Wednesday, April 6, 2016
The Charcoaler's Ransom: A Mix of History and Gaming
I think nearly all gamers are amateur historians, mixed with a few professionals. Because the genre most often used in RPGs is fantasy and that fantasy is generally based in medieval Western Europe (and recently, several other cultures have been included). The great thing about this is the plethora of books available on that certain time in history.
One of the things I like to do in game is research small things in history. A society, a custom, or in this case, a profession. The charcoaler was critical to a lot of industries. I considered how isolated they worked and how easily it would be for a party, or in this case a bandit king, Margesh Blackblood, to paralyze an economy of an area by simply taking out a group of charcoalers.
I read up on how to create charcoal, what the camps looked like, and how they seemed to be the first to be into forest restoration. It was an interesting read and I thought would make an interesting backdrop for an adventure.
The Charcoaler's Ransom is what was created. An adventure where combat is a losing action. The party will discover that if they attempt to solve the problem with force they will find themselves in the very rare position of being overwhelmed. I created a situation where there are no good guys. Not really. Owen, can be a sympathetic villain in some ways, but in the end, he is a bandit who obeys orders even if it is to kill. And poor Samuel, the star of the show, well, it won't end well for Samuel no matter what the players do.
The Charcoaler's Ransom is available for free on PDF at my Patreon page. If you like what you read consider joining and getting print copies at the end of the month. My $5 patrons will receive a print copy of this adventure on cardstock as the end of the month along with anything else I whip up by then.
Enjoy the adventure.