Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Weird Sands

Remember this post about setting up a sandbox for LotFP? The main idea was to build a sandbox around sources of weirdness that leak into the civilized world. The idea was interesting, but not super elegant.
Still I gave it a try, just to see if I can end up with something interesting. 

Let try a desert themed setting. (I randomly determined everything using the tables of my original post). 



1) Generate 3 sources of weird.

First source: Djins that are a demonic flesh disease that spread through granting wishes.  
  • Chaotic: magical, eldritch, faery, sorcerous, corrupted, demonic, out of this world, etc.
  • Something that attract things to itself, like something miraculous, seducing or fabulous.
  • Take a classic fantasy OSR threat and rewrite it into something unfamiliar. Djins! 

Second source: Cthonians
  • Neutral: something natural, primordial, instinctive, etc.
  • Something that is threatening, active and aggressive.
  • Take something from a other game, rewrite it and import it in your setting: the Cthonians from Call of Cthulhu because they love dry areas.

Third source: Angels who are servitors of ancient gods
  • Lawful: crafted, artificial, perfect, imposing the will of the gods, fate, etc.
  • Something that is sleeping, death or inactive.
  • Take something from a other game, rewrite it and import it in your setting: angels who are servitors of ancients gods because I am currently having fun with In Nonine.


2) Generate the seeds of weird.

Djins of the Wishing flesh:
  • the seed is someone or something unwillingly tainted by the source power.
  • The source is the Dreaming city of the Djins, a city sculpted from the flesh of their victims. Some contaminated people who made clever wishes were able escape the city. 

The Cthonians:
  • the seed is the worshiper, priest or cult of the source.
  • The cult visit the Cthonians in their nest and receive clerical spells from them. They also spread and hide cthonians eggs in the civilized lands. The cult promise eternal life (as a mind-wiped cthonian servitor or as the possibility of evolving into a Cthonian). 

The servitor angels:
  • the seed is a rival, splinter or exiled faction of the source.
  • The angels are mummified being sleeping in a ancient temple buried under the sand. The splinter faction are a group of angels who refuse to sleep and who decided to work to bring back the ancient gods. They can leave their mummified body to reincarnate themselves into mortal's vessels. They can also reawaken the spirit of ancient servitors who sleep in the body of some mortal creatures (turning them into mythical monsters). Naturally, the mummies of the angels wear animal headed masks.  

3) Create weird encounters.
(Well this section was kind of vague.)

The Djins of the Wishing Flesh:
  1. Infected people who made a wish.
  2. Lesser creatures that spawned from the flesh of a wisher or their relations. 
  3. Items sculpted from the flesh of a wisher or their relations.
  4. Structures build from the flesh of a wisher and their relations.
  5. People who receive dreams from the city of the Djins. 
  6. A Djin who granted enough wishes to separate itself from it victims flesh. 

The Cthonian Eggs Cult:
  1. Priest, cultists, mind slaves.
  2. Cthonian eggs, Cthonian spawns.
  3. Mind control wand. Mind stones, Fossilised devices. 
  4. Caves, mines, wells, temples.
  5. People influenced by the mind powers of the eggs & spawns.
  6. A grown up spawn. 

The Rebelious Servitor Angels:
  1. A human hosting a sleeping incarnation.  
  2. A animal or a mortal who awakened into a mythical being.  
  3. Technological artifacts created by the angels.
  4. Reconstructions of locations of the ancient god's civilization. 
  5. Disciples of a angel.
  6. A angel in it mortal vessel. 
The 12 angels (up to 6 have awakened):
  1. the Healer
  2. the Teacher
  3. the Destroyer
  4. the Avenger
  5. the Protector
  6. the Learner
  7. the Tracker 
  8. the Messenger
  9. the Helper
  10. the Builder
  11. the Tester
  12. the Gardener

4) Mix some of those weird elements together.
(more like the relations between the weird elements)
  • The Djins meet the Cthonian Egg Cult: they hinder and sabotage each other goal.
  • The Cthonian Egg Cult meet the Angels: they maintain a uneasy truce.
  • The Angels meet the Djins: they hunt, predate or fight each other.

5) Create normal locations and settlement.
(Humm, let just keep the normal settlement "normal" to reserve the weird for point #6)

Starting Settlement: Newly conquered city. Mix of colonial and desert-born civilizations. 

Settlement 1: a trading village growing into a big town. 
  • Neutral toward adventurers (using it resource cost something)
  • Exotic resources or contacts coming from demi-human, distant lands, ancient origin, etc.
  • Rumors: djins and the dreaming city.
Settlement 1a: the mountain tribes villages.
  • Hinder adventurers (using it resource is a challenge and can create enemies)
  • Expertise, training, special skills. Alchemist, master smith, guides, legendary artisan, etc.
  • Rumors: djins and the dreaming city.
Settlement 1b: a colonial outpost.
  • Neutral toward adventurers (using it resource cost something)
  • Patronage. Provide financing, give quest, etc.
  • Rumors: djins and the dreaming city.

Settlement 2: the town of the alchemist guild. 
  • Neutral toward adventurers (using it resource cost something)
  • Expertise, training, special skills. Alchemist, master smith, guide, legendary artisan, etc.
  • Rumors: the eggs cult is spreading.
Settlement 2a: the nomadic tribes camps.
  • Hinder adventurers (using it resource is a challenge and can create enemies)
  • Patronage. Provide financing, give quest, etc.
  • Rumors: the eggs cult is spreading.
Settlement 2b: the healing temple of the snake cult.
  • Neutral toward adventurers (using it resource cost something)
  • Protection, healing, blessing or warding. (The resource is fixed in it location and can't move or be moved).
  • Rumors: the eggs cult is spreading.

Settlement 3: a colonial archaeologist camp uncovering the ruins of the great library of the old desert empire. 
  • Helpful toward adventurers. (using it resource is free, but create ties & relations)
  • Information, lore, knowledge, research, divination, omen or clues.
  • Rumors: the servitor of the ancient gods are waking up.
Settlement 3a: headquarter of the sand walkers, a secret cult of monster hunters.
  • Hinder adventurers (using it resource is a challenge and can create enemies)
  • Protection, healing, blessing or warding. (The resource is fixed in it location and can't move or be moved).
  • Rumors: the servitor of the ancient gods are waking up.
Settlement 3b: the city of thieves. 
  • Neutral toward adventurers (using it resource cost something)
  • Military or fighting strength. Mercenary, henchmen or allies.
  • Rumors: the servitor of the ancient gods are waking up.

6) Create the seeds and point of contact locations
Ok so I noted that I did not write any procedures to setup up the seed locations and the points of contact between the sources of the weird. 

So for the seed locations, let roll a settlement with a settlement attitude toward the weird, then add the seed and a random seed encounter. 

For the points of contact between two sources of weird we will use the same recipe but we will roll a random seed encounter for each the meeting source of weird. 

Seed location 1: a ancient city of the old desert empire, now nearly a ghost town. 
  • Hinder adventurers (using it resource is a challenge and can create enemies)
  • Exotic resources or contacts coming from demi-human, distant lands, ancient origin, etc
  • They resist, oppose, hate or fight the weird. 
  • First seed: Infected people who made a wish.
  • Second seed: people who receive dreams from the city of the Djins. 
Seeds contact point 1a: the monastery of glass. 
  • Hinder adventurers (using it resource is a challenge and can create enemies)
  • Expertise, training, special skills. Alchemist, master smith, guide, legendary artisan, etc.
  • They are ally with the weird for mutual gain.
  • First seed: A Djin who granted enough wishes to separate itself from it victims flesh.
  • Second seed: People influenced by the mind powers of the eggs & spawns.

Seed location 2: the colonial mines. 
  • Neutral toward adventurers (using it resource cost something)
  • Patronage. Provide financing, give quest, etc.
  • They are influenced, controlled or corrupted by the weird.
  • First seed: the cult of the cthonian eggs. 
  • Second seed: a grown up cthonian spawn. 
Seeds contact point 2a: the temple of the first water well. 
  • Neutral toward adventurers (using it resource cost something)
  • Protection, healing, blessing or warding. 
  • They control and use the weird for personal gain or goal.
  • First seed: Mind control wand. Mind stones, Fossilised devices. 
  • Second seed: A human hosting a sleeping incarnation (The Tester). 

Seed location 3: the villages of the dust devils canyon. 
  • Hinder adventurers (using it resource is a challenge and can create enemies)
  • Protection, healing, blessing or warding
  • They don't like it, but they hide and protect the weird in secret.  
  • First seed: a angel awakened in it mortal vessel (The Tracker).
  • Second seed: Technological artifacts created by the angels.
Seeds contact point 3a: the river villages of the crocodiles peoples. 
  • Neutral toward adventurers (using it resource cost something)
  • Military or fighting strength. Mercenary, henchmen or allies.
  • They control and use the weird for personal gain or goal.
  • First seed: A human hosting a sleeping incarnation (The Destroyer)
  • Second seed: Structures build from the flesh of a wisher and her relations.

7) Let draw the map


8) Conclusion. 
The whole thing kind of work and is not uninteresting, but it need a lot of adjustments.
Maybe I could take the time to rework the whole thing. 

3 comments:

  1. This definitely has legs. Have you considered pre-determining the weird things' endgame? Maybe the Djinn city will eventually become one giant Djinn and stomp stuff, and the Cthonian religion will get to the King who converts and sends his Kingdom back to the stone age etc. etc.

    Something like a ticking clock that'll come to pass if the players don't do anything. You could have a progression, a little calendar of events leading up to it maybe.

    ReplyDelete