Thursday, 23 January 2014

Into Ploughshares

Case 02 - An Early Subsistence Farm (1740) - Dioramas in the Fisher Museum (Harvard Forest) - DSC07368

"True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost." - Arthur Ashe

The Setting

The vast and ancient Haverlakes are a realm of strife. Bandits and murderers stalk the land, preying on travellers. Monstrous beings scuttle forth from abyssal caves to stalk the land. Foul sorcerers enslave whole counties to build monuments to their glory. Ancient ruins hold treasure and menace alike.

The folk of the Haverlakes are stout and fierce, skilled in the arts of blade and spell. Hardy bands roam the lands, battling goblins and demons, putting down the undead, or searching the vast and crumbling ruins that mysteriously dot the land. There is not one amongst them who is not a warrior of renown. They do not know peace.

For aeons, the Haverlakes have been sustained by the blessing of Fraig, spirit of plenty. Bushes and trees burst with fruit ripe for the plucking, and fish hurled themselves onto every hook casually offered. A heroine forging her path through the Toothed Woods could barely cast a spear without hitting a fatted rabbit, unless a bear, manticore, wood elemental, chitter-demon or bandit interposed itself. Huge and riotous taverns were built upon springs where wine and ale poured forth from the very ground. Firewood sprouted abundantly wherever it might be needed. Rich robes, fine swords and golden chalices were carried triumphantly forth from underground cities, or torn from the bodies of fallen foes. Life was not one of toil, but one of adventure.

And now, the power of Fraig is fading from the land. The simple warriors and wizards of the land are helpless in the face of threats they never anticipated: starvation, cold, pestilence. Only a few gifted folk have the power to save them. The Haverlakes must know... work.

The Spiel

How many novels have you read where, in a world of humble farmers, a simple lad is called upon to set aside the plough, learn the way of the sword and battle evils given physical form, that the rest of the world might be safe?

In a world of battling heroes and villains, a small band is called upon to abandon their warlike ways and take up the only skills that can save their people: pastoralism.

Learn unique and amazing skills like Sowing, Harvesting and Preservation In Salt! Master the lost and secret arts of Animal Husbandry! Build imposing shelters that will protect your people from storms, cold and pestilent vermin too small for any warrior to fight!

Do you have what it takes to be a hero?


  1. GM: "You see your nemesis now, his night-black wings beating against the turbulent air. Against the looming clouds he comes with his massed allies, a horde descending towards your field like a black cloud of destruction. Their raucous cries echo throughout the valley."

    Player: "This is it, guys! Now we see if our preparations really were up to snuff."

    GM: "Well, let's see about that shall we? Total up your bonuses and roll a Save vs. Crow..."

    1. This is pretty much exactly it.

    2. GM: "Okay, you get just two successes. The harvest takes... 17 Eaten damage. Your round."
      Player: "What about the scarecrows? Every round, remember."
      GM: "Oh, sure. Roll away."
      Player: "Okay, that's 9 Deterrent damage. And I rolled a one, so that's one scarecrow lost to wear and tear."
      GM: "Don't forget, crows gain resistence to Deterrent over time too."
      Player 2: "Right, I use Leadership to try and recruit some kids with catapults."
      GM: "Didn't you already set some to tending sheep? That's going to be Moderate difficulty."
      Player 2: "Agh, failed."
      Player: "Well, I'll try to track down some roosts and break them up to thin the flocks."
      GM: "Nice. You can go with Natural History."
      Player: "I've got Forestry too... can I use that, since I'm going to be cutting branches and stuff?"
      GM: "...fine. Synergy bonus."
      Player: "Woot. Four successes. I am Lumberjack, Destroyer of Crows!"