Saturday, November 14, 2020

Gygax 75 Week 2: The Legend of Gygax's Gold (It's the map)

It is time for Gygax 75 Week 2!

The goal of this week was to create a starting area with a certain number of landmarks and settlements. On the challenge's recommendation I went with 1 mile hexes, but I might remake it with 6 mile hexes in the future. Without further ado...

Gygax 75

Week 2


Welcome to The Map 

Our starting area consists of a large scrubland basin at the foot of a mountain range with dunes and a shallow scrubland valley to the west. There are 5 locations of interest (All names temporary)

5 Locations of Interest

  •  Athene Cunicularia City

Coming up on the city all you can see are towers, a forest of towers. These obelisks, laid out in a grid formation, are windcatchers, the lungs of the massive underground city.  AC City is the trading hub of this area, a formidable warren of homes, businesses and government buildings. The people of this city subsist on what comes in through trade, what can be hunted, animal husbandry, underground farming, and they get their water from the huge underground river. It is a trading hub and therefore a melting pot, but as the name suggests it was initially and is still largely peopled by Burrowing Owl Folk.   

  •  Pyrrhocorax Graculus Keep

 After a long and arduous climb up a narrow mountain pass you reach PG Keep, a secluded and sleepy castle town deep in the forever snow-capped mountains. Most of the town has a nearly unobstructed view of the entire desert basin and as such it is a popular pilgrimage destination. They get their food from trade, the small amount of agriculture the landscape can support, and animal husbandry of the mountain going animals. As the name suggests the keep is populated largely by Alpine Chough Folk, though like anywhere there is a solid mix.

  • Passer Simplex Camp

 A temporary camp of the nomadic Desert Sparrow Folk. They roam the desert following the seasonal lakes and watering holes. They keep many animals as both food and beasts of burden. They get their food through trade, animal husbandry, hunting, and foraging.

  • The Structure

A mysterious, discomposing structure in the middle of the dunes. Like an obelisk of smooth stone, much taller than the windcatchers of the city, that seems to shift and move ever so slightly in-between glances. Few have been inside, many who have haven't come back, and those who have didn't make it far into the structure before returning.

  • Old Temple Ruins

The ruins of an Old Faith temple, long since collapsed under the weight of years. 


Loose Ends and ETC

Well that's it! That's the starting area and map.  

My main loose end this time around is the encounter table. I will be making a setting specific gloghack to fulfill the assumptions of this setting and as I haven't started work on that I also haven't started work on what creatures and monsters roam these lands. I intend to return to it and make a proper encounter table when I have a bestiary to draw from.    

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Gygax 75 Week 1

It is finally time. The worldbuilding itch has become too unbearable. There can be only one solution...
                                                                GYGAX 75                     
                                                                      Week 1   

Part 1: The Pitch
Medieval-ish Extreme-Biome Fantasy World (name pending)
  •  Extremophilia
 A world of extremes. Searing desert, towering mountains, biting tundra, and massive oceans.
The inhabitants of this world have learned to adapt, build specialized architecture, find or produce food and water where they can, and even flourish in these extreme conditions.
  •  No Humans
No humans, no Elves, no Dwarves, no nothin'! Animal people only. Think Redwall, Sherlock Hound, Ducktales, etc.
  • No Humanoid Monsters (Outside of the Undead)
Let's just not. No warrior races, no evil races, nothing of that sort.
There are plenty of dangers however, highly adapted wildlife, capital M Monsters, and even the landscape itself can be a deadly obstacle.
  •  Not Low Magic, Small Magic 
Magic is small. It's everywhere, but it can't do much. Magic items are common and they are useful, but they aren't going to shoot lightning or level mountains. People that use magic themselves are relatively common and they have many tricks, but just having magic doesn't mean they're movers and shakers on the world stage.
  •  Architecture, Urban Planning, and Megastructures Oh My!
The world has many wonderful and unusual cities, towns, and villages each with their own flair and climate adapted architectural styles. From desert cities underground, to towns carved into snow-capped mountaintops, there are lots of fantastic cities to explore.

That's probably enough right? I sure hope so!
Part 2: 
The Influences

  • The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin 
Recent inspiration for extreme environments and extreme environmental adaptation in creatures and architecture.
  • The Ceramic Art of Yō Akiyama
Absolutely one of my favorite ceramic artists. All of his work ranges from looking like a piece of machinery that has been buried underground for several thousand years to twisted and cracked earth. An aesthetic and vibe inspiration.
  • Project Japan: Metabolism Speaks by Rem Koolhaas and Hans Ulrich Obrist  
 This spot could easily just be Metabolist Architecture, but I thought I might as well squeeze a fun recommendation in and make it a specific book on the subject.To quote Wikipedia " Metabolism was a post-war Japanese architectural movement that fused ideas about architectural megastructures with those of organic biological growth."
  • The Vernacular Architecture of Desert, Tundra, and Mountainous Regions
  Look at the vernacular architecture of any region on earth and you find both genius and beauty, and you'll find buildings that are incredibly well adapted to the climate and terrain of the region. Since my world is mostly extreme biomes I'm greatly inspired by the vernacular architecture of those regions here on Earth.
  • Animal People Fiction!
From Ducktales to Redwall to Sherlock Hound, fiction about animal people going about their lives and going on adventures is at the forefront of my mind with this project.
  • Tsutomu Nihei's Entire Body of Work
While this is by no means a scifi setting the imagery of these seemingly endless derelict megastructures was definitely an inspiration.
Part The Final:
The Moodboard
We made it through! Welcome to the almost final part! As part of this challenge I was asked to make a Pinterest moodboard to get across the vibe of this setting and here it is.
Part The Addendum:
The Addendum
 Playing around with worldbuilding is something I've always wanted to do and I thought Gygax 75 would be the perfect tool to give me my first taste. I intend to do the full 5 weeks of Gygax 75 and post about each of them here on the blog. 
Bear in mind that it is my first attempt at this sort of thing so if it's a bit vague or a bit confused, well, that's why. Also I've decided to hold off on naming the whole setting for now because A) names are hard and B) something like that feels like it should be a cherry on top.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

A Peek Inside The Sack of Magical Trash

Welcome to my blog! I made this blog because I was overcome by the twin forces of boredom and peer pressure. I plan to make lots of dubiously helpful and undoubtedly trashy magic items for your displeasure. Here are a few of the ones I've completed recently.