Wednesday, July 17, 2019


Now that I've got a rough idea on my setting, Cresthaven, I need to get some more details in place for it.   First, I've been thinking a bit more about Mardok's Rangers. The "mercenary takeover" idea is a decent one, but their sheer size and power is a bit alarming. What if they're not a merc force, but instead the military forces of a more established power. Perhaps their a forward force of Free Quebec, or the dreaded Splugorth Slavers (servants of the Lovecraftian entity that rules Atlantis), or a band from the Federation of Magic or something else?

Are they a Mercenary Band?
(50/50 | 6[d10]) Yes, but...

But, they have a secret of some sort, something else going on with them. I make a note of this, but decide not to explore it further--something to discover in game.

Now, let's look at the questions I had from last time:
* Who was the Protector?
* What are the "dangers" around Cresthaven, and why is Mardok so unconcerned about them?
* What do the people believe?
* What is the relationship of the magic wielders and the Rangers?
* Who are the primary families in town, and how have they responded to the presence of the Rangers?

Starting with the first, let's see Who was the Protector? Let's see what a "complex description" can give me:
Hopelessly / Delicate

Well...that's unexpected. Not some power-armored badass, but something more subtle. Perhaps a wizard or a psychic or a some sort of fey spirit? Maybe even a deity of some sort. I decide whoever it was, was a "she." Was she a deity?
(50/50 | 6[d10]) Yes, but...

Wooden statue of the Lady
Rifts does have states for a godling/demigod type characters, and I decide that she was one of these, probably with the Magic special powers. She was the "Lady in the Woods," and worshiped by the community. I figure the few remaining magical practitioners are what remains of her immediate followers. I'm sure that there was something else going on with her being here rather than merely protecting Cresthaven, but that's another mystery to discover in play.

What happened to her?

The "hopelessly delicate" gives me some guidance. Maybe she grew sick and weary over time? At least it seemed that way to her followers, who probably blamed the attach on some other supernatural force. I'm going to say that they believe she merely sleeps, and that is is there duty to find and defeat this force. Each has their own pet theory as to what exactly it was that struck her, and what needs to be done to revive her.

What about the dangers? Let's check a "Complex Description" again.
Roughly / Mature

I got nothin'. I could keep rolling until I get a description that works, but I decide to cheat a bit. I pull out my copy of the Rifts Conversion Book, and decide to roll for a random page. It's a roughly 200 page book, and most of the critters are in the back half, so:
196 = 96[d100]+100

That's actually an ad, so I flip back and decide on the last creature in the book, the terrifying Zavor! They're a cruel and genocidal plague on the world, immune to almost all attacks. Indeed, striking them with magic and normal weapons instead causes them to split in two equally dangerous foes. They can only be bested by psychic powers and weapons of wood and silver. Guess this explains why folks don't carry Mega-Damage Weapons.

Any other notable foes?
(50/50 | 6[d10]) Yes, but...

There are other menaces in the woods, but they are more obscure and less well known. The PC will have to find them in play. There's also a note about the Zavor's being stopped by permanent walls--which might also explain why Cresthaven is so well fortified.  But, there's still an issue of "if the people know about and can handle the Zavor, why did they invite in the mercenaries?" I decide on the spot that there had to be another threat, a more conventional one that needed handling by proper troops.

So, out in the Atlantic, there's Atlantis, right? Ruled by the cruel Splugorth who sends bands of slavers to the Eastern Coast to capture slaves. Slaver don't just run around and hit any village they stumble on, they buy the slaves from locals who do the drudge work for them. So, a band of these cruel slavers had begun moving further and further inland, far from the coast, in search of fresh targets. And the prosperous and poorly defended people of Cresthaven were an ideal target. They suffered brutally from the slavers, until the Rangers arrived and put a stop to the raids.

What do the people believe? Well, they believe in the Lady in the Woods, who I decide to call "Silvis." They believe she is their protector and defender, the one who brought them to this lush land. There's probably a strain of the guilt and failure, as if their actions have led the goddess to leave them. Mardok and his men probably discount this as all rubbish, the fanciful believes of a bunch of inbred yokels overly impressed by some Elf.

Do the Rangers have a particular religious belief?
(Somewhat Likely | 9[d10]) Yes +Event: Praise / Fame

So, religious belief is a bit of a issue with Rifts. Officially, none of the pre-rifts faith survive (at least not the monotheistic faiths...), and most people tend to be somewhat agnostic, given how many Alien Intelligence's and Demons like to show up and proclaim themselves various gods. But, people still believe, and faith is always fun to have in a game. I decide that they follow the old Norse deities, particularly the boisterous and warlike Thor. They seek nothing more than wealth, fame, and a glorious death. They don't much care in what cause.

What's the relationship between the magic wielders and the mercenaries?

Well, they're both semi-polytheistic, so it's not an inherently oppositional situation.. At least in terms of Faith. The old temple to the Lady (which actually was her house) was probably left alone by the Rangers and is now the magicians. The Rangers probably have their own shrine to their gods in their encampment, and neither has any interest in converting one to the other. Well, some members of Cresthaven feel they should worship Thor, as it is his warriors that now stand where the Lady "failed." Not a lot of other people in Cresthaven would be happy about this, but the Rangers would provide protection to those who honor their deity, so it's more of a simmering conflict within the town itself. Of course, there's something deeper in this religious conflict. The mages hate that the mercs are here. They were once the elite in this community, and the town was free. Now they are "safe," but reduced to a dependent state, and they wish to liberate their community. Mardok and his men are aware of this, but feel that there is nothing the wizards can do about it. For now, they are arrogantly confident in their place.

Who are the Primary families?

I actually want to do something a bit different here. Rather than focusing on the families themselves, I want to create some key NPC's that define this area. A couple we already have some idea on. I'll be using the U.N.E. to come up with some information for each one.Mardok: The son of the original leader of the Rangers, and lord of Cresthaven. Whatever first led the band here, they are still after it.

What's his deal?
Subtle and friendly outcast who is as strong as you and whose motivation is to suppress the law and is focused on your experience.

Ok. So, Mardok was a "prodigal son"--he actually left the band to have his own series of adventures. He's a charismatic ruler, though also cunning in his own way. He wants to "suppress" the traditions of the people of Cresthaven, but isn't so foolish as to be aggressive about it.

Leader of the wizards. Based on what I've determined here, I decide that the dominant magical "style" is that of the Mystic class, which is a meditative combination of the Wizard and the Psychic. Their leader functions as the "high priest" of the community. He/She is:
Naive and scheming villager who is much stronger than you and whose motivation is to produce racism and is focused on your relics.

(50/50 | 8[d10]) Yes 

So, he (Otar) is a bit of a fanatic. He is doing all he can to force out the Rangers, knowing that direct force isn't an option. He is not terribly well educated, and is driven more by faith that anything else. He strives to maintain an us/them approach to the Ranger, and is constantly harping on the threats the town faces. He is also searching for any clues on how to revive the Silvis.

Next, we have the Pirate.
Liberal and knowing reverend who is as strong as you and whose motivation is to plunder harmony and is focused on your last action.

(50/50 | 1[d10]) No, and...

Probably the most "wordly" figure in town, Sera has traveled all around North America, and seen stuff most people can't imagine. She has the least parochial views of anyone, though this has made her a bit more cynical and pessimistic that others as well. The "reverend" attribute gives me pause. Perhaps she's a Priest of some other deity, or maybe a psychic or a practitioner of magic. I have a lot of mystic stuff going on right now, so I think I'll go with her being something of a role model and adviser in town. She's willing to give anyone a chance, and more than a few have spent at least some time on her ship, seeking plunder. Her tendency to spend her ill-gotten wealth in town has made her very popular, and those seeking a "third way" between the Mystics and the Rangers often look to her.

The Cyber-Doc
(50/50 | 8[d10]) Yes

Ok, what's his deal?
Reputable and scheming soldier who is as strong as you and whose motivation is to interact compassion and is focused on your current story.

Reiston, officially, works for the Rangers, but is more than willing to sell his services to those who need his help. You can trust him to get the work done, but it has to be "under the table." That's four.

Let's create, say, 3 more major NPCS.

The first one:
Destitute and scheming tradesman who is as strong as you and whose motivation is to institute valor and is focused on your recent scene.
(50/50 | 6[d10]) Yes

Creighton is the most dominant merchant in town, selling what excess produce and resources he can get, not to mention the booty and pay from the mercenaries and the pirates. But he's not as clever as he likes to think, and is deeply in debt to pretty much everyone of importance. He is quite willing to support any sort of "treasure hunting expedition" or big "deal"/gamble--anything to get himself out of the hole he has dug himself into.

Skilled and mysterious recluse who is as strong as you and whose motivation is to secure the elite and is focused on your relics.
(50/50 | 4[d10]) No

Hrm. Is she from Cresthaven?
(50/50 | 2[d10]) No

Ok, She is Lorai, a powerful wizard or psychic affiliated with the Rangers. If Mardok is their charismatic leader, she is the real power "behind the throne" and is a bit reason why they stay in the area. She keeps her distance from the locals.

And finally.
Insightful and scheming bum who is as strong as you and whose motivation is to operate valor and is focused on your fame.
(50/50 | 7[d10]) Yes

Joren is a great example of "falling upwards." Pretty much every job he's had, he's managed to screw up, yet somehow he keeps getting promoted. He's now the head of the "Council"--the civilian authority made up of the elders of the various families, which manages the day to day affairs of Cresthaven. He does his best to keep the balance between the Rangers, the Mystic, the Pirates, and the Merchants. He's so far been relatively successful, even if all he seemingly has to offer is a firm handshake, a ready smile, and a host of terrible, just terrible, jokes.--anything to get himself out of the hole he has dug himself into.

Next up, we'll make our PC. Honestly, I have no idea what to make with this setting.

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