Tomb of Idiosyncratic Glandular and Neurochemical Response to Abrupt Sympathetic Nervous System Stimulation [Background] [Friday Map]

This is the full map for my Tomb of Idiosyncratic Glandular and Neurochemical Response to Abrupt Sympathetic Nervous System Stimulation project. My plan is to release isometric maps with room details for every area in the Tomb. These will be free additions and not part of my Patreon campaign, which I’ll talk a little bit more about below. This is also my first map where I’m using a new style. Let me know if it works.

Meanwhile, on to the map!

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Background

Untold ages ago (thereabouts 47 years), Gabothox the Borderline, who was a lich of renown most ill in the borderlands of the this-or-that kingdom, was suddenly struck with the usual, insecure yearning to build a tomb complex to call his own – a feeling that arises about mid-undeath – and to populate it with slavering pit beasts, unionized man-pigs, and a lethal mélange of elaborate traps, tricks, and illusory magics.

So he veiled himself in silks and perfumes and glimmers, taking the shape of a wealthy real estate entrepreneur, “hired” some out-of-work dwarven vagrants, offering them wages, medical, and dental, put them to work carving out his dream tomb on the southern cliff face of Yawning Skull Mesa, near a well-worn trade road, and ordered his apprentices out about the neighboring watering holes to hustle rumors of great treasure hoards awaiting brave, unwary adventurers with altogether poorly developed prefrontal cortices and executive decision-making skills to explore.

It was a smashing success!

Interlopers died in droves. And those who didn’t returned to their quaint and musky taverns to spend their remaining days dawdling in the shadowed boots of their drinking-halls and drunkenly sputter on about their attempts at plundering the Tomb back “in their day.”

You can’t beat free advertising.

And so even unto this day, the Tomb of Idiosyncratic Glandular and Neurochemical Response to Abrupt Sympathetic Nervous System Stimulation, a name which Gabothax the Borderline unironically believes is a clear, provocative, and accurate description of his complex, still awaits brave and noble murder hobos to tread the corridors of his musky catacomb seeking treasure and to test their accumulated hit points against the horrors of his (and likely their own) burial place.

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Click the image above and you’ll be taken to my Patreon campaign blog.

I’ve finally sucked it up and started an e-begging campaign to help incentivize my map-making endeavors. If you enjoy the maps on this blog, I ask that you consider making a pledge to support the work here, which can be as little as $0.25 per map.

Thank you for continuing to check out my blog. I hope these maps are useful and your PCs die a thousand horrible deaths within their confines.

Billy Longino

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.)

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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.

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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?

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.

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Close-up of the Region the PCs have been Exploring

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

Gamma World/Metamorphosis Alpha/Mutant Crawl Classics Westworld-like Amusement Park Module/Setting [sort of Monday Map]

So I’ve begun working on an module. I don’t want to call it an “adventure,” necessarily, because my design philosophy on this one is pretty nonstandard. It will be structured more as a sandbox inside this far future amusement park facility and players and GMs will be given opportunities to approach the setting (and scenarios within) from several different angles.

The basics: The PCs will begin play as enslaved clones who basically serve as NPCs for the amusement parks patrons. The clones can be from one of five distinct settings. So far I’ve only decided on a Western setting, a prehistoric setting, and a noirish city setting. Two more are forthcoming. At the beginning, the PCs will be playing this as if they are actually living in these time periods and if it fits their playstyle, GMs will be encouraged to play everything else close to the chest, not letting their players know who or what they really are. After some initial plots involving these settings, an instigating event (determined from a random chart) will cause the facility to malfunction (further than it already has), revealing the truth of their reality to the PCs.

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Map in Development (Four whole sheets of paper!)

There’s a lot more to this than I’m able to go into right now (including but not limited to sociopathic tram systems, antelope chutes, and a Nudelreich fast food franchise with its megalomaniac Nudelführer mascot). I ran an entirely improvised version of this some months ago and it went amazingly well. I enjoy it because it lets me merge my satirical scifi fiction-writing tendencies(which I don’t really talk much about on the internet) with my game-writing. The setting and scenarios are hugely inspired by PortalMetamorphosis Alpha, and a post about Dyson Logos’s R-AN (Northcott) Sociological Research Domes, probably to the point of bordering on plagiarism. Hopefully, this will be distinct enough to serve as an “expansion” of those ideas, though, and he won’t sue me.

Stay tuned!

Castle Grimgrannog, Part III – Catacombs [Wednesday Map]

Being the third part of the Castle Grimgrannog Series.

Area B of the Castle Grimgrannog & Environs map.

Beneath the portentously crumbling ruins of Castle Grimgrannog lies a basement full of skeletons, some of them belonging to the Grannog family, others, well, belonging to others. Currently, the necro-focused Sons of Azthrax are converting the catacombs into their new digs (think of it as dungeon gentrification from the POV of the original dungeon monster stock), mostly as a sort of forward operating base for further exploration of the dungeon below, but they’re not exactly the most organized of undeath worshippers. As such, they can be found either sort of just wandering about in the catacombs, renovating alcoves for habitation (or cohabitation, in a few “lucky” cases). The cult has become quite decentralized, emulating the entropic functions of decay, if we have to be pedantic, or really just behaving like siblings, if we don’t. This means, though, that they offer very little in the way of a unified front against intrusion, beyond stationing an orc here or there above and below. Additionally, necromantic runoff has led to a real problem in the underground lake and river nearby.

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(Included below with this map is a “Dynamic” random encounter tables, inspired by Chris Kutalik’s Hill Cantons. I’m using this instead of actually fully stocking the dungeon for ease of writing but also ease of use. This should make the castle adaptably vague for anyone who might need a quick castle for their campaigns.)

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