Skip to main content

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!