga-Monster - Titanic monster, an order of magnitude bigger than the next biggest thing, emerges from earth to begin its crawling trek across the land. It is too big to notice people. Factional scramble for dominance atop its porous, ridged back, where replenishing food source is found.
  6. Millennium Flood - 1000 year flood smashes through the region, forming new lake and river that carves up territory along new practical boundaries. New type of amphibious warfare develops. Food and freshwater about to be plentiful in one growing season, for one additional season.

The Seventh Door

A largely dry, mountainous region adjacent to the large Eastern Desert, with several saltwater rivers snaking through to evapo-lakes. Notable for its rogue sorcerers, dragons, and the Iron People.

  1. Rebellion - The Iron King senses weakness in the aging Mansa, and, having always loathed paying tribute to mortals, pounces on the opportunity. The Iron People enter open rebellion. IP patrols increase. Non-IP, particular those carrying weapons, will be suspected of being assassins or scouts for the Mansa. Trade caravans allowed free mobility, especially foreign ones.
  2. Water Poisoning - Local sources of freshwater have been poisoned by strange gold-sludge creatures emanating from an undertraveled, cursed place. Ecological crisis causes local humans to flee westward, leaving valuables behind/along the way.
  3. Dragon Awakening - The Iron Dragon has awoken from his long slumber, and crawled to the surface. He demands to talk to the highest authority in the region to discuss the terms of his return. His awakening causes all objects of any personal significance in The Seventh Door to grow sentience and speech capabilities.
  4. Witch Hunt - A particular rogue sorcerer gains notoriety after having killed someone important or laying claim to a bold amount of territory. Brave sorcerer hunters and sorcerer-hunters come to combat the infamous one and steal their secrets, flooding the land with strife as the hunters clash against any and all of the antisocial sorcerers at once.
  5. Dreams of Hidden Mask - Several famous hunters from long history-ed tribes, along with someone in the party, get dreams of the location of an ancient Ritual Mask deep in the Swamp of Swords, on the dangerous eastern edge of the Seventh Door. The race is on to obtain it so that its powerful sorcery can be used in their respective secret societies.
  6. The Red Lord - A foreign power has laid claim to a stretch of land along one of the saltwater rivers, calling himself "The Red Lord". He has brought many foreign mercenaries from far-away lands, built forts with astonishing speed, and reached agreements with the local rogue sorcerers. Nobody knows his motives, or why he's protecting wastelands. Disciplined mercenaries dressed in red heraldry patrol the rivers.

The Deadwind Archipelago

A chain of crazy islands in the warmer Estor Ocean, with strong, constantly directional spiral-winds and the occasional waterspout-tornado. Named for the Island-City of Deadwind, where the wind is impossibly still and the city's government changes every three days.

  1. Hydur's Pissed - The God of Air, Wind, and Vengeance has decided to smite. An enormous tornado, miles wide at the base rips its way around the Archipelago in an anti-clockwise fashion. Close your eyes and draw a vague lemon shape on the map with a fat highlighter. Anything standing up on those islands has been smashed to pieces.
  2. Strange Sails - A gigantic fleet of ships bearing sails and colors none have ever seen are holding position somewhere in the Archipelago. They are sending out boat-emissaries seeking to trade strange trinkets and black powder for food. Their ships have hereto-unseen cannons capable of striking from a half-mile away, dwarfing current combat ranges dictated by wizard spells and siege weapons.
  3. Jelly Bridges - Giant flotillas of nutritionless clustered breeding jellyfish are forming land-bridges between adjacent islands, allowing their inhabitants to intermix and preventing certain sea travel. Number the islands, rolling a few d20s, and draw bridges between them. Should last at least a few campaign turns before the breeding cycle finishes and the land-bridges sink to the ocean floor.
  4. Island Shuffle - Assign islands numbers, roll some d20s. Those islands switch locations with each other. Nobody has any idea why. Sea traders, and people in Deadwind, are paying for updated maps.
  5. The Unter-Ooze Adapts - Through lucky mutation the Unter-Ooze has overcome its allergy to saltwater. Giant ooze begins to spread along ocean floor, invisibly taking over nearby islands. Only a matter of time until it spreads to the entire world now. To observer, looks like strange "glitches" occurring all over.
  6. Colonization - Regional interests, satisfied with their appraisal of the Archipelago, have begun carving up the territory and establishing colonies and trading posts. Deadwinders will find their island-city under siege by far empires, and their people impressed into service in foreign navies. Islands found to have valuable resources or capable of sustaining people will gain a foreign presence. The Goddess Liberty begins preparing the population to go to war.

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