Monday, June 24, 2019

# 'Mechs Controlled By Local Nobles in 3025

[Three funerals and a wedding in the span of six weeks; that's life, I guess. Sorry for not having this up earlier.]

TL;DR? Houses Steiner, Davion and Liao seem to reckon second-line forces as
70 / 5 + 2 = 16 Davion second-line regiments
50 / 5 + 2 = 12 Steiner second-line regiments
40 / 5 + 2 = 10 Liao second-line regiments
and Marik, Davion and Liao count their nominal regiments as
70 *1.1 + 1 = 78 nominal Davion House regiments
50 *1.1 + 1 = 56 nominal Marik House regiments
40 *1.1 + 1 = 45 nominal Liao House regiments
20 *1.1 + 1 = 23 nominal Liao Merc regiments

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Sleepers of the Second Rune

Will post some BattleTech math Sunday. Meanwhile:

In a Cavern Beneath the Tundra

An enormous chandelier hangs by three chains instead of seven, almost (but not quite) level, with a sarcophagus where each chain reaches the chandelier. Each lid is carved with its own dangerous beast (proud lion, wrathful bear, etc) with different magic (exploding rune for wrath, charm person for lust, etc) on each. Two of the broken chains are tangled up with a lower tier of the chandelier, where hangs an eighth sarcophagus carved with a kingly, innocent, Wish-granting lamb. The other two broken chains [hang down from the chandelier,] swing[ing] free in the darkness.

Someone capable of language and dreaming can attempt to activate the Wish. If they fail, or open any of the sarcophagi, nine-foot-tall mummified paladins rise from the seven beastly sarcophagi to drive them off.

They wield the sarcophagus lids as shields. The chains attach to those lids through pulleys in the bottom of the sarcophagi so, as the mummies move, the chandelier tilts. The mummies are excellent at holding on and can climb up or down any intact chain. (If all seven chains were intact, and all seven mummies were to climb those chains through holes in the roof of the cavern, the chandelier would be lifted towards an easier access point there.)

The Dream of the Lamb

A person activating the Wish enters a trance (perhaps falling from the chandelier) and joins the dream of the eighth sarcophagus.

The dream is of a windowless dome a hundred feet across. A worn but regal paladin sits on a throne whose back is scorched and broken; the throne sits atop a high, many-stepped dais; the dais, the throne, and the paladin contemplate a large rune of purple stone set into the floor. Memories of some ancient calamity drift across the walls like light through a soap bubble, along with images of whatever the other PCs are currently doing in the cavern.

The paladin will release the character from their trance if asked. He will not volunteer to grant the Wish. If the character asks him to grant it, he'll ask what the character's worst fear or nightmare is, because his dream-rune is keeping back something even more fearsome; any fear or nightmare the player offers is manifested and inflicted on the PCs at the chandelier.

If the PC can convince the paladin that their Wish will serve the same ultimate goal as the dream-rune, the paladin will grant it, some of the rune will flake away, and the player character will wake from their trance.

Basic image of the throne and chandelier inspired by one of Pardoe's chronicles; idea of chains as shifty terrain from a Christmas rescue; "tell me your fears" from some episode of Dice, Camera Action; and the whole thing has shades of the Grail from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

As written, this is a "shiny thing" trap that relies on the players risking their lives for something they might not notice or need. I'd be happier adding an extra draw - sticking a minor McGuffin or key among the sarcophagi, making the chains part of an optional path from floor to ceiling, or getting a critical NPC to flee onto it, or something. 

[Edit, July 1st: I really like the image of tier after tier of tombs suspended by chains; it would make a great crypt for the Cult of Rum, stretching forgotten from their city to the moon. /Edit]

Friday, June 14, 2019

Things You Might Find On My Character's Corpse

Ignoring any "normal" equipment and magic items you might expect and sticking to more interesting oddities which may be of some small use.