Wednesday, 10 February 2021

[DREAD] Scrap princess' 20 Questions about a setting

Questions to fine tune Middellærd

Scrap princess is not only a major figure of the OSR blogosphere but also a talented illustrator.
in this blog post, a magical internet thingy happened: a post from another creator (JEFF RIENTS) was twisted into awesomeness:  this-is-not-that-list-of-questions-for-your-campaign
Dating back November 2014, it's nowhere new, but it's so fun I decided to use those to create content for DREAD... It's been very quiet on that front, lately

 1. Is there weaponized Squid? 

Well there was not before this question. But there definetely will be some, in two understanding of the word "weaponized"...
Some water-elves/merfolks will train squids for war...
And organs of squids will be part of alchemical recipes, weaponizing those poor creatures further...

The giant squid at bay / Keppler

2. Is there undead robots?

Undead will not play a big role in DREAD. Using zombies as a cheap workforce (some kind of robots, if you will) is not a bad idea, but does not really fit into my vision of this universe... Maybe the big-bad-demons will do this... Thx for the suggestion

3. Do Icebergs walk across the land ?

No climate warming in this world, so if an iceberg walks the land, it must be some kind of gigantic mimic... Or a glacier shard launched into the air by a dwarven mega-catapult...

4. What do birds know?

Birds do know that their feather are precious and know how dangerous adventurers and hunters are.
Magical birds (like lotus hummingbirds and birds of paradise) have been nearly hunted to extinction...

5. Does medicine work like it does here but no-one knows CPR or does it work like a cartoon so I cure amnesia with more head injuries or does it work like medieval euro people thought it did with demons in your teeth?

Well it's gonna be more in the direction of Renaissance Europe medicine + Alchemy... So the base is the same as our medicine (germs and stuff) and not based on humors... But alchemy will be a potent alternative, based on ancestral herbalism & magical ingredients. Demons will also be able to heal you, for the right price...

6. I want to play a hobbit but really I'm the fleas controlling the hobbit. Where is that in the book?

Well demonic fleas that are a hive mind and control, better said possess, a humanoid host, will be found in the section about demons. Sexual intercourse will be a major way to take root on new hosts, for sure...

7. How much could I rent my body out to spirits before I lost control of my character?

Well, they might call themselves Spirits, but they are actually demons... You will lose parts of your soul first... And if you do exaggerate, you will lose body and mind for an eternity of pain and slave labor.

8.What level do I have to get my character to before I am the g.m?

All humanoids will be limited to lvl 9 and will need to use alchemy to better their bodies and skills afterwards... Once you have a lvl 9 character and i've written the game, i'd be delighted to let you read and DM it... I want to play this setting too !

9. What is the dumbest thing I can spend my money on?

A sand clock that is not precise enough: You'll ruin a lot of good alchemical components before realizing...
Buying an indexed book on demonology would also be an extreme bad idea...

10. How ugly can my guy be? Like Can I be a walking fish?

As ugly as you want, as long as other in your party are more capable to speak in public and society...

(ok that's an old joke... He wasn't that bad, in hindsight...)

11.The lamp oil? Is that like cooking oil, kerosene, white spirits or napalm?

It's gonna be very typically cooking oil or raw petroleum. Or some kind of alchemical decoction, for longer lasting and stronger illumination. Or just animal fat, that works too, it just stinks...

12. How does physics work in this world?

I intend to stay very near our principles, for simplicity's sake...

Alchemy will be a form of science, mixed with magic...

Magic will be vancian, since we're playing D&D, but without teleportation and resurrection. Rituals will be important, too, for higher level effects, for example...

13. Can I start with weapon hands?

Depending on the group, are demonic weapon hands a possibility, but not one I would recommend... The social stigma would be horrendous. 

14. What cultures approve of cannibalism?

Demons do. It's part of the way they corrupt the humanoid societies: by giving part of the power of the eaten to the one that eat them, but with a big load of corruption on top.

15. Can my character not be real , but a hallucination of another character?

Seems like an interesting concept for a group of 2 players. A challenge to DM, to be sure, but interesting nontheless (let me grab my old Wraith: oblivion books)

16. Which is the rome but with lava fire country in this world? 

Before the collision of the planes and the Severance, Urbarin was very like an almighty Rome (without the Pompeiian volcano references), but it does not have the same influence as before... The town is still very powerful but lost its colonial reach...

One of its colonies did get through into Middellærd, too, and is getting an important position: Neptoma, a Venice-like town with a powerful marine and a trading ports network around the sea on which the town "stranded"

17. Can I invent an insect?

Insects can be invented. Recipes to cook insects can be invented. They can be stitched together and revived with alchemy if you are experienced enough. They tend to be very voracious afterwards, though...

18. Is there reverse fire?

Seas, waterways and ice will play a big role in the setting... Is it not what you meant with this question? 

19. How much money can I make inventing siege engines?

Probably a lot, if you find a good Warlord to employ you. But beware, your job might not be as stable as you think if you do not deliver what's expected of you (however realistic this might be)

20. What is the most significant tree to the economy of the starting place?

Neptoma's economy (this will be the default starting place) is based on the exploitation of the lagoon and sea resources: fishing is very important, shipwrights are very influential, and a blooming trade of secrets is deeply rooted in the corrupted but pragmatic city... As a place of trade, Alchemy will be important there too, since it's one of the few place where lots of exotic ingredients can be found... It's the reason the main academy for alchemy was founded in Neptoma (the NATICRA: Neptomian Academy of Transmutation of ingredients, chemical refinement, and alchemy)


I hoped you liked this 20 answers as much as I loved these questions. It is a very interesting exercise to answer seriously questions that were not really serious in the first place...
I'll have to do Jeff's questions on day, too.
It's a really good world building exercise !


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