Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Isles of the Imprisoned Moon - Session One

Any inaccuracy, mis-remembering or errors in attribution are entirely my own fault and not the players.

I made a lot of use of Mateo Diaz Torres Pernicious Pamphlet and the game used Chris McDowall's Into The Odd.


Six individuals were shipwrecked in their voyage to the Isles of the Imprisoned Moon. In rough order of higher-class to lower-class, they were:

Jepta Crunt (Chris H)
"Widow of a Famous Explorer. His translator, (knows 3 extra languages) has a Pistol & a Knife. Follower of Man-Pac. Hopes to consume her late husband's ghost to finally put him to rest?"

Busla Monte Bul (Richie Cyngler)
Lower class widow, doesn't have two potatoes to rub together. Bung leg. Has Iron Eyes which perceive magnetic flows.

Her White Ape (Davd McGrogan)
"For an ape I am wise and noble. More like an orang-utan in nature than a chimp. I am contemplative and peaceful but you don't really want to rile me."

(The ape only shares Busla's class while it is with her and claerly her servant, on it's own it is the lowest of sorts.)

Sumidero Tchuka (Nathan Ryder)
"Plain, with Sapphic Drives"

Kua Kua Pandoring (Avash Islam)
An educated Laudanum Addict

Barlang Rift (Dan Voyce)
"Former insouciant lounger, artist’s model, and blood whore for vampires and vivophiliac undead. Perfect from the neck down, hideous from the neck up - the body of Adonis with the face of Darkman."


Having been brought into perhaps a too-great familiarity by their mutual shipwreck, Busla surprises everyone by using her magnetic telescope (Steampunkish arrangement of lenses and shaped magnets) and her Iron Eyes to spy  the magnetic knot of what looks like a ship appearing on the horizon.

The Falling Star by Mike Shelly

As the ship grows closer she also sees some kind of sub-oceanic object detach itself from the writing mass of the ocean floor (Iron Eyes means she perceives magnetic flows rather than light) and rise towards the ship on an intersecting path.

The ship is crewed by Skeletons (not that unusual), its foremast flag is a strange ragged pale thing that sometimes seems to have the shape of a woman and its captain wears the porcelain armour and mask of a noble. They address the PC's in Elegaic, the Augean of the Higher undead, and Jepta responds in the same language, earning them some perceived status. The captain agrees to allow them abroad and Kua Kua Pandoring swims towards the lowered ladder.

As the PC's follow Kua Kua they see a huge gout of water fly into the air from behind the ship and hear a series of crashes and shouts.

Kua Kua Pandorang, Barlang Rift and Sumidoro Tchuka climb onto the deck where they witness a battle raging between Albino Crab men

Albino versions of these from Khurusan Miniatures

lead by a huge intelligent Nudibranch

 and a gang of Harryhousen Skeletons wielding bronze swords. The Captain mans the wheel on the aft deck with his wizened mate.

Whilst part way up the ladder, a giant crab claw tears a hole in the ships hull right next to Busla Monte Bul (clinging to the back of her White Ape (David McGrogan)), she peeks through and sees some skeletons fighting a Crab Man and beyond them, a group of caged, emaciated slaves. The White Ape grabs the Crab Man and hurls it onto the ocean and carries Busla into the cabin. Jepta thinks for a moment and then follows them in.

On the main deck, Kua Kua Pandoring attempts to ingratiate themselves with the Captain, with limited effect. Barlang Rift brilliantly mimes a heroic attempt to engage the Crab Men, successful enough that no-one notices that he isn't actually doing anything risky.

The Nudibranch is shouting at the Skeletons in Lament, none of the PC's present speak that language so do not know what he is saying but it seems to be having some effect.Despite the protestations of the intelligent Nudibranch that it is an agent of a registered legal authority Sumidoro takes a shot at it, forcing it back behind its bodyguard.

Down below, Jepta speaks to the Skeletons in Lament (language of the lower dead), they seem like confused Altzhiemer patients who do not know where they are, one asks Jepta if she is their son Marco. Jepta leads the skeletons into the next room where they find another Crab Man battling yet more skeletons, Jepta convinces the two she is with to attack the Crab Man.

Busla and her white ape investigate the slaves, they show clear signs of being used as food by a Vampire, as wasted and pliable and opium addicts. Neither slavery or Vampirism are illegal in their social world but, being liberals, they decide to attempt to free the slaves.

On the main deck, Kua Kua Pandoring tries to impress the Captain by hurling a bomb into the melee. Avash rolls poorly and the bomb bounces off one of the masts and drops into a hole in the cargo hatch, falling into the belly of the ship.

Sumidoro tries climbing one of the masts to get a better shot at the Nudibranch. The hideous Barlang Rift decides to actually engage in combat, doing some meaningful damage to a Crab Man.

Belowdecks, Jepta hears the rolling of the bomb directly above her head, moving towards the hole in the roof through which the Crab Men fell. She dives back into the prison cell and forces Busla and her White Ape to the ground. The bomb explodes.

Unimpressed with this, the Captain takes off his mask, revealing the face of a 16 year old boy. He requests that Kua Kua Pandoring offer him his neck. After thinking about it a bit, Kua Kua does so, the Vampire Captain bites deep.

The reader cannot have failed to notice that one half of the group has decided to throw in with a Vampire Captain they know nothing about and that another half has decided to steal the same man's property.

Sumidoro sees the Nudibranch wrestling with the flag of the ship, actually a ghost woman, Sumidoro fires her rocket into that melee, doing very little damage but setting everything on fire.

On witnessing the fire, the ghost woman screams and flies up into the darkness out of sight, the Captain sees this, drops Kua Kua Pandoring to the deck and, shouting "Rashel! Rashel!", dives into the general melee, whether heading for the Nudibranch or for Sumidoro is unclear.

One of the crab men takes control of one of the two ballistae on the foredeck and begins to turn it in the direction of Sumidoro.

Belowdecks, the two widows, Busla and Jepta, and the White Ape, rise to their feet unharmed to find that the cargo hold is slightly on fire and that the Crab Men and skeletons have been reduced to shrapnel and seafood. Jepta explores the hold to the rear while Busla and the Ape decide to try to break open the chest in the prison room.

Above, Barlang Rift charges into combat on the foredeck, Sumidoro grabs a line and executes a pirate swing into the same combat. The Nudibranch tries to negotiate but they shoot one if its remaining bodyguard Crabs off the deck with the second ballista. They are then pinned between the two advancing Crab Men. one takes Barlang by the throat but Sumidor grabs him from its pincers as they close, nevertheless, both are wounded.

Kua Kua Pandoring has suddenly developed a deep affection for the Captain and follows him through the melee shouting "Captain, My Captain!"

Below, the White Ape finally tears open the chest to find the accouterments of blood letting and a single sliver blade. In the hold, Jepta finds a chest of what she suspects is the legendary Zombie Coral. They both decide to climb to the main deck, going straight through the mid-decks, despite shouts and sings of a seperate struggle in that area.

The two groups converge once more as Busla and the White Ape leap up from a hatch in the foredeck and run towards the melee between Sumodors, Barlang and the Crab Men and Jepta arrives at the rear deck to see the ancient First Mate encouraging the few remaining skeletons to kill the remaining Crab Men. He speaks in lament, telling the confused Skeletons that the Crab Men have broken into their house and will kill their children. Only Jepta understands Lament and only she is beginning to grasp how the Skeletons are manipulated.

The White Ape grabs the Captain and hurls him into the sea, but all are shocked to see him turn into a Nightingale.

Jepta tries to aid the First Mate with her pistol but accidentally shoots on of the Skeletons, the Mate responds with misogynistic condescension.

Forces converge on the foredeck. The Nudibranch only has one or two Crab Men left, but almost all of the Skeletons have been smashed. The eminently reasonable White Ape tries to defend the Nudibranch so they can hear its side of the story.

Flying back to the poop deck, the Captain returns to his human form and is reunited with his ghost wife. They try to kiss but she is ethereal and they cannot touch.

Jepta and the First Mate begin to brawl. He cuts her badly with a silver raZor, she eventually puts two bullets into him and he drops.

The Captain notes that almost all of his Skeletons have been destroyed and addresses the PC's, shouting that if they aid him he will give them a boat and return them to the sea, if they oppose him he will eat their hearts.

Events beyond this point become quite complex and I am not exactly sure of what happened when.

Culture war breaks out among the PC's. Busla Rant and the White Ape wish to side with the Nudibranch, Barlang Rift and Sumidoro Tchuka are happy to kill it for the Vampire captain, Jepta watches warily, assessing the relative forces, Kua Kua Pandoring is slavishly willing to obey his Captains every word. The junkie vampire-food slaves are also entirely willing to obey him.

Jepta pretends to side with the Captain to get close to him.

Barlang is taken in the side by a Crab Claw and falls.

Kua Kua attacks the Nudibranch, unaware that they are incredibly poisonous, and goes down with Toxic Shock.

The Nudibranch is killed. The one remaining Crab Man observes the scene and leaps sadly into the sea.

The White Ape and Busla charge the length of the ship.

Jepta stabs the Captain in the back with the silver razor she took from the First Mate.

The White Ape crashes into him, swinging with the silver blade taken from the hold.

Captain Benedict Vore is destroyed, his body ages 1000 years inside his perfect white armor. His Ghost Wife Rashel Vore tries to carry his corpse up into the black air, but her ethereal fingers cannot hold onto him for long. he drops several times only to the snatched back up.

Eventually her grip fails and he falls into the sea. The ghost flees like a wind-tossed leaf, howling her grief and rage.

The PC's find themselves master of the two-decked ship 'The Falling Star'. No-one in this setting has ever seen a star or knows what one is, the ship is slightly on fire, it's Skeleton crew has been destroyed, except for one and no-one knows what was going on on the middle deck, or if anyone down there is still alive.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Podecast 5 - relate-able and insightful points about a variety of role playing related conversation things

Click the image for the file
(now remastered by Robin Zink)

Umberto Boccioni, ‘Synthesis of Human Dynamism’

Hey its that thing Scrap and I do, now with a new episode.

1.30 - Dark gods.
5.00 - FotVH Images.
8.30 - Please buy my fucking books.
9.30 - Making relate-able and insightful points about a variety of role playing related conversation things.
10.30 - Alchemy.
15.15 - First impressions of the OSR.
19.30 - Motivations are monsters from inside you.
21.30 - Choices in char gen.
31.30 - Cognitive silence.
33.30 - Traditional originality, fire, hirelings and dogs.
37.30 - Ten minutes on dark AI's & nightmare futurism.
46.45 - Language, objects & baby psychology.
51.30 - Lard, the currency of agency.
55.00 - Stories, memory and experience, the grand conflict.
58.30 - Fail states.

Thursday, 18 August 2016


You are a traveler to the Isles of the Imprisoned Moon.

1. Roll 3d6 for each Ability Score. You may swap any two of your scores.

Strength – Fighting, fortitude and toughness.
Dexterity – Stealth, athletics and reflexes.
Willpower – Confidence, disciple and charisma.

Characters start with d6 Hit Points.

2. Consult the following table to find your starting equipment and any special information about your character. Match your highest Ability Score against your Hit Points.

9 or less
Sword (d6) or Pistol (d6)

Musket (d8) Sword (d8)
Porcelain Armour & Mask.
Independently Wealthy & Uniquely Beautiful
with an Unquestioned Reputation.
Pistol (d6) & Knife (d6)
Widow of famed explorer. Three extra languages.
Pistol (d6)
Knife (d6)
Blunderbuss (d8)
Cleaver (d6)
Intelligent Rat

Dreams show your undiscovered surroundings.
Musket (d8)
Hatchet (d6)

A Queen

Your STR must be your lowest score.

Musket (d8)
Hatchet (d6)
Practitioner of the Subtle Art
Musket (d8)
Kleptomaniac. Can Pick Pockets on a whim but must if a Will roll is failed.
Delusional and brilliantly faking nobility.
Rapier (d8)
Pistol (d6)
2 Acid Flasks
Pistol Brace (d8)
Grappling Hook

Rifle (d8)
Mace (d6)
 Experienced Thief.
(has lock picks)
Rifle, Porcelain Armour,(1)

Dueling Rapier (d8)
Dueling Pistol (d8)
Musket (d8)
Unmarried debutante with famously ‘fine figure’.
Climbs like an ape.
Musket (d8)
Bayonet (d6)

Has intelligent hound-sized Fly
Machete (d6)
Pistol Brace (d8)

Tarot Deck.
Can Dance.
Club (d6)
3 Bombs

Five dead children, immune to fear.
You seem harmless and are 12 years old.
Club (d6)
Throwing Knives
Extremely Beautiful artists model. Near destitute.
Musket (d8)
Former Nun and Pyromaniac.
Pick Axe (d6)
Pistol (d6)

Religious,  immune to madness if singing.
Harpoon Gun (d8)
Baton (d6)

Maul (d8)
Dagger (d6)


Pistol (d6)

Renowned Artist with Exceptional Hair.
Sword (d6)
Pistol (d6)

Severe melancholic.
Pistol (d6)
Smoke Bomb
Musket (d8)
Portable Ram
Game Set

A low sort.

Blunderbuss (d8)
 Can calculate interest in a jiffy.
Longaxe (d8)
Cane (d6)

Iron Eyes
Extremely silly young girl.
Pistol (d6)
Steel Wire.
Smoke Bomb.
Husband a wretch. Numerous debts.
Longaxe (d8)
Throwing Axes
Fire Oilide
Pistol (d6)
Animal Trap
Pistol (d6)

Fairy needle empowered by sarcasm (d8)

Dagger (d6)
Fire Oil
A Doctor. INT will be useful to you.
Divorced Entertainer
Longaxe (d8)
Fire Oil
Escaping abusive spouse.
Club (d6)
Plain, with Sapphic Drives.
Bow (d6)
Knife (d6)
Rocket, Fire Oil
Sword & dagger (d8)
Magnifying glass.
Spouse in debtors prison.
Pistol (d6)
Knife (d6)

Serving Girl who weeps too much.
Educated Laudanum addict.
Musket (d8)
Pocket Watch.

Staff (d8)
Former Prostitute

Hatchet (d6)
Net, Fire Oil,
Burnt Face

Pistol (d6)
Whip (d6)
Lost Eye
Bird Repellent.

Hook Hand
Pistol (d6)

Pursued by Violent Husband
Escaped Prisoner & experienced cross-dresser.
Halberd (d8)
Fake Pistol
Spinster. Former Bedlamite.
Sees Things.
Pistol (d6)
Prosthetic leg.
Club (d6)

Loud Lungs.
Musket (d8)

Old, with
Wooden Leg and a shameful dog.
Sword (d6).
Steel Wire.

One month pregnant. 

White Ape.
Garotte (d6)
Musket (d8)

Faints Under Stress.
Pistol (d6)
One arm.

‘Given to the Bottle’.
Obsessive Abolitionist and Hysteric.
Pistol (d6)
Cigars, Poison, A Fugitive.
Sword (d6)
Shield Armour
 Sword (d6)
Questionable ferret.
Hideous Tobacco-Chewing

Albino Crab Man.


(Several results involve information from Mateo Dias Torres' Pernicious Pamphlet, which you are under no obligation to buy. If you need a rule or some information, message me and I will give it to you. Likewise if you need an Arcanium and don't have 'Into the Odd'. Likewise if you roll something wierd and don't know what it is or if the rules look odd or there are no rules.)

If it sounds like you’re a woman then you probably are. If it’s unclear then you are whatever gender you prefer.

Languages are stolen from the Pernicious Pamphlet, they are:

Ara Gorash - The Outer Gods, Agorath, etc.
Elegaic - High Status dead. Vampires, Liches, some Ghosts.
Lament - Lesser dead, skeletons, zombies, rebels.
Shrike - The language of birds.

You can keep languages 'free' if you want.

3. You are, of course, utterly free to decide your own name. You may also click one of the buttons below and to the right marked either ‘Underdark Common name’ or ‘Underdark noble name’, you should not choose a name either beyond, or below your station.

The World

On the Nightmare Sea, where no Sun has ever shone, chiming ships navigate by the patterning of swells and the nightmares of sleeping Navigators.

The navigators come from Nox, the city of white flame which rules the Nightmare sea. Only the navigators of Nox have the power to reliably cross the black water, and the Navigators all eventually go mad, and therefor Nox is mad.

There are many strange places on the Nightmare sea. No-one has found its boundary. Isles of bone where tribes with iron eyes find their way with magnetism, insane psychic whales and silver caravels with indigo sails. There are warm reefs where phytoplankton stitch mazes under the black water and intelligent Nudibranch make libraries of dreams.

And there are the Isles of the Imprisoned Moon.

There is no Sun upon the nightmare sea, and never will be, but there is a moon, a stolen moon snatched from the 'skies' (whatever they are) and chained here eons ago.

The moon is huge and bound above the surface of the black sea with cyclopean iron chains. A link in the chain is about the sise of the World Trade Centre.

Is it as big as our 'real' moon? It seems impossible, but its fucking BIG. It reaches high up into the sky.

The Imprisoned Moon is a pale silvery white. It's not reflecting light from anywhere, so far as anyone on the Nightmare Sea knows, there is no-where for it to reflect light from, they know of the Sun only from theory and legend, but if you told them that the moon was reflecting light from a lamp it could no longer see, they would find the idea poetically appropriate.

There are isles around the imprisoned moon, ringed archipelagos like the rings around a planet or the splatters from an ink-soaked ball being slammed onto white paper.

Some of these islands may have been here when the moon arrived, some may be relics of whatever semi-continent was here before, many were called up by powerful magics, or simply built with armies of slaves.

They are here becasue the moon brings light, the greatest currency of the Nightmare Sea. (The currency of Nox is Mirrors, literally small coin-sized glass-fronted, silver-backed mirrors with the sign of their issuing city etched into the silver or the glass.  Large mirrors are always treasures. Anything larger is handled in Occultum (equivalent of 'Obols' from the Pernicious pamphlets. "Obols allow for otherwise impossible transactions—souls, kingships,futures, dreams.")

These are the Isles of the Imprisoned Moon, this is where you have been sent, or to where you have escaped.

Because of their gift of reliable light, the Isles of the Imprisoned Moon have foliage and ecosystems, the do not rely exclusively on bounty from the sea and on magic. Life grows there, and not just fungal life.

The isles are powerful but anarchic, if they were ever to combine they could form a challenge to the power of Nox, but they never will.

(In a sense you can imagine this as Egypt to Nox's Rome, if Egypt was a gigantic archipelago like Indonesia and was ruled in a manner similar to anarchic timelost city states. And if Rome was totally fucking insane)

The Society

A mish mash of anything from Regency to Victorian with technology stretching from the barrel-loading musket to (at best) the Navy Colt.

There are no automatic weapons, cased rounds are experimental and super-rare. It's just about possible that someone, somewhere is working on an experimental electric light, but its unlikely as magic can do the same thing better.

There is a class system. The Navigating Houses at the top and unreasonable cannibals at the bottom. in Nox, Liberals don't campaign against slavery, they campaign against cannibalism. 

People can be materially rich and still hungry. Food is scarce.

Almost everyone believes in the class system in some way, including your characters. Broadly, the further towards the left and top you are in the diagram above, the higher class you are, the further towards the bottom and left you are, the lower your class.

Ghosts, Liches and Vampires can all be civilized and higher class. Vampires, Skeletons, zombies and ghosts can all be horrid and common, it depends on their circumstances. They also believe in the class system.

Slavery itself is at ancient Greece levels rather than triangle trade levels and is status based (you can buy yourself out) rather than race based (apart from Crab Men).

Light and currency amount to the same thing, though we won't be tracking those heavily. It's assumed that everyone has, or has access to, a whale oil lantern. (The light from the oil of Psychic Whales gives of a slight moaning when lit.) Remember you will still need a free hand  to carry a lantern.

There are few Clerics but almost everyone is a bit religious. For the Navigating Houses their sleeper ends up being a quasi-god (though never actually worshiped). Other gods are Agorath, Chthulu (a commoners version of Agorath), Manpac and of course Conchodeus and Zoophoria who are known everywhere in the Uncertain Worlds, though both in somewhat nightmarish aspects down here.

Everyone is Poor

Your character might be technically rich compared to some other characters, but they are poorer than they think they should be, especially compared to their desired standard of living. Maybe they are in debt or have lost status due to a scandal, either way they are in a desperate state.

The higher status your character is, the more absolutely vital it is to them that they do not make it explicit that they are poor.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

No money yet somehow Mo problems

(Second time I've made that joke today.)

Let me see if I can define this problem more clearly by talking (writing) about it.

The adventure comes in two broad parts.

The first part is a standard semi-sandbox. There is a dangerous and unusual environment, one very powerful faction and a number of less powerful factions, along with 'monsters', some quasi-dungeons and some industrial and 'heist' type challenges.

This isn't much of a problem as standard OSR and D&D techniques of information organisation have proven reasonably effective. Factions, 'monsters' and fluid aspects have proven fluid enough that they can be easily incorporated into random tables. Static objects are still static enough that a map is useful. Most problems are resolvable or addressable either kinetically (violence, stealth, escape) or informationally (negotiation, deception or simple obedience).

The level of player freedom is high, although they are geographically constrained, so they should have maximum utility both in deciding how they address each problem and also in deciding and defining for themselves exactly what counts as a problem.

In this first part, the personhood of NPC's is deliberately muted. The relationship of people to factions matters, exactly which individuals they encounter doesn't matter that much. (Actually PC actions can change the extent to which this is true, but that's not important for the terms of this description). People are replaceable and atomised. In this section most individuals are below, equivalent to or only slightly above the combat potential of an average low-to-mid level PC. So if you meet someone, they should be wary of fighting you and you should be wary of fighting them, at least if there is no obvious advantage in numbers or tactical positioning.

To put all this in normal-person language, I tried some weird shit in the first part of this adventure but nothing was so wierd that I had a big struggle where I had to sit down and have deep thoughts about how information was arranged on a page. There were problems, but the common tools seemed to suffice.

The second part of the adventure is different.

In the second part its not very difficult for PC's to get around. The environment is 'soft', it's not trying to kill you. There is *some* potential for kinetic encounters which must be resolved through violence, maneuvering and stealth, but these possibilities are secondary or even tertiary.

The dominant factor is this part is people, specifically the personalities of NPC's. There are about 30 NPC's. There are arranged in about 13 groupings in which you can reasonably expect to find people together, friendship groups, family groups etc. This was to keep the total amount of page-flipping down to a minimum and the complexity factor of different encounters low, at least initially while players are still working out who the fuck everyone is.

No-one is going to remember the details of one of 30 people if encountered in a purely random way, and it wouldn't make sense anyway for them to be wandering around randomly. But you will probably remember a family or friendship group if you encounter them one-by-one, especially if they are visually, socially, poetically and politically distinct. The same way its easy to remember families in a soap opera.

In the second part, as a deliberate design choice, personality *matters*. There are two major groupings with family groupings within those and personal differences within those. Every individual has a unique personality, history and relationship with every other individual. Everyone has distinct loyalties and desires.

Everyone is *really fucking dangerous*. The average combat capacity of an average relevant NPC is rougly at the level that if a mid-range PC group were to try to mug or gank them, they would probably lose at least half of their members and could possibly suffer a TPK. In addition, unless extremely careful, they would enrage the dominant culture against them, effectively being hunted and killed in short order.

This is a deliberate choice to make sure PC's aren't going to try to murder-hobo the last part of the adventure. OSR design makes personality and character important by making that person and character capable of fucking killing you so you better listen to what they have to say.

The environment is static, with about 18 particular places or buildings, two major terrain elements, (a small river with a lake, some dunes) the rest being parkland of a kind, copses of trees, small rolling hills, paths, enough terrain to make sure you can't see everything at once and to give privacy but essentially it's hard to get really lost.

Currently, my way of creating personalities is with an interlocking family tree (mainly useful for the DM to begin with but PCs and players can learn it, or an NPC might literally draw it out for them), simple interlocking loyalties (this person will respect their parents & protect their children and spouse) with minor variations (this person is cheating on their spouse or their children are illegitimate), and with tables of particular specific desires, behaviour patterns and actions.

The shape of a relationship is meant to be indicated by the layout and results of the tables on a page.

So, lets say you run into one particular married group. These people all appear on a double-page spread. They have individual action tables if you speak to them alone and a group table to show what they are up to if you encounter them as a group.

So this particular marriage is invisibly falling apart and this is meant to be shown in the construction of the tables. Their group activities are laced with passive aggression and invisible stress lines, their individual tables create actions & behaviours that are seperate or even opposed. They are bound together only by their primary loyalties to family and clan.

On this other hand, this friendship group between apparently different people is very strong, so if you encounter them together then they are engaged on some exciting and interesting action and if you encounter them alone then their tables naturally turn their intentions and behaviours back towards mutual interest.

In addition to this there is an *evil* faction that entered this area at the same time as the PC's. They are physically weak compared to the main NPC's, but they hate the culture of the main NPC's and want to use deceit and cunning to force it to self-destruct. You can think of them as ultimate shit-stirrers or a faction of Iagos. They have their own plan to fuck everything up and, as the only other free agents in the area, the only people who stand a chance of stopping them are the PC's, should they wish to do that. Its OSR so they could just as easily work for them.

The adventure is intended to run with you kind of socially chasing/being chased by these baddies, with them fucking stuff up everywhere they go and you trying to un-fuck it, and to expose them.

And in addition to THAT, there is also a BIG. EVENT. that everyone is working up to, and how that goes and if and when it falls apart will have a seismic effect on everything.

My problem here is how to arrange the information.

I've got these places, and they are all distinct, but its part of the logic of the this section that place is not very important. There is much, much more information attached to person rather than place. The rules are written so the castles and palaces literally dim and become ashen when their occupants are not there.

So currently, the places stay in place and when you get to one you roll to see what group is there, then you interact with them, and maybe they ask you to do something or you decide you need to do something else, then you move on.

And that's two flips. One, start at the map page "What path do you want to take?", then you move to the place page, then you roll to see who is there, then you go to that page and you roll to see what they are up to.

It's too many flips and it's too disconnected.

Other option is link the people to particular places, at least for the first part, until players work out who most people are and what't going on. But that doesn't feel quite right either.

There's the option of a kind of informational flow diagram that could on the page opposite the area map when you open the  book. With that I could build in you meeting people in a reasonable sequence and also include a time factor. Could also include the 'enemy path' so if they arrive somewhere before you then they have the chance to poison the well.

Or could just dissolve physical space, make it fluid, make the person groupings 'solid' and have building rolled for randomly.

Ehhhh I don't know. Anny suggestions? Anyone in D&D dealt with this before?