Thursday, 17 April 2014

Lazy Cthulhu Prop Post

A quick sample of yet more pregen and prop stuff for tommorrows EYECON.

Made to slap on Byakee software character sheets.

Just gotta finalize my Long Stairs pc gen stuff and perhaps some maps.

Also doing personal secret cards for Cthulhu Metropolis game. Random pick for terrible personal secret. Actually will help me get characters united otherwise would never be near each other.

4.8mm square - the template I can use again.

Have a good Easter everyone  and blood for the blood goddess!!!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Octopus Princess Mania pt 1



Ok have my octopus Princess adventure ready to roll for this Friday and Saturday
Used software to make 11 pregens for cthulhu three more to do
Have map for surface quest done on board with posca 18 inches square
So starting on octo princess cards
Some plotting to do but looking fairly solid and achievable

Long stairs have some documents ready
Need to do maps and pregens tomorrow
And try to paint again not just prepping more blanks

Will wait post con b4 I post last metropolis piece and map locations etc for octopi
Will be game logs t00 from con coming....

Last year I spelled intelligence wrong and no proof reader spotted it but a player did in 3rd session. When i mess up that bad I get shy about publishing.

I'll post the Character Cards now in case anyone spots terrible typos and so some players can plan which octopus they want to play. If I have time I will make crowns for players to wear and make custom card pieces for them. Otherwise will just use generic ones I have made before and put my colouring books up for display. Spotted some inconsistent capitalisation so far but that is not too bad.

Next Post will feature the hand painted/posca map board and location descriptions in case you want to run it. I guess you could run it for kids with some slight mods as a few nasty and scary touches.

A simplified version of my DnD game reduced to almost a board game. Time track is to record hours of darkness for mission, first and last box are twilight. The mob factor records how many humans are hunting the squid kids. Every time it reaches 10 another drunken mob from the pub with pitchforks and torches and fish gutting knives joins the search then track starts again.

So here is ready to print character cards:




Actions
Most Weapons attack once a round
Rocks are like darts, can throw 3 a round Str x1 short range Str x2 long range -3 to hit
or  throw two daggers a round

May try and convince local animal if language known to being friendly with a Charisma roll. Everyone can have one plus Cha bonus if you have one.

Spells and Items
Sparkly wand impresses fools and can make stuff look magic or just provide some light
Bubble pipe fill a room with confusing bubbles in a round 4 doses of bubble mix
Acid bottle does 2d4 then 1pt for 1d4 rounds or splash several targets (1d4) for 1d3 dam
Heal Potion heals a d8 damage
Resurrection potion brings a dead being to life

Ghost light - makes green haunted lights that can fake ghosts well in simpletons
Sleep 2d8 HD victims sleep, max 4 HD
Invisibility lasts until attack or cast a spell
Magic Missile 1d6 magic damage auto hits
Acid arrow 2d4 +1pt for next 3 rounds
Charm person makes into a loyal follower if fail a Wisdom save
Friends +4 Charisma for 30 minutes
ESP read surface thoughts of a victim
Cloud ladder creates a ladder of mist 30 yards high
Magical disc can carry 200lb (4 octopi) lasts 3 hours
Web all fail save in 2o foot square entangled for 30 minutes, fire destroys but inflicts 2d4 on prisoners
Accuracy doubled range no penalties
Spider climb move full speed climb easily without a roll or slowing down
Ice Knife 1d6 to target 1d3 to all in 10 square and all hurt save or slowed for a d6 round to 1l2 speed or actions
Fog Cloud good to escape 30 yard cloud for 30 minutes
Unseen Servant can carry stuff open doors, 30 minutes
Phantasmal force creates good visual illusions
Cause Fear victim saves or flees the village
Smoke Form can crawl through cracks hard to see or harm +4 AC 30 minutes, walk only
Knock ulocks any lock or door
Hold portal locks a door fast
Mage Armour +2 AC for 30 minutes
Flame Shuriken 2d8 to a target
Know History reads past of object or person
Run Like Wind Doubles casters speed for 30 minutes
Stinking Cloud 20 yard radius Con save or vomit and flee area
Shocking Grast +1d8+3 on fist or metal weapon or next foe to touch you
Enlarge +2 STR -1 AC
Mirror Image 1d4 duplicate illusions vanish if hit, 30 minutes



Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Deco punk tech for Cthulhu Metropolis

Some notes for my Cthulhu Metropolis setting I'm running for the EYE CON.  This and my underwater octopus princess game are booked out - my long stairs one struggling leaving me with holes in my days. I might be able to sit in my friends Cthulhu Van Diemens land game - escaped Tasmanian convicts on the run with nowhere to really go to. Presumably monsters will eat us. I'm kinda Impressed camp cute game did so much better than my gun mad macho game. I might try and play a watership down dungeon on last day before dinner get together.

I have 3 days off to prepare. This is money I made to be used as props/give away treat. Also stickers as I am a born again vandal.

This is more of my design and stickers and zine stuff here for my fake evil corporation: https://www.flickr.com/photos/konsumterra/sets/72157602941784866/
Found cyberpunk setting based on film/book http://www.paper-dragon.com/2026/toc.html
Wish i had found earlier - some nice links and background tables

Tech for future decopunk setting.

Nice vid here - popular mechanics year by year good search and pulp covers

Some tech not really advanced and has stood still other than a few mad geniuses. Guns and cars have not progressed much from 1929 -2020.  Robotics is just about to break out.

Worker caste get a hundred marks life savings to start status 1-20%
Servant caste get a thousand marks life savings to start 21-80%
Elites get a hundred thousand a month from daddy as allowance 81%+



Transport
Cars ot really more advanced but some electric models about that are quieter and more subcompact models. Lots of streamlined deco wet dream futuristic looking cars and planes would fit in fin. Autogyros with short landing and take off are common and can and on buildings easily. Some compact 'gyros with folding wings available. Aircraft much more common and pilot skills far more common. Air trafic directed by electroncs, light beacons and even police.

Rockets are huge best lifted from pre war or perhaps Werner Von Braun or pulp magazines designs. The type in Flash gordon are good too for many uses. Apparently not much harder than a regular aircraft.

While not used in my sources much huge intercontinental air ships are comon for a more leasurly safer trip and good for cargo and exploration. Rigid hulls of high tech materials mean they can withstand artillery if military and compartmentalised non flammable gas make them hard to destroy. Aircraft carrier airships also common.

Huge bombers and paratrooper transports and use of gas and germ bombs made war very deadly. Generally causes outrage even from own population. Wings over the World us sleeping gas for more palatable conquest. Art deco tanks and APC's are employed, all smooth and streamlined rather than riveted boxes. Submarines common also for international trade an war. Large ships and subs and airships use safe clean radium powered engines.

Amphibious vehicles possible by fringe science.

Rotor or jet packs used by fringe science to fly or at least land from a height.

Firearms & Personal Protection
Most guns have nt changed and firearms less common on the whole. Automatic weapons almost non existent outside of military.

An American military handgun a 20 shot .45 with a built in flash light is getting rave reviews and explorers and space programs are using the boxy looking gun. Some streamlined compact silent guns and streamlined boxy looking SMGs are used by spies and sabotuers. Electric detonated guns growing in popularity but dont perform any better but are caseless with no ejection ports.

Rocket or gyrojet guns have heavy ammo, wide choice of payloads (gas, AP, incendiary,explosive, entangling, electric stunner, heat seeking, electric seeking) ammo costly, quieter. Less shots and not effective at point blank range. They are used by space programs and perform in vacuum, low gravity and are good against heavy armour used by some elite troops or robots or vehicles. Some spies ahve been found with wrist rocket launcers with 3 or 4 shots. Most ammo damages equivalent of 45 magnum. Brits have a six shot version with selectable ammo letting you choose which type of ammo. A bit bulky but working on voice activated model. Flare ammo and basic gun is most common version. Rocket propelled spearguns for underwater are common diving gear. Aquatic versions of other ammo cost double.

Gas is used more, especially sleeping gas and non lethal tranq rounds are available for common guns.

Some electric guns experimented with including a needle tranquilizer propelled by magnets, an electric stunner and a large deadly lightning gun is being experimented with but not usable for mass production. Mad scientists and space programs have used.

Pnumatic and electric needle guns rare but mostly by spies.
Gasmasks used by police, army and in shelters, few legitimate persons would carry one
Belt that controls temperature 7lb/3kg, better on boiler suit

Leather flying suit or cyclist suit or diving suit or heavy boiler suit offers 1pt armour 9lb/4kg
Open helmet offers +1pt or 3 in head only 2lb/1kg
Closed heavy helmet +2pt or 5 in head only 4lb/2kg
A few ablative suits with 4pt but defend only once 6lb/3kg
Ablative fire proof suit 10pts vs fire only, destroyed as blocked 6lb/3kg
Fire resistant suits with 20 minute air supply offer 10 pts vs heat and fire 9lb/4kg
Armoured vests and helmets have been tried by military:
Concealed 6pt ballistic, 1/2 vs others like melee 6lb/3kg
Ablative vest 8pt but destroyed as used but better vs melee 6lb/3kg
Rigid balistic chest plate 6pt 9lb/4kg
Military light ballistic plate, 8 vs everything 12lb/6kg
Military heavy ballistic plate, 12 vs everything 22lb/10kg
Military ballistic full plate 20 AP 44lb/20kg very expensive and rare

Mechanized "Ironclad" armour plate turns a man into a living robot and has been tested for officers or robotic corps but still very experimental. Underwater versions for deep sea exploration are used by civilians. If anyone ever dives a giant clam or octopus should attack no matter where water body. Any jungle river has piranha too.

Light 20 AP like ballistic full plate but mechanized 144lb/60kg 6 hour battery 2hr oxygen
Takes 20 minutes to put on by yourself or 10 with a helper, use STR raised to 16

Heavy 30 AP 330lb/150kg 4 hour battery or 12 hour radium battery, 4hr oxygen
Takes 30 minutes to put on with 2 helpers and to start engine, users usually locked inside
use STR raised to 21

With advent of armour mechanized saw blade daggers and swords +1d6 damage and a 10 minute battery have been developed. Versions for mechanized armour troops powered by suit instead. Electric batons, gauntlets and swords keyed for damage or stunning have been used even by police. Stunners effective vs non military robots.

Acoustic and ray weapons mostly in hands of odd mad scientist or experimental. Space programs might use but mostly secret. Bell shaped acoustic stunners are ones public most heard of for riot control.

Mines and claymore weapons are common but alsu use non lethal chemichal webbing or gas. Magnetic mines for tanks and structures need to resist 30STR to remove



Electronics & Gadgets

Flashlight 1lb/.5kg 2hr battery
Radium Lamp 12lb/5kg powerful flood lamp, effectively lasts forever
Calculator 1lb/.5 kg
Walki talky 2lb/1kg
Radio set 12lb/5kg
Electric map box 5lb/2kg displays maps, location of self and beacons
Electric bugs
Electric still camera 5lb/2kg sends photo back to home base to print
Instant still camera 12 shots per cassette instant photographs, flash part of film case 4lb/2kg
Film camera 12lb/5kg compact microfilm cassette good for 1hr recording film is 1/2 weight
Broadcast camera 18lb/8kg transmits long distance (evil scientists/spies use micro bug ones)
Spy camera - clockwork can be set with timer or tripwire to shoot 24 shot microfilm, palm sized
Spirit Camera - one shot special film and dark room needed, unreliable 11 lb/5kg
Brain Imaging Scope - see last visions of a dead person, unreliable, heavy, needs power 90lb/40kg
Other exotic cameras include xray, thermal and radio cameras
Grapple gun - small pistol versions provide quick swingline, bigger ones can pull you up, some attached to regular gun or modified rocket gun
Flare gun - rocket gun version is most common application of this technology
Suction cup boots and gloves for climbing most surfaces

Cognitive thinking engines are rare, with talking ones even more rare.

Radio printers and scanners transmit and copy documents and print daily newspapers.
Television phones in home in booths, some even on wrist for tech fringe.
Radar ovens cook food fast.

Rotwang's Transference machine used to give Mairia's form to Futura the robot

Cyberwear is rare but possible

Robots just being experimented with most automatons.
Thinking talking ones are rare and mostly custom built
RUR Rossums universal robotics have made Poland rich. Many versions from dumb automaton worker and Iron Joe soldier, talking and non talking servant production models.
RUR also have a chemical synthetic organic model with metal exoskeleton painfully too human. Can be made totally human but company avoided this as caused ethical problems with consumers.

Rotwangs Futura is very advanced

Russians working on uplifted ape troops.

Most of the world labour is cheap. Africa has thriving use of a breed of newt discovered that can be trained as slaves and very good underwater builders even in salt water. Only 4 foot tall. A priest claims to have taught some to prey and that they have souls but clearly they are just aping human masters.

More fun


Includes vests that shoot up to 8 smgs when raise arms in surrender position
http://www.cracked.com/article_19943_the-9-most-hilariously-irresponsible-old-timey-weapons.html
Not as silly as article presents - tommygun brace on motorbike is awesome

Always good value
http://www.paleofuture.com/blog/tag/popular-mechanics

Pop mechanics and science mags by decade
http://davelo.net/sciam/cover-popmech1920s-index.html
http://www.coverbrowser.com/covers/popular-mechanics  (bigger and better)
spectacular stupid and cruel ideas

Popular Science by decade
http://davelo.net/sciam/cover-popsci1920s-index.html
http://www.coverbrowser.com/covers/popular-science better

must read for any sf project
http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/

Con Check list:
Reread Metropolis - got some new ideas and found cyberpunk campaign version
24 pregen characters for 3 games
some officious looking military paperwork
-equipment
-briefings
Village map and tokens
Tweak scenarios
Possibly make octopus magical princesses crowns for players

Trying to knock up some paintings too as client getting shitty

Exile log: Grave Robbing and Demon bashing

Spoiler alert - using "&" magazine scenario "Valley of Eternal rest" I recommend a download

So halfling and lady necromancer with tag along followers of body guard , aprentice and pet raven. Halfling on lookout for new friend after last few died. New friend a bear spirit folk sorcerer. All went to tomb filled valleybut heard  crying child (?) from woods. Came across priest and followers about to eat a goat kid sacrifice. When they saw party invited the over. Apprentice noted they were not LE or CE cult as she is expert on these.Welcomed them with food explained they were Enlil cult looking for unlawful undead killing people in region. Agrred to join trek to vallet of tombs.

On way found a bridge. While crossing could smell a stink necromancer said was a rotten corpse. Bear spirit went to see invisibly and saw ghoul eating a man and dead horse.He called the gang over who killed it. Necromancer began to dissect corpse in middle of becoming a ghoul but bear man disrupted it with anti undead magic. Grumpiness ensued but Enlil priest urged all to move on.

Found a pub, with kitchen and stables. Inside were 3 patrons in hoods quietly in corner, stable hand who gasped at party skeleton horse cart, sad barmaid and friendly inkeeper. Were friendly but at one point inkeeper leaned over and asked with a wink the halfling and necromancer what cult they were in. Both a bit surprised. Said they would stay here for return trip and paid for a roast pig. A bit suspicious but moved on. Bar folk wary of Enlil gang but chummy to party.

Found a cremation ground and altar and moved into valley and found a cave. Went in and found secret door revealing another "empty" corridor. Necromancer pulled out leather case and let out kobold trapper. Told him to find traps and he carefully walked in. Deadfall of rubble crushed him to gristle. A bit sad but he did his job. Found next secret door and went into tomb to see skeletons attack. Pulled back in fighting formation and priest turned to find his power reduced somehow. Most fled but when they killed two that did not flee their swords animated - worse than skeletons. Destroyed them but priest fell back hurt. Bear moved in and fell in pit weighed to ignore skeletons. Impaled on spikes but crawled out with help of Enlil cult and healed by priest.  

Drove rest to other wall and greedily opened crypt, out jumped bones assembled into skeletons riding skeleton wargs with wight leader in armour with a gold arm ring. Room so crowded could barely move and priest turned skeletons who tried to ride wargs away pinning wight in corner. Necromancer summoned a hoard of dead pinning more enemy dead against wall. Party battled for long time as turning wore off and wight killed by spells from bear and necromancer, her apprentice and familiar. Bear cast web trapping most of dead and heroes managed to destroy them all by depleting most spells and had a few scratches treated by Enlil priest. All relieved, robbed grave and noticed now they were cursed by valley. No idea how.

Went to pub and drak lots and ate well. Tavern keeper offered all they could drink if he and friends could join them. Bear passed out drunk as did most Enlil cultists and priest. Halfling noted tavern guys not really drinking that much. Was wary. Helped drag Enlil gang into upstairs room with two still standing and went into own room. Bear morphed into a bear and slept in front of door.

In night none heard cultists and ghouls creeping about. Cultist tried opening door and woke up bear who saw cultists. Apprentice anf bodyguard woke up rest. Hearing noise next door bear ran through wall and came across ghoul killing sober Enlil agents and then fall on drunks. Bear and halfling killed two ghouls while bodyguard held door and necromancer filled corridor with summoned skeletons. Heroes managed to kill all and sad priest of Enlil swore vengeance on his dead followers. Smashed in their skulls to prevent becoming ghouls. Killed three robed zombies in bar downstairs and captured charmed barmaid. Priest tied her up and dragged into bushes outside. Party killed zombie cook and stableboy. Bear vomited realizing a ghoul had cooked dinner.

Down in well stocked cellar found gate where innkeeper and stable hand threatened them. A summoned hoard of dead tore them apart and charged down hall behind them. Two rutterkin demons awaited furious at operation being destroyed. While undead attacked they summoned a fly demon for help whose horrid drone sent bear to sleep. Freaking out the priest cast silence on the fly. Undead and heroes hammered away till a rutterkin was killed and fly teleported away. Priest caught in polearm with man catcher and managed to keep himself together to cast a heal on himself. Last demon teleported. Grabbed their evil magic weapons (mancatcher and polearm) and treasure and souls in form of horrid egg sacks. Escaped before gate fell. A hearty pile of cash, deed for hotel, a evil larvae creature and four strength potions.

Priest took souls and larvae and girl as his share and left. Rest reveled in new loot and new property. A good base for rest of valley.

Several times party convinced they would die which is always good in a game.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Latitude Zero (緯度0大作戦 Ido zero daisakusen)

Latitude Zero (緯度0大作戦 Ido zero daisakusen) 
Crazy film japan-us co production. Besides one of best sub-fi action movies, also a great underwater utopia and cheezy tech goldmine. Has many elements for 60s spy fi, conspiracy, superheroes, monsters everything. Even bad guy gets a nice HQ above. A dream B classic I had never heard o till now. Story bat shit mad. Great setting and art direction and clothes. Sadly I could Imagine an In like Flynn or Diabolik crossover. (maybe a bond villain lair table? im open for inspiring d100 requests again)

The heroes utopian under sea base in a force dome remids me of hexes in my Psychon game or what a good HAB dome in a generation ship. Here is a brief tour.

Residential blocks with automated food service and fresh clothes delivery. Gold and diamonds just for decoration are used as gravel in pot plants. Everyone a immortal scientist mostly. The European and Japanese guy stay to live forever. The American wants home with diamonds and tries to smoke inside a diving bell.
Flamboyant genius utopian scientist at work. He has global agents that have sub cars who take scientists away to live forever to benefit humanity. Has super healing tech and a bath tat makes you bullet proof. Dude has jetpacks and everything proof gold suits. Gloves with drug dart gun finger and a flamer and a deadly laser (also a tool).  His agents secretly aid hymanity wirg leaks of tech we are ready for.
More hab sections, many historic styles like a tourist resort district.
Many dress in weird vintage clothes from own times, started in Napoleonic times somehow.
Utopian genre mostly boring - show us a tourism like romp. Dystopia easier to make interesting. A mad villain helps. What his beef is is a bit unclear. Has own immortality process tht makes you turn to sand on death.
Futuristic farming
Control map model of dome
More utopia
Inside. Gold everywhere
 A groovy secret base and utopian fashion (that dress comes back later on another girl)
Communications centre
I like how lair cams can film anything like remote viewing rather than by hiding cameras everywhere
The villains bat men goons. He is a real jerk. Puts betrayed lovers brain in a monster, surprised she fails to obey him.  Has giant rats, island with acid pools and skeletons for decor and inept plan making skills. I could throw this stuff in games - so many amazing ideas. What makers thought they were doing i have no clue.

A nice preview here
utube promo
I might do this again

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Viking Log: Sagas of Tsathogua and Iquatha

Ran Ravenar Saga part 2 and started Trail of Tsathogua.

Hear of Christianity spreading in more kingdoms from Rome and Byzantium. Rollo terrorizing  France still years before he becomes viking duke of Normandy. Sent party warship to collect Britons to sell to Arab Caliphates in Spain. Golden age of looting soft targets over as everyone recovering from famine and unifying under strong kings.

So party went to Yule feast at old friends Svengar's Hall in Iceland where all enjoyed night drinking, playing games, singing, boasting. Throa escaped sewing circle gossip to play bat and ball games and helped visiting team win with best shots of the game. Her sister Thora happy to spend time with local women's wisdom. Wanda declare both to be sisters and all very happy.

Late at night as Johan Hotfoot drunk was fooling with local girl, Thorhaddr got to sing and play pipes but a angry man smashed them for doing such a bad job when drunk. Fair cop, Thorhaddr accepted well.

As Thora went to bed saw drunk guard and she cold not sop fuming even though Wanda said let him be. She got out of bed and splashed him with water. He did not move. Found him knocked out not drunk. Unnatural cold setting in and she saw with second sight it was unnatural. Ran to hall speaking of monsters and Svengar scoffed till more came in to complain of cold and sea freezing faster than any seen before. All went to beach as snow fell. He apologized and all worried. Throa said probably a frost giant which failed to cheer anyone up.

Heard a horn and saw a light. A man cane telling of a ship stranded in ice and a rescue party prepared. Ice skates and skis with a ox pulled sled set off. Johan found trail of mans lost guard and group split. Heroes found dead frozen bleeding man on ice with a long trail of glassy solid blood behind him. Thora thought a polar bear but on closer look no.

Rushed to the boat and helped all get to shore but a second trip needed. On way back with last of passengers and loot when five savage wendigo attacked.

Screaming: "WEN DI GO IQU QUA THA" again and again.

Viking armour saved day and vikings killed them with a few scratches. Back in town told everyone it was bears except Svengar and Wanda who had seen monsters before.

Found missing slave and cult idols in his room. Went to sleep and when awoke in afternoon set off after the missing madman. Wise woman Helga identified monster statuettes and mentioned ice wall slave interested in so party headed there. Found a snow sculpture of six legged horror which they smashed. Then the real thing, a mean knop keh charges. Most arrows bounced off as did javlins but some lucky close hits up close hurt it. Johun set his spear and monster ran into it, shattered inside its body and pierced heart. Vomited blood all over Johun.

Was getting dark but weather improved a bit but party fled to hall. Next day they caught man and got confession of his viking collaborators.  Bad vikings killed and clan exiled to Greenland. Six beserks vanished and may return for revenge....

So the monks of St Bartholemew now viking thralls were seeking the rise of the leviathans castle. Had a big turn around have decided God's will for vikings to enslave them and bring them north. Sixyears to avert rise of the Leviathan. They persuaded Thora to by strange green stone with Hyperborean text from viking back from Greenland.. Told of huge carving upside own on cliff with strange Eskimo settlement in Greenand which Eric the Red visited. Thora convinced man reliccursed and got almost half price off mans asking price.

So on to Greenland. Found great wall and set monks to translate text. One had read book of Eibon in Frankish and told vikings of Hyperborea. Learned of shamans stories of other race of red haired strange men.  Explored viking camp and found rune stones with story of Eric the Red. Translated wall text about ancient city while some learned spells to call Tsathogua and his spawn.

Climbed up inland mountains watched by strange men. Throa heard whispering chants on guard duty and next day found a gnop-keh footprint identifiable from last ones dead claw Throa still carried. Took best sailors the serpent cultists to be lead climbers. Found ice covered glacier and tower top above ice. Found place where green stone found and lower levels covered in ice.  From tower top saw square temple. Saw huge icicles in building and more Hyperborean tests. Ended here as big fight immanent....

Did not get Iquatha but he will be avenged

A break next week as eye-con on so continued on 27th

Thora aims to be a priestess in 2 game years.
Lots of increases in Cthulhu Mythos and sanity.
Monks have over 20% Cthulhu mythos.
Who knows what those ex fishermen crew have but fin keeps learning spells from them.

Reading for RUS found this gem
"the Skylitzes Chronicle, depicting a Thracesian woman killing a Varangian who tried to rape her, whereupon his comrades praised her and gave her his possessions". - those funny vikings

-------------------------------

Working on Con game props:
Metropolis Money
Octopus Princess figures and map
Pregen game characters

ANZAC long weekend day running DnD 13th lv in hell - inviting any game characters of last few years to be upgraded and play for one off long session. Using 80s Dragon versions.

Running tomb robbing DnD Tuesdays.

Vikings in Vinland and Greenland a bit then thinking of going to RUS and Byzantium.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

d100 Random Strange Crypts and Extra Guardians Tables





Am laying out book and finding stuff needs writing. Also lots of little tweaks and fixes. Got this going as party face undead alot. I want to create more low level versions of some monsters especially elementals. Im also thinking of offering various more turning option than undead such as opposite aligned outer planar and elementals and possibly animals for non druid nature priests. I might go back to monster manual simplified table on a3 sheet per broad monster type.

6 days for con designing prepping. Have good army kit handout almost done, possibly a unit organisation for longstair. Also pregens+versions go up level .


While I have done many grave tables this is for scary batshit mad stuff you probably will regret finding. Unusual structures built in strange styles predating rest of graves or under another crypt or in a isolated wilderness location. Odd grave could be anyone, a crypt is always a big cheese.

d10 basic type of crypts
to replace one in Grave Robbing 2 Headstones and crypts

Sealed with boulder, brick, earth or clay 

1 Sealed cave
2 Hole or pit carved into landscape
3 Earth mound with chamber
4 Earth mound and wood structure within (1in6 elf crypt-tree & mummy)
5 Earth mound with stone structure within
6 Subterranean tunnels with crypts built inside terrain feature like cliff or under city
7 Brick structure
8 Cycolpean stone monolith structure
9 Dressed fine stone
10 Otherworldly tombs

d12 Size (revised)

1 Tiny crypt for one person usually with a sarcophagi and nice coffin
2 Tiny crypt with 2d6 funeral urns and at least one ash jar or corpse and coffin
3 Small crypt of immediate family with a sarcophagi and 1d6 coffins in wall niches
4 Small crypt of immediate family with a sarcophagi and 2d6 wall niches for coffin
5 Small crypt of immediate family with a sarcophagi and 2d6 wall niches for coffin
6 Medium crypt of extended group 1d3 sarcophagi 3d6 coffins and urns
7 Medium crypt of extended group 1d6 sarcophagi 4d6 coffins and urns
8 Large crypt 2d6 sarcophagi 6d6 coffins and urns
9 Large crypt 3d6 sarcophagi 10d6 coffins and urns
10 Mausoleum 4d6 sarcophagi 20d6 coffins and urns a multiple levels dungeon

d100 Random Strange Crypts

01 Cave tomb of local shepherds with basic goods and animal bones
02 Cave tomb of long gone tribe with hunters trinkets  and primitive shrine
03 Cave tomb of local farmer family with crude artworks on walls
04 Cult cave tomb with evil idol, sacrificial altar and guardian beast
05 Cave tomb of local merchant clan with stash of food and blankets and brass bowls
06 Cave tomb of ancient barbarian with remains of oxen and some gold arm rings
07 Cave tomb vandalised now guarded by former robbers, now undead, some scraps of value dropped by robbers
08 Cave tomb of goblin chief with mummified wolves, guarded by savage giant bats, stash of plunder
09 Cave tomb of dark elf, covered in cobwebs and guarded by giant spider, stash of drugs and possibly magic
10 Cave tomb of slum dwellers with many crude traps and a stash of copper goods
11 Cliff tomb of merchant with waggon and grave goods and undead sacrificed gladiators
12 Carved into huge rock a barbarian chariot grave with lots of weapons
13 Cliff tomb of druid clan, guarded by local animals some use as a lair, gold neck rings and a cauldron
14 Pit tomb filled in with earth requires digging, barbarian graves with collection of silver booty
15 Pit tomb with flooded well entry, cultists of prehuman monster gods, a creature lives in well with some gold leaf coated tablets and a strange unwholesome relic
16 Pit tomb of a necromancer full of skeletons, a necromancer relic inside
17 Pit tomb buried with whole boat inside, ancient warrior awakens as a wight, has weapons and some gold and brass vessels
18 Carved entrance below tidal level of sea cliffs or below a well or lake and filled with rubble, pirate chief with undead sacrificed crew guarding trapped chest of loot
19 Carved entrance on high cliff very hard to see or enter, giant eagle guards barbarian hero remains and his collection of weapons and copper urns
20 Cliff tomb of monks with many humble bodies and scriptures and some gold and silver  holy symbols, will arise as dead if disturbed
21 A great earth mound with entrance exposed by mudslide, buried tribal bodies with ivory tusks, curse left by ancient shaman
22 A earth mound with depression where entry filled in, barbarian chief with chariot, gold neck ring and a guardian spirit attacks those who try to dig
23 Remains of prehistoric hill fort with chief berried beneath with fine stone weapons, guards will arise as ghouls if disturbed
24 A ritual mound of ancients with buried pits full of carved and burned bones, a shaman buried here with magic trinkets, his angry fetch spirit guards and may call other guardians such as animals or undead or minor elemental
25 A sacrificial mound with many buried pits of victims, priest chamber of rammed earth has trinkets looted from victims, a evil cut relic and mummified evil cult lord
26 A great black mound full of buried animal skulls and a chamber within where a prehistoric wizard skeleton sleeps, if angered summons monsters and attacks, has stone tablet spellbook and some minor stone and bone magic items, one of the necromancer chiefs of ancients
27 A brilliant green vegetation covered earth pyramid with stone idol marking buried entrance, if disturbed undead elves arise with pets to repel invaders. Silver and copper goods, fine elvish craft goods and some minor magic
28 A odd mound near old path with a animal burrow a small being could crawl in. Angry badgers defend the nest littered with bones, broken pottery and a magic flint axe or spear
29 A huge midden of shellfish remains from past. Inside is buried a priest with may guard skeletons. A shamanic relic allows spirit of priest to be called for advice
30 A great midden heap has a burial mound beneath with a remnants of a lizard man warrior guarded by his zombie human slaves, weird relic of prehuman age
31 A hill with a great tree, actually tree hollow leads to mummified elf which awakens if disturbed
32 A boat shaped mound known as tomb by locals has a whole boat intact and buried, remains of chief, his horse, wives and undead guardian sacrifices, many copper neck rings, weapons and one magic one
33 A crescent shaped mound with a huge wooden box structure with chariot, chief and horse skeletons, if disturbed a great guardian beast comes from nearby lair to defend. Has cache of gold rings
34 A mound has had depressions form a wooden structure within rots away. Inside remains of long lost village and trinket and many funeral urns of goods or burned bodied, zombies will rise if disturbed
35 A mound covering a buried wooden house where a chief buried still cared for by his skeleton warrior wife who leaps to his defence, she has a magic silver weapon
36 A mound covers a log dome with mammoth fur and tusks inside, ancient skeletal shaman arises to kill intruders who defile
37 A stone covers a wood lined pit into a hill with a wood tunnel complex inside. May dead will arise as skeletons, in heart a pile of urns and intact dragon skeleton and some gold coins
38 A tree covered mound arising from a bog is shunned by locals but inside is a wood lined chamber with remains of a catfish-man priest, several biological sacks burst if disturbed releasing catfish men warriors, wooden tables of forbidden lore and drugs found in semiprecious stone covered tin box
39 A dark cramped tunnel, big enough to crawl inside hill leads to wood lined chambers where goatmen come to revere ancestors and worship evil. Wooden idols and urns of silver in main chamber with stuffed remains of ancient king. Goatmen know if intruders enter and come running
40 A great mound with semi exposed entrance, wooden beams support roof and dwarf crypts inside. A brass hand gun and silver shot in one. Semiprecious stones fill wooden chests. A stone dwarf guardian kills robbers or any humans or orcs entering
41 A great mound with stone box structure from huge sheets of slate. If tampered horde of skeletons released, inside a elf noble with ancient scrolls is found and magic arrows
42 A great mound with a megalithic shrine on top. Inside hill is a warren of passages with hundreds of skulls in niches. A demon guards remains of cultists so they can be reborn in future
43 A hill with a great sealed crude stone door. Inside is a trap filled corridor and a sealed tomb of a ancient warlock. Many cursed items here with a few safe ones. A phantom drives away intruders with fear, shadows guard the crypt
44 A hill surrounded by crude stone wall, inside stone complex is remains of a chieftain with a monstrous worm coiled around his body. Has magic armour and weapon
45 A black stone obelisk on hill with a dead patch of grass indicating burred opening. Is tomb of witch and intruders cursed. Many potions, magical candles and remains of witch now a wraith inside
46 Cyclopean rubble tomb, mostly buried under mound, is opened sleeping serpent man wizards awake and angry at stupid apes. Have strange relics and hibernation sarcophagi
47 A hill covers remains of collapsed tower with some tight openings among rubble. A tower of a necromancer and his tomb, inside the skeleton wizard in lab working on making bone golems. Has a few but every century adventurers kill a few. Dead adventurers loot and necromancer spells hammered into sheets of copper bound with rings
48 A stone sealed door leads into a round stone camber guarded by skeleton warriors and wight lord, guard remains of a necromancer bound in silver chains
49 An ancient stone bowl serves as a watering hole and rest spot for travellers in side of hill. Underneath is a series of tunnels with many bodies and stone urns. Undead minotaur guards it and will go on berserk killing spree in area if let loose
50 A great carved stone door into hill has curse on it. A complex of trapped tunnels leads to hall with dead in niches, a clan of warlords from forgotten age. A dozen warriors will arise and will kill intruders, raid countryside then return until door replaced. If killed they revive next night.
51 Under ancient cyclopean ruins are tunnels, crawling with zombies, beneath then is crypt of reptile men hybrids who will arise as undead to defend a magic mirror given to them by their god, a gate to a distant ruin filled land in a desert
52 A stone in a field is entrance to shaft dropping into tunnels where tribal burials took place.  Tusks and teeth of long extinct beast adorn the dead and a undead sabre tooth cat protects them
53 A stone menhir marks a lid to a pit into remains of necromancer kings. Warnings in old language. Kyuss grubs crawl about in darkness and horrid sons of Kyuss priest kings arise to infect intruders. A great mound of gold and cursed magic items are in central chamber
54 A stone complex is sealed by a statue of an angel and warnings proof against evil. Inside twelve paladins sleep in crypts. If disturbed they ask if time for them to arise against evil. Will try to fight local evil rulers but probably doomed. Many have magic weapons
55 Under a tree overgrown monumental statue on a tiny island is remains of a forgotten king. A clan of ogres live inside, feeding from a enchanted cauldron that fill daily with rotten offal. Chests of gold and book of the kings life bound in metal and semiprecious stones might point to other treasure troves
56 A shunned stone door in a hill has offerings left by locals. Inside a stone complex, past skeletal guards are residents reincarnated as elves having a party, drinking and eating from magic vessels that refill several times a day for elves under a magic lamp. Horrified by intruders but might make a deal.
57 Hidden behind relief art in unreadable stone monument is a tomb complex with temple. Barbarian zombies with horned helms and axes guard temple and dead priests who try to call on their forgotten storm god if attacked. The god sends a demon. Piles of copper axe heads, vessels, urns and flint tools in treasure mound, some possible magic.
58 Under a ruined church half blocked crypt entrance is visible. Zombie priests and nuns and monks arrive to defend with a saint body part reliquary guarded by a Sphynx that might allow worthy to take it
59 Broken open stinking hole into stone complex. Full of ghouls with huge ghast leader sitting on piles of grave trinkets in urn filled chamber
60 A stone face with a mouth door in hill has been found behind bushes. A sadistic crypt keeper with a magic mirror controls the guardians and sees all. Many different undead in sealed chambers he can teleport explorers into
61 A brick built tomb has been undefiled for centuries. Locals repair if intrusion attempted. Inside are many shelves for urns, curses and a ghoul-troll that eats unwelcome visitors.
62 Local brick mine worked by locals till they discover a chamber and tunnels. Then the murders start. Some angry revenant in crypt displeased. Horde of gold neck rings and brass arm bands, many stone urns inside
63 Brick featureless building left alone. If tampered with a phantom will try and frighten off. Inside phantoms live rich social life with family, trying to act as living. Upset by intruders and try to drive away. Many urns and some nice jewellery on bodies. Phantoms threaten to tell lords of underworld on you
64 Small pyramid with complex inside ruled by mummy with ghoul beastmen slaves. Gold leaf and semiprecious stones adorn grave goods including statues, instruments, a bed, etc
65 A eroded hillside reveals bone fragments and beads and brick loose in mud. Multiple chambers intact with huecuva wrapped in cloth bundles. Tomb paintings depict human sacrifice and mummies wear dozens of necklaces with coral and shell beads
66 A broken heap of bricks semi exposed. If dug into dark lifeless chambers with sacrificed slaves surround sarcophagi and grave goods treasures. If entered shadows emerge from corpses to attack the living. Remnants of evil cult ruler
67 Every full moon on a crumbling brick wall a door appears and a dim light and music inside attracts persons and animals in. Trained trappers and mimics guard passages, pretending to be normal features. The tomb opens to feed them. A crypt contains ancient king with a gold shortsword and helmet, possibly magical with detailed relief art on blade
68 A slowly collapsing cliff face reveals a tomb with blue glazed bricks and scenes of a hero fighting a monster. Skeletons maintain and guard the inside but central chamber is heroes sarcophagi with his magic weapon within. The undead remains of the beast he famously killed sleeps next to it
69 A large rectangular structure near inside old ruined walls once a monastery. In the tomb dozens or funerary jars, coffins behind metal plated in wall niches and sarcophagi for senior abbots and a locked cage with a shrine to a saint with relic inside. If saint disturbed, monks arise as dead and tear intruders apart then repair everything and return to rest
70 A cube brick structure has been undisturbed for ages. The door is concealed under a layer of bricks and inside tomb of a past king mummified with a chariot with a dozen zombie slaves. If awoken the mummy with his skeleton horse team chases intruders away or kills them then zombies repair. Bars of copper and silver and many fragile gilded furniture items and a semiprecious stone studded game board inside.
71 A great crude stone box made from massive megalithic slabs. Requires digging or an ox team to move a slab to enter. Once open a great swarm of undead insects attacks everyone then a undead were-mammoth druid lord lumbers out with a magic club to kill everyone who dares plunder him. Ritual medicine bags, animal tusks and mummified lovers inside
72 A huge mound of boulders with trees growing on them actually a prehuman tomb. Mummified great old ones within are but horrid husks but anyone opening it releases a shoggoth servant starving for aons
73 A huge cone built of perfectly fitting fused boulders rises above ground but actually continues quite deep. Inside cone chamber a cursed sigil drives onlookers mad. Deep within biological pods containing angry fish men guarding their undead high priest. They burst from the sacks to kill intruders and if they are killed the priest arises to raise them and destroy defilers with priest magic. The priest is a huge mummified fish man
74 A series of rubble covered hills has a stone gate way with lions carved above the door leading into the hillside. Past the heavy sealed doors, skeleton hoplites guard the entry halls and within a skeleton warrior with helm, shield and short sword. A horde of silver coins and bronze weapons in sarcophagi
75 A huge pile of boulders with heads and statues of long forgotten kings and gods in a out of the way gorge. A secret door in a large statue leads within. Zombies with bronze maces arise if opened. A mummified princess inside with spells conjures monsters to support them. She has jewellery and a huge polished bronze mirror, possibly magical
76 Irregular fitted stone blocks in the side of a hill built before humans has begun to crack open and with some help, explorers could gain entry. Has many Chambers and in each are the skeletons of giants. Some of the better preserved ones are zombies who arise to kill intruders if darkness broken by any light
77 A breast shaped mound built of fitted cyclopean boulders sits undisturbed for millennium. In a great chamber is the remains of a mummified dragon, buried by his worshippers. If his hoard of copper axe heads, tusks, skulls and teeth are touched he arises as a zombie with power of dragon fear and a nauseating gas cloud breathe
78 A circular structure of cyclopean stonework half berried in a hill has been shunned by locals. Inside is a 14 foot high coffin. A zombie cyclops inside with a great spear and several javelins of lightning arises if disturbed with sacks of gold coins in coffin
79 A Shambling  chalky mound of boulders is actually a tomb built by re
80 Huge basalt pillars stacked like a pyramid overgrown with vegetation is just visible up close as artificial. Built by lizard men for a king, inside a great chamber with some zombie lizard men guards is a great lizard chief with his triceratops mount which arise to fend off intruders as zombies. Hoard of black stone tablets of forbidden lore and copper weapons surrounds the inner burial pit
81 A fine stone rectangle carved with skeletal angels built by a lord centuries ago. Warrior clan now skeletons will arise if opened. Will kill intruders then repair. Many coffins and urns inside with warrior sarcophagi carved with lord's likeness. Inside mummy awakes if opened. Has a magic weapon and high quality amour which could be salvaged
82 A sealed stone temple long abandoned has entry to crypts below under the altar. Huge arched catacombs with many niches with bodies wrapped in bundles and urns. Skeletons have been used to decorate surfaces with paintings of underworld on walls. If defiled a mass of skeleton parts form a large bone elemental, a sprawling mass of bones with biting skulls and grasping hands. Holy symbols, some coins and other goods found on clergy bodies
83 A circular building was a base of a collapsed statue once many stories high, carved from stone by great artists. An inscription boasts king will never be forgotten and his name has been scratched off all texts. Inside king is a drooling insane immortal trapped in undead body, believes other corpses of family and slaves talk to him still. Wants to capture intruders to keep him company but has forgotten own name. Has a stash of silver ingots and amber beads
84 Rows of beastmen statues hold remains of a crumbled roof but central building carved in ancient hieroglyphs remains intact. Curses protect sealed doors, inside skeleton soldiers with bronze sickle swords, spears, axes and maces guard. A great stone sarcophagi with gilt coffin inside of a undead mummy. Gold household objects and funeral jars stacked around sarcophagi
85 A sealed church building among ruins with metal doors with relief art. Clergy of faith still guard. Inside is a great metal sarcophagi with fine relief statue of saint within a steel cage. If tampered with a outer planar being like an lesser angel or shedu appears to protect. Finest expensive robes and a gold rod and other artistic relics inside
86 A beautiful domed building with remains of once fine gardens and ponds around it. Gardens are crawling with giant rats some have burrowed into the tomb. If opened inside is amazing ceiling paintings and four columns surround great sarcophagi. A titanic snake (or naga) dwells inside, guarding from giant rats and other intruders. Body of a woman with gold and jewels inside
87 A cube building carved with erotic scenes that locals avoid. Inside a six armed female statue acts as a guardian with exotic bladed weapons in her hands. Tomb of a king and queen within with gold crowns and sceptre each
88 Carved building in shape of a great sitting sphinx with entry between legs. Door is open and guarded by charmed adventurers. A lamia inside decorates herself and lounges on ancient finery of gold and jewel's
89 A house size block carved with preying monks and knights fighting lizard men. If doors opened zombie knights attack. In sarcophagi is a skeletal knight in armour with sword and his beloved. He arises to attack any intruders. Gold coins and many urns surround coffins in sarcophagi
90 A black stone house with unearthly light absorbing properties as if made of shadow. If opened shadows attack. Onyx sarcophagi holds underworld gods lover who arises as a wraith if disturbed
91 Strange green glassy stone wet to touch carves into shape of a huge octopoid. Inside larger than outside crawling with brine encrusted dead adventurers. In sealed inner chamber an octopus headed demon spawn sleeps but will destroy intruders with spells. Strange artifacts many cursed lie with him
92 Strange basalt table with alien elder language on stone plug for a door. If seal broken evil wind demon awakens and attacks those intruding. Inside shattered magical talismans litter the floor, some with golden and silver fragments 
93 A stone house like tomb with remarkably intact fresco paintings f ancient celebrations. Once inside beings from the paintings attack. Inside is bigger than outside. In deepest level a lich is at work in his lair happy to kidnap some company for a few years of talking but could be bargained with
94 A plain stone cube, inside four bowls with an elemental bound defends the crypt. Four mirrors act as gates to other worlds. Wizards sarcophagi with magic treasure and books sealed in force cube
95 A crumbling stone huge temple with carvings of a frog demon eating and fornicating with sacrifices adorns the walls. Inside is a shrine and a well with a formless spawn inside, guarding remains of priests. They will arise if spawn is defeated as zombies. Amber, lapis and semiprecious gems adorn their robes. A polished mirror is a gate to the frog demons lair. Any sleeping nearby have nightmares
96 A crumbling stone tomb, partly flooded on outside with massive roots everywhere from giant trees. If intruders poke about the trees awaken and attack, splashing blood onto temple walls and chanting demon names. Inside a great stone coffin with are seeds of demon trees awaiting future needs and a cauldron that fills with blood every hour
97 A small stone tomb looks harmless but is inside a maze of invisible force walls that rearrange hourly. Dead past trapped victims approached spring to action as juju zombies. Inside an invisible stalker awaits to attack any who enter. A crystal sarcophagi with perfectly preserved vampire priestess is inside with hoard of semiprecious gems
98 A vast sprawling mausoleum has become a gate to the underworld guarded by hordes of undead and two demons by each of the seven doorways to the gate, disguised as statues. Gargoyles on outside try to scare away unwelcome trespassers. Hundreds of corpses and funerary jars inside
99 A huge palatial tomb with undead in outer areas. Deeper areas with army of terracotta life size statues with weapons that animate and attack. In centre a jade mummy king and his zombie brides dream of future conquest when time is right
100 Tomb of chaos worshipping eldren emperor guarded by elementals and demons. He is imprisoned is stasis bubble frozen in time while his people went though the many gates in central tomb to various other worlds to escape his tyranny. Same tomb exists on multiple planes simultaneously


d50+50 (51-100) Extra Guardians Tables
Expands Guardians & Graveyards table that only went up to 50

51 Graverobber gang members on lookout for rivals, will ambush or sound alarm
52 A yappy dog follows party barking furiously
53 Cold phantom hand keeps touching intruders
54 Decomposing hand of zombie grabs leg from underground
55 Screaming female phantom attracts trouble
56 An imp watches party, records names and returns to hell
57 A stinking black could follows intruders causing retching, stink for 1d4 days
58 Chattering skeleton teeth put everyone on edge
59 Cherubim sounds trumpet waking everyone for a mile
60 Chirping of birds or crickets intensifies to a roar
61 Swarm of moths surround, start to cover intruders with thick dusty layer
62 White worm bursts from ground and stings someones foot
63 Witch gives evil eye and curses from hiding spot
64 Mosquito swarm harasses and intensifies
65 Bat riding goblins with hit and run arrow fire
66 Woman in red calls to intruders, lures int covered open grave
67 Spirit of grave tries to possess intruder and visit family
68 Spirit of grave tries to possess intruder and take revenge on enemy
69 A dark elf takes arrow potshots and spells from hiding
70 Drunk priest harasses by throwing rocks and bottles
71 Homeless man abuses intruders, possessed by a spirit
72 Minor devil informs you are doing great job will see you soon then vanishes
73 Raven flies over to nearby house and taps on window shutters
74 A sphinx (possibly stone form most of the time)
75 A pumpkin or turnip headed scarecrow golem
76 A wolf headed beast man, pretends is a werewolf
77 A sad donkey headed beastman starts braying
78 Croaking toads become deafening attracts locals
79 Sprites or brownies harass from hiding with cruel jokes
80 Drunken youths with sheets and chains, if harmed local mob outraged
81 Area crawling with snake swarm, mostly harmless but you never know
82 Invisible wolf attacks
83 Robed figure approaches, actually a ghoul with allies sneaking up from behind
84 A crying woman with bleeding begs for help, up close she is a phantom
85 Illusion of bleeding hands and eyes on defilers sent by good spirit
86 A spirit curses intruders with some ironic affliction like foul corpse odor
87 Bat headed beast man martial artists sent by lord of the underworld
88 Corpse arises and criticizes intruders, warns them about afterlife
89 A devil offers gold for your soul as you seem committed to evil
90 Miasma of putrescent flesh wafts over party, save vs disease
91 A lynchmob sick of necromancy apprentices in area awaiting trouble makers
92 A raven comes to watch commenting how brave you are considering risk...
93 A cult are having a drug fueled orgy, witnesses must be hunted and killed
94 A murderer seeking victims spotted party and follows them for ambush
95 A horribly dismembered vivisected phantom corpse gazes judgmentally
96 Mutilated phantom comes to warn what happened to him when he was caught by mob
97 Phantom takes form of a dead relative warning not to make mistake
98 Doppelgangers try to infiltrate and confuse intruders
99 A great winged beast flies overhead in darkness, most animals flee
100 Earth rumbles and skeleton chariot with deathknight from underworld drives away sinners

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

OSR DnD Settings: Why I Made Exile Island



Update from last year to show what new settlers have done over 2 campaigns - more on this after the OSR cliche sausage fight bit. Im starting to layout some books for editing at last.

Inspired by this nice piece on Dungeon fantastic
Greyhawk = map for wargamers
Original Forgotten Realms = map for adventurers
a nice observation among others explored here

What makes a good product fantasy setting?

Writing products for a DM = DM-ing for DM's = Meta DM-ing

I want a good sandbox
I want a sandbox map world not a story script for a world wheremaps are just player props and not really able to deliver on myth of freedom good maps convey

I find all licensed setting a risk - starwars, marvel, krynn, FR, Glorantha
Author free to DM over you and change cannon every edition not = good
Too many cooks or Safety in numbers both flawed too
The Meta DM trying to block my DMing style and make his characters best is lame
I prefer the non-cannonical approach and prefer the early DIY settings

DIY is best I find as not really very hard
Keeping up with canon is harder
Dragonlance and my Fanboy days ended in 86 highschool

My favorite settings are very complex and this is intimidating
I was threatened by Tolkien and Star Trek games as stronger fans than me were nit picking and Forgotten realms has become this. I would try Trek and Tolkien now but still just id rather do my own thing. I play Marvel not with any recognized heroes too. I like Tukemal and Glorantha and was intimidated by it for many years before i could run it from very good adventures and setting material So much stuff has come in Glorantha and system changes to RQ i feel like this again.

Historic games are among my favorite because so much more meaningful than something made for  bunch of fans for profit. I like national geographic and libraries and PDFs for almost free for supplements. If I know about history I can talk about it related to everyday life and people might think im clever. If I talk about klingons and orcs I would be dismissed by plenty out of hand. I find it challenging and a bit intimidating but even if im wrong it is all part of something bigger. People accept alt history better than alt Tolkien or alt hello kitty 40K or Star Trek. You can always do better and dont have to pay for privilege of being wrong or dated or trapped in an edition so much. Gurps books were awesome for this, old Rolemaster even those green 2nd Ed ADnD books were good fun. Cthulhu was game got me researching real history for gaming. Even 20s trivia is useful. What the hell a Dritzt is I actually dont know.

Ive had many big worlds but have played for 5 years on one island with one horrible city - and multiple dungeons per 4 mile hex. Bigger worlds had different story. Azaerth setting (some company probably used same name used since 1988) was about visiting a kingdom, locate what evil god is up to babess in cosmic plot here then stop and try to get king to join the alliance. Island game about how not to fall in a dungeon and get trapped but live to sell scraps off other dead adventurers.

Visually I am inspired by UK fantasy adventure solo game books like lonewolf, demonspawn, fighting fantasy, early 80s White Dwarf (well first hundred issues). Warhammer fantasy, 40k, Dark Future among my favorite settings and inspirations. I never felt constrained here. Less sweeping wilderness travel more gritty hacks into horror and isolation and the strange. Dense, fast and slightly horrible is my motto.

One thing I got from TITAN setting for fighting fantasy was that world is a dungeon and every city is a dungeon and every forest is a dungeon.

My Junkheap d100 table sandbox

My Exile Island Setting started with party washed ashore of big mountinos Island thic with ruins and wilderness, some frontier that moves every year, some ever expanding villages and expanding common law and the city. The distant Empire has no map. It's mad young emperor has gone from youthful psychopath with godlike power in succession war to becoming a disciplined tyrant still exterminating other factions in civil war.

There are always refugees (a bit of an issue in Australia) needing new land
There are political and common criminals banished from the mainland
The Island has famed prehuman ruins and was part of a bigger continent lost in cataclysm
Geological layers feature diferent dungeon epochs of magic.
There are more dungeons, foreboding crypts, spooky abandoned houses, ruined temples and dark caves to hidden under lands than there are people on Island.

In recent years the Empire has put in a garrison and taken southern part of Island
The Evil Pirate Barron of the city has made peace with all non humans not just his goblinoid and orc allies. All non humans hate the Empire that drove them here thousands of years ago.

I made horses only for nobility or name level, death sentence to ride, all horse nomads are criminals. Demihumans exempt.

This keeps travel speed low. Most villages can be reached in a day pleasant walk though farm and grazing lands. Thick impassable forests and mountains limited by terrain and supernatural forces. Medowland encounters mostly nice but more isolated and woodland areas are hellish and unfriendly.

Every hex in plain has been visited. Mountains around Shadelport and above swamp have been explored lots with more dungeons than any party knows what to do with. State systematically claims dungeons and send in explorers, occasionally by force. Some dungeons or towers have notices from state declaring not to be opened on pain of death - reasons often classified. Kings of the world know artifacts from here the most potent and numerous.

Players mostly scared to leave safe roads and run home from a dungeon in a few hours than explore the wilderness. One 10th Lv party went far into mountains and carved out a small kingdom to north I will need to map. Still lots of the north to explore and the highland people are more numerous than thought. 13th Lv party went to invade monster island with a colony but I never got them to hell. I might have to do a one shot where they do - I could just let them all be 20th lv a few years later.

Farmers often ex military and well protected by law. The Yeomen around city protected by the Barron. But they are very tough and undefeated. Everyone here respects food producers and leave them be. Occasionally tribal humanoids kill some farmers and hunted into some subterranean hell hole. Non humans are not friendly and Bright elves kill people more than the Dark elves (they kill your family and make them zomie dancers and then charm you for fun). Dwarves resent men and orcs for robbing them of gold and technology. The Barron and the Empire protect elves now. Both want dark or bright elves onside. The scariest thing about elves is their king and queen are gods. Most think bright and dark elves have different king and queen but actually they are same beings with many bodies and forms.

Players know map very intimately after this time or the bit illustrated here anyhow. Marshwood was a village of squalor and vice being corrupted by scum and a serpent demon cult. Now it is clean and friendly to lizard men. All the scum now in Grogstop Gulley where seedy merchants and crooks and orcs go. Bloodsand is so horrible nobody in years has ever gone there but a Druid plotted to destroy it. 95% male scum rejected by city and chopping up and rendering animals (whales, sealions, penguins, seagulls) for oil and meat. I will do a table for it one day. Shadelport is much nicer and has some charm among the vomit and poison caltrops.

Hex 2604 Devil Mountain Dungeons had players buried in lowest level in a few hours. A whole under land kingdom with months before they escaped. Halfling reluctant to return but knows he must. Im sure they will get back again.

Hex 1406 Dungeon Delves of the Skull mountains. Many dungeons mazes here and many ruined old houses, towers and castles on road way there. Dungeons are trashy redbrick types with mad wizards or tribal humanoids and evil high priests and a mausoleum of undead.

The city has a ruined section full of towers, crypts, tombs, temples, dungeons many with pasted government orders with explorers deeds available from city council. Island is dungeoneering mad. A gold rush economy ever present.

Unicorn Run into Elfland (bright kingdom) and the Swap God (an it's dragon) have been a bottleneck for all history for those entering the northern mountains and hidden forests (giant land, troll land, orc land, goblin land, dwarf land, gnome land, halfling land, sea kings (vikings) land, hill horse nomads, hill barbarian kingdoms. Many places never visited by players.

There are wilderness land masses besides the empire continent. There is a Eastern continent of conquering horse nomads, and he aged empires - drug addled Cthulhu cultists and another of dragon worshiping philosophers.

Some of my favorite game products

Early DnD 1980 ish
Geomorphs
Encounter and Treasure tables book
Both helped me improvise classic crawls

Theives World/Runequest3 Cities - explains alot about my taste
Gammaworld2nd Ed and Legion of Gold original - Gygax hexcrawl and mini adventure gold
Gammaworld has many scales of detail as example then gives you a world - Star Frontiers 2300 Traveller all gave a world but rigid (at least Impirium Huge).
Gurps Space was awesome DIY toolbox. I wish i had them all still Have Auotoduel, China still).
Swords of the Diamyo AD&D Oriental Adventures - classic hexcrawl TSR product
RQ3 Crucible of the hero wars setting box set was amazing - encounter examples painted a portrait of culture easy to emulate. Dorastor amazing. Griffin Island amazing (both versions)

I like most of old AD&D classic modules, Dragonlance probably last dnd modules I got
UK modules all interesting and great maps and weirdness

My top 10 DnD modules (not in order)

The Lost City - could play for whole year in here
The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan - hellishly stylish kill machine
The Principalities of Glantri - you could stick this in centre of any world
Dwellers of the Forbidden City
Desert of Desolation as a whole, im a sucker for bronze age and nice maps
Against the Cult of the Reptile God classic horror village out to get you
Swords of the Daimyo hexcrawling fun
The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth wilderness plus dungeon plus gygax craziness
Castle Amber Based on a favorite writer but i love the mad wizard family cursed by gods and house
The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh Horror, fake ghosts, pirate smugglers, play this one as children might be fun

Honorable mention for Feast of Goblyns for adding detail to first Raveloft set and having lots of stuff in it. Adventure flawed, art very nice. I liked this version of Ravenloft - hammer horror smackdowns (yes it is still horror). Also for Tomb of lizard king I remember players being very unhappy when kings secret power revealed. Expedition to the Barrier Peaks for the crazy. Decent Series all horror elder race fun with depraved porn drow furniture and sexiness and drug abuse of evil elves - made my teen brain pop. Many of the Dungeon Crawl Classics adventures are really good - i find i steal stories and dont always use their maps. DnD known world Gazeteers and early forgotten realms region books good - the gods dying thing killed it for me like a DC comic reboot.

I liked Basic DnD world right up to when it became Mystara
I still like it but flying boats im pretty down on (ruined mummy film) sorry
Cthulhu 20s so mapped out i am enjoying other eras more even though a favorite
TSR putting lazy psuedo history into products made me a RQ history gamer for 10 years
I still like osprey military history books and wargamer look of 70s TSR
Unseen rooms make me sad in scripted dungeons and happens often
I admire Pathfinder art & design but it just does not look like my fantasy or aesthetic so probably not for me