Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Scrawling over all the classics Planescape, Darksun , Spelljammer

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF So that I now have collection of house rules in the shell of game, I'm planning to run a g+ game.
But what kind of campaign? Planescape? But with a  Frankensteined darksun and spelljammer grossly flailing from it? Why yes. Yes I will.

It goes  a little something like this:
THe Outlands are now called the Redlands, and are mainly a horrible desert with various oxide shades of sand , salt plains, profane crystal and rock formations , and bug riding barbarian cannibal tribes. In addition when a world or cosmology collapses the various detritus tends to end up here. So just past those sand dunes might lie the broken basalt form of a dead god, a lush fantastical of song and agony, ruins of glass, or whatever.
Also the dead who were vague on their choice of destination or cleaved to gods or cosmologies now defunct, emerge from black black tunnels to blue flaming rifts here, blinking in the harsh sunlight (sun is actually the positive material plane, at night time the negative material plane insinuates night across the sky, the elemental planes far away orbs locked in a tidy orbit with their demi and quasi planes attendant as moons).

YOu can tell the dead (a petitioner) for they cast no shadow, and cannot gain nor lose levels.

And they are valuable to the planes, for planes cannot maintain without petitioners to merge with the plane.
So these orphaned dead are valuable and coaxed, captured , enslaved, or lured to a plane. If they can take on the philosophy they will eventually merge with it. For experiencing eternity will erode your sense of identity until you are nothing more than an aspect of the plane Only a handful of petitioners will be promoted to Solars, Fiends or the like.

The Red lands has 16 portals ringing its unimaginable size. Each one is massive , 1000 feet in height. Each of the planes has one of these portals for it. Around each portal is an Edge City. An edge city is sprawling city state, and while aligned to its plane not completely subject to it. Indeed if a Edge City becomes too much like it's plane, it will slide into the plane and a new Edge City will slowly form. Both the authoritys of the plane and the Edge City are not desirous of this. For a plane to try and directly muscle into the Redlands will run straight into the Lady of Pain who can shut the Portals at will , and cut off all divine power following to would be invaders. Including that of gods. So the Edge Cities try and hussle the orphaned petitioners that trickle their way and salvage the ruins and fragments of cosmologys that turn up in the sands of the Redlands.

 Conversion of various Outsider tribes and denizens of lost cosmology is also a constant enterprise.
Because it's  dangerous to be entirely reliant on the resources of the planes, each Edge City is bitterly entwined with trade with the others. Torch needs the crops of Tradesgate, Excelsior needs the steel of Regis.

Privateering and Piracy goes hand and hand with trade agreements here.
Each Edge City has Psychopomp, (kind of like a sorcerer king or Proxie) who has to balance the interests of the plane and the Edge City. They would be equivalent to level 25, so at least 10 levels lower than a god.
Also a soul tithe must be paid yearly to the plane, and if they have not had enough converts , the cost must be paid in planars, and while merging with your plane is bliss it's also complete identity death.
There's a certain time of year that you really don't want to be caught breaking laws in an EdgeCity.

The situation is comparable to Europe in the height of colonizations era.

The Redlands is too fast to easily travel by foot or terrorbird , and also the menace sandworms (from beetle juice), as well as the fiercely independent Outsider tribes, clad in the hide of a 1000 forgotten monsters and wielding monstrous weapons of bone and fang. So what's a girl to do?
Flying ships of course!
Each Edge City has found its own method of taking to the skies and such wondrous craft serve the  needs of transport, trade and bitter warfare.

Sigil is both a neutral ground and site of bloody political maneuvering.

The edges of the Redlands continue for a a distance past the Edge Cities before reaching an endless Sandstorm of Dissolution.

Flying Straight up from the Redlands eventually gets you to the astral/ethereal plane where the elemental planes are found. Occasionally chucks detach and crash down as meteorites.

Strange storms and their twisters can bring primes from anywhere and dump them in the Redlands.

Current list of player races
Thri-Kreen (native to Redlands)
Elf (any prime,drow and outsider , which is dark sun elves)
Dwarf (any prime (barring gully because really?), + duegar, derro, and clay)
Halfling (any prime)
Gnome (if you must but I hate you)
Lizard folk
Rag Dolls (race of cloth constructs with human organs)
Ghuls (Horned, Scuttler and Peacock. Former Corpse constructs with 3 stable lines of generation )
Gensai (including demi and quasi planes)
Squirrel (because of reasons)
Crow( cause Odin. OR something)
Some kind of Sentient Ooze

Factions will be like prestige classes.
You can start as a member but you don't get ability's until you spend a level in it.
Characters will have a fair amount of ability early on, but fairly mechanically subdued level advancement. Hitpoints will come back with half a hour but you are only gonna get 1 or 2 a level, and actual body hunks start coming off when you get below zero. Cure light wounds is not going to cut it for healing missing limbs. Spells will do less damage and even large creatures will have only like 30 hitpoints or something.
So it's kick in the door, big damn heroes style of play but things can turn against you very fast.

Edge City: Turmoil
Psychopomp: The Whore, a 12 year boy wearing only rouge and a utterly corrupt smile. Like across between  Machiavelli  and every fucked roman emperor
Caligula era Rome, elaborate scabrous frescoes, gladiator rings and chariot racing, enforcers armoured like beetles with scything limbs grafted to them.
Propulsion:Lighter than air nonflammable gases by product of decay of vast lava worms from some unknown layer. Either as zeppelin style one balloon, or numerous pustules all over it.
Ships tend to be either lumbering excessive fire powered juggernauts, or fast lightly armoured ram and board craft. Also the use of piloted rockets that over take enemy fleets and leave trails of spores, acid webs, and poison gas.
Cannons, flamethrowers, gas, acid catapults, acid webs, sporebombs, harpoons and grapples, and ship mounted jaws , drills and ramming prowls
appearance and construction:
Air bladder is generally constructed from a vast worms , bloated and filled with gas, with chitin like claws holding it in place. Rotten, chaotic, spiked, and skeletal.

Psychopomp:The Cremator, A cancer voiced old man with metal hands.
city is grim half hollowed mountain factory city, with vast steel pipes lakes of toxic sludge, like oil refenarys build and populated by furious deranged drunks.
Mines, refines and smelts a variety of steels , ores , and what not.
innate levitation of Gehenna volcanoes and/or flaming thrusters below and behind
rock construction is resilient  to damage, but unstable core. More artillery focused than anything, launching  freezing liquid, lava and larvae via trebuchet . Fly in crescent formation to concentrate fire.
Catapults, trebuchets , lava, ice lava, boulders, rocket boulders, ravenous worms
appearance and construction:
flying volcanoes and citadels. For speed and transport use a "hagbat" like vast batwinged kite with thrusters, relying on speed and attitude to evade.

Grey Wastes:

Like that reed city on a lake, lake is vast oxbow of the river styx. reeds dry and brittle like the bones of birds. Architecture tends to shanty town , ragged coverings and many stored stilted houses, like what a chronically depressed Dr Seus might draw. Fish for swallowed secrets in the styx and make cloth and hide from secrets , betrayals , and liars. Also lemure and gloomworm silk
Psychopomp:The Dredger, a glum hunched hag wearing layers and layers of rotting rags.

Fine tattered sails , like flayed human skin and dirty spiderwebs, catch the ghosts of winds.
fragile, but alarmingly maneuverable
Arrows, poison mists, bat like shapes trailing razor hooked thread, blowguns, baslistas shooting screaming arrows that have mind effecting magics
appearance and construction:
Like classic sailing ships but thin, weak and gaunt. Sails are actually lemure hide or silk

Psychopomp:Incarcarator, an agenderous figure wearing a chain mail wedding dress with a long trail and a long scroll of law covering their face
edgecity: Curst
Like the classic Canceri prints, a vast prison maze. Makes weapons and various outsourced industrial processes
rows of oars like scapels that cut away the ties of gravity
All rounded , but on the slow armoured side
Spinning discs, ballistias, that Korean multiple spear launcher, catapults. Fire breathing faces with laser eyes.
appearance and construction:
Like iron maidens and iron clads and squat turtle ships. Often with face mounted at front , judgmental eagles and solemn titans

edge city:The Tyrant , a white haired grim faced warrior, always wears her armour, like a frost giant but human sized
 resembling nazi era berlin, all brutalist architecture , and secret vices, secret police and draconian laws. Baator green steel , casinos , night life, and banking are its major draws.
So many different kinds of guards, spies and police here, often competing for bribes.

Spinning propellers on underside. Helicopter like things
Armour and range with harassing swarms of one seated helicopters
Cannons, lightning from wind up dynamos, ballistas with bolts becoming centipede like scalpel golems, sniper turrets, rust-rats
appearance and construction:
squat turreted iron clad like things. Bulit fairly traditionally from steel and wood


psychopomp:The Warlord, looks like Sauron but with inspiring chisel jawed face straight from soviet propaganda
nature of city:
Lets go with the soviet thing. Lots of big monuments, futurists style architecture, big parade squares and rust and spikes. Military police
Weapons, weapons, weapons.
Propulsion:A big central wheel like a deranged Ferris wheel that allows the craft to fly because of reasons. Can Magnetically attach to the cubes of Archeron and hurtle around the outside at great speed.
Balanced range of craft each specialized for different strategies, good formations, but tend to flounder if attack patterns disrupts
Cannons, drills, buzzsaws, spinning discs, ball and chains, fletchette cannons
appearance and construction:
Like some of the bizarre pulp deco space ships with a central wheel and also soviet and rusty.


psychopomp:The Arbiter, A stern eyed sage with a typewriter beard
nature of city: Like symmetrically layered with moving travelators and cogs and bureaucracy stuff
resources: automation, fine mechanics, libraries, archives, mathematics and geometry schools. Modrons serve as guards and peace keepers
Propulsion: Central gyroscope taking up most of internal room.
traits:Maneuverable , fancy looking, weird weapons
gravity cannons, blade mines, automated crossbows, lightning
appearance and construction:
Often spherically , or resembling a diatom. Like models of the universe or sextants. MAde of metal and glass.


psychopomp:The Forge, a burning figure in cased in armour of glass and iron
nature of city: Hearty and industrialist, neat , organized and efficient , a little bit Swiss alps and a little bit world fair new york
resources: various and sundry goods, vast grid like farms
Propulsion: Mechanically bat wings and 10 wing "biplane" like things.
traits:all rounder, favour boarding actions
weapons: grapples, huge big harpoons, batwinged clockwork bombs.
appearance and construction: Like your classic sailing ships of yore but with a stack of Leonardo DaVinci on top and early flying machines

Mt Celestia

edgecity: Excelsior
psychopomp:The Judicator , the paladins paladin. Actually glows at all times coz he so paladin.
nature of city: Like all stained glass and vaulted arches and every rose-tinted version of Camelot and that shit.
Healthy and loyal peasants churn out hearty food and all that.
Big crazy crystals like  3 dimensional stained glass , get charged up with singing special holy songs so they resonant with special flying frequency. Called a Chalice.
Healing auras for crew on board and  bless spells.
archers with arrows imparted with magics from the "chalice", bells and sonic weaponry, like angel trumpets
appearance and construction:
Like flying churches


psychopomp:The Duke, a fierce looking blind man with long eyebrows and the master of the flying Guillotine
nature of city:
Regimented but peaceful. Elaborate wall network allows guards to deploy rapidly to any area. Guards ride cabybaras and are armed with chains and mancatchers. Think Imperial Chinese Palace. Underground is huge machinery of unknown purpose, and is also where  clay dwarfs make more of their own.
resources: Pottery, crops (especially cotton and other fabrics), medical herbs and rare minerals
Hot air balloons
Slow, okay armour, ceramic boats resistant to fire and magics (via protective calligraphy), terracotta monkey golems
Exploding fire pots on small balloons used as mines, fire work style rockets, fire lances, terracotta monkey golems, cannons, flaming arrows, greek fire, asbestos armour, can burn holy script in the central burner, fires lit from it then ignore fire resistance of evil creatures.
appearance and construction:
Kinda of like a Chinese Junk but squatter and made from thick glazed ceramics covered in elaborate protective calligraphy. Slung under hot air balloons

psychopomp:The Serene, blue faced lady with a crescent moon combination mask and hat
nature of city:
All art noveau, and gentle babbling fountains, hanging gardens and idealized moon kingdom utopia. Lots of balls and swanning about indulgently. Guards are lycanthropes that turn into large panthers and huge blue wolves.  City is perpetually in twilight. Counts as daylight from vampires though. SUCK IT.
Wine, rare and magical fruit, luxury goods,drugs and herbs.
Either pulled chariot style behind great swans, gondola held by great moths, or whispery barge things that ride moon beams across the sky
Fast, lightly armoured, agile
weapons: Archers with homing arrows, sleep dust, lightning, rays of frost from crystals on sticks, ball lightning (ala ring of shooting stars)
appearance and construction:
either chariot or gondola style or like art noveau barges


psychopomp:The Fury, a Jaguar headed bare chested mighty wrestler known as King.
nature of city:
Hannah barbara cartoon primitive yet techno. Jack Kirby style cubey things of purpose. Bamboo and logs. Petitioners here have animal heads.
Meat! Gladiators! Hides tusks and bones! The great game which is a free for all safari.

All the beast land ships are blessed by mighty raptor spirits and therefore have great eagle wings
fast , damaging , okay armour, short on tactics, big on punching you in your stupid face
"pointing bones" rune carved bones which channel the Primal energies. I.e lasers. Javelins, arrows, crystals in the eyes of the figure head which shoot lasers.
People riding pterodactyls , bolas, jaws and claws on figure have REAL SHIP TEARING ACTION
appearance and construction:
Like a techno pirate ship with animal head and limbs carved in front. Jaws really move! Also has wings.


edgecity: Vagrant
psychopomp:The Dancer, she's a young girl with goat legs and magic pipes and she's like Delirium from SandMan
nature of city: ITs build in tree houses on the back of a massive giant snail. The snail has lasers that it shoots from its eyes and its slime is holy water. Slime.
It's all hippy , and swings, and trees and parties but it's cool. Like the Lost boys hide out from the stink Hook movie. HAs fierce sparrowmen archers and squirrels. ANd hatch ways into the shell of the snail.
fun! good vibes! Fancy wood! Snail shells

appearance and construction:
Rainbow coloured nautilus and snail shells with bright silk sails. With a tree growing out the of it and tree huts in the tree.

Propulsion: Fly with fucking pixie dust. Has drummers and musicians which make crew immune to fear and panic as long as they play. If musicians killed, and morale fails, so does the pixie dust.


as well as the morale effects above, not as fragile as they look and annoyingly fast. Weapons not hugely damaging , but repeated hit and runs from Arborea ships start to take their toll
Actual flying trees as missiles that take root and fuck up the enemy ship. Music that causes Ottos Irresistible dance (musicians can't maintain both morale boost and this at the same time) . Brightly coloured mushrooms that shoot spores that have sleep/hallucination/confusion effect. Puff ball mines. Archers.


psychopomp:The Champion, pretty much Toph from Avatar the last air bender
nature of city:
Glorious! Grows on the side of the Yggdrasil. Kinda of Norse but Mongolian and Celtic influence as well. Basically a sprawling tent city with the only real solid construct being drinking halls and arenas. Gravity aligns to side of tree. Squirrels.
Fierce , fierce squirrels. Fortune telling one eyed crows. If you are being a dick, everyone will fight you.
brawls, wood, giant fungus, fruit the size of a horse. A fat berry horse.
appearence and construction:
Long boats viking style! But flying!
Rows of muscular  warriors lift ship into the air, while dudes propel it forward with rowing
Yggdrasil provides strong wood. Not much long range weapons. Fast though if turning axis not great
Warriors! Grappling! Bezerkers delivered by catapult. Ramming prow, and lightning breathing figure heads


edgecity:Detropolis (same name as the one in limbo. Actually kind of the same place. Sometimes)
psychopomp:The Anarch. who the Anarch is changes moment to moment. So any particualt person could suddenly be the most powerful in .
nature of city:
Like someone got 10000years of Cities and shook them in a jar and then had drunk ants rebuild them. Except the ants were imaginary.
Impossible things smuggled out of limbo/

Appearance and construction:
2 kinds, one is Kludge which is an alarming collection of things tied together and flying by sheer ignorance of physical laws. The GIthzerai have their own fleet of Voidrazors, which are kind of like a canoe made by a artist trying to reference tribal culture without being too "primitivist" about. Githzerai sometimes give slaadi experimental version of a void razor with magical monitoring  devices and let them loose
traits: varies, Void Razors are fast as hell and  hard hitting
weapons: varies, Void razors are armed with monofliment floss and beams of vorpal light.


psychopomp: THe Mocker, a harlequin with long pointy nose mask. Wanders around giving dire prophecys and cutting fashion advice
nature of city:
It's okay if you like the slums of London but the buildings reach 12 stories and an elaborate series of flying foxes are cabled everywhere because the river Styx occasionally floods the city.
Poor as edge Cities go. Occasionally artifacts or lost treasures retrieved from Pandemonia show up here. Similar to the markets of Detropolis in that you will find anything for sale for any price if you look longer enough. Also has the finest collection of books written by mad scholars in all of the planes!
Guards? Bleakers mounted on howlers serve to keep the trouble at a muttering constant and not a full blown riot.

Rare, not as expansionist as other edge cities. There is one shipyard though, where mad inventors work tirelessly to make ...things.
The occasionally Pandemonium ship looks like a weaponized church organ and more or less is.
Traits: Slow, protected by winds of discord and deflection, alarming amount of firepower
Weapons: Disintegration effects, confusion effects, rockets fired from pipes, weapon effects depend on the skill of the organ player
Ships organ must be continuously played and the music directs its defenses and weapons.


  1. ok geeze, you win, take it easy.

  2. Delightful, colourful, imaginative, madness :)

  3. Amazing. I really want to muck around in this world. I enjoy how your writing manages to get so much content into so little space. Dense, evocative and lush. Huzzah - keep it up!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. I agree, evocative is the word. Amazing too, how official products say so much less with so many more words, isn't it?

  6. What is particularly good is how illustrations of any of this would diminish it and not possibly do justice to the mental imagery your sparse words evoke.

  7. Planning to run a G+ game you say? When and how might one get in on this? I'm seriously interested, but mostly short on time, especially the times that normal people are awake.

    1. hit me up g+, I'm Scrappruncess on there, I'm based in New zealand so time zone weirdness might be serendipitous

  8. I'm stealing some of your beautiful ideas for my next campaign Scrap^_^

  9. Is the character creation still available?

    1. I'm not running any campaigns with it myself , but here's the character creation document https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WyN9B9WRr5L9SYaNc7UqWzeHDdrUyzcekxLhw1KcZ1E/edit?usp=sharing