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Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Invaders & Ancients - full contents

As a starting point for our survey of all the Invaders & Ancients work, this is how we broke down the material originally designed for QuestWorld to form the book or books that would have become Dragon Warriors #7 and after:

Invaders & Ancients


Part I

Awakening (r)
Players prepare their characters by constructing an astrological chart that sets the traits they will develop in the course of play.

The Marches (b)
Background history and maps of the remote northern region where the game begins.

"Behind the Arras” (s)
The first scenario deals with skulduggery at the castle of one of the March warlords. The storyline allows for improvisation without undue emphasis on the game rules at this stage.

Part II

Combat (r)
Sword styles and special combat maneuvers.

Warlords of the North (b)
Descriptions of the most powerful lords of the Marches, along with details of their alliances, ambitions and infighting – a sticky situation that could easily embroil the player-characters.

"Thrill of the Chase" (s)
An adventure that appears on the surface to involve a simple boar hunt in the retinue of the Marquess of Ormolu (see Part I). In fact the party stumbles onto a Beowulf-like situation involving much more dangerous game.

Part III

Paths to Glory (r)
Travel by road and sea, including weather, tolls, bandits, and encounters along the way.

Deliverance (b)
A guide to the first and mightiest of the Sovereign cities, which will be the basis of the characters’ adventures from now on.

"The Festival of Light" (s)
The player-characters' first week in Deliverance coincides with the annual festival - on the surface, a week of ingenuous revelry, but behind the scenes there are guild politics, smuggling and nefarious roguery.

Part IV

Honed to Perfection (r)
How character’s professions affect the improvement costs of different skills, and the abilities that can be gained at high skill-levels.

Saints and Sinners (b)
The religion, superstitions and social system of the Sovereign (or Invader) Race, to which the player-characters belong.

"The Rain Dragon Mystery" (s)
A mysterious death and the theft of a valuable antique sword from a dueling academy - the link between these events embroils the players in a web of intrigue.

Part V

Magic (r)
How magic works, with the effects of astrology and the lists of spells available to sorcerers of the various academies.

Times of Old (b)
The history of the Old City across the straits from Deliverance. Also further details of the Ancient Race who were the original inhabitants of the continent, including the Ancients who still rule up the coast in the Courts of Oblivion.

"An Interest in Curios" (s)
Engaged by an elderly captain to find out what happened to three of his former shipmates, the players encounter sorcery and sinister dealings in the backstreets of Deliverance.

Part VI

River Trade & Travel (r)
Rules dealing with the transport of people and goods up and down the Ophis. Opportunities for adventure abound, as river merchants often need guards for their wares - and players may also wish to invest in river trade (or smuggling) themselves.

The Cities of the River (b)
The Ophis cuts east-west across the continent and is navigable by ocean-going vessels for several hundred miles. This section deals with the inland cities that prosper because of the constant river traffic.

"Buried in Air" (s)
The player-characters become associates of Sokaris Longshore, a scholar and treasure-hunter who has discovered some ancient cave-tombs in cliffs overlooking the river. The tombs do contain valuable artifacts, but the dead are reluctant to yield them without a fight...

Part VII

Nightmares Become Real (r)
Details of such uncanny beings as the ghastly Serug, the Cacerins, the life-stealing Mausogoths, and other ghosts and bugbears of folklore.

The Old City (b)
Accounts of the ruins of Serafax which face Deliverance across the Ophis - a place said to be haunted by things uncanny and terrifying.

"Shadow Selves" (s)
Thieves break into the house of Sokaris, whom the player-characters encountered in the last scenario. The artifacts stolen suggest a ritual of the Ancients, and this is backed up by an old acquaintance of Sokaris who claims that an enclave of assassins from the Courts of Oblivion have formed their base in the Old City. Like it or not, the players have to journey across to the ruins and investigate.


Working Miracles (r)
The thaumaturgy of the Ancient Race wizards.

Ancient Tales (b)
The mythology and religion of the Ancients.

"Bad Moon Rising" (s)
A sorcerer of the Ancient Race plans to resurrect an extinct god and make himself high priest - an elaborate plot in which the player-characters could easily become burnt offerings if they do not keep their wits about them.

Part IX

Wild Life (r)
The natural fauna and flora of the continent.

Over the Mountains (b)
The gazetteer ranges further afield to cover areas away from the well-travelled paths of the merchant caravans.

"A Tale of Treachery" (s)
Sheltering from a storm at an old fortified plantation, the player-characters uncover the still-burning embers of a decades old feud.

Part X

Myth Levels (r)
How game adventures move beyond the day-to-day "reality" of the fantasy world and into the realms of epic and myth.

Here be Monsters (b)
Source material for the virtually legendary regions of the continent: the Miasmos swampland, the Wastes of Gizen, the Tessellate Causeway and the Rime Vasts.

"Inheritance" (s)
The player-characters escort a friend who is heir to a vineyard on the edge of Miasmos. Before he can collect his inheritance, however, the ghosts of the past must be laid to rest.

Part XI

Devil Magic (r)
Summoning and negotiating with the aboriginal spirit-gods of Ophis – which, in the faith of the Sovereign states, are of course seen as demons and devils.

Sardonyx (b)
Far upriver lies the last and greatest city of the Ancient Race – a marvelous relic of a glorious past, where the surviving Ancients lie sunk in opium-sleep and dream of their former grandeur.

"More Precious Than Gold" (s)
The player characters get caught up in the theft of a set of priceless jewels from one of the great Houses of Sardonyx. Forced to flee across the desert, they must contend with the harsh heat, the demons sent to pursue them, and the threat of their own greed. Survivors, if any, will truly have tales to tell.

Appendices: Further details of the history, languages, calendar, architecture and peoples of the world of Ophis.

The letters (r), (b) and (s) denoted rules, background and scenarios respectively. I'm not sure now how this would have been divided across three (or more) books. And it is still possible in this outline TOC to see the project's beginnings as a RuneQuest book, whereas in our re-edited material the DW flavor comes across much more definitely.

More Dragon Warriors over the next week or two with an all-new scenario ("More Precious Than Gold", mentioned above) plus Tim Harford's and my notes for DW2. Truly, you don't want to go touching that dial.

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