Wednesday 28 January 2015

A Post War World

I've already stated that the world of Darmonica is in a Post-War state, the 50 year long Great Darmonican War having ended about a decade ago. So what does that actually mean for adventures and campaigns set in Darmonica?

This post is intended to answer part of that question.

Looking at our own history there can be seen certain aspects common throughout the centuries following a major conflict, be then the World Wars of the 20th Century or the much earlier European wars that spanned decades. Ron Perlman's famous phrase from the Fallout series of games sums it up quite nicely; "War. War never changes."

So what are those aspects anyway?

Devastation:- Long before the 20th Century there was often wide spread devastation in the wake of a conflict, especially besieged cities when the attacker brought their siege weapons to bear and of course after a breech in the city's walls had been achieved and the attacker's troops storm the city. Even small towns and villages weren't immune to war's destructive touch, particularly when they became the site of pitched battles between opposing armies. Industrialization meant war became ever more destructive, the Western Front that stretched across Europe like a dirty great scar during the First World War and aerial bombing in later conflicts are compelling proof of this.

With regards to Darmonica it means that even a decade later there would scars from the war remaining, cities would still have bomb sites (London did in the 1960s) and old battlefields would be littered with the derbies of war. Entire villages have been bombarded out of existence, a large chunk of Sodkan territory was devastated by the Blast round the end of the War. For the players the most visible signs of the scars of war would be large chunks of major cities being little more than bombed out ruins. There would also be shanty towns made of people made homeless by the bombing, often in squalid conditions. Reconstruction will take years if not decades to complete.

Rationing:- A notable feature of the World Wars was rationing, chiefly food and petrol (particularly during WW2) were severely restricted for the average civilians. There were schemes to encourage civilians to grow their own food and to reduce food waste, though in some cases there was a very real risk of starvation. In earlier conflicts there were food shortages, typically if farmer fields ended up being used as battlefields or troops pillaged what they could get their hands on. Sometimes after a war has ended rationing became much more stricter, post-WW2 rationing in Britain was hugely more severe than it was during the war.

Course with imposed restrictions upon goods there is a rise in the Black Market and opportunities for smugglers to make a fair amount of coin, typically trying to sneak in goods under the noses of the local authorities. For players, if located in an area where rationing is being enforced, there is the chance that they could suffer from starvation due to the lack of food available. There may be smuggling jobs available for the players or they may need to go to the Black Market to acquire items.

The Human Cost:- Every war has its price in lives lost and shattered, most families would've lost loved ones whilst others would've lost a limb or an eye. Crippled veterans would be another noticeable feature, even if its mentally rather than physical. Humans can be fragile creatures, this also applies to player characters.

* * * * *

There you go, hopefully some elements that would should be able to incorporate into your games set in Darmonica. Though I am taking suggestions and ideas for future posts, so feel free to post a comment.

Tuesday 20 January 2015

The Shadow Game

As already mentioned there is presently a Cold War situation in Darmonica, but there is plenty going on behind the scenes in the form of cloak and dagger scenes. It is likely that the various organisations involved may employ the players for some nefarious means or to frustrate the plans of a rival.

Here are, effectively, the main players (listed by country) in the so-called 'Shadow Game'.

Commonwealth - Royal Reconnaissance Service

The Royal Reconnaissance Service (or RRS for short) was originally a topographical agency formed to supply the Commonwealth with accurate maps, but gradually it was used by the Commonwealth military to gather information and then evolved into the Commonwealth's intelligence agency. Its original map making role remains, if anything the Scout-General is keen on maintaining this facade to waylaid enemy agents, but it has become an effective espionage agency that proved its worth during the Great Darmonican War.

Typically the RRS likes to recruit informants from amongst the local population in a certain area, it saves the hassle of trying to integrate a group of agents when just one handler is needed and a local is more likely to overhear something that a normal agent won't. It runs the risk of double agents infiltrating the RRS' informant networks but thankfully the informants are low key enough to avoid drawing unwanted attention.

Artian Confederation - Der Geheimdienst

Formed following the outbreak of the Tyland-Artian War over a century earlier, the Geheimdienst has a reputation for being brutally efficient. It is very good at the military intelligence side of things, though other aspects of espionage find it lacking somewhat. It was only recently discovered that the director of the Artian top spy school was actually a Sodkan agent, something that saw heads rolls when that little embarrassment saw the light of day. The agency has seen a major overhaul and a series of reforms to address the areas in which it has been found wanting.

Its saving grace has been anti-partisan operations in Tylander territory occupied by Artian forces.

Tyland - an Cumann

The Guild is the name given to what counts as the Tyland espionage agency, though traditionally Tylander espionage has involved assassinations and rather liberal amounts of poison. Prior to the Tyland-Artian War it was heavily involved in the bickering between Tylander nobles, though the War quickly bucked up it ideas and it branched out into intelligence gathering. It refined its skills during the Great Darmonican War and it still active to this day supporting resistance movements in occupied Tyland territory.

Upward momentum through the ranks still involves filling a dead man's shoes.

The Iron Collective - The Scrutinizers

Much like the Iron Collective, the Scrutinizers are internally focused and mainly concerned with safeguarding the smooth running of the Collective. Its job is to prevent sabotage and counter-espionage, basically stopping foreign agents from stealing the Collective's secrets. It also acts as a secret police, watching over the Collective citizens and ensuring that they don't act in any way that could be considered traitorous to the Collective.

Though the Scutinizers do have a handful of agents out in the wider world, though they are tasked with tracking down Ancient Terran and lost Sodkan technology.

Coalition - External Audit Department

The corporate powers behind the Coalition take their copyrights and profits very seriously, the External Audit Department (EAD for short) despatches operatives to hunt down and recover stolen Coalition property and secrets by any means necessary.

It is wise to off-load Coalition marked goods at the earliest possible opportunity.

Union of Sodkan Republics - Allied Security Bureau

Formed out of a desire to improve co-operation between the various Sodkan Republics, the Allied Security Bureau was meant to serve as a united agency to help defend the Republics against foreign espionage. Trouble is that the ASB is just as fractured as the Union itself, plagued by constant backstabbing between its agents. Often an agent will run an operation to simply counter and frustrate the efforts of another agent, there is some rare cases of co-operation such as a successful spy ring keeping tabs on the Iron Collective.

Sultanate of Taramate - Nobetciler

Known to the world as the Sentinels, the Nobetciler is the Sultan's elite bodyguards who protect him against different threats. They are also the Sultan's eyes and ears in the world, though are they loosely organised and seen as ineffective by the various agencies of other countries. But they are most certainly deadly shadows and most people never saw them until the glint of the dagger by which point it was too late.

Thursday 15 January 2015

Frozen Skies Setting Rules 2.2

Tis been a while hasn't it?

Well the latest version of the Frozen Skies Setting Rules is now uploaded, though this time its only the addition of a new Hindrance in the form of The Sprog.

As ever feedback is welcomed.

Thursday 8 January 2015


Starting to get the foundations of the setting made solid.

Decided upon having the Great Darmonican War as a *BIG* event in recent history, it only having ended some ten years prior. It was a major conflict that lasted about 30 years, so gives us a bit of a reference if we take the Time And Time Again post in consideration. Thus we're looking at;

*Year Zero - The Fall of the Ancient Terrans, each year after is referred to as 'After Fall' (AF for short).

*1796 AF - The Great Darmonican War begins.

*1826 AF - Following 'The Blast', that devastates a portion of the Holy Sodkan Empire and causes the Sodkan Empress Polinia Serlova to disappear, the Great Darmonican War ends.

*1836 AF - The 'present' day in the setting.

Effectively the world is in a post-War state, reconstruction and to a degree rationing are the order of the day. Various powers would be testing the waters as the balance of power tries to adjust in the war's aftermath, so opportunities exist for dishonest smuggling or cloak and dagger actions behind the scenes. No formal peace treaty has, as of yet, been drafted and therefore only an armistice exists which has seen an uneasy peace hold for a decade. A return to open conflict is seemingly only a shot away, though the powers of Darmonica ensure that their hidden skirmishes do not boil over into outright war.

This is the Realms of Darmonica setting.