Monday, 14 May 2012

Scrawling over the classics part 7 Planescape, Arborea

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF


Wow. Arborea. I just read the entry on it. It is super ranger land. Like it's wilderness but BIGDEAL wilderness . Oh but to make it interesting there is elvish and  greek gods.
I don't even know when to began . Elysium is peaceful ruins .. with laser animals, and Mt Celestial is Trials and Kirby Celestials, beastland is super wilderness encounter world. Chaotic good huh... did I already do a oversized wilderness where-you-are-like bugs, yes yes I did in Beastlands. Okay I got it, Arborea is about freedom and potential, and the landscape is fantastic worlds that could never exist in such a cruel world, but here in Chaotic Good land they can, and animals absurd and friendly. Like the best kids books ever, a land of towering purple bouncy mushroom forests, rolling hills that are friendly turtles, edible clouds, and flying jungles. PICTURE DUMP (shit that was harder than I thought to find anything..)

 Arborea is populated with all kinds of impossible animals, while beastland has all possible animals, Arborea has pushme-pullyous, sidehill gougers, hoop-snakes and go here for more stuff.
The petitioners here can take the form of these beasts, weird creatures of their own imagination, or their original form. Some live raucous lives of adventure and wildness, others find contemplative realms to chill the fuck out but most swing wildly between the two. Petitioners here can't really be killed, and can regenerate from their original body or dissolve it and create a new one. This makes them even more reckless than the may have been in their original lives, and sometimes can be unaware that visitors to this realm  may not be so baize about their own safety.
Arborea is a mash of all kinds of fantastic realms, and they do not lead on from each other linearly. You can only find a realm depending on your intentions. If you are exploring it with plunder and bloodshed in mind, you are going to find realms of fierce punching arm trees and double-tigers. If you want a serene la-la walk you will get gently drifting blue warm icebergs, and rubbery purple mushroom forests and aerial brooks and mossy smiling frog statues.

As well as the usually upper plane crowd of devas, couatls, moondogs and solars and some stupid animal themed angels that I can't be bothered look up right now, there is the Galloons.
Galloons come in 3 flavours. They are like wild playtime monsters invented by 6 year olds. They represent the spirits of freedom, adventure, and running around like a maniac screaming your head off with the shear joy of being alive.
All Galloons regenerate 3 hit points a round in  Arborea, and if reduce to zero , they dissolve back into the substance of the plane, to reform next "sunrise". Outside Arborea they cannot heal at all, and lose 1 hitpoints a hour. If they die outside Arborea they are dead forever. Thus it's extremely rare to encounter them outside Arborea.
Also possess a low level empathy, allowing them to sense the intentions of any intelligent being who's presence they are aware of.
The Galloons that represent great big lovable brutes are called Hurly-Burlys. The appearance is large giant hulking things, that are somehow adorable in a fierce way. Each individual appears different, some a giant purple rabbits, some are blue muscle men with grumpy catfish faces , and some are boar-ladys.
okay so most people are thinking of Where the Wild Things are, and that is an inspiration for this, but not solely , Ned and The Joybaloo (anyone know the correct spelling of this book? I really wanted to use images from it but I couldn't remember the proper spelling of the title or the illustrators name.) , My neighbor Totoro, and the like also were. Anyone my point is, the illustrations from the original book "Where the Wild things" creep me out. I can't deal with them at all. That's why I'm not using them. It's like The yellow Submarine and some other art styles, it makes me feel sickened in this weird way and I don't know why.

They can change their size heaps, and can do great feats of strength, and are frequently building forts, or damns, and general doing what a giant 5 year would do. Maybe not the animal cruelty though. Although if you are looking for a epic brawl, Hurly Burlys will happily oblige.
Sussurruss (yeah fiend folio I don't care, using the name, you can call those guys Whispering Apes, or Snitherhulks or Hush) are incarnations of flying , swimming and movement. They are found rocketing through the skys and seas of Arborea, and can be bribed with tasty fruits to give people rides from one side of Arborea to the other.

They can fly equally well in air or water and know many secrets places of healing and riches in Arborea.

Finksters are the incarnations of mischief, hijinks, out-foxing people and the little guy triumphant. Anasai, Puss In Boats, Coyote etc. They have numerous illusion and shapechanging magics, and might just ruin your day by stealing all your stuff. But all in good fun. Um. Man these guys sound annoying. Have them more swashbuckler Merry highwayman than "the invisible pixie hits with a sleep spell and then steals your backpack" if don't want them to be dicks.


My whimsy nature is reflected by my choice to look like a bad tattoo 

Balls these posts take along time if I have to search for images. Anyway here's a thing.
a d12 table for random Arborea colour
1:Hurly Burlys building a damn. One looks like a sumowrestler with a slughead the other looks like a steroid hamster.
2.People wearing paint having a wild party suspend from trees by obliging spiders and their webs.
3:A raging free for all brawl between elves , barbarians, goats, and wildebeasts. All weapons are melons grown in the shape of weapons.
4. People sledding down a giant frog back into crystal waters.
5. Flying trees with squirrels doing stunts
6. A mushroom forest where all the mushrooms have been hollowed out and made to look like brass instruments. People waiting for the wind to pick up to start the contest.
7.Little tiny pixies playing polo on rabbits with a glass eye. Someone is trying to get the glass eye back.
8.A hot air balloon made to look like a shark smoking a pipe has crashed into a tree.
9.A sussurruss is trying to make the biggest waves it again on a lakeside bank with sonic booms
10. A finkster is doing the old shell game with some raccoon rangers
11. Dogs playing cards
12.A magical snail that can do anything to food, offers to turn random rocks and branches to food. "This boulder tastes like marshmallow, but do save room for the oak branch, it is a finely smoked cheese flavour"

Okay this table is for determining what the environment is like, modifier it by up to -4 for hostile enraged parties, and up to +4 if they are looking for a rest.

Then roll a 1d8

-3 Huge chasm with mighty rivers pound through them. Octopus cling to the walls and throw boulders at each other. A maze of nets and rope bridges guarded by tightrope walking ogres and jumping spiders eager for violence is strung above it. It periodically rains weapons.
-2 Fields of flaming grass with great icy basalt bisons lumbering along, which are a serviceable islands. Antigravity icebergs ricochet around shattering each other and bursting into steam.
-1 A mysterious inviting cave, with great vaulted halls and eerie lighting, huge flying bat-bears will respond to any slight disturbance with rambunctiousnity
0 Green grass plains but the land heaves and rises like a stormy ocean.
1 Fields of flowers, with strange perfumes. Sniffing a flower too close duplicates a random potion effect.
2 A Steaming swamp, that smells earthy, and somehow pleasant. The mud is warm and relaxing, and squibbons yodel through the goblin trees.
3 A forest of huge towering luminous mushrooms
4 A snowy plain, that is cold, yet somehow you feel warm as your mood dictates. The snow slowly molds itself into hills and beasts and back again.
5 A vast shallow lake, only ankle depth. A sun rise and sets every ten minutes and bizarre skimming frogs and geese alternative peruse the lake for food.
6. Everything is cake
7.A salt plain with mammoths that are limbless and vegetine,with green shaggy fur. They are rolling everywhere, followed by flocks of butterflys, insects and humming birds.
8. A beach of mighty mighty sand dunes and flying umbrella plants
9.A lunar surface with silver brooks and owls. The waters heal wounds at 1 hitpoint per round and are chill but not too so.
10. A festhall of epic portions, every hearty food, and merry song is here. Eating your fill here, gives you the effect of a bless spell for the next day.
11.A deep purple sky with flying whales above a pink frothy ocean with swimming cats. Soft thick mud islands are willy-nilly , on which can be found glazened chalk temples to various chaotic good deities. Most are uninhabited but a a few have a relaxed petitioner who will trade the casting of cleric spells for stories of peoples travels.
12. A forest of fruit trees, each one more bizarre than the last. Each fruit tree has a 1 in 4 chance of  its fruits duplicating a potions effects. (roll random potion but roll twice and choose the more benign result). Each tree has 1d20 fruits ripe enough to eat, and the fruits retain their powers outside Arborea but only if you do not pick all the fruit off the tree.

A 1d12 table of my players just rocked up here , need something to do, oh and they are like level 1.

1. The player stumble into a in progress game of Calvinball. Pertiioner and/or Galloons/ and/or random whatever are playing Calvinball. The players are playing too, like it or not. The prize for "winning" the game is something like a silver statue of a rabbit or +1 2 handed sword or a branch that grows flaming berrys or something.
2.Something adorable like a baby goat requests the p.cs aid to help a Hurly-Burly trapped on the other side of a portal. They have stuck their head in a magic amphora and can't remove it and it's too big to go through the portal. Aid and gratitude will be the reward for helping the removal of the amphora.
3.A angry gang of badgers confronts the p.cs. If they don't help them solve a riddle , they will beat them unconscious, take all their stuff and stick in a narrow warren.
 4.A flood! A dam has burst (or the landscape just felt like it) and water rushes through the land. The p.cs will have to find high ground or floatation devices, or wind up battered , half drowned, and separated.
5.A hurly-burly demands a battle! It will play fair and agree to submit if it takes a certain amount of damage appropriate  to the level of the p.cs. It will offer healing streams to any causality after the fight. It will offer a fine prize for victory.
6.A sussurrus grabs one of the p.cs and strands them in high high tree or absurdly narrow tower or bean sprout, and flies off. It has mistaken the p.c for someone else it need of a pranking.
7.A weakened ogre covered in bees , maddened with pain , is charging the p.cs way and will fight them if it sees them through its apisian doom.
8. A finkster challenges a p.c to wager and partake in an absurd contest, such as greased pig wrestling. It will have a sneaky  edge though , like a concealed invisible rope in the pig contest, or mimic disguised as a napkin in a pie eating competition.
9.A dangerous animal starts stalking the p.cs like a double-tiger, or Siege-Goose. It will make itself known in rustles and monumental glimpses, but will not attack unless they panic or betray a lack of confidence.
10.They enter Arborea (or the path is blocked) and find themselves surrounded by vast herd of hatted rhino. It is laborious to squeeze past the tightly packed rhino, and the rhino are not easily provoked, ignore curses, prods, shoves and being climbed on but if attacked in earnest they will promptly stampede. Which would be bad.
11. Treasure lies at the bottom of a strange pool. It is as normal water , but the surface tension is far greater, you would need a great weight to allow yourself to make it to the bottom of the pool. And then surface tension strangly acts against you again, making it difficult to get off the bottom. Mermaids in a neighboring stream, mock and try a lure the p.cs  into playing with them instead (tag or calvinball). They don't understand death is not a recoverable condition for the p.cs.  If ignored rudely they will cast charm spells to get their way. If attacked they will flee.
12.A limbless petitioner, still in quite good spirits asks the p.cs if they would not mind recovering their limbs, which are in the possession of large carnivorous squirrels currently.

One last table of stuff to lure mid to high level p.cs to the plain
 1.The location and capture of Impossible animals; either for "balancing" a ecosystem, a private zoo, or general mayhem
2. As above but the magical property of hides, eyes, horns etc.
3. To pass a vast wilderness they need the advice of a long dead ranger, who now inhabitants Arborea. He will demand tests to prove their mightyness. Such as fighting polar bears naked in the snow.
4.Usually blah blah lift the curse with this magic flower, but found here, guarded by X etc
5.A to B, Arborea has quite a few out going portals and if you can get on the good side of a Sururrus you could get dropped off right beside a portal to almost anywhere.
6.Blueprints for fantastic society's
7.Market places where anything could be traded for anything.
8.Lost relics of forgotten gods
9.Bizarre materials for making impossible buildings, floating rocks, warm ice, mood sensitive mud etc. And finding materials that can be removed from Arborea and still retain their properties.
10.Calvinball grand tournament and it's prizes
11.Fantastic vehicles and inventions of madmen, who live here , as it is the only place were it is possible to build what is in their dreams.
12.Finding teachers and trainers who can teach you impossible physical feats, such as stealing and shadow, or punching someone into next week.

Okay that's is done. Yes going to eventually do d12 tables for the planes I already covered for colour, low level, mid/high level. (low level is more "fall into the middle of something encounters", while the mid/high are more sand box bait. So keep that in mind.

picture unrelated. Except possibly as explanation for why these posts take far far longer if I have to spend too much time image searching

This book ---> right here, is what I'm talking about. Kid gets to sweet ass dream land with his magic buddy every friday. Hates everything but friday. Starts trying to use every day. UNTIL IT DON"T WORK ANYMORE, so he has to start getting high through everyday activity so his tolerance levels will drop enough for him to get proper fucked up again.
Its what lifes all about really. Relationships are all about managing the endorphin fix and spacing it out enough so you don't get tolerant of it. Oh and some how trying to think rationally enough to work out if the person you are getting buzzed off is actually fun to be around when you are not high on your bodys internal sex drug supply.


  1. I always thought that if I had to pick a plane to live on it would probably be Arborea. The others seem either boring or like you would die in about 5 seconds.

  2. you know, you've pretty much described the place I wanna go to when I die.

  3. picture unrelated "now, son, mommy will be very disappointed if you don't let the bear eat you"

  4. So I should go into business as a psychopomp huh?

  5. My favorite so far.,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=6259c191753d91cf&biw=1233&bih=612

    1. the kids book that teaches us that life is all about managing your own personally endorphin high/tolerance/dependency cycle. Excellent.