Star Grove: An area filled with strange, alien vegetation, much of which is carnivorous. Star spawn tend the grove. They will give only the most cryptic of answers to any questions directed at them, but will not attack unless attacked. If sick or wounded characters enter the forest the spawn will stop what they are doing and immediately tend to them. If the character or its companions show any signs of hostility, they will disengage and wait for an opportune time to steal the injured party away, even those that have engaged in prior hostile action. After securing the sick/wounded they will transport them to their strange subterranean lair and tend to them there. Patients will be released once they are healed.
Tuesday, October 12, 2021
Robot Farm: Several thousand Hectares of cultivated land. A wide variety of robots tend the land. The robots come in all sorts. They have all been modified, as none of them were originally built for agriculture. The food generated from their enterprise is stored in a large warehouse. Every year the previous year’s harvest is destroyed. Battle Droids patrol the perimeter of the farm and will attack anyone attempting to enter. It is possible that human adventurers might gain entry and, perhaps, even access to the food stores. Humans, however are thin on the ground in the Weird Wood.
Thursday, September 30, 2021
Recently, I bought a lot of Bill Willingham's Elementals on Ebay.
Anyone who knows me at all, is aware that I spend a lot of time reading, thinking about- and making comics.
Minor spoilers ahead:
I’ve tapped into the first 17 issues. 1-5 are pretty cool. I’m not crazy about the ending of the first storyline, but I might feel differently on a second read.
Issue 6 launched a new direction as the Elementals become regular superheroes, which they kind of suck at.
7 is about the Elementals fame and thoroughly skippable.
9-12 are some spy stuff and an adventure dealing with some of the sorcerous fall out from the end of the first story line.
13 is a one in done dealing with an ice daemon.
14 is a downtime issue, normally I hate downtime issues, but this one is pretty neat, because it addresses the fact that they’re all actually undead, and can't really do downtime, all of which still seems like pretty cool and original to me thirty-five years on.
15 is a one and done, kinda, with a fight between Vortex and a dude named the Annihilator, who was one of the supervillains from the first storyline.
16-17 Comprise a vampire story. the vampire is an overweight nosferatu kinda guy, with some Incel issues. it's pretty straightforward and nothing to get excited about, but enjoyable for what it is.
Willingham is completely at the mercy of his inkers. The early and later issues look best. In between he’s got some amateurs on the job.
There are a two lines of narration/dialogue that would cause a kerfuffle today.
Bill’s hatred of anti-semites shines through in many places. It comes up a lot.
Overall it's a 6/10
There’s also a Justice Machine/Annihilators miniseries in this pile. Justice Machine is an even deeper cut than the Elementals. I'll get to it eventually.
I find supers in a limited world like this, Savage Dragon, BPRD, and pre 1970’s Marvel more enjoyable. I guess I’d include Kirby’s 70’s stuff too, because that shit is set in the big two universes in name only.
Gaming connection: The Destroyers initially appears in two V&V adventures written and illustrated by Willingham. In typical fanboy fashion one of the letters in a later issue access Willingham of staling them from the module. Looking at the creators name is hard, I guess.
Monday, July 19, 2021
I wrote a novel that takes place in my Mars setting. I will start revisions within the week and I hope to have it up on Amazon by the end of August. Some of you might find this interesting: I wrote the first draft in 19 days after reading that Bradbury did Fahrenheit 451 in 18. he did more words and I assume all his revisions within that time, but still 19 days is pretty good.
Friday, June 18, 2021
Friday, June 4, 2021
Sagoth Caves: A series of limestone hills riddled with caves. The caves show evidence of former habitation, but nobody lives there now- or at least not permanently. Strange things happen in the caves, ghosts are seen and fell beasts come up, without warning, from the lower tunnels.
Comments have been turned on.
Monday, May 31, 2021
Here is a look at the table of contents and rough notes for the upcoming BX Mars Deep City Ruins Zine
Into the Ruins (BXM2)
Brief: An in-depth look at the deep city ruin environment, 2 new classes, three new factions a bunch of maps and art and stuff.
Classes (Scout, Druid)
Deep Xumos- three maps.
Denizens of the Deep ruins
On presenting monsters
New wonders of the ancients
Optional rules for smaller groups.
Design notes and possible conversions.
6-8 page comic.
The Deep City Ruins.
The edges of Ruined Xumos are controlled by the Thark, but the deeper into the ruins one ventures, the wilder and more dangerous things become.
There’s a water source somewhere below the city and, ancient machines, the final vestiges of a forgotten irrigation system of unthinkable proportion, bring it to the surface. As a result the city is choked with vegetation. Some of it is dangerous. Nearly all of it is edible if properly processed and some of the plant’s will do their best to eat you as well.
This vegetation, of course, provides a basis for the local food chain. Within the confines of Zerzura, the biodiversity of the deep city ruins is matched only by that of Shadow Canyon. Many of the plants and animals living in the city can be found nowhere else in the region or, possibly the entirety of mars.
There are wonders of the past and many other valuable things to be found in and under the deep city. Every year, dozens of Martians, red and green, alike, set out from the settlement at the frontiers edge and venture into the ruins in hopes of finding such things. Most don’t come back. Few of those who do escape with more than their lives. Countless stories and rumors tell of treasure found and then lost again the prospectors were slain on their way out of the ruins.
One of the great treasures supposedly lost in the ruins is a working food machine. It is almost certain that each of the regions factions sends agents in search of it from time to time. Such a find would surely destroy the current balance of power and spark the Zezura’s first major armed conflict in time out of mind.
However stories of lesser treasures have been more than enough to motivate a steady stream of prospectors for time out of mind.
Who ventures into the ruins? Members of every class represented in the BX Mars book and the two new classes presented in the following section are suitable for Deep Ruin adventures.
Scouts are one of the rare classes available to both Thark and Red Martians. Scouts are individuals who have dedicated their lives to exploring the ruins of the city. Although individuals they are often business rivals, costs generally work in a loose association with one another. As stated above, few expeditions return, even fewer do so without scouts. It should not be assumed that a given scout will know the layout of a particular area. The frontier between the civilized city’s edge and its deeper sections is constantly shifting inward.
Rarely encountered outside the ruins, Druids are Thark! who through rigorous effort have attained a level of psionic influence over plants and animals.
A loose association of druids and scouts.
The Grax: warriors and leaders of the great horde. They rarely act in concert and might defiantly makes right.
The Nuphal: The traders maintain a permanent presence here and is always interested in the acquisition of ancient artifacts, regardless of means.
The Unclean: Servants of the Mad Sun lurk here as they do everywhere. They actively attempt to disrupt trade and sew discord between the other groups. More than one scout and possible a druid or two as well are agents of the unclean. They lead prospectors into the ruins and either kill them or abandon them once they are lost. Unclean druids may have special relationships with some of the evil creatures who lair in the ruins.
Spies: Virtually every power and faction in the region- and perhaps one or two from elsewhere as well, maintain spies in Dry Well.
Dry well and Beyond
Map of Dry Well
Map of section: Extremely overgrown.
Map of section: Broken terraces, waterfall.
Map of section: This one overwhelmed by Sand and partially underground as a result.
Each map comes with a gazetteer.
Urban Weather Table
Denizens of Deep City
There will certainly be more content then this, as well as too many maps.
There will be two versions, one with full nudity, another with a lot of convenient shadows and opaque gusts wind.