Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Lost Carcosa Preview

The following is a work in progress excerpt from my upcoming supplement, Lost Carcosa.

Vast dunes of powdery yellow sand go on for miles, broken by the ruins of long dead civilizations. Rotan is a land of death and bleached bone, inhabited by monsters and the ferocious green men of Barsoom. Scholars say that here is where the King in Yellow first came to Aldebaran, transforming the sands a sickly yellow color and breaking down the barriers between worlds. Wanderers in Rotan seldom survive this harsh environment if they come unprepared; the landscape seems to shift and warp to lead travelers to their doom.

The Black Pyramid: Towering high into the sky, the twin suns of Aldebaran shining off its reflective obsidian surface, the Black Pyramid is a truly awe inspiring sight. Cultists devoted to the Crawling Chaos come from far and wide to worship at this place. Those few who enter the pyramid and return alive claim that it is larger on the inside than seems possible, seeming more like a vast city than a single building. They tell stories of horrible abominations that thirst for human blood, but also of vast troves of treasure, all contained within endless winding corridors and oddly angled rooms. Some believe that if you reach the center of the pyramid alive, you are granted an audience with Nyarlathotep himself.

Roll of 2 Six Sided Dice
Monster Encountered
Feral Thoats
Feral Calots
Green Men
Skeletons (See BOOK II of the core rules)
Cats from Saturn
Dimensional Shamblers
Mummies (See BOOK II of the core rules)
Larvae of the Great Old Ones


Percentile Die 
Thing To Find
A huge cactus stands atop a dune, grown into 
the shape of the Yellow Sign.
A well, at the bottom of which lurks a 
weakened and hungry shoggoth.
A sandstone obelisk carved with strange 
symbols which seem to write and change.
A seemingly beautiful oasis, whose waters 
and foliage hide lurking monsters.
A small grove of dead, gray trees, 
half-buried with sand.
An ancient temple to a long-dead god, 
partially submerged in sand.
A dune moves like a living creature, 
groaning like a whale in pain.
A small, abandoned town inhabited only by ghosts.
A broken statue depicting a winged god.
Sarcophagi containing the mummified 
remains of ancient royalty.
A wandering caravan of traders who 
are selling strange magical objects.
A group of raiders, traveling aboard a 
strange ship made to travel over sand dunes on skis.
The enormous bones of some ancient, primeval creature.
A flock of buzzards flying through the 
sky, their formation mimicking the Yellow Sign.
A vast plain of partially buried bones 
and discarded weapons.
A tomb containing dozens of mummified 
corpses stacked on top of each other.
A pit so deep that one cannot see the bottom.
The wind whispers the names of the party 
members, and tells them how they will be killed by 
the King in Yellow.
A field of rocks that are sharp as knives, 
stained with fresh blood.
A sandstorm, the general outline of which 
resembles a vast hooded figure.
A spiraling “whirlpool” of sand.
Huge spires of sandstone, sticking out of the 
ground like broken ribs.
A mirage that shows the city of Carcosa.
A sandstone cliff, dotted with various caves. 
A light comes from one of them.
A huge canyon which descends at least a 
mile downwards. Various ruins can be seen at the bottom.
A grove of succulents and cacti the size of 
trees, inhabited by odd, hairless zoogs.
A beautiful and well maintained garden 
made entirely from stone.
An abandoned mine shaft with graffiti 
declaring ominous warnings.
A large, partially ruined arena, where a 
clan of green men cheer at a battle between 
 gladiators and white apes.
A dried up lake bed with the bleached bones 
of an aquatic monster.
A large ant mound with human remains 
sticking out of it.
A large, featureless yellow monolith. 
Standing near it causes a sense of intense unease.
A group of thoats stuck in bubbling tar pits.
A herd of camels with human faces 
emitting shrill screams.
A field of drought resistant fungus, 
tended by green men.
A decrepit, ruined fortress, inhabited by 
cultists devoted to Nyarlathotep.
A larva of the great old ones, chained to 
a rock covered with binding sigils.
A small encampment of friendly nomads 
who are happy to trade both supplies and stories.
A patch of long destroyed farmland, 
with a ruined farm house.
The crumbling ruins of a once great pyramid.
A huge statue depicting a creature with the 
lower body of a thoat and the upper body of a green man.
A small tomb containing mummies of 
some strange inhuman species.
A group of ghoul grave robbers, 
looking for “finely aged” meat.
Dozens of horse-sized lizards, basking in 
the light of Aldebaran’s twin suns.
A dried up river, with ancient boats still resting on its bed.
Fossilized remains of elder things, exposed by a sandstorm.
A library of forbidden lore, half-sunken into the sand.
A vast lake of black, viscous oil. 
Shoggoths hide beneath its surface, blending in easily.
The ruins of an enormous sandstone wall, 
covered with faded murals.
Dozens of ambulatory, vampiric tumbleweeds.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Lost Carcosa Update And ADHD Version 1.1

I am making great progress towards the completion of the Lost Carcosa supplement. Currently I have completed the Men and Magic section of Supplement 🜏, and I'm almost complete with the Monsters and Treasure section.

After these portions are completed, I will begin work on what I hope will be the most interesting and useful section of the book: Adventures in Carcosa.

I have come up with 6 regions of Carcosa, and each of these will have a table of 50 possible locations/things to find while exploring those regions (somewhat similar to the "Lay of the Land" tables in Hubris). These regions are:

The Yellow Desert of Rotan
The Colour-Blighted Wastes
The Peaks of Yad-Thoon
The Valley of Yhtill
The Sea of Demhe
The Forest of Ys

In addition to the 50 random features of each region, each region also has at least one more detailed area, and I will also be writing some encounter tables.

I will also be detailing the various gods of Carcosa, which are not limited to the Great Old Ones, though they of course have prominent placement.

At a rough estimate I'd say the finished product should be around 60 pages, but keep in mind I'm not very good at estimates.

Also, in unrelated news, I've updated Adventures in Distressingly Hazardous Dungeons to include some slightly modified wilderness travel rules which are somewhat closer to the OD&D rules.

This updated version can be found here.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Lost Carcosa Announcement (What I've Been Up To)

So I know there is already an OD&D/OSR supplement about Carcosa, with a lot of inspiration from the Cthulhu mythos, but when I read it it honestly wasn't my cup of tea. I know other folks really liked it, but the gross sexual content, the die rolling system, the skin color based alien species, and the extreme lack of detail really turned me off to it.

But I do really really like Robert W. Chamber's The King In Yellow stories quite a lot, and I really like a lot of parts of the Cthulhu mythos, so I thought I'd try my own hand at creating a Carcosan supplement.

I present to you; Supplement 🜏: Lost Carcosa!

It is designed to be compatible with the original 3 OD&D booklets, but I will include notes for use with other games. Rather than having a sparsely detailed hex-map, the book will contain a rough map of the Carcosan region of the planet Aldebaran, some detailed notes on certain locations, and random tables to generate features.

The book itself takes inspiration from the works of HP Lovecraft (particularly The Dreamquest of Unknown Kadath), Robert E. Howard's Worms of the Earth, Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars and The Monster Men, and a slight reference to Lord Dunsany, because I don't really like Lovecraft's proper name for the Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young, so I swapped it out for Sheol-Nugganoth.

Currently, art is going to be composed of black and white public domain illustrations, though this may change depending on if I suddenly magically become a talented artist.

Right now I'd say the book is about 10-20% complete (what can I say? I work slow).

On the topic of things you can immediately get your hands on, I have completed the most recent edition of the OSR hack formerly known as JABOM: Adventuring in Distressingly Hazardous Dungeons, or ADHD for short!

Click the image to read the document!

After some playtesting and feedback, this is the final version that I can see for the foreseeable future. I currently also have some documents of monsters and magic items that I'm working on separately.

That's all for now folks! Sorry for the dry spell of posts.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Some Body Horror Tables

There is some gross/gory stuff on this post, so I'm putting it behind a jump break.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

The Kingdom of Blackwood

It has been a hot minute since I've posted to this blog, so I decided to put up a summary of the kingdom of Blackwood from my home setting.

1. What is the government like here?
Blackwood is ruled by a monarch, a ruler with supreme authority over the whole nation. Monarchs are selected by completing quests that are determined by the Questing Crown, a sentient magic item. Depending on how much the Questing Crown likes the current ruler, the quests will be relatively easy or extremely difficult. The Questing Crown’s quest is broadcast in the dreams of everyone in Blackwood.

2. What are the people like here?
The people of Blackwood are extremely tolerant, as anyone can become the monarch of Blackwood regardless of ethnicity, species, gender, or sexuality, so long as they are able to complete the quest assigned by the Questing Crown. People of all sorts live in Blackwood, and there is no dominant ethnicity.

3. What religious beliefs do people follow here?
All religions are tolerated in Blackwood, so long as they do not explicitly call for violence. Churches and temples of countless faiths can be found throughout the land, including missionaries from Norenlund attempting to “save the heathens”.

4. What are some notable cities/settlements?
The capital city of Pinehaven is located deep in the heart of Blackwood. It is the location of Blackwood castle, the reigning monarch’s home. Far to the north of Pinehaven is Rimebridge, a relatively large city known for its frigid cold and the many ancient ruins nearby. In addition to these two settlements, there are numerous small towns and villages scattered throughout the nation.

5. Who are some noteworthy people who live here?
The current reigning monarch is Queen Julia, an extremely strong warrior from northern Blackwood. She has short black hair, dark skin, and piercing brown eyes that seem to gaze into the soul. Julia is stoic, but compassionate, and slew a foul vampire for her quest in order to become monarch. She wants to do what is best for Blackwood. The monarch who was in control before Julia took over was Elric Quickfingers, a former thief who stabbed his companions in the back to obtain an ancient tome of magic, the quest assigned at the time. He is vengeful and wants his throne back, and is willing to hire other adventurers to do the dirty work, so long as he completes the quest.

6. What goods are available to purchase here?
Magical items, while not as bizarrely plentiful as in Arcturon, is more common than in other parts of Visterra. The occasional magic shop can be found, mostly in larger cities though. Blackwoodish armor and weapons tend to be good quality, though not necessarily the most technologically advanced. Some gunsmiths exist, but they aren’t very common.

7. What unusual laws are there which PCs should be aware of?
The one unusual law of Blackwood is its method for choosing monarchs. Other than that, laws are fairly standard.

8. What kind of adventures can be had here?
There are many old ruins and caves inhabited by monsters to be slain throughout Blackwood, and always there is a quest broadcast in the dreams of the nation’s inhabitants.

9. What is the environment like?
Blackwood is, as its name suggests, mostly forested, with trees sometimes reaching hundreds of feet tall. Most settlements are nestled in clearings, sometimes hand-made by loggers. In addition, there are some marshes and areas of hilly grassland.

10. What is a brief history of this place?
Blackwood is a very old country, with a history dating back thousands of years. Huge volumes compiling the exploits and laws of its many rulers fill entire library shelves. Famously, however, the first king of Blackwood was named Elwin, a sorcerer who bound his soul to the Questing Crown after he died, so that he could retain some modicum of control over the nation forevermore.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

D66 Experiments That Go Terribly Wrong

Mad scientists are an easy source of adventure, and since I've been watching a lot of horror movies recently, I thought I'd come up with a random table of failed experiments, to serve as adventure seeds. These could easily be used for mad scientists or evil sorcerers.

Image result for baron victor frankenstein
(Peter Cushing as Baron Frankenstein)

D66 Goals Of A Failed Experiment
11. To restore life to the dead.
12. To travel to the beginning of time and learn the mysteries of creation.
13. To travel to the future to learn the destiny of humanity.
14. To create new life from inanimate matter.
15. To create automatons to serve as slaves.
16. To develop a device to transport instantly across space.
21. To create a potion to provide immortality.
22. To transfer souls/minds between bodies.
23. To create an army of clones.
24. To give humans improved strength.
25. To give humans the ability to regenerate body parts.
26. To give humans the ability to turn invisible.
31. To determine the true cause of fear and weaponize it.
32. To allow humans to move things with their mind.
33. To allow humans to read other peoples' minds.
34. To restore youth to those who are old.
35. To grant humans the ability to see invisible things.
36. To cure a deadly disease.
41. To transplant a human brain into a mechanical body.
42. To graft body parts from other creatures on to human bodies.
43. To create a deadly disease as a form of biological warfare.
44. To learn the source of all magic.
45. To change one's appearance to permanently be perfectly beautiful.
46. To travel to another plane of existence.
51. To travel to another planet.
52. To contact a deity or being of similar power.
53. To bind a demonic entity into servitude.
54. To create an infinite food source.
55. To learn the source of evil.
56. To vastly increase humanity's intellect.
61. To replace fallible human organs with machines.
62. To create an endless supply of gold.
63. To ascend to godhood.
64. To travel back in time to prevent something from occurring.
65. To birth a child to one who is infertile.
66. To develop perfect mind control.

EDIT: Someone has already made a somewhat similar table to this, so feel free to check it out! This one deals more elaborately with immortality:

Monday, January 27, 2020

The Holy Empire of Norenlund and the Carnomagocracy of Arcturon

I recently developed a set of 10 worldbuilding questions for settled regions in your campaign world, and have been working on answering them for various locations in my home campaign setting (which I have recently named Visterra). Below are the questions, and then below that are the answers for two nations.

  1. What is the government like here?
  2. What are the people like here?
  3. What religious beliefs do people follow here?
  4. What are some notable cities/settlements?
  5. What are some noteworthy people who live here?
  6. What goods are available to purchase here?
  7. What unusual laws are there which PCs should be aware of?
  8. What kind of adventures can be had here?
  9. What is the environment like?
  10. What is a brief history of this place?

The Holy Empire of Norenlund

  1. It is a theocratic monarchy. The church and the state are one and the same, and it is known as the Imperial Orthodoxy. There is an emperor who is ostensibly in control, and some whispered rumors have it that he is the original emperor of Norenlund and has ruled for nearly 1000 years.
  2. The Norish people are highly superstitious and distrustful of outsiders. Norenlund is a primarily human nation, and so demi-humans are viewed with suspicion.
  3. The only religion that is permitted in Norenlund is Syngianism, a faith rooted in the belief that it is sin that causes suffering, and therefore sinners must be punished. Syngianites believe in one God, and that Godfried of the Norens, the original emperor of Norenlund, was chosen by this deity to rule the land. There are a few scattered pagans throughout the land however, and they are often accused of witchcraft.
  4. A couple notable settlements of Norenlund are Faithhold, Ealdport, Raven Hill, and Motleyville. Faithhold is the imperial capital, a massive walled city with an inner wall separating the economic classes. Ealdport is a large bustling port city, where trade is conducted with other nations. Raven Hill is a ghost town, where people’s guilt is manifested physically to torment them. Motleyville is a magically hidden village for dissidents of the Norish regime.
  5. The emperor himself is extremely important, but rarely seen, save on the Unification day parade where he is clad in golden armor from head to toe. Generally, cardinals like the cruel and conniving Cardinal Winthrope are more visible to the public. In addition, there are Molly and Caroline Lanchester, the wives that formed Motleyville to escape persecution by the church.
  6. Religious items are often available for purchase in Norenlund, as are simple foods. Magic items are outlawed, but black powder weapons such as muskets and pistols are fairly common.
  7. All religions other than Syngianism are banned by the Imperial Orthodoxy, and anyone practicing them may be sentenced to death. In addition, all forms of magic are illegal, seen as sinful and unholy.
  8. Adventurers can help the small, but growing, resistance movement against the Orthodoxy, or wander around the countryside exploring old ruins. In addition, demonic cults tend to spring up from time to time.
  9. Norenlund is a land of rolling hills, dark forests, and foul marshes. The climate is cold and wet.
  10. Norenlund was formed 1000 years ago when Godfried of the Norens conquered the various tribes of the region and united them under the religion of Syngianism.
Image result for witch hunter
(A Witch Hunter from Warhammer Fantasy, a good idea of what the Imperial Orthodoxy's Inquisitors might look like)

The Carnomagocracy of Arcturon

  1. Arcturon is ruled by the Meat Wizards, a caste of sorcerers who sculpt flesh like clay for their own amusement. They provide food, water, shelter, and healthcare for the people of Arcturon, in exchange for which they receive fresh subjects for their vile experiments.
  2. The people of Arcturon are strangely passive and content. Centuries of rule by the Meat Wizards and plenty of food means that the population accepts their lot in life. Despite the excellent health of the Arcturonites, there are few old folk, as most people tend to be taken away by the Meat Wizards at the prime of their lives.
  3. The Meat Wizards don’t particularly care what gods their subjects do or don’t worship, so long as the religion doesn’t interfere with their experiments. As a result, a variety of faiths exist here, albeit monitored by the Meat Wizards to prevent dissidence. In addition, some Arcturonites worship the Meat Wizards as living gods.
  4. Skullspire, a city made from magically grown bones and flesh, is the capital of Arcturon. From here, the Meat Wizards govern their kingdom. Most other settlements are relatively mundane, however, there is also Gibton, a town populated by the escaped experiments of the Meat Wizards. The horrific mutants here plot the downfall of the Meat Wizards.
  5. Phlebulous Glotterspit is the current chancellor of the Meat Wizards, known for both his hideously enlarged head and his grotesque sense of humor, making visual puns out of human flesh. The leader of the Gibton rebels is named Arianna, she has been reduced to a brain in a jar piloting a mountain of muscles and sinew, communicating through sign language.
  6. Biotechnology is highly advanced in Arcturon, thanks to the Meat Wizards inhuman experiments. Flesh based magical weapons, potions, and other assorted items are commonly available, being discarded by the Meat Wizards after they’re done with them.
  7. Anyone and everyone entering Arcturon may be taken away for experimentation at any time, without warning or reason. Anyone who tries to stop this will be taken as well.
  8. The escaped monstrosities of the Meat Wizards wander the countryside, and a hefty bounty is often placed on them if the creature is brought back to Skullspire, dead or alive. One could also aid the resistance and attempt to assassinate prominent Meat Wizards to try to loosen their grip on Arcturon.
  9. Arcturon is a strange place, it was once a barren waste, but after centuries of terraforming by the Meat Wizards, it is now lush and plentiful. However, the “plants” and animals which dwell here are all extremely magically mutated, and the so called flora often bleeds when cut, and may track movement with unblinking eyes.
  10. For centuries, Arcturon was a wasteland, populated by a few wandering tribes who struggled to eke out a living on the scant resources. Then came the Meat Wizards, flying in on an airship made from bones and inflated sacs of flesh. They provided food and water to the people of Arcturon, in exchange only for a favor, to be specified at an unknown time. After decades of plying the natives with care and goods, ensuring their obedience both culturally and through the drugs put into the food, the Meat Wizards began their experimentation.

Image result for the thing
(This toy of the Norris-Thing from The Thing is a good idea of what a Meat Wizard or their experiments look like)