Ops everybody forgot about The Pioneer!

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Ops everybody forgot about The Pioneer!

Post by Sturm » Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:18 am

As you may have noticed, we have just released Threshold issue 21 viewtopic.php?f=3&t=20684 and in it, a did a complete timeline of Karameikos from 970 to 1,019 AC, gathering canon and fan sources. In doing so, I found this:

Klarmont 3, 1,013 AC: A party of explorers sail west from Mirros on the Pioneer ship to circumnavigate the world [JA, p.222].

Well it seems everyone forgot about this ship and its crew. It is not mentioned later in Fan Almanacs, and I've found no discussion about it in The Piazza or elsewhere.
That's the time to correct this overlooking. What was the fate of the Pioneer? Did it sail east or west? Which faboulous lands it visited?
If you used it in your campaign, please tell everyone about it :) If not, tell us how you would use it!
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Re: Ops everybody forgot about The Pioneer!

Post by RobJN » Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:33 am

Are you sure it wasn't just a three hour tour?
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Re: Ops everybody forgot about The Pioneer!

Post by Sturm » Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:54 am

Hey maybe they took the money and just went to relax on some Ierendi beach :)
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Re: Ops everybody forgot about The Pioneer!

Post by multizar » Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:07 am

I'm not saying it was aliens.....but it was aliens.
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Re: Ops everybody forgot about The Pioneer!

Post by AllanP » Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:08 pm

Hey Sturm -

This sounds very interesting!
Perhaps we should consider it as an on-going "serial" for issues of Threshold Magazine? A sort of homage perhaps to the "Voyage of the Princess Ark" series?
And Thorf has some pretty neat maps of the Mystara globe, doesn't he? :twisted:

Maybe one author could start the voyage off, getting them to one situation in none issue ; and then another author could chart the next leg of the voyage up to a another location in the next issue; then over to another author for the next part and so on...?
Any views?

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Re: Ops everybody forgot about The Pioneer!

Post by Robin » Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:27 pm

AllanP wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:08 pm
Hey Sturm -

This sounds very interesting!
Perhaps we should consider it as an on-going "serial" for issues of Threshold Magazine? A sort of homage perhaps to the "Voyage of the Princess Ark" series?
And Thorf has some pretty neat maps of the Mystara globe, doesn't he? :twisted:

Maybe one author could start the voyage off, getting them to one situation in none issue ; and then another author could chart the next leg of the voyage up to a another location in the next issue; then over to another author for the next part and so on...?
Any views?

regards,

That's a great Idea...
However, the first article would need a basic foundation where could be worked upon; the vessel, the important crew, its goal and intended destination.
maybe this is a good idea to do this together.
Eitherway I would be willing to help writing a chapter or more ;P
As I am already writing the Voyage of the Discovery in my Blog (this is just a large wagon pulled by horses)
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Re: Ops everybody forgot about The Pioneer!

Post by Big Mac » Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:30 pm

Sturm wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:18 am
I found this:

Klarmont 3, 1,013 AC: A party of explorers sail west from Mirros on the Pioneer ship to circumnavigate the world [JA, p.222].

Well it seems everyone forgot about this ship and its crew. It is not mentioned later in Fan Almanacs, and I've found no discussion about it in The Piazza or elsewhere.
That's the time to correct this overlooking. What was the fate of the Pioneer? Did it sail east or west? Which faboulous lands it visited?
If you used it in your campaign, please tell everyone about it :) If not, tell us how you would use it!
I know nothing about this, but you might be able to infer some details from other sources.

If your one source sais that they sailed west from Mirrors, I would generally assume that they continue to sail west, unless canon sources, maps or other things that you can infer suggest that would not be possible (and that the ship would be forced to turn around for some reason).

One thing to look at is the sort of sails that ships that dock at Mirros have.

In the real world, older ships had rectangular sails and people were forced to sail with the winds at their backs. Later people built triangular sails and ships were able to tack into the wind (crossing the wind left and right to turn a sideways force on the sail into movement against the wind).

I believe that someone (maybe Bruce Heard of Thorf) created one or more maps showing sea and wind currents around Mystara. I would say find that and use it as your cheat sheet. I don't know if it is possible to find out real-world travel times for travelling with and against the wind, but I would guess that travelling west to east and east to west would take different amounts of time.

Things like storms, the ship getting lost and the crew needing to land to resupply or carry out repairs would add variables to the journey that would make it hard to nail down the exact journey time, but if you can get a ballpark figure and if you can work out the variation between different real-world journeys, you might be able to have a good guess at working out how much time to add on for each stop or encounter you would like to add to the story.

Another thing to look at is navigation methods.

In the real world the Royal Navy went to a lot of trouble to get measurements of a solar eclipse before France, so that they could work out how to navigate diagonally across the globe. Before that, ships tended to sail directly west or directly east and then sail up or down coastlines. (That is because it is easy to sail north or south of an island if you are not totally sure where you are around the globe.) Time pieces and accurate maps allow ships to travel more direct routes and travel faster.

Anyhoo, if you can work out the sort of knowlege that the navigator of The Pioneer would have access to, you can factor that into your routes and travel times. Mystara is a D&D world, so you could of course use magic to improve navigation (over and above what was possible in the real world).

(And if you are looking for an excuse to make the ship vanish or go to the wrong place, poor navigation or bad luck is a great plot device. Doldrums and sargassos would be another good excuse to stall the travel of the ship.)

I hope that gives you a couple of ideas to use with the ship.

BTW: Are you planning on trying to make an ongoing story for The Pioneer (and make this as big as possible)? Or do you want to find a way to "tie up loose ends" (and keep this as small as possible)?
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Re: Ops everybody forgot about The Pioneer!

Post by Sturm » Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:50 pm

multizar wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:07 am
I'm not saying it was aliens.....but it was aliens.
Indeed there are several example of aliens in Mystara, like Oards and others, so it is a possibility :)
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Re: Ops everybody forgot about The Pioneer!

Post by Sturm » Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:51 pm

Robin wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:27 pm
AllanP wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:08 pm
Perhaps we should consider it as an on-going "serial" for issues of Threshold Magazine?
That's a great Idea...
However, the first article would need a basic foundation where could be worked upon;
That would be interesting if there are people willing to do that :) I just finished two long series on Threshold (Koskatep and UnKnown World Trail Map) so I'm not sure I want another one :) but let's see.
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Re: Ops everybody forgot about The Pioneer!

Post by Sturm » Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:57 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:30 pm
If your one source sais that they sailed west from Mirrors, I would generally assume that they continue to sail west, ....
BTW: Are you planning on trying to make an ongoing story for The Pioneer (and make this as big as possible)? Or do you want to find a way to "tie up loose ends" (and keep this as small as possible)?
Canon says nothing, but I would say they should go west as Karameikos may have an interest in trading with Sind, Yavdlom and the Savage Coast, while the nation may already have established routes to Alphatia (both through Minrothad and the Alphatian emigrants).
Bruce made this Winds of Brun map: https://bruce-heard.blogspot.com/2012/1 ... imate.html from which it could be say that maybe west is easier.
I do not have any plan for now but just gather ideas, and be sure that indeed no one noticed this ship before, as it seems.
(And there is another overlooked Karameikan expedition, of which I will speak in another thread).
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Re: Ops everybody forgot about The Pioneer!

Post by Khedrac » Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:35 pm

It's disappearance from all the records could be correct. Perhaps 20 years later they will turn up with fantastical tales of the seas they navigated which don't actually correspond to those know to researchers...

More seriously there are so many hazards to long distance travel (especially by sea) that expecting a regular ship crewed by relatively normal (i.e. below level 6) crew to survive a circumnavigation is very optimistic.
That or the Domains of Dread have new guests...
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Re: Ops everybody forgot about The Pioneer!

Post by Sturm » Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:58 pm

I've just read that in the first historical circumnavigation, the Magellan–Elcano, only 36 men out of 234 survived (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_ ... navigation), some returning after 3 years, some after 5. Francis Drake did it again in 1577-1580, slightly less than 3 years, with 59 survivors out of 164.
Both voyages had five ships, but only one returned.
Still as we get to decide, I think it's better to get them exciting adventures and making some of them return in 1,020 AC, after 7 years, with or without the ship :)
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Re: Ops everybody forgot about The Pioneer!

Post by NPCDave » Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:04 pm

My first thought on this is that we would be inclined to play this out like it happened in the real world with Magellan and Drake, but because of the magic and the setting that isn't how natives of Mystara would actually go about doing this.

First, there already is air transportation such as the Princess Ark, so if Karameikos wanted to sponsor such a voyage, they would look into acquiring one or more airships from Glantri or Thyatis.

But it is Karameikos, and they don't have access to that easily, so let's say they decide to go with traveling by sea. The wise thing would be to have the Krakatos magic school co-sponsor, and have several wizards willing to work with the ships and memorize enough detail that they can scry and teleport to any of the ships easily.

That means the ships never have to be on their own without support. Most of the time a wizard would either be on the ship ready to send a message or teleport back to Krakatos to get help as needed, or a wizard would be scrying to keep tabs on the expedition. The king could even get a daily update on where the ships are as part of his morning routine. The ships can always have fresh supplies even if they don't have a high level cleric for some reason. All of this would be expensive, but with a nation's resources it would be manageable.

This is why the Hollow World expedition in the Almanacs worked out better because the World-Shield cuts off the magic support.

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Re: Ops everybody forgot about The Pioneer!

Post by Robin » Fri Oct 26, 2018 12:20 am

Sturm wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:51 pm
Robin wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:27 pm
AllanP wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:08 pm
Perhaps we should consider it as an on-going "serial" for issues of Threshold Magazine?
That's a great Idea...
However, the first article would need a basic foundation where could be worked upon;
That would be interesting if there are people willing to do that :) I just finished two long series on Threshold (Koskatep and UnKnown World Trail Map) so I'm not sure I want another one :) but let's see.
I would be best not to have one person doing this, but create a vessel, group of detailed users (aka heroes and crew) and then one person starts, a session (a few adventure/travel days at a time) with/and based on the crew/heroes, and what they meet, detailing everything, creating locations (based on canon/fanon or fantasy befitting the location) in a storytelling way...and then hands this over to the next...this way no session will be the same, individuals will die, be replaced, become lost, etc...and every writer has his/her input (and favourite character(s) or even view of things.

I think this would be the best...this way it could be an ongoing story, where a writer does not ned to write continuously, but every writer follows what the earlier one(s) did, and spins his/her own thread on that.
And of course some writers might be inclined to write more often than others...I would be thinking, let them...as long as the others also have had their shot.
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Re: Ops everybody forgot about The Pioneer!

Post by AllanP » Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:45 am

I agree that a fair bit of preparatory work would need to be done for "Journals of the Pioneer" as Robin outlines. One other aspect that ought to be developed up front is: who is sponsoring this mission and why? If they're sailing from Mirros/Specularum, is Duke/King Stefan bankrolling the enterprise? or is some other organisation? a Guild, maybe?
What is the voyage hoping to achieve? As the JA entry says "circumnavigate", this indicates (some) people know that their planet is a globe... Are they hoping to find a way of creeping up on Alphatia from behind?
Is the voyage the result of information gleaned from adventurers/explorers who have been aboard skyships and seen/visited lands beyond the Arm of the Immortals? Is it to acquire new trade goods, or is it a rescue mission?

Oh, and thinking about it, I've interpreted the Pioneer as an ocean-sailing vessel... the JA entry as quoted by Sturm could actually apply to a skyship as well! In truth, I'd rather not follow that line, as that would seem too much like the classic "Voyage of the Princess Ark". Let's stay with a sea-borne vessel. (Doesn't mean to say they couldn't encounter a skyship, but...)

Lots of things to think about.

While it's necessary to get a lot of background together in a "bible" for potential authors, I don't think it's necessary.appropriate to reveal all the detail,in the first chapter - outline of the mission, the chief characters and description of the ship to start with; deck plans and additional crew members can come later as the story calls for them. And, of course, the mission described initially might be the "public" understandin - plenty of room for something more "undercover" along the way?

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Re: Ops everybody forgot about The Pioneer!

Post by Big Mac » Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:23 pm

Sturm wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:58 pm
I've just read that in the first historical circumnavigation, the Magellan–Elcano, only 36 men out of 234 survived (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_ ... navigation), some returning after 3 years, some after 5. Francis Drake did it again in 1577-1580, slightly less than 3 years, with 59 survivors out of 164.
Both voyages had five ships, but only one returned.
Still as we get to decide, I think it's better to get them exciting adventures and making some of them return in 1,020 AC, after 7 years, with or without the ship :)
If NPC sailors get killed on the voyage, that is also a chance for the captain of The Pioneer to take on new recruits in foreign lands, and learn a bit about their cultures from them. :)
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Re: Ops everybody forgot about The Pioneer!

Post by Big Mac » Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:37 pm

AllanP wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:45 am
I agree that a fair bit of preparatory work would need to be done for "Journals of the Pioneer" as Robin outlines. One other aspect that ought to be developed up front is: who is sponsoring this mission and why? If they're sailing from Mirros/Specularum, is Duke/King Stefan bankrolling the enterprise? or is some other organisation? a Guild, maybe?
What is the voyage hoping to achieve? As the JA entry says "circumnavigate", this indicates (some) people know that their planet is a globe... Are they hoping to find a way of creeping up on Alphatia from behind?
Is the voyage the result of information gleaned from adventurers/explorers who have been aboard skyships and seen/visited lands beyond the Arm of the Immortals? Is it to acquire new trade goods, or is it a rescue mission?
Part of the challenge, with a real-world circumnavigation, is having incorrect or incomplete information and needing to adapt en route.

I think you would need to show the captain of The Pioneer having some accurate information about the nearby countries, but less and less reliable information, as he/she travels further away.
AllanP wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:45 am
Oh, and thinking about it, I've interpreted the Pioneer as an ocean-sailing vessel... the JA entry as quoted by Sturm could actually apply to a skyship as well! In truth, I'd rather not follow that line, as that would seem too much like the classic "Voyage of the Princess Ark". Let's stay with a sea-borne vessel. (Doesn't mean to say they couldn't encounter a skyship, but...)
That's a good point.

You would run the risk of people trying to outdo the Princess Ark at it's own game.

It's better to have a new story that takes it's own path.

I do like the idea of a possible encounter with a skyship, though. That might be a way to show the sort of things that skyships have, without competing with the Princess Ark.

Maybe you could also have an encounter with a ship that sails under the sea! :idea:
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Re: Ops everybody forgot about The Pioneer!

Post by Sturm » Sat Oct 27, 2018 8:54 pm

I do not think teleport could be used for a sea voyage because a wizard could not return to the ship unless it stays still somewhere, and even in this case he couldn't be sure it will be in exactly the same spot.
He could choose a room in some foreign place, but also in this case the risk of getting caught or bring unwanted attention to him is high.
If he returns home, it could still be difficult to obtain help or provisions for a ship which is half a world apart.
A good cleric however could provide healing, water and food without too much problems and this alone eliminates the primary causes of death in ancient voyages.
But a scroll of communication could be used to tell home how the trip is going, unless it is lost in some accident.
Maybe the Pioneer has lost its scroll, and so it has been considered lost.
It is also possible the trip was not sponsored by the government, as it already sponsored the Hollow World expedition. The School of Krakatos sponsored yet another (of which I'll write later) so the circumnavigation could have be sponsored by privates, maybe the Guilds..
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Re: Ops everybody forgot about The Pioneer!

Post by Havard » Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:55 pm

I agree that this should be a sea going vessel. That doens't mean it couldn't have other magical enchantments though.

Could the mission of the Pioneer be linked to the reports from the Princess Ark becoming public knowledge? While the Pioneer is not interested in the Hollow World, could it be linked to a renewed interest in Karameikos of reconnecting with the Savage Coast? Since so many Traldar settled in the City States and on the Savage Coast (Lawful Brotherhood etc), could the Pioneer be related to that?

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Re: Ops everybody forgot about The Pioneer!

Post by Sturm » Sun Oct 28, 2018 8:39 pm

That is likely indeed. The report about Western Traldars should have gathered some interest in Karameikos.. the Torenescu or other nobles could be the sponsors.
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Re: Ops everybody forgot about The Pioneer!

Post by Havard » Sun Oct 28, 2018 9:24 pm

Sturm wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 8:39 pm
That is likely indeed. The report about Western Traldars should have gathered some interest in Karameikos.. the Torenescu or other nobles could be the sponsors.
That makes sense.

One thing I like about this is how it could help bring the Savage Coast setting a bit closer to the Known World. The name Pioneer, which reminds me of the early America settlers in the real world, also seems very appropriate to connect with the Savage Coast.

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Re: Ops everybody forgot about The Pioneer!

Post by Wangalade » Fri Nov 23, 2018 7:26 am

If the Pioneer were a sea vessel, there might be some significant issues to circumnavigation, though these could be seen as opportunities by potential authors. The biggest problem I see is provisioning. The area to be traversed between the arm of the immortals and the eastern edge of skothar is immense. That ocean covers about half the planet, take earth at about 24000 miles in circumference, half of that is 12000 miles, or 4 1/2 months using a longship(based on the movement rates in the expert set). Storing provisions, such that prevent scurvy, for such a long voyage is going to be extremely difficult. This can be mitigated to a degree by having at least one cleric on board. Also though that ocean appears empty to us, there could be any number of islands that could be invented and described by future authors of this series. Though it should be kept in mind that it is highly likely for a seafaring ship not to encounter many of these islands considering the vastness of the ocean and the relatively small size of most islands. another thing to consider with the size of the ocean, is the frequency of storms. with an ocean of that size, it seems likely to me that hurricanes will occur with more frequency and intensity, so the ship taken will have to be built to handle extremely rough seas.
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Re: Ops everybody forgot about The Pioneer!

Post by Sturm » Fri Nov 23, 2018 11:41 am

Sure but if it was done in XV century Earth, in can be done on Mystara. A cleric on board is likely mandatory. And a wizard too.
I was wondering if anyone can imagine some existing Karameikos NPC or pre-gen who could be part of this voyage.
I'd like to write an history of this trip :)
I think they should have a large sailing ship, with up to 70 people, going at 72 miles per day on average. It's a 360 days trip without stops, but obviously stops are necessary and there are going to be problems :)
First lenght should be Specularum - Kobos (Safari Island) 176 miles. Random wind (RC page 90) is Extreme light breeze, movement 1/3, so it takes the Pioneer 7 long days to reach Kobos. One encounter with giant bees, no attack, they arrive on the evening of Klarmont 9, 1013, decide to stop for the night. All quiet in port.
Morning of Klarmont 10, they sail to Ierendi city, 230 miles away. They have a day of no wind and the rest of moderate breeze, so it takes 5 days to reach Ierendi city. No encounters however, so they arrive on the evening of Klarmont 14 and decide to spend a night and a day. They have a cargo to sell, partially covering the voyage costs and obtain some spare cash.
Anyone is welcome to chip in. What cargo? how much they will make? to be continued :)
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Robin
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Re: Ops everybody forgot about The Pioneer!

Post by Robin » Fri Nov 23, 2018 12:42 pm

Sturm wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 11:41 am
I was wondering if anyone can imagine some existing Karameikos NPC or pre-gen who could be part of this voyage.
The suggested PC's in X9-TSR9129-D&D-Mystara-The Savage Coast would fit nicely as they are all fitting nperfectly into the Karameikan portfolio, qwith enough sailing experience in that direction, I would however, make these a few levels and such extra and dating AFTER the savage coast adventure (a decade or so)...here the adjusted PC's
Kantik (family name not mentioned---could be an importan Karameikan name)the Bishop 14th level with extra healing and apothecary (incl locate medicinal plants) male
Bjorn Tofyte 10th level Dwarf with extra carpentry/woodwork skill /male
Leif Folitum 11th level Elf with extra navigation, survival (hills/forest/jungle) skills Also DDC merchant 2/male
Aber Kadra (family name probably not mentioned--assuming Kadra is not a family name but a taken name based on wordplay---could be an importan Karameikan name)10th level mage with extra knowledge, Alchemy skills/Female has a tabi1 as familiar
Khan Harlan 12th level fighter, with extra sailing Swimming skill/male
Luki Lightfinger (family name not mentioned-2nd name is more a title of recognition---could be an importan Karameikan name)13th level thief with extra tracking, swimming skill also DDC merchant 3 /female
I would make a seperate captain; and the best would be in my humble opinion; Lathan Lancehand from XSOLO1 Lathan's Gold having here level 13, owning the vessel(bought it with what he acquired in the adventure adecade or more ago), and have all necesarry Minroth merchant skills and extra sailing skills needed. the crew would be as similar to a normal merchat vessel as per Gaz Minrothad. He will prefer not to adventure on land, but will nort refrain from shipborne adventures
Sturm wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 11:41 am
I'd like to write an history of this trip :)
I like this too...
Sturm wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 11:41 am
I think they should have a large sailing ship, with up to 70 people, going at 72 miles per day on average. It's a 360 days trip without stops, but obviously stops are necessary and there are going to be problems :)
First lenght should be Specularum - Kobos (Safari Island) 176 miles. Random wind (RC page 90) is Extreme light breeze, movement 1/3, so it takes the Pioneer 7 long days to reach Kobos. One encounter with giant bees, no attack, they arrive on the evening of Klarmont 9, 1013, decide to stop for the night. All quiet in port.
Morning of Klarmont 10, they sail to Ierendi city, 230 miles away. They have a day of no wind and the rest of moderate breeze, so it takes 5 days to reach Ierendi city. No encounters however, so they arrive on the evening of Klarmont 14 and decide to spend a night and a day. They have a cargo to sell, partially covering the voyage costs and obtain some spare cash.
Great beginning already, logical feasible and enough chances to make contacts which later deem useful or harmful.
I see you use the travelling method in the RC, it might be better to use the one supplied in Gaz minrothad, as this takes winddirection tinto account. This will force the vessel to change course and reroute to reach their planned location to disembark, also it may increase and decrease speed more. Together with same or similar tables as in (X6-TSR9081-D&D-Mystara-Quagmire!) pages 7, 9, 10, 13, 19, and especially 14.
Sturm wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 11:41 am
Anyone is welcome to chip in. What cargo? how much they will make? to be continued :)
Cargo I would base on the merchant charts as goods required where they go first...and 2nd or even third,...from thereon, it will vary greatly on what they can acquire on these locations.
Profits will thus in the beginning deem very profitable...this will however lure greedy opponents
We also need an antagonist...and why(with group)
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Re: Ops everybody forgot about The Pioneer!

Post by Sturm » Fri Nov 23, 2018 2:56 pm

Those PCs are indeed good choices, probably more could be raided from modules set in Karameikos. I thought about Lathan too.
I will look into the Minrothad GAZ and X6, thanks.
For goods, I will consult the Darokin and Minrothad Gazs.
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