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Showing posts from June, 2021

Gygax 75 - Week 3+1: The Ancient Gardens

I'm back! And I have donu--wait no I have a dungeon! It took me an extra week, but here it is. 'Mostly' fully keyed, with a node map to help guide you through it. I'm not going to block out the requirements for this week, because most of it relates to dungeon building. 

Some notes if you decide to give the G75 a shot, is that the budget system didn't really do it for me. I rolled for it, but totally ignored it after that. I want the spaces I design to be oozing with flavour, not unlike an overstuffed pie. 

I will be making a grid-based map for this at the of the G75, and will link it once its ready!

Without further ado, the Ancient's Gardens:

Ancient's Garden

Things to expand in the future:

  • Tracker for ghoul and centipede movement
  • Treasure + monster quick reference sheet
  • A list of treasure + locations



Once an ancient bazaar and pleasure gardens. It has housed a cult to $$$ the god of greed, and served as a transit center. However, despite its past splendor, it is now home to an odd science mystic and a group of drug-making party ghouls


Rune-carved slab propped open by giant bones

Notable People

  • Okra Merge: Green skinned vampire. Harmless, needs blue blood.
    • Friendly, but prone to forgetfulness. Loves nature and plants, maybe too much.
    • Researching time stasis to preserve plants past the end of time and seed the universe once again. Debating packing up to gather research material.
    • Knows Haste, Slowfall, Stasis: y'know, time spells.
    • Wants a flux conversion regulator from a nearby ruin (Upward Spire).
  • Ghouls!: Mutagenic ghouls, shrivelled skin that hugs close to the bones. Neon painted skin, kept 'sane' by the Shard of the Rave God it keeps their cannibalistic hunger focused towards partying and drugs, chill dudes, throw a great rager. Bro speak, gender indeterminable.
    • Haze - Raspy voice. Merrily greets shooters and guests. The dealer. Aura of hallucinogenic smoke. Wants munchies.
    • Flash - Glows in the dark. The brewmaster. Sloshed. Has a wizard degree. Doesn't like talking about it. Needs 'trippy' ingredients.
    • Riot - Constantly playing a banger. The DJ. Makes dubstep noises. Half-deaf. Shouts. Wants you to listen to their mixtape. Needs a new disco ball.
  • Colossal golden Centipede: Deadly, warrens in the storage, biomechanical predator, clear head shows valuable circuit board brain
    • It sleeps in 1.8 Grubby Storage during the day. It hunts during the night.
      • It roams, spending one turn in each:
        1. Caravanserai
        2. Delivery Tunnels
        3. Grubby Storage
        4. Barren Casino
        5. Crumbling Ampitheater
        6. Food Arcade
        7. Parched Atrium
        8. Outside
        9. Outside
        10. Outside
        11. Outside
        12. Outside

Encounter Table

  1. Golden Centipede
  2. Fungal succulents piloting a ba-mummy
  3. Moving Mold
  4. Kush Crawlers - Trying to spread
  5. Poison Snake
  6. Quiet
  7. Giant cockroaches
  8. Crystal Shades - Echos of former selves
  9. Wicker golem - Damaged security, orders corrupted
  10. Ghoul - Haze or Riot
  11. Okra Merge

1st Floor

Glass dome ceilings, cracks of sunlight through sand above, sandy floors over carved stone, walls are wind-carved stone

Adjectives: Smooth, dry, faded, sandy, past

  1. Caravanserai

    • Low ceilings, round supports, stalls filled with desiccated and crumbling pottery. A few broken wagons. A stone door, without a lock, but immovable. Slab doors to the outside
    • Stalls
      • At the back of a particularly crowded stall, a crawlspace carved via bite marks and many legs. Leads to 1.2 Delivery Tunnels
    • Wagons
      • Enough material to build a 2 sledges or a rickety wagon.
  2. Delivery Tunnels

    • Concrete tunnels, most are collapsed. Splashes of dried venom-puke. Someone put up wooden supports along safe paths. Concrete ramps lead downwards to the 3.1 Infested Tunnels
    • Wooden Supports
      • Gnaw marks, brittle with age.
      • These can be cut to collapse this section (this will definitely kill or entomb anything caught within)
  3. Sunken Plaza

    • The ruins of old market stalls built into a three tiered sunken terrace. At the lowest level a large obelisk sits. Faded carpets are scattered around different tiers. Flashes of blue light flit in between the stalls
    • Blue Light
      • These are Crystal Shades, the spiritual remnants of merchants and customers. They shine with a holographic effect. They will try to sell dust and sand. They will shriek with rage every time you refuse them.
      • They are stained with greed from the obelisk
    • Obelisk
      • A towering bluestone obelisk lined with golden trim around the outlines of hand-carved runes. It is splattered with colorful graffiti. A blue haze surrounds it, emanating from a coin slot on one side.
      • Coin Slot
        • A worn rectangular groove worn away through the many coins that have passed though its entrance
      • Blue Haze
        • If an offering isn't made (a single coin through the slot) every day, a haze of indigo fog will begin to affect creatures with jealousy and greed of others wealth
      • Hand-carved Runes
        • Mark that the obelisk is devoted to $$$, the goddess of greed and wealth. Indicate that an offering of a single coin will suffice for a day.
    • Carpets
      • Underneath one, a splintered trapdoor that leads down to 2.2 Tunnel Crossroads
    • Market Stalls
      • Wooden market stalls, canvas shades long faded. Faded Tapestry behind a stall on the third tier.
      • Scavenged thoroughly through the ages, a few plain items have been left behind:
        • A sachet of moon-light tea (20$). Very relaxing!
        • Scratched pine box with a pearl encrusted conch horn (100$) inside
        • Snuff pouch of cinnamon (10$)
      • Tapestry
        • Alcove with a small door, runes read "Storage". Leads to 1.8 Grubby Storage.
    • Treasure
      • Bluestone Obelisk of $$$. Worth 6000$ to merchant types. Needs 6 people to drag it at least. Emits haze around it that makes everyone covetous if offerings aren't made through the coin slots every day or so
  4. Food Arcade

    • Arched hall, each containing the ruins of an ancient food stand. One arcade leads to a barred door, granting access to 1.1 Caravanserai.
    • Food Stands
      • Tattered curtains and sun-bleached wooden counters. Faded signs for fillets, kebabs, and sandwiches hang above each arcade. A carved crawlspace behind one stall. A shiny green plastic card sits atop a stand
      • Scattered throughout 8 intact Rations, dried mammoth meats and root veggies. Well-seasoned, but kinda gritty with sand.
      • Crawlspace
        • Leads to 1.6 Crumbling Ampitheater
      • Green plastic card
        • Used to unlock 2.7 Grow Room
  5. Parched Atrium

    • Above a wide hole lets in light and sand from the surface. A bone-white tree has withered away in a central planter. The ashen flowers of emaciated plants fill painted terracotta planters. Cracked hole in the glass dome send sand into the room, but allows escape to the outside.
    • Bone-white tree 
      • The thin trunk has no branches, like the stem of a flower. The ivory bark looks like cracked clay. Sun-faded bloodstains line the inside of the planter.
      • When blood is spilled here the tree will begin to bloom once again with a Blood-bloom. Blooms once a week for 9 weeks every 9 years
      • Blood-bloom
        • A pink flower, petals folded as if made from origami. Thrums with the beat of a heart even when picked. The main aspect needed for creating a blood elemental or allows casting a spell three times before it wilts.
  6. Crumbling Ampitheater

    • Tattered curtains hang over stage. Collapsed set in central seating. Ornamental pillars near rear of stage
    • Collapsed set
      • Time worn paint on balsa wood columns and facades. Covers a small crevice
    • Curtains
      • Tattered carmine velum. Surprisingly clean.
        • Two fine cloak's (50$ each) worth to a good tailor.
    • Pillars
      • 9 Solid white marble, finely carved. Scratches behind the one 3rd from left. Pitch black, rope and piton descent to 3.9 Tranquil Gardens
  7. Barren Casino

    • Flipped tables and sand encrusted carpets. Automata wanders around offering drinks. Exit doors surrounded by flashing bulbs allow access to the outside
    • Automata
      • A keg-golem, chipped ceramic limbs built around a stone barrel.
      • Designed to dispense libations. They're on the house! Ran out of ingredients a long time ago, now only has dirty water.
        • Can be given botanicals to produce and store up to 5 different fancy cocktails and brews.
      • Override card to recruit him is in 1.9 Employee Lounge
  8. Grubby Storage

    • Chewed-through crates, mounds of bones, piles of plant debris. Wooden door in recessed alcove. At night, curled form of the Golden Centipede
    • Bones
      • Some terror-dactyl, mostly snake and human. A few blue wasp shells. Thoroughly broken and gnawed.
    • Plant Debris
      • The nest of the Golden Centipede. It sleeps here during the day. It roams during the night.
    • Door
      • Leads behind a tapestry in 1.3 Sunken Plaza
    • Treasure
      • 2x Nutrient Salve @ 50$ (2 Rations each)
      • Spell of Crystal Cognizance
      • Centipede Loot
        • 3x Potions of Poison Breath
        • Ancient Golden Circuit Board of the Templars (BFT)
  9. Employee 'Lounge'

    • Broken folding chairs, stained kitchenette, wobbly tables. Square nook shelves line the right wall.
    • Shelves
      • Empty sacks and spoiled bag lunches. Nest of scorpions (normal-sized).
      • An Automata Override Card on a lower shelf
        • Glass prism, holes punched through surfaces
        • Allows recruiting the Automata Keg in 1.7 Barren Casino

2nd Floor

Cramped tunnels, feel of tepid water, scent of weed and pollen. Grey cobble stone walls, dark grey stone brick floors. Rounded tunnels.

Adjectives: Imposing, moist, sopping, ramshackle, erratic, endless

  1. Infested Tunnels

    • *Vine choked passageways, choking pollen, the overbearing smell of weed. Clearly marked passages, arrows covered in fluorescent paint. Slightly flooded with muddy yellow water. Concrete ramps lead up to 1.2 Delivery Tunnels*
    • Smell of weed
      • The den of Kush Crawlers, dog sized and shaped mobile plant colonies. Spray slowing pheromones before ripping open prey to deposit seeds. Tastes like okra when fried up.
    • Vine Choked
      • Behind a wall of tangled vines is an abandoned cache of supplies, a fluorescent circular rune carved above it. A ladder leads to a hidden hatch among some scraggly bushes on the surface
      • Contains 3 torches, a bottle of Hammerclaw Whiskey Black Label (75$), and a Bloodstone
    • Treasure
      • Hammerclaw Whiskey Black Label @ 75$
      • Bloodstone, contains a single spell's worth of blood energy
  2. Tunnel Crossroads

    • At the center of an intersection of four tunnels, ramshackle scrap platform with a large bonfire. Stairs in part of the platform lead down to 3.1 Reception Hall The south tunnel is barricaded The west ends with a locked door with a green stripe. The north tunnel disappears into gloom.
    • Scrap platform
      • Splintery wooden sheets on an ancient train platform. Two rainbow folding chairs and a spit with roasting kush crawler.
    • Barricade
      • Wood and thick carpet over brick. Sloppily carved bamboo door and hanging neon sign: "Party! Drugs! Drinks!"
    • Door
      • Locked stone door, a lime green strip runs down the front. Equipped with a bone lock. Key is in 1.4 Food Arcade
        • North tunnel
      • Leads a short way back to a dead end, with a lashed wooden ladder. Goes back up to 1.3 Sunken Plaza
  3. Wrecked Storefront

    • Tinkling bell on front door. Pots are shattered and crates are broken around the edges of the room. The counter has caved in. A ghoul sits in front of shelves. A mural covers the far wall.
    • Ghoul
      • Haze, a mutagenic ghoul. Raspy voice. Merrily greets shoppers and guests. The dealer. Aura of hallucinogenic smoke. Wants munchies.
    • Counter
    • Mural
      • A faded mosaic mural depicting an ancient battle against a 9-headed hydra has been scrawled with obscene graffiti. A hero is severing three of the hydra's heads at once (each head has a monocle drawn onto it) and golden blood spills into a pool at its feet.
      • Golden Blood
        • If the mural is broken there is a chest filled with 100 golden coins (each worth 5$) and 3 Inky Black Pearls worth 50$ each. If the ghouls are present they will want in on that.
    • Treasure
      • 100 golden coins @ 500$ behind the mural
      • 3x Inky Black Pearl @ 50$ each behind the mural
  4. Dim Distillery

    • Five open vats, bubbling and belching out pungent fumes of brews. Below the vats are vents that lead downward to 3.5 Tiled Sauna. Kegs haphazardly stacked against the wall. A ghoul stirring and tasting vats. A section of wall slabs are a slightly different color.
    • Vats
      • Four chipped stone and clay vats filled with Basic Bread / Exotic Ingredients (or B/X Brew) a generic bread beer.
      • A blue glazed porcelain vat filled hallway with Ghoul's Spit'n'shine, nearly pure ethanol with a smoky finish. Will melt the organs of living creatures. Dragon-bone tankard (see treasure) occasionally drifts to the surface.
    • Ghoul
      • Flash, a mutagenic ghoul. Glows in the dark. The brewmaster. Has a wizard degree. Doesn't talk about it. Needs 'trippy' ingredients.
    • Kegs
      • Clay pots and wooden barrels, left to age. Among them, two rare brews from an ancient time, Goldsoul Grog and Crackhammer Sake.
    • Wall Slabs
      • Slightly off color slabs. Slabs are firm but give if force is applied. Leads to 2.6 Ancient Stash
    • Treasure
      • Stone Keg of Goldsoul Grog @ 500$ or 24 drinks
      • Wooden Keg of Crackhammer Sake @ 200$ or 32 drinks
      • Dragon-bone tankard (Enchanted, Potion effects can be used a breath weapons) @ 400$
  5. Party Room

    • Dance floor of mosaic tiles ringed by plush but threadbare bean bags and bongs. Smoky haze. A Disco ball sends rays of light cascading across the room. A titanic shard of crimson stone is embedded through the center of the room. There are deeply gouged scratch marks on the floor near the wall.
    • Ghoul
      • Riot, a mutagenic ghoul. Constantly playing a banger. The DJ. Makes dubstep noises. Half-deaf. Shouts. Wants you to listen to their mixtape. Needs a new disco ball.
    • Disco Ball
      • A multi-faceted orb, a d38, a little larger than a watermelon. Shiny surface obscures brightly colored wires under the thick crystal shell. Plug on the bottom.
    • Shard
      • Covered in delicately carved runes. Room was definitely built up around it. Is holding the ceiling up from collapse. Drug offerings scattered around it. Riot does not like you eyeing it.
    • Scratch Marks
      • Marks curve out from the wall, a hidden door flush with the wall. Leads to 2.4 Dim Distillery
    • Treasure
      • Prism Disco Ball (BFT) a long-ago memory core that could be put to use in creating an AI or in the compiling of a new spell.
      • Splintered Fragment of the Rave God (BFTx3) (holds up the ceiling, needs at least 3 people to carry)
  6. Ancient Stash

    • This room is truly ancient, walls carved in bas-relief of pickaxes and gemstones. The air is musty and Dust covers everything. A titanic crack has split the room in two, leaving the far side's floor at waist height. An altar of white stone sits at the center topped by a massive crystal
    • Walls
      • Later period squatling carvings of pickaxes, geometric designs, and gemstones. The four panels are worth 1000$ if delivered to a museum or scholar of the pygmy period.
    • Crack
      • A jagged tear in the stone floor. Leads downwards to 3.7 Steroid Pits
    • Altar
      • White stone, trimmed with red rust along the edges. A massive, oblong, purple gemstone the size of man in the fetal position, the Roarian Heartstone. It is too large to fit through the entrance and weighs a literal ton.
    • Treasure
      • Ommoroarian Heartstone worth 10,000$ whole, 1/2 as much each time it is split.
  7. Grow Room

    • The smell of compost and peat fills the air. Three long planters filled with plants dominate the center of the room. A workbench at the far end is covered in empty sacks.
    • Growbeds
      • Fashioned out of old wagons and filled with a myriad of 'medicinal' plants. Most are those that only undead can consume (such as Brain-root, Boneshaker bud, and Acid berries). The following can be gathered:
        1. Glowleaf - Leaves grow a pale pink. Smoking it causes mild hallucinations, but you can see in the dark. Lasts an hour.
        2. Bloodshroom - Small crimson mushroom. Drying and eating causes euphoria, whole body tingling, and loss of motor function. Lasts 20 minutes.
        3. Mintat - Small white berries. Minty taste. Increases awareness and knowledge retention. Lasts three hours. You won't stop talking the whole time.
      • Two Crimson Coral (50$ each) hidden half-buried in the dirt.
      • Hanging Growlights
        • Dozens of palm sized crystals throb sickly white light onto the plants below.
      • Blooming Dreamweed
        • An azure bloom the shape of a cloud seeps pollen. 3 walnut sized seeds contained within.
    • Workbench
      • A filled sack of Dreamweed (like very strong weed) is propped up among the empty sacks.
    • Treasure
      • 2x Crimson Coral @ 100$ total
      • 1 Sack of Dreamweed @ 400$ propped up on a bench at the back

3rd Floor

Tile walkways, high ceilings, soft white lighting. Arches and columns, plants, tasteful wooden paneling. Mosaics

Adjectives: Opulent, still, tranquil, natural, gentle

  1. Reception Hall

    • Bamboo ceilings. Gentle burbling of fountains coming from somewhere. Still living ornamental plants. A door with a red stripe to 3.8 Garden Laboratory is locked. Stairs lead up to 2.2 Tunnel Crossroads
  2. Locker Room

    • Floor to ceiling cube shelves. Moldy towels stuffed in nooks. Glowing fungus coats much of the room
    • Cube shelves
      • Mostly empty, shredded clothes and empty wallets. In one, a delicately folded Robe in the Mesocoloroscopic Style
    • Fungus
      • Glows with a potent orange light. They expand and contract, look very poppable. If pierced, these fungus will explode in a lethal room-wide explosion that will rock the whole dungeon.
    • Treasure
      • Long-ago robes in the Lower Mesocoloroscopic Style (BFT). Undead do not attack so long as these robes are intact
  3. Disused Gym

    • Dust caked acrobatic equipment. Stone disks propped up on racks. Empty lifting benches. Posters of buff synths and various forms of human. Blue glowing mushrooms on the right wall.
    • Lifting benches
      • Torn leather covers. Underneath one, the red key for 3.8 Garden Laboratory
    • Posters
      • A note stuck to one. Recipes for certain mutations in 3.7 Steroid Pits. Odd equations scrawled onto it:
        • 2 Water + 1/4 Earth = Lobster, 2 Water + 2 Water + 1/2 Fire = Shark or Croc! 1 Air + 2 Earth = Ostrich
    • Glowing Mushrooms
      • Sky blue. Glowing like a traffic light. Grows waist high, blocking the entrance to small vent that leads to 3.5 Tiled Sauna.
  4. Fountain Pools

    • Delicate fountains cascade azure water into blue tiled pools. The central fountain gurgles pleasantly. Doors in each cardinal direction. West door is blocked by collapsed chunks of ceiling. A cluster of plants near the center.
    • West Door
      • Blocked by overgrown hunks of stone, concrete, and pink rock salt. Leads to 3.7 Steroid Pits.
    • Plants
      • Leafy palm trees and hide the opening of a hatch and a small cart with an empty pitcher
      • Hatch
        • Disguised ceramic tile among the walkway leads down into a control room
        • Control Room
          • Levers and pipes, incredibly humid. Stinks of sulfur and chlorine. A swirling maelstrom of fire, hail, and steam locked in a glass container. Crawlways to other pool areas.
          • Levers
            • Rune labelled controls and power diversion for adjacent pools:
              • Sauna (Active)
                • +/- Heat
                • +/- Steam
                • Flamejets
              • Cryo Baths (Active)
                • +/- Cold
                • Flash Freeze chamber 1-7
              • Steroid Pits (Inactive)
                • Open close chambers
                • +/- Potency of Pits
          • Maelstrom
            • An Omni-mental! A chaotic if not vaguely collection of bundled energy. Wants to be released. Siphoned monthly by Okra Merge for power. Needs a coffin sized battery to be transported.
          • Crawlways
            • Leads to 3.5, 3.6, 3.7; each to a tile hatch indistinguishable from the paths.
  5. Tiled Sauna

    • Bone dry, hot as the desert surface above. Tray of coals in the center of the room. Very relaxing. Ventilation hole in ceiling above the coals
    • Vent Hole
      • Vertical ascent along smooth stone to 2.4 Dim Distillery. Provides heat to brews.
  6. Cryogenic Bathhouse

    • Seven 'hot'-tubs set into circular niches in the walls. Freezing steam rolls out of each. Good for sore muscles.
  7. Steroid Pits

    • Five stone vats set into the floor, with pipes running out from the top of each. A pedestal with a collection of valves sits in front of the north vat. The roof is split in two by a large crevasse.
    • Vats
      • Each vat corresponds to an element, with the center being undead. Using pure vats will turn you into an elemental, or necrotic.
      • East - Fire. Red oil
      • North - Air. White gas
      • South - Earth. Green mud
      • West - Water. Blue water
      • Center - Void/Undead. Black and Clear
    • Pedestal
      • White marble plinth. Valves adjust pipe flow to the plinth to produce a mutagenic cocktail.
    • Crevasse
      • A jagged crack from some forgotten tectonic movement. Large enough for two people to climb up at once. Leads to 2.6 Ancient Stash
  8. Garden Laboratory

    • Pleasant smell of flowers. Manicured grass. Tent pavilion full of whirring instruments atop books, potted plant vines growing in between them. Okra Merge is humming away inside. A vine-wrapped mound.
    • Okra Merge, Science Mystic
      • Green skinned vampire. Harmless, needs blue blood. Friendly, but prone to forgetfulness. Researching time stasis to preserve plants past the end of time and seed the universe once again. Knows Haste, Slowfall, Stasis: the like. Debating packing up to gather research material. Loves nature and plants, maybe too much. Wants a flux conversion regulator from a nearby ruin (Upward Spire).
    • Mound
      • A waist-high cylindrical stone disk. Encased in vines and small flowers, sprinkled with dirt. Is the Thrice-carved Marble Altar Disk of the Neo-lunar Idealists.
    • Treasure
      • The Thrice-carved Marble Altar Disk of the Neo-lunar Idealists @ 6000$, heavy as a 2 trucks
  9. Tranquil Gardens

    • A tall fig tree covered in fruit. A patch of fresh vegetables. A quaint wooden bridge spans a bubbling stream that feeds back into itself.
    • Fig tree
      • A few ripe fruits, but in the leaves above, a man-hole sized gap in the ceiling that leads into 1.6 Crumbling Ampitheater
  10. Unnaturally Aged Gardens

    • Petrified trees laden with stone fruits and choked by black vines of rubbery plastic. Grey coral bushes reach for passersby. A blue tree. A sheen across the air like an oil-slick, totally perpendicular to the path. A tangled clump of striped bushes against the wall.
    • Blue Tree
      • Sinews of blue muscle streaked with fat instead of bark. Covered in bite marks. Flaps of pink skin for leaves. A single smoky fleshfruit (see treasure) droops from its branches, begging for it to be taken. It is dying, leaves are drooped, bark is peeling.
    • Sheen - The Time Anomaly
      • A knot of time. Anything put in one side ages, the other side makes things younger. Velocity increases the effect. Dead bodies put through come back wrong
    • Bushes
      • Green and black striped, not along the leaf, but the bush as a whole. Obscures an employee door that grants access to 3.7 Steroid Pits.
    • Treasure
      • Smoky fleshfruit growing from an ancient tree made of meat. Small seed in the middle. Can be used to make a meat tree to provide food for a community. The seed must be eaten by a living creature to grow, it will grow that type of meat and the creature is killed in the process. It takes centuries to grow.

5 setting questions

 Quick post, here's some quiestions you can answer about your setting:

Where can I win a ship? What do I have to do to win it?

What's the go-to bar/casino game? Can we play it at the table?

What is the weirdest thing in this setting in relation to the real world? Is it going to eat me?

Can I use monster parts to make myself better? Can I use robot parts? 

Where's the most unexplored region nearby? Why is it that way? Do any people live there?

Gygax 75 - Week 2

And we're back for week 2 of the Gygax 75! This week I'll be taking you through the Broken Sands (name pending, I kinda like the Amber Sands or Brimstone Flats or something like that).

The tasks this week are as follows:

1 - Get some hex paper - Done! I'll be using Hexkit with the tile packs the Tiles of Xark! and the HPS Cartography Kit.

2 - One settlement of a significant size

3 - Two other settlements

4 - One major terrain feature

5 - One mysterious site to explore

6 - One (main) dungeon entrance

And two extra credit assignments:

1 - Pimp your map

2 - Create a random encounter table

For this I envisioned a rather desolate series of badlands sort of based of Arizona/New Mexico, a place I have never personally been. Its sort of based of the environments of Team Fortress 2, rocky badlands in the middle of nowhere. Swathes of salty desert surrounding a more grass plain between two sets of mountains. This is where I ended up:


Below is a guide to the places shown. I used Vaults of Vaarn #3 to bulk out some of the details.

The 'main' settlement: 

Ruindust: Remnants of a ruined, dust-choked city. Built around small oasis, green and red 'mantis' folk (they wear bug chitin and wield giant mantis blades, some have compound eyes) are here. The oasis has minor healing properties, crocodiles lurk on the far shore, Ancient solar panels have been dragged from the ruined city. Most used as roofs and lean-tos. A large amount of synths has gathered here. The city is ruled by chance (gambling/casino?), mines/produces synth parts and herds bugs, a severed head is in charge, lacks justice.

The secondary settlements:

3 Fort: Long-ago Prefab cube houses, atop great rock, trading post, 3 slender towers shimmer like a crown, low level polybody government, mood is jubilant (festival season?), lacks information (needed to maintain something? education?). Secretive hermit and glass (crystal?) bodied emissaries automata (polybodies?)

Archive of Embryos, chaotic appearance, home of the cult of CODES (genetic/dna research ai?) vault beneath: broken lift, lightless and dank tunnels, transport tunnels, contains holy place: dried up sewer, holy bee hive (genetic purity/diversity?), tended by a masked mute. They want samples for their god

The terrain features:

Ancient Pipeline: Raised glass pipeline, cracked but not yet broken. Platforms line the top and act as a sort of highway across the dust. Watch out for bandits along it.

Badwater Basin: A sandy desert of silica and chrome, moisture here is temporary at best.

Gravel Swamps: Thick bogs with rocky beaches and scree islands. The slightly sludge river Narax runs through it.

The Grove: Thick stand of pine trees. Totally mundane, just weird to see in the badlands.


The mysterious sites to explore:

Drywell: A circle of standing stones surrounding an ancient pumpjack. Crystal skull servitor tends to the 'jack. Cult of CODES pays pilgrimage here

Upward Spire: A spire topped with a small lab, old tracks lead up the paths to the top. Surrounded by flatland. A crashed prospector rig at the top

Singing Crystals: Harmonize with each other, what happens to glass automata that come here? Crystals can translate any spoken language Dreams here ask for things

Grave-fright Coven: A collection of bio-witches who serve the Cyber-Lich. All want knowledge. Currently researching bio-syntax encoding. Will make terrible deals. Want subjects of strange mutations. May be demons in disguise. Hate the cult of CODES. 


The Dungeon:

Ancient's Garden: Mega-mall, associated transit/subway center, and the Pleasure Garden (a spa and fitness center with a botanical theme). Has served as a Chemical plant (mind-altering drugs? pleaure drugs?) and then a monastery on the upper levels. A Science Mystic (vampiric mutant (harmless, needs green blood), researching time (stasis/travel), a fabled artefact nearby ruin) inhabits now on the lower levels, a botanist druid. Threatening features, slab configuration, swallowed by the sands 


As for the extra credit, I think I did well enough with sprucing up the whole thing, I was going for the remnant of a long-ago printer and mapping satellite. Some of the info may be out of date, but the carto-synth that sold it to you is long gone by now.

As for what you might run into:

The Encounters:

02 - The Fossil-thing (Giant dinosaur, amalgamation of fossil bones, hungry for blood, covered in hardened tar)
03 - Glass Oryx Automata (Ringed Horns, skittish, fragile)
04 - Terror-dactyl hunting for prey
05 - Giant blue wasps bursting out of corpses (Fast, venomous sting)
06 - Poison snakes *or* Sparking Wire-snakes
07 - Nomad Moisture Farmers or 'Mantis' folk Oasis-hopper (Neutral but willing to trade)
08 - Snake-spit Hunters (blowpipes and trained snakes)
09 - Ceramic robots, cracked and broken. Will kill you to wear your hat or sell you hats if it has extra.
10 - Red Mantifolk (Spits hot fire. In both senses)
11 - Irradiated Lobotomite Ghouls (Shrivelled skin, some glow, flesh-hungry)
12 - Mummified cyber-lich (Glitched system, gold-plated skeleton, insane from being entombed, wants revenge or to build her own City-State, will give spell tablets in exchange for rare magic/tech items and vice versa) (Doing: 1-2 - Summoning in a ritual circle, 3-4: Travelling on palanquin carried by 6 clay golems, 5-6: Contemplating the nature of the ring or collecting blood snackrifices lol)

Next week we'll delve deeper into the Garden of the Ancients! Adios!

Gygax 75 - Week 1

I'm attempting the Gygax 75! We'll see if I get through five weeks (hopefully).I'll be focusing on expanding out on my Flint and Fang setting of Diskoh here a bit. Week 1 will be a bit of a rehash of old content as I focus the setting a little bit to create the base. As a bonus though: at the end I'll have links to stuff that's easily converted over to a gonzo dying earth setting.

Lets get started!

Task one: get a notebook.

Task the second: compile a collection of pitches that  sell the world and tell players what to expect.

Task three: create an annotated bibliography of sources and why you like each source.


Task 1: The Notebook

This blog and the github repositories I use to store my writings for personal use. Easy.

Task 2: The Pitch

  • Stone age barbarians explore the remnants of all history at the psychedelic end of time!
  • A Flint and Fang world with elements of gonzo science-fantasy.
  • Water and food are precious. Metal doesn't exist. Your life is cheap.
  • Everyone can use their blood to power the long-ago SPELLs that have been recompiled.
  • Everyone's a human, but cybernetics and strange mutations are common.
  • Walled city states are ruled by SORCERER-KINGS who control the water supply.
  • This is a WEIRD place. Expect dinosaurs, robots, and crystals that can talk.

Task 3: The Sources

  • Stone Age civilizations c. 100k BCE to 5000 BCE
  • Adventure Time (by Pendleton Ward) - Weird environments set in a ruined world. Candy people and malfunctioning robots. A city made of goo.
  • Primal (Genndy Tartakovsky) - Lush backdrops and viscious monsters. Zombie dinosaurs to giant bat demons. A caveman and T-rex team up over shared loss. Excellent vibe for theming adventures similar to sword and sorcery (but its FLINT and FANG here).
  • Far Cry: Primal (by Ubisoft) - Good factions. Stark brutality amidst untouched wilderness, both from humans and animals. Mystical/magical bits are interesting and cool. Good visual examples for both dress and weapons. 
  • Elderborn (by Hyperstrange) - Great aesthetics of ruin on this one. A ruined city filled with immortals who can't die. Great detail on weapons and enemies, cool lore to steal for dungeons and such. Good visuals for gore, weapons, and city-state visuals. Plus could make a good dungeon on its own. Has some gonzo elements.
  • Far Cry: Blood Dragon's OST (by Power Glove) - For the m o o d. Dark, ambient music that rides the line between heavy metal and lighter synthwave stuff, or more traditional science fantasy and cyberpunk aesthetics, both areas I want to try to emulate. Adventure and weirdness from the former and technology and bleakness for the latter.
  • Black Sands (by imminentdemonengine) & Dark Sun (TSR/WoTC) - A barren wasteland devoid of water with blood magic and heavy sword and sorcery elements. Effectively part of the base of this setting. 

Task Extra Credit: The Mood-board

I have a reference folder of images, but here's a few evocative ones:

Halil Ural

Klaudia Bezak

Michelle Leffler

MiloŇ° Radojkić

Mohammad Yousefi

Nicolas Gekko

Pavel Vophira

Some content that can fit in this weird undying land (more or less):

That's all for Week 1! Next week: mapping a region!