Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Current Adventuring Opportunities in Outland

Rather than have to explain all this and take up valuable gaming time, I figured I'd just make a post here outlining the basic details any adventurers coming to Outland would know, or be able to learn in a brief time hanging out at the Inn Between Worlds.

1 hex = 1 mile
0. The Last Outpost of the Undying Empire - A great place to party and do a bit of shopping. Most visiting adventurers go to The Inn Between Worlds to organize their expeditions, but those strapped for cash might frequent the more rough-and-tumble Bell & Weasel outside the walls. Turjin the Sage offers sagely services, such as identification of magic items and the occasional alchemical concoction. Finally, an enterprising gnome tinkerer has opened up a shop called Dirty Dwayne's Dungeoneer Gear. It should be noted that pretty much everything he sells is an experimental prototype, but he will pay small sums for field testing reports and testimonials.

1. Nagle Manor - The greater part of the first floor of this haunted house has been explored, and stairs leading both up and down have been discovered. However, no one has yet dared to venture upstairs or downstairs. There is a rudimentary map of the ground floor that can be found here (scroll all the way to the bottom of the post).

2. Satyr Sinkhole - A farmer's daughter was rescued from a horrible blasphemous orgy here. All the satyrs are believed to be dead, but people stay away from the area for the most part, so it's hard to say for sure.

The Weird Caves

3. Weird Caves - Three of the caves here have been explored, in whole or in part.

  • Cave A housed a tribe of cyclops monkeys that have been eradicated.
  • Two separate groups have gone into Cave B. An entrance to a greater dungeon was found in there (reportedly more or less due west of the cave entrance, although no map has been shared), as well as the tomb of some otherworldly undead guy.
  • Cave C was ventured into, after rumors of ruthless amazons being spotted entering and exiting the cave were circulating, but that particular group has not been seen again, and their whereabouts are unknown.
  • People have reportedly seen strange-looking orange-skinned men wearing primitive clothing and metal collars shuffling in and out of Cave D.
  • No one knows what's up there in Cave E. 

4. The Blackmire Swamp/Village/Castle - Although many trade caravans have attempted the journey, only a single man has returned to tell of the village that overlooks the ancient ruined castle that can only be seen on a clear day. He reports that the people are weird and very superstitious regarding the castle. If you mention it, they will stop talking to you. Apparently some creature lairing in the mountains is what makes the voyage so difficult. It is described as a great winged beast with the tail of a scorpion.

5. Choose Your Own Adventure - As you can see, very little of the area has been explored. A daring group of adventurers might choose to simply head off into the wilderness to see what they might find...

I've taken to heart a lot of the posts about player agency and meaningful choices (Zak's in particular, but there are others as well). Thus, I've adopted a strategy of sharing a lot of info that I probably wouldn't otherwise share based on the idea that the PCs wouldn't know that. However, I think it's more important for any prospective adventuring group in Outland to have at least a bit of an idea of what they might be getting themselves into before they head out. So here it is, in plain english:

  • If you want to explore a gonzo haunted house in the tradition of Tegel Manor, then Nagle Manor is for you.
  • If you want to kill monsters and take their stuff, the caves are your best bet.
  • If you want to explore a science-fantasy dungeon, head into Cave B and make your way to the entrance to the greater dungeon.
  • If you want a more or less traditional castle-dungeon, Castle Blackmeyer is it, although the journey there will likely prove to be less than safe - especially for lowbies.
  • Hexploration of the unknown is a totally legit option as well. The only thing I can tell you for certain about that is that encounters in the unexplored wilderness will have a tendency to be Carcosa-esque in nature.
Well, there you have it. Hopefully you will be able to make informed adventuring choices. I'm still not certain this is a good idea, but there's only one way to find out!

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