Tuesday, September 11, 2012

20 Questions about Hogwarts

What is the deal with my cleric's religion?
I already answered this...! Ok, but in a short explanation: if you worship the New Messiah, it's pretty similar to Christianity but with a messiah who lived around the time of the cataclysm and is now stuck in the realm between life and death. If you worship one of the Four Gods, you're more of a barefooted pagan type, and you have a particular holy site related to your god (none of which are particularly accessible or nice places).

Where can we go to buy standard equipment?
The village of Hogsmeade is outfitted to service adventurers ever since the delvers started arriving at Hogwarts. Further afield, there's usually a market for weapons and armour in each walled town or fortified House.

Where can we go to get platemail custom fitted for this monster I just befriended?
If you have a Goblin in your party, they can custom-fit it for you right there in the dungeon, so long as they've got the raw materials. Otherwise you'll want to seek out Inganok the Intemperate, one of the few goblins dwelling in Hogsmeade. Despite her abrasive personality, she's the best smith from here to New Gringotts, and nobody knows if New Gringotts even exists.

Who is the mightiest wizard in the land?
The mightiest human wizard is probably Pravin Patil, current patriarch of the House of Ravenclaw. Presiding over the closest thing that the modern world has to a wizarding college, his knowledge of arcane lore is unmatched. However, in raw power he might well be challenged by the mysterious Lich Lord, an immortal undead horror who rules a city-state in the northwest. They've never tested their powers against each other and nobody is going to encourage them to.

Who is the greatest warrior in the land?
Typheus Malfoy, the eldest scion of the ruling family in the House of Slytherin, is reputed to be the greatest duellist in the land. He is also notorious for his brutality towards free-elves, goblins and mudblood humans. Another contender for the title of 'greatest' would be Croesus Carrow, the Lord Madness of Azkaban - in his youth he terrorised the coasts of Scotland and beyond with a fleet of smoking pirate ships, but he is older now and many would speculate that he has lost his edge.

Who is the richest person in the land?
That title would go to Adolphus Malfoy, father of Typheus and current possessor of the Malfoy fortune, one of the only great hoards to make it out of the cataclysm more or less intact. It's this fortune that has allowed the House of Slytherin to survive in isolation from the rest of the world. The riches of the Lich Lord may be larger, but nobody can say for sure because his kingdom is so remote.

Where can we go to get some magical healing?
At Hogsmeade there is a church for the New Messiah, presided over by the parish priest Alfonso Turo. He's willing to offer healing as long as you're giving a reasonable donation to the church and your intentions are more-or-less good. However, he won't treat anyone who's been wounded in any sort of criminal activity or urban violence taking place within Hogsmeade. This isn't just a moral objection but a practical one, since he'd otherwise be swamped by footpads and smugglers nursing knife wounds.

Where can we go to get cures for the following conditions: poison, disease, curse, level drain, lycanthropy, polymorph, alignment change, death, undeath?
Poison and disease can be cured by potion-masters. Most of them are travelling merchants, but there's a good chance of finding one in Hogsmeade at any given time. 
Curses, level drain, alignment change, polymorph and undeath can probably only be cured by a high-level cleric. Powerful clerics of the New Messiah can be found at the Crusade Cathedral in Greater Wheeling, which is the headquarters of the entire Church; or you could visit Gryffindor Monastery in the south. Finding a powerful cleric of the pagan gods will be more difficult, since they have no hierarchy or fixed address, but a pilgrimage to Godric's Hollow would be a good place to start. The powers of the New God are more likely to be able to help you with curses and undeath, whereas the Old Gods have more power over cases of polymorph and alignment change.
There are no known cures for lycanthropy. If you discover one, you can sell it for a king's ransom to the border lords who struggle each winter against the depredations of the Werewolf Army.
Death is a difficult proposition. There are records of very powerful clerics being able to raise the dead by the grace of the New Messiah, but no clerics of that level are alive today. There are also the legends of the Deathly Hallows, but that's all they are - vague stories.

Is there a magic guild my MU belongs to or that I can join in order to get more spells?
By default your Wizard is an independent, but you can potentially sign up with the House of Ravenclaw, a university-fortress which has trained all the most powerful wizards in the land. To join the House you must be at least 2nd level, and if you don't have an exceptional INT score then you will need to perform some service or deed proving your worth to Ravenclaw's ongoing goals, which consist primarily of reclaiming lost knowledge.

Where can I find an alchemist, sage or other expert NPC?
'Alchemists' in Scotland are specifically those wizards who deal with the transmutation of substances and the quest for the philosopher's stone. For general-purpose magic consumables, you'll want to consult with a potion-master - either a travelling salesman or one who's maintained by a lord (the latter being superior but less accessible).
For other sage advice, once again you should look into the House of Ravenclaw - not all of its members are spellcasters, many are simply researchers with specialised knowledge.

Where can I hire mercenaries?
Hogsmeade is full of footpads, bravos and other assorted sword-wielding lowlifes, who should suffice for a quick trip into the dungeon. If you're looking to enlist a serious company, though, you'll need to visit one of the larger townships like Greater Wheeling. The Death Eaters, though primarily bandits, are also willing to take up under a single banner for the right price.

Is there any place on the map where swords are illegal, magic is outlawed or any other notable hassles from Johnny Law?
Depends on your race. Currently, free-elves (i.e. house-elves who've been freed) are not allowed in Hogwarts, Hogsmeade or any other areas under the domain of Baron Horatio Sledgley. The free-elf tribes of the lowlands are constantly raiding Sledgley's lands for food and the liberation of their brethren. The usual procedure for free-elf adventurers is to suffer the ignominy of pretending to be servants to one of their human companions.
Other than that, you are pretty much good unless you want to visit the House of Slytherin, where mudbloods (i.e. you and everyone else outside the rigid Slytherin bloodlines) are treated as second-class citizens and must accept restrictions too numerous to mention.

Which way to the nearest tavern?
Hogsmeade is so cool it has two! The Three Broomsticks is where most of the adventurers hang out and is generally the premier spot for carousing and mingling with the townsfolk. The Hog's Head Inn, on the other hand, is a lot smaller and a lot more shady. Much of Hogsmeade's dirty business goes on under the tables of the Hog's Head, which means they are pretty damn dirty.

What monsters are terrorizing the countryside sufficiently that if I kill them I will become famous?
There isn't a whole lot of terrorizing going on with individual monsters - the terrorizing is mostly left up to various warlords, bandits and groups of monsters like hags and redcaps. However, you would certainly become famous if you slew the Basilisk, a legendary monster that dwells somewhere in the depths of Hogwarts but emerges at unspecified intervals to haunt the town. And then there's the Lethifold - a creature of darkness that's reportedly so stealthy it swallows its victims whole without a trace. Killing one of them would certainly put you on the map, if they're not just a complete fabrication.

Are there any wars brewing I could go fight?
Always and everywhere. The human lords fight against each other, against the ancient Houses, against the free-elves and human tribesmen, and against the great monster races - the hags, the werewolves and the undead servants of the Lich Lord.
The border lords are those barons and chieftains who maintain the outposts on the edge of the relatively civilised realms of men, primarily against the Werewolf Army. These lycanthropes have formed their own nation and sworn to remake all humanity in their own image. Meanwhile, the Church of the New Messiah has a mandate, purportedly from the Messiah himself, to wipe out the Lich Lord, and they are gathering all pious lords under their banner to begin a great crusade.
Other wars lie dormant. The House of Slytherin reluctantly tolerates commerce with mudbloods, but that may change when Typheus Malfoy takes over as Patriarch. Azkaban, once a great pirating nation, has drawn inward in recent years. The reasons for this are unclear, and the coastal baronies all dread the day that the Azkabanj bloodships sail forth once again.

How about gladiatorial arenas complete with hard-won glory and fabulous cash prizes?
What! Gladiatorial combat is primitive and barbaric. In these parts, men compete in the clean and honourable arena of competitive sport: Quidditch.
Of course, in reality Quidditch is very nearly as bloody as an arena. A game of Quidditch is never just entertainment, since it requires a significant amount of investment and several magic items just to get a game going. Games between baronies are incredibly heated, as they are a substitute for open warfare. Lords will wager the outcome of diplomatic disputes on a game, while peasants will work themselves into a hooligan frenzy in support of their team. More than one war has broken out over a bent referee or a pitch-side scuffle that got out of hand. 
Although it requires a significant investment to field a full team's worth of flying broomsticks, the lords are always on the lookout for new talent. In this case, 'talent' is in great part composed of combat ability and willingness to use it on the field, so it's not uncommon for adventurers to become sporting superstars.

Are there any secret societies with sinister agendas I could join and/or fight?
Well, maybe, but they're pretty secret. Those in the know in the underworld of Hogsmeade are aware of a mysterious criminal organisation reputed to have influence from Godric's Hollow to Azkaban (that is, almost everywhere). Its name unknown, its visage always obscured behind many layers of secrecy, this organisation is now rumoured to be putting out its feelers into Hogsmeade, the last great untamed realm of crime.
There's also the whole story about the cult ruled by talking snakes. But that's obviously nonsense.

What is there to eat around here?
The standard fare is pretty poor, it being after the apocalypse and all. On the other hand, several recipes have been passed down through the generations for magical confectionery, such as Every Flavour Beans, Chocolate Frogs, Cockroach Clusters and Fizzing Whizzbees. In taverns, the favoured drink is Butterbeer.

Any legendary lost treasures I could be looking for?
Many! The most famous are the Deathly Hallows, three artifacts reputedly bargained from the clutches of Death himself. If you're interested in something with more certainty of its actual existence, the Sword of Gryffindor is reputed to lie somewhere within the walls of Hogwarts. Alchemists hold hope that the Philosopher's Stone of Nicholas Flamel is still in existence, while delvers tell each other tales of the Marauder's Map which is said to reveal all the rooms, hidden passages and monster locations of the entire Hogwarts castle.

Where is the nearest dragon or other monster with Type H treasure?
That would be the Dragon of Hogwarts, so - pretty close! About a hundred years ago this dragon was laying waste to the countryside until it was confronted by a mysterious centaur. What magics he worked is unknown, but the dragon departed to make its lair in the gulch below Hogwarts castle, from which it has only emerged occasionally since then.


  1. excellent in so many ways. I'm looking forward to playing this when I can. The dragon under the castle in particular reminds me of Eurodisney. www.dlrpmagic.com/guidebook/disneyland-park/fantasyland/la-taniere-du-dragon/

  2. I just directed to your post-apocolyptic Hogwarts posts by Gustie LaRu. This is some killer stuff! Very nicely done.

    1. I'm glad you like it. It's a shame the campaign never really ran for very long, actually.

  3. if you were to start that back up in say September at a Europe friendly time you'd have at least one player here.....