Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Yoon-Suin Kickstarter Trailer and Special Offer

I have completed a draft of the 2nd edition of Yoon-Suin. Those of you who were hoping for a u-turn towards minimalist design will be disappointed. It adds approaching 150 pages of additional material, including new appendices, new monsters, new treasure tables, and 12 fully mapped, fully keyed adventure sites for varying party levels.

It will also have nice maps and lots more art. 

There will be a kickstarter announced in the coming weeks. In the meantime, I have decided that I will have to, sadly, retire the original Yoon-Suin in PDF form. But it won't go without a bang: for the remainder of this month, you will be able to buy the PDF for £1 from the Noisms Games website. If for whatever reason you have been unable to make up your mind whether to get it or not, well, it's time to shit or get off the pot. 

Here is the link: https://noisms-games.squarespace.com

And here is a trailer, or amuse bouche if you will; these are the introductory paragraphs for all 12 of the new adventure sites.

The Mourning Garden of the Unrequited Lover 

The garden was created in joy, and defiled in sorrow by the one who made it. A brahmin who wished to celebrate her forthcoming nuptials with a pleasure garden to present to her groom, she was spurned at the last. Her name is now forgotten, but the garden remains as a testimony to love’s cruelty and caprice. It now lies hidden behind high walls of pale rose-coloured stone with its secrets and treasures intact. Human children from the quiet neighbourhood which surrounds it jest in whispers about climbing those walls someday, but even the bravest cannot be dared to do it; the best they can manage is to cluster at the garden’s iron gate, gaze inside, and then scatter in shrieks of delighted terror at some imaginary glimpsed-at horror within. 

The Hornet’s Sting 

Navigators in the Gulf of Morays make use of the constellation of the hornet as their guide, because the bright star at the point of its sting does not move in the night sky. Lying directly under this star is a small island. Some quirk of geographical fortune gives it an appropriate shape, for while it sits low on the horizon for the most part, at its northern end there suddenly spikes up a sheer needle-like crag rising six hundred feet into the air. From a distance, this even seems to slightly curve like the stinger of some vast insect otherwise submerged beneath the sea. For these reasons the name of the island is obvious, and is the same in all of the languages spoken by the many peoples who call the Gulf of Morays and its coasts home.  The island's reputation is also universal: at the tip of that crag lurks a huge spider of unearthly scale, visible from all around, and only an outlaw or lunatic would think it worth the attempt at landing.   

The Museum of Relics Gathered by Wu-U the Brave and Magnificent on His Voyages to the Four Corners of the Earth 

Red Hill is a neighbourhood of faded grandeur growing ramshackle and senescent. The Old Town surrounds it on three sides; the visitor cannot escape forming the impression that, like a sand bar exposed to the rising tide, its sleepy streets and half-deserted markets will soon be engulfed by the emptiness around it. At its very edge, at the point where the Old Town can truly be said to begin, stands Wu-U’s museum: a two-storied building of white stone with elegant colonnades and handsome tiled floors coated with dust. Whether Wu-U was brave or magnificent, as the sign above the entrance to his museum suggests, is not now remembered. Nor is it known whether he did indeed travel on voyages to the four corners of the earth - or even take any voyages at all. It is at least thought that relics can indeed be found inside, although the locals - despondent, decrepit, discouraging - insist that there are probably ghosts and demons protecting them, and that it is surely not worth entering to find out. 

The Pit Near “______” Somewhere in the thickness of the jungle the level ground suddenly falls away in a sheer drop and the traveller winces against the dazzling light of the sun with eyes that had grown accustomed to the shadows. He stands at the edge of a great circular hole, three hundred yards in diameter and a hundred feet deep, which looks not so much as though it was gouged from the surface of the earth, but rather that it was crushed downwards as though by the footstep of some gargantuan beast. He feels a slight breeze on his cheek where before there was only the still fetidness of the forest air, and he savours that moment as he surveys what lies before him. Steep cliffs overgrown with creepers and shrubs, broken here or there by the blackness of a cave. The bottom of the pit concealed almost entirely by the canopy of the trees growing there. A hornbill or monkey-eating eagle gazing at him as it passes, parallel with his position at the lip of the hole. And the dark surface of a pool, flat and unreflective in the shade cast by the great walls of the pit. 

The Ruin of the Dhole God’s Temple 

On a lonely, dusty mound rising up from the plain there sits a crumbling heap of brownish-yellow stone. In it there once sat a mighty avatar of the Dhole God, who hunted far and wide with his followers - men, women, and dholes - and whose name the local people dared not speak. He is now long gone, and the temple which he inhabited is this lonely ruin: a square base with a pyramid squatting on top, and a single minaret close by, the stone here and there speckled with red or white where once there was bright paint. Some memory of the fear which the place used to instil lingers in the minds of those who live nearby, and it now stands silent and rarely visited, a testament to how strength and power eventually fail, but are long in the fading. 

The Fighting Pits at Hailakundpur 

In lush, green Pajuli, where the grass grows shoulder high, where termite mounds rise up like the monoliths in some vast cemetery of giants, and where buffalo wallow in great herds in the fecund mud, there once stood a mighty city: Hailakundpur. Nothing is now left of it, except for a low hillock which rises above the grasslands like the dome of some massive sunken tomb. Here the grass grows short in the rocky ground, where chunks of masonry lie covered in the dust and soil of the eons. And on the top of this mound is a cluster of circular pits of various size, lined with clay bricks and connected by tunnels. They were once used by the people of Hailakundpur for the blood sports that they enjoyed, and according to legend remain haunted to this day by the souls of the men, women and animals who died there long ago. 

The Falls of the Pale Nãga 

Deep in the forests of Lamarakh a high shelf of land rises up in a sudden slab, as though placed there by some ancient race of giants in an antique age. Many of the countless rivers of the jungle plunge over the edge of this great sheet of earth, creating waterfall after waterfall up the hundred miles of its length. Most are nameless, and remote even from the knowledge of the boat tribes. But about others there are tales told, in mothers’ lullabies or storytellers’ songs, or written in tattoos on the skins of the wise. One such is the place known as the falls of the pale nãga, where a snake demigoddess of the purest white is said to hold sway over a series of waterfalls and pools which tumble down a steep slope like the sections of an ornamental fountain. In her realm, it is said, powerful magical beings are given sanctuary in return for abiding by the demigoddess’s laws, and the pale nãga herself is thought to hold court in one of its pools, where she sits in judgment in disputes and bestows her blessings and knowledge on those who come to offer her their fealty. 

The Tor of the Petrified Fakirs 

A low, flat tor rises above the badlands of Lower Druk Yul - a fortress of granite that stands resolute against the sweeping and unrelenting wind. From a distance, it looks perfectly level, as though a hill once jutted up from the ground here and was sliced away by a mighty sword close the ground. But as one gets closer, one begins to discern that there are bumps in its surface - what at first look like they might be dark, motionless figures, or the hunched backs of monsters, but which are gradually revealed to be boulders, monoliths, and a single hexagonal tower standing over them as an inscrutable sentinel. This is the resting place of the fakirs of the Unmoving and Impassable End, a cult for whose members the apotheosis of their faith is to merge their bodies with cold and unmoving stone, and thus complete the permanent transformation of flesh to rock, of spirit to material reality. Those who know of the place say that it may be possible to glean some precious fragments of knowledge from these wise men before they give themselves over entirely to the rock, just as a man might hope to gather some uncut precious stones from an exposed seam in the last moments before a landslide buries them. 

The Tower of the Experimenter in Light and Glass 

In a steep and narrow valley in a nameless range of arid hills in Lower Druk Yul there stands a tower. It is the only artificial thing for miles around, and it proudly proclaims that fact by looking unlike anything that could possibly exist in nature: a high finger of glass which gleams with multi-coloured refracted light whichever direction the sun is shining. From a distance it looks like a shard of a shattered rainbow has plummeted to earth and embedded itself deep into the ground. Up close, it is revealed to be a circular spire, five stories high, which is built from pinkish granite but whose walls are almost entirely comprised of huge sheet-like windows - some transparent, some coloured and opaque - which let the sun beams blaze through and scatter across the ground beyond. It was built by a madman who believed that all of the universe was made of light and that, by refracting, altering, dissipating and enhancing it, he could unravel the deepest mysteries of the cosmos. He has long gone. But his servants, and the results of his experiments, remain. 

The Mad Sorceress’s Blessed Retreat 

In a narrow valley high in the foothills of the great mountain Pachamuchare, a small lake lies hidden among the green that surrounds it. Its surface, covered with lilies and beds of reeds, is still and silent; its position, guarded by the slopes which rise up around it, cloaks it from the wind. The repose is only broken by the movements of the waterfowl who creep, splay-footed, across its surface, or the occasional tahr who ventures to the waterside to ripple its surface with a drink. It is here that the sorceress Khribtsun chose as the location for her summer residence - a place where she could sit in quiet comfort and enjoy the solitude of nature while contemplating her mystical arts. And when she was cursed by her enemies to a future of slow but inevitable descent into senility, it was to this place that she fled, rather than face the humiliation of being in the society of her peers as her mind decayed. Whether or not she dwells there still, few can say; if she does, then only the faintest scraps of her sanity can now remain. The more pertinent question to many is whether any of her treasures do. 

The Fields of Poppies Standing Unharvested 

The Pirimkul family once owned one of the most fertile and productive poppy plantations in the Yaghnub valley - the envy of the neighbouring dynasties up and down the length of the river. But two years ago, those neighbours noticed something unusual. The Pirimkul, unlike each autumn, were not taking in their harvest. Indeed, there seemed to be no activity taking place in their land at all. And nor were they attending any of the many festivals and tournaments which fill the calendar in the Yaghnub, like all the valleys of Sughd, throughout the year. Rumours spread. Had the Pirimkul taken ill? Had their pride, always their defining characteristic, got the better of them, such that they no longer considered themselves to be part of human society at all? Eventually, visits were made, and messengers sent, and it became clear that the Pirimkul had, with all of their servants and chattels, simply disappeared. Their plantation was deserted. But there was no clue as to where they had gone. Now their plantation lies quiet and overgrown; the fields grow high and unkempt, and the house and other buildings stand empty and eerily still. The fields still blaze merrily and prettily with the vivid colour of the flowers. But the plantation has taken on a reputation. One does not go there. Something terrible must have taken place within it. 

The Dwarves Who Forgot Their Own Names and Faces 

All over the highest places of the highest mountains, mountains which have never felt the touch of rain or the caress of the root of a tree, one finds the empty, silent gates of abandoned dwarven halls. Some are vast citadels, others are clearly forts or holdfasts, others tombs; many have functions now lost to time. One of them sits below the peak of Torugart, a week’s climb from the Oligarchy of Ibatash Vo. Its entrance is a circular black hole at the base of a sheer grey cliff shaped like a handprint pressed into the mountainside; on either side of the gate a single eye has been carved into the rock. Its name has long been forgotten, and so has its role, but there are, unusually, dwarfs who still live within - though they are very strange dwarves indeed. Wizened, crippled by age and long eons of cold, they go everywhere in masks which, while once they must have been removable, have over time come to be almost be a part of them, moulded to their flesh and impossible to take off. They can no longer remember what their own faces looked like, or even their names, much less what they once did or why they are there. Instead, they simply exist, hiding in their chambers and clutching their treasures lest they fall into the hands of the tulpas and other spirits which gradually rise up from the blackness below them.

12 comments:

  1. Will definitely fund the project. I would really like to see more Yoon-suin and twist and mutate it into my own opium-induced vision.

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  2. Is the 2E of Yoon-Suin going to be landscape format in the same way as 1E?

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  3. Will there be more art than in the original version? Probably my only real criticism of the original is that it really could have done with more illustrations.

    Also, a random aside: What book's treasure tables were you assuming the use of in the original's monster entries?

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    1. More art in spades.

      The treasure tables are the BECMI ones. I was going to produce them in the book but I have a feeling they wouldn't come under the OGL.

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    2. It would be very useful to reproduce them, if you could. I don't know who owns the rights, but perhaps it's worth asking?

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  4. Will there be more art than in the original version? The paucity of art was probably my only real criticism of the original.

    Also, a random aside: In the original's monster writeups, what book's treasure tables were you implicitly assuming the use of?

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  5. If the art will be 100% Matthew Adams, not counting maps and such, I'm in. Like the earlier poster I prefer the landscape format, but it's not critical like the art is to me.

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