Sunday, April 21, 2013
I love the idea of scavengers, people who take anything they can find and make it into something useful for them. In many ways, I guess I am one too. I can’t stand to throw things away, and I often find new uses for old things. Nowadays this is no longer looked on as odd, but instead as a form of recycling. In Fletnern, the ultimate scavengers are those who still live in the Great Archipelago. Thousands of years ago, the titans (in the midst of a civil war) destroyed the continent and thus accidentally formed the Great Archipelago. Those who still live there are constantly using “artifacts” from the titans to form their tools and weapons. One of my favorites was when a race of 12” tall winged women used diamond shards as arrow tips and gold jewelry to fashion chain mail. The party went looking for a golf ball sized diamond, only to find it had been destroyed in order to make arrows and other weapons that were used against them. Elsewhere I have raiders, goblins, who really don’t have any technology of their own. They steal stuff from the humans and then use it to better their own arsenals. The first thing they do when they raid a house is to hit the kitchen. Not only do they find knives and such there, but they are looking for the spoons. They flatten them, then straighten them, then sharpen them, for arrow points. Hmmm. Do I have a fixation on arrow heads? Anyway, these are just the tip of the iceberg. Use of metal serving platters for breastplates, cooking pots for helmets (I know not too original), an oak table top as a shield, metal barrel rings to strengthen wooden shields, plus all the kitchen objects (like tenderizers and rolling pins) as weapons and clubs. I don’t know why I enjoy this stuff so much, but there’s nothing more fun to me than when a goblin raider whacks a knight upside his pretty helmet with a meat tenderizer and scores some real damage. (Right now most of my original play-testers probably thought back to that one ogre woman who cleaned their clocks with a frying pan, after they had defeated all the “warriors”.) Sometimes silly works - then it’s great to have scavengers. Sometimes, a little thought here can allow some primitives to have something very useful, and then scavenging becomes a real tool for a GM. After all, if the enemies are only packing scavenged stuff, the adventurers won’t have much to sell, and then scavenging is a great game balance factor. Don’t forget to have the non-combat strength kitchen items break more often. The random factor keeps everyone jumping then. You never know. The scavenger chief might have put a treasure map up on the wall of his cave like it was art work. You never know when a scavenger’s misunderstanding of what he has will be the basis for the adventure itself.