- D&D 3e
- Classic Traveller
As I join the game, the party are in Sandpoint, an area where I played and DMed a few years ago. And home to one of my favourite characters of all time, Sir Gagak deKassen. Gagak is a half-orc Barbarian - with a level of Bard that represents his entry to the 'civilized' world and a level of Chevalier (A knightly class) which represents him becoming part of the gentry. His adventuring group invested some of their in a business, The Kassen Kompany, which helped establish all of them in society, and now provides Gagak's wives with a regular income. Their home is at Skids Landing, a small (almost wilderness) settlement on the very edges of Sandpoint's hinterlands.
The family background and Skids Landing have been modified so that they do not impinge on the game. Unless Artifex (the GM) wants it to.
Skids Landing, or Skids as it is known locally, has been trimmed back to one of its early incarnations for this game.
Skids Landing is a very rural/wilderness village - and even calling it a village might be pretentious! It is a rough and ready place, with few facilities, businesses or governance. Most of the time people just do their own thing, unless they upset one of the three main players – The Kassen Kompany, Scarnetti Timber and the Dwarves. In very rare circumstances, the three even work together …
The Kassen Kompany is a small business set up by a group of adventurers, including Gagak deKassen. It has other interests, but in Skids Landing it owns the Barge Jetty, a small shop and an animal training facility. The Kassen Company barges (actually keel boats) ship stone, skins, furs, leather and other similar items out of Skids, and returns with supplies and people. The shop sells all the basic household requirements as well hunting and trapping gear - including arrows, bolts, knives, hunting spears etc. They also own an animal training facility, specialising in hunting dogs, guard dogs and pack ponies/mules.
Scarnetti Timber have base here. They don't do much cutting around Skids now, and have moved their cutting camps upstream. However, the camps are managed from here and the timber is collected, collated, recorded and then sent down stream for processing. A number of local people work on the timber crews and their livelihood is dependent on the Scarnettis. The Timber Office also has a Bunk House for their itinerant and single male workers - all of which adds to the 'wild west' flavour of the town.
The Dwarves run a small quarry about a mile outside Skids. The dwarves live in caves houses cut into the side of the quarry, although they come down to Skids for supplies and to visit the bar. And, of course, their stone is shipped out on Kassen Kompany barges. There are rumours that there is an old mine, accessed through the cave houses, but the dwarves deny this. Quarrymen and stone workers all, the dwarves are a tough as old boots, and are well able to defend themselves in a brawl.
Skids Bar is a very basic inn. It has a large bar area (mainly selling ales and strong spirits), a small kitchen (Always stew for dinner), and a couple of bedrooms (one double, one six bed bunk room). It caters to a lot of strong, hard-working people - timber workers, sailors from barges, hunters, trappers, quarry workers etc - there are brawls on a fairly regular basis. Little real damage, but enough cuts, bruises and hangovers to keep the herbalist in business.
The Village also supports hunter/trappers, a tanner/leather worker, a carpenter, herbalist and a 'river-man'. You can get a number of leather and wooden items (even leather armour, shields and clubs) as well as baskets, thatching reeds and rush mats in the village - and they are also exported down stream to bring a bit of cash into the community.
The single largest building in Skids Landing and family home to the deKlassen clan. It was always a chaotic place, fully of enthusiastic, noisy people, some of whom were still children - but it is quieter now. It was only ever 'just big enough', the adults had small private rooms, but the children shared dormitory style rooms. Everybody (adults, children and staff) all eat together in the main room, and relations and communications between the deKassens and the staff is generally fairly informal.
Gagak deKassen, head of the family, is an adventurer and often away from home - indeed he hasn't been home for something like ten years now. Adriana deKassen, the senior wife, now spends much of her time in Magnimar, and sometimes Korvosa. Delilah (Third wife) isn't home all that much either, and is currently believed to be in Riddleport or Kaer Maga. Only Anya (second wife) and the two youngest children live at home now, and they seem to rattle around in the big house.
There are a few live-in staff - the Housekeeper, The Cook and the Guard - who are supported by part-time workers from the village. The kennel only has a single hunting dog to look after now, although there are a couple of guard dogs, who are let loose in the compound over-night, and a couple of other, more pet like, dogs. There are five guards , including the sergeant, who have a fairly easy life - they stand gate guard during the day, go on occasional patrol come hunting trips and look after the kennel.
Some might call the deKassen family dysfunctional, and it has certainly attracted a few comments in its time, but it has held up for a good twenty years now - and has certainly been successful, in its own special way.
Gagak has three wives. Three very different wives, and he wasn't overly concerned about how they got on together, so long as each of them go on with him, it led to an 'interesting' household.
Adriana never liked Delilah much, and struggled to conceal it. Delilah either didn't notice or didn't care. Anya, just smiled all the way through …
Seven children with three different mothers, all living at home under the same roof.
(Inheritance rules. Breya 60%, Orion 30%, 10% split between the rest as minor bequests) Fabien, Breya and Orion tend to think they are better than the other children, and can be quite condescending. Breya often says that she will sell the Compound as soon as she inherits it, because she wants to live in the City, where she thinks she belongs.