“Meikridas Steamships, are they not marvels?” The hand of a flamboyant man outstretches towards his wondrous sea craft. While he somewhat resembles a vistani in a few regards, he is clearly not of their ways. The sailor man smiles with the genuineness of an eager salesman, “come friends! The warm shores of Alleigosto are a mere boat ride away. I offer you leisure and hospitality unlike what is seen here in fair Dementlieu.” The pitch continues, as the showman distributes pamphlets detailing incredible works of art and technology, a history spanning empires of old and “magnificent” relations with nearby nations. While the man’s vessel is spotless and a marvel of engineering, the owner of this enterprise comes across as insincere and just as full of steam as the ship. “We board now, don’t miss the opportunity of a lifetime!” It is at this moment that you can swear the man’s eyes bulge unnaturally, even for a second. And at that, unblinking. Such a voyage would indeed bring wonders, but also new terrors to behold. What visions of the future does this “cog cluster” bring?
Author’s Note: I’m always good for more Ravenloft. Cursed robots, a zombie apocalypse, manipulative shadows, killers on foggy streets, the successor to the Atlantean Neur-Maise, the refuse of industry, fanatic technophobes, the distant (and not so distant) looming shadows of totalitarianism, utopian idealism crushed by said dark tidings, Deep Ones and more haunt a new cluster. Here is a new pocket domain, as well as a new cluster to house old domains (like how Fell Arts houses Farelle and Odiare). Major props to ScS of Fraternity of Shadows for inspiration on Nosos and other advanced domains. And with that, here’s my take on a Steampunk-ified cluster much like the proposal from Quoth the Raven issue 2, with The Shining Bay cluster. But, unlike that mixture of just Paridon, Timor and Nosos; this adds in several Islands of Terror I devised many years ago… some more recent than others. One is a plague-ridden urban sprawl taking notes from the 19th century United Kingdom, Prussian Empire and Northeastern Coastal U.S. (especially from the fiction of Lovecraft and King). Another is a mix of drama, Luddites, robotic horror and more in a Mediterranean based land. It is next to decaying Greek-inspired splendor spliced with The Shadow over Innsmouth. And finally, a somewhat Balkans inspired fake utopia. Plus, as an added bonus, an homage to the classic Thief games. And with that, enjoy one of the longer posts I’ve made. And should anyone be curious, I have no interest in anything Wizards of the Coast. I don’t want their new book, as I don’t care for the Post-4E/Shadowfell take on things..
Across the wastelands and into the mega-cities, all sorts of people dwell in truly dark places. Many fall to corruption, whether from inside of or outside of its “protective” walls. Many adventurous folk are not merely content with a mediocre life as a drone or even the life of a delivery courier. While the latter explores the world outside, they are still tethered to a track, lest they quickly find themselves in over their head. The rest who make their way across the strange and bleak world? Thrill seekers, mercenaries, civilians on a vital but deadly mission, absolute maniacs! But, haven’t adventurers always been this way?
Author’s Note: Yes, I know my RPG Blog Carnival is done. But, I’m still quite inspired! With that, here’s a couple of new backgrounds and how to incorporate them into a more average fantasy setting… and not so average settings. Dark Sun, Ravenloft and other darker worlds might make for good fits.
“Their initial strikes have left us vastly crippled. We never saw them coming, legions of men fitted with advanced armor and weaponry; adorned with the symbols of a diabolic looking empire. They eliminated our troops quickly and many of our civilians even quicker. There is little hope for our world.” – A letter found in a burnt down house
The planes hold countless universes and endless possibilities. Among them is a dystopian world where a brutal regime managed to take hold of the world. However, one planet proved to be not enough for them. Their empire was forged on persecution and bloodshed; hatred and genocide. Their global domination campaign cost the lives of billions, causing irreparable damage upon the world as a result. Unsatisfied with controlling the entire world for many years, they eventually turned their cleansing campaign towards the planes beyond. Thanks to their high tech moonbase experiments, they were able to rip open a portal within the fabric of reality itself. Achieving planar transport, waves of these augmented super-soldiers unleashed hell upon anything unlike them.
Countless realities did their best to hold back the waves of soldiers and generals, armed with strange technologies. Some succeeded in pushing their evil back from hence it came. Others were conquered and their resources exploited until only dirt and death remained. Some realms were enslaved and only the worthy preserved… or recruited. With an ever present grip, those who manage to slip through the cracks continue to hide in fear, well aware that their attempts at sabotage or spying aren’t enough. Many of these realities require a hero now more than ever, a rebellion to turn the tides against a dystopian cancer that seeks to infect all walks of life.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: I wanted to revive my Wolfenstein themed post because the first version needed a touch up, plus I promised I’d come back to it. Plus, I love the of Iron Sky… Alien invasion plus an alternate-history nazi menace. So, what if the horrors of Wolfenstein invaded the worlds of D&D? Well, in the name of over-the-top pulp science fiction, I give you the chance to find out! Also, as I had done with the previous post, I’d like to apologize for poorly translated German.