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  1. #11
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    Incidentally, there was a take in the Pirates Guide to Freeport that suggested a setup like this for Freeport.

    Quote Originally Posted by Imperialus
    Very cool. I like the whole Ocean=Astral Sea idea.
    So did I; my River of Worlds game, based on a take on this idea I first saw in FFG's Portals & Planes, is pretty much this concept.
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  • #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Intense_Interest
    Could it be that maps work perfectly in the Interior only if you were the one that created it or were with someone that used it in the past?

    Therefore "guides" would really just be charting their own inner souls, showing it with others to come to a shared understanding of the Interior. Stealing a map is near-pointless, while going without one is bordering on the fool-hearty.

    And you could have whacky happenings when two different maps or two different groups run into each other.
    This is terrific stuff. I was picturing successful Interior guides as monks... now I'm picturing them as monk/therapists (and some as monk/therapist/big-game hunters --though I'm entirely sure what that means yet). I imagine there's some professional debate between Guides as to how, exactly, this should be done...

    Travelers into Interior need guides that know themselves (have maps), otherwise the risk of getting lost is astronomical. But the guide can only take them through their interior... so at some point they need to abandon the new traveler.
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    The Port on the Aster Sea
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  • #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imperialus
    Just a thought but have you considered running it as a sort of proto-Sigil? Lots of weird stuff going into/coming out of the ocean but without the Lady of Pain sitting there saying "Now everyone play nice... on pain of... pain!"
    I hadn't made the Sigil connection --my Planescape experience is limited to Torment on the PC-- but that's a great way to describe the setting.

    It hasn't been in anyones best interest to take it over because while it isn't difficult to find the port, but unless you have charts, it's really difficult to find your way home.
    I know the port is raided frequently by monsters and not-quite-men from islands in the sea, as well as by their neighbors to the north and south, but I admit, I hadn't thought about outright conquest from beyond...

    ... that makes a good metaplot though. The port in the beginning of the Age of Men that unfortunately takes places after the end of the world. Who'd want to colonize or conquer it? I'm certain there's a good answer for that...
    "You should probably put your bandit hat on now. Personally, I- I don't have one, but I modified this tube sock." - Ash, Fantastic Mr. Fox.

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  • #14
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    Excellent setting, very Clive Barkerish! Maybe I didn't read fully but it was not immediately obvious to me what direction from the city the outback is - to the west?

    Silly question, but - where does all the food come from? I've been considering a setting on and off for some time based on the "Thief" games which would be totally city based and that's all there is to the world, the city, its politics and struggles for power (no play nice here). But I'm having a hard time visualising it as cities require a large resource base. I think I may be able to nick some ideas from you and blend in the "city on the edges of realities" concept ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by RabidBob
    ...very Clive Barkerish!
    You noticed?

    ...what direction from the city the outback is - to the west?
    Yes.

    Silly question, but - where does all the food come from?
    The port sits smack in the middle of a strip of real, normal land perhaps 100 miles miles wide (or bigger? not sure yet) and more than that long --the last remnant of the World Before. The geography is more-or-less normal, with settlements, agriculture, etc.

    Also, there are fish in the sea. Eating them is technically a crime according to a Governor's Edict, but everyone knows the Governor is a raving paranoid, and hungry people have little use for Edicts. So the poor eat fish from the Sea... the ones that don't talk, anyway. For the most part...

    I think I may be able to nick some ideas from you and blend in the "city on the edges of realities" concept ...
    Steal away!
    Last edited by Mallus; Wednesday, 18th June, 2008 at 05:34 PM.
    "You should probably put your bandit hat on now. Personally, I- I don't have one, but I modified this tube sock." - Ash, Fantastic Mr. Fox.

    The Chronicle of Burne, and Some Others of Lesser Importance: Updated 05-17-2009! Current episode: Flight of the Philip.

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  • #16
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    Some new stuff from my friend and collaborator Rolzup, who is going to run this campaign.

    • The Eternal Bureaucracy, which co-exists with the city in some metaphysical way, processes the spirits of the dead, assigns them an afterlife, and ships them across the Aster Sea to their final destination -- ideally. In practice, the Eternal Bureaucracy is just as riddled by corruption, red-tape, and general incompetence as any mortal agency. More so, even. The majority of the dead spend years waiting to be processed. Centuries, in a few cases.

    • A sort of shantytown of displaced souls has grown up around the city, where the dead spend their time waiting until the Bureaucracy will see them. There are, of course, Things that prey upon these luckless bastards, resulting in plenty of available bearths on the Black Ships....

    • For those who wish to cheat the whole process, they can seek out the services of the Lithogenic Guild; Medusae and their kin, who will (for a fee) turn their clients into stone so that they can await the End of World in peace and relative safety.


    He also proposes a train, "I had the idea last night of enormous Stone Golems, working to an exacting schedule, taking turns pulling a string of cars to and fro with chains of improbable size....", but he's not sure it fits.

    I think it does; a train pulled by giants running north to south, carrying goods from across the Sea of Dreams to snowbound barbarians and drug-addled snake cultists (and all stops in between).

    I replied, "One of the phrases I keep coming to is: "It's the dawn of the Age of Man that unfortunately takes place after the apocalypse". Trains are a great symbol for human --'mortal' in this case-- ingenuity, industry and ambition. I love the idea that the overall setting theme is this vibrancy set against a backdrop of melancholy, people making the best of it after the end of the world, a port city of great energy, full of promise and progress, despite the fact that here, the living, cohabit with the restless dead.
    "You should probably put your bandit hat on now. Personally, I- I don't have one, but I modified this tube sock." - Ash, Fantastic Mr. Fox.

    The Chronicle of Burne, and Some Others of Lesser Importance: Updated 05-17-2009! Current episode: Flight of the Philip.

    The Port on the Aster Sea
    Our 4e setting. It's a heartbreaking work of staggering genius!

  • #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Mallus
    Did the storms ever make landfall? If so, what effects did they have?
    Yes the Nexus Storms did and generally this meant that landscapes were warped and sometimes bits of entirely alien worlds were pulled in transforming the geography and sometimes dropping alien monsters (abberations). I never really took the idea far before the game ended but at one point the PCs did find the bulk of a ship in the center of a acid desert before being attacked by Bullywugs riding Acid-spitting Wyrms
    Quote Originally Posted by IcyCool
    Man, given the average Int of an Otyugh, I can just see the boss monologue now...

    PCs: "Before we fight, why don't you tell us your master plan?"
    Otyugh: "I like poop."
    PCs: "Umm, what?"
    Otyugh: "Do you have poop?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonguez
    Yes the Nexus Storms did and generally this meant that landscapes were warped and sometimes bits of entirely alien worlds were pulled in transforming the geography and sometimes dropping alien monsters (abberations).
    I like that. I can have storms that blow in from the Aster Sea which sometimes carry with them Immortals, Aberrations, and creatures of Shadow. Maybe this is the only way these creatures can enter the world (barring the Immortals that originate in the Interior and those than arrive on the Black Ships). I'm picturing storm-chaser magicians running along the beach during a hurricane, weighed down by ritual spellcasting accouterments, hoping in vain to bind something from beyond.

    And maybe storms that originate over the land --Juxtaposition Storms? Superposition Storms?-- whose vortexes open into the past, into the World Before, allowing forward-only time-travel.

    ...but at one point the PCs did find the bulk of a ship in the center of a acid desert before being attacked by Bullywugs riding Acid-spitting Wyrms
    Nice.
    "You should probably put your bandit hat on now. Personally, I- I don't have one, but I modified this tube sock." - Ash, Fantastic Mr. Fox.

    The Chronicle of Burne, and Some Others of Lesser Importance: Updated 05-17-2009! Current episode: Flight of the Philip.

    The Port on the Aster Sea
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  • #19
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    More details...

    • Deep in the Interior is a mist-shrouded lake on a high plateau, sometimes called the Mandaean Plateau, which only those 'clothed in virtue' can approach. The lake is the source of the Ossuary Flow. In it is the skeletal corpse of God. Bones of all shapes and size from His body break off. Frequently. They're washed over the edge at the Elohim Falls (or the Falls of Adam --too much? Help me out here) and are broken on the rocks below. These shards eventually wind up the Middling Lands, lining the embankments of the river named for them.

      Sometimes, unbroken bones are found. These contain fresh divine marrow, which is the sole component of the Raise Dead Ritual. Obviously, the chance of finding these bones increases the closer you are to the source. Sometimes a lucky child in the port will discover a whole bone (and a nursery rhyme that's also a serviceable Ritual) and revivify a dead pet or relative.

    • Residuum is literally the residue left by the tearing apart of the World Before. Ground up bits of creation from which magical items are milled, disenchanted, and made again. Some items that originate from the Interior and Across-the-Sea can't be broken down into Residuum, but they can be used to impart special properties/abilities.
    Last edited by Mallus; Friday, 20th June, 2008 at 10:05 PM.
    "You should probably put your bandit hat on now. Personally, I- I don't have one, but I modified this tube sock." - Ash, Fantastic Mr. Fox.

    The Chronicle of Burne, and Some Others of Lesser Importance: Updated 05-17-2009! Current episode: Flight of the Philip.

    The Port on the Aster Sea
    Our 4e setting. It's a heartbreaking work of staggering genius!

  • #20
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    Cool stuff. I've always liked the idea of the Astral Sea as a literal sea. I like how you've incorporated a lot of strange metaphysical elements into the "real" world. I don't know if it's been mentioned before but there's lots of potential for Lovecraftian mythos and Far Realm scariness. Can't wait to see more.

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