Expansion: The Skull

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Wushanko Island Expansion for the player to access The Skull.

Quick note:
Unlike The Arc, The Skull is more xenophobic and has a number of hostile Khans.
Ai Jei and Hanto would be inaccessible to players, except possibly outside of cutscenes from sections in quests. (Ai Jei due to hostility to Westerners, Hanto because all outside trade is cutoff)
If needed, Echo Bay could also be excluded.
This would have a small advantage in terms of development as these islands would not need to be created. (I know, players want to be able to access everything, but we have in game lore reasons why these islands can't be visited.)

25-Dec-2018 16:37:37 - Last edited on 25-Dec-2018 16:41:55 by Deltaslug



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Getting There

Players would have needed to have at least completed Impressing the Locals and unlocked the region in Ports.

Players will need to complete a miniquest based in The Arc.
This miniquest will serve as an excuse for The Sarim's Revenge to get into The Skull.

Since the crew is already planning to go to The Skull, a local Khan will hire the crew to deliver one of their envoys with a treaty (or something) to one of the khans in The Skull.
This will all the player character to act on a diplomatic mission.
Your crew will get a few trade requests from merchants in Waiko (nothing substantial, just some simple stuff).
Finally, your Navigator will find 2-3 people that are also looking to get transported to The Skull. One of which will be a fairly old looking NPC.
You will need to buy some supplies for the trip (it is a long voyage).

En route, the ship will get attacked ... the target is actually the older NPC.

When you make it to The Skull and let the envoy make their delivery, the older NPC comes clean:
They were part of a family of gunpowder manufacturers with a reputation of being "the best". Around the time of Quin getting into power, they fled The Skull for The Arc.
Sadly, they are the last scion of the family, and too old to go back into business.
But, now that they have resurfaced, they want the family's recipes on gunpowder.

Most of the recipes are irrelevant these days. But there are a few that are still useful.
The NPC is willing to sell them to you for a 'modest price'. In part due to pragmatism in that they can't continue the family business, partially in thanks for saving their life, and partially because they want to get revenge on the local manufacturers in The Skull.
If you have it, then that means that they don't.

25-Dec-2018 16:37:42 - Last edited on 25-Dec-2018 16:51:12 by Deltaslug



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Manufacturing Gunpowder

In The Skull, Chimes are still the main currency, but gunpowder is the main commodity. No one cares about soup here. You have to provide gunpowder or the materials to make gunpowder.

The player character is at a disadvantage in The Skull. The Khans in the region have major production operations already in place. They have large numbers of slave labor at their disposal.
On top of that, the gunpowder manufactured is 'reliable'. The blends of gunpowder in circulation aren't necessarily special for any reason. They just work. Any 1 blend isn't necessarily any different than the next.

The reason why you get the book of gunpowder from the NPC is to give the player something to market.
You won't be manufacturing common gunpowder.
Instead, you will be manufacturing gunpowder for niche uses.

One blend (could be the low level or high level) will be used in making fireworks. True, any powder can be used. But 20 years ago, the old family blends were "the best".
If you did side by side firework shows, the family's recipe produced more vibrant colors with bigger bangs.
NO ONE in the last 20 years has managed to even come close to that.

Other possible blends/recipes could be for a working smokeless AND waterproof powder that is just as good in effectiveness as powders on the market.
For decades, chemists had tried to find the right mixture of ingredients and process that would make a powder that hit all 4 goals: smokeless, waterproof, good range, and cheap/easy to manufacture.
To date no one had hit all 4. You could toss out 1 and hit the other marks, or if you tried to hit all 4, something else suffered.
The last scion on the family managed to perfect the formula in their time away.

25-Dec-2018 16:37:42 - Last edited on 25-Dec-2018 17:00:10 by Deltaslug



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Making the Gunpowder

Gunpowder in real life is made from sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate.

Sulfur is mined on Thalassia, but the player could source via other means if necessary (ie: Thieving).
Charcoal would be made by burning Bamboo. The Bamboo would have necessary properties to make a high quality charcoal. The player would need Firemaking to make the Charcoal.
Potassium Nitrate would come from 2 sources. Low end would come from harvesting manure from animals found in The Skull. Due to the unique diet of animals there, added with the natural Ancestral energy of the local anima. The animal manure is great for making nitrate. The player will need Farming to gather the manure.
Higher grade nitrate would be found in a cave system somewhere. The player could need Agility, Dungeoneering, and/or Hunter to get the high end nitrate.

Final production of the powders will require Construction and Herblore.

Traders will be on hand for the player to sell the final powders or the various ingredients.

25-Dec-2018 16:37:44 - Last edited on 25-Dec-2018 17:06:20 by Deltaslug



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Ports Adventurers in The Skull

Much like The Arc, we will find several of our various PoP adventurers there as well.
Adventurers would still require completing their introductory voyage.

- Marcus Fine - The convict - Found on Hyu-Ji. Hands out Thieving Contracts. Will also purchase one of the components in making gunpowder.
- Bethan - The Biologist - Found on one of the islands (probably Hyu-Ji as well). Hands out Herblore contracts. She will purchase Charcoal or Nitrate since she can use those in her own experiments.
- The Occultist or The Exile - Not exactly a shop seller. They will host an activity on Seeker's Synapse.

Other Activities

The Skull won't offer the same wide array of things to do as The Arc.
- mining on Thalassia and other spots
- woodcutting and firemaking (charcoal) on 1 island
- farming on several spots
- final gunpowder manufacturing on an island
- collecting rarer nitrates in cave systems somewhere
- NPCs and storehouses to thieve

Seeker Synapse: this island is actually a giant Seeker from Dungeoneering.
On the 'island' players will either find The Exile or The Occultist. Either will host an activity unique to the location. Either will require unlocking the island via PoP voyage AND Level 90 in the required skill.
- If the Occultist hosts - the player can get Runecrafting contracts using RC to siphon energy from the Seekers found in the Synapse. This would provide players with a new RC location
- If the Exile hosts - The Synapse will act similarly to a sinkhole. The Exile will provide Dungeoneering contracts to challenge the player to gather a Seeker resource within a set time. The resource would be similar to IRL where people use things like animal parts for medicine, rituals, etc.

25-Dec-2018 16:37:45 - Last edited on 25-Dec-2018 17:54:36 by Deltaslug



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Other Possible Activities

Depending on available dev resources, there is always room for added activities.

Zen/Rock Garden

Accessible via The Missionary. Players can interact with a Zen/Rock Garden for meditative purposes. This will allow the player to earn Prayer XP or Farming XP depending on how they tend the garden.
The Missionary, though a Saradominist, can find some value in the tranquility tending the garden can have .... to some people.

Divine Koi

Hosted by The Memory. An energy rift has opened up in a pond filled Koi.
Here we see 2 interesting things:
1) Koi that have been fattened up by eating the energy such that now that is the only thing they will eat
2) An occasional energy wisp that thinks it is a Koi. (An energy wisp containing the memories of fish/fishing comes into contact with the remains of a giant koi. The wisp, for strange reasons, takes on the form of a giant glowing Koi. Thus it literally thinks that it is a fish.)
The locals actually like the brightly colored fish. But they still need to keep the population in check. And the big glowy fish ... should be kept near the pond ...
Sadly, you need a combination of fishing and divination to catch the fish ... and the giant wisp that thinks it is a koi.

Explosive Fishing

Echo Bay, if accessible, would allow the player to play with explosives to catch fish.
The Whaler won't be found here. While he knows about the fishing method, he doens't enjoy using it.


Players could have the opportunity to 'hunt' fish.
In game, mermaids are noted hunters. Mermaids are found throughout parts of The Skull.
A mermaid could open up a hunting activity where the players trains Hunter by hunting fish.

Gunpowder Theft

The player can steal from store houses on islands to raid gunpowder materials of hostile Khans.

25-Dec-2018 16:37:54 - Last edited on 25-Dec-2018 17:55:56 by Deltaslug



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Explaining The Koi:
We've seen some interesting manifestations of divine energy (most of which is Guthix's own memories.)
Some take the form of butterflies. One, Treborn, is a pet that was unlocked before. It's examine text: A manifestation of one of Guthix's most beautiful memories.
Another butterfly is of the memories of Guthix's wife.
The Memory, Kami, itself a collection of memories and memory butterflies, is a sentient manifestation of many of Guthix's memories of his daughter. In time, while she has those same memories, she eventually develops her own personality.
The player can even recruit Wisps into their Port crews.
While not exactly lore, there is always the possibility of an energy wisp taking on the memories of 'something else' and thus thinking that it is that thing or creature, especially if the energy wisp contained certain memories. The merger of the memories contained in the wisp, and whatever echoes remained of the plant or animal, could create a scaled down version of Kami. Just without the ability to create any distinct personality. Thus, why it behaves like a fish.

25-Dec-2018 16:37:56 - Last edited on 25-Dec-2018 17:40:35 by Deltaslug



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Tales of The Skull
The Skull would have at least 4 tales/miniquests. These stories could cover some of the following
- entry miniquest where the player/crew make it to The Skull (required)
- following up on Trader Stan's missing trinket (required)
- following up on Jacob Higgs (required)
- something where the player establishes themself in the gunpowder market
- the player getting a chance to undermine some of the local khans that are hostile to them or even putting into power people who would be friendlier
- the player learning more about the mermaids, gunpowder trade, and other things in the region
- more story on Seeker's Synapse
- the player learning more about Reggie's Gunpowder Mills

Please note: most of these are just possibilities for suggestion, NOT what devs have to do.

25-Dec-2018 16:37:57 - Last edited on 25-Dec-2018 17:52:31 by Deltaslug



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This time around, there won't be any 'uncharted islands' to visit.
The reasons for this can vary:
1) There may not be that many small islands compared to The Arc.
The Arc may have had more tiny islands popping up, but The Skull could have such a low density, that there are few to find.

2) Hostile waters.
As mentioned, there are several khans in the region that are hostile to the player character. Or just hostile to everyone. It would be far too dangerous for the unarmed Sarim's Revenge to go out sailing compared to The Arc.

3) Everything there has already been claimed.
With large fleets and a massive gunpowder industry, it is possible that any small islands already have a presence extracting materials for making more and more gunpowder.
Each island would have a large presence of troops, workers, and hostile and armed ships, thus making any landing dangerous and costly.
At best, you could try to sneak in and "steal" some supplies/materials. But taking any small island by force would cause the Khan to openly declare war on you.

25-Dec-2018 16:37:58 - Last edited on 25-Dec-2018 18:02:03 by Deltaslug



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I don't disagree on making visiting The Skull tied to completing The Arc storyline.
In many ways, this is consistent with usual story/quest progression and location access.

There are a few reasons why I left the suggestion for a stand alone entry mini:
1) Entry into The Arc = complete Impressing The Locals + Player Owned Port + 90 in a Port Skill.
2) The Tales of The Arc require PoP voyages unlocking Cyclosis
3) The Tales of The Arc require essentially a variety of Level 90+ skills

So to just visit The Skull would entail a lot of pre-work and bypassing a lot of gates.

By linking visiting to The Skull as:
1) Gain Entry to The Arc
2) PoP reached The Skull
You don't have quite as many gates.

Now if you wanted to do The Tales of The Skull, then yes, you would definitely need to complete The Tales of The Arc.

I don't totally disagree on the Tales rewards.
However ... (playing Devil's advocate for a moment) ...
1) Each of the tales is short. And most miniquests/quests that are "short" don't award alot anyways.
2) You still got: A medium XP lamp (which was worth 12k-17k depending on your level), Chimes, Tajitu, and resources ... amounts which frankly ... would have been in line with what you might have earned/collected in the time it took you to complete the tale.

Part of why I was suggesting exclusion of more uncharted isles is because, yes, I thought it might speed up dev. But also, do we really want a repeat of content in each region?
Plus, The Arc was kinda all over the place on the skilling to end up with a focus on cooking.
Here, we have a place where we could streamline what you need to do in order to train a pair of expensive artisan skills: herblore and construction.

26-Dec-2018 17:34:40 - Last edited on 26-Dec-2018 17:36:10 by Deltaslug

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