Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Dark Inheritance hex map

I have drawn up a hex map (in Hexographer) of the environs of Tideborn Village and Castle Tideborn from my Dark Inheritance mini-campaign idea. The big black hex is Tideborn's six-mile hex; each small hex on this map is a 1-mile hex. This shows the general regions and points of interest. Interacting with these hexes, investing gold in them, and clearing out monsters (and bandits!) will grant the players various resources, including increased domain revenue.

At the campaign's start, domain revenue is 4gp per peasant family - appropriate for a ruined backwater threatened by various monsters and beset by banditry. Unseating the bandits from the copper mine, clearing out and rebuilding the lighthouse, and uprooting the abominable fishmen from the reef - all will increase domain income and reduce threats.

Apart from the Tideborn village and Castle Tideborn described in earlier posts, this map has five regions, each of which will receive its own encounter tables: the Hills, the Woods, the Swamp, Farmlands and Road, and the Sea. The farmlands and road are relatively safe, at least at daytime - but even then suffer from banditry. The swamps are a war-zone between Neutral lizardmen and Chaotic toadmen and holds other unpleasant surprises, including bog zombies and giant toads. The hills are bandit country at day and haunt of wild beasts at night. The woods are the most dangerous land area here, haunted by undead and evil fey, not to mention giant spiders. The sea is cruel and home to all manner of pelagic nightmares.

The Abbey of St. Lena is haunted, but is the rumored resting place of the fabled Dagger of St. Lena; even the bandits avoid going there in fear of the horrors left therein. This is a shaded Sinkhole of Chaos - cleansing it may allow the establishment of a new Abbey, under Law - or even a re-consecrated Pinnacle of Law.

The Copper Mines are inactive, as their new residents and masters - the Broken Skull Gang bandits - abhor honest work such as mining. Unseating the bandits, whether by force or by "diplomacy" (that is, a more veiled show of force), will allow the PCs to reopen the mines. The renovation will cost some gold, but an operating mine will increase the domain income by 3gp per family per month.

The Lizard Village is Neutral, as it has always been. It predates the village and castle by eons of primitive existence. The Neutral lizardmen are at war with Chaotic toadmen. Siding with the lizardmen will allow the PCs to recruit two powerful lizardman henchmen - a Savage (warrior) and a Shaman.

The Toad Cult is the horror of the swamp - primitive toadmen and degenerate human cultists worshiping the Chaotic toad-god Tsathoggua. They are at war with the lizardmen, and try to convert them to Chaos - no easy task, but a few did join the cult and serve as its shock-troops.

The Lighthouse used to guide fishermen at night; now it is ruined, leading to caverns of various horrors of the sea beneath it. Cleaning the caves and investing gold in rebuilding the Lighthouse will increase domain income by 1gp per family per month.

Finally, the Reef is home to the worst of the fishmen and cephalopod cults, who raid the coast and wreck fishing boats. Cleansing it will greatly increase fishing yields, adding 1gp per family per month to domain income.

Note that Chaotic or even, in some cases, Neutral PCs might choose to ally themselves with the Toad Cult (against the lizardmen) or even the Bandits... Parlaying with them won't be easy, but players being players - who knows...