GMing: RPG Settings- Alicaster Harbor

This is a fictional setting intended for use with roleplaying games. My players- this is an entirely different setting, so no spoilers here. Fellow gamemasters, please feel free to use these places in your game. All I ask is if you use it, leave me some feedback to let me know, and if you happen to have a campaign site or blog, that you link here if you reference it. Alicaster Harbor will be a series on its own, and this is post one. However, if you check out my GMing tag, you’ll find store inventories available for use, such as the Gnome Trader and The Book & Flute.

Elt stared hard at the grayish blue water.

I think it’s moving. Yep, definitely moving. Well, maybe not. It looks pretty big. Greenish? A bit? Hard to tell. Maybe I should warn the town. No, that’s silly. It’s not a sea dragon, it’s just some driftwood, to be sure. Hmm…could it be a shipwreck? Maybe I could take the boat out later to investigate.

“Aye, boy. These browntails aren’t going to unload themselves,” yelled a man from the harbor’s beach.

“Yeah, dad. Alright,” Elt yelled back as he begun to climb down the rock.

I need to go into business for myself. Not fishing though. I wonder how much it’d take to get my own boat and start up a trading operation.

Elt scrambled down the rocks, on to the beach and headed towards the docks. The beach was quiet. Another fishing vessel was unloading its catch, while another was preparing to leave. A small ship carrying trade goods from up north had just docked. A scavenger was combing the beach looking for any forgotten items.

“You think I can, maybe, take the boat out later,” Elt asked while grabbing a crate from his father.

“Whafor? You goin’ chasing after monsters, again?”

Elt didn’t reply.

 

The Harbor of Alicaster Harbor

Description

High rocky cliffs form a flat “U” shape with the middle dipping down towards the ocean to form a beach. A long system of docks, accessible from the beach, is attached to and follows the shape of the cliff side. The sky, water and cliffs are all just different shades of blue-gray. The water is fairly calm, and is quite deep. The harbor is a primary source of food and economic gain for the village of Alicaster Harbor.

NPCs

fishermen, guards, sailors, merchants, children, beggars, beachcombers/scavengers

Items to be Found

Players can search the beach and find some of the following (1 roll per 20 minute search).

d100 roll

01-19 Coins (a handful of copper, a few silver)
20-34 Pretty shells (trade goods/gifts)
35-44 Crabs (living; survival check to catch & cook)
45-54 Nice rocks (trade goods/gifts)
55-64 Trash
65-74 Old, but useable, fishing gear
75-79 A shoe
80-84 A stray dog (do they keep it? find an owner?)
85-93 A backpack with a few basic adventuring items (healer’s kit, rope, tindertwigs)
94-96 A randomly generated low-level magic item
97-99 A knife with initials
00 A sealed chest (contains a treasure map)

Things to Do

beachcombing (see above), gathering rumors/information from guards and fishermen, purchasing items off trade and fishing vessels, fishing (survival or fishing skill) from the rocks, hiring a vessel, accessing coastal caves

Fishing- Players can use the survival skill or a fishing skill, with appropriate equipment, to catch fish. Use survival rules to determine quantity (fish species: browntail, everwhite, coastal micken)

Things to Buy

  • Fish (fish species: browntail, everwhite, coastal micken, elephant crab, rock shrimp); prices range from 2cp to 6cp
  • Trade Ships:
    • Cotton 6gp per sq. yard
    • Linen 2gp per sq. yard
    • Silk 12gp per sq. yard
    • Wool 4gp per sq. yard
    • Clothing ranging from 1gp to 10gp (per complete outfit
    • Scarves and Hats 1sp to 5sp
    • Vanilla 5gp per lb
    • Herbs 5sp per lb
    • Paper 5cp per sheet
    • Ink 5sp per vial
    • Inkpen 5sp
    • Mountain Wine 5gp per bottle
    • Elton’s Rue (fine wine; 11gp per bottle)
    • Notcach (northern confection)
    • Ergard’s Pickles (famous pickles from the south)
    • Inexpensive jewelry (5sp to 1gp)
    • Moon Ale (3gp per 8lbs barrel)
    • Mekfart’s Cheese (1gp per wheel)

Plot Hooks

  • Items are going missing from boats (local thief; caverns containing aquatic folk)
  • Boats are going missing (sea monster)
  • Searching for survivors of shipwreck (nearby island; along the coast; witnesses to shipwreck appear in harbor, or family member of a villager is missing)
  • Protect trade vessel from pirates
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A Gnome Trader

Here is another shop’s inventory straight out of our current Pathfinder game. You can find others here. Fellow GM’s feel free to snag this and modify for your own means. If you do, I’d love for you to leave a comment…it’d be great to know that someone is reading these! Thanks!

Items come from: Arms & Equipment Guide, Forgotten Realms: Underdark, The Quintessential Halfling and the Kalamar Goods & Gear.

This wagon is maintained by a gnome standing just over 3 feet tall and hardly weighing more than 40 pounds. His skin is a dark tan, but his hair is a very light bronze. His eyes look like two aquamarine gemstones. He travels with two slightly heftier gnomes, both pushing 50 lbs. One has a very similar color skintone, the other one is a bit darker. Both are fair-haired and blue-eyed. While the two guards, one female, one male, are dressed in simple, but sturdy leather armor, the trader’s outfit has a bit more flare. His comfortable leather traveling outfit is enhanced by a blue-grey cape decorated with amethyst gems.

Names of Traders: Zilkas Davyyn Tome, Raston Warden Hive, Xana Fenla Volin

The gnomes prefer to trade their items for items of equal (or greater) value.

Umbrellas- 15 sp (1lb)

Travel Cloak- 10gp (1lb) (pg 64 of the Quintessential Halfling)

Halfling Cordial- 1gp (½ lb) (pg 64 QH)

Pipeweeds (5sp to 10gp, ½ lb)

Smoking Pipes 5gp (carved animals)

Assassin’s Pipe 15gp (tiny blowpipe)

Musical Pipe (10gp)

Wheel Bell (5gp; 5lbs)

Gossamer Robes (made from spiderwebs; + 2 hide/move silently; +1 to AC, cannot be worn with other armor/robes)

Alchemist’s Mineral Acid 20gp 1 lb (pg 67 Underdark)

Caveharp 150gp 3lbs

Shriek Paste 50gp 1lb(pg 67 Underdark)

Spelunker’s Kit 80gp, 5lbs (pg 67 Underdark)

Fiddles

Rackett (flute-lie; but short and wide; great variety of tones; Kalamar Goods & Gear)

Orluian Brandy (5gp; Kalamar Goods & Gear)

The gnomes also have variations of the following foods: turnips, radishes, spinach, parsley, carrots, fennel, onion , garlic, potatoes, peas, mushrooms, apricots, plums

Silver Swan Threads

Here is another shop’s inventory straight out of our current Pathfinder game. You can find others here. Fellow GM’s feel free to snag this and modify for your own means. If you do, I’d love for you to leave a comment…it’d be great to know that someone is reading these! Thanks!

A shop on the upper tier of Dayolen that sells the latest fashions from the courts of Ospolen. A collection of staff are available to assist with measuring, recommending colors, and putting together outfits.

Costs range from mere silver pieces to 100gp. GMs can let players choose how much they are willing to put into a particular item. The Kalamar Campaign has an optional “style points” system which I recommend for more detailed games. Style points for items on this list range from 0 to 10 (10 is enough to get you a +1 bonus to your charisma!). If players choose to spend more money on a particular item, it should be of better quality (and worth more style points). These clothing items are standard historical terms, a simple Google search should help if there is anything you are unfamiliar with.
Cannons
Cape
Cloak Clasp
Cloak, Average
Cloak, Good Cloth
Cloak, Fur
Codpiece
Cote
Cotehardie
Dress
Hoisery
Robes
Robes, Embroidered
Sash
Surcote
Tabard
Tunic

Day Zero Project: Category 2

My third Day Zero Project started July 1st.

As a reminder, the Day Zero Project is a to-do list of 101 things meant to be completed in 1001 days. Lists can be general self-improvement lists or themed toward a specific goal. Even if you don’t complete the list (I haven’t yet), it helps you focus on the things that are important to you. Also, if you are an organizational nerd, it’s just downright fun. :p

My list this time is focused on my personal interests and hobbies. It’s almost entirely fun. It can also be summed up as “being a better nerd”.

Instead of boring you with the entire list, I’m only going to post one category at a time. Here is the second category.

 

Category: Tabletop Games

Tabletop games other than D&D/Pathfinder, as that gets its own category.

  1. Play every game we have; get rid of ones we don’t like
  2. Have 7 people suggest three board games each & play them
  3. Play Caverna
  4. Play all pandemic scenarios
  5. Learn to play chess
  6. Play all Dominion scenarios
  7. Play a mouse guard campaign that lasts through a whole seasonal cycle
  8. Play Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective
  9. Have 5 friends suggest 1 RPG each and play that
  10. Play each Munchkin Twice

Barrel Moon

Here is another shop’s inventory straight out of our current Pathfinder game. You can find others here. Fellow GM’s feel free to snag this and modify for your own means. If you do, I’d love for you to leave a comment…it’d be great to know that someone is reading these! Thanks!

In the heart of Dayolen’s merchant district is the lively Barrel Moon. Barrel Moon is well known for brewing the best Finch-Yager in all of Southern Brandobia. They have a fine selection of home brews, plus a bar for tasting.

Pale Moon Ale- 12gp/barrel (288 servings)
Dark Moon Ale- 15gp/barrel
Moon Finch-Yager (amber)- 40gp/gallon (8 servings)
Veshemo Light Lager- 25gp/barrel
Apple Ale- 50gp/barrel

The Cake Keep

Here is another shop’s inventory straight out of our current Pathfinder game. You can find others here. The Cake Keep’s inventory comes from a fun and useful site called A Boke of Gode Cookery that has medieval foods! I applied my research there, and just made up some monetary values. Yay, internet! Fellow GM’s feel free to snag this and modify for your own means. If you do, I’d love for you to leave a comment…it’d be great to know that someone is reading these! Thanks!

The Cake Keep is a tall, thin, stone building…reminiscent of a tower…in the Merchant’s district that specializes in delicious desserts.

Bryndons (small cakes in fruity wine sauce with nuts)- 2sp
Frutowr (fruit and almond milk cake)- 1sp
Clove cake (crumbly cake flavored with clove and mace)- 6cp
Sweet Seed Cake (made with a variety of ground seed)-  1sp
Notes: I envision this place as an upscale sort of bakery that specializes in only a few items, but perhaps has different flavors or versions of them, or daily specials. If your players are the sort to not spend money on something without a mechanical reason, this shop can easily be added on the way to visiting an important person (the mayor adores cakes!) or perhaps if they need something extra to bribe a halfling with.

Temple of the Stars

This church is straight out of our current Pathfinder game. You can find other location descriptions here. Some of these items are from the Kalamar setting (Goods and Gear, Kenzer and Company), others are from Pathfinder and some are from my head. The concept of the “Temple of the Stars” is from the Kalamar Campaign Setting & Divine Masters, but the knowledge mechanic from attending service is my own. Fellow GM’s feel free to snag this and modify for your own means. If you do, I’d love for you to leave a comment…it’d be great to know that someone is reading these! Thanks!

 

Aside from the symbol of the traveler on the sign, and the name, the local Temple of the Stars could easily be mistaken for a quiet inn. 

Rooms- 1sp/night; must be respectful and clean-up after yourself
Food:
Hot mug of local tea- free
Bitter Broth (halfling concoction of fermented juices and grains)- 3sp
Braggart (spiced sweet ale)- 5cp
Boiled Cabbage- 2cp
Salted Herring- 3cp
Bread and Cheese- 4cp
Services happen every night just after the 8th bell. Local worshippers do not attend every evening, so it is primarily travelers. Weather, local laws, traditions, and things that impact traveling and visitors are discussed. Stories of travels are always shared.  
 
Attending a service gives you two free cards with a +2 knowledge(local). They can be used once each for two different locations. The idea being “Oh, I recall this city being discussed during a Temple of the Stars service…”. Only 2 cards (1 service) can be obtained per week per church (the idea that the same folks will be around for a few days). This holds true for ALL Temple of the Star churches, so collect the bonuses wherever you go!