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In the Heart of the Unknown – A Procedural Hex Crawling Engine

‘In the Heart of the Unknown’ contains procedural Encounter, Terrain and Weather Engines for Wilderness Hex Crawling.

https://goblinshenchman.wordpress.com/2019/10/25/in-the-heart-of-the-unknown-procedural-hex-crawling-engine/

#rpg #osr #dnd #d&d #hexcrawl #hex
 
In the Heart of the Unknown – A Procedural Hex Crawling Engine

‘In the Heart of the Unknown’ contains procedural Encounter, Terrain and Weather Engines for Wilderness Hex Crawling.

https://goblinshenchman.wordpress.com/2019/10/25/in-the-heart-of-the-unknown-procedural-hex-crawling-engine/

#rpg #osr #dnd #d&d #hexcrawl #hex
 
In the Heart of the Unknown – A Procedural Hex Crawling Engine

‘In the Heart of the Unknown’ contains procedural Encounter, Terrain and Weather Engines for Wilderness Hex Crawling.

https://goblinshenchman.wordpress.com/2019/10/25/in-the-heart-of-the-unknown-procedural-hex-crawling-engine/

#rpg #osr #dnd #d&d #hexcrawl #hex
 
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Saturday 6th May 1854 - Day 4

Mythical London shared universe.


Dramatis personae:
Kerryn - [Leece]- Adventurer who has lived among the Inuit.
Augustus Abelgoff - [Rob]- Antiquarian, surveyor and amateur mountaineer with experience in Scandinavia.
Sam (Samantha) Drydale - [Elaine]- Hunter and explorer with arctic experience.
"Wozzer" - [Matt]- Mining engineer with arctic experience.

The map scale is 3 squares to the mile, the top of the map is east. V is the viking encampment that is being excavated. A is where the marked trail from the viking encampment enters the city. X marks two locations where large statues with glowing eyes have fired on previous mapping parties. The dark grey square marks where a tower is visible.

During the previous summer the first British expedition encountered the Black City while following up on rumours about he lost Franklin expedition. The southern boundary of the city was mapped and a draughtsman was sent up on a kite to produce an approximate map of the rest of the city. Four towers were visible and their locations were carefully plotted as well as the source of the beacon visible in the enchanted telescopes. After mapping the periphery the expedition tried to reach the beacon site but disappeared without trace. The matter would have probably languished there for a few decades except that diviners from the Royal Circle of Druids declared that the city was vitally important. It appears that Queen Victoria whispered into to the ear of Lady Alcyone who virtually runs the Royal Society and a plan for an expedition was hatched.

The plan for Saturday was to make a foray to the closest point of the city and head towards the southernmost tower. When our party arose for the morning it was quite gloomy as low overcast had rolled in and a light drizzle was falling. The winged folk princeling muttered darkly about the dangers of icing up and retired to locate some de-icing fluid which smelt suspiciously like good navy rum. Chris managed to twist his ankle and the druids suggested that he sty off it that day as they had been busy with the healing spells the previous day.
With the idea of leaving a better guard at the entrance of the city an extra 4 marines were attached for the day. Kerryn hitched up his dogs to the sled and the party set out for the city wall. With no visible landmarks the group navigated by compass ending up a few hundred yards north of where they intended. A suitable gap in the wall was located and the heaped snow was shovelled out and a sort of snow fort was created to enclose the 4 sentries and the sled dogs. Kerry cast the Nightingale spell on the gap which would alert the sentries if anyone tried to pass it. Our party had acquired a bundle of thin poles with a brightly coloured flag on each one to use as markers. The first one was planted to mark where they had entered the city and and Kerryn cast a Watchdog spell to let him know if anyone tried to tamper with the flag. Unfortunately he made a critical fumble casting the spell although I assured him that the spell seemed "just fine". Inside the city the drizzle was noticeably lighter, There were patches of snow on the ground but also patches of clear ground. There are a profusion of low bushes several of which will produce edible berries. There are also a good number of snowshoe hares bouncing about. A bit of a search was made of the area and Augustus made a lucky discovery of a near perfect smokey quartz crystal about a foot long and around an inch and a half across.
About 500 yards in the party encountered a building. Windowless slab sides made of black rock with broken walls where the top floor had probably been smashed and no sign of a roof. A scout around the building turned up a door - some kind of metal hatch unfortunately buried in rubble at least 4 feet deep. A bit of experimentation showed a grappling hook could be tossed over the broken walls and it was stable enough to give relatively easy access to the upper story. There was a flat floor (roof?) with partial walls and a more or less sheltered area in one corner with a bit over 3 foot square hole into the building. A few of the party poked around and looked to see what could be seen. Another building was just visible to the Northeast and a third to the Southwest. Their target tower was dimly visible just South of East and to the north an enormous statue loomed out of the misty rain.
Our party squished North to examine the statue. Standing about 10 yards tall the statue featured scales, a fish tail, tentacles and a head with tusks and bulging eyes. Notable there were signs that someone had once attempted to dig down to the original ground level around the statue. After some mucking around in the spoil heaps where a rusty tool fragment was found the base of the statue was cautiously approached and some rubbing were taken of a band of random raised dots that circled the plinth. Similarities were noted to the French system of raised dots used to create writing for blind persons. Our party returned to the building and headed off in the direction of the tower.
Half way to the tower location the mages in the party noticed a distinct bump in the local mana level. This persisted for about 200 yards but no other effects were noted. Now in clearer view the tower is about 100 yards tall and about 30 yards across up to half way and about 20 yards across thereafter. A single external staircase winds up the outside of the lower climbing to the ledge in a single turn {Note to players:Yes, I described it as 60 yards across on the night but I was wrong}. Near the top of the tower there were a number if geometric projecting shapes reminding the party vaguely of gargoyles. As they approached the tower Augustus looked around and announced they were crossing some kind of road that ran Northeast to Southwest. Sam piped up that people were using it because she had spotted a few human-ish tracks in a patch of snow, "Three smallish people or sub-adults and one child heading Southwest".
No-one was visible nearby so the party started to trudge up the stair. As they came around the tower the lead marines spotted a large statue with glowing green eyes positioned at the top of he stair. This was just what they had been warned about so they hurriedly backed up out of sight. Some discussion was had and some attempts were made to toss the grappling hook up onto the ledge above them. As the was nothing for the grappling hook to catch on they kept failing {maybe I'll succeed if I make a better roll}. Coming back down as the base of the stair cam in sight the lead marine spotted "People sir. One large 4 medium and a child sir. White clothes or maybe fur, sniffing around the base of the stair sir." As soon as the party was spotted the child was bundled up and the group retreated to the Southwest. The party continued to descend the stairs and retraced their steps back to their sentry group outside the city where they stopped for a meal before heading home.

Elsewhere during the day:
One of the viking experts organised a sweep along the beach beside the viking encampment and found "at least 40 viking origin stone anchors and a fair quantity of burnt wood fragments among the stones".

Yesterday.
Day one.
#rpgplay #gurps #blackcity #hexcrawl
 

Thursday 4th May 1854 - Day 2 - Mythical London shared universe.


The morning dawned bright and early at around 2am. Some hours later our protagonists arose and started preparing for their first expedition. Kerryn sorted out his dogs and harnessed them to his dog-sled and most of the others prepared their skis. Accompanied by a Sargent and 8 Royal Marines the group headed South to investigate the circular feature Aesir had spotted yesterday. Two hours of tramping, gliding or lounging on the sled brought the group to the site. Along the way some snake tracks were spotted which caused some confusion until Kerryn volunteered that the Inuit have stories about poisonous furred snakes. They also have stories about lots of other monsters too. A bit further on an old set of Polar Bear tracks was seen (I was making rather disappointing rolls on the encounter dice so I decided that missed by one means tracks). The feature was located in a shallow valley in some low hills protected from direct sight if the city. The team first dug a trench through the snow across the feature and discovered a course of laid stones forming a circular feature about 5 yards across. Within the laid stones was a tiled floor consisting of several colours of Pentagonal and diamond shaped tiles. Some magical detection and investigation was done and it was determined that the stones were most likely formed using some variation of earth to stone and they had decayed traces of other spells that possibly indicated it supported some magical structure. While this was happening Kerryn set up to provide hot drinks and lunch. When he chose a flat rock to set up his stove he spotted some Norse runes reading something like "Hrothgar waited here" ... there was some disagreement about the exact translation. This prompted the others to clean up the foundation stones looking for inscriptions. To their surprise they found writing in a script something like Arabic. They took rubbings after lunch and then packed up to head home. Some cursory investigation of some rubble piles was made put people were more keen on heading back to camp.
Back at base camp they reported to Dr Jackson who was well pleased with their efforts. He summoned an middle east expert who had come to look at the coins and he confirmed that the writing was Persian calligraphy contemporary with the coins found in the viking encampment. The text appeared to part of a ritual phase used in enchantments and the summoning and binding of djinni.
I awarded each member of the 1 character point for a successful hex explore.

Day one is here.
#rpg #gurps #blackcity #hexcrawl
 

Wednesday 3rd May 1854 - Mythical London shared universe.


So the players have arrived at the Black City after an uneventful voyage from Liverpool on the SS Great Western which has been purchased by the Royal Society (at fire sale prices) to transport expedition members to the site. The site is on the Greenland mainland near Upernavik. As they approached the inlet they spied a man shaped Inuksuk guarding the location. During the approach one of the organisers gave the party a look through an enchanted telescope so that they could see what attracted attention to the area. Through the telescope a bright beacon reaching into the sky was visible. Waiting in the inlet there were two Royal Navy frigates waiting at anchor. On shore there is a small cluster of tents and industrious construction and archaeology work.
The expedition leaders, Dr. Cyril Jackson of the Royal Society and Commodore George Crozier of the Royal Navy came aboard to welcome the main party and brief the special party of our protagonists.
Kerryn - [Leece]- Adventurer who has lived among the Inuit.
Augustus Abelgoff - [Rob]- Surveyor and amateur mountaineer with experience in Scandinavia.
Sam (Samantha) Drydale - [Elaine]- Hunter and explorer with arctic experience.
Aesir - [Gary]- A young noble of the Winged Folk (a GURPS Fantasy race) with temperature tolerance.
Christopher? - [Richard]- Hunter and prospector with arctic experience.
The site was discovered last year during searches for the lost Franklin expedition. Franklin also had one of the limited supply of enchanted telescopes (Which the navy uses to gauge the intensity of distant storms) and appears to have diverted here and his expedition was lost here. The burnt wrecks of his two ships are occasionally visible at low tides. At this location there is the remains of a Viking encampment of at least 4 longhouses surrounded by a rough wall of stones. A number of finds from last summer were displayed, the prize one being a Viking pattern spear head made of an unknown black metal (it is worth noting we are talking antiquarians rather than archaeologists in the modern sense doing these excavations). Attention was also drawn to the unusually large proportion of 13th Century Persian coins. Such coins do turn up in viking hoards but here they make up over half of the found coinage. A rough map of the black city was produced based on observations from kites and ground surveys. The one party that penetrated the city disappeared without trace. Several places were marked where large statues had fired on surveyors approaching the walls various magical effects. Warnings were made about polar bears and other hostile wildlife including a story of a caribou corpse in the hills that looked like it had been hacked apart by "a party of madmen with axes".
The party gathered their gear and went ashore to sort themselves out and start acclimatising. One of the party immediately decided to take a solo walk about 7 miles along the shingle beach past the city to a small glacier marked on the map. It was only with difficulty that he was dissuaded ( I consider it bad form to kill PCs on the first session ). Aesir did some reconnaissance flights and discovered some previously unsuspected trail cairns leading to a circular structure about 4 miles south of the camp. It was decided to visit there the next day ( I had to hastily extended the map to cover the new area).

#rpg #gurps #blackcity #hexcrawl
 
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