Thursday, November 5, 2009

From the Attic: City-State of the Invincible Overlord Part 2

The rest of the original City-State of the Invincible Overlord.

Now we get into Rules and Guidelines. For anybody who want to see how people houseruled back in the day this section is a gold mine.

First we read about Boons and Duties for nobles. If you PC thinks being a duke is all glory wait until the Overlord requires a a loan of 1,000 to 10,000 gp from them. Of course if they are a duke then they have a 13% change of being repaid each month.

Then we have a short section on Wills. We learn that if you character dies you turn over at least 10% of his wealth and any magic item has a 50% of being confiscated for "state protection".

Now we get to the Women table. Yes two pages of how to roll up women with every attribute defined. You can get Barmaids, Concubines, Courtesans, Goddess (!?), Houri, Shrews, and Vixens. I guess Foxy is post 70s. For their attributes we can roll for Age, Tress Tines, Complexion, Height, Vita Statistic (yeah the important one), Including how bust size, waist, and hips break down according to charisma.

After the wonders of rolling up women I don't know if the rest of CSIO can equal what has been done so far. Let's go on and see.

We get a trio of legal entries. Oaths & Promises, Proclamations, and the Council of High Treason. Just don't bring more than 200 men-at-arms into City-State. Trust me on this one.

Then we get a Commonor's Calendar with months like The Snow Leopard, Vineyard Bounty, and the Silent Scream :O. We learn what the major festivals are and the prevailing temperatures
(think Georgia, South Carolina, France)

Then we learn about Beggars which appear as an NPC classes ranging from the level 1 Beggar, 3rd Level Panhandler, to the top of the pyramid at 7th level the Guildmaster!

Next we get a house rule on using Characteristics. Basically you if you roll less than your ability on a percentage dice you succeed. The difficulty of the task determines how often you get retry. Some tasks take multiple attempts!

Now we move onto a new section where we learn about the Dwarves of Thunderhold. It comes with a sketch map of the Rorystone Road.

If you wondered why I wrote up Rorystone Road as my initial proposal for the format of the Wilderlands Boxed Set this is the map that inspired it.

Next we get a list of NPCs of Thunderhold mostly Dwarves, followed by Legends and Rumors. The Night Watchers: Spectres riding Manticores doesn't sound so good.

Next are shops and Taverns. Lettered from A to Y instead of numbered. Thunderhold may be ruled by the Dwarves but nearly half of the shops are human.

Next page being the guidelines to the upper level of the Sunstone Caverns. We learn about Lady Kostbera, the Overlord Black Lotus agent within the Caverns. Bragrash the Minotaur. Gorgomat the Prisoner at Very Old White Dragon. The Bandits of the Man-Ape. The enigmatic Oracle of Bubastis. Nikelaus and this goblin servant SHADOW! Zagrath the Spectre, and more for two pages.

The four pages has a four level dungeon that is drawn quite nicely. Unlike the sunstone caverns themselves there is no description other than some notes on the map. In case anybody wonders where they go they connect to the cave in hex 0103 in the upper left of the 11 by 17 Thunderhold Map.

After the Sunstone Caverns We get some Prosiac Poems & Provoking Prose

After the long and cold retreat
The Witch-Queen deigned to take her seat,
By the ancient Sleeping River clear,
Where harpies singing charm the ear.

Then we get three different rules for shock recovery. Basically how to get some hit points back after combat especially if you are below zero.

Next get some guidelines on Special Encounters. Including guidelines on Guard & Garrison Troops, what Social Level means and how to increase it. This followed by some guidelines on using Social Levels for Serfs, Villains, Military, Gentlemen, and Nobles.

Then we get a chart on being questioned by Guards or Constables.

Next a set of rules on Offensive Locutions plus the Buffoon fighter subclass. Basically a sucessful Repartee will stop everybody in earshot from taking offensive action for 1d6 rounds. A successful Witicism allow you to gain the initiative on the laughing opponent who is otherwise unable to anything for 2-8 rounds. Only Buffoons have honed their wit enough to use Witticism in combat.

Then a section on Poisons from the old favorite Belladonna to the venom of a Purple Worm.

If your encounter involves an attack then you can use the Attack Reason chart for the specifics.

Also some guidelines on the companions of high social level individuals. Manumission for slaves and the breakdown of the various quarters of City-State are coverd.

We then get to the Social level/City Encounter chart. I have to say the authors did a nice job with this one. You roll for the type of encounter, who encountered and then can quickly break it down to the exact social levels of the person encountered. There are some special encounters as well ranger from being Expectorated upon, a were-rat trying to kidnap, and finally meeting with a Hypnotist. For course Women have their own special subchart that refers back to the random Woman chart back on page 55.

Then for your miscreant PCs we have a section on Crime, Trial, & Punishment. A nice little subsystem for resolving your PCs legal troubles. Of course if the crime is bringing in more than 200 men-at-arms then you need to go back to the section on the Council of High Treason.

The punishments range from Drawn & Quartered, Flayed, to the ever nice Case Dismissed. The authors even include the specific effects of the various punishments. If you are whipped it makes a difference if a Silk Cord is used or a Flail.

One of the reason for heading for the big city of course is hirelings and henchmen. But to find the best in the teeming mass of humanity that is City-State you need to ADVERTISE!. The next section is all about advertising in City-State. Like the City Encounter Table it is nicely laid out and easy to follow.

After this are five levels of a dungeon that lies underneath city-state. The entrances appear to be a storage pit underneath the Wild Boar Tavern and the Basement of the Cut-throat Inn. The bottommost level has a fiery chasm.

In general Judges Guild products are not noted for their layout and art. But one thing that City-State did was great was it's index. Only two pages it was useful, accurate and made using the product a snap. Combined with the Hanging out in the City State index in Pegasus #4 made using City-State easy.

2 comments:

The Rusty Battle Axe said...

Now we get to the Women table. Yes two pages of how to roll up women with every attribute defined. You can get Barmaids, Concubines, Courtesans, Goddess (!?), Houri, Shrews, and Vixens. I guess Foxy is post 70s. For their attributes we can roll for Age, Tress Tines, Complexion, Height, Vita Statistic (yeah the important one), Including how bust size, waist, and hips break down according to charisma.

I wonder if Match.com is on to this?

leadjunkie said...

One of the reason for heading for the big city of course is hirelings and henchmen. But to find the best in the teeming mass of humanity that is City-State you need to ADVERTISE!.

Ahh... yes. I remember my first time to advertise as a PC Fighter looking for henchmen. The charts generated 20 ogres in plate mail with crossbows. Only in the City State - LOL!