15 Dec 2016

The Village Part 2

So with some help from the gaming community on the Privateer Press forums because I ran into a problem. There was only a few places that could host the location of my village from my last post.

So my options were limited.

Firstly I changed the name, Der Riss is from the German language and means 'the gap' or 'the chasm'. I dropped the Der and kept the name of Riss. It sounds like the word 'rice' and I like the way it has a curt and small name showcasing its isolation and stature.

Secondly I spent more time on the inhabitants. I already had lots of info on parts and portions but through the week I came to write down bits and pieces started to flesh out. I spent some time on the larger farming families and how they settled near Riss (see how it slipped in and didn't feel clunky). I spent some time on working out history as well and making landing spots for characters to fill once a player was done with that character.

One of the reasons for this is the nature of gaming. Sometimes, games go on for years and sometimes they don't. I've ran campaigns that have lasted ten years (Legend of Five Rings 1st and 3rd edition) and weekly games for over two years (Rifts). In both cases I made space for those characters to fit so they could take a level of ownership in the setting and make the experience a bit more richer. It didn't always work and there were some sessions that had better results.

With two jobs and two major games, I have limited time and I can see the odd game being a one shot and some of the campaigns being not very long. For example it's hard to see the premade player character from the Unleashed boxset (which is awesome by the way) continue to work together once the conflict in the adventure set is resolved. In that case I could see some of the one shot PC's move into Riss and make a place there or become a fixture in the setting.

Unleashed box contents
by Privateer Press
So making places for players to fit their characters in the setting is important. I have lots of info but if the world is already super cool why have the PC's. Dragonlance as a fantasy series was awesome but it sucked as an RPG setting since you'd never be as good as the Heroes of the Lance. Same goes with Wheel of Time and Game of Thrones for RPG settings, the players need a place to tell their own stories and to have them be valuable to the whole setting. Otherwise what's the point.

So with that done the geolocation of Riss was the hard part.

Let's see what I decided.

First up a map of the area I'll be speaking about.

Excerpt of Northern Coast of Khador
by Privateer Press
image used without Permission 
First off I was looking at the Blackice Mountain north of Khador and around the region, or Volozkya, of Vardenska. I could nestle in the setting in the edges and make the mountains volcanic allowing for warmer weather and fertile lands for farmers. This would make the area very isolated, probably more than I was hoping to make of Riss.

My next location is the Vilkham Bluffs. Now bluffs can be up to 400feet tall, not mountains but still tall enough for the fjords that take you SeaFrost and Riss. I can work with hills, I'd just change the distance between the two locations. The location is north enough but the area is very close to Falconstream and the Scarsfell Forest locations littered with beasts including the Scarsfall Griffin used by the Blackclads who would have a strong presence on Riss. This is my number two location - I may switch before the New Years one shot for Sleeves birthday game.

So the current winner is...

The location of the village Riss
original image by Privateer Press
image used without Permission 

Riss is going to be located in the tall hills of the Vescheneg Headlands. Known for being eerie with legends of Orgoth ruins and other unwelcome places the Headlands seems less explored when compared to the Vilkhan Bluff. This is key element for my setting as I want to have exploration adventures made available. The Volozkya of Razokov has a air of untamed wilderness and that theme is important to Riss. It's not to hard for me to extend the Headlands north to the Severed Reach making the water ways lead into the hills to create Sea Frost and Riss. This may make the trip inland a bit longer but it could also explain the moderate success of Riss. That combined with it's out of the way location would keep Riss small and mostly populated with transients.

So here is Riss, comments welcome.

Travelers coming to Riss take the Severed Reach and go south down the veins, a set of small but deep rivers leading into the Vecheneg Headlands. Nestled in the tall and mysterious hills is an out of the way small coal mine, Bakers Hollow, eeking out an existence by selling the limited production to local fishermen and other sailors unwilling to or unable to enter and refuel at a larger port. Going east after passing the small mine they move deeper into the hills and come to the settlement of Riss. Following a small river off to the west winds a traveler deeper into wilder territory where the evidence of civilization vanishes. Here at the end of trip where shallows, year round ice flows and creatures below the water lies the Kriel of Sea Frost.