Friday, August 26, 2016

Life During Wartime Part One

-an RPG thing you want that could be done in the space of a blog entry
-one that you would be willing to provide in the space of a blog entry if you thought anyone was interested but wouldn't otherwise

So on Zak Sabbath's G+ back in early July, he posted the above blogger trade and I responded to someone's request for "Events, NPCs, and Adventure Hooks for PCs who are leading/conscripted/into hanging about with a military unit in a war for the bits between actual battles."

I am actually breaking this request up into to three separate posts.  The first up are some Events happening in or around your army's camp.  Roll 1d6.

1.a. Due to a supply train mix-up or loss, rations are short and all physical actions are at -1 Constitution until full rations can be restored.

1.b. Before the advance of the main body of the army, the enemy non-combatants of the area have burned crops, poisoned wells, butchered or driven off livestock.  -1 Constitution  on physical actions or stack with 1.a. to really fuck 'em over!

I hope there's no giardia...
2. Rumors of the enemy having wicked expertise in live flaying have the infantry spooked.  A scouting party claims to have encountered evidence of such brutality (so much skin, multiple victims!) in a nearby clearing...

3. Court of the Field.  Every week the Commanding Officer (I don't know what titles you are using.  General, Voivode, Shogun, what have you) holds this on the Sunday/Sabbath/whatever you call "pray and rest day."  A weekly occurrence unless serious protracted battle pre-empts.  First there is an ecumenical service, then on to what really matters.  Flogging for dereliction of duty, gambling, petty thievery, and other small offenses.  More rarely Court of the Thousand Fields will punish the more unsavory crimes of soldiers.  Treason, Cowardice, Rape, Destruction of Priceless Information and Artifacts, and Demonstration of Poor Compass and Map-reading Overland Skills.

4. Mail call.  Roll 1d6.
    1.  A letter from your mother.  (I don't care if she is alive, dead, undead, or illiterate.  Run with it GM.)  Your dog Riesling ran away.  (No dog named Riesling?  See before please.)
    2.  A letter from your local librarian kindly reminding you to return *Insert cool book title here* or you are getting sent to collections.  This is the final notice.  Due date yesterday:-(
    3.  Good news!  You've won 5 magazine samples to the dungeoneering publications of your choice.  Full of maps and tips and tricks for the well informed explorer to dip into for education and entertainment!  (DM I haven't tried this myself yet, here's what I was thinking.  When the character looks at this written on his/her character sheet and asks you about it next session you have a little (or big?) dungeon hint about a monster/threat/trap or maps keyed/unkeyed/partial/outright incorrect but interesting.  They get these with no guarantee of usefulness or efficacy and have no control over what you decide is Publication Worthy in these rags.
    4.  Your brother/sister/cousin/childhood best friend fights for the other side.  They implore you to lay down your arms in surrender while their side is still willing to accept your side's surrender.
    5.  Inheritance from a distant relative.  Lifetime membership at their hometown's excellent bath house and sauna reported to have healing waters from an underground spring.
    6.  A letter from someone close.  They miss you and can't wait for this miserable war to be over, so you can come back home.  Tear-stained.

5.  Sanctioned fighting tournaments.  Boxing, fencing with various melee weapons, wrestling, etc.  These boost morale and keep capital within the camp rather liquid, as betting on Sanctioned Fights is the only form of gambling allowed by the commanders.

6. Unsanctioned fights.  The easiest unsanctioned fights to be held are with animals.  The smaller the creature, the easier to hide the tournaments.  Huge spread out camps might be able to get away with War Horse, War Pig, or War Dog fights.  Other camps are more intimate and can only possibly conceal small rodents, reptiles, amphibians, and insects.  Punishment for discovery is usually (but not always) a flogging at the Court of the Field.  Even a general can appreciate the conditioning of "Entities of War" as a mostly for the common good thing.  There will always be a few that disapprove and react with harsher sentencing.

If this ends up being useful to someone, I would love to know.  This is my first attempt at creating RPG content for outside of my own game, so your feedback is appreciated!