Goon Deeps of Sargolis
The Goon Deeps of Sargolis are a rule/setting combo focused on a procedurally generated catacomb haunted by undead and evil cultists.
In our current game the players are thenorm42 and tibbius. We conquered the Deeps, killed/released the arch lich boss, found and spoke with his vampire ex-wife (the "God Queen" Ostienne), looted the throne room, and started exploring the ruined city above the catacomb. Our base camp was partially looted, and Jhula summoned a construct to track down some of the stolen goods. We got into an altercation with a sorcerer who purchased one of our stolen spellbooks and whose front door the colossus broke, made peace, Jhula swapped spells with him, we tracked down the original thieves and punished them. We headed out on the southward road to Saray's indebted demesne, but took a detour to the city Naltis/Nalastis to get more information about how her cousin took over the place and also to gather alchemic ingredients for a potion to free Jhula's boss of his addiction. Now we've entered another labyrinth of twisty passages and ominous rooms, in search of an elder vampire whom we will cajole or threaten into helping us.
In the Vault at Loom Street
Jhula's Sack 2 (containing
a. Book #5. shimmering iridescent fish-scale binding. Serene Mysteries of the Unperceiving Psyche
d. Book #4. tattered green cloth cover, rebound. Enwiddle's Blossoming Cone
c. Book #12. weirdly trifolded parchment pamphlet. Send a Bolt of Tar Afar
stakes a silver dagger a sharpened gravedigger's spade box of matches box of matches earthenware jars
Jhula: rogueish jack of all trades
Stats: Brute 1, Skulker 2, Erudite 2, Health 11 of 11, Breath 10
Gear: 1. Throwing knives; 2. Vicious, jagged shortsword; droppable 3. Sack 1 (containing a. Silver dagger x4; b. Lantern; c. Lockpicks; d. pamphlet #12), 4. Leather armour, droppable 5. Sack 2 (Book from Naltis #1-#4), droppable 6. Pillowcase sack (containing quantity of Master Sanger's remains in a suitable receptacle), 7. Tired
3(6) fresh Breath.
Combat bonus: +3. Throwing bonus: +3.
Jhula has briefly reviewed numerous books of power.
She's got in her mind
1. The Book of Bones and Flowers
2. cast-iron hinged cover with embossed man-figure. Pursuing Colossus
10. Silent Song of Choking Flowers.
Jhula grew up on the streets of Antali, a city on the coast over a hundred miles from Sargolis. Orphaned young by the last war, she fell in with the local Legitimate Businessperson's Mutually Agreeable Cooperative (a brutally run thieves' guild and crime syndicate also known as the Mackers). She graduated from petty larceny to head-cracking and enforcement, then finally organisation, strategy and problem-solving. She's one of the lieutenants of the First of the Mackers, who is gradually dying from the effects of the spices he's addicted to.
She has been sent to Sargolis in search of anything that might hold back the reaper, whether ancient healing alchemy or blasphemous necromantic tome. Privately, she's happy to be on the road and away from the pressures of her work.
Looking at Ricky's vacant bedroll, she felt guilt, something she hadn't felt in a long time. She resolved to see if she could put another team together in Sargolis and retrieve his body, perhaps even complete their mission?
After much danger, Jhula and her companions Saray and Munson found Ricky hanging up over a grim altar. They got him down, and he rejoined their group as a revenant seeking revenge on the archlich of the Deeps. Eventually that was achieved, and Ricky passed. Jhula, saray, and Munson then found Ostienne, the vampire God Queen of Sargolis, in a gravity-inverted boudoir atop a tower over the Deeps. They parlayed with her, and departed.
Jhula left the Deeps with some books of power, some of which she studied. Others were stolen from their camp. She summoned a Pursuing Colossus to retrieve her stolen property, and it led the group to a sorcerer's townhouse where they encountered the Song of Choking Flowers. Jhula entreated the sorcerer to return her books, and became acquainted. With the sorcerer's good will, the group tracked down the original thieves and punished them.
After settling matters in Sargolis, Saray became the motivator (if not the leader) of the group.
Saray: indebted lady knight
Stats: 8 of 9 Health, 9 Breath, 3 Brute, 1 Skulker.
Gear: 1. backpack(a. Torch, b. gold, c. 2x rope, e. Book from Naltis #5), 2. mace, 3. shield, 4. Sharpened gravedigger's spade, droppable 5. Pillowcase sack (Book from Naltis #6-#8), 6. Tired
7. Saray's Sack 3 (containing
a. Book #6. black burlap. The Soul and Other Deceptions
b. Book #7. brown leather with red-inked lettering. Potent Wine of Enervation
c. Book #8. faded red-pink cloth with oily stains. It's another copy of The Transcendent Beam of Loathsome Oil
d. Book #1. pale grey leather binding with pink and purple flowers and skulls inlaid. The Book of Bones and Flowers
e. Book #3. silver-hinged cover of smoothly polished beech wood. The Ineluctable Movement of Volcanic Glasses
f. Packet of green spice
3 Fresh Breath.
Combat bonus: +4 with torch, +5 with shield.
Saray is a knight of moderate age, skilled in battle and accustomed to comfort. She's the Lady of House Rannier, an estate south of Sargolis on the northern frontier of the southern city states. Recently rents have been short and her comfortable life (plus a gambling problem) has brought debt. She had planned to plunder the Deeps to get funds to get the lenders off her. Munson looked like a potential patsy, someone she could use and drop ... but she wanted a third to round out a crew. She had heard the Deeps were deadly.
Now after plundering the Deeps under Jhula's leadership, Saray has returned to Naltis with her new crew to learn that her cousin has overtaken her indebted estates.
Entering the city of Naltis in search of more information, and ingredients for Jhula's potion to cure her master's addiction, Saray get the troupe entangled with a coterie of vampires who want them to kill an elder vampire. After depositing some of the group's treasure into Saray's family vault, the group enters a catacomb through a floating blue portal, and wanders about for a while before eventually stumbling upon the Bloodless ("Master Sanger"), killing him, and discovering the unusually large young girl he has been guarding under Vivostasis for the past ninety years.
It turns out the girl is the lost heiress of the royal line, and the Harsh Lady (who took over ruling in Naltis ninety years back) probably would like her to disappear.
Munson: down-at-heels adventurer
Stats: 11 Health, 7 Breath, 2 Brute, 1 Skulker, 1 Erudite.
Gear: 1. Breastplate, 2. axe, 3. backpack (a. torch, b. gold, c. gold d. 2x matches), droppable 4. Sack (books from Naltis #9-#12). droppable, 5. Tired
6. Saray's Sack 4 (containing
3 Fresh Breath.
Combat bonus: +1(+2) Brute +1(+2) (breastplate, axe) = +2(+4) total.
Munson is an adventurer with a dented breastplate, a notched axe, and a sound shield. He spent a while loitering in Sargolis, waiting for someone with whom he could enter the Deeps - he was wise enough to know it was suicide to go down there by himself. After encountering Jhula and Saray, he assisted the two ladies in plundering the catacombs, dispatching the lich king, and interviewing the vampire God Queen of ruined Sargolis. Then he guided the group to his old home village, where they visited with his ghostly parents. Now they're in Naltis, exploring an ancient vampire's Catacombs.
In addition to the basic rules of Life and Breath and so forth, here's a few specific ones about combat and magic and loads.
Multiple opponents: When fighting multiple opponents,
only your highest roll can do damage. This may be has been revisited ... roll once against each opponent.
Advantage / Disadvantage: When otherwise at an advantage, you suffer injury on a failure only if you rolled doubles. Conversely, if disadvantaged, you inflict injury on a success only if you rolled doubles.
Learning a spell: Spells are learned from tomes. Each tome holds one spell, which is somewhat defined by the GM rolling randomly for a topic, and is somewhat defined by the player's interpretation of that topic when they study the tome. Once a spell is learned, it sticks in the character's head until forgotten. Forgetting a spell is a deliberate action. A character can hold Erudite + 1 spells in their head. If they hold more than that, they suffer -1 to all rolls for each additional spell.
Casting a spell: Casting a spell costs 1 Breath, which is invested in the spell until it concludes. Casting a spell does not cause the spell to be forgotten. Each time a spell is cast, the player must roll against DS of the spell's target. Many spells do not have "targets" that oppose them. For these spells, the GM and player set the DS collaboratively based on how cool the spell is. ((The GM would prefer a rule where it costs 1 Breath to hold a spell in your head and no additional Breath to cast it, but this is a collaborative game so we will go with what we agreed to.))
Each container counts as one item and can hold any four items at no cost. So a backpack could hold a sack of gold, rations, a book, and a torch. ((The GM is ambivalent about this rule.)) Only items that are worn or held in hand can add to rolls. It takes an action to remove an item from a container.
Sargolis: The ancient ruined and partly-rebuilt city under which the Goon Deeps are delved.
Antali: The somewhat distance city whence Jhula came to Sargolis in search of a cure for her boss.
the Mackers are the criminal bosses of Antali, and Jhula's spice-addicted boss is boss of bosses.
Ostienne: The vampiric former ruler of Sargolis, once venerated as the God-Queen but now her temple is ruined (it gives access to the first level of the Deeps).
unliving: Creatures that don't breathe but move around. Often vampiric, but not obligate vampires.
Louras is one of the western principalities, in among the dozens of city states that vie for dominance over on that side of the mountains.
The southern city states, a few decades ago, fought a vicious war with the merchant cities of the northeast. The war ruined Sargolis.
Saray's indebted demesne (House Rannier) is in the northern frontier of the southern city states.
House Kendos is the demesne of Saray's cousin Hania, a gullible younger woman under the thumb of her husband and Saray's former seneschal Albert.
Nalastis or Naltis is the southern free city nearest to Saray's demesne.
the Harsh Lady Gang run rackets in Naltis.
Narm is the general region where all these places are found.