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
The following three NPC’s can be found surviving out in the wilds of Balazar. They are deserters from the Sons of the Moon the mercenary company currently in garrison duty in Elkoi.
They will be somewhere between Elkoi and Trilus. They will be avoiding obvious threats, official lunar parties, but looking for safety in numbers with other civilised or friendly travellers.
If players to not change the course of events it is likely these three will become retainers of Quintas at least in the medium term.
These NPC’s can easily moved and placed anywhere along the edges of the Lunar Empire.
Eshan the Wolf
Lunar Deserter, Initiate of Seven Mothers, Male 21
Eshan, is a lunar deserter the leader of this small group. Wandering the wilds of Balazar trying to work out what he should do next. He was a young talented half crescent leader in the Sons of the Moon, a mercenary company who were serving in garrison duty in Elkoi. He was tipped to be going places in the company before he deserted.
Hi looking back at numbers of the Troll encounters, when i first started to put the site together. Decided I needed some WOD:Glorantha stats for the Trolls. It also allows me look at how the system will work for none humans so looking at a range of trolls below.
As with the Balazaring archetypes post use these stats for quickfire ‘off the cuff’ stats or a starting point for more detailed and bespoke characters.
The trolls as well as being competent hunters, see raiding and combat as part of there role for there family and clan. They will be more aggressive than a normal hunters and will seek to use there size advantage and strength advantage in melee sooner.
These dark trolls function almost exclusively as warriors and as such tend to be from the either the most civilised or warlike clans and tribes. As elite warriors they will wait for the skirmish to attack for a while before attacking with ferocious strength, when they will lead the charge.
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.
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.
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.
The last of this series for at least a while, a note which should be reasonably obvious but for repeatable encounters most will require some minor changes of details between incarnations.
41. Fight Club – Repeatable, Anywhere
The players will first encounter the body of a hunting dog, which was wounded by sling shots , and then crushed by a large club. Then 20 yards later the body of a trollkin pierced by a javelin and throat ripped by what looks like a dog bite.
Over the next 1/2 mile they find bodies of 2 more dogs , a hunter and 3 trollkin. A good tracking roll will allow the player to confirm that Balazaring hunters fought a skirmishing retreat against a party of trolls & trollkin.
Eventually there players will come to a clearing where the hunters made there last stand, 4 hunters lie with their heads caved in by a large maul or club, 3 more hunting dogs and 3 trollkin also lie dead in the clearing.
All the corpses look about 2 days old. A successful tracking roll will show a party of two dark trolls and 3 trollkin left the site after the fight.
42. Disused Dwarf Workings – unique, mountains
High in the mountains if one of the players makes a spot check they will see a cave which has odd regular lines in its opening. Upon further examination it leads to a cut stone corridor of dwarven design with 3 disused barrack rooms leading off it. Continue reading Balazaring Encounters & Happenings – Part 5→
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.
The following group has really been written as a test of the character creation system, for NPC’s and as pre gens for a game I may run in the future. However if a ref has a need of a detailed and interesting lunar patrol for interaction, or recurring NPC’s these guys may make an interesting group.
The core of the group area half crescent(different terms for file) from a mercenary company of Peltasts called the Sons of the Moon, who usually recruit and operate in Vaunch and Holay and are often hired by the provincial army. They are currently being rotated through Balazar on garrison duty.