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Dolmenwood Factions: The Nag-Lord

The Nightmare - Henry Fuseli

The Nag-Lord peaking through the curtains?

Ever since my post about Faction Turns, I've been eager to showcase how I implemented this concept in my Dolmenwood game. In this post, we'll delve into the Nag-Lord's goals, resources, and actions, providing a comprehensive view of how to integrate this menacing faction into your campaign. More factions will be covered in future posts.

Check out the other Dolmenwood factions I've covered here!

Goals

I like to differentiate the goals using the Landmark, Hidden, Secret principle. Some goals might be pretty obvious to most other people and factions, while some require more knowledge about the faction's inner workings.

Resources

Usually, I favor only three resources per faction. Although I didn't include the last item in my game, I've added it here to show you can mix it up if you want to. I also included some prompts for when the particular resource might be used.






Actions

Here are some ideas to get you started. Remember, these plans will adapt based on your campaign narrative and the players' actions. Flexibility is key, so feel free to adjust or abandon tasks as needed. Typically, three active missions at a time work well, but adjust to your preference.






⚠ REMINDER

You should only have about three active actions, so pick and choose what sounds interesting. You can either pick the Mission 📔 or the Task 📝 to be active. You also need to add a progress clock to each action you choose. Tasks should have 1-2 segments, and Missions should have at least 4 or more.

See this previous post for a more detailed explanation.

Additional ideas could involve mustering more dark forces, dealing with the Drune and capturing the Tenkystone8, fortifying the Valley of Wise Beast by constructing a fortress overlooking the valley, isolating and destroying Fort Vulgar, or spreading terror and increasing influence in other settlements.

Potential Alliances

Few factions would willingly ally with the Nag-Lord, but the Hag is the most likely candidate. She can offer another stronghold for the Crookhorns in Hag's Addle and extend their reach to the Duchy. Additionally, she can provide a passage to Fairy and would likely desire the corruption of her sister's realm9. In return, the Nag-Lord might help her expand her swampy domain or even free her from it.

Furthermore, the possibility exists to corrupt one or more of the Breggle Lords. This chance increases significantly if the Nag-Lord successfully deals with Prigwort and shifts focus southward.

Example

Faction Turn Example - The Nag Lord

During my Dolmenwood campaign, the Nag-Lord had a slow start, failing to make progress in the first two turns. However, it managed to turn things around. The Nag-Lord is very focused on advancing towards Prigwort, so it decided to cause discord among its citizens by planning to kidnap Reverend Mother Smunk. The blockade of Fort Road followed. The Crookhorns plan to fortify there to gain access to Lake Longmere and send forces to Hag's Addle. The Hag managed to treat with the Nag-Lord via the Atacorn Ignormwm10 and will likely soon become allies.

The blockade occurred at a perfect time when the players had some downtime in Fort Vulgar. They experienced the consequences firsthand and decided to attack the encampment but only managed to take out a few Crookhorns. As a consequence, this got the attention of Captain Snarkscorn, who decided to check it out himself. The players trailed him on his way to the blockade and ambushed his retinue, actually managing to kill the Captain while most players died heroically during the effort.

This disrupted the Nag-Lord's plans significantly, and I decided they would skip the next Faction Turn to appoint a replacement. I will likely change a mission as well since the Crookhorns knew the attack came from Fort Vulgar, which they originally planned to ignore. Now they will deal with the Fort first before advancing their plans on Prigwort.

Conclusion

The Nag-Lord may seem like a typical villain faction, but there is much more to it. The Nag-Lord itself is a truly interesting being whose whims and cruelty can rival even the most seasoned fairy noble, and its minions follow a broad, diverse spectrum. Although the actions presented here don't reflect it much, you should keep this diversity in mind when players deal with them or when actions have consequences. Imagine if Prigwort got captured by the Nag-Lord's forces and it turned the city into a giant, gelatinous, bouncy castle!


I hope this helps you flesh out the Nag-Lord faction a bit more in your game. If you have other implementations or interpretations of the goals, resources, and actions, please share! Next time, we'll talk about the Cold Prince!


References
  1. Creatures and Factions—DMB p7

  2. Hex 0904: The Court of the Nag-Lord—DCB p287

  3. The Wider World: Religions—DCB p89

  4. Centaur—Bestial: Gifts of the Nag-Lord—DMB p24

  5. Atanuwë: Members and Organisation—DCB p44

  6. Fort Vulgar: The River Trade—DCB p146

  7. Human Nobility: Faction Overview House Harrowmoor—DCB p56

  8. Hex 0903: The Besieged Nodal—DCB p286

  9. The Hag: The Hag's Schemes—DCB p83

  10. Hex 0807: Ignormwm's Cottage—DCB p278

#dolmenwood #faction turns #game prep