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. Now we are on the road to Saray's indebted demesne.
Jhula: rogueish jack of all trades
Stats: Brute 1, Skulker 2, Erudite 2, Health 11, Breath 10
Gear: 1. Throwing knives; 2. Vicious, jagged shortsword; 3. Sinister dark purple cloak (useful for stealth or intimidation); 4. Sack 1 (containing a. Rope; b. Lantern; c. Rations; d. Book #5), 5. Sack 2 (containing a. Lockpicks, b. Book #1, c. Book #3, d. Book #4, e. Packet of green spice), 6. Leather armour. 4 fresh Breath.
Combat bonus: +3. Throwing bonus: +3.
Jhula has briefly reviewed numerous books of power:
3. silver-hinged cover of smoothly polished beech wood. The Ineluctable Movement of Volcanic Glasses
4. tattered green cloth cover, rebound. Enwiddle's Blossoming Cone
5. shimmering iridescent fish-scale binding. Serene Mysteries of the Unperceiving Psyche
6. black burlap. The Soul and Other Deceptions
7. brown leather with red-inked lettering. Potent Wine of Enervation
8. faded red-pink cloth with oily stains. It's another copy of The Transcendent Beam of Loathsome Oil
9. plain white cloth, stained with dirt. Breaking the Cycles
12. weirdly trifolded parchment pamphlet. Send a Bolt of Tar Afar
She's got in her mind
1. pale grey leather binding with pink and purple flowers and skulls inlaid. The Book of Bones and Flowers
2. cast-iron hinged cover with embossed man-figure. Pursuing Colossus
10. Silent Song of Choking Flowers.
She's familiar with
11. blue satin cover. Mysteries of the Slime that Binds All Things
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 feels guilt, something she hasn't felt in a long time. She resolves to see if she can put another team together in Sargolis and retrieve his body, perhaps even complete their mission?
Saray: indebted lady knight
Stats: 9 Health, 9 Breath, 3 Brute, 1 Skulker.
Gear: 1. backpack(a. Torch, b. rations, c. gold, d. Book #9), 2. mace, 3. shield, 4. sack 4 (a. rope, b. gold, c. gold, d. gold), 5. Sack 3 (containing a. Book #6, b. Book #7, c. Book #8, d. Book #9). 4 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's planning to plunder the Deeps to get funds to get the lenders off her. Munson looks like a potential patsy, someone she could use and drop ... but she wants a third to round out a crew. She's heard the Deeps are deadly.
Munson: down-at-heels adventurer
Stats: 11 Health, 7 Breath, 2 Brute, 1 Skulker, 1 Erudite.
Gear: 1. Breastplate, 2. axe, 3. shield, 4. backpack(a. rations, b. torch, c. gold, d. gold). 3 Ready Breath.
Combat bonus: +2 Brute +3 (breastplate, axe, shield) = +5 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.
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.