July 25, 2017

Hometown Creation Questions for Hari Ragat

urduja-kinalakian

I’m wondering if it’ll be easier for players and GMs to create the PCs’ hometown using a questionnaire?

To play a full campaign of Hari Ragat, all players sit down with the GM and spend time creating the hometown together, and only after that do the players make characters. This gives the benefit of chargen in a setting that the players already feel invested in, with some ready plot hooks to latch onto.

The GM should try to get as many of the questions answered as possible, but it’s ok to leave some blank until later in the campaign. Knowing players though, once their creativity’s been sparked it just keeps going.

GEOGRAPHY
Which island is the hometown on, and where there?
Is it a major or minor island?
What are its best-known landmarks?
What are its three most important resources?

CULTURE
What craft or trait are the people best known for?
What is the hometown's identifying color or pattern in clothing?
What is the hometown's signature shield shape or motif?
What is the hometown's signature sword type or hilt motif?
Who is the Diwata most worshipped by the people, and where is her/his sacred site?
What is the Diwata's price for allowing the people to live in this land?
Who is the hometown's most popular hero and what is his or her most famous exploit?
Is there a famous arts master in town, and what is their specialty? (Note that this can be martial arts, dance, chanting, tattooing, smithing, boatmaking, navigation, etc. etc) 

PEOPLE
Who rules the town, and how do the people like their rule?
Who is most likely to succeed as the next ruler?
Does the ruler belong to any of the  royal lineages, and if so which one?
Who is the chief Baylan of the town?
Who is the greatest warrior in the town?
Who is the wealthiest person in town and how did they get rich?
Who is the the town belle and which family does she belong to?
Who is the most disliked person in the town?
Who is the town fool?

ISSUES
Who is the ruler's worst enemy?
Is there anyone in the town who threatens the ruler, and why?
What are the people most frightened of?
What do the people most look forward  to in the near future?
What might threaten this expected happy event?

Naval Combat Roles for Hari Ragat

Karakoa950GIFposterized

To make running naval combat easier, I’m thinking of writing in these roles as tips for player and GM. I liked the way the new Star Trek RPG tries to give every player something to do in ship to ship battles. Hari Ragat of course has very different technological paradigms, but the principle that every player’s character must have something important to do still stands.

Captain
The captain is responsible for calling the tactics to the pilot and crew, and is stationed on the highest deck, sometimes near the pilot at the stern, sometimes near the prow.  The captain can roll contests against the enemy captains to out-think them and figure out which maneuver will work better in the given situation; victory gives Advantage to the pilot's next contest roll. Often the captain and pilot are the same character.

Pilot
The pilot is responsible for maneuvering and positioning your ship, and is stationed at the steering oar at the stern. Contests of speed and maneuvering are rolled by the pilot; victories can be used to optimize the range to the enemy, or to gain Advantage for the combatants.

Combatant
Most PCs will be in this role, stationed on the decks. Combatants attack enemy crewmen and combatants with ranged weapons, and make boarding attacks or repel boarders when boarding combat has begun. PCs may also attempt Heroic Displays to gain Ancestral Favor.

Shaman
If there is a Baylan on board, she can perform Prayers for Ancestral Favor -- always a good tactic because it can aid any of the other PCs -- or work other forms of magic, or defend against the magic of enemy shamans. It's entirely appropriate for the Baylan to spend a whole battle chanting and dancing in Prayer for Ancestral Favor, despite the attempts of the enemy to interupt her.

Chanter
If there is a chanter on board, she can perform inspiring epic songs that gain Ancestral Favor, which in turn can be spent to inspire the warriors. Only one shaman or chanter can perform at a time -- you cannot have both at once. As with the Baylan, it's appropriate for a chanter to spend the whole battle singing for Ancestral Favor, again despite the enemy's efforts to interrupt her.

Gunner
If lantakas are available in your campaign, the gunner is in command of the gun crews, and makes the rolls to attack with the guns. A ship usually has only one or two cannon, if at all. Hm - this could be the avenue for a Panday class.

Sailor
Sailors are usually NPCs, whose job is to work the rigging, bail and make emergency repairs, and drag the wounded to safety. Since most available men are assigned either to paddling or to fighting during battle, there are usually only a few free sailors on hand during a fight.

Paddler
Paddlers are usually sailor NPCs, whose paddling propels and helps steer the ship. Theirs is a difficult task in battle, for while they paddle they are exposed and defenseless; only the efforts of the combatants on deck can keep the enemy busy enough not to target them. If a PC joins the paddlers, they gain Advantage to resist efforts to dislodge them from their stations.

Servant
Some nobles and wealthy men take NPC manservants with them to battle. Those not assigned to paddling may aid in battle by holding shields for their masters and bearing spare weapons and ammunition. A combatant with a shieldbearer gains Advantage to avoid missile attacks.

Noncombatants
Noncombatants without any vital supporting roles like chanter or shaman stay out of the way as much as they can, below the fighting deck if on a karakoa where they’re safer from missile attack.

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