Thursday, 31 January 2013

Karth - Game Setting for HoF

Today we have another excerpt from the Hands of Fate Core Rules book. The game world is one of brutality and cruelty, where death is an every day threat. As many people die by sword and axe as natural causes, and bloodshed is everywhere.

Karth is a land dominated by two main societies – The Imperials and the indigenous Karthi. There are 5 main cities dotting the coast and inland, with many villages and town scattering in between. The majority of the settlements are clan holdings, governed by proxy from the nearest Imperial Outposts, forced to supply a tribute or tax to support the conquering Empire. The fierce, strong barbarians have fared well under Imperial rule and after a decade of peace they have nearly ceased to chafe under foreign leadership. Education is better than it has been in generations, clan warfare is not as prevalent as years past, and a centralised government has stabilised the chaotic lifestyle of the barbarians somewhat. The land itself is far from tame, however, and dangers exist that would curdle a man's blood, enemies ancient and new ready to begin their campaigns of terror and evil. It is a land ripe for an adventurer with the mettle and desire to make a name for themselves, a land of old hatreds and forgotten horrors. A land where the complacency of peace is a dangerous thing.

The Empire From far off over the seas came the Empire, conquerors and merchants all. Their advanced weaponry and disciplined warriors overcame the local Karth populace nearly 15 years ago, slaying the last Clan King of Karth and dissolving the ancestral ruler-ship of its people. Now, the High Magistrate governs Karth and manages its tribute and taxes to be sent back to the Emperor in the capital city of Corah. New Corah, once named Tir before the invaders, is the main outpost of Imperial rule. The barbarians of Karth, although resent being conquered have prospered under the Empire for nearly a decade.

Recently, there has been turmoil due to the latest High Magistrate’s draconian governance and the people are beginning to chafe. Imperial civilians are considered pioneers and profiteers. They have a natural knack for commerce and venerate the twin deities Loran and Lokan, mythical founders of the Empire. Karth Imperials are hardy folk not afraid to do hard work, although there is a large percentage of criminals due to the original plan to make the colony penal. Their penchant for trade grants all Imperial characters the Talent
Acumen, which allows them to add their Cunning to any one Manipulation based Skill check once per day. They must also receive the Talent Social Station which gives any opponent who is perceived to be of a higher social status a bonus equal to their Cunning to any Manipulation based Skill checks made against the character.

Karthi The Karthi is the collective term for native Karth inhabitants, who for hundreds of generations were the rulers of Karth. Millennia ago their ancestors overthrew the degenerate Alfari Ascendancy, and banished the survivors to the wilds. Their society is paternal and favours displays of strength and fortitude. Rule was ancestral and its kings could trace their lineage back through time to the original warriors who slew their Alfari oppressors. Having no outright ruler of its people meant they were naturally factitious and divided, which the Empire used to its advantage in conquering them. In general, most Karthi have accepted Imperial rule, as it has done a fair job of maintaining peace and allowed the Karthi to focus on pursuits other than perpetual clan warfare, although outlying settlements still engage in it. Taller and stockier than Imperials, but not as refined or ‘cultured’, Karthi characters have the Talent Might, which allows them to add their Power to any one Strength based Skill check once per day. They also gain the Talent Superstitious, which causes a -2 penalty to Total on any resist or defence Skill check against magic.