This site has been rather quiet.
That doesn’t mean Red Turban Press is dead or work hasn’t been done behind the scenes. For the last 18 months, I have been working on completing a fantasy campaign setting for the 13th Age Role Playing Game System from Pelgrane Press.
Cloak & Coin.
Cloak & Coin is a fantasy campaign setting compatible with the 13th Age Roleplaying Game. In broad strokes, the setting is typical for fantasy roleplaying games where adventurers can find dragons to slay and dungeons to explore; however, it is this broad familiarity that lays the foundation for the subtler details that make Cloak & Coin unique.
Generations have passed since the Severing that created the current age. A mage-wrought catastrophe that reshaped the face of Aer’ath, it also broke the arcane and divine threads that connected it to other planes and the gods. Though people maintain faith, the gods have long been absent. There are those who would attempt to undo the Severing – reweave the threads to the elder gods. Others stand against them fearing the consequences of such hubris. Some seek to find less arcane ways of understanding and taming nature. The world is also on the cusp of scientific enlightenment as universities and independent scholars work toward understanding magic, the divine, and their place in the world.
The campaign is set in the Peninsula of Sántar, a region that is home to powerful merchant princes that reign over a mercantile oligarchy. Competitive and ruthless, the merchant houses exist in a state of continual conflict that is hidden behind a thin veneer of civility. Although the conflict will occasionally come into the open, it is usually fought in the shadows. It is in this shadow war that adventurers and mercenaries find employment; often hired by merchant houses to steal from, or sabotage, their rivals. Sometimes, they are on the other side of the blade, escorting a trade caravan or protecting some vital asset. Even delving into dungeons can mean a patron. When rumors about lost treasures reach an acquisitive merchant lord, it is adventurers who are hired to collect those artifacts. Beyond their intrinsic monetary value, such artifacts are symbols of status and can give a house competitive advantage.
The players’ group, whether they are a band of adventurers or members of a mercenary company, may be formally retained by a particular house or operate as freelancers, offering their services to any merchant house that can afford them. Alternatively, if the game master and the players agree, an entire campaign can be centered on characters that are loyal agents of a particular merchant house. On the other side of the coin, the merchant lords rarely care for the carnage they inevitably leave in their wake. The players may instead choose a campaign centered on helping the victims of the merchants’ machinations.
Behind all this is a backdrop of national intrigue and conflict. The largest imperial power, The Theocracy of Iesadhe finds itself beset by marauding hordes on its western front, while rebellion and unrest tear it apart in the east. And, a cold war exists between elven cousins that draws others into the conflict. The High Elves of Corel’iey are the world’s greatest naval power, while the Sun Elves of Lysantho maintain a formidable army. Neither has the capability to dominate the other, but generations of animosity make any rapprochement impossible. So, both engage in continual, hidden conflict with other people drawn into shifting webs of allegiance.
Of course, not every group wants to get mired in the intrigues of the merchant houses or the intrigues of politics; sometimes one wants to simply to escape into a classic dungeon delve whether under the flag of a patron or not. Beyond the cities of the peninsula is a world open to adventure. The Severing left numerous ruins that remain unexplored. Many trade caravans must travel through regions controlled by savage races. Raiders and slavers harass villages and isolated settlements. For those hewn from rougher stone, such a world provides opportunities for exploration and monster slaying.