[AW: Shadow of the Mountain] My fronts

So, the next session of our game is tomorrow. I took a look at my fronts and mostly made them a few days after our 1st session, then left it until yesterday.

When looking at my notes, I noticed that I had a lot of things that were pretty directly threatening Maki, the Hardholder, but less to leverage at Smith, the Brainer, and Spider, the Hocus. I have a bit of a plan for that, but I’d rather not make that Front until I have seen a bit more of what they’re about.

At the moment, I have two fronts:

The Seedy Side of Mt. Harren: There’s a disease spreading from the local whore house and unrest brewing in the poor part of town. All said, this is likely to brew up and engulf the Hold.

Schemers and Invaders: Ron of Ronsville, a megalomaniacal lord of a nearby hold, has his eyes set on Mt. Harren. In cooperation with the Beneficent Order of Merchants, the BOM for  short, he’s convincing one of Maki’s gangmembers to rebel. When that happens, Ron is going to swoop in and gobble up the remains. The BOM, meanwhile, has their eyes set on the wealth in the mountains.

Down the Mountain: I also have the beginnings of a Front in the mountain, but I need to clarify it. At the moment, I have the caves themselves, and I intend to put something in the mountains to threaten particularly spider, but also Smith. I’d like them to have some say in what, though, so I’ll deal with it after next session. I also had some foragers, taking their food, but then I realized that the foragers were really another threat I’d already made in the first front, above (though I guess I could make two linked threats?).

Anyway, here are the two fronts from above:

The Seedy side of Mount Harren

Expresses: Decay

Dark Future/ Agenda: As the Frenzy Pox spreads, the Ramshackles turn into a bedlam. This will cause Rothschild to gather his people around him, and they will start to enforce their own law on the Ramshackles. Soon, they will start to question Maki’s legitimacy – and they will certainly blame Spider and Smith for bringing the disease to the hold.


How many people will Momo be allowed to infect?

How will working for Maki work out for Harridan and Rice?

Will Charity’s house be targets of hatred and retribution?

Threat 1: Charity’s Friendly House

Kind: Disease Vector

Impulse: craves (intimate) contact.

Description & Cast: A house full of whores. Momo is currently sick, and she will soon inflict her disease upon the others.

Momo: Crudhammer’s girlfriend, and a very popular whore. Young, naïve, and the best tits in town.

Charity: The Mistress of the house. The oldest in the house by a few years, but a lot more shrewd than the other whores. Protects her girls, but also expects their loyalty.

Virtue: A mean spirited whore. If there’s trouble brewing, the others call for her.

Custom Move: Rumor-mongers

If you have sex with one of the girls at Charity’s house, they will tell you a rumor. Roll +hot: On a 10+ the rumor will be specific. On a 7-9, it will be a vague rumor. On a miss, the rumor will be about you.

Threat 2: The Frenzy Pox

Kind: Disease

Impulse: to saturate a population

Description & Cast: The Frenzy Pox is a disease that spreads upon intimate contact. The inflicted will first have a fever, then they will appear more or less normal for a while, but they will still be infectious. When the disease breaks out for real, the infected will start acting very frantic, acting upon their base instincts. When the disease culminates, the inflicted will collapse, sweating, feverish and shaking. They will stay like that until they die.

Infection Countdown: 3 – Infected. You will be feverish for a day or so, then you will stabilize and look fine. At the start of each session, roll for infection. 6 – You are looking normal, but you are infectious. 9 – You are acting hectic. Any time you do anything reasoned or calm, you are acting under fire. You take +1 to seduction, go aggro and seize by force. 10 – You are acting frenzied. Any time you are trying to refrain from physical activity, you are acting under fire. You take +1 to seduction, go aggro and seize by force. Roll for infection at the start of the session, and after each scene in which you have been physically active. 12 – You collapse on the ground where you stand, sweating and shaking. You will die soon if you don’t get help. If someone is tending to you, roll for infection every ten minutes; otherwise, every hour. Instead of progressing the infection countdown, take  1-harm AP.

Rolling for infection: Roll + hard. On a hit, don’t progress the countdown. On a 10+, if you have started an immunity countdown, progress it. If not start it now and progress it to 3. When the countdown reaches 12, reset the Infection Countdown to 6, and don’t roll for infection again.

Threat 3: The Ramshackles

Kind: Breeding Ground

Impulse: to generate badness

Description & Cast: The Ramshackles is the poorest part of the Hardhold. People here are the first to be hungry, thirsty or sick, and they are constantly looking for someone to take them away from their poverty.

Harridan & Rice: Two lads who came from the Ramshackles. Maki took recruited them for his guild.

Threat 4: Rothschild and friends

Kind: A family

Impulse: to close ranks and protect their own

Description & Cast: Rothschild is an important man among the people of the Ramshackles. When anything happens to any of the people under Rothschild’s protection, Rothschild and the people around him will seek to protect or avenge them. They go out into the mountains to forage for food.


Chin/ Look: 2 little kids.

Front: Schemers & Invaders

Expresses: Envy

Dark Future/ Agenda: Goldman strikes against Maki, and Ron sweeps in to conquer the remains.


When will Maki realize Goldman’s deceit?

Will BOM be able to profit on the conflict between Maki, Ron and Goldman, or will they be caught in the middle? How many people will be persuaded to join Goldman’s rebellion?

Threat 1: Ron of Ronsville

Kind: Warlord: Collector

Impulse: to own

Description & Cast: Ron is the megalomaniacal lord of Ronsville, a hardhold to the west.

Countdown: Ron’s invasion: 3+6 – spies and scouts. 9 – an ultimatum. 10 – war. 11 – a siege.

Threat 2: Beneficent order of Merchants (BOM)

Kind: Sybarites

Impulse: to consume somebody’s resources.

Description & Cast: A group of merchants from the west who wants to avoid Maki’s taxes and reap whatever is in the mountains.

Fleece: a weapons merchant.

Fuse: a gasoline merchant.

Threat 3: Goldman’s Gang

Kind: Alpha Wolf

Impulse: to hunt and dominate.

Description & Cast: Goldman is trying to form a gang around himself to challenge Maki’s rule over the city. The BOM are supplying him with weapons at the behest of Ron, to try to make him move against Maki.

Tor & Ork: Goldman’s henchmen.

Threat 4: Mount Harren is weak and rich

Kind: Delusion

Impulse: Dominate people’s choices and actions

Description & Cast: Mount Harren is a center for culture and commerce, and Maki himself is not the strictest of hardholders. This has given many people the impression that Mount Harren is just waiting to be taken by someone with a more martial attitude.

Any comments or hints? Do I need more fronts?

I think I’ll write some love letters, to help me get something more out of my players.

EDIT: I forgot to include the home front. Here it is:


Front: Home Front


What will become of Trout?

Threat 1: Maki’s gang

Kind: Hunting Pack

Impulse: to victimize anyone vulnerable

Description & Cast:

Newton: the gate guard. Fiercely loyal to Maki – and hence very antagonistic towards the “traitor”, Smith.

Crudhammer: Maki’s right hand man, and Momo’s girlfriend.

Threat 2: Spider’s Cult

Kind: Cult

Impulse: to victimize & incorporate people.

Description & Cast:

Horse, Rabbit: Members who were fighting Rothschild and his friends.

Trout: Son of the deceased Salmon.

Threat 3: Traders in the square

Kind: Family

Impulse: close rank and protect their own.

Description & Cast:

Clarion: a tinned food merchant.


3 responses to this post.

  1. I find it fruitful to write all (really, all) significant NPCs up as threats and either fit them into an existing front, turn them into a new front or (as a last resort) put them in the Home Front. The Hocus’ cult needs to be written up as a threat (or as several, depending on the nature of the cult). So does the Hardholder’s gang and closest lieutenants.


  2. Posted by Elias Helfer on June 10, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    Hi Anne. I didn’t include the home front at first. Now it’s included. I do believe I’ve noted every significant npc somewhere here.


  3. […] « [AW: Shadow of the Mountain] My fronts […]


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