Monday, March 22, 2021

The Off-Season in Acmori

In the Acmori campaign paradigm, player characters go on adventurous expeditions during the winter, and in the off-months they participate in the affairs of their island realm, whatever those are. This is done with a simplified Birthright domain system that creates space for adventure while proceeding quickly when needed.

  1. The DM rolls for a "realm event," a large happening that colors the entire year, and privately decides when between early Spring and late Autumn it becomes apparent to the PCs.
  2. Everyone (who isn't a golem, gnome, or locust) solemnly adds 1 to their characters' age. If this exceeds their average lifespan, they roll a d20 and add 1 for every year above the average. On a 1 or higher, lose 1 point in any primary attribute. On a 20 or higher, they are in poor health and will die in 1d8 months. They have a general sense of this, in-character.
    1. The average lifespan of short-lived folk, like hobbits and elves, is 40 years.
      1. Elves don't die of old age so much as a disease called Tumors. The ancestral solution to this is to make yourself immune to disease through pacts with demons.
    2. The average lifespan of long-lived folk, like humans and preskeletons, is 60 years.
    3. Locusts are only awake one year in eight. If you choose to stay awake for another year, reduce your LORE by 1d6 and gain another primary attribute called MADNESS, equal to the points lost. The DM will let you use this on certain niche occasions. 
    4. Some aging folk live far longer than 80 years. This is achievable, but will not happen by accident.
  3. Each player character can perform minor actions over the year, but those leading a household, temple, guild, or other domain perform "realm actions." They can initiate one each season: Spring, Summer, and Autumn.
    1. Example realm actions: woo a lover, get married, conceive a child, go adventuring, visit another island whose location you know, spread rumors, build some holding, ply your trade for coins, muster soldiers, make gifts, invite guests to spend time in your home, making friends, conduct research, or train.
      1. The common actions to take when you don't feel like you have anything to do are plying your trade, wooing lovers, making friends, and spreading rumors. Socu-worshippers also like to invite guests over. Dodkulists also like to visit islands in pilgrimage.
      2. Short-lived folk are mature enough to be considered independent characters at 5 years old.
      3. Long-live folk are mature enough to be considered independent characters at 15 years old.
  4. Player characters who don't perform realm actions can do one a year of their own accord, and may be the agents of their friends' actions.
  5. Significant NPCs can take similar actions. In general, things tend towards poverty and stupid conflicts.
  6. At the end of the Autumn, the party decides where to go next for this year's expedition. The island's economy probably depends on this, so if none of the PCs actually want to leave the island, someone else will need to. Generate new PCs and add them to the stable of characters. You can still play your original PCs when Spring comes, and this is a valid way to play.
    1. Traditionally, this is not the season for realm actions, but some can be attempted with a penalty. The only actions with no penalty are religiously approved actions, like hosting guests for Socu-Worshippers or going on pilgrimage for Dodkulists.

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