Tuesday, April 12, 2011

DM Advice - Creating Ecologies Not Static Environments Pt III

In the last examples, we listed that the Sewer is underground, has only three entrances, and is probably filled with some aquatic animals (maybe a gator or two) and some mushrooms and fungi. The sewer could be used as a hideout for a gang of thieves, as a place for cult meetings or as a lair for aquatic humanoids. We listed that the Backyard is aboveground, surrounded by a fence, has two entrances, a pool deck and a patio, and is probably filled with some small mammals, small reptiles and the occasional hedge or tree.  The backyard could be used for shady deals or as a clandestine meeting place as well as an open-air market place.

This week we look at the  types of inhabitants for the sewer and how they might interact.


Sewer

In my fantasy sewer, I have decided to make it a lair for a race of aquatic humanoids known as bullywugs. These frogmen pretty much stay under the town and keep to themselves. Recently, the cult of the dagger started meeting at the sewer works house. The commotion of the cult’s meetings forced the bullywugs to attack the cult one evening. After a brief struggle that ultimately proved futile the two groups decided upon a pact that would benefit both parties. It was decided that the cult can use the sewer works house and the surrounding sewer lines to get around town but that they must respect the giant alligator that the bullywugs had adopted as a pet. Furthermore, the bullywugs agreed to keep out intruders any means necessary. The cult was given its space and the bullywugs were left alone. This agreement works for them.

At this point you want to draw up a map of the sewer and the respective areas of its inhabitants. I will draw up one at a later time but for now the sewer works has been cordoned off until five separate rooms for the cult – front hallway, guard room, ante chamber, meeting hall and latrine (it’s a sewer). The rooms are all connected to one another with the meeting hall in the center between the antechamber and the guardroom. The latrine is really just a part of the sewer that is not being used by the bullywugs.

There are twenty cult members total and there are always at least three hanging out somewhere in the rooms with one always in the guardroom though throughout the day other members are encouraged to come and train in the meeting hall. Guild meetings happen each week on Friday nights with all members required to attend. Taking this into context, we can easily state that at any one time there will be one or more guard in the guardroom. Most likely, there will be two guards in the guardroom and one member in either the antechamber or the meeting hall though we can leave this up to a simple percentage depending on the day of the week and time of day.

You could come up with a very simple table for the cult to determine where the members are at any one time. The leader of the cult, Bano is always at the headquarters so he will automatically be one of the three. He is usually inside the antechamber working on future plans for the cult.

Any day except Friday
Possible Cult Members – 20
Hallway – 15% (1d2)
Ante Chamber- Bano (+1d4-1/2 guardroom)
Meeting Hall – Bano is there if 4 or more are with him otherwise 10% (1d6) 20% (1d4)
Guard Room – 2 (+1d4)
Latrine – 30% (we get this by taking 24 hours /4 people) (1 person)
If from sewer – 10% bullywugs 1d4 5% gator
  
Any night except Friday
Possible Cult Members – 20
Hallway – 15% (1d2)
Ante Chamber- Bano (+1d6 -1/2 guardroom)
Meeting Hall – Bano is there if 4 or more are with him otherwise 10% (1d6) 20% (1d4)
Guard Room – 2 (+1d4)
Latrine – 30% (we get this by taking 24 hours /4 people) (1 person)
If from sewer – 25% bullywugs 1d4 15% gator

 Friday (Pre Meeting)
Possible Cult Members – 20
Hallway – 25% (1d10-Meeting Hall)
Ante Chamber- Bano + 10% 1 person
Meeting Hall – 4 + 1d6 (-latrine)
Guard Room – 2
Latrine – 40% (we get this by taking 1 hours 20/24*1 people) (1 person)
If from sewer – 05% bullywugs 1d4 0% gator
  
Friday (Meeting)
Possible Cult Members – 20
Hallway – None
Ante Chamber- None
Meeting Hall – 18 (-latrine)
Guard Room – 2
Latrine – 40% (we get this by taking 1 hours 20/24*1 people) (1 person)
If from sewer – 05% bullywugs 1d4 0% gator

Friday (Post Meeting)
Possible Cult Members – 20
Hallway – 25% (1d10-Meeting Hall)
Ante Chamber- Bano + 10% 1 person
Meeting Hall – 4 + 1d6 (-latrine)
Guard Room – 2
Latrine – 40% (we get this by taking 1 hours 20/24*1 people) (1 person)
If from sewer – 05% bullywugs 1d4 0% gator
  
Thus we have created an environment that people move about location depending on the day. We can further expand this by defining the number of individuals responsible for what job type but for this exercise we are just using total people.

This assumes that the bullywugs do not double cross the cultists or are not used as bodyguards. If the players were to come in from the other side of the sewer there is a chance that there are bullywugs around or even the gator!  The bullywugs are most active when there is no meeting and at night. This is calculated above.

If you want I will do the backyard next week otherwise we can move to the next part of the ecologies - environmental changes. I will wait for your responses and then decide to do based on what you say.

1 comment:

  1. I dropped this thread as there were no responses so I thought no one was reading it. I recently have had comments about picking this back up. Would anyone be interested in a continuation of this thread? I would love to get into environmental and social changes. What if a fire swept through the town or an invading army took over? What if the bullwugs were chased from their pond by adventurers and had to make their home under the sewers of the city?

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