Alza’um, Land of High Artifice Part 1. Bashar

scifi desert landscape by Bawarner

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!

 

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RPG Blog Carnival: All of these Worlds

RPGBlogCarnival

Worldbuilding.  It’s a chore, it’s a craft, it can be great fun!  From a young age till now, I’ve always loved it.  Whether my eyes scrawl over the many fantastical and wonderful realms of countless authors or I concoct my own strange dimensions from even stranger depths!  For November 2018, Nuketown is hosting the RPG Blog Carnival with the theme “All These Worlds…“, a nod towards the classic novel, 2010.

So, it got me thinking about the world I’ve used for quite a few games.  From the gritty to the gonzo, from the mystical to the mundane, from the distant past to the distant future.  This world is known as Arothe.  It’s a quirky and bizarre little world hooked up to many strange eons.  In a sense, it’s a high-gonzo, high-planar setting.  For the passing glance, it’s what happens when a kid from the 1990s plays too much Planescape and RIFTS.  And, well, you’re not exactly wrong.  Throw in a lot of ’80s and ’90s sci-fi and fantasy in general, while we’re at it.  But, there’s nothing wrong with talking about your inspirations.  Inspiration helps to shape the tropes, genres and more that makes up pop culture today!

Author’s Note: So, my previous post with some Zelda themed magical items?  Admittedly, I was mostly interested in doing that for the Blog Carnival, albeit it was more so as homage to Peanut Butter Gamer’s Zelda Month videos.  Whether this month or early next month, I’ll probably make another LoZ themed post, as I promised I’d do something in some capacity!  In the meantime, I want to do something for the November Blog Carnival again.  This time, I wanna talk about the home setting I’ve mostly isolated from my very blog.  My earlier posts were tied into my own world’s lore, but insecurity and anxiety got the best of me and these references were mostly removed.  That said, I wanna welcome people back to my delightful labyrinth of weird, dark, gonzo and crazy that embodies what I do!  Also, be warned!  Long winded ramblings lie ahead!  Tread at your own risk!

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Taking Inspiration from the Marvel Cinematic Universe for Dungeons & Dragons

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Admittedly, I’ve been away from the boundless realms of graphic novel and comic books.  Whether it’s because I’m hesitant to try new series or because money is always tight, I haven’t really gone too deep into comic books, especially nowadays.  Now, I’ve caught up on a few series and read many of them after the fact, but I’ve never really gotten active within any fandoms… unless a handful of defunct and finished web-comics count for anything, that is.  That said, I’ve been slowly been brought back into the fold thanks to Disney and Marvel teaming up for the relatively recent series of films that have been mostly pretty damn good.  Save for a few sub-par installations, the films that have been released (sometimes more than) once a year have been fantastic.  At the best, an excellent journey of action and heroism… and at worst?  A good way to spend an evening, none the less.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has allowed theater goers to observe all parts of the expansive realms of Marvel; past, present and future.  We’ve had stories jam packed with all sorts of adventure… and all sorts of adventure inspiration.  These are mostly big stories full of drama and conflict, the righteous and the malicious, worlds thrown out of balance due to someone’s corrupt plans; worlds in need of great heroes, where said heroes rise up to the occasion.  On top of that, they have a variety of moods and styles to them.  The stories can range from world threatening menaces to stories about a struggling family to a conspiracy that seeks to intertwine itself with the very companies and governments we associate with.  All around, there’s more than enough to work with.  With that, let’s take a brief look at taking from MCU to enhance and inspire your games.

Editorial Note: Wait, what is this?  Well, I wanted to shake things up a little.  Considering it’s game related, I posted it here rather than on the original review blog.  But, don’t be alarmed, I’m still going to produce as much gaming content as I can.  But, I’m hoping this article will still be useful for you, at least to spark some ideas.

I was originally planning another theme, but Doctor Strange (and the rumors regarding Wizards of the Coast’s next release) revitalized my planar/multiverse theme!  So, a bit off the cuff, but whatever!  In fact, this article is very off the cuff and not really planned at all.  Also, Marvel did not pay me to write this.  I wanted to write this.  I might just like the Marvel movies… a lot.  Also, the following focuses more on the recent movies, for the most part.  None the less, enjoy.

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