Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Holy Week Posts: Transportation Adventure Seeds

It is Holy Week in the Philippines.

For those of you who've never worked here or visited here during this time, here are some things you might find interesting enough to mine for cultural variety in your RPG campaigns.


Holy Week stems from Catholic religious belief, primarily remembering and celebrating the Passion and Death of Christ. In the Philippines, a predominantly Catholic country in Asia, it has several well-known expressions of faith (Visita Iglesia, Crucifixions, and significant days of Holy Week itself). It is also significant enough that Maundy Thursday and Good Friday are national holidays, with some people already leaving work as early as Monday.


 Because of this tradition, traffic takes on erratic patterns at certain times during this week. Because of those fortunate enough to leave early in the week, traffic becomes lighter along many minor roads and major thoroughfares. But then, some government projects take advantage of the reduce traffic and begin making repairs on some paths.

And then as Wednesday approaches, paths of traffic toward the provinces (main highways) become choked with cars and buses. Buses are, in fact, the main mode of travel back to provinces in Luzon -- and bus stops are often crazy places to be during this time. Imagine a seething mass of humanity suffering in the summer heat, sometimes dealing with inefficient transport lines, ticketing offices, and the ever-present threat of criminals preying on travelers at numerous bus stations of varying quality.

Those seeking to return to home provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao portions of the archipelago often take boats, ferries, and local flights to return home. And they deal with similar problems as those who opted for bus travel do.

Naturally, the police, along with local and national government services do their best to serve the public and keep a watchful eye over the welfare of the millions of citizens returning home.

Adventure Seed: PCs must travel to a far-off location, but are surprised find that they must contend with a horde of travelers also bound for the same place. Not adventurers or mercenaries, but people from various stations in life merely seeking to go home to observe religious rites and visit family at a critical time during the year. They may find themselves learning useful information about the locale and its delights and dangers, or may end up thwarting crime targeted at their fellow travelers.

Adventure Seed: Some monsters also come out to hunt during this time for very specific reasons. perhaps the Sigbin has come to take advantage of the confusion of travelers and hopes to steal the heart of a child during the pilgrimages of travelers through its hunting lands.

Adventure Seed: The local government, normally very permissive, is quite alert during this time of year. They search travelers gear, question suspicious individuals, and sometimes delay some groups for a time to ensure that they will not be a danger to the other pilgrims. Perhaps some secrets or dangerous, cursed items choose this unfortunate time to cause trouble for the PCs.


  1. Interesting ideas for adventure seeds. Some areas seldom considered.

  2. Oh, thanks! May I ask what you find interesting and why?

    Always curious to see what hooks peoples interests.

  3. This would be a good setup for lower-level characters, with little gold to spend. :-) There's also good potential for culture shock scenarios - imagine the local reaction if you ask for meat during Good Friday (which by the way is the day I seem to crave bacon the most, since I know I'll never get it ...)

  4. @dariel: It's true. Or the sad possibility that they don't have any available, because no one orders it on that day. :)

    Maybe when I work my way toward the actual completion of the source material, I'll have that idea as part of the intro adventure.


That's my side of things. Let me know what you think, my friend.

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