Saturday, April 6, 2013

Design Diary: On Building an Army, part 1

Scoundrel. Thief. Murderer. Infamous.

If you are like me, and have read through Frank Mentzer’s Basic Set Player’s Booklet, there should only be one name that springs to mind on reading those four words:


What began in Mistamere was continued in Dungeon Magazine #150’s “Kill Bargle!” by Jason Bulmahn. The idea behind Thorn’s Mystara was visiting the famous, iconic locations to see if I could put my own spin on those people and places. Though the Chronicle starts in the mountain pass between Darokin and Karameikos, the companions’ adventures truly began once they reached Threshold.

On Thorn’s Mystara, Bargle lives, and plots. The Black Eagle has secured two of the Eyes of Traldar, and has tasked Bargle with uncovering the true powers of the stones. His studies have led him to the fabled sorcerer-king Gygar, and his seat of power, the castle known as Mistamere. Gygar spent vast amounts of wealth accumulating knowledge of the Traladaran stones of legend. Woodcuts in a Thyatian tome setting down the Song of Halav were said to be direct copies of several tapestries woven by Petra herself, depicting the stone by her side, in the hands of a young girl of fair hair and blue eyes. 
This has led Bargle to begin acquiring locals of the same desciption, in the hopes that one of them may be descended from the girl depicted in the tapestry.
I never imagined Bargle to be a villain to do anything just halfway. And Thorn and his companions needed something more challenging than a mere kobold tribe.
Thus was born the idea of Silva’s Army.
Why only have to save one damsel, when the heroes could save a dozen of them? All at once?
What could possibly go wrong?


  1. looks nice. interested in the contents.

    1. You can find a rough-cut of "The Baron's Favor" on my Google Docs (or whatever they're calling it these days) by following the link in the upper left sidebar.

      The serialized "novelization" from which I plotted out the module can be found on the Piazza's Mystara forum, by following the "Rise of the Winter King" link.