Curdlebrook Surrounds (Southfarthing Confidential Map)

The village of Curdlebrook and its surrounds will be detailed in the first issue of my upcoming Southfarthing Cofidential ‘zine, which will provide players and GMs with all the necessary information and guidance to run a halfling police procedural using Fifth Edition.

In the coming months, I’ll be posting a whole lot more from Southfarthing Confidential as I’m wrapping up the writing on the first issue. The plan (as of this moment) is to release four ‘zines to my Patreon supporters and for sale on DriveThruRPG. Following the these, and possibly one of the adventures/cases, I’m hoping to launch a Kickstarter to fund the publication of a full Southfarthing Confidential rule book and campaign setting as well as several adventures/cases in the same setting.

So, time to stop rambling. Here’s the map:
Curdlebrook Surrounds (small)

Southfarthing Confidential (preview) – Tropes for Halfling Constabulary

Previously, I posted a preview of the Hairfoot Halfling subrace and Family Backgrounds for halfling characters. Neither of these really touched upon the police procedural side of things in Southfarthing Confidential, so today that’s what I’m going to share.

Southfarthing Confidential is a genre-mashup. My goal is to breakdown all of the tropes

art_fleeing-e1504822694312

In Southfarthing Confidential, halfling constables have more on their hands than runaway livestock

that have been assembled concerning halflings since The Hobbit and on through their many iterations in Dungeons & Dragons (even those cannibal halflings in Dark Sun–that’s right, you’ll find backwoods cannibal halflings in Southfarthing Confidential).  On the other hand, I’ve got to throw in a load of archetypes from police procedurals and film noir to flesh out the other side of the equation.

That’s where the “Tropes” come in. Each Trope (name is a place holder) functions like a Feat in 5th ed., except in addition to a mechanical benefit, they provide an additional Flaw to flesh out your halfling copper a little more. When the Tropes are combined with the Family backgrounds for halflings o, what you end up with is a character whose personality, ideals, bonds, and flaws are themselves a mashup of the two genres.

Here’s a few examples of “Tropes” for Halfling sheriff in Southfarthing Confidential: 

Hardboiled Halfling

Halfling only, of course.
You’ve lived it. You’ve seen the oozy, crusty underbelly of the Five Farthings that lies beneath the seemingly pleasant, bucolic charade that plays out across the hills and farms and villages. Now what’re you gonna do? Sit back and enjoy breakfast, knowing what you know? Not a chance. It’s gotten to you, spoiled your oatmeal. These days, you’re deeply suspicious. You’ve seen every trick both in the book and not in the book. The days of chasing loose goats is long past. The world’s gone topsy-turvy, and you feel like you’re the only one not standing on your head.

  • Been there and back, again. Once per case, you may use an Inspiration and the GM will roll a Wisdom (Insight) check in secret. If you succeed, some pieces of the case will fall together, and the GM will grant you an additional clue, possibly something you missed. If you fail, however, the GM will grant you a red herring.
  • Seen and heard it all. You gain Advantage on Wisdom (Insight) and Intelligence (Investigate) checks made at the scene of a crime or while questioning suspects.
d6 Flaw
1 I’m fed up with it all. Let the Five Farthings eat itself alive. It’s no fur off my feet.
2 I can’t get close to anyone. Too many friends have gone toes up out on the moors.
3 I got a soft spot for hard luck cases, the down and out, those too proud to ask for help.
4 That one case still haunts me.
5 When I’m sober, I see things too clearly. I see the Five Farthings for what they are, so for me, it’s a pint for breakfast, a pint for elevenses, and two pints for tea.
6 I never put down the pipe.

***

Wound Up Tight

You live on edge. How can you be sure, when you’ve been called to retrieve a runaway goat, there’s not a bigger game afoot, that the seemingly dumb, kind, and oversized farmer’s son hasn’t brought you out into the woods to club the back of your skull? Or that the cartload of dwarves isn’t hauling a crop of pipe-weed to sell stuffed in their load of coal, ore, and kegs? Better to sling now, ask questions later.

  • Sling first, ask questions later. You gain Advantage on Dexterity checks to determine Initiative order.
  • Twitchy sling arm. Even if you are surprised, you may still fire a missile weapon that round.
d6 Flaw
1 I’m terrified of everything, but I put on a tough exterior.
2 Everyone’s gotta listen to me. I’m the law. I’m the halfling holding the sling.
3 I prefer not to use my sling unless I gotta, not after what happened the last time…
4 I’m always itching for a fight, so go ahead, guv, make my breakfast!
5 I never meant to hurt him, it just happened.
6 I never shoot first, and you can’t prove otherwise.

***

Loose Sling

They don’t assign you to cases, they just turn you loose. When they send you out on another wild goose chase because Farmer Crabbe left his pen open again, it’s only because they don’t want you lookin’ closer at what’s really goin’ on. You aren’t afraid to go it alone. They can take your badge, take your sling, but they can’t take your gumption, your grit, your drive to see the case through. They can stuff their rules in a bunghole.

  • Fully Registered Lethal Weapon. You have Advantage on damage with a sling.
  • You’ve Got to Ask Yourself One Question… You may force an enemy to take a Disadvantage on one roll; however, after doing so, your next roll is also at a disadvantage. You’ve Got to Ask Yourself One Question may be used again after a Short Rest. 
d6

Flaw

1 Takin’ orders is for chumps and dwarves.
2 I don’t trust anybody who makes more money than me.
3 Criminals don’t deserve rights. 
4 No evidence, no problem. I’ll make evidence happen.
5 When the going gets tough, I make like a shepherd and get the flock out of there! 
6 Leave me in a hole alone with ‘em, I’ll get a confession… 

Southfarthing Confidential (Preview) – Hairfoot Halfling Subrace and Halfling Family Background

Put down the pipe-weed and pin on your badge. You’ve got a job to do.

Nearly two years since I was first approached to put together what, at the time, would be a small, OSR-style adventure set around the bumbling investigations of a team of halfling sheriffs, Southfarthing Confidential is taking tangible, publishable form!

Starting out as a heavily house-ruled Labyrinth Lord adventure, my halfling police procedural morphed into an ongoing campaign for 5th edition. The adventure I ran at North Texas RPG Con in 2017 now looks to become four books: a setting/rule book and three adventures. Soon, I’ll be revealing more details on those adventures, including titles.

So, what we have here is the first in a series of previews from the Southfarthing Confidential setting/rule book.  If you enjoy what you see, please consider supporting my work on Patreon, where you’ll get access to each chapter of the book as the drafts are completed.

Now to the meat: Below are a couple examples of what you’ll find in Southfarthing Confidential. The first is the hairfoot halfling subrace, a return to the traditional furry-footed small folk of yore. They are the standard race for the setting. The second is a example halfling family background, the Thudbelly clan. Instead of the usual occupational backgrounds found in 5th ed., in Southfarthing Confidential halflings will pick a family to determine features, personality traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws.

(Neither of these examples really focus on the police procedural half of the genre mashup, but instead provide material for players to build halfling characters who will become sheriffs. The police procedural side of things will be fleshed out when players take feat-like abilities I’m calling “tropes,” for the time being. Examples of these, such as “Hardboiled Halfling,” “Loose Sling,” and “Too Fat for This,” will be appearing a future preview.)

Enjoy! And of course, feedback is welcome and encouraged.

Hairfoot halflings

A subrace for Fifth Edition halflings.

0halflingThief

Artwork not officially associated with this book but blatantly stolen from Tony DiTerlizzi

As a Hairfoot Halfling of the Five Farthings, you are a creature of comfort. You’re hefty, round in the belly, and likely easing your way, breakfast by second breakfast, toward a respectably fat middle-age.

You forgo the wearing of shoes, for the leathery soles of your fur-tufted feet offer protection from the elements.

You are not prone to wander far from the village where you were born, and in fact, you look down upon those rare members of your race who seek out adventure alongside “queer folk” and foreigners. You belong to a dearly suspicious and judgmental people.

Hairfoot halflings are the most populous halfling subrace in the Five Farthings.

Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.

Creature of Comfort. You have Advantage on hit die rolls to regain hit points during a Short Rest every day your Lifestyle Expenses are Comfortable or higher.

Names of the Southfarthing

Male Names: Arbuckle, Arlo, Bogar, Creevy, Griftoe, Harliment, Odo, Riley.

Female Names: Ada, Carmen, Clara, Edith, Gilda, Mona, Sherry, Vera, Vivian.

Family Names: Thudbelly, Stook, Gummyhocks, Hairysacks, Butterburbuck, Ficklebum, Wettletoes, Burrowback.

***

Thudbelly

You were born to a proud family whose lust for life has fattened its heirs and issues to inspiring proportions in body and purse alike. The Thudbellies hail from the delving of Hearthoven, a many-chimneyed hole with more kitchens than bedrooms up near Curly Bend. Your family built its wealth through bread-making and its reputation for kindness providing alms to the poor, destitute, and even dwarven. Thudbelly feasts and parties are plentiful and draw hundreds of friends, relatives, and uninvited halflings from across the Five Farthings.

Delving: Hearthoven, near Curly Bend.

Skill Proficiencies: Medicine, Persuasion.

Tool Proficiencies: Cook’s utensils.

Languages: Big Folk or Dwarven (your choice)

Equipment: A set of cook’s utensils, an hourglass, set of fine clothes, five loaves of gourmet bread and a pouch containing 15 gp.

Gourmet Breads
Thudbelly breads are known far and wide across the Five Farthings, and even beyond the Borders in the nearest countries of the Big Folk. You can select what staples of your family’s bakery you’re carrying from the Gourmet Breads table or roll randomly.

d8 Bread Type Quality & Recipe
1 Dwarf cake Dry bread Hard, made from goat’s milk and barley flour
2 Out-’n’-about loaf Leavened, sourdough Braided, brushed with egg yolk, made with buckwheat flour, to be eaten on journeys
3 Thudbelly bun Yeast Bread Sweet, made with buttermilk and whole wheat
4 Hearthoven Tack Flatbread Flaky, hard biscuit often slathered with honey
5 Fore-after tea muffin Yeast bread Round, hand-sized and dusted in cornmeal and served after lunch/before supper
6 Hole loaf Yeast bread Thick, fluffy made of two loaves with hole punched through middle, often filled with butter or curds
7 Elf biscuit Flatbread Infused with honey and butter, very filling, wrapped in leaves for flavor and presentation
8 Full Farthing loaf Sweet bread Stuffed with fruit, practically a cake.

Feature: Break Bread
You can always attempt to settle grievances and disagreements between parties, even those involving yourself, or forge temporary or lasting alliances by sharing a loaf of your family’s famous bread. However, parties may be unwilling if the squabble between them has already come to blows.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I have a bread-making or baking proverb handy for every situation.
2 I seek to taste all the breads, cakes, and muffins of the Five Farthings.
3 I’d rather be in the kitchen.
4 I make new friends wherever I am.
5 As a halfling of station, I supervise the labor of the lower classes and do not get my own hands (and toes) dirty.
6 I never need an excuse to throw a party or serve a feast.
7 I am a baker and an artist, bread my paint, the belly my canvas.
8 There’s nothing worth doing you cannot take your time at.

 

d6 Ideal
1 Warmheartedness. The heart of every home is its oven and every heart must be warm. (Good)
2 Alms. If any are starving, then all go unfed. (Neutral)
3 Tighten the belt. Lean times have come to the Five Farthings, and while we must all pull our weight, some of us need to lighten the load. (Lawful)
4 Plentifulness. All should share in the bounty of the harvest. (Chaotic)
5 Gluttony. My own pleasure at the breakfast, dinner, and supper table comes before the needs of others. (Evil)
6 Festivity. Enjoyment of life rises above all other needs. (Any)

 

d6 Bond
1 I believe that breaking bread and talking things over is the best way to heal the wounds brought upon the Five Farthings by the Recent Inconveniences.
2 I will not allow my companions to go hungry or taste of lesser morsels than I may bake!
3 I aim to discover a new recipe that will become a staple of Hearthoven’s kitchens.
4 I will defend the peasantry with my life, for without their harvest we’ve got no bread.
5 The reputation of my family’s bakeries must be upheld at all costs.
6 I want to make bread, so I find the best choice is always the most lucrative one.

 

d6 Flaw
1 I cannot pass up any opportunity for a meal or even a snack.
2 I eat only the finest, most expensive, and carefully prepared meals.
3 I will step in to take over any and every kitchen I feel doesn’t measure up.
4 I deserve a life of leisure, not one of work.
5 I am not afraid to criticize others’ or their cooking.
6 I refuse to do anything on an empty stomach.

 

Curdlebrook and Surrounds (Southfarthing Confidential) – [Tuesday Map]

Two maps in a week! It’s madness!

Below is a map from my upcoming Southfarthing Confidential halfling police procedural campaign setting for 5th ed. It details the environs of the village of Curdlebrook, an area detailed in the book.

The plan for Southfarthing Confidential is to release a setting/rules book and an adventure, which has finally been titled: “Southfarthing Confidential: Between Midnight and Breakfast,” which is set within an inn along the Whiskyander River you can see in the northwest corner of this map.

12-19-18

Untitled-1

Untitled-2

Hills southeast of Curdlebrook.

12-19-18 (2)

And a more printer-friendly version of the map.