nod issue1 may2010

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  • NODTM Issue 1 | May 2010

    AnendeavorofJohnM.Stater,whowouldliketoextendhismostheartfeltthankstohiswifeanddaughter,whohaveputupwithhisincessantwritingandfrettingoverthislittlePDFforweeks.

    TableofContentsFeatureArticle:TheWyvernCoast

    10

    WelcometoNod 1CoinsoftheRealm

    2FightingMenofNod 3

    Iwouldalsoliketothankallofthefolkswhohavefollowedmyblogandencouragedmewiththeircomments.Yourinterestmeansmoretomethanyoucanknow!

    Boons&Benefactions 8WiseWomen&CunningMen 70TheGodsofNod:Ophir 72DenizensoftheDarkContinent 76CheckouttheLANDOF

    NODTMBlogathttp://mattlandofnod.blogspot.com/formorearticles.

    Beastmen,Centaurs&MechanicalMen 78YourMindWillBend 80

    RandomVillageGenerator 82

    Allcontentcopyright2010JohnM.Stater

    AnArabCaravan(1886)byAlbertoPasini(18261889)PasiniwasanItalianpainterintheOrientalistschool.

  • Welcome to NOD!

    Iliketokeepthingssimple.Mypersonalruleforcampaigndesign is: Create nothing you dont absolutely need tocreate, andnothing thatdoesnot facilitate adventure. Ifyourenotrunningagameinwhichadventurersaregoingtoengage indeep,political intriguesat court, thendontbotherdesigningapoliticalsystemandthepoliticalpowerplayersof theaforementionedcourt.Yourewasting timethatcouldbespentdesigningsomethingyourplayersaregoingtosee,hear,touch,smell,taste,fight,etc.Afterall,mostRefereeshavelivesoutsideofthegame,includingfulltimejobsandfamilies.WhenIhavetimetocreate,Iwanttogetthemostbangformybuck.When itcametodesigningTHELANDOFNODTM,Istartedintheveinofmanyclassiccampaigns.Idrewamapofthecontinents, penciled in national borders, threw in somesettlements,grabbedthecoolestheraldrythatIcouldfindandendedupwithanice littleencyclopediaof factsandfigures that never once came into playoncemy playersbootshittheground.Inshort,IforgotthatIwasdesigninga game setting and got caught up in the fun, forme atleast,ofdesigningmyownlittleworld.Itwastimetoretool.Gonewerethenationstatesand incameafewislandsofhumancivilizationsurroundedbyavast,chaoticwilderness.Gonewere the linemapsand incamethehexmaps.Gonewasavastworldwithdozensofregions,andincameatightlyfocusedwell,notsofast.OneofthethingsIlikebestaboutthisplanetweliveonisits diversity. Paging through an atlas, you see things likeUnitedStatesofAmericaand China.Burrowbeneaththe surface of those black lines that crisscross the globeand you discover thousands of unique cultures, subcultures, environments, superstitions, myths and folkstories. The internet makes it possible for an averageperson to discover, on a daily basis, peoples, places andthingsofwhichtheyhadneverheard.Whenyouconsiderhow differentmanymodern cultures are from your ownculture,themindbogglesathowdifferentyouwouldfindculturesthousandsofyearsold.I decided I wanted a fantasy world that was large anddiverse.Whenmy players first sawmy overall campaignmap,therewasimmediateinterestinvisitingtheplacesonit.Places likeAmazonia, theKlarkashMountains and thePlainsoftheEmuRiders.ThatwasthecampaignIwanted;one inwhichadventurers lefttheboundsofcivilizationtosee what was over the next hill, and knowing thatAmazoniaandtheVastwoodweregoingtobedramatically

    differentplaceswithdifferentcultures,differentsightsandsoundsand smellsanddifferent,oftenunique,monsters,despitethefactthatbotharewoodlands.Whatyouseebelow(anditisonlyaportionofthewhole)istheproductofaridiculousnumberofhoursspentfillingin hexes. Every square on that map represents a mapmeasuring approximately 75x45 hexes (the further northorsouthyougo,themorethosemapsarestretched).THELANDOFNODTM isdivided intosixcontinents.TotheeastofMotherOceanaretheMotherlands,myfantasyEurope.To the South is Lemuria, inspired by Africa, India andSoutheast Asia. To the east of the Motherlands andLemuria lies the deadlyMuPan Empire.North of that isUltima Thule, a continent of prehistoric giant mammalsandbarbarians in fur swimwear.To thewestofMotherOcean isAntilia in the north andHybresail in the south.Beneaththesurfaceareunderworldvaultsinspiredbypulpfiction andweird fantasy,with thedeepest vaultholdingsomething akin to Dantes Inferno. BeyondNod is astralspaceandaPtolomaic systemofplanets toexplore.Andmaybe someday, someadventurerwillgetall theway tothe Firmament at the edge of creation and try to drillthroughtowhateverliesbeyond.In short,welcome tomy little cornerof creation. Ihopeyoufindthearticleshereinusefulinyourowngames,orattheveryleastfueltosparkyourownimagination.JohnM.Stater

    1

  • The Coin of the Realm

    CoinsinFantasyGamingbyJohnM.Stater

    TheSizeandValueofCoinsHowbigarefantasyroleplayingcoins?Inoldereditionsofthegame,coinsweremeasuredattentothepound.Thiswouldgiveusacoinweighing45grams;amassivecointobesure.WhilemassivecoinssuchastheLser,aGermancoin of the 17th century that weighed more than 450grams, did exist, they were generally rare. The thalers,whichweresomeof the largercoins inEuropeanhistory,weighedbetween15and30gramseachandstillmeasuredtwicethesizeofamodernU.S.quarter,ora2Eurocoin.Theweightandsizeofsuchcoins,whileimpressiveandnotunlike someof the coins tobe found inHollywood films,canturnintoalogisticalnightmareforplayers(whichsomeRefereeswillseeasafeature,ratherthanabug).OtherRefereesandplayersmightthinkthemassivesizeofthese fantasy coins, as well as their composition (anddevaluation when compared to history), is just toounrealisticfortheirgame.ManypreferasystemofcoinagethatapproximatesMedievalEnglandorFrance.Themostcommon coin in this systemwas the silverpenny,whichweighed1/240ofapound.The shillingwasa larger cointhan thepenny, therebeing20 shillings in apound, andthus 12 pennies to a shilling. Pennies were small coins,weighingalmost1.5grams,andquitethin.Ofcourse,moreancientcivilizationhadothersystemsofcoinage,butmostof them revolved around small silver coins. A Refereemightsimplifythissystembyallowingfor200silverpiecestothepound,andthensimplyconvertingpricesalreadyingold piece prices to prices silver pieces. Moreover, theycanstilltreatagoldpieceasbeingworth10silverpiecesandcoppercoinsasbeingworth1/10ofasilverpiece.Thiswouldgiveyouthefollowingsystem:

    1Pound=20gp=200sp=2,000cpFor my Nod campaign, I chose to maintain the valuerelationshipofgoldtosilvertocopper,anduseastandardof100coinstothepound.Thisgavetheplayersandmyselfan easy, decimal system, and took away most of thelogistical headaches of treasure hordes. In addition, andforoldtimessake,Iaddedplatinumandelectrumcoins.What follows is a brief discussion of the different coinsused in Nod (and in the Wyvern Coast sandbox in thisissue),presentednotonlyforRefereeswhowishtocleave

    to this system,butalso for thosewhowish toaccuratelyconvert the treasures of the Wyvern Coast to whateversystemtheyprefer.PlatinumPiece(pp)Platinum isdifficult toworkand thus fairlyuncommon incoinage or art.Most platinum pieces in circulationwereminted to commemorate specialevents,and thus shouldhavesomehistoricalrelevance.OneplatinumpieceinNodisworthtengoldpieces.GoldPiece(gp)Goldpiecesare less common than silver,andoftenusedforlargetransactions.Theyarethemostcommoncoinagecarried by adventurers,whosewealth often rival that ofthegreatmerchanthousesandminornobility.ElectrumPiece(ep)Electrum is anaturally occurring alloy of gold and silver.Forabrieftimeitwasacommonmaterialforcoinage,butthe inability todetermine theproportionofgold tosilvercausedittofalloutoffavor.Mostelectrumcoinsfoundinhordes are, therefore, of ancient manufacture. Electrumpiecesareworthonehalfagoldpiece.SilverPiece(sp)Themostcommoncoinsincirculationandthebasisforalleconomies.Adventurersprefergold,ofcourse, to lightentheir loads,butthevastmajorityofnonplayercharactersin Nod carry silver coins. One silver piece is worth onetenthofagoldpiece.CopperPiece(cp)Coinswererarelymintedfromcopper.Mostofthecopperpieces in the game would actually have been made ofbronze,brass,billonorpotin.Bronze isanalloyofcopperandtin(80:20).Brassisanalloyofcopperandzinc(90:10).Billon isanalloyofcopperandsilver,withcoppermakingupmorethan50%oftheofthealloy.Potinwasanalloyofcopper, lead, tin and zinc. Coppers are carried by thepeasantry,whopreferbartertocoinage.Onecopperpieceisworthonehundredthofagoldpiece.

    2

  • Fighting-Men of Nod SixClassesbyJohnM.Stater,IllustrationsbyWillyPogany

    Thebravewarrior, sword inhand, isprobably thearchetypal charcter of fantasy literature, from Fafhrd and theGreyMouser toConanofCimmeria toRobinofLocksley.Here,then,aresixclassesmeanttoreplicatesomeofthemostpopularcharactersoffiction.Thefightingmanistheredoubtable manatarms, the soldier who will one daybecomeaking.Thebarbarian is thesavageoutsiderwhocarves a bloody path through the decadent and corruptcivilizations thatwould chain his people. The bard is theheroofromance,wooerofwomenandtelleroftalltales,equalpartsDonJuanandSinbad.Themonkistheeasternwarriormystic, deadlywithout the need for anything socommonasaweapon.Paladinsareparagonsofvirtueandpurity, knights in shining armorquesting for fairdamselsand putting rank villains to the sword. And finally, theranger,explorer,pioneerandruggedindividualist.

    TheFightingManYouareawarrior,trainedinbattleandintheuseofarmorandweapons.Whatever typeof fightingmanyouchoosetoplay,youwillprobablyenduponthefrontlinesofyouradventuringparty,goingtoetotoewithdragons,goblins,and evil cultists, hacking your way through them andtaking the brunt of their attacks. The fightingmancharacter isbest equippedof all the character classes todish out damage and absorb it, too. Clerics heal, andmagicusers cast spells,but thedownanddirtyhack andslashworkisuptoyou.Youregoingtoserveasthepartyssword and shield, protecting theweaker partymembersandtakingdowntheenemiesbeforeyou.Perhapsonedaytheywilltelllegendsofyourbattleprowess,andfollowerswillflocktoyourcastlestrongholdwhereyourevelinyourfame, riches, and newly earned nobility. Fail, of course,and youll die, just another forgotten warrior in adangerousworld.PrimeAttribute:Strength,13+(+5%experience).HitDice:1d6+2pe