The Adventurer Tailor and Silk worms

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
So during the lol in our 17th century inspired pastiche we got to discussing the Weaving trade and European Silk industry (in 1700 Lyons had 1400 looms) so one of the players nowvwants to be a Tailor and go and find some wild silk worms to breed. Traditional Serculture is fascination and Im thinking of using wild Indian Eri silk moths rather than the classic chinese Mulberry worms.

I lke the idea but want to brainstorm with you how to make this a fantasy adventure?

what class fits a Tailor? And what elements would make a fun adventure?

Im thinking Silk moth spirits/faeries in there but what else?
 

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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member

A neat thing about Eri silkmoths is that they led to the production of Ahimsa silk that didn't require the death of the pupa. Throw this idea into a fantasy setting, and you could have some producers boiling the cocoons and killing the pupa and others waiting for it to hatch. The latter method might produce less thread per cocoon, but it keeps the druids, moth spirits, and potential "Silk Wyrms" (as Umbran suggested) happier.

Or, perhaps an evil druidic? cult has uplifted and modified silk moths such that they begin capturing and peeling humans. (Eww!)

Another option is to back things up a step. Perhaps the tailor doesn't know how this amazing foreign cloth is produced and is on a quest to find out. This might have elements of travel epic (Sinbad!), exploring a new culture, and industrial espionage. In this case, a thief of some flavor might make sense.
 

DrunkonDuty

he/him
The would be tailor may have to deal with the existing silk makers guild. No-one wants more competition and the guild goes to lengths to make sure would be competition is squashed. So while the tailor is trying to source the secrets of silk (as per uzirath's idea above) they're being dogged by agents of the guild who's job is to make sure no new people get their hands on the secrets of silk.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Ranger (Swarm). Surrounded by Silkworm Moths, with the actual silk worms kept protected until they change to the moth part of their lifecycle.

Guild Artisan background. Proficiency in Weaver's Tools from it.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
A neat thing about Eri silkmoths is that they led to the production of Ahimsa silk that didn't require the death of the pupa. Throw this idea into a fantasy setting, and you could have some producers boiling the cocoons and killing the pupa and others waiting for it to hatch. The latter method might produce less thread per cocoon, but it keeps the druids, moth spirits, and potential "Silk Wyrms" (as Umbran suggested) happier.

Or, perhaps an evil druidic? cult has uplifted and modified silk moths such that they begin capturing and peeling humans. (Eww!)

Another option is to back things up a step. Perhaps the tailor doesn't know how this amazing foreign cloth is produced and is on a quest to find out. This might have elements of travel epic (Sinbad!), exploring a new culture, and industrial espionage. In this case, a thief of some flavor might make sense.
Yeah Ive been reading some Chinese legends about the discovery of Silk making by Lei-tzu (aka Xi Lingshi) when she was out collecting mulberries for her sick parents, which she later shared when she married the Yellow Emperor giving China the monopoly until the later smuggling of Silk worm eggs and Sericulture to Khotan and thus India. (and later two Monks smuggled eggs to Rome)

so I’m thinking that Silk is an exclusive material of Moth Spirits who live in the Fae realm of Ta-Lo (thanks MCU).

and because its got moth fairies and tailors I want a fairytale feel to the adventure “once upon a time there was a brave tailor who decided to set out nd find his fortune”

1. our tailor discovers a mulberry wood crate washed ashore, inside lies a young women, naked but wrapped in silk cloth.
She is injured and needs help - and a new dress (I want to have some custom-made tailoring/sewing challenges scattered in too:))

2. She wants to be taken back to her grandmother who lives in a sacred grove which is protected by Silk wyrms

3. Various challenges ensue, the girl is being chased by ???
* a creature that peels the skins of humans might work here, insect themed?

4. The sacred grove is of course in the Fae realm, they get in but to get out the PC must face the grandmothers test - a choice of seven silk worms of different colours, 4 are poisonous (wyrms), 2 are normal and one is the key to Ta Lo.

5. The Tailor gains a silk worm egg and knowledge of sericulture. Maybe a friendly moth companion and some valuable enchanted silk.

so -
A) why is the girl in the box? ( maybe Evil stepmothers fit a fairytale motif?)
B) who is chasing them?
C) what challenges should the PCs face that allows them to use Sewing/Weaving skills
D) other advice?

NB I didnt realise that Silk Wyrm was an actual DarkSun creature until now. im going to modify them so they are more insectile - giant centipede-like
 
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aco175

Legend
Tailors use special silver shears to cut the astral cords of the silk worms and grounding them to the material realm. You can only ground them on days of the full moon and need to avoid the giant wasps that hunt them.
 


Ixal

Hero
There is a lot more to silk manufacture than just getting some silk worms.
They have to be fed, raised, harvested, the silk must be gathered, processed, probably dyed and only then can a tailor start working.
Too much for a single person to do, especially if that person also wants to go adventuring.
And as others have said, you then have to problem with competition and guilds, of those exist, which often control a trade by law and can prevent someone unaffiliated to ply a trade.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
There is a lot more to silk manufacture than just getting some silk worms.
They have to be fed, raised, harvested, the silk must be gathered, processed, probably dyed and only then can a tailor start working.
Too much for a single person to do, especially if that person also wants to go adventuring.
And as others have said, you then have to problem with competition and guilds, of those exist, which often control a trade by law and can prevent someone unaffiliated to ply a trade.

Absolutely, and dealing with the guilds, raising the worms and recruiting workers to weave the cloth will all be factored in to building the long term story 'campaign'.
I like non-traditional roleplaying where longterm worldbuilding is the focus and adventures occur over seasons/years rather than days. - ie Downtime is the game.

In the past we've had a campaign based around a PC Engineer responsible for maintaining the city sewers and walls and a PC Farmer growing grain and dealing with flooding of the local swamp (he can't drain it as that will anger the resident Naiad). My own favourite PC is a gnome alchemist.
 

There is a lot more to silk manufacture than just getting some silk worms.
They have to be fed, raised, harvested, the silk must be gathered, processed, probably dyed and only then can a tailor start working.
Too much for a single person to do, especially if that person also wants to go adventuring.

In this case, though, that work could be the adventure. Each of those steps could be an added layer on the adventure of finding and stealing the worms. Spying to learn how they are fed, raised, and harvested. Learning the steps of the process.

And as others have said, you then have to problem with competition and guilds, of those exist, which often control a trade by law and can prevent someone unaffiliated to ply a trade.

Even more adventure material!
 

aco175

Legend
somehow I'm reminded of the Disney skit, Brave Little Tailor.

"Oh Boy, Got 7 in one blow."

1645049845566.png
 



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