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  1. #1
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    Default Trouble in Towminster

    Starting this campaign today. Most of the details - like characters and what not - will come AFTER our first session.

    The Setting
    This was first mentioned in this thread.

    Crime is dead. The people of the Wardship of Towminster know very little of violence, despite living in a relatively large and lively city. There are, of course, the occasional squabbles over bushels of wheat and hands of daughters, but the sight of blood on the street is a rarity, so much so that the last such happening is almost beyond any local reckoning. And what was there to fight about anyway? Strong, stark mountains nestle the city as a mother would a baby, and the valley supplies all they need; useful flora and fauna are found in such variety and in such abundance that the people are left to want for almost nothing. War is also absent. No other Wardships - if they even exist! - call Towminster their enemy. How easy it must be to be Ward here! People do die, of course, but there is no sorrow. Lives are long and full. And the dead are always Claimed almost immediately after passing so that no one need look upon the dead and violate their sanctity.

    However, as is often the case, things were not always this way. Centuries - perhaps even millennia! - ago, crime was commonplace. Political corruption even more so. The two sicknesses fed each other until... until... well, until something Changed. What, when, how... if any of these things were ever known, they certainly aren't now. If any record was ever kept, it has been long lost - or long hidden. Tales of such are still told, but they are now little more than popular campfire stories, used to frighten children and occupy drunkards. The Ward may well know more - and probably does - but no one can say. The Ward least of all, as each in turn becomes Mute when the Command is taken up.

    For all the tales and gossip about the Change, the only thing that the people know for certain is that there has been everlasting peace ever since. Those who transgress become Taken; those who wander become Lost; those that do neither become neither; and to be Claimed at the end of a long life is to be welcomed back home. This is the way of things.

    The Situation
    Today there is a body in the streets. Today there is a transgressor not Taken. Today there is fear about Tomorrow. And our dear players are among the very few under suspicion.

    Plan for First Session
    We decided in our initial character burning session that, though some of the characters may have crossed paths in the past, most of them were no more than acquaintances and their party forming would be a marriage of circumstance (at least at first). Namely, they're all in a holding cell, under suspicion for... something. Perhaps not murder, but something's gone wrong, and the PCs are the closest thing to a list of usual suspects the nobility could come up with. Instead of starting there, though, I intend to start a bit further back at, say, 9 am that morning and play out the drama of them getting rounded up - especially since it seems at least one of the PCs will need to help in doing that!

    This, of course, means they might not all end up in a holding cell if they're clever or if they roll really well, but that's ok. Them being under suspicion is likely enough to drive things forward for a while, especially if I push them to find out why they're under suspicion.

    Edit

    We got so in-depth into finishing Character Burning that's all we had time for, but some great ideas came out of it:
    • Dead body is Kat's uncle
    • The reason Towminster is this way may have to do with the Temple
    Last edited by Zelbinian; 05-02-2011 at 05:58 PM. Reason: Posting characters in another post instead of this
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  2. #2
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    Sounds sweet! Lots of ways the campaign could evolve and create a good, solid storyline. I play Mouse Guard, but even i can tell that will be a good game no matter what you play.
    Try not to die.

  3. #3
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    Default Characters

    Characters
    Name: Len Tamun (Lucas)

    Concept/Bio: He wants to do what he believes is right, but tends to make spectacularly bad decisions. He is someone who others feel comfortable talking to, and makes his living by gathering intelligence for the city guard.

    Lifepaths: Village Born, Failed Acolyte, Runner, Lead to City Dweller, City Guard

    Age : 26

    Stats: Wi: B2, Pe: B5, Po: B3, Fo: B4, Ag: B5, Sp: B5, Speed Mult.: x3.5

    Attributes: Ref: B5, Ste: B3, Hes: 8, Hea: B3, MW: B9, Circles: B1, Resources: B1

    PTGS: Su: B3 Li: B5 Mi: B6 Se: B7 Tr: B8 Mo: B9

    Beliefs:

    I'm distrustful of the Temple; I'll prove they are responsible for the murder.

    Convince my betters that Walter doesn't know as much as they think.

    There is a win-win solution to every conflict.

    Instincts:

    Write down anything that seems important.

    When someone won't talk, I'll assume the worst.

    When I drink, I play with my sword.

    Traits: [Char] Bitter, [Char] Skinny, [C-O] Fleet of Foot, [Char] Trustworthy, [Char] Kind of an Idiot

    Skills: Armor Training, Brawling B3, Dirty Secrets-Wise B4, Drinking B3, Streetwise B3, Sword B4, Temple-Wise B2

    Affiliations: 1D Towminster City Patrol

    Reputations: 1D Regular at Rodenbach Tavern

    Gear: Plated Armor, Clothes, Shoes, Traveling Gear, Pen and Ink

    Weapons:
    Bare Fisted I:B2 M:B3 S:B4 Add 2 VA 0 Fast Shortest
    Sword I:B3 M:B5 S:B7 Add 2 VA 0 Slow Long May Great Strike


    Name: Kaitlin Frye (Kat) (Molly)

    Concept/Bio: Born to a well-off merchant, who put her through school and encouraged her dreams of traveling the world and seeing distant lands. Her dreams were crushed by her strict and "practical" aunt. At 16, she ran away from home, and stowed aboard a merchant ship.

    Lifepaths: City Born, Student, Lead to Seafaring, Sailor, Engineer

    Age : 26

    Stats: Wi: B5, Pe: B4, Po: B4, Fo: B3, Ag: B5, Sp: B4, Speed Mult.: x3.5

    Attributes: Ref: B4, Ste: B4, Hes: 5, Hea: B5, MW: B10, Circles: B2, Resources: B0

    PTGS: Su: B2 Li: B4 Mi: B6 Se: B8 Tr: B9 Mo: B10

    Beliefs:

    Towminster's philosophies are flawed; If I can convince my aunt, I can convince anybody.

    Towminster's people should disavow The Temple; I must find a corrupt priest.

    I can engineer my way out of any crisis.

    Instincts:

    It's never my fault.

    When frustrated, I lash out.

    Always carry artillerist's tools with me in my pack.

    Traits: [Char] Sailors Oath, [Char] It Just Might Work!, [Dt] Atravieso, [Dt] Tough, [Dt] Clumsy, [Dt] One of The Lost

    Skills: Artillerist B3, Brawling B4, Carpentry B3, City-Wise B2, Drinking B3, Engineering B4, Knots B4, Mending B4, Persuasion B2, Read B4, Rigging B2, Seamanship B2, Streetwise B2

    Affiliations: 1D Crew of Ship (to be named)

    Reputations: 1D Infamous w/ People of Towminster

    Relationships:

    Gear: Clothes, Shoes, Artillery Tools, Engineering Tools, Mending Tools, Traveling Gear

    Weapons:

    Bare Fisted I:B2 M:B4 S:B6 Add 2 VA 0 Fast Shortest


    Name: Walter Rodenbach (Trevor)

    Concept/Bio: Nobleman who was injured as a youth and is now trying to prove himself as a business owner.

    Lifepaths: Born Noble, Page, Student, Lead to City Dweller, Barkeep

    Age : 24

    Stats: Wi: B4, Pe: B4, Po: B5, Fo: B5, Ag: B4, Sp: B3, Speed Mult.: x3

    Attributes: Ref: B3, Ste: B5, Hes: 6, Hea: B3, MW: B11, Circles: B2, Resources: B2

    PTGS: Su: B3 Li: B6 Mi: B8 Se: B9 Tr: B10 Mo: B11

    Beliefs:

    I will make sure that the dead body doesn't reflect poorly on my reputation.

    I need to prove myself to my father; I'll make my tavern the best in Towminster.

    The noble born are generally better than others.

    Instincts:

    Always keep a bottle/flask on me.

    When scared, worried, or elated, drink.

    Always protect my regulars from the authorities.

    Traits: [Dt] Mark of Privilege, [Char] Good Listener, [Dt] Lame, [Char] Gossip

    Skills: Brawling B5, Brewer B3, Drink-Wise B4, Drinking B3, Drunk-Wise B4, Persuasion B5, Read B4, Riding B2, Write B3

    Affiliations: 1D Towminster Brewer's Guild

    Reputations: 1D Strongest Ale in Town

    Relationships: Proud Noble Father (Minor, immediate family)

    Gear: Clothes, Shoes, Brewing Tools

    Property: Rodenbach Tavern

    Weapons:

    Bare Fisted I:B3 M:B5 S:B7 Add 2 VA 0 Fast Shortest


    Name: Darien Shade (Joe)

    Concept/Bio: Scout/rogue who uses his slightly nefarious past to get ahead.

    Lifepaths: City Born, Pickpocket, Criminal, Lead to Professional Soldier, Scout

    Age : 25

    Stats: Wi: B3, Pe: B5, Po: B4, Fo: B4, Ag: B5, Sp: B5, Speed Mult.: x3.5

    Attributes: Ref: B5, Ste: B4, Hes: 7, Hea: B4, MW: B10, Circles: B1, Resources: B0

    PTGS: Su: B3 Li: B5 Mi: B7 Se: B8 Tr: B9 Mo: B10

    Beliefs:

    Bringing the interloper to justice is the best way to advance my career.

    I should use Len to get information and then present it as my own.

    A guard's stipend is not enough to retire on - always get what I can for me.

    Instincts:

    Always keep my gear protected.

    Always look for an exit.

    Always sneak, steal, or haggle so I never pay more than I have to.

    Traits: [C-O] Plain Faced, [Char] Cynical, [C-O] Quiet, [Char] Greedy

    Skills: Bow B2, Climbing B2, Foraging B2, Inconspicuous B1, Intimidation B1, Knives B3, Lockpick B2, Observation B3, Orienteering B2, Read B2, Sleight of Hand B3, Stealthy B3, Streetwise B3, Write B2

    Affiliations:

    Reputations: 1D That Troublesome Scout

    Relationships:

    Gear: Leather Armor, Lockpick Tools, Shoes, Clothes, Travel Gear, Bow, Knife

    Weapons:

    Bare Fisted I:B2 M:B4 S:B6 Add 2 VA 0 Fast Shortest


    Name: Beltrand 'Bel' MacTavan (Derek)

    Concept/Bio: Bounty Hunter

    Lifepaths: Born Noble, Page, Lead to Professional Soldier, Scout, Lead to Outcast, Strider

    Age : 24

    Stats: Wi: B3, Pe: B4, Po: B4, Fo: B4, Ag: B6, Sp: B5, Speed Mult.: x3.5

    Attributes: Ref: B5, Ste: B3, Hes: 7, Hea: B3, MW: B10, Circles: B1, Resources: B1

    PTGS: Su: B3 Li: B5 Mi: B7 Se: B8 Tr: B9 Mo: B10

    Beliefs:

    What is going on with this city? It's just a dead body, maybe I should find out who it is.

    I will find a contact in the underworld of Towminster.

    Nobility is a hereditary disease.

    Instincts:

    Inject a casual 'fuck you' every time I knowingly converse with a noble.

    Whenever I end up in a new city, I head straight for the nearest bar.

    I always keep my pistol loaded.

    Traits: [Dt] Mark of Privilege, [Char] Loner, [Dt] Sixth Sense

    Skills: Etiquette B1, Firearms B5, Firebuilding B2, Forest-Wise B3, Intimidation B3, Orienteering B4, Read B2, Riding B1, Stealthy B3, Sword B4, Town-wise B2, Tracking B4, Underworld-wise B2, Write B2

    Affiliations: 1D Clan MacTavan

    Reputations: 1D Known Bounty Hunter

    Relationships:

    Gear: Traveling Gear, Shoes, Clothes, Pistol, Sabre
    Last edited by Zelbinian; 06-17-2011 at 09:36 PM. Reason: tightening Beliefs AGAIN
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  4. #4
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    After a helpful discussion in the IRC channel I'm more confident about this game going good places. The player of the 5th character (as yet not described) thinks he wants to play an outlaw/bounty hunter type and I had no idea how to fit that into the fiction. The rationale for Kat returning to Towminster after 9 years away wasn't entirely clear, either. But now I have it:

    Towminster has been isolated from the rest of the world for some time - magically. (Or mystically. Or through divine will. Details on why/who/how are unimportant until the players put them in via play.) The Lost, such as Kat, never returned for a simple reason: They could not. Others never visited for the same reason. The dead body in the streets is a sign that whatever supernatural protection was isolating Towminster from the rest of reality is breaking down. Another sign is that the whatever-it-is barrier has also faded and Towminster is now part of the rest of the country side.

    Now I have a world to build! I'll post some screenshots after I draw up a map or two.
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  5. #5
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    Map of Towminster and the surrounding area.

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  6. #6
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    Default Proper World Burning

    I had forgotten all about the World Burning questions until someone brought them up in the chat room! Apologies for beating this sleeping horse of a thread with more setting talk, but I feel like this stuff is an important exercise for me and important information for my players.

    What's the Big Picture?

    The first post says this, but I'll restate more succinctly and without all the hand-wavey mystery voodoo. Basically hundreds of years ago a group of wizards got tired of political in-fighting, greed, and all of that and decided to turn Towminster into an anthropological experiment. Towminster was already fairly isolated, both geographically and culturally, so it was perfect. They "eclipsed" it from the rest of the world, made the land around Towminster abundantly fertile, turned the Ward (leader) into a pseudo-puppet (he still has control over the day-to-day, but this was the wizardry's "back door" so they could tweak and keep an eye on things), and hand-chosen warriors called Balancers instituted swift, brutal justice for any violent crime under the veil of secrecy - even from each other. One imagines the first 50-60 years or so were a little rough - and that a pocket of unrest erupted once in a while - but eventually things settled out and crime slowly waned to a point of almost non-existence, violent crime in particular.

    But things are changing now. The body in the streets and Towminster's reintegration into the natural realm are strong indications that the experiment is ending. Whether it's by necessity, will, or force is unknown, but it's causing an accelerating downward spiral into chaos. Cracking that mystery is key, but even more key is what the players will do with that knowledge. Will the magic be restored? Will the townspeople be convinced to accept their fate? Or will a new order be established under their rules? It's up to them.

    What's the culture?

    It's a bit more realistic than "Pleasantville in the Middle Ages" but that's not a bad way to think about it. They're a simple people, greatful for their high standard of living and almost post-scarcity society. Of course the rich still get more than the poor, but the "poor" live quite well, given the times and, given the single-seated control of the city-state, there is generally very little interaction between the patricians and proletariat. Among the two "classes" social status is the preeminent form of wealth, though possessions and coin are still used as currency. Members of the Temple arguably hold the highest social status as they've been able to convince people over the last hundred years or so that Towminster's success is owed to them and the gods they serve, and so tend towards being rather haughty, pompous and, of course, extremely pious.

    One interesting aspect of the culture is that people tend to be very simple and direct. Their names for things are posterchildren for this mindset. To illustrate a few examples: Ward (leader), Shields (members of the city guard), Sayers (low ranking priests), The Taken (those who have died and/or transgressed and have been removed from society), and The Lost (those who have volunteered to wander outside of Towminster's borders).

    Other than that, the feel of the world is akin to that of England in the late Middle Ages.

    What is the environment or atmosphere like?

    It's a rather large city, say some 500,000-600,000 people, with a bustling city center. The city becomes more rural as you move away from the city center and more towards the farmlands, but it's all incorporated into one City-State. It's very geographically isolated, nestled in the valley between tall mountains, with (magically) lush and prosperous farmland and a large freshwater lake nearby. It's very difficult to get in and out of the valley, so it forms the natural borders for Towminster.

    What's the name of the most important place in the setting?

    In the fiction? Towminster. (Saw that coming, didn't you?) Within Towminster, the various Temples and the Wardhome (the Ward's estate) are the seats of power. As far as players are concerned, those places will also be important, but Rodenbach Tavern will probably also hold some special significance for them.

    What's the name of a Faraway Place?

    Towminster was the place for a long, long time. But there were always rumors of the past. Geldstone was supposedly the seat of the Magi long ago. Whispers of the names of other Wardships - Pliverwell, Brasspoint - float around from time to time.

    What type of magic exists in this setting?

    Faith/Religion, Standard Sorcery, and Enchanting

    What character stocks are in play in this setting?

    Men only for now. Roden or Great Wolves may play a factor as NPC's if the fiction goes that way. But the majority of the fiction will be Men.

    Who are the monsters of this setting?

    Right now, any outsider - The Lost included - is a "monster." Judd's newly-formed Wheel-forged may into play as a Golem-like servants of the Magi.

    What is the Monetary currency, if any?
    Social status is the preeminent form of wealth, though possessions and coin are still used as currency. Coins are silver-goldish things called Tienes (pronounced tines). A standard dinner costs around 3-4 Tienes.
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