Mirrors below Waterdeep – Alternate Realities Continued

Twilight Zone Opening - Modo 801 - YouTube

The Mad Mage, he holds a key to various incarnations of reality, jumping from one image to the next. This portal gateway is unlike any other, as it explores different timelines and possibilities rather than other planes and worlds alone. Should you make your way beyond Halaster Blackcloak and his minions, you may unlock countless possibilities.

Who I am is not important.  I leave all public record and identity to my humble guide, another reality traveler.  The bipedal feline creature, known as Ramon DeLeon, has had experience with dark mirrors adjacent of reality on the Prime.  The one I gaze upon, a Toril shredded by seemingly unending violence, this one frightens me.  However, his words are reassuring.  What is disconcerting is that “few will remember him”, whatever that is supposed to mean.  But, when one has a reputation that precedes them, events can transpire almost any way. 

Author’s Note: A post about the Forgotten Realms itself? Impossible! And yet, here we are! Many of my earliest gaming days were spent in Abeir-Toril.  This post was meant to be made and posted a while ago, but yet that didn’t happen till now.  Well, here is an expansion on an old post detailing parallel universes. The Torilian one, torn by war, is actually the version of the Realms I’ve played with for over a decade. Also, behold the final piece to the Antorek plot thing… even though it’s actually the first thing that started this whole mess.  Literally.  This is where the character came from.  Is this the last of my looks at D&D realities?  Probably not, but perhaps this is another sign I hope to move away.  Anyway, Happy New Year, to arms and battle stations!  Likewise, stay tuned for my January 2022 RPG Blog Carnival!  I have a few more tricks up my sleeve!  Also, thank last year’s Twilight Zone marathon for inspiring the thick of this!

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Spelljammer’s Steamspace – Beyond Steam Titan

treasurepl1.jpg

The Steam Titan is a curious host. The world itself is hostile to most life, but its moons offer a diverse array of habitats and beings. None the less, the gases within the world have proved most useful in propelling already technical societies far forward, with fascinating innovations. But, what of other worlds within the sphere?

Author’s Notes: To keep in line with the fiction of the era, many of the worlds refer to various dime novel/pulpy tropes and then some, such as the lost world, masked heroics, divine revelation, proto-cosmic horror and then some.  Likewise, a poke at the genre mashup and rules-Frankenstein needed to make all of this possible.  Hell, one of the worlds is even more tie-in to my RavenScape stuff.  Anyway, here’s a post JAM PACKED with content!  Enjoy!  Perhaps at some point, I’ll return to Steamspace.

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Spelljammer’s Steamspace – Always Weirder Pastures

What Really Happened at Roswell? - HISTORY

“So, what you’re trying to tell me is that you’re not an elf?”

-“No, sir.”

“And this isn’t the North Pole?”

-“It could be!”

“So… Sargent, have you been trying to mess with my goddamn mind this whole time?”

*”I’m in the fog as much as you are, Major!  This ain’t Earth, it’s aliens.  Roswell and all!  Aliens!”

“Get a grip of yourself.  This, err, non-elf can help us.  Now, isn’t that right?”

Author’s Note: Two instances of New Jersey in the multiverse.  Why?  Because it ain’t as bad as everyone likes to say!  Also, it’s a little smaller this time.  Look out for next time, it’s a big one!

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Spelljammer’s Steamspace – Light and Dark

Take heed, mighty explorer!  Danger is afoot!  Always prepare!

Free D&D playtest hints that Spelljammer reboot is on the way - Polygon

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.

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Spelljammer’s Steamspace – Desert Winds

Steamspace

A fascinating cluster of worlds unlike any other.  There is one true world within steamspace, an incredible Gas Giant that bounced between several sun-like star shapes.  Orbiting the giant are many moons which foster life, while acting as a means of sampling the greater world for the benefit of the denizens below.  This charter details the various inhabitants upon each of the moons.  The Known Moons of the Gaseous Body, a cosmic cradle that harbors a bubbling and steaming watery world below known as “Steam Titan”, are as follows: Bashar, Destiny Expanse, Victoriana, Noire, Metallum and maybe even more.  Splinter from the Iron Coil Gnome crew became a vital part in the infrastructure and well being of the moons themselves.  While the company presence in the Crystal Sphere fizzled as fleets of Minoi entered roughly ten years ago, they left behind means of survival on otherwise hostile worlds.  Enter moons built on extremes and oddities.  Behold a fantastic gas giant that tethers all of them together, the very source of wondrous power here.  But for today, let us look at the first two moons.

Author’s Note: Remember my Weird Western?  Al’Bashar?  Bits on Space Victorian British?  Blatant Stephen King rip-offs?  Well, it’s all part of the same world cluster!  Also, expect a handful of homages to bits of pulp, sci-fi and then some.  In fairness, this is the kind of insane crack I’d come up with when I did more with 2E AD&D.  In short, mixing Spelljammer with Masque of the Red Death Ravenloft and Gamma World 4th Edition mechanics together would make something like this.

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Ramon’s Guide to Positive Energy Planes

Libertad's Planar Revision Project

We have discussed all of this talk about fusion planes, however we have neglected two very influential and prominent parts of the Inner Planes, the Positive and Negative planes; forces of literal life and death.  And, as you’d expect, they too have their own alterations of the various planes beyond.  Travel forth if you dare, to witness lively and deathly versions of the elemental planes you know so well.

Author’s Note: I had to push things back.  I was gonna do a huge list of elemental things, and probably have a bunch of monsters by now.  But, I haven’t had the extra energy in me.  Plus, I’ve already referenced plenty of canon and custom monsters in previous posts, so that helps.  At the very least, with this one finished, I can create a bunch of cool elemental/inner planes themed monsters!  My own Planescape Monstrous Appendix III of sorts, if you will!  One last note, I have Negative Energy stuff split off into another post too.  Don’t worry, I’ll pop up a few days later.  I just needed to break things up…  It might prove to be a better format, to be honest.  And as always, classical and popular culture are mined and bastardized for idea fodder.

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Ramon’s Guide to Realms of Order vs. Anarchy

Image result for AD&D cosmology

“Law and Chaos, two diametrically opposed sides, no one will refute this.  However, what oddities and secrets do they hold?  Why, I’m happy to show you.  While I have covered a little on Pandemonium and Acheron, it’s only fair to look at the other mostly-neutral planes of Law and Chaos… plus a few looks at other related realms, and a few returns to some less than savory burgs and blights.  But, all in the name of granting knowledge to you, fair scholar!” – An introductory speech for Ramon’s Lecture on Planes of Law and Chaos, at the Civic Festhall, in the Clerk’s Ward of Sigil

Planes of Law, rules taken physical form!  While Acheron has shown the order of war at its most harsh, there is far more to explore within the possibilities of Law.  One must account for concepts of atruism, unity, conformity and direction.  While these topics can overlap between planes; they all have their respective places.  Likewise, their inevitable counterpart is the eternal testament to disorder.  The Planes of Chaos are a lack of rules turned physical.  Chaos need not be just madness, like Pandemonium.  Plenty of free thinkers are driven by many other passions.  These don’t have to be completely selfish either.  Some people just want a good time, consequences be damned!  Others just want free reigns to express themselves, judgements be damned.  So, as these two forces butt heads, let’s take a deeper look at some overviews as well as some of my own dug up finds.  Join me as I return to the planes once again!

Author’s Note: More Planes!  This time Law vs. Chaos.  This was a fun chance to revisit my fey post from last Summer!  (Shout out to Brynvalk for partially inspiring this brief revival!) Also, yes, Augmental probably won’t see use in MOST sane campaigns, considering it’s supposed to be a blend of Phyrexia, Hellraiser and H.R. Giger art in a blender.  Though, I can hope some more tongue-in-cheek segments make up for my usual delves into grimdark.

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Ramon’s Guide to Alternate Realities

Image result for The Upside Down
Upside Down, I have heard of this.  I hope to never go there.

The multiverse is already a confusing concept.  Now, couple that with the concept of parallel realities?  Your hurting mind now roars in a throbbing migraine at the thought.  But, believe me, such things are fact.  Many can attest that traveling through time is just the creation or accessing of a different reality.

Author’s Note: Oh boy, here’s a complicated concept I’ve been eager to tackle.  Also, here’s a chance to pay homage to various What If articles/adventures as well as fan-created takes on settings and lore.  Also, what if The Grand Conjunction succeeded?  Strahd and Azalin aren’t even the worst of it!  And, save for one published article or concept; all these make homage to some work of sci-fi or horror.

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In the Heart of Clockwork: Factions and more for Alza’um

Typical Mayhem in the Streets…

The smoke bomb, particularly the toxic vapor.  Only one group could produce something like that in such short notice, the Chymists!  How desperate someone must be to turn to terror, such inadequate rubble will be eliminated from the city in due time.  Mark my words, the Consortium shall rightfully reign over the future. – Gelzeer, Assistant Lead Mechanic for the Consortium of Machine, at Primus Security Foundation HQ

Despite splitting off from the world above, internal politics breeds their own issues; whether in the splendorous city proper or its bayside proxy.  Various guilds vie for dominance, whether through honest or underhanded means.  That’s not to safe that attempts at sales within the market can’t be a front for devious sabotage and spying… if not acts far worse.  Some could argue that those who protect the city from these biased extremists are biased and extreme in their own right, favoring a repressive status quo and neutrality that inhibits both progress and tradition alike.

Even before these new issues had arisen, turmoil stewed within the city since early days.  Wicked cults that twist the worst of ancient tradition, cruel slavers and exploiters masquerading as market movers and shakers and general violent madmen.  None the less, the city boasts quite the strange history for one that is otherwise pretty young.

Author’s Note: I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, create a timeline as well as faction related stuff for my mini-setting.  Plus, maybe an extra monster or two in an update.  Also, the factions, alongside the monsters, can easily be repurposed for a more steampunk-oriented setting.  Though, there’s no need to have the setting a dark and gritty urban setting deep within the ground.

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More Creations of Alza’um!

Camel, Augmented!

Ever eager to innovate and create, the artifice city marches onward with all sorts of strange ideas.  However, many prove to be quite practical.  Whether to ensure the city runs like clockwork or to keep the peace in some regard, Alza’um provides in many strange ways.  Even in Bashar, there are many marvelous sights to see… and some significantly less so.

Author’s Note:  Pardon the extreme lateness.  Job hunting and other things have held me up.  Simply put, I can’t afford to dedicate too much free time to what I love until I find some kind of job in the meantime.  That said, I’ll try to keep some stuff moving along.  Plus, I have a project that I want to start up soon, inspired by one of my patrons on Patreon!  Stay tuned for all sorts of magic and mayhem.  In the meantime, hopefully some steampunk-y goodness will suffice.

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