Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Archaeology is sexy and exciting

The deals have been cut and the expedition has been funded – nothing could go wrong at this point.

The table below should be rolled on whenever you feel significant dig process has been made. Adjust the dice rolled depending on how hectic you want the dig to be - using a d8 or d10 means many surface related activities, whereas larger dice give a higher chance of a structure being excavated.

Once the first structure has been unearthed, 1d4-1 artefacts worth up to 100sp will be found each time this table is rolled on

What happens?
The local merchants have arrived, hawking their wares to the workers. They integrate themselves with the existing tent-village. 4-in-6 chance they are genuine, 1-in-6 of bandits and 1-in-6 chance they have some stake in the dig. Goods are of mixed quality. Small boost to morale throughout the camp.
Symptoms of some novel disease are rife in the workers, slowing down work. There are whispers of ancient curses and retribution from the dead. Morale is eroding rapidly.
Natives of the area gather nearby to watch the progress. 50% chance of being inscrutable, 50% chance of openly decrying the dig. Minor accidents start happening, and tools go missing. Workers are getting a little skittish. Small morale loss.
The more magically or spiritually attuned have been visited with terrible dream-visions of the culture being unearthed, of punishments for grave robbers and of some arcane secret below. Take a small penalty to actions if you keep it to yourself, or lower morale overall to share your problem.
The dig has revealed something lurking in the ground – ancient guardians, restless dead or worse. Morale penalty scales directly with fatalities caused.
Oversight on the side of the foremen has led to man-made disaster – a portion of the dig has collapsed, killing a decent proportion of the workers. Huge morale loss, and new workers need to be acquired fast. 1-in-6 chance of the collapse revealing something previously missed.
Workers have become developing small rituals and turns-of-phrase which seem decidedly off. Those of a historical bent recognise these are the hallmarks of the religion(s) of the culture under the dig site. Morale is slightly lifted, unless this revelation is shared – in which case morale lowers.
A section has revealed itself thanks to the tiresome labour of the workers – a structure large enough to warrant exploration has been revealed! Significant morale boost.

Tracking Morale for the Dig

Scale slides from 1-20, each step representing the overall ‘feel’ of the operation. As morale lowers, productivity lowers, but providing endless distractions and drink to workers could be just as detrimental. Mundane morale factors include things like -

- Time spent on dig (no progress over a significant period of time lowers morale)
- Weather
- Quality, amount and variety of food and drink
- Distance from home
- Pay

Most expeditions should start with around 10 morale, although conditions at the starting point of the journey should affect this. Difficult journeys will affect the morale quite heavily.

Small changes in morale should net a change of 1 or so, with a huge swing being 4 points or so. Resolving issues in flashy ways will actively improve morale, whereas quieter resolutions simply stop the loss of morale – although this is inverted with strife within the camp – i.e. quietly removing a thief from the workforce rather than publicly and harshly dealing with them. 

1 comment:

  1. Nothing sexier than Time Team, but this is close. 1,3, and 7 are my favourites.