The Land of Tiny Castles
February 16, 2013
Across the Wide Dark Jungle mentions a portal to The Land of Tiny Castles. Actually it’s called a Dimension in the book, but what difference does it make, Hillary?
This is my interpretation of The Land of Tiny Castles…
There are no humans in The Land of Tiny Castles, only halflings, elves, and dwarves. Let’s call them Folk, collectively.
The halflings are like this…
The elves are short, like the yellow shirted one in this old D&D advert. They don’t make toys or cookies.
The dwarves are short and round. Like on the cover of Dragon 180. They get angry if called gnomes or “garden sentinels”.
The three folks generally get along, but with the usual mix of spats, feuds, and traditional grudges. It’s not unusual for castles and adventuring teams to contain a mix of Folk. If you want to add more detail to these races, I recommend Kesher’s Devil’s in the Details tables.
Any human PCs in The Land of Tiny Castles are “visitors”.
The Rule of Visitors:
A player can only have one human PC in the land of Tiny Castles…the visitor. If that human dies, the player must play Folk PCs while the campaign remains here.
It’s is mostly rolling plains dotted with patches of trees, marshes, and rock piles. These piles hide the dungeons that become castles. It’s these many castles, perfectly sized for the Folk, that give the land it’s inter-dimensional moniker. More on the castles later.
The Land is a precise rectangle of unknown size…nobody has thought to measure it. Around its perimeter is The Ditch, a mist shrouded chasm, beyond which is unknown.
More often than not, exploring The Land actually IS a walk in the park. Dangerous monsters are usually found below ground, not above. Most overland hazards are seasonal and the only year round threats are the wolves and the Fox Guys, anthropomorphic fox bandits (Haha…totally not trying to make a funny about the fair and balanced news source.)
A power known as the Intractable Overlord creates the four seasons…
Winter is the season of snow and white and treasure gathering. Winter Obstacles: blizzards, snow dunes, and the winter wolf.
Spring is the season of melting and grey and cleaning of castles and treasure. Spring Obstacles: Flooding, mud, and the tattered wolf.
Summer is the season of sun and green and castle construction. Summer Obstacles: thunderstorms, construction crews, and the lazy wolf.
Fall is the season of morning frost and brown and dungeon finding. Fall Obstacles: wild fire, dungeon prospectors, and the hunting wolf.
The Castles and Dungeons
The two main industries of the land are treasure hunting and castle building. All else is in support of those two.
Finding a dungeon is like drilling for oil. Once found, a castle is built on top. Everybody lives in these castles. Rich dungeons lead to larger, more elaborate castles being built atop. Some castles are eventually abandoned when the dungeon is out of treasure. Discovery of another level in a dungeon is greatly celebrated, because it ensures the prosperity of the castle for another generation.
The dungeons are the domain of the Inscrutable Underlord..of unknown relation to the Intractable Overlord.
Among Folk, money and fame are explicitly the most important considerations. By their nature, they are inclined to seek out treasure. Folk will usually suggest a treasure hunt as the solution to most problems.
Adventuring parties usually have Sponsors. Most often the sponsors are taverns in their home castles. Along with this is a “Contract of Adventure”. Treasure hunters are under oath to recover a quota of treasure from the dungeons, and give a percentage to the castle and the sponsor. In return, the adventurer receives benefits such as outfitting expenses, “fame insurance”, death coverage, and carousing forgiveness.