An extract from something i’m writing for the forthcoming Balazar 1625 Jonstown Compendium supplement that has much wider application. So I thought i’d share it.
Adding Spice to Encounters
If as a gamemaster you are looking for something to add an extra twist or nuance for an encounter, we list several different motives for interactions which can add variation to stop encounters becoming too familiar. Maybe even make a random encounter the kernel of a major plot
They want to befriend the party
They want to bless the party
They need to deliver message to the party
They have a desire to educate the party
They want to exchange knowledge or news
They want to offer healing to the party
They want to help the party in practical ways
They wish to inform the party of some news
They mistake the party for known friends
They want to protect the party
They require protection and aid from the party
They remind the party of an oath or promise
They wish the party to protect a child/priest/old person
They require healing and/or aid
They want to prophecy over the party
They want to buy, sell, or trade Items
An individual wants to woo, court, or seduce a member of the party
They wish to warn the party of nearby danger
They seek to avoid the party
They want to beg from the party
They want to boast to the party about feats they have accomplished
They wish to criticse and disapprove of the players for their actions or beliefs
They wish to preach to or convert the players to their religion
They want to delay and distract the players
They are infectious with disease
They feel they need disarm the players or neutralize their threat
They issue the players with a formal challenge
They seek to stoically ignore the players
They seek to introduce themselves to the players
They are lost and may or may not admit it to the players, (dependent on gender)
They wish to search the players because they are looking for a missing item
They wish to dishonestly direct the players towards a hostile foe which is pursuing them
They want to eat the players
They want to drive the players away
They want to enslave the players
They want to kill the players
They want to humiliate and insult the players
They want to follow the players
They want to extract information from the players
They want to con the players
They want to haunt the players
They want to rob the players
They want to frame the players for an ill deed
They want to toy with the players, before killing them
They want to arrest the players
They want to con the players
They want to turn the players against each other
They want to curse the party
They want to sacrifice the party to their Gods
They want to extract a bribe from the players
They flee from the players
They hide from the players
They engaged in an ill thought through and panicked attack on the players
They panic around the players
They surrender to the players
They off the players bribes and tribute
They offer one of their own as a propitioniary sacrifice or food to the players
They freeze, shake, and cannot react meaningfully to the players
They act submissive to the players
They try to scare the players with a show of inappropriate bravado
I am looking to write a timeline for Balazar 1617 to 1625. This is a first draft of the Elkoi. ( There will be more drafts). I’m just putting it out there in an embryonic form for thoughts, comments, inspiration and sheer kicks.
More linked Balazar timelines will come. If I get good feedback and I can work out how to pull my material into a sensible cohesive whole without infringing on Chaosium’s IP, I will pull something significant together for the Johnstown compendium.
Just a note this Citadel has by far the most turbulent timeline, the rest of Balazar will have seen nowhere near as much change and trouble. This is a first draft, additions and revisions will be made.
The aim is to create a citadel which is lawless, cutthroat and den of thieves of villainy, giving it a significantly different feel from the other two.
Balazar as presented in the Griffin Mountain book
Lunar citizen murdered in Trilus, tension rise between the two citadels
Lunar patrols sent deep into hunt the murders, one never returned
Crimson Bat passes over Elkoi, Engenders panic amongst the populace.
Raids on Lunar Convoys from Soldier Ferry, Elmwood Clans aided by Orlanthi warriors. Food and supplies scarce in Elkoi for 2 seasons.
3 Elmswood clans break away from Elkoi and pay allegiance to Trilus instead
Balazaring based Orlanthi raiders attack Tarshford, attack repulsed. Prisoners taken, but later to escape, believed to have headed South.
Murder of Lunar Electora Kindtounge, Marusa the Shrew accused and goes into hiding.
Yelmalio Priesthood moves the main Yelmalio temple to Dykene.
Blueface’s death is reported amongst the clans.
A former apprentice of Blueface, Namara starts to gain Popularity in the Clans
Great winter reaches southern Balazar, Many southern clans migrate north away from traditional hunting grounds, significant inter clan fighting, King Glyptus uninterested and ineffective in dealing with issues arising or brokering a peace
Elkoi citadel warriors raid southern Trilus clans as part of the Imther Trilus war, slaves taken and sold to the Lunar Empire.
Elkoi and Trilus citadel warriors clash at the Battle of Burning tree, both retreat to there citadels after.
Tusk riders under Raddek Bloodtooth raid north into southern Balazar deepening the problems, Citadel warriors remain in Elkoi.
Namara starts to preach that the Great Winter and tusk rider raids are punishment from the spirits for leaving the old ways and worshipping foreign Gods.
Halycon leaves in Storm season
Great winter, Clans continue to Migrate North.
Royal family leave Elkoi, Glyptus the Good poisoned by his own family on route to Empire. No one really cares. Body left by roadside.
Lunar army and settlers Caravan back to Holay starving , much suffering on route.
Blueface reappears, reportedly in eastern Balazar
Many inhabitants of Elkoi starve, becomes a mostly deserted ruin.
Namara gathers her supporters into a war party to that drives to tusk riders from the south woods, Tusk Riders were defeated at battle of pure hearth, which was 3 day running skirmish through the woods, with the Balazarings aided significantly by nature spirits.
Elkoi Civil war factions major factions are Lunar Loyalsts, Northern Clans, Elmwood Clans, Migrating clans
Marusa comes out of hiding, dwells in the ruins of Elkoi
Ravella the Greedy, Glyptus steward is killed as Elkoi citadel is burned as Elmwood clans raid Elkoi, defeating the loyalist faction.
Craggect Bloodspear leads the Nothern clans to drive the Elmswood clans out of citadel and back their traditional lands.
The shaman Namara leads many of the southern balazaring clans in rejecting the kings, the citadels, metalwork and foreign Gods. Declaring themselves Votanki not Balazarings
Desecration Of Lunar Temple at Elkoi by raiding Orlanthi
Elkoi temple becomes coven to Jakeel the witch ran by Marusa
Ongoing skirmishes between northern Elkoi clans and Elmswood clans. Elmswood clans have support from Trilus Orlanthi.
Marusa allies with Cragget Bloodspear and the Nothern Elkoi tribes
Namara closes the Southwood to all but her followers, declaring the worshipping of foreign Gods(including Yelmalio and Balazar), use of metal , farming, animal husbandry and sleeping in permanent building Taboo in Balazar
Battle of Shamans, Namara casts Blueface down and spiritually binds him.
Craggect Bloodspear leads war party intro Elmswood to raid the
Cryriel returns to Elkoi with about 50 Lunar mercenaries to declare himself King of Elkoi.
Craggect Bloodspear returns to Elkoi repulse Cryriel, Marusa offers him a secret way into Elkoi, but leads him into an ambush. Craggect Bloodspear and all his warriors slaughtered. Nothern Elkoi clans are leaderless.
Cyriel marries Marusa and declares her Queen of Elkoi and his joint ruler.
Accompanying priests reopen the Lunar temple as full temple to the Seven mothers, the coven of Jakeel moves to the Royal Palace.
Slavers appear from heartlands looking to turn a tidy profit
Namara declares holy war against Cryiels Lunars.
Citadel of Elkoi in 1625
The citadel of Elkoi is a shell of what it once was, most buildings burned and few repaired. The stonework stands but is scorched in many places.
Run by Lunar merchants, mercenaries and freebooters – A hive of scum and villainy
Cyriel is bringing in tradesmen to repair, and is setting about ‘running the citadel properly’
A lawless place, with no law beyond the word of the king and queen
Cyriels Lunars are complemented with refugees from the conflicts
Thematically Elkoi in 1625 has the feel which is not very far removed from Deadwood.
Tribe of Elkoi in 1625
Vastly reduced and fragmented
Southwood tribes have renounced the clan and are following Namara
Elmwood tribes have broke away and formed their own group and are talking with Trilus
The clans that migrated from the south and the Northern clans have found an uneasy truce and are to exhausted to do anything but attach to whoever owns the citadel.