Saturday, 9 March 2019

Incarnari, city of the mad

Created with watabou's fantasy city generator

Over at the RPG subreddit, user /u/Dan_Felder proposed the idea of the one-page setting.  His example, The Echoing Wood makes it seem like a great idea.  It's a fae-haunted forest that could be dropped into any adventure that requires overland travel.  One page is just enough information to supply a framework to hang your own ideas from.  A few more followed:

The Iron Dunes, a desert where the sand is a mixture of tiny metal filings and ore grains, and corroding clockwork monsters steal children.

The Slugslime Sedge, a dry lakebed given over to vegetative rot where disease festers and only weird loners seem to thrive.

The Savage Tundra, a cold region facing multiple threats in a climate where the environment can kill you if nothing else does.

The Ashlands, a sci-fantasy wasteland with the hook that a war was fought with a superweapon that erased the survivors' memories.

Out of all the examples above, Savage Tundra would have to be my favourite.  The author (Dungeon Possum?  His blog profile doesn't give him a name) describes the region, the locations, the factions, the important NPCs and day/night encounter tables in just the right detail to invite a GM to colour it in.  There's months of gaming in that page.  I think he's also arrived at exactly the right format for showcasing a 1PS.  Everything's available at a glance and easily related to the map in the corner.

I've written a setting of my own and tried to match that format as closely as possible: The Mad City.  It's a far-future setting in Earth's dying years, inspired by Jack Vance's Dying Earth stories and M. John Harrison's Viriconium novels.  People are falling to despair and desperately looking for distraction.  The city is a permanent drunken party that can switch to violence at a moment's notice.  Player characters may be natives looking for revenge, redemption or profit in the time they have left, or the forgotten heroes of a bygone age revived as entertainment.

Click the image to view the PDF

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