Ziggurat of Lin Tho, Part 1 [map-ish]

The Ziggurat of Lin Tho is the first dungeon site the players in my Yoon Suin (by David McGrogan) home campaign have visited. I attempted to draw a three dimensional outside view of the dungeon for reference while drawing and so my players could get a sense of the layout as they explored. This was the result. (Note that I didn’t ink this or bother cleaning it up. It’s a sketch mainly for reference for the forthcoming maps. If anyone’s interested, I’ll go back and fix it up.)

ziggurat 3d

In the campaign, the ziggurat is locked in a time loop that coincides with the rise and fall of the tides. At high tide, the ziggurat appears as it did in its glory days as a temple to Lin Tho, the orchid-patterned reticulated python god of Rivers, Oceans, and Dreams (particularly of the carnal sort). At low tide, it’s ruined and drowned in sand (“inspired” by Dyson Logos’s own ziggurat), and things inside get really weird in that time. I’ll get more to that in the next post.

-Billy Longino

Pointcrawling in a Generation Ship Campaign, Part 1

Within a couple of weeks I’ll be starting my first online campaign (through Google Hangouts and Roll20) as a GM. I’m kind of nervous but mostly excited. We’ll be using the Mutant Future rules from Goblinoid Games (the same who made Labyrinth Lord), while the setting will be a Metamorphosis Alpha-inspired generation ship of my own making – the Mutual of Omaha Spacecraft Vonnegut.

As the ship name might tell you, it’ll be a milieu of quasi-gonzo existential horror (in spaaaace!), but when it comes to world-building, I’ve got no worries. I trust myself, but with regards to actually running the game, I’m a bit less sure of myself. This is particularly in the case of how to handle the subdecks, or what might be more accurately named inter-decks – those more spaceshippy decks with futuristic corridors and haunted maintenance tunnels between the massive biome decks traditionally known in Metamorphosis Alpha.

16 - 1

But I think I’ve come upon a solution: Chris Kutalik’s posts on pointcrawling. (I recently joined Chris’s Tuesday night Hill Cantons campaign.)

At first, I imagined the subdecks as massive dungeons, seeing as how their tunnels span same miles of the biome decks, and nearly panicked. But clearly pointcrawling is the answer. Sprinkle in a few important sites across the deck, narrate some corridor travel, roll for random encounters, and voila! everything looks great. I plan on combining this with a traditional hexcrawl format in the biomes, but we may handle exploration of these decks as a pointcrawl, at times, too. I’ll just see what works best. Additionally, whenever the PCs arrive at a subdeck site, we’ll switch over to dungeoncrawling.

Most of this is probably pretty obvious to some who’ve run a Metamorphosis Alpha campaign before, but I’m glad to have worked out what I hope is a good plan of action. I’ll write future posts talking about how this worked out. In the meantime, does anyone else have any experience with running pointcrawl/hexcrawl combinations or Metamorphosis Alpha campaigns?

Lich’s Tower [Wednesday Map]

In my year-long 5th ed. campaign, most of the adventures consisted of site-based scenarios in which multiple, dynamic events were happening all at once. One such arc involved the PCs exploring the (supposedly) abandoned tower of the wizard Innisquil, pictured below.

The tower loomed above a swampy, half-sunken island in the middle of a lake, and when the PCs arrived, they found a gathering horde of pig-faced orcs. Setting up an F.O.B. on a nearby island, after several cowardly forays in which they drove off the meenlock natives, the PCs set about to exploring the island and the tower. They soon discovered that the pig-orcs were also exploring the tower, or being forcefully driven toward this guy by a warlock  who sought some power inside… Yadda yadda yadda. You get the picture.

But what made this map especially neat was the way the players approached the site. The existence of the orc horde and the warlock’s plot forced the PCs to enter and explore the tower in a non-linear fashion. Each level offered multiple ways to be reached. The PCs actually never went through the front door, where the orcs had constructed a base camp of their own, and instead climbed a tree to reach the abutment (I guess is the word) attached to the side of the second and third levels. The exploration method was really non-linear and the dynamic environment kept the PCs on their toes. It was a tremendous amount of fun and my lazy afternoon writing doesn’t really do it justice.

Anyway, I wanted to provide the map in situ. This is how the map ended up after use in the game. Aesthetically, I enjoy the notes and stains, showing a used product.

4-20 (Tower Map in Game)

Riverlands Campaign Map [Monday Map]

Finally have time to map again. Quick post today, but a big one (in some regard). This is a regional map for my current BX/LL campaign in which the PCs have aspirations of becoming river pirates, hence the emphasis on the rivers on the map.

map 1

Close-up of the Region the PCs have been Exploring

4-17 (riverlands)

Wider Map of the Region, Known as the Eastern Old Kingdom