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Dom Rassveta - Calling All Dungeon Masters 
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Evil Genius
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Post Dom Rassveta - Calling All Dungeon Masters
The howling wind suddenly increases its ferocity, and angrily tears at your clothes. Its burning fingers claw across the bits of flesh you've neglected to cover, and the heavy blowing snow seems to assault you from all sides. Visibility is reduced to practically nothing: you can barely make out the ice-crusted outline of your companion up ahead. Instinctively you tuck your chin into an advanced shoulder and continue to trudge through the relentless blizzard.

It seems like days have passed since you sheltered at that eerily-abandoned trapper's hut. Days since your last hot meal. But you know that not to be true. Experience tells you, whispers, that it's a trick of the storm. Your senses are dulling from exposure. Your mind is beginning to muddle, your body has fallen into a forced march. Yet the growing feeling you get is that this storm is not natural, not in the least. Thus your thoughts battle, as your group stubbornly continues onward.

Your legs burn with exhaustion, your lungs ache from the frigid wind that threatens to steal the very life from your body. The endless snow has you frozen to the bone and tired. So tired. When will this devil of a blizzard let up? How much longer can you continue on under these miserable conditions? You don't even have the energy to stop and build a shelter, not that this gods-damned forest will give you and your companions such a simple courtesy!

And your guide. How much longer can he continue, with wounds such as those? Those wolves were, hands down, the largest you have ever laid eyes upon. And savage! Apparently hunger has got the best of all in this frozen hell...*



Hours more inch by, before you stumble into your companion and realize that the entire group has stopped. Fearing another hellish obstacle up ahead you crunch past to get a better look.

The dense evergreens begin to thin out as you continue your walk, until they cease altogether. Ahead you can see the outline of a massive log and stone structure, the sight of which fills your body with a rush of much needed energy. Shelter!

You are standing on a ledge that rises perhaps fifteen or twenty feet from the ground, ground which looks to be a wooden railed pathway that leads to the lantern-lit doorway that sits on top of a double flight of stairs. Through the swirling snow you are convinced you can make out not one, but three large chimneys, one of which looks to be in use. Two windows off from the porch entrance are also lit, producing a weak light that nonetheless indicates occupancy.

You turn and wave the others on, before picking your way down the snow-buried slope to the path below...


Last edited by Five on Sun Mar 06, 2016 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sun Mar 06, 2016 12:14 pm
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Dom Rassveta - Calling All Dungeon Masters
That's a quick intro to a project that I'd love for all of you to be involved in.

"Dom Rassveta" is, according to Google Translate, Russian for "House of Dawn". The house, a huge log and stone chalet-style building is located in the Frozen Reaches, almost directly in between Sanguinia and Vorostokov. It's what I hope will be the culmination of a lot of different people's input.

The "rules" are simple: add one descriptor and move on to the next. That could be one detail (five senses), one object (furniture, paiting, etc), one room layout, or whatever.

The overall picture is that this place is huge (that entrance I referenced is really the back door) to cater to a lot of input, so think BIG. Mansion-like layout: rooms, foyer, staircases, closets, basement, etc.

And don't worry about moving into Dom Rassveta...people can just quote and paste/add their details as they see fit.

Also, Dom Rassveta is a refuge from the werewolves that roam the forests surrounding it, so keep that flavour in mind. It's a refuge for travellers, but at the same time a hunting ground for the lycanthropes. ;)


Sun Mar 06, 2016 12:26 pm
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Dom Rassveta - Calling All Dungeon Masters
Five wrote:
That's a quick intro to a project that I'd love for all of you to be involved in.

"Dom Rassveta" is, according to Google Translate, Russian for "House of Dawn". The house, a huge log and stone chalet-style building is located in the Frozen Reaches, almost directly in between Sanguinia and Vorostokov. It's what I hope will be the culmination of a lot of different people's input.

The "rules" are simple: add one descriptor and move on to the next. That could be one detail (five senses), one object (furniture, paiting, etc), one room layout, or whatever.

The overall picture is that this place is huge (that entrance I referenced is really the back door) to cater to a lot of input, so think BIG. Mansion-like layout: rooms, foyer, staircases, closets, basement, etc.

And don't worry about moving into Dom Rassveta...people can just quote and paste/add their details as they see fit.

Also, Dom Rassveta is a refuge from the werewolves that roam the forests surrounding it, so keep that flavour in mind. It's a refuge for travellers, but at the same time a hunting ground for the lycanthropes. ;)


Sort of like the Inn in Kartakass is for Wolfwere's and the like?


Sun Mar 06, 2016 12:40 pm
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Dom Rassveta - Calling All Dungeon Masters
steveflam wrote:
Sort of like the Inn in Kartakass is for Wolfwere's and the like?


Well, no.

Think of it like as a plot device for DMs to introduce a "weekend in hell" type adventure for their PCs. The structure itself appears and disappears at the whims of the DM. It may, or may not be, inhabited (I envision it to maybe contain one other group of NPCs, maybe even all strangers, if only to provide the DM with a whodunnit sort of twist.). It most certainly is not staffed, unless someone wants to add someone or something. Overall, it's like an upscaled version of the stereotypical abandoned hunter's lodge (which I referenced). Not many people are brave/stupid enough to traverse in between the two domains, so it's largely dilapidated and therefore mostly uninhabited. Any wandering werewolves are drawn to its grounds because of those sheltering in it. It becomes a foodsource and/or sport for them. Dom Rassveta's history will be revealed through explorations of the manse itself.

Think of the hotel in the movie the Shining, and rough it out/detail it like a Fighting Fantasy gamebook...section by section. Then add some Ravenloft twists.

I hope that's clear enough


Last edited by Five on Sun Mar 06, 2016 1:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sun Mar 06, 2016 1:08 pm
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Dom Rassveta - Calling All Dungeon Masters
Yup.


Sun Mar 06, 2016 1:13 pm
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Dom Rassveta - Calling All Dungeon Masters
I'll start things with something simple.

Five wrote:
the lantern-lit doorway that sits on top of a double flight of stairs.


The door is locked, though it can be picked with thieves' tools and a successful DC 15 Dexterity check. The DM could consider imposing disadvantage due to the extreme cold.

A successful DC 12 Wisdom (Perception) check reveals a door mat buried beneath snow. Under this mat is a large iron key. It fits the lock on the door.

If the party's wounded guide tries the door, the door opens. The guide's blood will indicate that a creature requires shelter and the estate responds in kind(?)...


It should go without saying that the DCs provided are, ultimately, up to the DM. They may tailor-fit to their heart's desire.


Sun Mar 06, 2016 5:41 pm
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Dom Rassveta - Calling All Dungeon Masters
Five wrote:
Two windows off from the porch entrance are also lit, producing a weak light that nonetheless indicates occupancy.


The porch has an angled roof and is supported by expertly-crafted stone pillars.

The wooden planked veranda extends both to the left and right of the door in a squared "U" shape. From the left of the door you can look down and determine that you are at least two stories above ground (the same fact can obviously be determined if they walked further down the path).


Sun Mar 06, 2016 6:14 pm
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Dom Rassveta - Calling All Dungeon Masters
I take it this lil project of mine is not very popular outside of my head...haha

Oh well.

Here's a non-linear example:


Study (place it anywhere in the house):

The heavy door swings inward with but a slight groan of protest from its neglected hinges. The fluttering light from the candle (lantern) in your hand temporarily pushes back the darkness within as you step into the room, and the first thing you notice are books littering the floor, followed by a slightly musty smell.

As you walk further into the room you begin to make out some of the interior: a quick glance left reveals a single upholstered chair and accompanying end table sitting in front of what can only be a fireplace. It too is surrounded by stacks of books. The outline of a window on the far left wall catches your eye, its heavy shutters closed and doing a fine job of keeping all light outside. A glance right and a thick wooden desk piled haphazardly with literature comes into view.

But it is along the far wall of the room that catches your attention.

There, on a raised platform, sits a four poster bed. The thick curtains are drawn closed but for a small gap towards the foot of the bed. It is much too dark for you to see inside from you are standing.



DM notes:

The shutters will violently fling open just as the PC(s) investigate the bed, spewing broken glass everywhere. The window is cracked and just can't withstand the ferocity of the storm outside. The shutters are of a sturdy build and can be re-latched.

Further revelations:

Stack of old dried firewood by fireplace, the walls on either side of the fireplace are floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, a candle holder with four barely used candles sits on the end table, an empty but generally clean (and very comfortable) bed, one wheel-lock rifle and two wheel-lock pistols are mounted on the wall above the desk (replace with other weapons if you aren't using firearms), the desk is locked but can be picked and contains bullets and gunpowder (and a bottle of strong spirits - other empty ones can be found throughout the room) and on top of it sits another candle holder with three candles, a locked footlocker (that can be picked or bootmucked) at the foot of the bed that contains some gold, a change of winter clothes, and a potion of healing...or whatever else you want to jam in there. Thinking of a red herring but got nothing at the moment.

Quite a few of the books are actually personal journals, but a successful Wisdom (Perception) check reveals that while they are all signed by different names, they are all written by the same hand. Dom Rassveta records the dreams (or experiences) of those that sleep in the bed. And most read like nightmares. From these a reader can partially determine the history of the house, if they spend enough time reading the journals.


Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:55 am
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Dom Rassveta - Calling All Dungeon Masters
Random Object (place it anywhere in the house, perhaps in the holdout/sitting room):

Crudely constructed from wood, wool, cloth and two small buttons, the battered doll has you oddly captivated. With the dress and, is that a basket it's holding?, it appears to represent a female. Woman or girl is impossible to tell. A large frown looks to be carved into its wooden face by a hand that has no skill at woodworking, and the torso of the cloth dress is stained with something rusty in colour. It could be some sort of dye, but you're not quite sure...

Next to the macabre doll is a small block of wood, one end of which has the same reddish stain. Scratched into the top of the block is "volchonok" (pup/wolfling).


((If that translation is incorrect, then curse Google. I only enter letters. haha))


Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:54 am
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Dom Rassveta - Calling All Dungeon Masters
Scattered throughout the manse are the remnants of a warrior lost to time. Cuirass, horsehair crested helmet, kopis, and shield all belong to the leader of a military unit that was doomed in its last stand against an ancient line of werewolves hundreds of years prior (Dom Rassveta has been rebuilt several times since).

Some of the former visitors and occupants, through their journal entries, make mention of ghostly goings-on: stomping up and down the hallways and paths outside, echoes of raging battles, horrendous pains throughout particular areas of their bodies (that last but for a few moments),...

In the surrounding forest people have claimed to have heard screams of terror and pain that has none in Dom Rassveta able to sleep at night. Sightings of half-eaten corpses hanging from trees (only to vanish when braver souls went to investigate), and other sanity-questioning events pepper more than one scribed account.

The helmet will grant its wearer ghost sight in regards to Dom Rossveta and its immediate surroundings. The ghostly soldiers can be viewed in various stages of their last night: patrolling the grounds, raising the alarm, engaging in battle, and getting shredded by tooth and nail.

The armour is a magic breastplate, the kopis an enchanted blade (bane/lycanthropes), the shield enchanted as well. Adjustments as befits your group.

Worn together, the PC risks possession of the man whose armour they are wearing. Flashes of memories, lingering emotions, and basic consciousness.

When lycanthropic blood is spilled on each of the items it becomes red hot, to the point (damage) of its possessor having to discard the item. When done so the item vanishes. When the last item vanishes the captain, now a fully armed and armoured dread revenant, appears. He will hunt down the entire lineage of the werewolves that ravaged his men.

((More later, with perhaps some fluff))


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Tue Mar 22, 2016 6:43 pm
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Dom Rassveta - Calling All Dungeon Masters
The Portrait:

This once lavishly-decorated corridor is now covered in dust, yet another product of neglect. The flickering light from your candle falls mutely on heavy furniture that has, by your cursory glance, withstood well the test of Time. Occasional motes of dust stirred up by your presence drift lazily through your limited line of sight, and you can't help but feel somewhat like an intruder into this silent war.

To your right, above the masterly crafted panelled trim, are large picture frames. There are seven in total: three men, a woman, then three more men. All are posing with a sort of noble snobbery (most notably the first man), but the woman looks especially harsh. The look in her eyes is distinctly accusatory; you can't help but wonder if the painter was the source of her ire or maybe, perhaps, they never possessed the ability (or want) to dull this unflattering aspect of this woman.


The last portrait, when viewed for the first time, will be that of one of the other PCs. The nameplate will be especially hard to wipe away, but will eventually reveal a name that falls within the ancestry of the others (DMs can name and date these portraits as they see fit). Otherwise the portrait is identical to that of the PC. If/when the other PCs are called over to view the portrait, they will see a painting of a man obviously related to the portrait before it, and who looks nothing like the PC in question. DM can secretly roll a save (whatever rules they're using) for the first PC: if they save then their next look at the portrait will reveal the relative (their mistake). If they fail then they continue to see the other PC's identical likeness in the portrait, to the point where they will argue blue in the face that the portrait is of that PC, or in the least their exact features.

Either way, that PC is now singled-out by Dom Rassveta and will as such be prone to other sanity tests as they explore the manse.


Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:43 am
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Dom Rassveta - Calling All Dungeon Masters
The Mirror That Tells No Lies:

As you make your way down this large hallway, silent but for the soft treading of your boots, something up ahead catches your eye. A glint? Eyes straining, as if to penetrate the fluttering darkness beyond the limits of your available light, you see...nothing but the end of the hallway. It is undecorated, panel-less (unlike the sides of this passageway) and extends up as far as the framework for the floor above. Yet as you glance up, your peripheral again catches that faint glimmer ahead of you. A slight movement of your hand holding the candle and it's there again. Another wave of your hand and you realize with certainty that whatever it is, it is in sync with your movements...

This is a floor-to-ceiling mirror that is caked with grime and dust. The candlelight is just barely reflecting back at the PC. With a few careful wipes the mirror will be revealed.

If a PC has been marked by Dom Rassveta in the vanity hall (the Portrait), then here is where their next sanity test will occur. Looking into the mirror for any length of time will reveal a silhouette walking silently towards them. Turning around, the PC will see nothing but an empty corridor. Looking back into the mirror will continue the scene: a stately-dressed man (recognized, perhaps with a check, as from one of the portraits) is approaching the PC, not from behind, but from the front. The man will eventually stop a foot or two from the PC and stare intently "at them" for a moment or two before beginning to adjust his clothing. Yes, he is clearly looking into the mirror and the PC is actually watching a particular moment in time.

If the PC allows the scene to play out (it's creepy being that close to a "phantom"!), then another figure will approach, that of the stern woman. She is slightly older than in her portrait but she is unmistakable. She helps this younger man adjust his clothes, her hard face never breaking into anything but. At one point she is conversing (the PC can hear nothing; it's mime); the man appears at points cowed, nervous, and agitated. The woman clearly begins to scold the man. Anger results. The old woman slaps the man's face, HARD, and he again becomes sullen. She walks away, leaving the fuming man standing before the mirror, staring at his own reflection (the PC) with defiant eyes...before fading into the here and now.


Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:22 am
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Dom Rassveta - Calling All Dungeon Masters
I've decided that this lil project is broken at best, so I'll change the format some. Instead of using Dom Rassveta as an actual place in the Land of Mists, I'm now going to use it as my public headspace for RL-inspired scenes, encounters, events, and general all-purpose oddities. If something comes to my brain that I think is cool enough to jam in here then I will. I don't have the fingers of King Midas so the quality is whatever it will be. Take it, shake it, break it, or stake it. Makes no matter to me. :)

The Mouths of Madness:

You creep open the door and are instantly met by the smells of earthen bowels and darkness. Your candlelight pushes back some of the darkness, and you can see that you are standing at the beginning of a steep and very old wooden staircase. You test your weight, first one foot, then both, and it seems solid enough.

As you descend you notice a not so subtle shift in architecture; the house above doesn't so much as blend in to your current surroundings but ends rather abruptly into what appears to be a man-made excavation. The walls to either side are generally smooth in most parts, but in places irregular lines scratch and claw their shadow-inked signatures into the ancient stone. Is it from the tools that were used, or is it something...else?

The staircase you are on suddenly seems obtrusive...

A faint "drip"..."drip"...catches your ear and refocuses your attention.

"BANG!"

The door above slams shut and you can't help but spin around in fright. Yet as you do something solid, strong, catches a hold on your ankle and you find yourself plunging backwards and down the stairwell.

It isn't long before pain finds you and a darkness darker than dark fills your stare.


* * * *

You didn't die, you're not asleep, and you never dreamt any of it. The coppery taste in your mouth, the sharp pulsing pain in your left shoulder, and the familiar stickiness on your fingers after you rubbed the itch on your forehead are all proof enough of your current truth. And in the immortal words of your father, "The Truth ain't always yer friend." You smirk at his wisdom and quickly evaluate: The good news is that your trip down is done. The bad news? You can barely make a fist with your left hand. And you are surrounded by pitch black.

The sudden knot in your stomach isn't from hunger.

Crawling on your knees, you begin to probe the damp stone floor and wooden debris for the fallen candle. A few panicked moments pass before you realize that you have a spare on your person. Just for this sort of situation. You scold yourself, your mind, for its momentary lapse and go about establishing a new light source. The going's rough with one and a quarter hands, but you manage well enough and take a look around.

The splintered wood is obviously where you landed, and is the first thing you can make out clearly. The lower end of the staircase is absolutely demolished. And you took out so much of it that you would have a hard time climbing to the intact portion even if you had full use of both hands.

Dismayed (yet oddly proud) you twist about on your knees and can make out a rounded tunnel that goes off further into...whatever this place is. Yet the walls here are bricked and in pretty decent shape. At least this portion is. The floor is smooth, damp and as cold as hell, but smooth enough. This is not some cavern as you initially thought but an underground continuation of the domicile above.

You allow yourself a one second gut check, a quick exhale of the negative, then stand to your feet.

It's time to move.

Nowhere to go but to follow the tunnel, you head forward. Again, your ears catch the sounds of steady dripping. Water? The candlelight reflecting on the slickened walls and on some parts of the floor appear to confirm your suspicions. A breeze suddenly comes from out of nowhere and threatens to snuff the candle's flame. You instinctively cover it with your still smarting hand. The thought creeps into your mind that you should have done a more thorough job of searching upstairs for a lantern, but just as quickly you dismiss the novelty. Should haves and could haves have no place in the here and now. What's done is done, and here you are. Doubt, in situations such as this, is a very dangerous opponent.

You walk on down the still rounding tunnel.

The outline of a heavy wooden door enters your line of sight to your right and stops your progress. It is constructed of aged yet still solid-looking wooden planks and banded with iron. There is no obvious locking mechanism. You listen carefully for a count of ten before you switch the candle to your left hand and place your right hand on the heavy iron ring. Although the pain in doing so is still present, you find yourself relieved that it seems to be lessening with time. Maybe you're just getting used to it, or perhaps your mind has more important things to worry about; either way your grip seems to be getting stronger. Likely just a bad bruise.

You push, but the door refuses to budge. You push harder, and it groans in protest. You curse to yourself, grit your teeth and give the door a nice angry blast of your shoulder. It gives in to your will and you somewhat stumble into the room.



cont.


Sat Apr 01, 2017 1:14 am
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Dom Rassveta - Calling All Dungeon Masters
for the record, i think this is a really cool concept, just haven't had time/inspiration to participate.

Also note that the Community Projects forum doesn't get a whole lot of traffic. Since you have to scroll down to see it, I know I for one often don't notice new posts here. Maybe put a link in the General Forum to generate interest....

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Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:23 pm
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Post Re: Dom Rassveta - Calling All Dungeon Masters
Interesting, indeed.

Or we could move this post to the General Forum?

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Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:34 am
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