Kraken's Guide to Winterspace

"Let us create vessels and sails adjusted to the heavenly aether, and there will be plenty of people unafraid of the empty wastes." — Kepler
The Book-House: Find Spelljammer products.

Moderators: Big Mac, night_druid

User avatar
night_druid
Radiant Dragon
Posts: 6188
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 9:08 pm
Gender: male

Re: Kraken's Guide to Winterspace

Post by night_druid » Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:42 am

Jaid wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 5:13 am
a nice addition. gotta say, those storage vaults seem rather excessively well defended for just regular goods... which sounds like just the sort of thing to pique the interest of adventurers, pirates, and thieves. it's funny how something so simple can be used as an adventure hook if you feel so inclined :)
Storage vaults are meant to hold things like gems, magic, embarrassing documents, etc. Fodder for say a heist-style adventure...;)

anyways, as far as proofreading, looks like you were fully alert when you wrote up icecap. all i've got is an instance of undiir that should be undiin in the second paragraph :)
Awesome! :) Your proofreading has helped greatly! :)
Moderator: Spelljammer, Kingdoms of Kalamar. My moderator voice is green

User avatar
night_druid
Radiant Dragon
Posts: 6188
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 9:08 pm
Gender: male

Re: Kraken's Guide to Winterspace

Post by night_druid » Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:27 am

Not a big updated, but I added a section called "the Wintergulf" under Whyst (since I didn't reserve a post for it). Basically the space between the last planet (Whyst) and the spherewall. At first I was going to just note it being a favored spot for kindori pods to gather & mate, but then decided to add a bit of conflict there. Giant space whales would naturally attract whalers. And to combat whalers, I added whale-riding barbarians. For funzies, I made the barbarians a rather nasty sort, employing all manner of undead magic. So basically LE/NE whalers vs CN/CE barbarians. ;)

I'll expand Port Ice a bit later. And add more notes on the mochians. Need more villains for this sphere! :D
Moderator: Spelljammer, Kingdoms of Kalamar. My moderator voice is green

User avatar
night_druid
Radiant Dragon
Posts: 6188
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 9:08 pm
Gender: male

Re: Kraken's Guide to Winterspace

Post by night_druid » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:38 pm

<sigh>Greatest challenge when writing - creating something as just "hey, I need something vaguely interesting here" and then it turns out cooler than you anticipated, turning what should have been a 2-3 page filler into something much bigger. Keep running into that with this project.

In this case, Cape Ice. Adding a couple of inns just so PCs have a place to sleep. Only one inn started off small (1 paragraph) and now I want to blow it up into a full 1-2 page treatment.

And its not like Cape Ice was supposed to be a major stopover, either.

32 pages...that's what I guessed to be this little book. 32. Its now pushing 37, with at least two more moons of Ryme, Ryme itself, Radole, and Whyst left to go. I'll be lucky to keep it under 64. I wonder if Greenwood ever had this problem.
Moderator: Spelljammer, Kingdoms of Kalamar. My moderator voice is green

User avatar
night_druid
Radiant Dragon
Posts: 6188
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 9:08 pm
Gender: male

Re: Kraken's Guide to Winterspace

Post by night_druid » Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:18 pm

Cape Ice posted. Really liked how Hammerfell Hall turned out. I'm just befuddled how I started off with a semi-evil, Zhentil Keep lite place in my head and ended up with something more fun and less evil, is beyond me. Or how it turned into nearly 3,000 words, either. Yesh.
Moderator: Spelljammer, Kingdoms of Kalamar. My moderator voice is green

Jaid
Fire Giant
Posts: 1117
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:26 am

Re: Kraken's Guide to Winterspace

Post by Jaid » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:09 am

heh, took my time getting around to this i'm afraid, but anyways, here it is.

i have to say, i like the location. i don't know if PCs will need to come to it too often, unfortunately, but then you never know :)


The Wintergulf:

looks good until paragraph 5: "skirts the spherewall at a distance of about 5 million miles, sweeping into the inner system once a decade that brings it to a point just outside the orbit of Radole" (would suggest adding '...in an orbit that brings it to a point...'

"The whalers care only for money their hunts can bring them and little else." (care only for the money)

paragraph 6: "...than to risk sever damage..." (severe)

Cape Ice, paragraph 2: "They are whalers, operating six to eight vessels that hunt in packs of two to four ships. Modified lampreys are most common, along with dragonflies and a pair of wasps." (if there are 6-8 vessels, 2 are wasps, and dragonflies are more common than wasps, that leaves at best 3 lampreys, 3 dragonflies, and 2 wasps... making lampreys not the most common. i think you need to make that fleet larger :P ).
this second paragraph might be a handy place to tie cape ice to other planets; loads of whale hide? sounds like you could turn it into hide armour and sell it to the planet full of constantly warring underwater nations (RL whale hide is apparently not great for that sort of thing, but cheap armour in large quantities may be exactly what sells). not sure what they'd get back, unless you liked the super ice i mentioned, in which case the whalers could use that to preserve their catch (both from the kindori and any scavvers - don't void scavvers have high quality meat?). i do like that you have kindori bones being used for what looks like it would need to be flexible rigging you see all over the place in spelljammer.

paragraph 3: "This every-changing body..." (ever-changing)

"...avoid getting into fight with sailors of merchant vessels..." (fights, not fight)

frostpebble beach: "...can make landfall with and acceptable risk to damage to the ship..." ('an' acceptable risk 'of' damage to the ship)

captain's hall: "...where the Council of Captain’s holds court." (captains plural, not possessive)

"...a round of ales before..." (i believe in this instance, the plural of ale is still ale. ales would be like if there were different kinds of ale being brewed somewhere, then you would say "this brewery produces many different ales".

"Ptahian Temple" (not sure if 'Ptahian' is an established use, but it doesn't sound quite right. if it isn't an established thing, i'm going to vote for maybe Ptahvian instead :P )

the slippery scavver: "...where whalers brawl, drank ale, and..." (drink)

hammerfell hall, the place: "Next to the hammer is a circular clearing with a flitter and a pilot, a half-orc named Rossfield. For a fee of 1 s.p. he will ferry up to six individuals to the Inn, a trip that takes but a few minutes. Rossfield likes to chew on foul-smelling cigars." (from what i recall of the description of flitters, 6 people is likely much too generous. in any event, if you're looking for very small, faster ships that are good with non-magical engines, i believe the catamaran would do this job better with its exceptional SR in situations where it is close to other objects, without always resorting to flitters for that purpose. although i don't think that will move 6 people at a time either, or at least not remotely comfortably :P
the prospect, paragraph 2: "...their services can be obtained to “keep ye bed warm”..." (yer, unless that's a deliberate misuse).

"They cannot start fires, damage the flora, not cast damaging spells..." (you're listing things they cannot do, not cast damaging spells is a double negative ;) )

the provender: "It is best enjoyed at night..." (it's a ship. in space. there isn't really day or night. i mean, i've been considering it to be a handy repurposing of the word in other places, like the time where everyone goes to sleep on the comet is night as a matter of convenience, but here it makes no sense).

last paragraph: "He underestimated her, and with overpowered the exhausted warpriest..." ('with' ==> 'she'?)

there you go :)

User avatar
night_druid
Radiant Dragon
Posts: 6188
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 9:08 pm
Gender: male

Re: Kraken's Guide to Winterspace

Post by night_druid » Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:42 pm

Jaid wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:09 am
heh, took my time getting around to this i'm afraid, but anyways, here it is.
Not like I'm holding to some sort of schedule myself ;)
i have to say, i like the location. i don't know if PCs will need to come to it too often, unfortunately, but then you never know :)
Unless they work for a merchant who makes regular stops ;)

The Volo Guides do seem to have tons of locales that are like "who would go there" but then again, adventurers do gravitate to out-of-the-way locales :D

Cape Ice, paragraph 2: "They are whalers, operating six to eight vessels that hunt in packs of two to four ships. Modified lampreys are most common, along with dragonflies and a pair of wasps." (if there are 6-8 vessels, 2 are wasps, and dragonflies are more common than wasps, that leaves at best 3 lampreys, 3 dragonflies, and 2 wasps... making lampreys not the most common. i think you need to make that fleet larger :P ).
Good point. Bumped to a dozen.
this second paragraph might be a handy place to tie cape ice to other planets; loads of whale hide? sounds like you could turn it into hide armour and sell it to the planet full of constantly warring underwater nations (RL whale hide is apparently not great for that sort of thing, but cheap armour in large quantities may be exactly what sells). not sure what they'd get back, unless you liked the super ice i mentioned, in which case the whalers could use that to preserve their catch (both from the kindori and any scavvers - don't void scavvers have high quality meat?). i do like that you have kindori bones being used for what looks like it would need to be flexible rigging you see all over the place in spelljammer.
The rigging idea was Paul W's, not mine. Credit where credit is due.
"Ptahian Temple" (not sure if 'Ptahian' is an established use, but it doesn't sound quite right. if it isn't an established thing, i'm going to vote for maybe Ptahvian instead :P )
I've fine with Ptahvian.
hammerfell hall, the place: "Next to the hammer is a circular clearing with a flitter and a pilot, a half-orc named Rossfield. For a fee of 1 s.p. he will ferry up to six individuals to the Inn, a trip that takes but a few minutes. Rossfield likes to chew on foul-smelling cigars." (from what i recall of the description of flitters, 6 people is likely much too generous. in any event, if you're looking for very small, faster ships that are good with non-magical engines, i believe the catamaran would do this job better with its exceptional SR in situations where it is close to other objects, without always resorting to flitters for that purpose. although i don't think that will move 6 people at a time either, or at least not remotely comfortably :P
Not exactly meant to be comfortable. I really see this particular flitter having a pair of benches in which passengers face one another, three abreast. The trip is only a couple of minutes so comfort isn't much of an issue. Although given the presence of so many dragonflies & wasps, I suppose a mosquito makes more sense.
the provender: "It is best enjoyed at night..." (it's a ship. in space. there isn't really day or night. i mean, i've been considering it to be a handy repurposing of the word in other places, like the time where everyone goes to sleep on the comet is night as a matter of convenience, but here it makes no sense).
Cleaned up the wording to be:
It is best enjoyed at night, when the inn drifts into Cape Ice’s shadow. In such dim light, the wine glows very softly with its own radiance, and should be sipped slowly.
there you go :)
Thanks! :)

I'll be posting a section on the mochians soon :D
Moderator: Spelljammer, Kingdoms of Kalamar. My moderator voice is green

User avatar
night_druid
Radiant Dragon
Posts: 6188
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 9:08 pm
Gender: male

Re: Kraken's Guide to Winterspace

Post by night_druid » Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:33 am

OK, section on the mochians has been added to Wintergulf. The basic gist is these are kindori-riding barbarians. I included them as an adversary to the whalers of Cape Ice. I considered various options, but settled on barbarians. I wanted to avoid the guys opposing whalers being the good guys, so I opted for a bunch of savage barbarians just as likely to attack anybody. But they can be reasoned with, and even traded with, under the right circumstances. I also gave them a somewhat unique appearance and abilities.

Enjoy! :)
Moderator: Spelljammer, Kingdoms of Kalamar. My moderator voice is green

GMWestermeyer
Stone Giant
Posts: 736
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 8:07 pm
Gender: male
Location: Fredericksburg, VA

Re: Kraken's Guide to Winterspace

Post by GMWestermeyer » Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:26 pm

night_druid wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:33 am
OK, section on the mochians has been added to Wintergulf. The basic gist is these are kindori-riding barbarians. I included them as an adversary to the whalers of Cape Ice. I considered various options, but settled on barbarians. I wanted to avoid the guys opposing whalers being the good guys, so I opted for a bunch of savage barbarians just as likely to attack anybody. But they can be reasoned with, and even traded with, under the right circumstances. I also gave them a somewhat unique appearance and abilities.

Enjoy! :)
I love how you took n=the kindori riders idea from the books and ran with it, and the twist that they are not 'goo guys' is awesome.

User avatar
night_druid
Radiant Dragon
Posts: 6188
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 9:08 pm
Gender: male

Re: Kraken's Guide to Winterspace

Post by night_druid » Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:40 pm

GMWestermeyer wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:26 pm
I love how you took n=the kindori riders idea from the books and ran with it, and the twist that they are not 'goo guys' is awesome.
As far as I know, nobody has ever really touched on Kindori Riders, so it's a fairly green field and ripe for exploration. :mrgreen:

They're not good guys, certainly. They're modeled somewhat after the Uthgardt of the Forgotten Realms, worshiping a Great Dreamer-type deity. But they don't necessarily bad guys, either. More CN than I originally intended at the onset. Oh, and the mental image of ghostly space-critters being used as shock troops is too awesome to not use. Getting your ship battered by a kindori is bad enough; to have it battered by a ghost kindori is even worse! :D

Might have to do a "Kraken's Guide to Wildspace Beasts" before I'm done with this line. ;)
Moderator: Spelljammer, Kingdoms of Kalamar. My moderator voice is green

User avatar
Lord Torath
Troll
Posts: 319
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:02 pm
Gender: male
Location: Utah, USA

Re: Kraken's Guide to Winterspace

Post by Lord Torath » Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:04 am

night_druid wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:40 pm
Might have to do a "Kraken's Guide to Wildspace Beasts" before I'm done with this line. ;)
And that's how you go from a paragraph to 3000 words on a simple little inn! ;)

User avatar
night_druid
Radiant Dragon
Posts: 6188
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 9:08 pm
Gender: male

Re: Kraken's Guide to Winterspace

Post by night_druid » Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:07 am

Lord Torath wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:04 am
night_druid wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:40 pm
Might have to do a "Kraken's Guide to Wildspace Beasts" before I'm done with this line. ;)
And that's how you go from a paragraph to 3000 words on a simple little inn! ;)
This is a true statement. :P
Moderator: Spelljammer, Kingdoms of Kalamar. My moderator voice is green

User avatar
night_druid
Radiant Dragon
Posts: 6188
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 9:08 pm
Gender: male

Re: Kraken's Guide to Winterspace

Post by night_druid » Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:17 am

Another weekend comes to a close with another update. This time, I tackle Radole. To be honest, I've been dreading this one. Radole is so mind-numbing boring as written. Basically, paradise sandwiched between a one-note frozen wilderness and a one-note desert. But when I looked up the source material on WIki (Radole, from the Foundation series), that at least gave me a spark to work with. Radole there was ran by merchants.

So the gist of my reworked Radole is that its still hard to get to, for slightly different reasons. The whole planet is ran by seven merchant houses, one per city (there are seven on the map, so thus seven cities/clans). The planet is not a perfect paradise, either. Instead, the people fear change. Its almost pathological, as in their world, there is no day and night, no seasons. Just an eternal dawn. So I see the people, or at least the peasants, as being extremely hide-bound and terrified by change. They exist in an almost dreamlike state. Change is unwelcomed, and the people are somewhat dull as a result.

The merchant-nobles, on the other hand, are shrewd, ruthless, and fairly major players in at the very least Winterspace, and likely have trade routes reaching into other spheres. Write-ups of them, and their home-cities, will be soon, even if it takes a while (I have to create seven city write-ups now!)

Hope that this version of Radole is appealing to DMs and players alike! :)
Moderator: Spelljammer, Kingdoms of Kalamar. My moderator voice is green

Jaid
Fire Giant
Posts: 1117
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:26 am

Re: Kraken's Guide to Winterspace

Post by Jaid » Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:36 am

well, i have to say, it's feeling like winterspace is not a very pleasant place to be as this goes on :P

but then, who knows... maybe that's a trend deliberately encouraged by EIN agents who are trying to keep the orcs, goblins, kobolds, etc on armistice in the most isolated sphere they can manage... if there's a place that gets too hospitable, they might actually subtly discourage that place from prospering, perhaps by having fewer patrol ships nearby, spreading nasty rumours about it, or otherwise sabotaging it.

definitely a place where there's plenty of "problems" for do-gooders to try and fix (and of course, those in control will probably spend a great deal of effort trying to make sure nothing gets fixed, which provides plenty of opposition :P )



The Mochians: "the greatest concentration of the mochians is Winterspace" (is in Winterspace)

paragraph 2: "Mochian are largely human..." (Mochians)

"...with flicks of white..." (flecks?)

paragraph 7: "...“Black Moby”, often depicted as an enormous whale..." (should be a kindori i would presume, not a whale)

Tremortail, paragraph 2: "...for fear of causing said sow to attack the scavvers in fear of safety for its calf." (suggestion: use "to avoid" at the start instead of "for fear of" so you don't use fear twice in same sentence, though this is just personal preference)

paragraph 4: "Most of their heavy weapons have been salvaged from wrecked ships and thus is a mismatch of..." (pretty sure that should be "are a mismatch", although i'm not fond of mismatch... i would prefer mixture, combination, or perhaps assortment. in this case in particular, not having a matched set of ship weapons is fairly normal; many ships have 2 or more types of weapons anyways).

paragraph 5: "...least he decide to slay ye..." (lest, not least)

"...and keep ye wits." (yer)

"...this be a scro agent, festering hatred for the elves within the mochians." (fostering? festering is not a verb, it's an adjective, so that could be creating/growing/feeding/encouraging/etc a festering hatred if you did mean to use festering)


Radole

(i would note that life is probably possible in the other parts of radole, just not *human* life. and even then, potentially below ground. it would be kinda funny if you had a similar situation as the frozen ocean where the ports become valuable real estate not because they're the only place people can live, but because they're the only places that allow communication with people off-world... but then again, you've already written this world, would be a shame to start from scratch. maybe some other time, for some other world :P

paragraph 2: "...but include a fair number..." (includes)

"The total naval size..." (navy size i think. or possibly even "size of the navy")

"...have better have a very good reason..." (had better have)

paragraph 3: "...officials follow off-worlders, watching them intently for any excuse to lock up off-worlders." (again, personal preference. suggestion: finish with "lock them up" instead of "lock up off-worlders". as an additional side note, a slang name - probably not meant favourably by the locals - would really fit here for "off-worlders" i think)

paragraph 8: "...or at least heard of by reputation..." (or have at least)

"to peak the interests" (pique, not peak. one of the many words english has stolen, this one from the french word for prick, like pricking your finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel).

"...the Defense Fleet has caught wind to such scams are on the lookout..." (and are on the lookout)

paragraph 9: "...no structure allowed to rise more than a few feet over the horizon its shadow will obstruct..." (or its shadow)

"...to allow maximum amount of light..." (the maximum amount)

paragraph 10: "There a few ancient castles..." (There are a few)

"...can be very locative for said architects..." (lucrative)

paragraph 11: "...noble-merchant..." (you've used merchant-noble, and abbreviated as noble elsewhere. not sure if this is a deliberate reversal of the terms, or accidental, but i figured i'd mention it)

"Not that they have much a need..." (much of a need)

Nightside: "...mark of a three-pedal flower..." (petal, or maybe petaled.)

(pretty sure your second paragraph lost a line in between it and the first. in any event, i'll be counting that first block of text as paragraphs 1 and 2, so 3 is the one after the big initial block :P )

paragraph 2: "More than one ship has been wrecked trying to cross the mountains too low and got caught in a sudden downdraft." (this just... feels off. i can't quite put my finger on it. i *think* it would feel right if there was a "by" before "trying", but i'm still not quite sure... it feels like the way the verbs are conjugated in the first half doesn't match the way they're conjugated in the second half or something?)

paragraph 4: "...tunnels bore out..." (bored. also, remorhaz are a cold-loving tunneling wormlike creature iirc, though you may prefer weird purple worms regardless :P )

"...easier movement that crossing..." (than)

Sunside: "...at the portions closest to..." (suggestion: replace "portions" with "regions")

"...and in the portions of the desert that humans can endure, domesticated giant lizards." (suggest reversing the order here: "... and domesticated giant lizards in the portions [or regions] that humans can endure.")

paragraph 2: "The Sunside is the opposite of the Nightside, whereas the Nightside is cold and dark, the Sunside is bright and hot." (i think that first comma should be a period)

(steelback beetles might make a good source of armour for druids who can't wear metal :) )

User avatar
night_druid
Radiant Dragon
Posts: 6188
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 9:08 pm
Gender: male

Re: Kraken's Guide to Winterspace

Post by night_druid » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:20 am

Jaid wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:36 am
well, i have to say, it's feeling like winterspace is not a very pleasant place to be as this goes on :P
Well, Kraken does tend to get into the seedier part of town, if it were. Still, if Winterspace was just a winter wonderland where all there's to do is see Elsa and sing "Let it Go", players would revolt! :)

The challenge has been that two of the three known worlds of Winterspace are already written, and both are fairly one-shot. I want to create a sphere that's a bit more dynamic than that. But with two VERY powerful navies in the sphere, traditional foes such as pirates and goblin-kin are sorta out. So I had to search for new areas of conflict to keep the sphere vibrant and interesting :)
but then, who knows... maybe that's a trend deliberately encouraged by EIN agents who are trying to keep the orcs, goblins, kobolds, etc on armistice in the most isolated sphere they can manage... if there's a place that gets too hospitable, they might actually subtly discourage that place from prospering, perhaps by having fewer patrol ships nearby, spreading nasty rumours about it, or otherwise sabotaging it.
The elves are newcomers to the sphere; Radole's history goes back 20,000 years. Radole is a trade hub of sorts (which is really hard to write around, given Radole's description in Practical Planetology). Whalers come and go, and the Mochians are common in Winterspace but are quite wide-spread (I envision them not unlike the Aperusa in the grand scheme of things).
definitely a place where there's plenty of "problems" for do-gooders to try and fix (and of course, those in control will probably spend a great deal of effort trying to make sure nothing gets fixed, which provides plenty of opposition :P )
Or those in the power might pay good money to those wanting some coin to maintain the status quo. ;)
Radole

(i would note that life is probably possible in the other parts of radole, just not *human* life. and even then, potentially below ground. it would be kinda funny if you had a similar situation as the frozen ocean where the ports become valuable real estate not because they're the only place people can live, but because they're the only places that allow communication with people off-world... but then again, you've already written this world, would be a shame to start from scratch. maybe some other time, for some other world :P
I really didn't "write" this world; I was working around Radole's description from Practical Planetology. Certainly could use such ideas elsewhere :)

<Rest just good editing to be applied when I have time :) >
Moderator: Spelljammer, Kingdoms of Kalamar. My moderator voice is green

Jaid
Fire Giant
Posts: 1117
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:26 am

Re: Kraken's Guide to Winterspace

Post by Jaid » Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:16 pm

oh, i get that this isn't a sphere that has always had an EIN presence. they pretty much picked that planet in that sphere specifically because it's an absolutely horrible place that no sane person would want to go to :P

i'm saying now that the EIN is here (and have been for at least a few centuries, can't recall how long ago the first unhuman war was), they might be subtly working to keep the sphere not very hospitable to strangers or do-gooders :P

Post Reply

Return to “Spelljammer”