Thursday, 19 July 2018

Artwork from the (theoretical) Fantasy Australia Sourcebook

I recently flipped through a textbook on the history of art in Australia. Any piece that stuck out as me as something that would suit a RPG book, I recorded the name of the artist. I then perused their work and have compiled the artwork for the Fantasy Australia Sourcebook. Bear in mind this is an art history text books - so there's not going to be anything particular contemporary (I think only one of the artists is still alive). Here's what I think a  campaign set in fantasy Australia should look like:

Various Artists - Tutini

James Gleeson - Across the Threshold

James Gleeson - Prosperos Workshop
Sydney Long - Sydney Harbour

Fred Williams Lal Lal Falls

James Gleeson - The Occasional Vision

Fred Williams - Burnt Landscape

Fred Williams - Hillock

Sydney Long - Moonlight Nocturne

Russel Drysdale - Treeform

Russell Drysdale - Broken Mountain

Fred Williams - Red Cliff

Fred Williams - You Yangs Landscape
James Gleeson - Irregular Behavior Of A Setting Sung

Russell Drysdale - Road With Rocks

John Olsen - Lake Eyre

John Olsen - Popping Blue Bottles
John Olsen - Desert

John Olsen  - The Desert Sea

Sydney Long - The Camp Fire

James Gleeson - Study For Autumn Eyes

Various Artists - Pukumani Grave Posts

Ideas for campaign setting from art:

"The land eats you - you get close to it by boat, maybe near to the northern most tip. Once there you need to give yourself up. Uttermost south swallows you.

The land is alive and liable to warp, shimmer, re-purpose itself at will . This is most likely to happen in the mid mornings and afternoon. Everything lives and watches you and knows something.

Midday is the time of death. Sometimes time doesn't work properly, sometimes geography is the clock. It might be midday for ever. Maybe you can get back to the time you weren't dead. Beneath the earth is the entire past and future history of the universe.

Dawn and Dusk the land is at its kindest. The sight of the moon seems to calm the world. Water too turns desolation to joy.

Nighttime, anything can/does happen. Magic is strongest at night. Sometimes it seems everything is in flux at night time - even you. This is double so at the coast, this is where new things come in.

You must die again to leave."

Saturday, 14 July 2018

OSR PDF Reviews # 3 (Faux Pas) + Faux Pas Popping Plague Table

(Explanation of my review methodology can be found here)

Faux Pas.  

Available at: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/246649/Faux-Pas

Mutations

What is it?

A horror/sci-fi freakshow module containing details of an infected town (Opeth), a doomsday countdown events table, and a dungeon. It also seems sort of wild west but that might just be because I binged watched season 1 and 2 of Westworld last week and everything has an imaginary cowboy hat perched atop its head at the moment. Also, a key NPC introduced on the first page is named Father Holden which reminds me of Judge Holden (The town is relatively timeless/out of time so could easily mold to your setting if it so easily warped to my current day dream climate.)

It's a race against time, it's morbid fascination porn for your PC's, and it's a dungeon with greys called demons harvesting primeval black plasma at an ancient occult site. It's an adventure with a social conscience too, suggesting maybe all that's needed in our troubled times, that seems to be hurtling towards apocalypse, is to just slow down and talk to each other - even if we speak different languages. That, and maybe the mindless extraction of natural resources might have unintended consequences on those that live nearby said resource extraction.

Strengths? 

The introduction: Short, pithy and punchy. Straight to the point. There is creepy weird shit happening and its about to get worse. No essays on the last century of local history, politics or religion - just stuff that is instantly interesting and fun. Got my attention and made me want to know more.

Interactive PDF: The maps and key terms in the text hyperlink to the appropriate pages. It works great, and would make running the module straight from an electronic device very easy. I printed my copy and wrote notes all over it to review it. Whenever I was confused about what was were I used the electronic copy and found what I was looking for very quickly. Good idea, done well.

Descriptions heavy (nigh pregnant) with implication: Just like the introduction most descriptions are relatively pithy and to the point, but with enough meat to help you grok what the hell is going on. There's room to interpret things in your own way and run your own version of Faux Pas rather than the authors version of Faux Pas (see my above comments regarding interpreting the whole thing as vaguely wild west). Buildings too hint at things rather than stocktake room by room, again opening up the module to run it as your interpretation (At times I probably would have preferred a clearer vision of what was contained within certain locations - I will address that later).

NPCs as Clues: Generally, all NPCs, whether sane or tortured with mutations, point towards what's going on in their own warped way. They are all little horribly shaped puzzle pieces. Most people serve a purpose and aren't there to just get in  the way/distract. There is somewhat of a mystery to solve in Faux Pas, not purposefully obtuse or misleading - but a mystery. Whatever part of Opeth the PCs wander to, something weird, if engaged with, will point them in the right direction.

Art and maps: Understated,  jilted and weird. Again heavy with implication rather than spelling it out (see "mutation" image at top of review). Art is a combination of bricolage and creepy hand drawn figures. I would have liked to have seen more art, especially further interpretations of the mutated plague victims. The dungeon room sketches are very good and useful. The custom typography work actually does a fuck load of work in getting you primed and ready for horror. See, the actual Faux Pas title text. The maps too are clear,  yet unsettling. The maps are shrunk to take up about half of an otherwise clear page and they would have been easier to use if they filled up more of that empty space.

Affliction descriptions: Weird and nasty and terrible and fascinating. It's the closest we can get to visiting a freakshow in the modern "civilized" age. Normally the weird things just attack the PCs on sight, it's nice to be able to have some non combat interaction. Players will experience joy in seeing the weirdness, the GM is going to have have fun describing it. I could imagine my players coming to Opeth, wandering around for a few days just staring in wonder at all the horror, then leave without fixing anything. And that would be fine. They could then come back in a few weeks to find it all burned down. There would still be adventure to have at that point, the dungeon still be churning out mutations. 

The Dungeon and The Gilagthrr: It's a puzzle and mystercultist archaeology. It has greys (Demons/Gilagthrr) extracting cultist goo to power their spaceship. The greys aren't there to kill any one. They don't even really know any one is there, they are just their to get some spaceship gas and leave (roadside picnic influence?). This means that the biggest enemy in the dungeon is miscommunication. If the players work out a way to actually communicate with the Gilaghrr they can fix everything. If the players attack the Gilaghrr they will probably get killed and Opeth will burn. I like games where combat is sparing and only used as a last resort (and when at least one PC dies), this dungeon encourages that.

The Doomsday Countdown: Stitching the dungeon and the town together is a d30 Random events table. Once all of the entries have been used, the Inquisitor General comes back to town and burnkills everything. The build up of horrific weirdness will ensure a tense and entertaining visit to Opeth. Here's a good example: 



Neutral: 

The Dungeon Back Story: At the end of dungeon room descriptions are somewhat poetic verses describing the back story rituals of the locale. Some of them are cool (the bed hanging over the chasm) but generally I don't know what do with them. It does help to infest the mind as you run Faux Pas, but the way I see it, will never be used/seen by the players.  I didn't get it, its kind of vague. It is maybe a fun puzzle for the GM to work out whats going but its stuff the players will never be told (Unless they had some book or translation item  which could be used to regale them with the verses - which doesn't exist in the text).

Things like:

'Before the final baptism and being sent  out into the world applicants would walk beneath the gaze of their elders any of whom could demand their expulsion"

As a GM I want to attempt to be an objective conduit to the game world, I feel reading verses like that gets in the way of that goal. I'm not completely convinced their totally bad though as they may act  like a tuning fork for the mind, helping the GM grok the dungeon. They are there, the writing is good, but I am unsure of their usefulness.

Weaknesses? 

Unclarity: Implied setting writing is good but some things need details. Example "Andrew's children's mutations are grotesque and there minds are gone". There is three children, I need to know exactly what mutations they have and how their minds are gone. Most mutations are described in glorious detail  - so when they are blatantly absent it sticks out. Another location describes pens filled with violent mutants (which one NPC is actively trying to unleash). None of those mutants are described and I KNOW my players would immediately ask for descriptions of every mutant in each cage. I don't have the capacity to generate 12 random mutants on the fly as I run the game so this section seems an oversight. More mutant descriptions please. Additionally, a quick sketch of what is in each building in Opeth would be nice. Not a stocktake of every room just a quick sketch. This could even just be notes on the map page. This manifests most apparently in the case of "The Cook's Castle". There is a solid backstory and foreboding but I don't know what is actually in there (also there is a hexagram drawn on the second floor on the map - whats going on there? Give me a couple of details please!)

Missing a plague table: If you are me, the players ARE going to get infected . I need to know what happens to them once the violence passes. Additional NPCs pop during the module - I need to know what happens to them too. That said, the other descriptions of mutations are so fun I was inspired to write my own (I did - they are at the bottom of the page).

Lack of uniformity: Town map spots are sometimes NPCs and sometimes location. Sticking to locations would make Faux Pas easier to run. Ie: Name each building or town region, then when I click on it I can see the buildings descriptions and what NPCS are there. There is also no details on some of the buildings (or even an overall description of the architecture of the town).  The random events table has similar problems. Some events are places  rather than "events" and this requires the party to walk over to the thing to experience it. Ensuring that every "event" could happen wherever the party was at that point in time would make Faux Pas, again, easier to run.

Father Holden and Inquisitor General: Not enough details on these guys - Inquisitor general in particular has nothing other than his name (cool name though).  It's more than likely he will end up coming to town and when that happens I need to know how to run him. He is the true looming armageddon, so to see so little description of his aspect and methods leaves me longing for more information. I just need to know a few things: What's he look like, how does he talk and how does his trails and torture manifest. If any one is interested, here's how I pictured him "He has an eye patch covering an empty scared socket, and a black pope's hat. He always shouts, even when he is whispering [which he does a lot], then I would just use the methods of torture/training listed in the dungeon as a bit of a mirror foreshadowing freakout for the players.

The Gilagthrr: The are never described in text. It seems like a very conscious decision but I would like an ornate piece of text to describe to my players. I want to see Nick's writing prowess put to work to say everything but "Basically greys with butterfly wings", which is what I will say straight away when a player goes "Yeah, but what does it look like?". I could just show them pictures (see cover, see illustration page 28) but that robs the players of using their own imagination from what I know would be a delicious text description.

How could you use it in your hexcrawl? 

Faux pas assumes you will be using it in a preexisting hex crawl. It tells you to just whack the town on a hex - and that would work perfectly well. Additionally,  you could use the doomsday countdown random events table in any location of your choosing ignoring the preexisting  mutated town elements and experiencing a slower burn to insanity, ultimately leading the players towards the dungeon.

Adventure is suitable timeless, not too heavy on its own custom campaign setting, so would easily warp to any specific setting you had.

How could you use it in your urbancrawl/megadungeon? 

Slot the dungeon in the level below the current level. Use the random event table to have chaos slowly unfold. Reskin/UseAsIs the NPCasClues.

For my suburbcrawl Guild Dogs game I am thinking of popping Opeth as a tenement building, the Inquisitor General recast as a quarantining rather than religious figure.

The popping plague is a great ailment,  that would be fun to see infect any region of your game. Again my desire for Faux Pas to include a mutation table simmers strongly within me.


Faux Pas Popping Plague Table

If PC exposed to popping plague do a private Save versus Poison, or CON test. If failure in d4 days PC goes through fit of violence for 10 minutes in which they attempt to kill anything they see. 

If PC survives The Violence, Roll a d6:

1 = Minor Physical Affliction
2 = Major Physical Affliction
3 = Mental Affliction
4 = Minor + Major Physical Afflictions
5 = Minor Physical + Mental Afflictions
6 = All three Afflictions

Cross off each entry as it is used to give the impression the popping plague manifests uniquely each time.

Minor Physical Affliction, d12.
Major Physical Affliction, d12.
Mental Affliction, d12.

1.      Hands or feet spin 180 degrees on end of limb. Useable but backwards.
2.      Take on the face of the last animal gazed upon.
3.      Eyes leave head and move to; d6: 1) Hands, 2) Feet, 3) Knees, 4) Chest, 5) Elbows, 6) Back of head.
4.      The following disappears; d6: 1) Eyes, 2) Legs, 3) Arms, 4) Nose, 5) Ears, 6) Mouth.
5.      Finger nails grow thick and backwards along arm at alarming rate, covering the body in d6 days.
6.      Swaps bodies with the first person they lay eyes on after the Violence passes.
7.      Countless fingers sprout from skin all across body. They act with their own malicious free will.
8.      Teeth outgrow mouth in geometric patterns to form cage around head, takes d4 hours.
9.      Once a day stomach swells to the size of a watermelon, then vomits miniaturized version of self, about 1 foot tall. Mostly stillborn 2.5% chance will be alive and sentient.
10.   Arms grow at a rate of a foot a day. Generally work fine the bigger they get.
11.   Arms and legs fuse to torso, dozens of hands sprout to help scuttle about new snake like form.
12.   Grows a babbling head on their back each day (speaking the language of demons), getting increasingly more hunchbacked. Heads are replicas of the most interesting person they saw the previous day.


1.      Body splays out into an arm or leg flower. Head and torso nestles at centre 6 + d10 arm/leg “petals”.
2.      Intestines wrench forth from stomach, twirl down legs, and plant themselves like roots in the nearest soil. Intestines quickly multiple in quantity and red flesh leaves sprout from top of form as motor control slowly ceases.
3.      Head increases in size at the rate of the mass of a dog a day, to about the size of an elephant.
4.      Over d6 days warps into a flesh version of the last piece of furniture used.
5.      Liquefies over d6 hours. Can remain sentient and alive if now goopy mass held in a single large receptacle.  
6.      Hair grows and thickens, then wraps around neck to strangle to death. Will achieve goal in d4 hours unless constantly cut.
7.      Flesh turns to rubber. Now a quivering and near useless tangle of limbs without very little control – length of body is increasing at a rate of a foot a day.
8.      Flesh and bone contorts itself into the shape of nearest insect. Transformation is only concerned with shape and form – ignoring function and ongoing agony of transformed being.
9.      Ribcage grows over 1d6 hours to burst from flesh, and form into a set of four bony horse like legs that carriage the transformed being around without their consent. Gallops aboveground following the route of the underground river.  
10.   Grows a conjoined replica of every person they touch, takes 1 day for replica to grow. Conjoined replicas will grow wherever there is room and the replicas count for touching/replicating purposes. Conjoined replicas are drooling and vegetized.
11.   A sort of bloody red octopus grows using the intestines, bursting out of groin to support and carry plague victim. Grows to the size of an elephant in d6 day.
12.   Body is turning into flesh bricks, replicating the nearest stone building. A major body part per day is converted. Once body has completely brickfield, brick flesh continues to grow – replicating the Dungeon map below at the rate of a room a week. Flesh bricks will grow around existing structures – squeezing into any gaps it finds.  


1.      All mental functions beyond breathing, eating, drinking and expulsing waste stop. Vegetized. 
2.      All speech comes out backwards.
3.      Sees own limbs as fractal like snakes, terminating in a tangle of additional snakes. If focused on the illusion spreads, the ground and everything the hands touch becomes fractal snake patterns. The snakes wear a violent sneer.
4.      Something huge is always swooping down from the sky to destroy the afflicted, yet it never quite reaches them. They are aware of a constant menacing shadow around them, always hearing a whooshing noise. They cower and flinch.
5.      Now knows the secret that there is treasure hidden deep within the delicious red organic flesh of all beings.
6.      Now knows the last d6 people they gazed upon have stolen their memories.  
7.      Now knows that anyone who refuses their kindness, in gestures great or small, is plotting to kill them and will complete their machinations in the next day.
8.      Now knows there is butterflies beneath the ground and must catch them to avoid dying. Wakes up finding self sleep-digging at dirt with filthy hands.
9.      Understands the language of demons but can no longer sleep. Will die of exhaustion in a week.
10.   Now speaks the language of demons but cannot understand it. The fact that they no longer understand the language of their own thoughts is particularly aggravating.
11.   Now knows everything will be fine if they drown every person they see in the well. They take d12 migraine damage each day they don’t drown someone.
12.   Sees demons in the reflection of every window they encounter. Takes 1 point of migraine damage if they walk past the window without smashing it.



Once infected, you will have to read Faux Pas to find out what the cure to Popping Plague is! (The curse it learning to have a healthy and productive relationship with [your] demons).   


Saturday, 7 July 2018

OSR PDF Reviews # 2 (Fast Locations: Cave Geomorphs + Folk Book) + A Dungeon!

(Explanation of my review methodology can be found here)

Fast Locations: Old School Empty Cave Geomorphs. 

Available at: http://www.rpgnow.com/product/244230/Fast-Locations-Old-school-empty-cave-geomorphs

Three pages of this.


What is it?

Three pages of four to five geomorph map segments that fit together to form a larger map, See image above.

Strengths? 

Looks cool: The geomorphs are suitable "old school" looking. If you were to plonk them down on the table in front of your players it will lend you an air of mystique and credibility. They probably look cooler than any dungeon map I could draw. You could print them out, put them in front of your players and  fill in the details as you went - rather than having to draw the whole dungeon as you go.

(Relatively) easy to use: Using Paint.net, I found it pretty simple to connect up a few segments and make a nice looking "old school" map. See bottom of the post for that example. This would probably be a pain in the ass to do without some sort of digital paint program.  With a bit of work you could print them out and cut them out so are like a fun physical puzzle pieces.

Weaknesses? 

Not that many: I would probably be much more excited if this PDF had 10+ pages of geomorphs. Clocking in at 12 total segments, many of which aren't going to connect up to one another due to the specific placement of exits/entries, there isn't really a wide variety of mapping that the PDF can do for you. You would probably only get three or so dungeons out of the set before things started to get very repetitive.

Kind of hard to match them up: The geomorph segments do start looking cool when you put a few of them together. Unfortunately due to the rather specific dimensions of the connecting tunnels, its more annoying than would initially seem to build a larger map. As mentioned above, this limits the amount of variation you are going to get when using these geomorphs.

Some (further) assembly required: Getting complete, logical maps requires you to manually connect up and terminate some of the pre-existing mapping. This sort of defeats the purpose of a premade geomoph. It's not too bad  of a job if you have access to something like Paint.Net or are OK with scribbling on the geomorphs you have already printed. Also, the geomorphs are quite small, so you will need to enlarge them if you were going to use them as is at the table.

Surprisingly linear results: The largest chambers only have one entrance. Often the end result is long wiggly corridors that are ultimately linear because the start and terminate at a predetermined point. If you look at my map at the bottom of the page,  PC's will clearly move towards the big chambers.  You can only get to each along a predetermined path . You can go left or right at about room 1 to either get to room 9 or 4/5. 6, 7 and 8 are just a circle too, so again - very linear. I don't know if all the dungeons generated this way will result in the same sort of layout (I did artificially terminate 2 entrance where room 2 and 3 are) but with the limited quantity of choices I would say so.

Too many  wiggly useless corridors! Not a lot really happens in corridors - maybe a trap or a random encounter, I want more chambers to put weird stuff into! The sheer amount of piddly little corridorlettes would do my head in while I was running a game. 

How could you use it in your hexcrawl? 

This PDF would be ideal for whacking down as maps for any caves you happen to find in your hexes. You have a solid three maybe four relatively large caves here that are going to be fun to run around in as long as you don't mind an abundance of wiggly small corridors. You still need to stock them all.

How could you use it in your urbancrawl/megadungeon? 

Same as above. When the sewer turns into natural cavern system, whack these out. 


Folk Book, People to Meet, Murder and Mutilate

Available at: http://elfmaidsandoctopi.blogspot.com/2018/06/free-rpg-day-book.html


About 130 pages of this. Solid.

What is it?

A frankly intimidating amount of instantly useful tables, with a  vaguely grimdirty fairytale/medieval  fantasy theme. Tables can be used while running a game at the table or prepping alone. Basically 130 pages of pure d100 tables that could be useful for most games I can imagine running.

Strengths? 

Lots of tables: A little under 40 d100 tables. Some of them really, really useful. So useful in fact I'm going to use them to quickly stock the cave dungeon I made using the Cave Geomorph PDF I reviewed above. d100; Dungeon Bosses, Necromancers, Stranged Headed Wizards, Cults, Rival Dungeon Parties, Exiled knights, Philosophers, Hermits, ETCETERA! Lots more etcetera.

Good amount of detail on the d100 tables: Entries on the "entity" d100 tables are about a sentence long and have the perfect amount of detail to either run there and then at the table, or to sit and digest in prepping sessions into a more fleshed out character. Example: From "Petty Dungeon Bosses": "Kirrith Dron - Wererat and his ratmen cult seek to establish selves here and to city thieves guild".  I've got a cool name, I've got lackies, I've got motivations. I can whack that dude in a dungeon and run him pretty damn easily. Print a couple of these tables and you have random encounters sorted for the next few years!

Good depth of tables: Not only does Folk Book contain an impressive breadth of d100 tables, there is a further tables for use with the major d100 tables. There is generation tables for creating your own dungeon bosses and their retinues, generators for making your own strange wizards, cult generator tables, personality tables, desire tables and amazingly quite a bit more. There is going to be something useful for your game in this PDF. 

Weaknesses? 

Slightly too cumbersome to use at the table without a bit of planning: As has been made clear, there is A LOT of tables in Folk Book. There isn't a comprehensive index or contents, so you will need to preplan the tables your most into before a game. Too much content is a pretty weird thing to complain about but there it is. There is also a bit of repetition with some of the "tragedies" tables (barbarian, noble, savage, urban, villager) and I think a single "family tragedy" table would have sufficed. The sheer volume of content gets in the way of itself at times.

Organisation: The lack of a comprehensive index or content does mean wading through pages and pages of tables to find the gold. There is things in here I would probably never use in my game, and then things I would definitely use, and they are all smooshed in together against one another. Some clearer grouping of tables by subject would be nice. For example there is Dungeon Boss plots, Necromancer plots, and What is the monster doing right now tables all at the back of the book. It would have been easier to group them together with the monster/necromancer stuff. There is also a bit of difference in style in the tables - some are much vaguer and designed to be used by the GM when they are alone prepping. Others are more of the here and now random encounter tables. Dividing these two types of tables out would be useful.

Too many tables!? (or at least a few too many tables about urchins): I think the single d100 urchin table would suffice. There is a whole urchin generator table which I'm glad exists but gets in the way of more useful stuff. There is an intimidating amount of stuff in this PDF and I think ripping some out would make the whole thing much easier to navigate and use. There is a d20 tables for urchin loot which is just different types of rubbish - I would much prefer one of these tables for dungeon bosses or necromancers. Regardless, download this PDF and cut out the tables you don't want and you still have a monster amount of content generation ready to be used.

How could you use it in your hexcrawl? 

Use this to stock your hexes. If you running a more standard fantasy hexcrawl this PDF will stock realms upon realms of hexcrawls. You could easily make this stuff fit in whatever bio apocalypse hellscape your hex crawl might be set in though. Bandits, Dungeon Bosses, Necromancers, Wizards, Rival Parties, Knights, Strange Hermits and Philosophers ready to be stocked!

How could you use it in your urbancrawl/megadungeon? 

There is a whole "Grimy urban folk" section. d100 random encounters for urchins, loners, shack dwellers, seamen, convicts, old murder hobos and carny freaks. That's d800 random encounters in a town (or a megadungeon with a bit of creativity - just change the race of the encounter from human to whatever the dominant race of the megadungeon is (fishmen or somesuch I would wager). 


Bonus, Here is a Dungeon Using the Above Two Reviewed Products:  

The map has been generated using "Fast Locations: Cave Geomorphs", the dungeon has been stocked using "Folk Book" (Key NPCS/NPC Actions all straight from the tables as written in the PDF - the rest of the dungeon stocking I made up using the NPCs as catalysts for ideas. Table results straight from Folk Book are in bold).  



On the outskirts of the town there is a cave beneath the charnel grounds. Its entrance it hidden by bones and corpses and smoke. The worst pariahs and neer do wells and outcasts of the town dwell here.

1) Smoke swirls about this chamber filled with the ruins of past camps of vagabonds and outcasts, dozens of spent camp and bonfires, and broken leather tents. Rival Party: Band of dopplegangers, seem like awesome  guys similar looking to party composition, They are currently eating groats.  Will claim the same names as that of similar looking PC's. Roll a d4 to see what the party of dopplegangers does: 1) Attacks the party, mimicking their strategies, 2) Hides from the party, and sulks after them until they are separated to fill their ranks with a fake version of a PC. 3) Causes trouble with NPCs in room 4, 8 or 9 - convincing that NPC that they are the PCs, then running away, 4) Offers to assist the party as long as they can share their names. 

2) Bloody filth sludge water drips from the ceiling. A smashed barrel is in the center of the chamber, d20 dead goblins lay scattered around it - holding various piles of human limbs and dung. The stench of the room stings the nostrils. (Vorsus Blackfang's  in Room 8 killed these goblins with necrotic gas).

3) d10 Goblins searching for and scraping bat dung into brass pots. They are  comparing and contrasting their finds, taunting one another. This cavern chamber is quite high and and a crack in the ground allows bats to come in and out of the cave. They will attack if disturbed.

4) Huge cavern, covered in filthy torn  rag curtains. 6 ragged goblin tents, housing d20 goblins. Piles of dung and human body parts (gathered from charnel grounds above). Mazkeen Viril - cult leader has goblins collect dung to feed creature in cult pit, human flesh good too. His Cult = The Lord of Decay, have been working on a new plague to torment humankind. The cult have been fermenting a great pool of decayed filth in secret with chained prisoners to test the disease. Currently sleeping. Mazkeen wears an enormous bundle of rags and a great, face covering, straw hat. he is sleeping, comfortable supported by his bundle rag robe. If awoken Mazkeen, will offer PCs the chance to join his cult, or he will imprison them in the pit/kill them.

5) The experimentation pit of Mazkeen Viril, The Lord of Decay. 10 foot deep pit, housing d10 chained and dying prisoners, plus d20 corpses. Entering the pit test CON to avoid getting plague and dying in d4 days. if you contract it everyone you encounter until you die must test CON to avoid the same fate.  A "special prisoner" is in the centre of the pit: Vradis Korrelan, bubbling mass of lard with a human mouth, canspit hot fat. Mazkeen often torments Vradis, as he was an old rival. Vradis is mad from his capture and attacks any that enters his pit.

6) Stinking sulfur springs. Filthy water pools. d6 Barrels can bee seen being levitated towards Room 7, transported by Vorsus Blackfang unseen servants (Room 8).

7) There is a crack in the ceiling of this chamber. A  pile of very decomposed bodies have slopped down from the charnel grounds above through this crack. Hidden amongst this grisly pile is d20 Barrels of poison (Belong to Vorsus Blackfang in Room 8). 

8) An ancient stone hut has been built into the walls of this chamber. Inside is: Vorsus Blackfang: Master poisoner who uses unseen servants to poison other then he robs them. He started small but works himself to kill small towns with necrotic gas. Nowadays he uses undead to hurl barrels of venom into wells by night. He may even pretend to be a victim of poison to throw off investigators.  If  he is caught unawares he will be dipping a bat into a barrel of avid, gleefully giggling as it dissolves. Vorsus will try to recruit PC's in poisoining the other NPC's in the dungeon and then demand they assist him in poisoning the town.

9) Cavern inclines towards the South East corner where a colorful tent has been erected. Inside is: Chondura = sorcerer with pet ogre and some charmed bugbears, dreams of owning whole dungeon, is currently sparing and training with ogre. Is shirtless, sweating as he spars with his pet ogre (which does fight hard but always lets him win). Chondura is a relatively jovial sorcerer and will actively recruit PCs to help him kill Mazkeen and his goblins (One Mazkeen is killed Chondura will probably attempt to kill the party so he can finally have the dungeon to himself). 

Friday, 29 June 2018

OSR PDF Reviews # 1 (Review Guidelines + Stark Naked Neo Savages and Sanguine City States Vol. 3)

There is a dizzying proliferation of OSR material to be accessed at the moment. RPGNow et al have opened a veritable pandora's jar of independent RPG product publishing. Each each day the stuff you could use to run a game of d&d multiplies like some ever expanding and glorious fungus. Much like fungus, this stuff is often left in the dark, left to wither and rot - rather than consumed and digested in the glorious pure sunlight of the open air. Unfortunately, we are all drowning in this glut of a golden age  and too often things are getting overlooked and ignored juts because there is a sea of stuff to swim through.

The purpose of this post, and hopefully future posts like it, is to grab some things from the pile and give them a once over. I'm going to try and be critical, objective and give feedback to the creators of the things I review. I also want to suggest why/how it might be useful to other people running OSRish tabletop games and why they might consider picking it up.

Guidelines and criterion for me reviewing something:
  • Vaguely OSR in nature (whatever that means[probably means tagged as "OSR" at RPGnow]). I am unconcerned with what"genre" it might be, because I think you can mash most things into any game anyways. 
  • I will favor things that aren't overly specific to a single ruleset.  
  • I currently don't have any interested in reviewing rule books. I already run some bastardized set of rules that changes from week to week so I don't need any new ideas. I am interested in adventure locales, bestiary, generators, DM tools, etc. 
  • I'm probably not too keen on custom character classes stuff as they are too close to a rulebook. 
  • I will probably focus on PWYW/free stuff. People are putting out a lot of great stuff for free and they atleast deserve some feedback as meagre payment.
  • That is unless some one throws me a review copy of something/I am really excited about something. 
  • I will focus on independent DIY publishers (whatever that means [probably means they don't have a marketing department/are one person]) 
How I will pick what I review: 
  • I will ask people if they want me to review their stuff and if they do, I will. Email me (mraston@iinet.net.au) or contact me on G+ if you have something you want me to review. 
  • I will go to the "OSR" section of RPGNow and scroll through newest releases. Whatever is free/PWYW and grabs my attention I will download and review. Cover and title probably play an important part in me pulling something randomly from the pile of stuff available. 
Some notes on my reviews: 
  • I will come into every product as blind as possible. I will ignore product pages/descriptions/peripheral blog posts/etc as much as possible. I don't want to write reviews that sound like marketing copy. 
  • Further, I am going to review things as is, this may impact things that are part of a larger whole (zines, gazettes, etc). This is just to avoid having to get all the copies in the interest of ensuring appropriate context (I will not ensure appropriate context). 
  • I am going to try my best to be constructive and helpful in my feedback, because I understand these things as labors of love. If I seem overly critical it probably wasn't my intention. 
  • I am going to assume that most people won't run any OSR product completely "as is" but will meld the content within to suit and incorporate into their existing campaign world/game. This informs some of the review headings (see below).
  • Additionally the review headings kind of assume that every one running an OSR game is running either a Hexcrawl, Urbancrawl or Megadungeon. I am sorry if you find that offensive (see below). 
  • Urbancrawls are probably rarer than the other two types of campaign but its what my game is at the moment so I have included it! 
Final Notes:
  • I don't know how long this will last for/how regularly I will do it .
  • That said if you do send me a review copy of something you normally charge  money for I will ensure I review it. 
Review structure: 

Currently, this is how the reviews are going to look.

What is it?  Description of the product as a whole/overall vibe of the thing as I see it. Will try and make these pithy and useful.

Strengths? What is good about the product. 

Weaknesses? What could be better within the product.

How could you use it in your hexcrawl? If you are running an overland hexcrawl type campaign, how this product could be immediately useful to you.

How could you use it in your urbancraw/megadungeon? If you are running an urbancrawl/megadungeon type campaign, how this product could be immediately useful to you. 

I will also try and include an image or two from the product.

Today's Review: 

Stark Naked Neo Savages and Sanguine City States, Volume Three. 

Evocative map and location names.

Burning flame AI god.

What is it? 

Dreamlike descriptions of a cyberesque/toxicwaste realm of a preplanned apocalypse. Descriptions of two major regions/locales (The Only City and The Burning God)  from the map pictured above. A lurid, psychedelic outline of forlorn and ruined adventuring regions (much more dark night of the soul stuff than questing for gold and glory/keeping the world safe stuff).

Strengths? 

The Art: Everything is dripping with a toxic, hyper colored yet out-of-focus miasma. Goes very nicely with the writing and the clean, clear, sci-fi layout/font. I felt like I was peering out of a sanitized, safe spaceship at a fucked up landscape I was glad to not be fully immersed in. The art hints at great and terrible things rather than illustrating them in specific details.

The Writing: Wafts over you like a gas cloud of narcotics. I enjoyed every word, which like the art drips with atmosphere. Interesting locales described in sparse but impactful detail. It throws you into the deep end. When you begin reading you feel a little lost, but hints in the writing bubble up as a guide. A lot is said in a very small amount of words. Strong imagery and tone (reminded me a lot of Dark Souls item/spell descriptions).

I honestly felt a little creeped out reading it . The writing and art work together to get under your skin.  The locations felt real and ominous and horrible. That's the kind of place I want to send my players to.

Finally, I wanted more. I felt disappointed once it ended (especially as I thought I might get every location listed on the map). I also wanted to know what the hell was going on here. The god AI description hints at this place being some seeded, sculpted and designed world that has some how gone wrong. I like those hints and would like finding out those secrets with my players at the table. I much prefer to be left wanting more, wondering and intrigued about a place rather than feeling over engorged with context and exposition. 

Weaknesses? 

Lack of concreteness: As much as I like the gaseous, ephemeral and dream like nature of it all, everything sorts of floats by without being able to grab it and nail anything into place.  I would like some harder hooks and structure so I could actually run the place as the table. The best illustration of this is the "Why the fuck are you arresting me?" table. This d6 table gives some great insight into the kind of mean and paranoid place The Only City is. The society hinted at in this table is horrific and nasty and cruel. The problem is I don't know what the hell is actually doing the arresting? What do these officers of the law look like that are arresting my players for petty and inane crimes? I don't even need a stat block, I just need a quick sketch of what separates a law agent from a civilian in the The Only City.

As brilliant as the writing is, it doesn't go much further than acting as an introduction. I wanted more. I wanted a hex map, I wanted hex descriptions and I wanted specific NPC descriptions. I probably wouldn't even want /need specific stat blocks (I feel that might cheapen the experience) but I need to know some details of independent agents in this world. I also need to know what separates one hazy stretch of wasteland from the next, and one wretched, disintegrating citizen/building from the next in The Only City. The specifics wouldn't need to be all that detailed. What is here is evocative enough, I just need a couple  points of specificity in terms of where things are and what they do, to actually run this at the table.

How could you use it in your hexcrawl?

The Only City, the urban center described in the PDF, would be great base for a lunatic insular starving city in the wilderness. A place that at first seems  like it would grant rest and succor but quickly turns into an above ground dungeon for your players. The residents are skinny and ignore the players. The players would be like ghosts until The Only City had enough of their intolerable existence and attempt to imprison or kill them. A town that is a dungeon that allows the players to drift in, maybe right to the center, before turning on them sounds like a fun scenario to run. You will need to do a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of specific NPC details and mapping but the outline is there and interesting.

How could you use it in your urbancrawl/megadungeon? 

The Burning God makes a great dungeon/building boss. Ideas: It has captured a bunch of people inside its wall (ala Shodan/System Shock). Maybe the walls themselves are its ancient quartz circuitry, lots of alien/ancient computer technologyu magic items to be found. Lots of burning/different types of flames. There is work you will need to do: Plot out what exactly the AI cultists are like, whats the deal with the mushrooms, and obviously map the dungeon. There is a great scene to be witnessed with what is written here: Innumerable robed dead and decayed figures, frozen in bowed stances of capitulation to some enormous central flame -starving figures pick through the corpses in cowed and terrified flinching from the god flame. That's worth the bit of work required though right? 

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Fantasypunk Megacity Residential Building Generator

Following on from recent posts on suburb mapping and building stocking , here is a generator of residential buildings in The City.

It is a three step generator, roll on all three tables and combine the result to get a residential building. Use the tools here to stock the building as needed. 



Table 1, Raceoid base architecture, d20:

  1. Human, As per normal human architecture (varied and glorious).
  2. Scrabman, Generally tunnel down into the ground, gouged, dug and burrowed then organically smoothed over with masticated mouth glue, hypnotic organic patterns shaped into mouth glued architecture. Poorer scrabmen live on surface in makeshift dwellings made of the discarded removed, mined debris of the deeper dwellings - also organically glued but less impressive.
  3. Whiskered Man, Incredibly tight, narrow and constricting construction. Most other raceoids find visiting whiskered man buildings incredibly claustrophobic. Hallways are replaced with crawling tunnels and balconies are replaced with laddered perches. Rooms rarely allow standing. Tactile surfaces cover the walls.
  4. Scaled Man, Pools in every room and arcane piping ensures the walls are always damp and moss covered. Generally constructed from porous limestone, so scaled man buildings often rot into decay much faster than other raceoid architecture. Darkly coloured glass lanterns, often covered with thin silver clothes, ensure the light is never bright then a half moon.
  5. Horned One, d4 extra storeys, an abundance of steep stairs in both the interior and exterior of the building. Stairs often sans railing, very narrow, swirling in every direction around the building. Often incredibly open, sometimes completely foregoing walls with column cornered pagodas linked by intricate staircases.
  6. Feral, Makeshift, jury rigged amateur construction, often existing within or ontop of a previously abandoned and decayed building. Recycled, reused and stolen materials held together with old rope and nails. The entire structure is often on the very verge of collapse, possible only still standing through the support of some patron godlet of chaos.
  7. Slobberer, Goop, slime and black mould covered jagged, harsh and craggy black stone hewn into cave like rooms. Patches of lurid glowing moss and mould painted on ceilings and walls provide the dim miniscule amount of light that is available. While next to zero artistry is imbued into the architecture of the building (often window/doorless cubes of rock), great care, attention and lavishness is given to lounging and sleeping cushion areas (taking  up whole rooms). Cushions are made of wet,soggy vegetative materia imbued with a residual slime.
  8. Twinkler, While most twinkler dwellings are repurposed buildings abandoned by other raceoids, fully formed structures of growing crystal (while rare) do exist (1 in 12 chance). Pure crystals buildings are geometric cathedrals of detail, large central shafts supporting a dizzying splay of turrets and towers. Repurposed twinkler dwellings are much more tame, a slow reclamation of the architecture by growing crystals, both harsh  and angular, and puffy, blossoming cluster clouds of smaller crystals.
  9. Freed Golem, most freed golems live either a fugitive like existence or a twilight half-life (having been released by their masters as their failing forms degenerate and impede on their usefulness). As such freed golems rarely have the time available to them to create their own structures. As yet the raceoid has yet to develop its own sensibilities of architecture. Freed golem dwellings are often seized abandoned buildings stuffed, decorated, laced, gilded, festooned and adorned with material that compose the forms of the golems that dwell there. This is calming to golems, knowing that material required for repairs is close at hand. Roll a d4 for material suggestions: 1) Plant Matter (Wood, cloth, braided vine, leaves and the like),2) Mineral Matter (Shine, rigid, clanking, wrought, bejeweled), 3) Animal Matter (Leather, bone, fur, skins, feathers), 4) Monster Matter (Slime, eyes, claws, still living organs).
  10. Giant, Huge and crude - same amount of floors, but doubled in size. Everything is larger and constructed in the most utilitarian, study and basic manner, an utter lack of artistic flair. All doors, fixtures and furniture designed for beings 8  - 14 feet in height.  The only items of any additional decoration and flairs are hunting or combat trophies - proof of victories in battles, both grand and petty.
  11. Black Eyes, Smooth, bare and curved surfaces of polished stone or metal if a more salubrious and wealthy dwelling. Round and bulbous rooms and passageways, everything curved in a sterile and geometric way. All rooms and chambers basically empty - Black Eyes avoiding the use of all furniture and utilities. A single item in every second room is considered cluttered. Secret storage and hidden compartments do proliferate throughout the building though, the cracks and edges of which are well hidden in the smoothing architecture.
  12. Rock Gut, A constant stream of greasy smoke billows from the doors and windows - erupting from every burning bonfire pits and bubbling cauldrons of foul noxious stew. Rough cut, bare/unworked stone, the craggy surface of unworked stone lend a cave like appearance to Rock Gut buildings. No lights other than central fire pits, everything smoke stained, the air thick with semi poisonous gas and smoke. An abundance of pots, cleavers, and semi alchemical and arcane cooking equipment.
  13. Hogman, an abundance of mud and brick - tending towards sculpted mud in poorer areas and mound like brick in wealthier regions. Ornate, decorated fireplaces take pride of place - often paired with sculptured and gaudy roasting racks and poles filled with sizzling meat. Wood fittings and fixtures, all slightly oily. Low to the ground furniture, tables often next to nest like mounds of shredded cloth, serving as mound like cushions for feasting while laying on side. Sleeping nests crawling distance to areas of feasting.
  14. Elfin, Asymmetrical, organic, filled with scintillating hypnotic curves and arches. Distractingly baroque, overflowing with minute detail - the more salubrious the building the more tiny and extraordinary the details. Elfin buildings are often well stocked with decorative vegetation - sometimes tending to overgrown as the inhabitants relish in the interaction between plant and architectural features.  Pieces of artwork (tapestry, painting, sculpture, displayed jewellery and costume) choke any potential empty spaces - lending a museum like quality and constant visual distraction.     
  15. Fairen, diminutive hive-like infestation of existing and abandoned structures. Materials of organic matter are shaped and moulded by into cell like rooms stacked closely together. Fairen builders vivify once dead materials so they sprout roots and veins - growing, bleeding and breathing in a somewhat obscene and mutated form. The living cell quarters are often open on one side, allowing the fairen to flutter from room to room. Obscured tunnels and shafts, tiny to other races, branch off to small hidden pockets of secrecy.
  16. Demonoid, Stone worked and shaped into ghoulish scenes; doorways often gaping maws of leering monstrosities, windows the blank staring eyes of sneering giants. Entering a Demonoid building will often result in a day long case of disturbing paranoid pareidolia - seeing the same twisted faces in non-Demonoid architecture. Freezing cold temperatures, seemingly emanating from some frozen, anti-heat, core in the centre of the building. Icicles reach down from ceilings and door arches, the floor and walls slippery with ice. Because of the temperature semi butchered corpses of various animals and raceoids hang in most rooms of the building. Demonoids are incredibly superstitious so ritual/sacrificial altars of various sizes are in all rooms, at which ceremonies are conducted before basically every single domestic task or duty.
  17. Apeish, Doubled in height and generally halved in width to give a more tower like appearance. Central stone or wood structure serves as a communal feasting and vertical transportation area. Smaller modular buildings branch off the central tower, private dwellings and utilities, these are supported by spindly columns and struts.  A forest of ladders and bridges interconnects most modular huts to the central tower, often connecting up to nearby buildings too. Pale vines cover everything, choking interiors and draping to the ground. These Vines  are often enchanted with Apeish magics, trained to  be somewhat sentient security and building service providers.
  18. Cacti, Artificial light sources take pride of place in Cacti architecture, the effects of lamps, torches and bonfires often magnified through elaborate constructions of glass and mirrors. The wealthier the Cacti inhabitants the more glass, mirrors and artificial light sources are used. Pyramid like structures are favoured, with a huge central gem lens or mirror housing refracting light and heat throughout the building from a central capstone fire/light source. Glass/crystal bricks are often used to allow greater heat and light dispersal between floors. Cacti buildings are steamy, humid and warm and the obsession with the use of glass surfaces means an utter lack of privacy.
  19. Angelic, Almost exclusively made of polished white marble or other pale stone. A central great all/reception area is filled with an abundance of ornate columns and always houses an enormous central statue of some hero, deity or saint. Entrances to private dwellings and rooms are accessed  through stair/ladderless doors a floor off the ground  - assuming the use of wings to enter them. The public great hall is easily accessed  from the ground, and is rather barren and empty. High and inaccessible balconies  and entrances hint at a sprawling compound hidden from those without easy access to heights.
  20. Leatherman, a compound of huge single storey tents sprawling over  an entire block. The block is generally the site of a ruin,  abandoned parkland or otherwise untended open space. The tents are garish, colourful and sturdy - built of wood and leather. Leathermen are particularly private, well armed guards often denying access to the compound, let alone to individual tents. Inside the tents are incredibly opulent, filled with cushioned furniture, good food/drink, and treasure like trophies from successful battles and raids.    

Table 2, Physical architecture quirk, d4, d10:

1:

  1. Repairs being conducted.
  2. Covered in religious paraphernalia.
  3. An abundance of lights/lanterns/candles.
  4. Billowing cloths, curtains, banners, flags and the like. Drapery covered.
  5. Main entrance on the ceiling, no ground floor entrances. Entry gained through flying transport or bridges from other structures.
  6. Converted or still active mausoleum, crypt or graveyard.
  7. A wind tunnel blowing up from beneath the city powers various of the building’s contraptions.
  8. Some weird localised weather or atmosphere lurks atop and around building.
  9. Large pipes present, they may wrap around the building, pump through the building, connect secret passages to other buildings, etc.
  10. An abundance of glass and/or windows.

2:

  1. No visible entries or exit, every door/window/air duct is secret and hidden.  
  2. Transient accommodation, tents/lean tos/repurposed wagons and the like, has been allowed to flourish and grow in and around the building.
  3. In gilding or flourishes, general decor materials used, the building belies great expense in its construction.
  4.  Converted library or museum of sorts, roll a d20: 1) Weaponry, 2) Wyrd beast bones, 3) Dead trees, 4) Rocks,  5) Bodular malformations, 6) Monsters 7) Angelic beings,  8) Tools, 9) Mirrors, 10) Minor devils, 11) Stuffed beasts, 12) Bags, 13) Mounted beasts, 14) Madnesses, 15) Natural disasters, 16) Winged things, 17) Torture, 18) Helmets, 19) Heraldry, 20) Statues. (or make your own).
  5. Suspicious altars prominent in most rooms of building.
  6. An abundance of mirrors, polished metals and reflective surfaces.
  7.  Pools of water, a waterfall, a moat or built over a stream/river.
  8. Shared habitation and architecture - roll twice on the Raceoid architecture table and combine results and assume both raceoids live there.
  9. Slaggy, melted and otherwise somewhat destroyed by some caustic liquid or boiling lava.
  10. Building is a converted prison - replete with cages, chains, viewing perches and other oppressive structures.

3:

  1. Building is choked with overgrown vegetation, either fungoid, ferns, vines, pale fronds or other low light plants.
  2. Cohabitated with beasts, in pits, on chains or prowling free.
  3. Some calming or hallucinogenic dust or mist pumps constantly in and around the building.
  4. Building is full of illusions, ether phsyical or magical.
  5. Huge ornate braziers, ceremonial bonfires, massive hanging lanterns or otherwise large amounts of controlled and decorative fire.
  6. Mountains of refuse, rubbish and waste, massed in corners and oozing out of every aperture.
  7. Building is a converted transportation, either land, air or sea, device, possible still ready to be used.
  8. Building is well sign posted, covered in signs, engravings and text.
  9. Built from/decorated with the bones and carcasses of some ancient leviathan.
  10. Building is tripled in height but narrowed in width, becoming a steep stepped tower.

4:

  1. An abundance of silk, cushions and other opulent luxuries - piled for over indulgent reclining.
  2. Building covered in looping masses of chains, ropes other bindings, an elaborate tangle of stringy ladders and bridges.
  3. Utilities and servicing of building conducted by huge trained insects, organic golems or mineral elementals.
  4. Composed of enormous cyclopean stones of a foreign and unusual material.
  5. The doors and windows are portals, either to completely different places or tey create a confusing  maze of  non euclidean linkages and passageways.
  6. Decayed, crumbling in age or grandiose in ancient venerability.
  7. Criminals (or innocents) hang (by noose/crucifix/other resident specific methodology) in and around the residence as a warning to ne'er-do-wells and intruders.
  8. Covered in/the target of vandalism - either by residents as self expression or outsiders targeting residents.
  9. Large amounts of stolen goods, treasure, contraband are hidden away in the building.
  10. Bones, corpses, death and decay choke the building.

Table 3, Mental architecture quirk, d4, d10:

1:

  1. Residents overly welcoming and accommodating.
  2. Residents uncannily similar.
  3. Residents aloof and unconcerned with worldly affairs.
  4. Residents all serenely inebriated on some calming dust supply.
  5. There is only a single resident - they may or may not be aware of this.
  6. Residents always whisper and fear their building is haunted.
  7. Residents are all always trying to sell something.
  8. Residents are always running and rushing, always acting with speed.
  9. Residents always hide from visitors, either scampering away or lurking in shadows.
  10. Residents are incredibly and bluntly honest.

2:

  1. Residents remain hidden but will appear if possessions trifled with.
  2. Residents obsessed with growing and gardening - in all rooms inside and out.
  3. Residents are richly dressed and adorned - in wealth beyond that of their more modest dwelling.
  4. Residents write and record events with unsettling abundance.
  5. Residents regularly indulge in some meat based sacrifice - and are unabashed with wearing/the presence of viscera.
  6. Residents must have pairs of everything, or is otherwise obsessed with twinning and doubling.
  7. Residents are ever working on recovering some semi valuable resources from a central deep pit within their building, or large nearby mounds/minelikes.
  8. Residents have some secret and deadly rules, laws or code of conducts not explained to visitors - who are punished severely for breaking them.
  9. Residents are in the process of a somewhat secretive exodus from their dwelling - for reasons mundane or deadly.
  10. Residents are trapped, either physically or magically within specific rooms of their dwellings - they have either developed complicated systems for remained supplied, or are desperate for outside help.

3:
  1. Residents inhabit the outside of their building, either infesting the walls or camped on the grounds. Some horrible reason stops them stepping foot inside.
  2. Residents have reverted to beastial savagery. Violent rule by the strongest and a warrior culture have infected the building.   
  3. Residents are a placid, over-calm sect of some pacifist cult.  
  4. An ongoing battle for territory within the building is being fought between residents.
  5. Residents are preoccupied with flames and fire - either tending bonfires, carrying lanterns, working furnaces or otherwise burning things.  
  6. Residents have gone mad, either recently or have been that way for a long time. The dwelling is appropriately in disarray.
  7. Residents communicate in some whispered secret language or hand sign based street cant.
  8. Residents are all informed by a robust local spy network  - they know well what any visitors have been up to when they arrive.
  9. Residents infected with some monstrous mutation or physically debilitating disease - they are generally fully bodily able but affect a gruesome appearance.
  10. Resident’s bodies are oversized, in either height, width or some huge oversized costumes.

4:


  1. Residents are incredibly indolent, lazy or otherwise overly sensual - indulging in some soft and luxurious vice.
  2. Residents are all slaves, in one form or another, to a central all powerful slumlord.
  3. Residents are all undercover/disguised and secretly part of some nefarious cult, organisation or cabal.
  4. Residents are incredibly stoic if not completely silent, begrudge and barely tolerate visitors.  
  5. Residents are enormous, corpulent or obese, overeating and feasting - an obsession with food.
  6. Residents will write, or otherwise record, all comings, goings and interactions that occur in and around their dwelling.
  7. Residents are all maddened and enraged, they will attack any visitors on sight.
  8. Residents will set traps (both deadly and annoying) for unwanted visitors.
  9. Residents will constantly thieve, steal from and swindle visitors.
  10. Residents are all dead or dying.