The Military

While I have been vaguely uncomfortable with the concept of defence points for a while, working on Naval vessels and personnel has brought some of those concerns into a sharper focus.  What actually makes up the military strength of a stronghold?  And how do I keep it straight forward?

This is my primary analysis, along with some thoughts and the questions that I will be trying to answer.

Analysis & Questions

  • Infrastructure
    • City Walls – large walls, small walls & palisades.  Fixed defences that prevent enemy troops from entering a settlement.  They come with watchtowers, and a detachment of light troops for the walls.  Should these troops be considered as Guards or Light Foot?
    • Garrisons – this includes castles, barracks and other similar, state owned, buildings with a defence value.  These have a static defence value inherent in the building, and a mobile value for the troops they contain.  How do we define the types of troop in Garrison?  Does it matter?
    • Watch Towers – Do they have a static defence value?   Probably – if nothing else, they provide a platform that lets defenders attack from height.  They probably provide a base for guards that live in the local community, rather than ‘in barracks’. 
  • Armed Forces – ‘owned’  by a state.
    • Army – specialized combatants (Warriors) who are trained for war – and who expect to be sent to war.  There are, potentially, different types of troop – Cavalry, Infantry, scouts, light troops, medium, heavy ….  These are mobile troops, but how do we differentiate between the different troop types??
    • Navy – a combination of ‘static’ defence/military inherent in the structure of a vessel – Rams, Siege Engines, even the structure of the vessel.  This is complemented by the troops held within –  most of whom will be Marines (Light Foot) or Auxiliaries.  What proportions are static / mobiles?
    • Guards – lightly equipped soldier/policemen –  who keep order in towns, cities and other settlements.  Should these be counted as static troops?
    • Auxiliaries – members of the armed forces who are not warriors.  They are mainly Commoners or Experts with some basic military training, a very limited selection of weapons and specific non-military support roles.  This includes cooks, stable hands, naval rovers, even sailors.  These troops are currently counted as static.
  • Irregular Troops
    • House Guards – Guards (Lightly equipped warriors) to defend a wealthy person’s person, property and family.  In some cases, it is not easy to differentiate between house guards and Town Guards.  Henry has guards in  both of his houses (Tusk Estate & Newgate Castle)  Newgate Castle has six Defence Points –  what proportion of those are House Guards?  What proportion are military?  Does it make a difference?  House Yitis & The Roths both have ‘house guards’ to defend their own property.  For simplicity, I will include Sword Schools in with this category, as training/equipment (for senior students) is likely to be similar. Do they send their House Guards to war and  leave their property undefended?
    • Mercenaries – Mercenary units either act as Guards for Hire or go away to fight wars for money – either way, they are all privately owned businesses.  In the stolen lands, currently, these are all warriors equipped as light troops and appear to be Guards for Hire.  What expectation do we have for these troops in times of war?  Should they be mobile? Or Static?
    • Militia – every settlement has some form of Militia, who can be called out in times of need.  They might support the local guards in tracking down ravening monsters, or help sort out a band of goblin raiders.  Unlike most other groups, they are mixed class –  the militia will contain members from most (if not all) NPC classes and may even have a member or two who have PC classes.  Traditionally, militias are defensive troops,  and only deployed locally.  How do we differentiate between   Deployed Army, Home Army and Static (defensive) troops?
    • The Mob – Local civilians, mainly a mix of NPC classes) defending their homes with whatever weapons they have.  This might be a retired soldier (Warrior with military arms) a Hunter (Expert, LXB and dagger) or a commoner with a club made from a chair leg – and just about anything in between.  These must be static troops.
    • The Southern Order – all the current and retired NPCs, along with selected NPCs, Entourages and Allies.  They are mainly PC classes, with a few NPC classes mixed in.  What do we expect of these guys?

First thoughts

Definitions of three different military functions.

  • Field Army – troops that can be deployed to fight in a Foreign Country.
  • Home Army – troops that can be deployed in their Native Country, to fight invaders.
  • Defence – Infrastructure and fighters that don’t move outside their Settlement.

Definitions of three different troop types, and some possible categorizations.

  • Professional Soldier – Troops employed primarily for  military duties.  Army.  Navy is more complex.
  • Guards – Town Guards, House Guards, Mercenaries?  While they are all warriors, and have military training, they also have a ‘civilian’ aspect to their role.
  • Support Troops – Militia, Auxiliaries, The Mob.

That is fairly straight forward, except that there is no easy way to tell the difference between Town Guards and Professional Soldiers.  However, if we define Watch Towers as being places of work, rather than barracks, we can say those Guards / Watchmen live ‘In the Community’, rather than ‘in barracks’.  This also covers Defence Points that come with walls and palisades, as they are noted as including gates and watchtowers in their length.

Professional soldiers then become anyone who lives ‘in barracks’ – and we can extend that to include castles and keeps.  However, Fortified Villas, Fortified Manors, Wilderness defences contain Town / House Guards.

Just to keep it simple, we can also say that each ‘state owned’ defensive building employs/sponsors one Irregular unit made up of  Auxiliaries and/or Militia.

The Navy is more difficult, because some vessels (such as a Light Galley) contain many more Auxiliaries (Sailors, Rowers) than they do regular troops (Marines).  I think we define them as Defensive troops, then we easily can apply their full value – and class them as defending harbours, waterways and the shoreline.  Then apply the same logic to the guards who are normally deployed to private merchant ships.

It is all a bit arbitrary – but that helps keep it simple and means I have three categories of troops that I can slot into my three Military Functions.

Field Army = troops from Castles, Keeps, Garrisons, Barracks, Forts etc

Home Army = Troops from Walls, Watchtowers, House Guards, Mercenary Barracks and sword schools  – etc.

Defence = Militia & Auxiliaries (1 for every state owned defence building), Navy, Mob PLUS double the wall value (to represent physical structure and the Aux/Militia members).

How does that sound?  Can you see any faults in my logic?


That gives us ….

Castle L – 99 1 
Castle S – 66 1 
Keep – 44 1 
Garrison – 33 1 
Fortified Manor 2 21 
Barracks – 22 1 
Fort – 2 21 
Fortified Villa – 1 11 
Watch Tower – 1 11 
Area Patrol Boat – 2  2 
Local Patrol Boat – 1  1 
Military Jetty – 1  1 
City Wall (Example) 2 ) 212
Palisade 111
Base Camp – 1 11 
Large Camp – 2 21 
Redoubt – 2 211
Sword/Military School – 1 11 
Military College – 2 21 
Military Academy – 3 31 
University – 2 21 
Merc Base / Private Guards 11 
Armed Keeler – 1  1 

A long term game plan …

First off, this isn’t going to happen for a couple of years – at least!  Second, this is the first time I have not written a completely new setting for years, recently I have been running games in Golorian and amending the setting to suit myself.

However, some of you will be aware that I love long design projects (some of which last for years) and this is another one of those.  I have been playing around with this concept for quite a while now, and all sorts of things are starting to crystallize …

Game Overview

The game will be loosely based on colonization of the ‘New World’ and the Caribbean Pirate/Buccaneer/Freebooter setting that arose from that.  However, that spans a couple of hundred years, or so, and I will be choosing elements from across that period that suit my needs.  It will not be historically accurate, but should have a ‘flavour’ of those settings.

  • The PCs will come from the Hann Empire – a broad amalgam of my previous game settings, with a European feel to it.  The local setting will be a well defended island town, supported by a couple of coastal settlements.
  • The main ‘Competition’  will be Zakar – an amalgam of free cities with a North African/Zacharan/Lankhamar feel.  They will also have a well defended island town (maybe two or three) supported by a couple of coastal settlements.
  • The ‘Home Team’ will be a Hobgoblin ‘Empire’ that dominates the new land.  They have significant resources (both inland and on the coast) and will provide the main opposition to  both Hann and Zakar.  There will be a Drow ‘city’ below ground, and there will (possibly) be other ‘civilizations’ further inland.
  • The main friend and ally will be a Dwarf mine-hold, with metals and gems to export, however, it will trade with other people as well.
  • Minor opposition – CE humanoid Tribes and Monsters – Orc Pirates, Goblin Raiders, Gnolls, Trolls, Giants, Evil Humanoids, Monsters, Dragons etc.
  • The Neutrals, who can be converted to allies’, consist of neutral tribes of humanoids – EG Neanderthals, Lizardfolk, Ratfolk, Catfolk, Gillmen – etc.


  • The ‘Corporate Objective’ – is to expand the influence of the Hann Empire and produce wealth for the nobles and organizations that have sponsored the expedition.  Note that these are not the same patrons that the PCs will choose from later –  these are top-level businesses and nobles who take a cut of taxes and dividends.
  • Patrons Objectives – As players create their PCs, they must nominate a Patron who funds and enables their trip to the New World.  The Patron expects to get some return from the PC (in cash / loot) which they will use to enhance their estate and reputation. Send enough money home (over the course of the game)  and you might find a new building on campus named after you, or a chapel dedicated in your name –  or even a village built with the proceeds of your adventures and named after you.  The better the PC performs (and the more they send back) the more status the Patron gets’.   In some cases, the PC can spend resources locally (ie build a chapel to their deity and appoint a priest) to meet their Patron Objectives –  although they will have to give up any income that might come from the chapel, as that will go to support the priest that their patron sends.
  • Players will always have their own personal goals, however they are expected to honour their patron and corporate objectives.  Their part is to ‘liberate’ ill-gained wealth from the Zakar and Hobgoblin empire in the name of Hann, and to settle more land – also in the name of the Hann Empire.  Taxes, levies and other such expenses (which are used to develop state holdings etc) are collected automatically within the Campaign Rules.  However, PCs will want to send back ‘gifts’ to their patrons, at various points in the game.


  • Probably Pathfinder (1st ed)
  • A variant of the Kingdom Building rules my campaign system, although with a much slower development rate than in The Stolen Lands game.
  • Mass combat, based on my ‘Celtic Style’ combat rules – but using PF’s Troop system rather than Defence Points.
  • Naval Combat, based on the ‘Skull & Shackles’ rules.
  • Conversion rates between  BP’s (from the Campaign Rules), Plunder (Skull & Shackles) and Cash (GP)
  • Some sort of Reputation System – although I have failed to make these work in the past.


  • Players submit character ideas and L1 characters.  This must include a Patron, who has some significance.  It might be a minor noble family, a trade house, a senior military officer, church, powerful caster, a trade guild, a thieves guild or something similar.  Note:  This patron, and their resources, will only have a minor effect on the game, as the playing area will be a long way from home.  However, it will set the broad tone/expectations for the character. Note:  DM needs to provide some example settings, although players can write their own.
  • Characters advance to L2 – in a negotiated setting.  No play, but skills and abilities gained need to reflect the setting. 
  • On the journey to the New World, there will be a couple of minor adventures that allow the characters to develop to L3 – just before they arrive in The New World, ready to start adventuring and building their fame and fortune.

A blast from the past – Classless

A few years ago, a friend wondered aloud whether a classless RPG could still have the same feel as a D&D game. That was enough to start working on the rules …

A few years later, we came to the conclusion that, while the rules would work, it had lost the D&D feel – so the project was abandoned at the Beta Test stage. Be aware that this is a 47-page document …

Dwarves of The Stolen Lands

Dwarves have been a focus recently, partly because I have been working with the Dwarf Finance spreadsheets for The Stolen Land game, partly because of my recent interest in mines and partly because dwarf culture have become relevant in long-term planning for my next game setting.

This post concentrates on the Dwarves of The Stolen Lands game,  their general philosophies and how that translates into long term plans.  These dwarves recently (in Dwarven terms) lost their minehold, their leader  and most of their population in a catastrophic earthquake – a sure sign that they had lost the blessings of Torag.  This led to a Dwarven diaspora as they spread across the land.


So how does a Dwarven community cope with the traumatic loss of its greatest minehold, its leader and most of its population?  By falling back on the basic principles and philosophies of Dwarvish society.  Dwarves (or at least their society)  in my world are fairly traditional D&D Dwarves  As a group they are generally Lawful Good and build underground strongholds that are based on mining, working metals, collecting gemstones or quarrying stone – and they serve as the go-betweens for the surface and underground worlds.  If you want top quality marble –  you probably speak to a dwarf, if you want good quality weapons you should buy them from a dwarf hold, the same holds true for  gems, armour and just about anything else that consists of worked metal or stone, or comes from underground.  There are, of course, small Dwarf communities in all sorts of other settings, and it doesn’t affect PC choices –  but it is the  basic position that underpins NPC dwarf society.

Dwarf society, in D&D/Pathfinder is LG – So combining Lawful and Good from my last post, it should be based around these principles. 

  • Government – A cohesive central government where everyone works together with the same (or similar) sets of ideals.  It might be a Lord,  a council or some other structure.  The town operates in ways that support the whole community.  There are good public facilities  (wells, town dump, public baths) and support structures (hospital, alms houses, schools) for those who need them.
  • Business – Businesses are regulated, and there may be guilds controlling who can (and can’t) work or trade in the town.
  • Social Structure – People know their place and how to behave.  That doesn’t mean there is no social mobility – you just have to follow the rules and do well, then you will rise up the social pyramid. Not following the rules, means you slide down the pyramid instead.  Residents are expected to be supportive of their neighbours (although some element of competition is good) and those who rise up the social pyramid are generally successful financial and have a strong social conscience.
  • Laws and Punishments – are well established, the population understand the laws and punishments are consistent.  They are proportionate, and probably not lethal.  They may, however, include exile, social or business restrictions, jail time and (in the most extreme circumstances) judicial execution.

Applying it …


In the case of the Dwarven Diaspora in The Stolen Lands game, there isn’t a defined government – so we have to consider leadership instead.    Leadership is provided by Clan Golka, the family of the old Clan Lord, and they have representation in each of the four main Dwarf Enclaves, the most significant being Ralin Golka in Brundeston, who spread the message that The Great Clan is still in existence, and that dwarven Culture should persist.

They take management roles when they can and act as enablers when they can’t. Ralin is Mayor of Brundeston, the town marketed as the new hope for Dwarf society.  Darain al Golka, Ralin’s Cousin, id the leader of Dwarf Town in Restov and serves of the City’s overall council. Toran Golka (son of the Old Lord) remains in Greyhaven and provides the communication channels that keep that widely spread community in touch with each other.  Poran al Golka (another cousin) acts as a focus for the dwarves of New Steven.


Dwarf society is heavily rooted in their religion,  racial history and the ‘comforts’ that dwarves associate with ‘home’

The Church of Torag, under the leadership of Dunan al Golka, has done its part.  While there is, currently, no formal presence in Grey Haven, they have representation in Restov and New Stetven and an Abbey in Brundeston.  They have even facilitated the development of churches in the Colonies, with a strong presence in New Dawn and a lesser presence in Ringbridge.

Clan Lorson have also been instrumental in helping dwarves, wherever they are, recognise that they are still a part of Dwarf society.  Traditionally, they have been responsible for  education and dwarven lore.  They maintain Dwarf Schools in all four principal areas, and make sure that they cover Dwarf heritage and behaviour as they educate young dwarves, and they have libraries, specializing in Dwarf literature, in both Brundeston and Greyhaven.  Since the Diaspora started, Clan Lorson have started opening shops selling ‘Dwarf Comforts’, stocking such favourites as Keep-All, Nubbe paste and Dwarf Sausage –  which they believe will reminds  Dwarves of their racial heritage.  They also sell specialist Dwarf weapons and Armour (those with Dwarven in the name), so that adventuring dwarves look the part, and are constantly reminded of who they are.

Clan Devale are also important, their breweries ship dwarf Stout around the world, and their inns and taverns have a ‘Dwarf’ theme, with traditional Oompah and Brass Bands providing entertainment.

All of this is possible because of the core tenets of Dwarf culture and religion – and the interpretation of events by the priests who now lead the church of Torag in Brevoy. 

Hammer and Tongs: The Forging of Metal and Other Good Works is the principle holy text of Torag. Among other things …

  • It tells of the creation myths of the dwarves and the destinies they have forged, as well as the Quest for Sky and the simple need for community that binds dwarves together.[1]
  • The oldest copy includes a historical account of when the community was founded, as well as which families or clans were involved in the founding, in addition to other notable historical events.[2]

Under the leadership of Dunan al Golka, the Abbot of Brundeston, the church says that the earthquake that destroyed the original holding was a sign from Torag that the Great Clan had done something wrong, probably their reliance on the Humans of Greyhaven.  It wasn’t the fault of the humans, but of the dwarves themselves.  Now they must become independent and more self-reliant.  The diaspora and the building of a strong, distributed Dwarf society, is a holy task that should be the focus of all Dwarves associated with Clan Golka – and that everyone should work hard to make it happen.

The Dwarves form strong bonds with their local allies, and support them properly, their culture demands that.  House Aeris, House Solanus and  House Lebeda-Ondari can be sure of their allies, but they also have other responsibilities that are important to them.   They are supportive of Dwarves generally and support their great clan, The Golka, spirituality, politically and economically, and they have a mire direct responsibility for other members of their own name clan.

Note:  Clan Golka, is named after the Founder of the original (now lost) minehold, and is a two-fold entity.  At one level, it is a Great-Clan that consists of all the smaller Name-Clans that were based there and made their names there.  At a second level, it is a Name-Clan for the direct decedents of the original founder.


The Golka don’t have a formal homeland, although they do claim Brundeston as their own, and control a significant district in Restov.  In both of those places there are restrictions on non-dwarf businesses.    All the businesses in Dwarf Town, Restov are owned and controlled by Dwarves, many of them by significant dwarf clans.  The Devales even own an inn, just outside Dwarf town, that caters to dwarves and humans alike.  In Brundeston, non-dwarf businesses are restricted in what they can build, and primarily provide merchant or human-focused service.  All the Human businesses are outside the town walls.

Within Dwarf society, businesses are normally Clan based – with family groups passing skills down from one generation to the next.  But many clans were decimated by the loss of the minehold, and many of the remaining dwarves call on their ancestral history to facilitate moves between clans – bringing new skills with them.  At the moment, there are opportunities for ambitious clans and their leaders, as the whole community restructures itself to deal with the issue.

A number of traditional Name-Clans that have  survived the great loss and continue to  develop in their traditional fields, while other (smaller) Name-Clans are growing in importance as they fill the gaps created by the diaspora.

The traditional Name-Clans who have been a driving force behind the Diaspora include

  • Clan Golka who specialize in leadership, mining and metalwork.
  • Clane Devale –  brewers and publicans
  • Clan Ironheart – security and military specialists
  • Clan Rokser – quarrymen and stone specialists
  • Clan Lorson – education and dwarf lore

The smaller clans that are growing to help fill the gaps

  • Clan Hafgrey – mining
  • Clan Pandoon – smithing
  • Clan Silverhammer – quarries, stone and jewellery
  • Clan Stigmar – specialize in spreading Torag’s word and facilitate the diaspora.

A few individuals, such as Gandred of Ringbridge are also profiting, and building a personal position –  although many of those will (at some point) become associated with a clan as well.  After all, that is the Dwarf way.


There are few specific laws that are not based on traditional Dwarf law.  In Brundeston there are some simple zoning laws, Dwarves inside, others outside the walls, and restrictions on what outsiders can build.  In Restov, the dwarves have managed to negotiate an ‘exclusivity’ deal for Dwarf Town, but have retained the right for Dwarves to build outside the area – although city planning restrictions still apply.

In other areas, Dwarves are expected to be Law Abiding Citizens, and follow locals laws.

Laws in Brundeston are based on traditional values –  No theft, murder, assault etc. – with fair trials that try to get to the root of the case and proportionate punishments, although they are made public.  In many cases, judicial punishment is supplements by social and peer disapproval, which (for a dwarf) can be more difficult than the actual punishment.

Perhaps the most important part of traditional law, is that contracts are binding, and may last for generations.  A dwarf or a clan that breaks their contracts (without good reason) is often treated as a pariah, until they have made amends.  This may, in part, be the reason for name-clans adherence to the great-clan of the Golka – as long term generational contracts are adhered to.

The dwarven ideal of community wellbeing is important as well.  Dwarves will always negotiate for a good deal, but they won’t be cut-throat in their dealings – contracts should benefit both parties, if they are to survive.

Ironically, that isn’t the end of it. The next stage will be to develop a mire general model that can be used to describe Dwarf Mineholds in my new setting. But that doesn’t need to happen for a while. Right now, I can get on with planning for this week’s TT game session.

Societal Culture

Over the last little while, I have continued to think about Dwarves and their holdings, but that made me think about cultures, overall.  These are my thoughts.  The example below is for a LG community, because that is what is most relevant to me at the moment.  As always, comments are welcome.  You are also welcome to have a go at designing your own alignment based culture for a holding – and posting the outcome here.


Each town, city or stronghold will have its own ‘culture’ created by its management, governance and structure, based on the overall alignment of the town’s rulers and major characters.  The ‘average’ alignment of the citizens (mainly NPC classes) will be Neutral,  as they try to keep their heads down and go about their daily life.  That doesn’t mean that a LG city won’t have thieves, murderers, conmen (etc) just that the majority, or the leaders in the case of guilds, will have PC classes and count as major characters.  Townsfolk will follow the example of their leaders (in some cases, just to survive) – while those with different alignment tendencies will be trying to keep their heads down.

So what are the distinctive indicators of a town’s alignment …

Law – Chaos

Lawful – 

  • Government – A cohesive central government where everyone works together with the same (or similar) sets of ideals.  It might be a Lord,  a council or some other structure.
  • Business – Businesses are regulated, and there may be guilds controlling who can (and can’t) work or trade in the town.
  • Social Structure – People know their place and how to behave.  That doesn’t mean there is no social mobility – you just have to follow the rules and do well, then you will rise up the social pyramid. Not following the rules, means you slide down the pyramid instead.
  • Laws and Punishments – are well established, the population understand the laws and punishments are consistent.

Neutral –

  • Government – possibly a council (or something similar) where different philosophies are represented, or individual local rulers, who all have a similar philosophy.  Somehow, they find a compromise solution that they can all live with.
  • Business – There are business regulations and standards, although they  may be skimpy and might not apply to every business. Caveat Emptor.
  • Social Structure – Social standing is fairly clear –  but there are a number of different ways to progress –  not all of them approved of, and some might even be fairly unsavoury.
  • Laws and Punishments – are written down, but are fairly weak with loopholes and ‘get out’ clauses.  Punishments are defined, but how they are interpreted depends on the judge/ magistrate/ guardsman.

Chaotic –

  • Government – There isn’t a strong central structure, and different areas of the town might be claimed by local leaders with different philosophies.  There will probably  be hidden leaders and secret societies (that are influential), or the town might have a madman in charge.
  • Business – Anyone can set up a business and start trading.    Buy and shop very carefully, you probably won’t have any legal comeback.
  • Social Structure – There is one, but as there is an ebb and flow between the leaders,  it is difficult to know exactly where you stand.  Most commoners try to keep their heads down, stay polite and keep out of trouble.
  • Laws and Punishments – are not clear.  What is a crime one week, might be acceptable behaviour the next – and the punishment will change, depending on who administers it.  There might well be a lot of ‘Street Justice’.

Good – Evil

Good – 

  • Government – The town operates in ways that support the whole community.  There are good public facilities  (wells, town dump, public baths) and support structures (hospital, alms houses, schools) for those who need them.
  • Social Structure – Residents are expected to be supportive of their neighbours (although some element of competition is good) and those who rise up the social pyramid are generally successful financial and have a strong social conscience.
  • Laws and Punishments – are proportionate, and probably not lethal.  They may, however, include exile, social or business restrictions, jail time and (in the most extreme circumstances) judicial execution.

Neutral –

  • Government – The laws don’t really benefit any particular group – but nor are ant groups disadvantaged either.  There are some public facilities, but they aren’t extensive or comprehensive.
  • Social Structure – Social standing is fairly clear –  but there are a number of different ways to progress –  not all of them approved of, and some might even be fairly unsavoury.
  • Laws and Punishments – are written down, and fairly consistent –  but not comprehensive.  The loopholes and get-out clauses often favour those who can afford a good lawyer or have contacts – but overall it works and is reasonably fair.

Evil –

  • Government – is there to benefit the people in-power, with little or no regard for the general population.  Very few public facilities
  • Social Structure – Climb the social ladder by being strong and powerful.  But watch out, there is always someone else that wants your place.
  • Laws and Punishments – Laws and punishments suit the rulers,  and they will probably be extreme.  Order is often maintained through fear. Punishments always strengthen the rulers –  confiscation of property and money, slavery, death of a rival etc etc.


Startens Edge (LG)

A small mining town on the edges of civilisation.

Small Town – Population 240  Note: Population is smaller than normal under my Campaign rules as, there are no smallholdings or settlements outside the town wall.

Council: Sir Rodri Trevin (Paladin(Iomedae)-5, LG) ;  Dolmir Hafgrey (Dwarf Mine Overseer, Expert-4, LG);  Whitlock Rider  (Cleric(Erastil)-4, LG)

The town is made up of three distinct groups.  Dwarf Miners, Human and Halfling Townsfolk and the Starten Mission House.

The Key Players

The Mission House – Some time ago, this region was attacked a group of Orcs, who had summoned a demon to their aid.  A Paladin of Iomedae, and her followers, dealt with that incursion, and a small church – which became known as The Mission House – was built here to commemorate that event.  The church still stands and knights from the church still patrol the area, and even ride guard on the trade caravans that carry goods back and forth to the local market town. It isn’t a high-status mission, and the staff that are sent here are among the greatest of Iomedae’s servants.  That said, there is at least one Paladin and a couple of fighters stationed here, the rest are NPC classes –  but they are still a force to be reckoned with.  (Watchtower + shrine – size 1)

The Starten Mine – The mine is owned and managed by a group of Dwarves led  by Dolmur Hafgrey, the mine overseer.  The mine produces copper and tin, which is smelted on-site to produce ingots.   The primary ore is malachite, and there are occasional chunks that are pure enough to be sent for use as gemstones – although most is low grade and smelted.  It is the town’s most important economic commodity. Some bronze (A copper/tin alloy) is produced, to be used locally.   (Campaign rules – Standard Mine, size 1)

Elk Hall –dedicated to Erastil, the chosen deity of the local population, Elk Hall acts as both a chapel and a community meeting hall.  In between meetings it is used to host communal working sessions, such as a copper school, sewing bees, bulk jam making sessions or group basketwork. (Campaign rules – Holy House, size 1)

The Rest of the Economy

There are a few other Businesses in the town.

  • The White Stag Tavern  (Campaign rules – Tavern, size 1)
  • The Smithy –  working iron, bronze and copper. (Campaign rules – Craft Workshop, size 1)
  • The Tannery – preparing hides and skins for market. (Campaign rules – Craft Workshop, size 1)
  • Starten Mulers – carrying goods from Startens Edge to the big town (Campaign rules – Serai, size 1).
  • Mulers Market –  where all sorts of local goods are traded. (Campaign rules – Local Market, size 1)

The rest of the population are hunters, trappers and general countryfolk.  Between them, they have most craft skills (at a low level).  You can get food, baskets, rugs, clothes, household utensils and even basic furniture at the market –  along with simple weapons and leather armours. Rather than grow crops in fields (which are subject to raiding) the residents tend the local plants to make them more productive, keep goats for milk and cheese, and collect a good supply of fruit, nuts and berries to supplement their diet.

The primary export is copper and tin ingots from the mine – but that is supplemented by leather, furs and a few malachite gemstones.  The main imports are grains, vegetables, and ale.


The town has a ditch and palisade wall, which makes it an unattractive proposition for raiding – especially when it is protected by the soldiers from the mission, supplemented by a lot of experienced hunters who can put up an impressive flight of arrows.   The town has a communal stock of bronze tipped arrows, crossbow bolts, darts and javelins ready to supply defenders in times of need. 

Alignment Effects


For a small town, Starten’s Edge has good public services. There are …

  • Copper School (run by the priests of Erastil)
  • Public Baths
  • Communal Animal Pens (to keep the goats safe overnight)
  • Communal Smoke House to help preserve meat for winter.
  • Dump
  • Well

The priests of Erastil are the first line of Law Enforcement, using persuasion, peer pressure and religious philosophy to keep people in line, but Iomedae’s guards will step in when there are regular transgressions.  At worst, a really persistent (or serious) offender will be escorted to the nearest large town for formal court hearings.


There are a number of local laws in place.

  • No one is allowed to live outside the walls.
  • Every citizen must attend ‘Raid Drill’ every six months – where a community strategy, in case of a serious raid, is practised.  This is normally followed by a ‘Town Social’ where everyone comes together to eat, drink and socialize (often with dancing and other entertainment)
  • Every adult must have attended   Weapon Skills training, which is provided free of charge by Iomedae’s Mission.  For most people, this just involves learning how to use a club proficiently.   However, those who want  to take extra training can do so, and some residents learn the weapon and armour feats that they need to progress to Warrior or Expert’ at the hands of the Mission’s instructors.
  • Citizens who are skilled in using weapons and armour (Warriors & Experts), must serve in the local Militia and attend weapons practice and military training.  This isn’t too onerous, and while sessions are held every week, experienced militia members are not expected to attend all of them.  This covers most of the hunter/trappers, most of the teamsters from the serai and a few of the Dwarves.  Once the character has gained Profession:Soldier+1 (Normally via the Militia feat) they are classed as ‘Experienced’ and only need to attend monthly.