Thursday, September 6, 2012

Night-Haunted Hogwarts: Setting Info & Chargen

Night-Haunted Hogwarts is the name of my D&D megadungeon campaign on Google+. Here's the lowdown on setting and character classes for anyone who's interested in playing.

The Setting

Most of civilisation has been destroyed in a mysterious apocalypse. Hundreds of years after the cataclysm, society has reverted to a medieval tech level and nobody really remembers how or why the world was destroyed, except that wizards were involved, there was a war of some kind, and the castle of Hogwarts played an important role. The races of Wizards and Muggles have become intermingled as one, to the point where the confused survivors now use the term 'Muggle' to refer to any lost pre-apocalyptic civilisation.

The campaign focuses on the castle of Hogwarts, formerly a school for wizards, now under a curse and infested with vile monsters. For over a century the castle was unapproachable because of ambient magical energies, but within the past year a few brave adventuring groups have begun to explore it. There is plenty of treasure to be found, both in the form of gold and of magical knowledge, nearly all of which was lost during the cataclysm.

Hogwarts is located in the far north of Scotland - a country that is now mostly wilderness and unclaimed territory, punctuated by a series of fortified baronies and meagre city-states. Most Muggle technology has mysteriously vanished, and all former urban centres have been completely wiped off the map. Werewolves, hags and liches have all established their own domains, and the former prison of Azkaban has become an island republic ruled by the descendants of the mad and the murderous.

To the south lies England, which is irradiated by arcane energies. Anywhere beyond Galloway is completely uninhabitable. To the north is the ocean, where Neo-Vikings roam and occasionally bring vague news of other human colonies far away.

Although I'll start the campaign with a focus on the megadungeon, there are plenty of other adventure opportunities that may develop. Beyond Hogwarts lies the vast Forbidden Forest, inhabited by centaurs and acromantulas. It's rumoured that on the far side of the forest is the last kingdom of the giants. There are numerous political factions with a vested interest in the castle, including the goblins, the free-elves, and the remnants of three of the four Houses - xenophobic Slytherin, studious Ravenclaw, and monastic Gryffindor. Tales abound of fabulous treasures in the Ministry of Magic in London, but nobody has yet found a way to visit London without succumbing to radiation sickness.

20 Setting Questions
I got your 20 questions right here.

Character Generation
The game system is Lamentations of the Flame Princess - that's a simplified remake of Basic D&D if you don't know. For chargen follow these steps:

1. Roll 3d6 in order for your stats, and then swap one pair of stats if you like.
2. Pick a class from the list below.
3. Roll 3d6 x 10 to see how much gold you have.
4. Purchase equipment - refer to the price lists in a D&D book of your choice, or just ask me about it.
5. *SECRET STEP* If any of the above isn't to your liking, make your character however you want to do it.

Fighter: D8 hit die. Get a scaling bonus to hit.

Cleric: D6 hit die.Cast spells granted by your deity - 1/day at first level. Also use Expecto Patronum (Turn Undead). Pick a deity (see below).

Wizard: D4 hit die. Cast arcane spells. At 1st level you get three randomly assigned spells and can cast 1/day. See below for spells.

Specialist: D6 hit die. Use specialist skills. Get 4 points to assign to any one of the following skills: Architecture, Bushcraft, Climb, Languages, Open Doors, Search, Sleight of Hand, Sneak Attack, Stealth, Tinker. Each skill begins at 1 in 6 except for Sneak Attack, which begins at x1 (the damage multiplier for a sneak attack.)

Goblin: D8 hit die. Not the green murderous kind, but the Harry Potter kind - wrinkly, insular and masters of artifice. You can build, repair and redesign mundane objects with supernatural efficiency. Also get 2 skill points for the following skills: Architecture, Open Doors, Search, Sleight of Hand, Tinker. Click here for the full writeup.

Centaur: D8 hit die. By getting drunk, you can enter a state of madness where you lose control of yourself, but gain bonuses to attack rolls and saving throws, and receive visions. You also gain inferior Cleric spellcasting, but not until 2nd level. Click here for the full writeup.

House-Elf, Half-Giant, Half-Veela: Coming soon! Pester me if you want to play one of these races, or just write them up yourself??

The basic currency in Night-Haunted Hogwarts is composed of knuts, sickles and galleons (aka bronze, silver and gold coins). 10 knuts are equal to 1 sickle, and 10 sickles are equal to 1 galleon. For purposes of experience and value, 1 sickle is equal to 1gp in other systems. FLAILSNAILS travellers can exchange their sickles for gold pieces before they leave Scotland for another campaign. The exchange rate works because sickles and galleons are not raw metals but fiat currency. How is there fiat currency in a lawless post-apocalyptic world? Because magic, that's why!

There are two major schools of religion in post-apocalyptic Scotland:

The Church of the Resurrection is descended from the Church of Scotland and retains many of the same rituals and icons, including communion, the crucifix and the rosary. However, the Church also incorporates worship of the New Messiah, a figure who is supposed to have lived just before or just after the cataclysm - the records are unclear. The New Messiah, like Jesus Christ before him, died for the sins of humanity and was resurrected after three days. He is distinguished by a lightning-shaped scar on his forehead. A mausoleum called the White Tomb is where the New Messiah is said to have lain during his death, but the location of the tomb is currently unknown.
The ability of the Church's clerics to cast a range of spells is said to be gifted upon them by the spirit of the New Messiah, who still lingers somewhere between the realms of life and death.

The pagan worship of the Four Gods is believed to be much older than the Church of the Resurrection, perhaps dating back to before the great age of Muggle civilisation. Each of the Four is tied to a natural force, a personal quality and a particular location. The Stag represents courage and the life of the forest; his locus is the town of Godric's Hollow. The Rat represents deviousness and the capricious ocean; his locus is Azkaban, where his worship is near universal. The Hound represents mystery, introspection and the killing cold of winter; her locus is somewhere in the distant southlands. The Wolf represents mutability and the ever-changing moon; his locus is considered to be Hogwarts itself.
Worship of the Four is much more decentralised than that of the New Messiah. There are no priests who tend to a congregation, only inspired individuals who have been granted powers by these mysterious deities.

Spell Lists
Note: for any spell that doesn't already have a cheesy faux-Latin name, you have to make one up if you want to cast it. That name will then become canonical.

First-Level Cleric Spells: (memorise any one)
Arresto Momentum (Cancel Momentum)
Cure Light Wounds (Episkey)
Cause Light Wounds
Detect Evil
Detect Good
Duro (Turn to Stone)
Erecto (erects a tent or other structure)
Expelliarmus (Disarm)
Flame-Freezing Charm (Immunity to Fire)
Glisseo (Flatten Staircase)
Homonem Revelio (Detect Human)
Invisibility to Undead
Undead Attraction
Prior Incantato (reveals the spells previously cast by a wand)
Protection from Evil
Protection from Good
Purify Food & Drink
Poison Food & Drink
Remove Fear
Cause Fear

First-Level Wizard Spells: (randomly select three + Read Magic; memorise one)
1. Avifors (Turn to Bird)
2. Bookspeak
3. Charm Person
4. Comprehend Languages
5. Detect Magic
6. Enlarge (Engorgio) / Shrink (Reducio)
7. Expelliarmus (Disarm)
8. Faerie Fire
9. Feather Fall
10. Floating Disc (Locomotor)
11. Geminio (Duplicate Object)
12. Hold Portal
13. Identify (Specialis Revelio)
14. Light (Lumos) / Darkness (Nox)
15. Magic Aura / Disguise Magic Aura
16. Magic Missile
17. Melofors (Pumpkin-Head Curse)
18. Mending
19. Message
20. Ossio Dispersimus (Bone-Vanishing Curse)
21. Protean Charm (links objects so their states are synchronized)
22. Shield (Protego)
23. Sleep
24. Slugulus Eructo (Slug-Vomiting Curse)
25. Spider Climb
26. Summoning
27. Unseen Servant
28. Drunk Reversal
29. Advantageous Fowl
30. Depressing Cow

(info on last three spells is here)

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