Ask Me About Northern Crown

Huzzah, a new bulletin board for Atlas Games!

Please use this thread to ask me about Northern Crown: rules clarifications, design decisions, errors. I'll try to check it regularly. And thanks to all of you, from France to South Africa to Japan who have written to me with favorable comments about the game!

No question from me, Doug -- just a hello and welcome and thanks for joining in here! :smiley:

Sure -- this is a big improvement over the old board. Although there has been a steady stream of threads on Northern Crown over at ENWorld, it never hurts to have another outlet for people to share in discussions about the game.

For those of you who got here without somehow hearing about Northern Crown, it's a RPG campaign for playing heroic adventures in an alternate-history colonial North America. Think Ben Franklin's wildest dreams mixed with Cotton Mather's worst nightmares and James Fennimore Cooper's most heart-pounding wilderness adventures.

No question from me..But just how much I really enjoy NC...Currently I am running The Caves of Chiska via PbP and my players are really enjoying it... I am really looking forward to some more stuff coming out...

Yeah, on, right? I came across it and have been following your game with pleasure. I'm running Chisca for some of my high school students right now. It's great fun.

Yup thats the one... Glad to know yoru enjoying it....:slight_smile: I do plan on moving them to Boston later on so I look forward to that coming out

No questions just yet; just wanted to say how much I've enjoyed New World Adventures! I'm looking forward to getting the Gazeteer--it's on my Christmas list, and I'd better get it!

I have a question... What about plane touched...Tiefling and Assimar...I had a player ask about that... I ruled that Tiefling I could see but not so much the Assimar, but all plane-touched would be viewed as from the infernal.... Though I am not set in stone on that ruling I wanted to check in and see how they are ...Thanks

Well, I would prefer to use the outsider bloodlines from Unearthed Arcana, but it could be really fun (and challenging) to have a PC who has an infernal or celestial ancestor. It does run counter to the idea that all NC PCs are human, so make sure that you enforce the +1 level adjustment for planetouched in order to preserve play balance. Remember that tieflings have rogue as a favored class; you might want to change that to sorcerer for a NC campaign.

That sonds good I have UA so I may look into that for whenever it comes up, if ever. So you would go sorcerer, I was thinking witch for Tiefling... but then it makes more sence to me that tieflings would be a bit more common then assimars...with the whole infernal conection to witches and all...

Hey, everyone! I just want to say that NC is terrific and ask a question or two as I finally have had a chance to work through the rules.

I noticed as I was building my first character that a requirement for the Officer prestige class is to have 6 ranks of Profession (military). Yet that doesn't seem to be a class skill for the Soldier class, which seems like the natural class to begin with before becoming an Officer. Also, I noticed that the Officer doesn't have Profession (military) as a class skill, but rather Profession (soldier). Was that intentional? Or should I treat them as one profession skill and give it to the soldier class as a class skill? And before you think I am a total pedant, it's not that big a deal; I just like breaking things down as I learn them and it's completely out of curiosity on my part.

My other question relates to Defense value, or lack thereof. I see that in a lot of D20 games where firearms are very prevalent, and armor less so because of that fact, that these games have a defense value to compensate for the fact that characters don't wear that much armor. Was the decision to not include them to make the game deadlier? Again, I like to see what went on at the decision level, so this is curiosity talking rather than criticism. Personally I think firearms should be deadly, and the 8/4 soldier/officer character I created has almost 90 hit points, so he's going to have to go to South America and take on the Bolivian army a la Butch & Sundance to die. :smiley:

Anyway, thanks for the game and good luck!

I can not speak for Doug but I see the lack of defensive add ons is the fact tha while firearms are deadly... It does take a minimum of 4 rounds for an average person to load and fire... Which is pretty dead on in the realistic catergory... And the quickest one could load and fire a weapon, is having rapid reload & Hair trigger... but your still only fireing every 2 round... So I think that is one reason for the lack of defensive bonus...

The Soldier class should have Profession (military) as a class skill -- oops!

As for the gun rules, here was my design philosophy for NC:

--Guns should be slow and cumbersome to use -- this is a game of derring-do and heroic action, not gun-fu. On paper, they're not much better than longbows. Guns are good ambush weapons, siege weapons, and holdout weapons, but are not meant to be the focus of combat in NC. In most NC battles, the PCs fire one volley then draw swords and have at it, maybe saving a loaded pistol for a coup de grace or stray shot.

--Guns should have a good chance of putting a 1st-or 2nd-level mook into negative hit points, but a PC of 3rd level or higher should have enough hit points to survive the odd shot. I think of hit points as "ablative plot armor" rather than health -- the more important you are to the plot, the more attacks against you end up as grazes or near misses. A defense bonus seems redundant under that definition of hp. In my d20 Modern games, it seems that high-level characters can stand toe-to-toe and unleash clips of ammo at each other and still miss. That wasn't the feel I wanted for NC.

--NC is a low-AC world, but the NC core classes were given class abilities to make up for it -- the "just a scratch" ability of rakes, the insight AC bonus of agents, the magical defenses available to witches and their black garb AC bonus, the improved cover and concealment of the scout, and the scientific phenomena and inventions of natural philosophers. There's the shield bonus to AC for PCs with the Fencing feat, too. I think this makes up somewhat for the lack of D&D-style heavy armor.

First off love the game. I followed this project with interest since you had it for free at your website a couple of years ago. My questions are:

  1. Will there be other books coming out to detail the rest of the world.
  2. What supplements do you have planned?(A couple I can suggest is an army listings book and an equipment book from ships on down). Thanks Doug and Atlas Games.

I don't have any plans to fill in the rest of the Northern Crown/Nyambe world, which I refer to privately as The Age of Adventure. Uropa would be the next logical choice, and I do have some notes and a map for it, but I just don't have the time to do it these days and what time I do have I'm devoting to expanding Northern Crown itself.
The first issue of Franklyn's Almanack is coming out soon from Adamant Entertainment. It contains an article by me with three new 3-level prestige classes representing elite military units of Northern Crown: the Sophian winged saber, the Francais gendarme, and the Carolingian hippogriff lancer. There's also a fun little adventure for 1st-level characters called Best Intentions. Franklyn's will be a quarterly vehicle for Northern Crown support materials.
In other news, I have submitted a detailed outline for a 3rd-6th level adventure to Gareth at Adamant, called Isle of the Judge. I'm also working on Spectral Boston, a fully-realized campaign setting for Northern Crown emphasizing supernatural horror.

Okay, I have a question. On the web page for Northern Crown it has a link to an article that was originally in Game Trader Magazine. That link is no longer active. Is it possible for Atlas Games to post this article? Is there any other way to get it? The game sounds aweful interesting, and I am using the stuff I can download as a gauge of whether I should buy it or not.

Hmmm, it looks like Game Trade mag took that page down. If you can give me an email address, I can send you the PDF file of the article. Just to make sure you know about these things, have you downloaded:

-- the intro chapter of New World Adventures?
-- a free 44-page adventure, Caves of Chisca, at (which has earned a "gold popular pick" designation since its introduction in August, I might add)?
-- six full-color maps of Northern Crown?
-- Joe G Kushner's 4-star review on

That should give you a pretty solid idea of whether the game is a good buy or not.

Kewl... Cant wait.... Can you tell what part of NC Isle will take place in [Carib perhaps?] and I am slavating for Spectral boston...

I have looked at, but not downloaded the maps. They look pretty good, to be honest. I have not seen the review. I will have to dig around the site and find it. I figured I would get the adventure when I buy the books (which is looking more and more likely, to be honest).

The adventure takes place of the coast of New England -- the exact location is not specified. Think "The Shadow over Innsmouth" crossed with "Treasure Island".