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.
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.
While Alza’um secludes itself in secrecy, the land is still quite populous. While the population is predominantly made of humans, gnomes, dwarves and even ratfolk; it’s still bristling with its own unique vibrancy and charm. Much like the machines that operate on clockwork, so do the denizens. Life is a chaotic schedule balanced under the facade of order. This insular technical revolution is made under the assumption that the outside world isn’t ready, but they’re more than enlightened. Whether this is truth or unaware foolishness hasn’t been determined yet. Either way, strange adventures and even stranger locals await those granted the proper access.
Author’s Note: It’s a pun! But seriously, I felt like I was leaving out a lot of goodies. At some point, I’ll want to flesh this out for say an OGL product or something, once I can get help with maps, layout and artists eventually. In the meantime, here are some underground dwellers of this outlandish city of high magical technologies. Of course, many can be repurposed for more steampunk oriented games.
Welcome. Please, step into the elevator chamber at the end of the hallway.
Alza’um, the true city beneath the smoke and mirrors. Life is far more controlled than in the port city of mysteries and merchants. However, that doesn’t make life any easier. Only the lucky and the blessed get their way in, without tricky maneuvering. Stowaways and thieves don’t make out too well. For those who make it? It’s a long way down the ladder and back up. Life in the city is a climb towards excellence. Of course, too many refuse to let others into their station.
In the beginning, a large caravan of outcasts, tinkerers, mages and artificers came together with a common goal. They wished to craft and hone their abilities in peace, trading and sharing knowledge within their enclave. For a while, it was a place of common ground and unity. Racial differences of these sages and inventors mattered little, but rather their devotion to their creations and the quality of their work. An ideal lead to a city, which fled underground after conflict with the outside world. This racial harmony ideal lasted… until the denizens of the darkness below found themselves in inevitable conflict with the city dwellers.
Author’s Note: Part 2 continues with the namesake city! In addition, I might make some extra crunch bits soon too. Needless to say, I’m having tons of fun with this.
Just a normal colony, nothing to see here…
Bashar. It’s a city of splendors! A glowing beacon amidst sloshing sea and dead desert. Beyond it? A wasteland riddled with pillaged tombs, booby traps and a rare village or two. Those who do make the voyage are treated to a gathering place of delights and fancies. The bazaar attracts and sells some of the finest wares in the world, as well as domestic items beyond words. It is here that new forms of magic have been unveiled as well as incredible forms of technology dubbed “magitech”.
However, life in this metropolitan hub is not what it seems. While a paradise for the discerning buyer or the exotic seller, a sinister shadow is caste upon those who live within the dusty streets and winding alleyways beyond the market. Few care or look out for each other. While backstabbing is rarely literal, there isn’t much trust between neighbors. Help is looked upon with a sense of dishonor and ascension up the social ladder is rife with self-sacrifice or betrayal.
Your ship is closing in fast to the docks ahead. Greetings traveler, welcome to the Bazaars of Bashar!
Author’s Note: I’m back at trying my hand at world building once more! And like always, I bend things away from typical pseudo-euro high fantasy and towards other genres and ideas. I’ve always been fascinated with massive urban hubs, even in fantasy fiction. One of the earlier cases of this was the setting of many Fafhrd and Gray Mouser stories, which provided a level of inspiration. Beyond Lankhmar, Planescape’s Sigil, Conan the Barbarian, Arabian Nights and Magic the Gather’s Ravnica have proved to be fair resources for ideas. Anyway, this is what I have so far! Enjoy!
Time for an upgrade!
The art of the shootist has transcended beyond certain types of warriors and scoundrels, expanding to even holy warriors, devoted protectors of spiritual ways or even magic-users themselves!
Author’s Note: I meant to do this long ago! However, monsters took over much of my gaslamp/weird western thing. So, let’s not delay this any longer! Here are more ranged (guns) sub-class options for your games! Also, this time an homage to The Dark Tower. Also, special thanks to my friend, Ian. Your insight really helped shape things here, and your endurance allowed you to deal with my endless rambling. Trying to hammer sub-classses based off a meta concept like ranged weapon combat proved to be a challenge for me… especially in regards to classes that weren’t quite meant for them. As such, this might be a little more janky than some of my other creations. I’ll try to refine whatever I can here.
NEXT STOP, WESTWORLD, ALL A-beep-boop-beep!
I’ve seen plenty of things in my day, but none of them involved these divines darned machines taking over the place. I work for a living and some oiled up rust bucket won’t replace me! I’m a representation of the great folk who live here, at least out in Cascading Ridge, a real oasis if I do say! Now the place is probably gonna smell of bad oil. I’m gonna file a grievance to the mayor about this. I won’t be replaced!
– Gristle Pete, deceased cook for the Cascading Ridge Saloon and former miner.
“Shame about ol’ Pete. But, rumor has it that there’s an order hunting down folks who steal a fine explosive powder filled with magic. I heard Pete’s been hoarding it like something fierce. Plus, no machine can shoot with that level of precision, that bullet hole between the eyes? That’s masterwork! Hmm, certainly the act of an elite gunslinger, the wound is still somewhat fresh. I’d say maybe a couple of days old.”
– Jeanette P. Hoffman, Human Smokepowder Shootist, “Wandering Medical Examiner”.
The machines, they seem to be popping up everywhere. As long as there’s some hack scientist with some kinda idea, something automated will appear soon after. Gristle Pete, the saloon’s mad cook got strung up by something a couple of weeks ago after babbling about “automatons replacing him”. Poor ol’ loon. Plus, the owner of the bar seems a bit toooo friendly with his top of the line automaton staff, it’s downright disgusting. Plus, you got the mechanical miners too. Ol’ Pete used to be a miner once, ya know? No wonder he’s paranoid. Keep your distance from one of those wandering tin cans, if ya know what’s good.
Author’s Note: Machines, constructs, robots! I always love crafting something like that. Hell, I did an entire post dedicated to robots before. Plus, what better way to celebrate the Fourth of July than with some crazy, volatile machines!