Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Charcoaler's Ransom: A Mix of History and Gaming

https://www.patreon.com/posts/5090386

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.

7 comments:

  1. I did much the same thing with salt. Amazing how our Twenty-first Century minds get caught up in gold and silver when there was so much more that they considered "cash" back then.

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    1. That is where the term, "Not worth his Salt" comes from. For a really Cool tale read on the Pepper (needed to preserve Meats, along with Salt)Trade, That is how Venice got the funds to build their City of canals.

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    2. Yeah, I was doing some preliminary writing for another Sell Your Loot post and some spices were worth more than their weight in gold. It's good to come at tropes with a different angle.

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  2. Nice map. I like the bridge. I guess the little stream doesn't need a bridge (or at least on visible on the map). Why is the outbuilding so far away from the cabin and the charcoal pits? Which way is the water flowing?

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    1. When I drew the map originally there was no story or adventure behind it. I don't have a real reason for any of your questions except I just drew it that way. And I always imagined the creek went from right to left.

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  3. Enjoyable read... we have spend many years studying the Past as well as Anthropology, which we have researched since childhood.
    And , Yes, this was Very helpful when writing up Anything with Traditions, and a Culture 9even if only "loosely" organized, If "Monsters" have an intelligence, We would develop a Primitive culture based upon their Cultural beliefs and their intelligence. This would also take into account Any form of tech. or other more advanced cultural Improvements from surrounding Cultures (if more Advanced than their own Culture. (This occurred often in ancient times).

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    1. Absolutely. I love grabbing a hold of a few facts a wringing them for their gaming potential.

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