Monday, May 19, 2014

Flowerland Session 1 Play Report

Washed-out boxer Barnaby Barrachus
Witch sidekick Agatha
Golden lotus addict/sharpshooter Trimalchio Sterne
His washed-up opera diva companion Violetta

In the Iron Conch Inn, a tired establishment of ill repute on the west edge of Houndport, the party approached Geoffrey, a shady gentleman who deals in “sundry goods”. His business partner out in the swamp had failed to send a shipment of goods some time ago, and everyone who had searched for him turned back before the reached his outpost. The party agreed to look for the unshipped goods and the business partner, and Geoffrey agreed to give them enough money for an airboat and rations up front.

They acquired the services of Gator, a one-eyed airboat operator. On the way to the outpost, the party encountered a giant swamp bear, which Agatha blinded by placing an angry beehive on its head. Trimalchio dispatched it with several revolver shots, breaking the beehive and releasing some of the bees in the process. They spent a day hauling its body out of the water, and with the help of Gator, skinned it. Agatha now wears its preserved head and shoulders as a hood-and-cowl, in true swamp witch fashion. The rest of the journey was uneventful. They passed by an island with a Mosquito Tribe village, but elected to pass it by, for, as Trimalchio said, “I like my blood where it is.”

His lotus-fueled shamanistic senses revealed that an angry spirit was in the vicinity. They gave it a wide berth, and reached the outpost easily, only to find that something had smashed its way through the back wall, and that thousands of geckos swarmed the interior. It also contained a mauled corpse and several crates of golden lotus powder, one of which had been opened and sampled. Trimalchio used some of the powder to speak with the ghost of the mauled man, but when he tried to bind the spirit to an empty chamber of his revolver, the wrathful giant gecko spirit that killed him in the first place took notice and attacked. The party hauled the crates of lotus back to the airboat (luckily, since Gator was starting to leave just as they arrived). The gecko spirit, not well equipped to travel through water, pursued but did not catch them.

Back in Houndport, they sold off the now-putrid swamp bear for sausage meat, along with some of the fur and collected their pay. Barnaby bought himself and Agatha drinks at the Iron Conch and called it a day.

I realized that the party now has a ton of money and nothing to spend it on, so here's some placed to use your coin in Flowerland.

Homeless characters camp somewhere past the outskirts of Houndport. The Constabulary does not tolerate vagrants sleeping in the streets. When they rest at their camp, they may reroll their HD. They may spend a full day of foraging to find food for 2d6-6 (minimum 0) people, unless they have the Bushcraft skill, in which case it is 1d6 people. There is a 1 in 6 chance per night spent homeless that a character encounters a disease, and must roll Physique in order to not catch it.

Iron Conch Inn characters pay 15 sp/person/week for mediocre food and board. When they rest, they may set one of their HD to 6 and reroll the rest. 

At the Conch Room at the Iron Conch Inn, characters pay 30 sp/person/per week for mediocre room, board, bath, and laundry (which as the party discovered upon returning to Houndport, caked in filth and bear blood, is actually pretty useful when dealing with other human beings)

Grand Willowaithe Hotel residents pay 60 sp/person/week for excellent room, board, laundry, and baths. It is mechanically identical to the Conch Room except that Houndport's wealthy and powerful will deal with you directly.

The Governor Suite renters pay 100 sp/person/week. It works as normal rooms at the Grand Willowaithe Hotel except that lodgers may set two HD to 6 when they rest there.

A character with the Charm skill can spend a day collecting rumors in the bars at the Iron Conch Inn or the Grand Willowaithe hotel. A day of socializing costs 1d6x10 pieces of silver in food and drink for yourself and others, and yields 1d6 rumors about treasure, jobs, and wilderness locations. 

Those desperate for new weapons or more ammunition can approach Quartermaster Enley, who will sell contraband for outrageous prices:
  • small weapons for 50 sp
  • martial weapons for 100 sp
  • great weapons for 150 sp
  • small ammunition (12 pc) for 10 sp
  • martial ammunition (12 pc) for 20 sp
  • great ammunition for (12 pc) for 30 sp
There are rumors of midnight auctions in the basement of the Grand Willowaithe, though for what the rumormongers don't know.

Geoffrey will sell golden lotus powder for 20 sp a dose. Addicts need to take at least a dose a day or roll Physique to resist withdrawal. They also need to roll Physique to resist side effects once the dose wears off. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Flowerland 20 Questions

Alakanthus is a mostly-pre-colonial horrible fantasy New World. However, it is shamelessly anachronisticmodernish technology, like airboats, diesel engines, and radios exist. The important thing is  that it is loud, unreliable, vents smelly exhaust, and could plausibly be found in a shitty riverside fishing camp. The colonizers, from the Empire of (Pernicious) Albion are vaguely Victorian England. They want Alakanthus, they want all of it, and they have the muscle and money to get it. Full control is still a ways away; Houndport provided a toehold on the continent that the Empire is only now beginning to exploit. The native Beast Tribes are mostly subsistence farmers and hunters, and they aren't passive subjects of invasion. There have been at least two other major empires in Alakanthus, and the Tribes are the only ones left standing.  

Magic is pretty rare. The Empire can't spare the resources to send many honest-to-goodness magicians (though the Church of the Sovereign Mother maintains some subtle-but-powerful wards around Houndport), and the sorcery of Alakanthus kills or transmutes its users too often for its practitioners to be common. Sun Giant devices are mostly destroyed or locked away in their mouldering complexes. Non-humans other than the Beast Tribes are almost nonexistent. There are a handful of Night Tribe sorcerers not crystallized into monuments or destroyed in whatever catastrophe ended their empire, and a few bunkers still hold fallen Sun Giants, though for what purpose no one knows. 

by marsmettnn tallahassee, distributed under Creative Commons
by Marie Coleman, distributed under Creative Commons
20 Questions by J Rients

What is the deal with my cleric's religion? Most Alakanthines worship nature and ancestor spirits. Shamans can speak directly to these spirits, as well as perceive their influence when they meddle with human affairs from the spirit world. Powerful and canny shamans form pacts with these minor gods, though these deals can easily go wrong, even if the shaman abides by the terms of the pact. Shamans have another job—purifying or soothing the spirits corrupted or enraged by intruders, sorcerers, or polluters. Clergy of the Church of the Sovereign Mother are big NPC nasties.

Where can we go to buy standard equipment? Morrison Morrison in Houndport runs a store most of the gear you’ll need, but if you want new weapons, armor, or anything unusual, you’ll have to find a smuggler or bribe a quartermaster.

Where can we go to get platemail custom fitted for this monster I just befriended? Samuel is a mechanic with a workshop on the southern edge of Houndport. He doesn’t ask too many questions, but the Interim Governor has it in for him.

Who is the mightiest wizard in the land? The Beast Tribes speak of a terrible Pythoness far to the east. Royal Warlock Jack Helton is the greatest of the settler’s wizards, but he has been on an expedition out in the wilds for the last year, and is not expected to return. There is undoubtedly some Night Tribe horror buried away that could annihilate either with ease, but everyone, Beast Tribe and Houndporter alike, would rather not think about that.

Who is the greatest warrior in the land? The Coyote Prince demonstrated his supremacy as a warrior to the Beast Tribes by felling the League Long Crocodile. However, the Old Worlders favor Lieutenant Charlotte Black, who single-handedly gunned down a Bear bandit gang when the killed the rest of her patrol.

Who is the richest person in the land? Interim Governor Lascelle is the scion of a staggeringly wealthy trading company, but until the Queen selects a Governor Proper, she cannot pursue her business interests freely.

Where can we go to get some magical healing? You mostly can’t. There is a hospital in Houndport that will hasten recovery from serious illness and injury. There is a Bat village a couple days to the south of Houndport with a talented shaman, but the Church of the Sovereign Mother is already sending missionaries to convert or reeducate them.

Where can we go to get cures for the following conditions: poison, disease, curse, level drain, lycanthropy, polymorph, alignment change, death, undeath? Powerful spirits, such as Hungry Grandmother or Son of Rain, can lift curses and cure illnesses, but their shrines are distant and their prices unpalatable. The right sort of Night Tribe sorcery could probably work, but they almost always cause more problems then they solve.

Is there a magic guild my MU belongs to or that I can join in order to get more spells? Sorcerers in numbers greater than one tend to kill each other pretty quickly, so no. Students of the forbidden should seek out Night Tribe monuments if they wish to learn more, though doing so risks annihilation or possession by the monument’s resident/prisoner. Becoming a proper magician would require spending several years in a university in Albion, as well as the acquisition of a Magician’s License.

Where can I find an alchemist, sage or other expert NPC? The Royal Society outpost contains scholars from a variety of fields. If you want services from someone with a more dubious profession, post a classified in the Iron Conch Inn, but be subtle—agents of the Queen stop by from time to time.

Where can I hire mercenaries? The Iron Conch Inn is the place to go. Sellswords and soldiers of fortune look for work there.

Is there any place on the map where swords are illegal, magic is outlawed or any other notable hassles from Johnny Law? Practitioners of Alakanthine sorcery are to be sanctified and incinerated by order of the Sovereign Mother and will be exorcised and ritually drowned by the Beast Tribes. Interim Governor Lascelle has banned the purchase and open carrying of weapons by civilians, but those who already have them can keep them without penalty. The residents of Houndport hate thisthey live in a frontier town surrounded by miles of crocodile-infested swamp, and so there is a healthy black market.

Which way to the nearest tavern? The Iron Conch Inn is for the hoi polloi. Military officer and the wealthy dine and drink on the first floor of the Grand Willowaithe Hotel, which, while not nearly as nice as its name would suggest, is as close to high class as the monied of Houndport can get. 

What monsters are terrorizing the countryside sufficiently that if I kill them I will become famous? Killing a crocodile or python will earn you some serious credit. Sun Giants and Night Tribe sorcerers are rare and extremely dangerous. Members of the Royal Society have been wanting to dissect a panther demon for some time.

Are there any wars brewing I could go fight? Nope, but the Crown is gearing up for a large scale “pacification effort” to create a sister-colony for Houndport.

How about gladiatorial arenas complete with hard-won glory and fabulous cash prizes? There’s a fighting ring held behind the Iron Conch Inn every night. Someone’s been organizing serious gladiator matches out in the swamp ever Tuesday.

Are there any secret societies with sinister agendas I could join and/or fight?Wouldn’t you like to know.

What is there to eat around here? Meat is mostly fish and crow. Crocodile is a delicacy. Planters have had luck with rice, sugar cane, and orange trees, but large farms are rare. Little livestock, since there's not enough grazing land or grain to feed them.

Any legendary lost treasures I could be looking for? The machines and devices of the Sun Giants, the dangerous monuments and vanishingly rare texts of the Night Tribe, the (hopefully mythical) Azoth Fountains, the uncountable riches of the City of Crocodiles.

Where is the nearest dragon or other monster with Type H treasure? The Beast Tribes say the nearest Sun Giant bunker has got something seriously nasty living in it, but those ruins are also stuffed with some major wealth and tech.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Flowerland Classifieds

Notices posted about Houndport:

A business supplier of mine has gone missing in the swamps to the south. 500 sp for whoever finds him. Ask for Geoffrey at the Iron Conch Inn for details.

Crown missionary needs guards for a week’s journey. Pay is 400 sp each. Ask for Sister Aggorath at the Church of the Sovereign Mother.

Looking for scrap metal. Supposed to be a whole city’s worth a ways to the north. Will pay 100 sp/pound.


Entertainers wanted for diplomatic event in one week. Must be able to work with Beast Tribe. 300 sp for evening’s work. MUST WASH. Inquire at Town Hall if interested.

500 sp for information leading to the identification and capture of those responsible for the Crowley Street Murders.

Gigantic specimens wanted. 50 sp per pound of beast, double if it’s alive. Ask for Dr. Farefellow at the Royal Society outpost.

And an image dump:
distributed under Creative Commons by Chauncey Davis

distributed under Creative Commons by Kim Seng

distributed under Creative Commons by Universal Pops
distributed under Creative Commons by Tim Suess
Imported from distant Qelong. It lets you see the hidden, but also lets the hidden see you.
distributed under Creative Commons by Jinjian Liang

Thursday, May 15, 2014


I have been trapped alone in a house with no car and no running buses for like three days so I started rereading Richard G's old posts, and therefore started thinking about rpgs without levels and low magic settings and colonialism and industry and hexcrawls and Tartary, basically, and I've wanted to set a game in Florida for a long time and so I made this.

FLOWERLAND: Pre-colonial horrible fantasy Florida

  • Hummingbird-people hunt giant crocodiles through the radioactive Everglades as schoolbus sized pythons slowly digest murderous robots!
  • Evil(er?) Victorian Henry Flagler digs up weapons of mass destruction from ancient bunkers to defend the insane resort towns his nepotistic underlings are building in the middle of the swamp!
  • Heavily armed holy order of missionaries and petrochemical engineers that hunts down shapeshifting crocodiles and panther demons!
  • Oil rigs awaken ink-blooded sorcerers from their millennial slumber at the bottom of a vast and cursed lagoon! 
  • Well dressed stranger perform strange surgeries on unwary travelers!
  • Soft sand, warm beaches, venomous conchs and landmines from antiquity!
  • more spiders than God can count!
  • And many more?!