The blog posts here are works of fiction. Any similarity to persons living or dead is likely to be entirely intentional, but no one should assume that anything posted about an individual here is fact, it will have been exaggerated, altered or created solely for the purposes of use within the context of a role playing game.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Jersey- A Brief History


Jersey is an island situated in the English Channels measuring approx 45 miles square. The population of the island currently stands at just over 100,000 people.

A Brief History

Jersey was once connected to the European mainland and there is evidence of the land was one of the last bastions of Neanderthals as recently as 47,000 years ago. A settlement at La Cotte de St Brelade, currently under water, reveals shelters constructed of mammoth bones.
The Romans occupied Jersey, then named Caesarea, before being evicted by the Goths at the end of Empire. A hoard of an estimated 70,000 late Iron Age and Roman coins was discovered in June 2012 in the parish of Grouville on the east side of Jersey in the Channel Islands. It is thought that the hoard belonged to a Curiosolitae tribe fleeing Julius Caesar's armies around the time of 50 BC to 60 BC.
In 831 AD it formed part of the territory ceded by the King of France to the Normans. When the rest of Normandy was lost to the English crown, the people of Jersey chose to remain under English rather than French sovereignty and arrangement which was not formalised by treaty until 1239.
During the English Civil War the future King Charles II hid in Jersey which remained Royalist, and when the monarchy was restored he awarded Jersey the right to set its own customs tariffs .
Jersey staged its own revolution in 1769, a mass led by Tom Gruchy, a pensions clerk, marched from Trinity storming the Royal Court and demanding an end to corruption. This resulted in intervention from Westminster and the first codification of Jersey Law in the Code of 1771.
The French continued to invade periodically the last time being in 1781, the Battle of Jersey is the only war of the War of American Independence fought in Europe as the French sought to distract the English from the war in America. A war which the French eventually won defeating the British at Yorktown, with assistance from the American militia.
In the early 19th Century, the Emperor Napoleon wrote to London to complain about the amount of wrecking which the people of Jersey were inflicting upon the French merchant fleets.
In the 1850’s the first major immigration took place. The United Kingdom began to develop the island laying roads and defensive works against a future French invasion which never occurred. The revolutionary zeal that swept through Europe from 1848 largely bypassed Jersey whose economy was very strong, based around farming, fishing, woollens, cider production and wrecking ships on the treacherous reefs which surrounded the island. Smuggling was rife into France, the island benefitted from being able to set low tariffs for goods, so it was a destination of choice for merchant ships, these goods were then sailed over to France and landed tariff free in France.
The early 20th Century saw Jersey develop as a honeymoon island and destination of choice for British holidaymakers . This continued on into the 1990’s where tax haven and duty free paradise low price alcohol, cigarettes and petrol continued to act as a draw.
The island was occupied by Germany from 1941 to 1945. The island was split between those who left to fight in the war and those who chose to remain. All English people were rounded up and exported to concentration camps, whilst life for Jersey people was largely unchanged and at least under the D-Day landings in 1944 relatively peaceful.
The government of Jersey capitulated without a fight and welcomed the Germans who began their own infrastructure improvements to the island, largely completed by Spanish and Russian slave labour.
At the end of the war many Jersey families became extremely rich as the British government agreed to swap all occupation marks for British pounds on a one for one basis. Those who had most closely collaborated with the Germans therefore saw the greatest rewards. Those same families continued to dominate Jersey life, although most of the old Jersey families sold up and left at the end of the 1990’s.
In the 1970’s the banks arrived seeking to exploit the low level of taxation and in the 1990’s the mail order companies arrived for the same reason.

Jersey has long profited from the profligacy and waste of the United Kingdom government. In the 1990’s the Jersey government began to inflict their own tyranny of taxation on the people of Jersey and throughout the 21st Century Jersey has been in steady but unavoidable decline.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Character Alignment or Archetype?

When Dungeons & Dragons was first published your character's personality was chiefly designated by alignment and the choice was simply Lawful, Neutral or Chaotic.

In my youthful innocence it did not seem strange to simplistically associate "lawful" with "good"and "chaotic" with "evil". Advanced Dungeons and Dragons introduced the conepts of "law v chaos" and "good v evil" as two seperate character considerations.

A far better concept for we now know that nothing is as evil as the misuse of lawful authority.



To avoid the value laden and very individual interpretation of such terms, I prefer the use of Archetypes for characters.

The term "archetype" has its origins in ancient Greek. The root words are archein, which means "original or old"; and typos, which means "pattern, model or type". The combined meaning is an "original pattern" of which all other similar persons, objects, or concepts are derived, copied, modeled, or emulated.

The psychologist, Carl Gustav Jung, used the concept of archetype in his theory of the human psyche. He believed that universal, mythic characters—archetypes—reside within the collective unconscious of people the world over. Archetypes represent fundamental human motifs of our experience as we evolved; consequentially, they evoke deep emotions.

The Archetypes are detailed at the end of this blog post, but they can be handled in game in two different ways. Either the relative strength of each archetype can be determined for your character, either randomly or by design or you can allow you character to develop over the course of gameplay.


Rules for Archetypes

Select one archetype each to represent the most apparent archetype for your character's Ego, Soul and Self. This can either be done by rolling a d4, choosing or by determining the same at the end of a given number of sessions based on your character's actions during those sessions.

This Archetype is given a weighting of 3, select a second from each sub group this is given a weight of 2, the third is given a score of 1 and the last from each sub group is given a score of 0


Changing Archetypes

As all RPG's are character driven, Archetypes are not meant to be a straitjacket for your character and events that your character experiences during gameplay may have long lasting effects on your character's character.

To represent this everytime your character acts in a manner aligned to one of the 12 archetypes he receives a check, each time your character acts in a manner contrary to one of the 12 archetypes he also receives a check.

Checks are made at the end of a session using a d10. A roll of 0 means that your character has fundamentally changed as a result of the experience and the Archetype score is either raised or lowered by 1 (to a maximum of 4 and a minimum of 0)


Archetypes & Gods

Gods in Dungeons & Dragons are the living embodiment of an Archetype, clerics particularly will be best served if their archetype matches that of their god. A cleric will gain a bonus if the corresponding archetype of their god is high and a penalty if it is low. If this archetype falls to 0 then they will lose their divine powers until they are accepted by a new archetype or their archetype is raised.


1. The Innocent

Motto: Free to be you and me
Core desire: to get to paradise
Goal: to be happy

Greatest fear: to be punished for doing something bad or wrong

Strategy: to do things right

Weakness: boring for all their naive innocence

Talent: faith and optimism

The Innocent is also known as: Utopian, traditionalist, naive, mystic, saint, romantic, dreamer.

2. The Orphan/Regular Guy or Gal

Motto: All men and women are created equal

Core Desire: connecting with others

Goal: to belong

Greatest fear: to be left out or to stand out from the crowd

Strategy: develop ordinary solid virtues, be down to earth, the common touch

Weakness: losing one's own self in an effort to blend in or for the sake of superficial relationships

Talent: realism, empathy, lack of pretense

The Regular Person is also known as: The good old boy, everyman, the person next door, the realist, the working stiff, the solid citizen, the good neighbor, the silent majority.

3. The Hero

Motto: Where there's a will, there's a way

Core desire: to prove one's worth through courageous acts

Goal: expert mastery in a way that improves the world

Greatest fear: weakness, vulnerability, being a "chicken"

Strategy: to be as strong and competent as possible

Weakness: arrogance, always needing another battle to fight

Talent: competence and courage

The Hero is also known as: The warrior, crusader, rescuer, superhero, the soldier, dragon slayer, the winner and the team player.

4. The Caregiver

Motto: Love your neighbour as yourself

Core desire: to protect and care for others

Goal: to help others

Greatest fear: selfishness and ingratitude

Strategy: doing things for others

Weakness: martyrdom and being exploited

Talent: compassion, generosity

The Caregiver is also known as: The saint, altruist, parent, helper, supporter.

The Soul Types

5. The Explorer

Motto: Don't fence me in

Core desire: the freedom to find out who you are through exploring the world

Goal: to experience a better, more authentic, more fulfilling life

Biggest fear: getting trapped, conformity, and inner emptiness

Strategy: journey, seeking out and experiencing new things, escape from boredom

Weakness: aimless wandering, becoming a misfit

Talent: autonomy, ambition, being true to one's soul

The explorer is also known as: The seeker, iconoclast, wanderer, individualist, pilgrim.

6. The Rebel

Motto: Rules are made to be broken

Core desire: revenge or revolution

Goal: to overturn what isn't working

Greatest fear: to be powerless or ineffectual

Strategy: disrupt, destroy, or shock

Weakness: crossing over to the dark side, crime

Talent: outrageousness, radical freedom

The Outlaw is also known as: The rebel, revolutionary, wild man, the misfit, or iconoclast.

7. The Lover

Motto: You're the only one

Core desire: intimacy and experience

Goal: being in a relationship with the people, work and surroundings they love

Greatest fear: being alone, a wallflower, unwanted, unloved

Strategy: to become more and more physically and emotionally attractive

Weakness: outward-directed desire to please others at risk of losing own identity

Talent: passion, gratitude, appreciation, and commitment

The Lover is also known as: The partner, friend, intimate, enthusiast, sensualist, spouse, team-builder.

8. The Creator

Motto: If you can imagine it, it can be done

Core desire: to create things of enduring value

Goal: to realize a vision

Greatest fear: mediocre vision or execution

Strategy: develop artistic control and skill

Task: to create culture, express own vision

Weakness: perfectionism, bad solutions

Talent: creativity and imagination

The Creator is also known as: The artist, inventor, innovator, musician, writer or dreamer.

The Self Types

9. The Jester

Motto: You only live once

Core desire: to live in the moment with full enjoyment

Goal: to have a great time and lighten up the world

Greatest fear: being bored or boring others

Strategy: play, make jokes, be funny

Weakness: frivolity, wasting time

Talent: joy

The Jester is also known as: The fool, trickster, joker, practical joker or comedian.

10. The Sage

Motto: The truth will set you free

Core desire: to find the truth.

Goal: to use intelligence and analysis to understand the world.

Biggest fear: being duped, misled—or ignorance.

Strategy: seeking out information and knowledge; self-reflection and understanding thought processes.

Weakness: can study details forever and never act.

Talent: wisdom, intelligence.

The Sage is also known as: The expert, scholar, detective, advisor, thinker, philosopher, academic, researcher, thinker, planner, professional, mentor, teacher, contemplative.

11. The Magician

Motto: I make things happen.

Core desire: understanding the fundamental laws of the universe

Goal: to make dreams come true

Greatest fear: unintended negative consequences

Strategy: develop a vision and live by it

Weakness: becoming manipulative

Talent: finding win-win solutions

The Magician is also known as: The visionary, catalyst, inventor, charismatic leader, shaman, healer, medicine man.

12. The Ruler

Motto: Power isn't everything, it's the only thing.

Core desire: control

Goal: create a prosperous, successful family or community

Strategy: exercise power

Greatest fear: chaos, being overthrown

Weakness: being authoritarian, unable to delegate

Talent: responsibility, leadership

The Ruler is also known as: The boss, leader, aristocrat, king, queen, politician, role model, manager or administrator.

Paved With Good Intentions: A Sourcebook for RPGs based in or on Jersey

And so the idea to create our own RPG sourcebook based on Jersey history, geography, sociology, politics, economics and events, has ruminated sufficiently long without any obvious problems becoming apparent to have been born here today.

Of course in seeking to achieve such a loosely defined goal the most obvious question to arise is, "Which RPG?"

Of course that defeats the idea of a modern sourcebook which is freed from the shackles of any particular rules system, I will not even select a particular era or style of RPG.

It is the mutable nature of the challenge which appeals, the Liberty to choose to blog on any subject vaguely related as the mood or events take me.

The principle motivation is the third project I have backed on Kickstarter Legacy Superhero RPG in the UK, as part of my pledge I have been given the opportunity to develop Jersey as a location for a team of Super Heroes. But in the past we have played many campaigns based here such as "Jersey by Night" a World of Darkness Campaign, Call of Cthulhu and the like.

Hopefully the blog will be easily navigable and updated on a regular basis with little vignettes from Jersey's past, present and maybe future.

Why "Paved with Good Intentions"? Well, why not. Jersey like most places is walking the gentle slope, soft underfoot with no sudden turnings, milestones or signposts. The safe road that CS Lewis talked of. Followers of my Jersey Politics Blog may recognise some recurring themes.

The blog posts here are works of fiction. Any similarity to persons living or dead is likely to be entirely intentional, but no one should assume that anything posted about an individual here is fact, it will have been exaggerated, altered or created for the purposes of use within the context of a role playing game.