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Showing posts from July, 2021

Gygax 75 Week 5

Its here, if a little late. I can't help but feel as though the setting has gotten away from me lately, moving more in to gonzo territory and less in the 'caveman' space I had originally envisioned it as. There can be weird elements, but with week 5 I want to drive home the main focuses of the setting the pre-neolithic elements.

Some setting tenets:

People don't farm outside of the city-states. They herd animals and/or engage in horticulture if they aren't nomadic hunter gatherers.

People don't form permanent settlements, seasonal settlements are common, but many choose a life of wandering from site to site.

Despite the focus of the Gygax 75, this is a setting focused on wilderness. Ruins are overgrown and empty, most adventure sites are in the dens of dangerous beasts.

The wilds are the enemy, but also the lifeblood and parents of all.

And finally, people are joined by blood and friendship into 'tribes' or culture groups. They may not get along with one another despite this. 

Big Fucking Monsters (Witcher/Monster Hunter style). Kill for a 'level' for one player. Deliberately unnamed
- Giant black dog monster. Any who see him will be pursued during the full moon. A single blood-shot eye. Long red tongue. Makes no sound. Hunched back like a kodiak. 12 Hits
  - Tips:
    - Must be killed with a silver blade dipped in tallow of a hanged man
    - Would rather attack lone, sleeping, or child targets.
- Multi-mawed creature in the well. 10 Hits. Can take control of people to force them into its well. Human-like arms and small tentacles.
  - Tips:
    - Don't look into wells
    - Blue bottles lure it away from its well
    - Hates sunlight
- Blood-red furred giant sloth. A single eye set into its head, its maw stretches from chin to nave. Screams as it hunts, pausing only to sleep at night or feast on those it devours. Nauseating stench
  - Tips:
    - Eats anything that *looks* edible
    - Will not wake while the moon is up
    - Has a cave it will return to for feasting and sleeping
- A small bear that grips the trees. Can never be  seen before it strikes. Ravenous blood sucking fangs and shock red eyes.
- A giant hunched emaciated figure with the head of a flayed deer. fast as shit. claws like straight razors. freakishly resilient. incredibly pale, wrapped in bloody furs. blood drips from its gums. gains additional hits on kills/devouring victims. runs when at 3 or less hits. ravenous for its next meal. can mimic voices and shapeshift to any form it desires
  - Tips:
    - Can only be killed by fire melting its ice heart or is shattered by a silver weapon
    - Very vulnerable to fire
    - Forms it shapeshifts to will still have its pale skin and bleeding gums
    - Can be detected by its stench or the chill that surrounds it
- A festering husk of a former dryad. Her grove lies rotting and dying. She will scoop out your life to restore herself. Goes dormant when killed. Drains life when touched or when she touches you. Screeches and wails in the light of day.
  - Tips
    - Every tree must be burnt to the root to truly destroy her
    - Drains anything she touches of life, finding something close to death poisoned?
- A boar made of shadows and needles. Darkness made manifest. Every attack causes fear. 4 is enough for a heart attack, though most are already gored to shreds. Can fade into patches of darkness
  - Tips
    - A lamp made with a chunk of the moon or sun prevents its escape
    - Mirrors really confuse it
    - Directed light cuts it better than a sling through flesh


Weapon and Armor Materials:

- Weapons
    - Bone (cheap, breaks easily)
    - Flint (the baseline, reliable)
    - Groundstone (takes ages to slowly carve these out. lasts a lifetime. expensive. usually only found among the elderly or farming communities, those with time)
    - Obsidian (sharp! expensive and controlled by the city-states)
    - Crystal (fragile, imbued with magical powers)
- Armor
    - Bone (tied together with leather, cheap)
    - Ceramic/Pottery (heavy, fine patterns inlaid)
    - 'Dino' Bone (durable bones from great and dangerous beasts)
    - Chitin (tough and light, insect types won't like you for it)

Wood and bamboo are good options for tools and equipment, and necessary for survival, but much rarer in the drier parts of the ring.

Gygax 75 Week 4 - Ruindust Expanded

Ok, Week 4, I'm going to be expanding on the main town of the area: Ruindust. Compared to last week's requirements this one is pretty light. That being said I've made some tweaks to hopefully better represent the more prehistoric and small-scale society elements of the Diskolithic.

Firstly, the shops don't have names. In larger city-states, there are more recognizable towns and merchants, but out here they're just people trading what they do well for food or other necessities. Their establishments are known as X's shop or 'that green tent over there'. The emphasis is more on the owner and their services than the shop itself.

Second, this is a small hamlet at best, with a population of like 100 people, including the large amounts of synths that have arrived (which outnumber the people 2-1). A lot of the sites that are recommended for construction have been rolled into one another, like the Circle being a site for gambling and gossip and shopping.

With that in mind, here is:



Remnants of a ruined, dust-choked city. Built around small oasis. Only the original buildings near and around the Circle are still intact. Most people live in small lean-to huts of in slightly larger stilt houses, all have roofs of scavenged solar panels.

Notable features

  • Block Mines
    • A collapsed warehouse or mass tomb of synths. A necropolis of synth parts, slowly being extracted and sold on the surface. Named for its brutalist architecture of the individual tomb rooms which must be dug to. Secretly on its last legs. Most of the parts have been extracted. A final room is being opened, but in a few weeks there'll be an angry mob of synths.
  • The Circle
    • A plaza on the outer edge of town. Caravans and markets are here, as well as most of the gossiping of the city. The Longhouse's entrance is along the perimeter. Pickup dice and chance games are a common sight.
    • Shops
      • Weapons - Red curtained stall, dusty with flint and bone dust. Squinting brawler Timz dislikes haggling. Cuts out new pieces as he talks. Makes custom weapons on request, nothing fancy, but doesn't charge extra.
      • Food - Draft bug shepherd cousin in law to Amani, Gaman sells his wares in a faded green tent. Will throw in an extra steak for members of the 'family'.
      • Equipment - Yellow canvas lean-to. Sells generalist items like torches and rope. Run by an orphan girl, Gianina, with a head for business. Uses cuteness and 'innocence' to her advantage.
      • Occult - Back-alley stall hidden in a derelict house. Hooded figure, robed in threads of black and purple, goes by X. Disappears into smoke. Crystal ball for a head.
  • The Longhouse
    • Inn and caravan rest spot. Built out of scavenged solar panels. Curtained rooms and dusty hammock bunks at reasonable rates. Serves a good bug-steak and toast. Currently filled to capacity with synths and a few temp mantis miners who have come to barter for equipment for their travels.
  • Brood-Hall
    • A bar reserved for locals and their guests. Strongest drinks around. Best food at a steep price. Reputation for rowdy fights and loud singing, but honest in their dealings.
  • The Oasis
    • Murky green water, ringed by tall and spindly palm trees. Drinking the water has minor healing properties, or so the locals claim. A small shrine carved from tusk has been erected to a forgotten god of healing. The far shore is a nesting ground for crocodiles. They only come over in the hotter months.

Political Factions

  • Mantis-folk - Red and green skinned, they wear bug chitin and wield giant mantis blades, some have compound eyes. They follow the rules of chance. Disputes are settled via coin-flip, wealth distribution via lottery, and their games rely on high degrees of chance to win. Most are herders and ranchers of draft bugs, docile ox-sized beetles that produce a sort of edible nectar paste and have durable chitin. Seasonally live here when the crocs aren't dicks.
  • Synths - Several groups of damaged or displaced synths have come here to repair themselves using the parts scavenged in the Block Mines. Have overwhelmed the peacekeeper of the Mantis-folk. Outnumber the locals 2-1. Getting impatient with waiting for parts and the way the Miners treat them.
  • Miners - Sub-group of the mantis-folk, more of a fraternity than a guild or union. More synth-dissector than miners. Disgruntled and threatened by the arrival of so many synths who want parts faster or are willing to descend into the mines themselves.


  • Raj
    • A disembodied head, very old. Hooked up to wires and a base. Runs the Longhouse. Defacto mayor of town. An acolyte of CHANCE, the neutral god of fortune.
    • Needs acolytes to form a shrine to CHANCE.
    • Has accumulated a lot of information about the surrounding area during his tenure at the Longhouse.
  • Old Peackeeper, Mantis 'Chief'
    • Old, more than a little confused, and a crack shot with a sling. In charge of settling disputes. The synths don't appreciate the old ways of chance. Stumped as to a fair alternative.
    • Needs some help: deputies to help peacefully resolve conflicts.
    • Does little more than run from one problem to another. His reasoned voice is listened to by most of the older mantis-folk, he could be a good ally if things come to a head.
  • Metafaithful
    • A synth healer, the primary installer of new bits on itinerant synths. Young. Glasses. He is not on good terms with Raj.
    • Needs dirt on Raj. Or an understanding with the Miners.
    • Is days away from confronting and possibly kidnapping Raj over unpaid debt and help with the Synths.
  • Amani, Bug keeper
    • Shepherd of the largest pack of draft bugs. Has a very large 'family'. Every other person seems to be a relation. They stick together.
    • Needs... she's doing pretty good. Someone to take over when she's gone?
    • Has connections everywhere and a horde of cow sized beetles.
  • Bauzoka, Miner-in-charge
    • Surprisingly clean for someone who works underground. High pitched voice and a tendency to chew her lip. Good at fitting through tight cracks.
    • Needs a strong drink. And a full night's sleep.
    • Is working with her team to crack the final vault. In a few weeks there won't be any synth parts left