Saturday, February 23, 2013

First Adventure for Black Tokyo: The Niishima Inn

Okay, I've been hesitant to try my hand at adventure writing for various reasons but yesterday I finally decided to pull the trigger on writing the FIRST Otherverse Games adventure. I came from work with a ton of ideas for an introductory adventure, for first level (or maybe 2nd level)  characters, set in the Tatakama.

Story wise, it's fairly simple. The best way I can describe it would be Keep on the Borderlands with hentai elements added to the mix. It introduces the Tatakama itself as a character, and shows just how WEIRD the world and its people are. I was going to say its fairly tame as far as Black Tokyo content goes, but the main villain of the adventure is a cruel, corrupt diamyo who likes to stab people with his flaming prehensile penis, not to mention an undead cat-girl who poisons people with the massive spider legs dangling out of her vagina. So yeah, its Black Tokyo, alright: a sort of fucked mix of traditional Japanese ghost stories and Legend of the Overfiend.

After I finish up The Niishima Inn adventure, I want to write some more short intro adventures for my other settings: at least one each for Otherverse America, Psi-Watch and Galaxy Command. I'll probably do the Galaxy Command one next, because that setting is so easy to write for.

So take a look at the first couple of pages of the Niishima Inn adventure... it's still very much a work in progress, but this should give you an idea of what you're in for.

Blessed Be,

Know, oh impetuous traveler, that the tale told now could happen in any village, anywhere within the endless twilight of the Tatakama. Know also that for the sake of our tale, these events unfold in the village of Niishima, and center on that village’s inn. Our tale concerns an avaricious and dishonorable samurai, a daring Yakuza who hails from the race of the skatto-folk, a love lost, and the ghost of a beautiful cat….

The Niishima Inn is a short introductory adventure for first level characters venturing into the strange, twilight world of the Tatakama for the first time. The Niishima Inn adventure heavily references Races of the Tatakama (Otherverse Games, 2012). The other books in the Black Tokyo series (Otherverse Games 2009-2013) will also be helpful, but are not strictly necessary. Standard monsters and NPC stat blocks can be found in these works by Paizo Publishing: the Bestiary and the Game Mastery Guide.

Niishima (large town)
LN Tradetown of the Tatakama

Corruption +3; Crime -5; Economy +1; Law +4; Lore +1; Society -5
Qualities Cruel Watch*, Rumormongering Citizens, Tourist Attraction
Danger +5

*starred qualities found in Cityscapes (Otherverse Games, 2012)

Demographics mostly (95%) human, with a small scattering of Akaname (2-3%) living among the Burakumin clans, and a few more exotic folks, such as Kitsune and Tanuki scattered among the populace
Government Overlord (Lord Genjiro Miyoshi)
Population 2,322 hiemin or members of higher caste, 78 burakumin in their own segregated village near the garbage dump. Large transient population of merchants, farmers and other travelers.
Notable NPCs
·         Lord Genjiro Miyoshi, Diamyo of Niishima (LE Male human samurai Fighter 5)
·         Lady Moeko Miyoshi (NE Female human nobility Sorcerer 3)
·         Daichi Abe, local Yakuza badass (CN Male Akaname burakumin Rogue 2)
·         Ren Mota, owner of the Niishima Inn (CN Male Takunki hiemin Commoner 3)
·         Isumi Kato, mistress of the Hotei Theater (CG Female Dodoma hiemin Rogue 3)
·         Sumiko, mistress of the Pale House (LN Female human hiemin Expert 4)
·         Miwako the Shit Witch (LG Female human burakumin Witch 3)
·         Eiji, wronged and brokenhearted peasant (LN Male human burakumin Commoner 1)

Base Value 2,800 gp; Purchase Limit 10,000 gp; Spellcasting 5th
Minor Items 3d4 items; Medium Items 2d4 items; Major Items 1d4 items

            Niishima village is a place much like other bastions of civilization found throughout the Tatakama. It is located in a wide clearing located in the endless, chill forests of the dream-like world. Niishima River flows through the settlement, neatly segregating the homes and businesses of the hiemin and their betters from the eta village across the water. Fields for wheat and flooded rice paddies provide for the villager’s sustenance, and employ most of the townsfolk. During harvest time, everyone trudges into the fields, no matter their station, to gather rice to the sound of drums.

            Niishima has grown in the shadow of one of the roots of the massive Great Tree around which is found the flat disk of the Tatakama. One of the Great Tree’s smallest and most pitiful roots grows near the village’s heart- it reaches into the vermillion sky farther than a man can see, until it joins the other roots and branches of the Great Tree that block the sky. At night, the stars and the enormous moon are visible through the branches, as is the modern Earth Realm, lit by technology, visible almost directly over head. The sun, however, never shines in the Tatakama, and its natives have no word for it.

            The forest around Niishima is a half-world place. Dreams of the Earth Realm plague some of Niishima’s sleepers, revealing long suppressed memories of their previous mortal incarnations somewhen in Black Japan. Anachronistic ideas and artifacts are still remarkable here, but are not truly what you would call uncommon. And relics of the Earth Realm occasionally find their way into the forest, as you shall see during your stay in Niishima….

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