One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.” -Hunter S. Thompson

Monday, November 26, 2018

Monsters of the Weird Apocalypse: Moon-Spawn

Moon Spawn
This is an entry in my Weird Apocalypse setting. For a better understanding of the setting see Part 1 and Part 2.

Thrjaxia's moon hangs low in the sky, an ever present fixture in the skies along with the multitude of Dross Rifts raining trash down on the planet. 

The moon is pock marked with craters and for all intents and purposes looks like any other moon despite how it hangs so unnaturally low in the sky. Despite that it looks like a moon, it is in fact a  space ship that has been disguised to look like a one. The ship itself is no longer capable of space travel and the reasons for the ship in disguising itself are now lost to time. The ship's AI called Dharjak has become a god-like entity to the former crew who have become mutated into the ghoulish Moon-Spawn.

Moon-Spawn often raid the surface of Thrjaxia for slaves and junk that they can use to effect the never ending repairs on the decrepit and labyrinth ship. The Moon-Spawn are universally feared on Thrjaxia for being enigmatic raiders. Yet they are not the worst threat to the people of the wasted world below. When the Dross Gates opened the ship was in orbit near the planet. A Dross Rift opened in the engineering section of the ship and the result was disastrous. A gate to a hellish dimension was opened mutating the crew into Moon-Spawn, bestial creatures of low cunning and effectively immortal unless subjected to violence. It also allowed something from the hellscape beyond, a demonic presence, to invade the ship. This demonic force, if it should escape the confines of its imprisonment on the ship would bring dire consequences to the planet below as a wave of demonic creatures would flood into the world. To contain the threat Dharjak has recruited the former crew to gather resources from below to maintain the matrix imprisoning this vile entity. 

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Homebase: Hommlet

I’ve been thinking about using Hommlet as a home base for your campaign. Here’s some of the thoughts I’ve come up with.

1)         Atmosphere: Hommlet is a place where nothing is what it seems, wheels within wheels. While on the surface most people may seem happy and helpful, everyone has a secret. These secrets are not necessarily sinister in nature, but over all it should add to the sense that there is a palpable feeling of mystery in the town. I think if you can cultivate a feeling of paranoia, mystery and a feeling that the town itself is its own character, your campaign will feel all that more satisfying in the long run.

2)         It’s not all about Elemental Evil: Yeah the Temple and the Elemental Cults are a major force in the area, but they are not the only thing going on. There should be other adventures and sinister plans going on unrelated to those threats.  If all your players do is hunt down Elemental cultists your campaign will become monotonous. It will also damage the atmosphere and the feeling that your campaign world is actually more that just a one dimensional place.

3)         Make it about your PCs: This goes for any campaign really, but it doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves again about this truth. Your players need to feel that Hommlet is their home. They need to feel it is worth protecting and that some of these people are their friends and family. Remember: As a DM we must givith so that when we taketh it hurts like hell and motivates the players to take action.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Monsters of the Weird Apocalypse: Antoka

A tribe of Antoka and a Groat
This is an entry in my Weird Apocalypse setting. For a better understanding of the setting see Part 1 and Part 2.

The Antoka are a race of green-skinned, four-armed aliens. They are a tribal nomadic people, warring with each other as much as any other group that crosses them. They follow the herds of groats, equines that roam the heaps and have six legs and four eyes. Groats are used for food, and transport and no part of a slaughtered Groat goes to waste. If one can befriend a tribe, you have made a powerful ally indeed. The Antoka are one of the races that seem to find themselves exiled through the Dross Rifts to Thrjaxia on a regular basis. Why this is no one knows, not even them. It is believed that this may be because the Antoka homeworld must be close by. This claim is further bolstered by the fact that the Antoka worship the Bright Side of the moon claiming that it is the home of their deity. They say they know this is true because the same moon-devil spawn, demonic servants that hail from the moons dark-side, descend from the sky and raid their homeland too. They claim that the Dark side of the moon is the Hell which the damned suffer as slaves to the Dark Moon God.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Welcome To The Trash Jungle Baby, You're Gonna Die!

This is an entry in my Weird Apocalypse setting. For a better understanding of the setting see Part 1 and Part 2.

Arriving on Thrjaxia can be an adventure in itself. Most of the time people show up by falling through the Dross Rifts like in the opening scene from the movie Predators (2010), minus the alien and malfunctioning parachute:

Assuming you survive the fall, the next most likely scenario is something like Thors arrival on the planet Sakaar in Thor: Ragnarok (2017):

One of the stranger ways of arriving is similar to the scene in the Matrix (1999) when Neo is flushed from the Machine's power plant. In this case your character was probably involved in some sort of strange experimentation and then discarded. Maybe you're a lucky soul who escaped being turned into a liquid meal supplement. Maybe your captors released you for some other purpose...

It's also not uncommon for space ships to crash land on the planet as well. The planet is sort of like an intergalactic Bermuda Triangle. An example of the surreal type of crash landings that happen can be found in Planet of the Apes (1968):

No matter how you get here, you're pretty much screwed. Thrjaxia is in many ways a post apocalyptic version of Ravenloft. The arrival is weird and unexpected. The only difference is that there seems to be no way to ever leave. For some, trying to escape the planet becomes an unhealthy obsession. Others try and make the best of their lot on the strange waste world.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Monsters of the Weird Apocalypse: The Blatt

A typical adult Blatt specimin 
This is an entry in my Weird Apocalypse setting. For a better understanding of the setting see Part 1 and Part 2.

The Blatt are cockroach-like humanoids. They are bestial predators in the heaps, often attacking new arrivals shortly after their falling from the sky through the Dross Rifts. They speak in a strange clicking language that is impossible to replicate without the proper anatomy and understood by few if any people. They are extremely fecund and lay hundreds of eggs in warrens below the trash heaps. While the Blatt are extremely dangerous creatures they do have an upside, food. The Blatt produce and excrete a strange crystal like formation called Milk Crystals. These crystals are produced and excreted by the Blatt to feed their young, but if harvested can provide a meal for other scavengers and Heapers. Blatt milk crystals has all the vital nutrients a typical living creature requires to stay healthy, though it tastes bland and chalky. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The Weird Apocalypse: The Dross Rifts

This is Part 2 of my Weird Apocalypse setting. You should read Part 1 found here first.

The Dross Rifts
The Dross Rifts, as they are now called continue to open and close randomly across the planet, though they tend to open in certain locations on the planet more frequently than others. No one to this day knows what made them, why they appeared and when or where they are going to open or close. No one has been able to leave the planet through them, and those that try are inevitably found again dead or worse after being spit out of a new rift elsewhere. Additionally, the ability to leave the planet via space or inter-dimensional travel (regardless of science, magic, psionic or other power sources) works either. No one can explain why this is, though it is speculated that the same force that caused the rifts to appear in the first place is probably responsible. For all intents and purposes the planet is now a prison.

The rifts bring all sorts of refuse to the planet. The destruction this caused the planet was incredible on both an ecological and a metaphysical level. Cities were crushed or drowned as massive amounts of debris of all sizes and substances fell from the sky. Entire ecological habitats were destroyed, wiping out hundreds of plant and animal life forms. Strange materials caused horrible deaths and mutations. The worst came when monstrous creatures fell from the rifts and began ravaging the lands. Over time other races of alien creatures, some humanoid, others so strange as to defy conventional categorization have arrived on Thrjaxia. Something about arriving through the rift causes memories to be erased or jumbled. Sometimes creatures that arrive are “Changed” though they themselves don’t really understand what that change is or might have been.  

Needless to say the the Bakkurra invasion ended that day. Hundreds of years later the descendants of the Thrjaxians and Bakkurra blame the other for the Event, and warlords on both sides keep the flames of animosity burning strong.

A party of scavengers scouting the trash heaps
One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Gold

The Dross Rifts continue to open and dump trash onto Thrjaxia. This has created a new economy. Junkers, scavengers and slavers search the sprawling landfill for valuable scrap and slaves. Scrap consists of metal and other items that can be fixed, reused, repurposed, or recycled. There are all sorts of scrap dealers that can be dealt with. Some more reputable than others. Inanimate garbage is not the only thing that falls from the sky. Often strange creatures and sentient beings arrive through the portals. Assuming they survive the fall, they are hunted and captured by slavers who then sell them in slave markets. Slaves end up filling whatever role the slave masters think suits them best. Most become common labourers and servants. Others become sex workers, gladiators or soldiers. Those rare few with special aptitudes work as specialists for the Warlords.