A Trick on the Tain

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Heruka
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A Trick on the Tain

Post by Heruka » Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:44 pm

Hey, I'm new to the delights of The Piazza but glad to find my way here. Speaking of C&C, has anyone tried this yet? I'd be interested to hear any feedback from anyone who has it - its my first published adventure. Also wondering if it has made it into the UK in physical form...

Cheers anyway,

Keith




A Trick on the Tain

by Keith Hackwood
Adventure module for 4-6 characters of Levels 1-3

Enter a harsh and unforgiving tundra known as the Tain where traveling these lands means certain death for most. The party of adventurers become caught up in the the plight of the native inhabitants and the cruel designs of an evil hag. The actions of these heroes could bring about the end of a people or save them depending on the choice they make.

This 20-page full-sized module is intended for a group of low-level characters (about 6-8 total levels) with a Challenge Level of 1-5. In this module, you will also find:

12 New Illustrations
3 Different Maps
4 New Creatures for Castles & Crusades
1 New Magical Item
1 Quick Reference for the adventure’s encounters

The print version of, “A Trick on the Tain” (with a free pdf) is available here.

The pdf only version of, “A Trick on the Tain” (will be available on August 1).

*All BHP Products are shipped protected from moisture and in sturdy, stay-flat mailers. :)

Posted on June 19, 2010 by John Adams at BHP

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Re: A Trick on the Tain

Post by Azaghal » Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:49 pm

Welcome to the Piazza Heruka. :)
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Re: A Trick on the Tain

Post by Seer of Yhog » Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:52 pm

Welcome to the community! I haven't heard of the product until now, but it looks very interesting! Could you tell us a bit more about it?

What was the inspiration for the storyline?
What cultural milieu would the module best suit?

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Re: A Trick on the Tain

Post by Heruka » Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:30 pm

Thanks for the welcome guys - much appreciated.

As to the adventure, well it stemmed from something I wrote in 2009 after a very inspiring visit to Iceland, a much bigger adventure setting with various areas and plot hooks, called Troll Kalla Mik. The guys at Brave Halfling were touting for C&C product and I sent it to them, they liked it but felt it needed a shorter and more introductory 'way in' for players. So, I wrote Trick on the Tain to fill that gap - its literally a terrain based wilderness setting that leads into the real wilds of the Troll Kalla Mik setting. Now its out - and I'm eager for any feedback, really, on this accidental work! Whether Troll Kalla Mik ever sees the published light of day, who knows? But I'm enjoying the Tain meanwhile.

The Tain is a tundra and haven for humanoids, wild beasts, indigenous nomadic people and bandits/outlaws - it is sandwiched between a feudal kingdom steeped in law and evil (Doggerland) and a wild remote fiefdom (Rigerland) full of eldritch beasts and great opportunity (mines, gems, metals etc). Anyway, the Tain is a sort of character in itself, I guess - a mood shifting benevolent but fickle and potentially fatal landscape, often featureless, sometimes brutally cold, always challenging (it has weather and climate rules to reflect this).

The adventure sets up encounters with the indigenous 'Shum' people, various brushes with tundra-adapted orcs (bahaks), snow-goblins and wandering wild things, and introduces the idea of the Shum as originally an extra-planar race, with a lost magical artefact that needs recovering lest it fall into the (very) wrong hands...

that's it in a nutshell. In playtesting it seemed pretty brutal (many lost, deceased and maimed pc's) but that was always part of the intention - that it be a tough place to traverse. However, I'd like to think the potential rewards are commensurate with the risks (!)

Hope that helps give some flavour!

Cheers

K

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Re: A Trick on the Tain

Post by Chimpman » Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:31 pm

Sorry I can't help you with this particular product, but like others I'm interested in hearing more about it. And welcome to the Piazza Heruka!
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Re: A Trick on the Tain

Post by Azaghal » Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:37 pm

I love the sound of the module when I get a chance I'll definitely look it over.
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Re: A Trick on the Tain

Post by Heruka » Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:41 pm

Thanks Azaghal, let me know what you think when you do set eyes on it; thanks Seer, Chimpman too, the Piazza seems a very pleasant place!

k

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Re: A Trick on the Tain

Post by Azaghal » Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:12 pm

I've never been on the other sites but from what I read this is the most mature site around, no flame wars etc. You're welcome and I sure will. Hope you stick around.
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Re: A Trick on the Tain

Post by Philosopher » Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:19 pm

Welcome, Heruka. This does sound interesting. If I ever come across it, I'd most likely pick it up.

Tell us more about Troll Kalla Mik. Will it be a setting sourcebook with plot hooks, or primarily an adventure with details about the setting?
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Re: A Trick on the Tain

Post by Heruka » Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:30 am

Hi Philosopher,

As it exists currently TKM is a series of somewhat connected (but stand-alone) quests covering a range of levels (say 2 - 10ish) all set within Rigerland, a vast but sparsely settled wild place, with one major town, various farmsteads and settlements, mines, whaling stations, an asylum (long abandoned). Some places have troubles with various undead, others withs sea monsters, there are remnant white dragon and frost giant areas in the mountainous centre, volcanic activities sheltering desperate bandit gangs, and of course the troll infestation referred to in the title. From a human civilization pooint of view, Rigerland is ripe for annexation by the organised evils of its southern neighbour, Doggerland - so spies and mercenaries lurk, refugees flee there to hide out, and a sense of foreboding and imminent persecution floats abroad, and the boy king is at risk of assassination or kidnap... there's a clash of religions aspect in there too (L.E. Nadezda worshippers from Doggerland v 'free religionist' neutral types who reject organised worship in favour of personal attainment - but are being slowly exterminated as they flee north).

The Rigerland landscape is based on Iceland, so is very elemental and epic, and the tone of TKM draws upon the Sagas, somewhat (contrasting bleak, forlorn, and doomed with heroic, steadfast and willful) - though the idea was always to let the place be the defining factor in adventure. Place as character, if you like. Pathetic fallacy, as they say.

So it is basically a sourcebook with some developed scenarios/encounters/hooks and plenty of room for adapting, customising and pick'n'mixing. It could be played as a module (or progression of challenges) with some judicious, specific plot thickening.

Like I said, it just exists on my hard drive currently - whether it ever gets beyond that is its own mystery at this stage. Though I had thought that, at very least, if anyone played Trick on the Tain and wanted to carry on heading north, I could make it available as is, warts and all.

We'll see.

Thanks for your interest.

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Re: A Trick on the Tain

Post by Havard » Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:41 am

Welcome to the Piazza Heruka! Your adventure and your entire setting sounds really inspiring. I hope the rest of it will be made available some day!

What sort of technology is available in this setting? Walking across the Tundra in Full Plate armor doesnt sound too tempting in any case....?

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Re: A Trick on the Tain

Post by Heruka » Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:13 pm

Hi Havard,

Thanks for the welcome.

As for the mix of plate armour and tundra - indeed not, that's a recipe for some great chafing, sinking, drowning - all kinds of fun!

For travel purposes on the Tain, there's always riding, crossing in the short spring/summer period, employing some cunning magics (haste, protection from cold etc) or getting down with some new fangled ballooning fad... or for those that can, maybe renting a guide with a winged mount... but for most it'll be a good old caravan slog in often-arduous quagmire conditions, or a case of freezing the brass monkeys off in a winter dash. Maybe just take the armour off while travelling? Or cover the plate armour in goose fat (on the inside)? Furs, furs and more furs? Then again, there's always stowing away on some merchant vessel or whaler and risking the passage up the northern coast by sea - could be quicker, could be even more deadly...

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Re: A Trick on the Tain

Post by Heruka » Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:24 pm

I can't figure out how to post images here, but here's a link to the jpeg of the cover for Trick on the Tain, if anyone's interested. Art is by Andy 'Atom' Taylor.

http://bravehalfling.com/?page_id=1181& ... duct_id=10

http://bravehalfling.com/wp-content/upl ... 6/Tain.jpg

cheers

k

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Re: A Trick on the Tain

Post by Philosopher » Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:37 pm

Heruka wrote:I can't figure out how to post images here, but here's a link to the jpeg of the cover for Trick on the Tain, if anyone's interested. Art is by Andy 'Atom' Taylor.

http://bravehalfling.com/?page_id=1181& ... duct_id=10

http://bravehalfling.com/wp-content/upl ... 6/Tain.jpg

cheers

k
If that illustration reflects the mood of the module, then it's doubly intriguing.

Let us know if/when your setting makes print.
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Re: A Trick on the Tain

Post by Heruka » Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:59 pm

James M at Grognardia has posted a review of A Trick on the Tain at his blog - a fair account I reckon too, check it out on the 17th August entry via http://grognardia.blogspot.com/

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Re: A Trick on the Tain

Post by Philosopher » Wed Aug 18, 2010 6:24 pm

Heruka wrote:James M at Grognardia has posted a review of A Trick on the Tain at his blog - a fair account I reckon too, check it out on the 17th August entry via http://grognardia.blogspot.com/
Huh. Reading this review made me go from "If I ever come across it, I'd most likely pick it up," to "I think I'll actively try to get a copy."

Since I prefer ordering online from places I'm familiar with, I went over to Paizo. Sure enough, they've got it. However, they list it as being a preorder at this point. Is it not yet available, or could they just be waiting for their supplies of it?
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Re: A Trick on the Tain

Post by Heruka » Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:45 pm

Hi Philosopher - that's cool! As to availability - hmmm, not sure - try emailing John Adams at Brave Halfling, he'll be the best person to know (he has been relocating from one state to another lately so perhaps that's involved?) - so far as I know it is available in print and PDF form - though being here in the UK I still haven't seen a print copy myself yet!

brave.halfling.publishing@gmail.com

Hope that helps

Keith

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Re: A Trick on the Tain

Post by Philosopher » Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:29 pm

I have finally ordered a copy of A Trick on the Tain through Paizo! I'm eagerly waiting for it to arrive.
- Selman

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Re: A Trick on the Tain

Post by rabindranath72 » Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:14 am

Philosopher wrote:I have finally ordered a copy of A Trick on the Tain through Paizo! I'm eagerly waiting for it to arrive.
Eagerly awaiting for your review ;)

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Re: A Trick on the Tain

Post by Philosopher » Wed Dec 01, 2010 7:25 pm

rabindranath72 wrote:
Philosopher wrote:I have finally ordered a copy of A Trick on the Tain through Paizo! I'm eagerly waiting for it to arrive.
Eagerly awaiting for your review ;)
Sure thing. It'll be some time. I need to wait for it to arrive, of course. Plus, the end of the semester is always a busy time. But I'll try to remember to post something as soon as I can.
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Re: A Trick on the Tain

Post by Philosopher » Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:21 pm

A Trick on the Tain has arrived, and I have read through it. Overall, I really like it.

It gives a very brief overview of a campaign setting that the adventure takes place in. While I prefer to use my own setting for an adventure, he did a really good job of giving just enough information to put the Tain into context, which helped me see the role it should play in my campaign. (The setting described is also interesting on its own, and I'll probably pick up a setting book about it.) Several simple yet reasonable plot hooks are given to get the PCs into the area.

The Tain itself is also given a brief overview. A random encounter table is given, with an interesting range of encounters. There are orcs, goblins, yeti, an ogre in a foul mood. There are grazing reindeer and herds of wooly mammoth. There are environmental hazards such as a blizzard and, what I particularly liked, a mosquito swarm. Rules are given for how to deal with cold weather effects. These rules are true to C&C in that they are very simple and subject to CK judgment.

The adventure itself is sandbox-style. I won't describe it in detail, as I don't want to spoil anything. There aren't too many options - it's a rather short module - but there's enough to give you a feel for the Tain. It would be easy to add your own encounters, in any case. The consequences of the encounters given can easily be used as fodder for future adventures - depending on the PCs' actions, they could have made friends or enemies in this area. The potential for future ideas is always a good thing.

The only thing I would have liked to see is a few things fleshed out more. This is not so much a criticism of what was done, just something that would have been nice. I found the brief description of the "free religionists" fascinating, and it would have been great to read more about them. They weren't included in the random encounter table, but they can be added easily enough.

I won't use the module quite as written (not that I typically use modules this way in any case), but I plan on adapting the Tain for "the Lawless Lands" in my own homebrew. I definitely recommend this module, and I'll be on the lookout for more C&C products by Keith Hackwood.
- Selman

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Re: A Trick on the Tain

Post by Heruka » Thu Dec 23, 2010 9:00 pm

Hey, thanks Philosopher - that's really good to hear, and a very fair summary - actually, I'm still waiting on a hard copy myself (here in the UK)

Have a great Chrsitmas, and the same to all at the Piazza

Cheers,

Keith

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Re: A Trick on the Tain

Post by Big Mac » Sun May 22, 2016 3:13 pm

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Re: A Trick on the Tain

Post by Tim Baker » Mon May 23, 2016 8:44 am

Big Mac wrote:It looks like there is a Swords & Wizardry version of A Trick on the Tain as well as the C&C version of A Trick on the Tain.
Thanks for the links. I didn't realize there were C&C compatible adventures that I didn't already have. Time to go shopping. :)
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