Sunday, 2 February 2014
Dungeons Falling from the Sky...
I've noticed that the OSR seems to be heading in a very Gonzo-esque direction lately. Browsing online, I can find countless dungeons that are actually fallen spaceships for your typical Fantasy characters to bravely explore. Many of them are quite good. But how many can you really insert in your campaign? How often can you really get away with it before it becomes unlikely enough to suspend disbelief? I can think of two ways. The thing that must be kept in mind is that there are two types of such sci-fi dungeons; Those that crashed on the campaign world long ago and the recently crashed. So let's go ahead with the two ideas...
1- Have a map or a NPC with information of many 'castles that fell from the sky' over the centuries. It can start with a recently crashed spaceship, which the PCs explore as they would any other dungeon. During or after said exploration, they meet someone interested in these 'fallen sky castles' with a map he's gathered over the years from rumors and travels. If they so wish, players can now go find even more alien artifacts within these mysterious 'sky castles'. Once they are asking around about these things, it's not hard for PCs to also find newly crashed ships.
If they ever get to speak with an alien who can explain it (Thanks to a Comprehend Languages spell, telepathy or because the alien stayed long enough to learn Common or any other local language), perhaps far away in space there is a black hole fairly close to a trading route, and sometimes a ship will fall through it and come out over the campaign's main planet, crashing down on the PCs' world.
2- Drop 'em all around the same place! That's right! You have a hex map of your campaign? (If not, you should.) Perfect, then grab a bunch of hexes near each other and place the ships there. Either it's from a long-ago space battle... Or one that is happening right now! No matter which one you choose, you might have to tweak some spaceship dungeons to fit with the idea that it has crashed recently, or vice-versa.
If they have crashed long-ago, I would probably recommend you go with idea #1 instead unless you want the PCs to do a few of these but don't want to make it last too long with them having to explore and search for the next ship. And idea #1 incorporates better the mix of recently crashed v.s crashed long ago, which would mean less work for the DM.
I think idea #2 is better suited for a battle that is still going on over the planet... Because it offers the possibility for the PCs to take the fight to those idiots who keep dropping those massive sky-castles over their heads!!! All it takes is a working shuttle with a coerced alien, a teleportation spell or teleportation tech somewhere, and the PCs can go fight it out in the stars!
Oh and PCs could have access to some shiny new spells too! Check out the FREE PDF of Space-Age Sorcery!