Take heed, mighty explorer! Danger is afoot! Always prepare!
You are among the brave few, those who readied themselves for the great journey into a breathtaking new world, one of many that swarm around the very source of much great power. The Steam Titan, as many call it, as a colossal body that anchors the many sites we aim to use for our cause. Far from alone, there are others like us who remain friendly for now. Likewise, other beings have existed on the micro worlds far before us. Tread lightly and with caution. For the environments beyond and their lifeforms? Steady and prepare. A carefree adventurer is a dead adventurer. The Queen’s Voyage Adventure Charter will explain more. Please report to them post-haste.
Author’s Note: Obligatory Victorian steampunk, almost arbitrary… Likewise, far more grimdark steampunk, because that’s really the only way I like the genre. Though, not enough look at over industrialization, to complete “Victorian High Tech, Low Life”. Well, here’s a continuation of my mess. Why am I tying all of these things into Spelljammer? I’m not sure. At least steampunk isn’t super trendy anymore, if I wanna be all hipster about it.
Continue reading “Spelljammer’s Steamspace – Light and Dark”
“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..
Continue reading “The Dark World of Tomorrow – The Broken Cog Cluster”
While I enjoy tons of heroic settings with noble characters ensuring good in the world, I’ve always loved truly grim and dour settings. I speak of worlds that fit the “GRIMDARK” moniker that’s been affectionately used. For those who don’t get the reference, it refers to Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40K tagline, which states that “In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war!” I’m speaking of places blighted by impossible evils, dystopias where any sort of righteousness and passion is repressed, a sinister universe that is out to destroy you, nuked out wastelands where the remains of society struggle to continue or scrap the last bits of the old ones… but you get the point.
So, why is my theme essentially “dark settings and dark themes”? Sounds depressing, I know. After all, spending too much time in an overly dark and oppressive world can wear one down, right? Not exactly! There are many reasons why dark settings are truly fascinating. Before I turn the carnival over to you, let’s take a look at why starker settings can be awesome. (Or if you prefer, skip down to the bold text.)
Continue reading “July 2017 RPG Blog Carnival: Doomsdays & Dystopias (Dark Genres and Settings)”