Friday, November 29, 2013

Gunpowder, Treason and Plots! (November Blog Carnival)

This month's RPG Blog Carnival is being hosted by Nearly Enough Dice, The theme is 'Gunpowder, Treason and Plots!' How could we resist? Here are three short and bittersweet tables loaded with scenario-seeds, rumors and background details fresh from Wermspittle, just in time for the Carnival...

  1. Less than a dozen years ago simple possession of Green Powder was a capital offense in most civilized countries. Then someone figured out how to pack the stuff into artillery shells and all hell broke loose. Now ordnance officers are expected to set aside a portion of their green-brass shells in order to let the gunpowder inside 'age properly' into Green Powder from prolonged exposure to the Plattnerized brass. That used to be a court martial offense itself. Now it's standard operating procedure. Even in Pruztia and especially in what remains of Nagrothea.
  2. Achromic Powder used to be bad enough, especially in Salted Shot. Now there's a new thing showing up on the battlefields. They call it Wermshot. The damned musket balls have been hollowed-out and packed with vermin-eggs. Sometimes they mix-in a little White Powder, just to make it that much worse.
  3. Blackened Powder is a very nasty mixture of gunpowder and Black Smoke residue; corned, caked and then re-ground into a coarse-grained, almost gritty powder. The stuff is best used in grenades or petards. It'll ruin your rifle or musket worse than dropping it into an acid-bath. The Franzikaners use this stuff in their landmines. It isn't any good in the rain though. Small favor.
  4. Dead Lead Shot was issued to all the regiments serving on both sides of the Trenches at Valdrume. Not that it did much good. The mindless hordes overran everything. You just couldn't shoot, let alone burn them fast enough. In the end it took a coordinated effort from both sides to finally salvage things. But it was too little, too late for the Coastal States. All those cities on fire. The screaming. That was the worst. Who knew the dead could make such a fuss? Pour me another shot of Black Liquor. There's things best forgotten; that's one.
  5. Gunpowder Grubs can make a fellow rich, if they don't catch the blight or get set-off prematurely by a spark from a faulty lamp or anything like that. Quite a few enterprising souls set up grub-farms in the attics of their squalid tenements and refurbished old houses back during the days right before the Midwive's Rebellion. That's how there got to be so many blackened and blasted ruined places all over the place. some says that's how we ended up with the Burned Over Districts. That and the airship bombings...
  6. Those foreigners, those masked ones with the thick accents and thicker robes; Fantomists, yeah, those guys--they've been making noises about some new sort of gunpowder that they're trying to fob off on the Wall Guards and Street Patrol. So far the Officers-in-charge aren't having any. But a few of the boys have accepted samples. No harm in a few freebies...

  1. Six dead Puritans lie dead in the alley. All were shot from behind. their bodies were then mutilated in a manner clearly calculated to send a message to anyone who knows the initiatory secrets of the higher-ranks. Their commanding officer suspects it was one of their own that led her men into that ambush. But how can she find the culprit, let alone prove their guilt? Perhaps she will seek the help of a discrete investigator. But it will be difficult to get anywhere without her being able to reveal the inner secrets of her group to an outsider.
  2. A group of Refugees from Yattrim were led into the Baffles and left for dead by unscrupulous brigands. They've been camping-out in the dead gray mud for weeks now, completely oblivious to the treachery of the false guides who took all their money. Only one of the Yattrimese knows the truth of the matter. They refuse to speak-up. this seems like a suitable penance for his people's treachery against the Sanctified King in abandoning their homeland to come to this place. Better they had all succumbed to the plague. Little does he know; they were infected by agents of the King before they were allowed to leave. Those yellow scarves each one was given were not just tokens of goodwill. They were a death sentence.
  3. A pair of former freedom-fighters from Yudrabek make their way across the rooftops. Then the bomb converted from an old Yorish landmine planted at the rendezvous site detonates prematurely. Their old friend isn't much of a friend any more. Won't get any too much older either, if they have their way.
  4. Five soldiers from the Wall Guards have abandoned their posts at the Western Ramparts. They are all under the influence of a Hasnamuss operating from behind a small steel mirror that the sergeant carries with him. The connection is tenuous and will be disrupted if the mirror is exposed to bright light. The Hasnamuss is working for an undisclosed foreign power. This is not the first group of Wall Guards that they've led astray as part of their behind-the-lines efforts. The Hasnamuss takes special relish in leading otherwise dutiful troops into the snares and pitfalls of misconduct and treason.
  5. The Pruztian Ambassador Karlush Bezwenger has been having second thoughts about our young mister Dalazig (Takers, No. 8). Something he said recently just wasn't quite right. The Ambassador has tended to overlook a few things, here and there, military courtesy and all that, as Dalazig distinguished himself in battle. Or so everyone was led to believe. The young officer's story has shifted about in the re-telling a bit too much, however. The Ambassador is in poor health and dreads making a terrible mistake in naming Dalazig as his successor if he is i fact an impostor. Whom can the Ambasador call upon to look into the matter, quickly, quietly, carefully and set his mind to ease once and for all?
  6. A young boy is trying to sell the secrets of his step-father's Low-Land Farm Enclave to anyone who'll help him find his way out of this place. The kid is getting nervous. He has no wish to spend another winter in this place. He says he knows the way past the lime-pits, deadfalls, and other taps and barriers. He's even offering to draw a map, if offered enough money. There are those who are keeping an eye on the child. Some may even consider paying him something for his troubles.

  1. Three Nagrothean Whisperers have been seen entering the bombed-out and gutted remains of the old Franzikaner Military Governor's Palace. What could they want in that place?
  2. A Somnambulist has been asking peculiar questions of anyone they suspect of having anything to do with the last caravan out of Dukirzia. They were expecting a shipment of teak-and-ebony cabinets. A special order. The caravan-master he'd contracted with was killed on the Spring trip into Wermspittle. Their successor is proving uncooperative and unsympathetic, possibly because he's already sold-off the cabinets to one of the Comprachico Families who paid him a far better price.
  3. A small, but select group of scholars from the Academy have imprisoned several Cacozombies in the attic of a deserted shop overlooking Plover Lane. They've been attempting to distill the psychic filth of these things into something usable as a weapon. Their leader, Professor-Doktor Kauzey is rumored to be in the pay of the Gruzikan Army, or perhaps one of the other City-states. One of the good Doktor's co-conspirators is working for Pruztian Military Intelligence. Another is in the employ of the Sewer Militia. The whole operation is under observation by a very old, very crafty Ungezheifer that is biding their time. A small shipment of Achromic Powder has just arrived...
  4. The projected consciousness of a Philosophic Mold has been captured in a glass cage by an experimental investigator seeking to build a reliable defense against Predatory Projections. It isn't working, despite his best efforts. The Philosophic Mold sees what he's getting wrong, but hasn't decided whether to politely point out their error(s) or to just keep quiet and keep watching. Then an inquisitive Interstitial Insectoid discerned the peculiar emanations given off by the glass cage mechanism and decided to investigate...
  5. Four Morlocks and a Grood are running away from some Abandoned Property. Nobody cares. Until the place blows up. They were looking for an old entrance to the Sewers, probably to do a little light salvage. someone had warned them about a Lesser Nosferatus that used to lurk down there. So they brought alone a galvanic torch. There was an old ammunition dump in the cellar. From back before the Five Winter's War. Someone slipped on a slick patch. They dropped the Torch. Dozens of crates and boxes of unstable old ammunition got set on fire. Boom. They still don't suspect that it was a friend of the Nosferatus that sold them the faulty Galvanic Torch in the first place.
  6. Glindeng has been raising Stranglemasses in her spare room for years now. Ever since the nurses in the old sanitarium taught her how to take care of a garden...

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  1. It seems reasonable that the living have special anti-undead munitions, but what I wonder is what the arsenals of those dead burning cities are churning out now that they are in gnarled cold hands?

    1. Ask any Fantomist you happen to that's not such a good idea. They get nasty about trade secrets and stuff like that.

      The Dead Cities are massively more messed-up than Wermspittle. Lots of Plattnerized-Brass Ordnance, Black Smoke, and nastier weapons were used in those places, before, during and after the uprisings and so on. The ground surrounding them is torn to bits, churned into horrific muck, and extremely treacherous to cross in and of itself. Just getting to these places is perilous in the extreme. Unexploded ordnance, mines, weak points, vortices, it just gets more damned and more unhinged as you go along. The stuff that is fighting its way out from there is also another thing to consider...

      The wars didn't end in those dead places. Not really. Some of the armies moving about beyond the cordoned-off perimeter aren't units anyone recognizes, at least not from this side of things...


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