The Gibbous Sky

Troika, the City in the Middle of the Road, the Recursive City, the Metrosphere, Tanelorn, the Very Built, The On&On, and on and on and on.

The walls of Troika do exist, contrary to what you would expect of an endless city. There is a square, and in that square is a circle made of stone with a gate in it. The gate is always open, and inside the circle wall people deposit rubbish and other unwanted things. Most visitors to Troika do not come by the gate but some do, carefully clambering over the heaving detritus.

The city gate is not the centre of the city, and you would be considered stupid to suggest it.

Some days the circle wall is bigger or smaller. Its contractions are welcomed since they clear out much of the accumulated rubbish.

If you travel far enough in one direction you will return to where you started. If you fly up high enough you will eventually start to fall.

The Bucket Fellows are the law and enforce the few rules agreed upon by the Universal Council.

The covered market is famous for its fires and is independently recursive. Tourists are stuck until someone takes pity on them and tells them how to leave. Pity is gained by spending money on unbelievable bargains.

Some parks are so large and wild that foreigners think they have escaped the city, only to be disappointed when they come out the other side some days later. However some of them really do make it.

Two of the city's most prestigious halls of sorcery occupy the exact same space. Which building currently manifests in three dimensional reality depends on the prestige it is held in. The most respected takes precedence, requiring students and faculty of the other to slip sideways to get to classes.

There was once a third school to share that spot, but it slipped so far that people stopped thinking about it entirely. Stepping sideways can't reach it. Indeed, even a seasoned wizard taking a full step backwards won't pierce its fog of mediocrity.

The School of Architecture is another centre for katarology and general wizardry. They learn how to create scrolls, over months or years, to summon new structures into existence. After their arrival people will swear blind that they were there all along, and that they had been living there for generations. The architects do not disagree. Certain other schools accuse them of quackery, who are in turn accused of professional jealousy.

Councillors are elected by the people. Election intervals are determined by the obscure tides of ennui that sweep across neighbourhoods sporadically. The nominations are inflicted rather than asked for, and the favourite recipients are those new to the city and ignorant of its ways, as they seem them as having the purest perspective on governance. Also the typical fear and unwillingness found in foreigners is considered to be a desirable trait in politicians. Any that end up being genuinely unfit for the job are organically ejected by disinterest.


Traps are Magic

Magic is not separate from any other more readily accessible demonstration of will on nature. Power is a difference of levels, with the more wilful user being able to maintain the greater differential. A strong man can lift the tun higher than the weaker man; the distance from the ground (the null state), is greater and so is he.

Go into the woods and pile rocks precariously. You leave your energy behind to be spent later when they fall down.

Trapping isn't a skill. Being a trapper doesn't give you any innate talent for another culture's trapping tools. Knowing what a punji stake is doesn't teach you how to dam and poison rivers to catch fish. Knowledge of specific traps is a skill.


GENERAL TRAPPING RULES:
As long as the trapper is present he may use contributions of stamina from others to pay for the trap(s) if they help.

This only covers traps you can make, not complicated mechanical contrivances.

Each trap is an Advanced Skill. So Bob can have Wolf Hole 3 and Trapping Pit 1 and so on.

The trapper should be as clear as possible with his intentions. Such as "I want to catch rabbits". This is so we know what he's designing it for. A bird-catching Deadfall won't bother a curious coati and the GM will reflect this in the results.

Do the Trapping roll in secret. On a Fumble it traps something entirely inappropriate and potentially harmful in some way (such as an angry moose or the Duke's hunting dog), on a Critical it traps exactly what they wanted to trap regardless of the encounter roll.

Make a separate Random Encounter roll for the traps. So on a 6+ (or however you work it) there is an encounter, then you roll to see what that encounter is. Whatever is rolled is what encounters the trap. This could be an appropriate animal, an unlucky person, or it could be something that will mess with the trap, or just step over it. You'll never know unless you go back to check. Check for encounters every day, if a second encounter happens determine how they respond (get caught be secondary traps, steal the catch etc.)

You can check for traps separately or give a +1 bonus for each additional one. Up to the GM.




Wolf Hole (3 stamina worth of exertion per trap built)
The hunter digs and covers a shallow hole lined with sharp sticks, pointed up to impale or down like barbs to tear. The trap is designed to injure and slow medium sized, heavy stepping creatures like humans. Light footed and narrow legged creatures can expect to avoid them. Any creature injured for 2 or more damage by a stake will have their land movement reduced by half until they can rest for a day and be fully healed.

Lasts for 6 months.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7+
1
1
2
3
4
5
6


Trapping Pit (12/hole +2 with stakes)
A pit, camouflaged with local detritus, usually several metres deep and a number wide, lined with boards or stones to create a sheer wall to the cavity. Climbing creatures that fall in have one chance to Climb out, failing which they must wait for assistance, starvation or the hunter for relief.

Receive appropriate uncontrolled falling damage. If there are stakes at the bottom they will cause additional damage as follows:

1
2
3
4
5
6
7+
1
2
3
5
6
7
9

Lasts for 6 years.



Leading Fence (3)
Used to guide the desired prey towards other traps. Leading fences might be made of piled up stones over short distances, just high enough to inconvenience deer and encourage them to walk around, or they might be stake fences stretching for miles herding anything larger than a wombat into a great big pit.

Each leading fence you build represents a significant length of fencing. For each instance of fencing you may add +1 to your chances of getting something in your trap.

Lasts a variable amount of time, depending on the material available.



Deadfall (2/multiplier)
A classic, and an outstanding example of the trappers relationship to magical craft by way of dynamic tension.

Obtain a weight of a suitable heft to kill you intended prey. This could be a rock, some boards, or maybe an entire tree trunk. Support the killing piece on a delicately balanced hair triggered lever system like the one pictured and you'll have yourself a universal remote creature flattening device. 





For each 2 stamina spent making the trap you make multiply the damage it inflicts. So a 6 stamina trap would inflict 3x as much damage, representing the hunter using bigger weights and levers.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7+
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Lasts for d6 days


Snare (1)
The snare is similar in principle to the deadfall, but instead of downward, upward. Snares are really only effective against small creatures that can fit their heads in the noose. Anything larger is likely to be either completely indifferent or trapped and injured enough to be dangerous.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7+
1
1
2
2
3
4
5


Lasts for d6 days

Troika Travel

OR an Entirely Mundane and Fundamental Attempt at Systematising Map Travel so I Don't Have to Think About It

http://www.swordpeddler.com/the-future-of-hex-kit/
We’ll measure in leagues, to reduce maths and shake off the temptation to think too hard about actual distances. A hex is 2 leagues across

You can travel 6 leagues per day over even ground; this includes rests, basic scouting about, general awareness etc. Conscientious rambling.

To enter a hex costs you two leagues (or movement points). This can be modified by the table below. To enter a hex you must be able to pay the full cost of entry. Leftover points are wasted. Minimum cost of 1

Terrain
Movement cost
Encounter chance
Foraging chance
Restfulness
Grassland
+0
+0
+0
+0
Woodland
+0
+1
+0
+1
Wetland
+2
+0
+1
-2
Highland
+1
+1
-1
+0
Forest
+1
+2
+1
+2
Desert
+1
+0
-6
-1
Mountainous
+4
+1
-2
-1
Road
-1
+1
-2
+0
Modifiers




Speed - Rambling
+0
+0
+0
+0
Speed - Cautious
+2
-1
+1
+1
Speed - Reckless
-2
+1
-4
-2
Fully Mounted
-1
+1
-1
-1

Unclear what the terrain should count as? Go down the list and pick the first one that fits.

  1. Road
  2. Swamp
  3. Forest
  4. Grassland
  5. Desert
  6. Highlands
  7. Mountains

EXAMPLE:

The party wants to enter a grassland hex, along a road, on horseback. This will cost them 1 league worth of movement, rolls of 4 or more result in some sort of encounter, and have a -3 penalty to foraging rolls.

They then want to go off road, dismount, and enter a marsh hex. This will cost them 5 leagues worth of movement, thus using their 6 allotted for the day, and have a 1 in 6 chance of an encounter, and a +1 to foraging rolls.

Dressing for Weather


Weather can be hot or cold. Cold weather is expressed as a number from 1 to 6, with 1 being cold enough to warrant gloves and a scarf and 6 being arctic temperatures. For each point of coldness a character must fill an inventory space with cold weather clothes. This represents layers of thick clothing rather than many individual pairs of trousers. For each point not filled they must lose 1 Stamina per movement point used.

EXAMPLE: Bob is climbing across a mountain (6 movement) which is a bit cold (2). If he was wearing his usual clothes, taking up no inventory space, he would lose 12 Stamina (6x2) doing so. Fortunately he was wearing his bear skins, taking up 2 slots, thus allowing him to ignore the cold.

Hot weather is the opposite and ranges from 1 to 6 hotness, with 1 being a particularly warm British summer and 6 being the Sahara desert. Lose Stamina equal to movement points used + armour X hotness. So, if you’re stomping across a swamp (4) in plate (armour 3) at the height of summer (hot 1) you will lose 7 Stamina from being utterly pooped.

NOTE: If you are able to sit down and have a meal or somehow else heal yourself above 0, you won’t die from the Stamina loss. It’s assumed to be gradual over the course of the day.

Foraging


Using an appropriate skill the party can gather food. This can be tracking, hunting, foraging, or any other specifically applicable skill.

Anyone can declare they are foraging, however foraging members of the party might be at a disadvantage in an encounter, since they are assumed to be roving ahead or behind the party somewhat. If everyone is foraging then they are dispersed, pick someone at random to be the encountered party.

If you successfully forage you gain d3 provisions worth of food and water. On a critical success you roll d3+2, on a critical failure you get nothing and also trigger an encounter against your isolated self.

Camping


Camping out has its own encounter table and is modified by the following (cumulative) modifiers:

  • Using a fire +1
  • Eating +1

On a 6+ there is an encounter. Randomly determine who was awake at the time, assuming they’re taking watches.

Restfulness

Sleeping isn’t always easy. The stamina regained from sleeping is modified by the terrain’s restfulness bonus, +1 if there is a campfire.

It’s assumed the party rests for 8 hours (the amount needed to heal). For each hour of watching they do, reduce the healing by -1. So if Bob does a 2 hour watch in the desert (-1) he heals 2d6-3 that night. If he stays up all night he gets nothing, not 2d6-9.

Encounters

When do you roll for encounters?

On entering a hex and while resting. Roll a d6. On a 6+ there is an encounter. Roll on the encounter table for that hex type.

Things to consider when making encounter tables:

  • Losing a shoe
  • Weevils in your sandwich bag
  • Flash flood
  • Wildlife
  • Sudden weather shift (move the weather table)
  • Monsters
  • Monster lairs
  • Monster tracks
  • Bandits
  • Travellers
  • Wild fires
  • Landslides
  • Old hunter traps (pitfalls, snares)
  • Out of season hunter’s lodges
  • Dolems
  • Half buried cultural artefacts
  • False alarms
  • Something you think you heard that has the potential to get you lost
  • Getting lost
  • Lost traveller
  • Suspicious children

Encounters are pretty common in this system. Make sure they aren’t always a fight.

Rivers

A river, for the purposes of abbreviated cross country travel,  is anything you can’t easily wade across. If you want to exit a hex at a hex side blocked by a river then you must cross it. Everyone in the party must make a number of successful swimming tests equal to the size and intensity of the river. Rivers can range from 1 to 6, with 1 being a quick dip in a slow river and 6 being a cold, wide river with undercurrents and steep banks.