Balazaring Encounters & Happenings – Part 1

After Clint Hills brilliant posts on the big rubble (see here) I have risen to challenge and started to create some miscellaneous encounters and plot hooks with a Balazar feel. I also did first come across these kind of encounters in Griffin Mountain many years ago.

The following are ideas for one off colour encounters or maybe hook and starting points for a whole story or campaign theme. I would suggest not rolling using random dice rolls in gaming session to select but perusing the ideas and choosing what would work for your group, or using these ideas just to spark your own.

I have intentionally left many loose ends and unexplained details to allow some creativity from both players and GM.

1. The Lost Child – Repeatable, Balazar
A small Balazaring human child can be found alone, crying and wandering in the wilds. The child is about 2 years old and understands the Balazaring tongue but is not able to speak yet. Continue reading Balazaring Encounters & Happenings – Part 1

Balazaring Encounters & Happenings – Part 2

The next set of miscellaneous encounters which may be found in Balazar numbers 11 -20.

11. Lost Pack Beetle – Repeatable, Anywhere
A tired , drained but fully laden pack beetle of a troll merchant is mooching and hiding in a shaded corner. It’s owner or guards are nowhere to be seen. If approached it will attempt to ram players, knock them over and run  away. However if chased it will soon tire as its in an exhausted state.

There are a large range of troll goods which are mainly disgusting,  but may include something useful or appealing to for humans.

Continue reading Balazaring Encounters & Happenings – Part 2

Balazaring Encounters & Happenings – Part 3

The next 10 miscellaneous encounters for Balazar;

21. A Localised Frost – Repeating, Anywhere
A heavy and unseasonal frost falls in the night. Characters wake numerous times in the night with teeth chattering, and the sounds of distressed animals calling out in the night. Even in the night the whiteness of the frost can be seen spreading. Those who watch carefully maybe able to see white figures floating through the night, the frost emanating from there silhouettes.

The players will gain no power or recover from any wounds that night, they will have to make a constitution (or stamina) role to not be significantly fatigued for the next day.

The next morning the frost covers a area with a radius of a couple of miles. The players will also discover a wild animal standing still which has been frozen completely solid, with a terrified look upon its face.

22. High Falls – Once, Anywhere
The players find a beautiful waterfall where a stream plunges 60 foot into a deep pool, behind the waterfall is a cave which is secluded and dry apart from it the rainiest of seasons. Continue reading Balazaring Encounters & Happenings – Part 3

Balazaring Encounters & Happenings – Part 4

Hopefully these will maintain a nice flavour of Balazar. For the repeating encounters in all posts change the details and the form for each version of the encounter.

31. Brass Horseman – unique, plains

The players encounter a bronze statue of a horseman placed on plinth in the middle of open plains. The rider holds and lance aloft and is his style is pentian. He has a royal and regal demeanour.  Two herds of horses can be seen in close proximity to the statue.

Any players riding horse will notice that his horse suddenly seems more alert and to not be affected by any of the fatigue of the days travel.  In fact close proximity to the statue will remove all feelings of fatigue from any horse mounted or not.

The statue is of Sheng Seleris. Anyone seeking to damage to the statue will get a deep sense of foreboding as they approach it, this increases and they have to make a power(willpower ) role between every blow, a failed roll means they will run away till they drop from exhaustion.

Continue reading Balazaring Encounters & Happenings – Part 4

Spirit Charms in Glorantha & Runequest

Shamans and other spirit magicians have ability to bind minor spell spirits ( or shard spirits ) into small delicate items in such a way that when used, broken or otherwise triggered the spirit will then cast an effect onto the being that caused triggered the effect, the spirit is then released afterward the effect, and the item is no longer magical in nature.

Shamans will use these to give limited magical aid to groups from the tribe or clan who need extra magical support in a task, but cannot be accompanied by a shaman, priest or other specialist magic weaver.

Usually this is for positive effects such as buffing spells (bladesharp, mobility, protection, etc) or positive effects (such as healing or dispel magic). However, some shamans will bind more offensive spirits (disruption, befuddle, demoralise) etc into items which an enemy can be tricked or persuaded into triggering.

Continue reading Spirit Charms in Glorantha & Runequest

Creating Interesting & Believable NPC’s in Glorantha

Part of the art of telling a good story or creating a good setting is writing interesting , believable and entertaining NPC’s. Hopefully characters that will make you players laugh, angry, engender compassion, utterly bewilder and will occasionally make them cringe.

Hopefully this article will give some techniques that both adds depth to the characters but also speeds up the process of generating interesting NPC’s. I’m specifically looking at NPC’s in the Glorantha setting, However most of these concepts will transpose for most characters on most mediums.

I aim to create NPC’s who are

  • Individual – There are things about each NPC which are unique and each adds to the flavour of the world
  • Believable – The NPC’s must fit with the setting and hold to its internal dynamics
  • Generate Plot – They should be active and things should be happening round them.
  • Entertain – Their involvement  should add to session by adding tension, humour, frustration, relief
  • Invoke an emotional response – Players should want to have an opinion about an NPC, love, hate , respect, protect, admire, etc

OK let’s get on with it.

Continue reading Creating Interesting & Believable NPC’s in Glorantha

Gloranthan Quick  NPC Definition Walkthrough

My last article I pulled a number of techniques I used together to make suggested methodology in quickly creating more interesting NPC’s. I thought I would try apply the  methodology as whole and writing it up as a case study.

Naskia, one of the characters from the Cyriels prostitutes post had mentioned her father who could become an noteworthy NPC in the some of the scenarios hooks.  I also had no idea who he was beyond a generic trilian citadel guard. So good place to try out a full methodology.

This process took me about 15 minutes form very bare outline to a comprehensive set of notes and a feel I had defined the Character, the actual write up took a little longer, but unless you’re looking to publish the NPC that is unneeded.

Continue reading Gloranthan Quick  NPC Definition Walkthrough

Cyriel Endelkar

Cyriel Endelkar – Human, Lunar citizen, Priest of Etyries

Cyriel is rich, connected, greedy, a close friend of King Glyptus, occasional lover of the Queen and probably the richest man in Balazar.

A lean and charismatic man in his late forties, with salt and pepper hair and beard. Has a very well defined and proper posture and moves gracefully. His manners are exquisite, his accent refined , his discourse educated and this is all but wasted on most people in Balazar.

His manner is brusque with servants  menials and lower spending clients but will turn the charm on with potential clients he perceives are willing to spend a considerable amount.

Continue reading Cyriel Endelkar

Cyriel’s Traders Character Write Ups

Character write ups for Cyriels merchants and  apprentices.

Vestan Imtherman – Merchant, Imtherian Male 28, Etyries Initiate

Vestan is Young brown haired and bearded trader, tall thin and lean hailing from Imther. He first worked a Cyriels Imther depot and has proved himself mildly competent.

He is a good trader but also  a coward and scared of fighting men, therefore he used mainly  in the trading house and not on Cyriels Military contracts. He is also bullied by and sacred of Cyriel. Vestans attitude to conflict is to avoid at any opportunity.

Has a good knowledge of furs and pelts, and is adept at working with the Balazaring hunters. He has  an interest in mystical and shamanic items and good relationships with a few of the local shamans, he will often have a small handful of Shamanic charms available for sale.

Continue reading Cyriel’s Traders Character Write Ups