Monday, August 11, 2014

Kievs, part of the 5e D&D ravenloft hexcrawl

Here is how I write up cities: in three parts. A general idea/theme, followed by facts useful and apparent to any players spending some time asking around. Places are things that are well known or of important. In cities, these are just a few major landmarks. The last part covers what the characters can get out of the city _in general_. Like if you just want to treat the city as a place to sleep, find some help and get new gear. There is more if they dig in, but I'm not sharing that, because of things.

the Mongols took Kiev and put it somewhere far away, twice.

The first time was with muscle and horses and the ground was so well churned with human fat that the topsoil was buttery and burned easily and decades later Chinese emissaries reported the environs still riddled with bones. the second time was faster, Kiev having been reduced to a military research station in the middle of burning wasteland, and was transported with the tearing of atoms and a rotation of the stars.

By a confusion of time and because the second Mongol ascendancy was more technologically adroit than the first, the first Kiev and the second Kiev arrived in their new home at roughly the same time, the second interposed on top of and along the eastern edge of the first.

This combination of cities has created a tendency towards accretion and other cities lost in flame and ruin have slowly crept in, and Kiev(s) are a jumble architectures, people and language, full of weird angles and confused chronologies.
/unique peoples
ghouls of the Cheka
/unique architecture
a city built of a number of other cities, the buildings jumbled collections of other buildings (floor by floor, room by room, or brick by brick). The general aesthetic is slavic.
/in power
the Emergency Council of Eastern Kiev, below them, the Agents of the Cheka (or just Cheka)
mostly eastern orthodox, some zoroastrian temples and mosques  (Light and War domains)
some jewish temples (Life and Light)
Church of Christ Unburied (Trickery and Tempest)
Church of Christ Unburied (formerly St. Sophias). Green roofed, golden “onion” domes and minarets with white walls, now covered in black writing in an enormous hand.

Eastern Kiev. A wall composed of regular sections, all in grey poured stone, studded with rebar and metal bones, runs along the eastern bank of the Dnieper and ends on either side into a hill of rubbish - scrap metal and stone. Overlooks the badlands. Government offices.

The Chekan Palaces. The emergency council maintains seven black metal gothic-looking castles with smudged, huge windows and lit by braziers fed by the bodies of criminals (always burning green, smelling of pig fat). These are the palaces of the Emergency Council and where most of their agents live and work. Anyone living here is a bit taller than they used to be, more elegant, and pale, almost glowing at night. The largest Palace is built over top St. Andrews and is referred to as such. All are holy places for parishioners of the Church of Christ Unburied.

The Armory and Academy of Apocalyptic Material. A broad, classical, deep red building of many pillars and marble halls and dull carpets. Home to all the secrets of the Cheka and a great deal of weapons of mass destruction, tomes of lore, occult power sources, etc. Heavily guarded by the Cheka.
phlegmatic monkeys
starving hunting dogs
birds of a thousand varieties, colors, songs (including the griffon, hippogriff, roc and phoenix)
plump, knowing cats
trained fox, likely sneak away at first opportunity

ailing camels
horses, lots of horses of various sizes and breeds
dire wolves

*can field 10 characters/month (twice that much the first month, twice as many subordinates)
*to determine what characters, roll a d20.
         1-5 Fighter
         6-10 Rogue
         11-12 Wizard
         13 Cleric (Jewish, Zoroastrian, Muslim, Orthodox)
         14-15 Warlock
         16-17 Ranger
         18 Barbarian
         19 Bard
         20 Paladin (Jewish, Zoroastrian, Muslim, Orthodox)
*can only field Cheka/ghouls if allied with them (Palading and Clerics of the Cheka are always members of the Church of Christ Unburied)
*Backgrounds tend to be (Urban) Outlander or Urchin, followed by Criminal, Charlatan and Folk Hero.


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