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Against the Shadow  |  Other Rules

Despair Rules

 
  Any time a character fails a quest to save innocent people from harm, witnesses atrocities without acting, or in any other situation that the DM sees fit (for example, after the characters successfully killed a tyrannical legate and managed to flee, when they hear that the local people were all put to the sword as reprisals and as an example of what happens to “those who would not protect their beloving legate from terrorists”), he must make a despair save. This is a Will saving throw.

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Reputation Mechanics
    In Midnight, only one thing really matters... How big is the price on your head? So I'd use "Reputation levels" that would have different effects depending in the PC's current level.

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Of Bribery, Intimidation and Gambling

    In occupied lands, especially in the cities controlled by traitor princes or false sussars, most guards are actually human, because orcs are seen as unreliable at best.

    When they can afford, the Shadow rulers recruit trained mercenaries, but often they pay them at their whim: fees can be brutally reduced if the local mines don’t produce enough for said month, or a “contract” can be suddenly revoked (with ugly consequences) if the guard somehow does not bring satisfaction to his employer.

    The most depraved rulers (Sameal the Eel, for instance) even take able men to train them in the guard duties, forcing them to perform their “military duty”.     Since most of these people feel no love for the Shadow or their prince, their families are taken and kept as hostages. In case of treason or even failure (a guard who falls asleep while on duty, for example), then the whole family is executed, as well as the guard. Simple and effective. So many mouths less to feed, anyway.

    With these conditions, it is not impossible to have guards in occupied cities “look the other way” as long as doing so does not threaten them or their loved ones. Resistance members as well as members of criminal organizations use three methods.

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Rogue Techniques
    All around Eredane, especially during the Last Age, roguish types prosper. Misery spreads in Erenland, and all one can do to survive sometimes involves committing a larceny or extortion, or other illicit acts.
    Unlike the fighters of Eredane, who developed cultural techniques reflecting their people’s way of fighting, thieves always were a cosmopolitan lot. They too built different traditions, but traditions that reflected each individual’s style.
    There are different styles scattered all across Eredane, for those willing to learn them. Many resistance fighters, although not thieves themselves, found the use of such techniques invaluable in their struggle against the Shadow. This is because the underworld has always needed secrecy for its activities to prosper, and such an heritage is now precious for all those who oppose the Dark Lord.
    The mechanics are similar to those introduced in Steel & Shadow for the Cultural Fighting Techniques (page 12).
    Each rogue style is accessed through its name-like Initiate feat. The prerequisites for the Feats are the matching skill at +5. One needs not have levels in the rogue class to gain access to such styles, although learning them might require the character to perform some acts of larceny.

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