Tuesday, August 20, 2013

More on Olomoc

Olomoc is a small city on the border of Velenheim, fallen kingdom of the white elves, and Havith Orr, the labyrinth kingdom of the goblins.  The lands surrounding Olomoc are wastes, swamps, and rocky hills, which few venture into, for fear of bands of white elves from the north.  Olomoc itself is difficult to navigate and filled with well-dressed, unkind, and blunt-featured people.  The streets are narrow, the buildings tall.  When it's not raining, it's snowing.  The canals that cross the city are empty of boats, except for the occasional unmanned gondola floating upstream.

The narrow streets open abruptly onto wide plazas.  Plaza after plaza fill the city.  Some of the plazas are places where people congregate, shiftily and uneasily, but most of them are empty, or hidden, or hard to reach.  There are rumors of plazas that can only be found when certain conditions are met - a word chanted seven times seven times seven times at a certain cross-street, or a circle drawn in chalk when a chime strikes at the Hour of the Wolf.  They are filled with statues of deities and public figures long forgotten, or monuments to unknown wars, or daises that have fallen through to the plazas beneath the city.

The city is ruled by a monarchy passed through succession.  The Di'Armand family, which rule from the Estate Immaculate, are cripples and mutants.  Lord Inferno is a dwarf.  His father was a man with no eyes, and his father had two mouths that each spoke with a different voice.  Of his three children, Ochre has no arms or legs, dyes his skin yellow, and is attended by a trio of chameleon men; Groat is a sadist who keeps beautiful young children on leashes; and Roxanne has one hand.  And I figure that it's the fashion to mutilate oneself, and that normalcy is disgusting, so the citizens like to chop off a hand, or blind themselves, or visit the Chapel of the Angel of Colors to excise their color.

My players spent a lot of time in the city chasing vampires, doing the bidding of the aristocracy, fighting gangs of bare-chested thugs, and ferrying about their captive witch.   Most of the adventures in Olomoc centered around a plague of insanity in the city.  The keeper of the sanitarium, a vampire sorcerer named Francis Nash, had brought back from Abazidun the Black Jungle a golden orchid beetle, a touch from whose antenna could drive a person mad, and which he controlled by playing a flute carved from the femur of a red elf shaman.  The insane were brought to his sanitarium, where he bled them.  And he coveted the blood of the players' witch, who was ancient and powerful.

When the lord of the city, Lord Inferno Di'Armand, was driven insane and committed, his three children took to the streets to battle for control of the city.  My players tracked the source of the insanity to the sanitarium itself, broke inside, and smashed.  It was great.  They met a sphinx, a pack of vampire monkeys, a princess possessed by a demon, and fought a floating purple octopus.  They drove Francis Nash from the sanitarium - they were unable to drive a stake through his heart before he transformed into a puddle of blood, and escaped off of the roof - and found a glass jar filled with the glowing sanities of the mad citizenry.  The vampire stalks them still.

Here are some tables, lists, and charts I've used to run the city.

Encounters in Olomoc

1. d6+3 Cultists of the True Fin.  Their leader can summon a wall of water filled with piranha
2. d6+3 Cultists of the Exalted Hand.  Their leader has a metal hand which can crush or punch as STR 20.
3. a young girl fleeing thugs of Groat Di'Armand, who seek to enslave her.  Her name is Anise Flath, and thugs are named Voyn (3rd level fighter), Urm ( 3rd level wizard), and Hulm (3rd level thief).  Anise Flath is the daughter of an alchemist in another neighborhood.
4. a manticore
5. d6+4 goblins walking on the walls, and carrying a burlap sack; inside is a struggling blacksmith, Borlund Uth, who created the Iron Star of Ill-will, which was used to harry the forces of Havith Orr in the last great goblin war
6. d10+6 of bare-chested men wielding nets, smoke bombs, crossbows, and clubs; threatening simple extortion for passing this way
7. 2d4 wolves in an empty plaza, eating a man
8. a common pickpocket
9. The street collapses, and the players fall into a buried plaza beneath.  A sealed black door labelled "EVRA STEAMHOUSE."
10. a white elf assassin accompanied by 2d4 zombies, fresh from a hit
11. a blood moon rises. No shops are open, the churches are closed.  If a player spend the night outdoors, they gain a random insanity, and if they succeed on a WIS check, also learn a random secret.
12. Wait, where was the door? This plaza wasn't here before. Player finds themself separated from the group, and lost in another neighborhood.
13. a Mouth-Priest of the Fathom Wyrm stands atop the water in a canal, accompanied by d4+3 sharks.  He holds a dagger to the throat of a snow leopard man and chants a spell.  The beastman yells for help.
14. PC accused of treason due to lack of self mutilation. Group of bored citizens threaten to inflict it for them.
15. PC stumbles into a small plaza filled with divine statues - an owl covered in bones, a winged imp heaped with charred meet, an upside-down cross hung with tiny mirrors, a black goat, a molded frog.  A 3rd-level cleric points at the PC: "You have VIOLATED this place of HOLINESS!" Any destroyed shrines inflict a curse - stigmata, an eternal rainstorm, blindness, etc.
16. A wealthy and drunk musketeer accompanied by d6+4 drunk guys challenges PC to a duel to the death.  Musketeer is the son of a wealthy and terribly important sculptor - if he is killed, a feud begins.
17. A hot wind blows west from the desert valley of Izorides, behind the Black Mountains.  Divine spells function at -4, healing spells don't function at all, and magic users find that they've learned a new random spell, which can only be used today.
18. d4+3 colorless revenants surge from an alley and attempt to suck out a player's color.
19. a werewolf attacks a crowd of jugglers and acrobats, and then a group of werewolf hunters, firing silver bolts without regard for the citizenry
20. d6+3 vampire monkeys riding atop a pack of screaming hogs come running down a narrow street, directly at the PCs

A few plazas

Plaza of . . .

1. Encouragement
2. The Satirical Crow
3. The Blank Stone
4. The Laughing Frog
5. Entertainment
6. The Red Horse
7. an Unknown Sun
8. Uncertainty
9. Glad
10. the Angled Ape
11. Distraction
12. the Radiant Auteur

Neighborhoods in Olomoc

1. Wive's District
2. Gonton
3. Beast's District
4. Gateshead
5. The Sevens
6. The Estate Immaculate
7. Tine's Row
8. Crimson City
9. Place of Crows
10. Eel Un

Random Disfigurement (1 in 4 people, or so, depending on how much of a toady they are)

1. Blind
2. No ears
3. No nose
4. No hands or 1 hand
5. No feet or 1 foot
6. No thumbs
7. Bound feet or hands
8. Mouth sewn shut
9. Teeth filed or torn out
10. Arms taken off at elbow or shoulder
11. Legs taken off at knee or hip
12. Flesh flayed off of one limb
13. Ornate facial scars
14. No name
15. Cannot speak and/or hear a certain word
16. Makes no sound
17. Colorless, or lacking a random color
18. Trepanned skull
19. Jaw removed
20. Feigns death constantly, interred in open casket, cared for by devoted family member


1. Church of Belm (snow, stone, rain, cities; a wide-ranging, Catholic-type church)
2. Church of Izorides (witches, sex, magic, women, fire, breasts, birth, disease)
3. Church of Fenrath (wolves, hunger, feasts, marriage, the moon, crows)
4. Church of the Fathom Wyrm (the ocean, death, darkness, seaweed, waves, eels, secrets)
5. Stag-Hunter's Guild
6. Chapel of the Angel of Colors (exotic, vindictive, and esoteric southern god)
7. Chapel of St. Coreme (local deity, who for heresy against the Black Drake Azhardhul was hung upside down and flayed alive, and who prayed to her own holy name as she died, and so Azhardhul was transformed into stone, and Olomoc built from his body)
8. Cult of the True Fin
9. Cult of the Bloody Eye
10. Cult of the Exalted Hand


  1. Sounds like a nightmare.
    I love it.

    1. You know my entire game feels like that sometimes, it can be taxing in a really weird way