Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Chromatic Soup 03: The Sunset of a World

I decided to post the articles of Chromatic Soup 03 on my blog to motivate me to finish this project. I will try to compile everything into a zine afterward.

The Sunset of a World.

The gods are sunsetting their pantheons and the world. Free from their alignments, people and monsters are evacuating together. To reach new worlds they have to migrate across near infinite astral plains.

As the gods leave the world, no one is there to maintain the celestial spheres and the forces that run the world grind to a halt. Law and Chaos being gone, the world calcifiate and crumble into the void.

On their way out, the gods left the gates to the astral plains wide open. Passageways that were only accessible to the gods are now usable by all. People, creatures and monsters use old and new means to leave the world before the crumbling sun forever set beyond the horizon.

Creatures devoid of senses spill through cracks of the celestial spheres and harass those who linger in the dying world. In the astral plains, people and creatures assemble themselves into caravans, as they journey through the ever changing silvery landscape they encounter strange phenomena, creatures born between the worlds and other refugees. Along the way they must halt and take refuge in pocket worlds to rest and replenish their provisions. These unfinished worlds are too limited or dangerous, the caravans most venture again and again in the astral plains, their only true hope is to find a fully formed world.

Inspirations: The Banner Saga, Oregon Trail, and other stories about long migrations. Also the G+ sunsetting...

Setting up the campaign.

Start the campaign in a settlement, people are packing up, even local creatures and monsters are getting ready to leave. There is a lot of rumors going around about different means of escape.

Setup a short point crawl that point toward different means of evacuating the world. There should be one in the current settlement and rumors should point to maybe 2 to 5 other means of evacuation.

Other means of evacuation are 2d6 points aways.
  • Travelling on foot while being encumbered or slowed down let you travel 1 points a day
  • Travelling on foot without hindrances let you travel 2 points a day
  • Caravans let you travel 3 points a day
  • Horses let you travel 4 points a day
Roll one dying world encounter for each days of travel. 

Setup exemple:

The first settlement

Give it a descriptive name like Calendra the Bright City and ask each players 1 or 2 questions about the settlement…
  1. How it was to grow up there?
  2. Who are you anxious to rejoin there?
  3. Who do you fear is waiting for you?
  4. What landmark you hope to see one last time?
  5. Which district is best to avoid?
  6. Tell me about when the city guard arrested you...
  7. What part of your life did you leave there?
  8. What local product or service do you remember foundly?
  9. Who own you big time there?
  10. What local cult or organization you always avoided?
  11. What or who do you hope to see ruined before escaping?
  12. Tell me about how you learned your craft here…
There is a local mean to leave the world here but people are crowding and camping around it, waiting for their turn to leave. Waiting without creating trouble for your turn to leave will happen after 1d6 settlement encounters. Naturally characters can try to find ways to cut the line.

You can also use the settlement encounters to note the passage of time when the characters do other things beside waiting in line.

Settlement encounters (d12)
  1. Riot: people are demanding something or maybe they are just panicking, the city guards are trying to prevent the riot but things are quickly getting out of hand.
  2. Plague: people are sick but they fail to die as the plague goddess have already left, sick people implore her priestess for a quick death. Plague doctors are failing at finding a cure. Plague bearers are forced to wear something special to identify them.
  3. Refugee arrival: a large caravan of refugees from a near city or a distant land are arriving in the already overcrowded city.
  4. Carnival: people are cheerfully celebrating the end of the world, having a great time, this can naturally easily degenerate in complicated situations.
  5. Doom cult: a doom cult is conducting rituals or building strange devices to try to summon the gods or to accelerate the end of the world.
  6. Monsters: a large monster or a group of strange creatures are looking for a caravan to join.
  7. Serial killer: someone lost it and decided to reduce the population, to get rid of priests, to celebrate death, etc.
  8. Hero or Demigod: a depowered divine hero or demigod is trying to help people or is failing at remaining incognito.
  9. Rich people trying to buy favors and privilege: some have a retinue of guards or servitors other are maybe more desperate. 
  10. Violence and vandalism: people are toppling down landmarks, breaking in shops, defiling temples, beating up guild members or nobles, etc.
  11. Someone looking for a lover, friend, pet, child or parent or someone ask to be hidden.
  12. Rift: a unstable rift that lead to the astral plains or to the void. People are afraid, astral or void creatures may emerge from it.
Dying world encounters (d12)
  1. Celestial engine: reality is crumbling down and gigantic gears and mechanical parts can be seen in the sky or emerging from the ground or from other elements. The minor spirits who were in charge of maintaining them are camping around them, they are slowly dying, some are still trying to do their duties, other are simply awaiting their final fate.
  2. Calcification: a part of reality turn grey, freeze and calcifiate. Calcificated things are very friable, some void beings feed on calcificated matter.
  3. Dying divine servitor: cut from their life force, a majestic or terrifying divine servitor is slowly dying or calcificating and crumbling to dust. Finally free to be individual, some stop serving the principles they embodied, while other desperately try to uphold them.
  4. Natural phenomena grinding to a halt: a river stop running, a fire fail to burn, clouds stops. rain stop in midair, etc.
  5. Human refugees: a group of human refugees from a near city or a distant land are looking for a refuge, a caravan or a mean to escape from the world.
  6. Bandits: these people don’t get it, they think that they can survive here by praying on refugees and caravans.
  7. Monsters: a huge monster or a group of strange creatures are looking for a refuge, a caravan or a mean to escape from the world.
  8. Scavenging opportunity: a abandoned building or things left behind.
  9. Doom cult: a doom cult is conducting rituals or building strange devices in the wild to try to summon the gods or to accelerate the end of the world.
  10. Divine husk: a god left it divine husk behind, like a calcificated molt. Cultists are using it as a refuge, void worms will soon arrive to devour it.
  11. Clueless people, adventurer or monster who did not catch that the world is ending.
  12. Rift: a unstable rift that lead to the astral plains or to the void. Astral or void creatures may emerge from it.

NEXT: Means of escaping the dying world.


Jonathan Davis said...

Awesome to hear that issue 3 is in the works. I was reading through 1 and 2 last night in bed. I find that I give my fantasy peasants a rural/backwoods/redneck theming rather than generic English peasant. So these zines are really helping me flesh that out in my head and weird it up a bit!

Keep up the good work.

Ian W said...

I'm very glad that you're working on this. It keeps popping into my head randomly.

Logan said...

Can't wait for issue 3! :D

Florent "Killerklown" Didier said...

I also really enjoy your chromaticisms ! Really looking forward to issue 3 !

Dan said...

It's wonderful seeing these again.

Michael Kennedy said...

I am so glad to see all these things again! Working on this was wonderful!