Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Player's Campaign Questions [Galbaruc] Part 2.

Picking up from the last post:  This batch of questions is from Antion:

Where do I live? How private is it? Enough to muffle a scream?

All native PCs begin play as boarders at a Low Lodging House run by a 'Mother Clinkscales.'  It's a shabbily respectable looking structure in a disreputable corner of the Contrada of the Shark.  It is overcrowded, indifferently maintained, and offers little to no privacy.  On the plus side, fewer stabbings are reported to take place on the premises, guests may store bulky or cumbersome items in a locked storeroom, and Mother Clinkscales herself has a reputation for honesty, discretion,  and even a touching proprietary concern on behalf of her boarders.

Where did I go to school? How prestigious is that?  

Galbaruc has its own university, though it has a reputation as a breeding ground for heresy, hedonism, and weird fringe philosophy.  There is also a medical school, whose curriculum occilates between the archaic and the dangerously experimental.  Most people have no education beyond a simple grammar school (and even that's a rarity in the countryside and the poorer parts of the city), so a University education of any sort is extremely prestigious, a fact often exploited by charlatans.

How many people care what religion I am? What if I'm an atheist?

Though nominally Urizenite, Galbaruc is more religiously pluralistic than many of its neighbors, and the local form of Urizen's faith are considered by more Orthodox believers to be hopelessly corrupt, compromised, and riddled with heresy, superstition, and foreign influences.  Many foreign and indigenous gods have been syncretized as Saints, and in the countryside, especially, older religions are practiced alongside the new.  Even in the city itself, indigenous gods such as Yash-Kunag and Seppophis are worshipped openly by more heterodox Urizenites, and the rites of Yash-Kunag are tied with the panoply and rituals of state.

That said, there is a sizable minority of hardline Urizenites, and brawls and even pitched battles between opposing sects and faiths have been known to take place.  Religious prejudices may inform legal decisions and hiring practices.

Atheists are mostly found around the University, and in artistic circles.  They are considered by the majority to be odd, overeducated, and delusional, but are generally tolerated outside of orthodox Urizenite circles.  Many atheists find gainful employment during the Festival of the Great Culling, as their skepticism makes them less succeptable to the awe-inducing aura of the godlings.

Finally, atheist "clerics" exist.  They do not attribute their wonder-working powers to a deity, and offer their own explanations (if any) for their strange abilities.

What languages do I speak? Common, Ancient, Foreign?

Most people in the city speak "Common."

Other languages encountered so far include:

Zhaibari -- The dominant language of the nearby Sultanate
Kozak -- Language of the rampaging hordes.  Hyperborean's hillbilly nephew, twice removed.
Hyperborean - Dominant tongue of the 'civilized' regions of the Far North.  Lots of dialects.

Some Scholarly/Dead/Exotic languages include:

Classical Hyberborean
Ancient Hyperzephyrian
Northern Tlönic
Southern Tlönic

How easy is it to acquire new magic-user spells?

Access to M-U spells is pretty much limited to what you can find while adventuring and what you can get from other M-Us in the city.  Usually this would involve joining an Occult Order, but theft is also an option.

Is "adventurer" its own social class? How shitty can I treat commoners (or vice versa)?

Adventurers occupy a similar status to actors in Renaissance Europe and Genroku Era Japan -- dangerous, disreputable, and lower-class, but often possessed of a certain glamour and swaggering style that captures the imagination of their betters.

Most common people treat them as they would a chapter of Hell's Angels -- with an amount of distaste mixed with fear of physical violence.

Where can I buy or sell something illegal? (Drugs? Poison? A dead body?)

The subterranean Night Market, which changes locations frequently, is the place to go.  In addition, many unassuming shops do a brisk trade in contraband goods in back rooms and under the counter, if the customer knows who to ask. 

Can I auto-buy new equipment while in town or shouId I ask you to bust out your Ye Olde ShoppeKeep voice?

Standard equipment you can auto-buy unless you're in the middle of fighting a small army of waterlogged living corpses dragging themselves out of the canals or something.  Something exotic or custom-built I'll either do as a scene in-game or settle with you outside of the game so as not to slow things down.

Is a rapier v longsword duel considered ridiculous or merely unsporting? for which side?

In a formal duel, the choice of weapons is left to the offended party.  Generally, it's seen as sporting to allow each duelist to fight with the weapon he's most familiar with.  Sword and pistol duels are common, and more exotic arrangements involving poisonous plants, cursed bells, and lethal gastonomy have been heard of.  The most serious affairs of honor are settled with knives, and anyone interfering in a knife duel is held in the lowest contempt and disgust.

Any random charts or formalized lists of frivolous shit I can waste my money on?

I'm working on it.  I'm using Chris Kutalik's Conspicuous Consumption rules from Hill Cantons in which you can earn XP by spending your hard-earned cash on fripperies and gewgaws.