"Black Dougal gasps 'Poison!' and falls to the floor. He looks dead."

Sunday, October 31, 2010

City of Thieves

As I try to get Red Box Calgary up and going, I have been thinking about a campaign setting that I would like to run. I had a couple of simple criteria that I wanted to make sure the setting allowed for. I wanted to focus mainly on dungeons and I wanted to allow for the quick return of characters to a central location to allow for the changing roster of players inherent to an open game.

After some reading and some plagiarism, this is what I have come up with and posted on the Red Box Calgary wiki:

Throughout the known world, no city is half so notorious. Blackened by fire, soiled by pestilence, and scarred by war, its sandy collection of spiderwebbed tenements and rat-ridden bazaars have birthed some of the worst rogues and villains to ever stalk the storied thrones of the north.

But Jekarra is also a city of chance and adventure, where fortunes are won in a night and lost before dawn. Where gems glint and flare in the lamplight, the might of magic knows no bounds, and a warrior's quick blade and shirt of mail are his best defense.

So loosen your sword, keep a hand on your coin pouch, and take these first steps into its shadowy, torch-lit streets. A black mist is rolling in off the salt marsh, and the ancient city beckons…

Welcome to Jekarra the Wicked, city of thieves, city of the long night, city of adventure. Rich, poor, religious, debased - all of these and more can be found here. It all depends on where you look.

The idea for Jekkara the Wicked came from Thieves World. For those who are unfamiliar with it, Thieves World was/is a setting developed by the author Robert Asprin for a series of fantasy anthologies. The idea was to create a common, consistent backdrop, then invite a wide variety of authors to write stories using that setting, but exploring their own characters and interests within it.

That is what I am trying to do with Jekkara. I want to develop a very high-level overview of a setting where various Red Box Calgary DM's can set their own adventures. An ancient, sprawling and decadent city with a maze of catacombs and vaults beneath it provides for numerous adventure opportunities.

The name "Jekkara" comes from my love of Leigh Brackett's stories.


  1. Nice. I'm just reading the Thieves World series now. This has great promise!

  2. Hmm; I could get some use out of the 'Thieves World' boxed set that I've had sitting on my bookshelf since sometime in the '90s...

  3. It is an excellent series from which to 'borrow'.

    I especially like the conflicting facts in the stories by different authors, explained by the different view points in a city of 'lies'. As odd as that may sound, it works wonderfully. It also serves as a great DM lesson; use this explanation in your game when confronted that facts originated by NPCs differ. So what. LOL.

  4. I use variations of Sanctuary for most of my low-mid level games.