Summer Gygax 75 Challenge: WEEK 2

Welcome to Week 2 of our journey creating settings using Ray Otus’s work book, The Gygax 75 Challenge. If you want to follow from the beginning, you can find the other weeks here:

The challenge is based on an old article by Gary Gygax about how to create a setting and get it ready for actual play with your home group in roughly 5 steps. This thread is for posting notebook photos, text in bullet points, links to markdown, etc. The informal accountability group on the NSR Discord server started the process on June 1st, 2022, so Week 2 covers progress from roughly June 8 - June 15.

If you haven’t started yet, no need to worry – some of us started a little earlier, some a little later than others. The important part is to keep a steady pace without burning out or losing your initial spark of creativity!

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Into the Yellow Planet

Week 2:

Surrounding Area Map

  • [x] Get a sheet of hex paper
  • Scale = 1 hex : 1 mile
  • [x] Locate one settlement of a significant size
  • [x] Two other settlements
  • [x] One major terrain feature (three+ hexes)
  • [x] One mysterious site
  • [x] One dungeon entrance

Extra Credit

  • [x] Pimp the map
  • [x] Create a random encounter table

yellowplanet2

Map Locations

Type Hex Description
Large Settlement (see The Landing) Landing Site
Small Settlement J-K6 Burrows of the Last Men
Small Settlement A9 Temple of the Morigon
Major Feature A3-L14 Crystalline Wall
Mysterious Site M15 The Fingers
Mysterious Site M21 The Black Hole
Dungeon Entrance F13, I12, F14, D16, H16, K16 Craters

The Landing

As the craft nears the yellow planet, show the map to the players and start a one minute timer. In that time they must choose a desired hex for landing at least 4 hexes in from any map side (i.e. within D-K and 4-20). The actual hex in which the craft lands is scattered from the chosen hex by 1d3 hexes in d6 direction (1 is NE, go clockwise). At this point if you want to take away the map you can and force players to redraw one from memory. This is their glimpse of the world outside the craft portholes.

Encounters

(Note: I kinda “phoned in” my creatures. I want to make these more exciting later.)

1. Plants (A1,B7) 2. Swamp (D1,F1) 3. Slag (H3,I3)
Intoxicating Spores Yellow Lotus Patch Sinkhole
Carnivorous Plant 2d6 Multures Rolling Rock Beast
d6 Fungifolk 2d3 S’lizards 2d4 Last Men
d3 Cattercattle Impassable Morass Shale Slide
Mushwolf Vypiger Crack-a-tongue
Interloper Interloper Interloper
4. Crystals (A3) 5. Grass (D7,H21) 6. Sands (E23)
Cutters Mithril Stream Sucking Sands
Shatters d12 Grumbies Belching Sands
Singers 3d6 Yapes Sand Flea
Impassable Wall Axebeak Mooze
Flechette Storm Windstorm Electrical Storm
Interloper Interloper Interloper

Grass is the default terrain. When in doubt as to what terrain you are in, use the grass table or the table for a nearby hex you recognize.

When you get an interloper, roll d6 for a random terrain type and then choose or roll for an encounter from that table. Consider why this encounter might be out of it’s normal or favored terrain. An Interloper in the crystal terrain may be infected and in the process of converting to a crystalline state.

Notes

  • Belching Sand = the opposite “end” of Sucking Sand, vents gas and sometimes carcasses/objects. Gas is flammable and also lighter than air (could fill a balloon)
  • Cattercattle = catterpillar + cattle, the moon cows of Wells’ FMitM
  • Cutters = sharp-edged crystals, move carefully or get cut and possibly infected with the crystal sickness
  • Crack-a-tongue = a weird tongue thing sticking out of a crack in the earth, what happens when it licks you?
  • Flechette Storm = wind that picks up dead crystal shards and sends them flying around, no danger of infection as the shards are too long “dead” but they still cut!
  • Grumbies = small grazers like green rabits with six legs, fast, good to eat (even for humans)
  • Mithril Stream = some kind of valuable mineral, maybe make it molten gold?
  • Mooze = some kind of ooze, guards its mineral eggs (like the Horta of ST TOS)
  • Multures = mulch + vulture, kind of a flying feather-star like thing with squid beak, eats carrion, pesters anythign that looks tired
  • Mushwolf = mushroom + wolf, predator of cattercattle
  • Rolling Rockbeast = think giant pillbug (roly-poly, tiggyhog, woodlice). Also it shoots stuff out of a nose horn like the rhino-thing from Herculoids.
  • Sand Flea = giant flea-like hopper, if surprised it leaps and may batter someone, camoflagued
  • Shatters = exploding crystals, they hum first, sensitive to heavy vibration, flying shards may cut/infect.
  • Singers = singing crystals, any effect?
  • S’lizards = sentient + lizards, i.e. lizardfolk (not sure about this)
  • Sucking Sand = like quicksand
  • Vypiger = viper/python + tiger, a furry stripped snake with big fangs and a ruff
  • Yapes = like baboons but blue and four-armed, territorial and grumpy as fuck

#Gygax75 #yellow-planet

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Week 2

PXL_20220608_164126092.MP

Might be hard to see, but that’s the map of Ijora. Rudain is the largest settlement around and sits near Lake Aragesh. Khazum is an outpost creeping into Rudain territory and Dortosh is a temporary settlement for nomads. To the north lies the Screaming Sands, so called because the wind rushing through horrible metal structures up there sounds like screaming. For the most part Ijora is scrubland with a small marsh, some hills, and a forest fed by a tributary of the river Zon.

I only made the one random encounter and haven’t pimped the map yet, but I’ll probably redo the map in worldographer and make another table or two.

Random Encounters:
Tlakon, an Ancient Warden, arises to test the party
D4 Quetzal on the hunt
D6+6 Gorak on Terrorbirds out scouting
D8 Tsuurik pilgrims on their way to the Temple of Rakhan
Trade caravan from Rudain crossing the waste
D6 Vosh hunters tracking a fugitive
D4 wolves hunting deer
D6+3 tech cultists performing a ritual
D10 Rhokar raiders harvesting water from travelers
2d6 boars feeding on tubers
A krynth lounges in the distance sniffing at the air

Notes
Quetzal= big pterodactyls, use dire eagle or roughly equivalent stats
Terrorbird= Axebeak and Gorak are basically Hobgoblins/orcs
Tsuurik= lizardfolk essentially
Vosh= nomadic bird people. Look like vultures meets crows
Rhokar= bug people
Krynth= solitary hunters. Completely blind but tracks their prey with psychic emanations. Can also turn invisible by erasing their presence from your mind. Look like large, hairless wolfmen with the nose of a star nosed mole and really tiny ears. Kinda like the shirshu from Avatar the Last Airbender.

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Gygax75 Challenge Week 2

Checklist

  • [x] Get a sheet of hex paper
    • [x] One Item per hex
    • [ ] Name anything worthy of a name
  • [x] Major Settlement of significant size
  • [x] Minor Settlement
  • [x] Minor Settlement #2
  • [x] One major terrain feature (at least 3 hexes)
  • [x] One mysterious site to explore
  • [x] One main dungeon entrance

Map

This is where most of my time for this week was spent! What started life as a standard “classic 80s era D&D” map turned into this fabulous acid flecked neon overspray mess. Scale is 1 hex per mile, which ends up covering a 4x3 area of 6mi hexes

Gygax75 Week2 Map 25per

Random Encounter Table

I use a variation of Tension Dice (by way of the MoreCore add-on to Fantasy Grounds) for wandering monsters. Each exploration turn adds 1 dice to the Tension Pool. Doing something dangerous or loud adds +1 to the Tension Pool. When the Tension Pool hits 6 dice, roll. Count 1s. The number of 1’s = the HD of the monster encountered.
This can be mixed with the Spoor/Trace/Tracks roll from The Retired Adventurer

These tables are listed in increasing rarity and nastiness (given in roughly Hit Die levels as per many OSR style game systems), so if using another wandering creature method, take that logarithmic distribution curve into account


Wandering Creatures by Biome

HD Grass
1 Pheromone Beetles
2 Corpse Rats
3 Kaleidoscopic Peacock [[Thom]]
4 3 Eyed Jackal
5 White Stag Mirage
6 Psychoid Bear
HD Forest
1 Spellweaver Spider
2 Blink Squirrel
3 Spore Badger
4 Lightning Gecko
5 Chameleon Leopard
6 Blight Tree
HD Swamp
1 Rot Skeeter
2 Hypno Snake
3 Psionic Catfish
4 Planar Croc
5 Muck Trudger
6 MycoMound [[dtrpgs]]
HD Badlands
1 Hyposcorps [[gobalsky]]
2 Rhythm Rabbits
3 Saltmander [[gobalsky]]
4 False Fox [[gobalsky]]
5 Tesla Tarantula (Teslatula? Levinbug?)
6 Sand Whales [[gobalsky]]
HD Dead Zone
1 Crying Cricket
2 Smiling Razeflayer (picaso nightmare) [[Thom]]
3 Non Gelatinous Ooze [[gobalsky]]
4 Sulphur Grizzly [[gobalsky]]
5 Tarankoala
6 Thunderbird (dino pterosaur) [[gobalsky]]
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Regolith Week 2

Hex Map

Encounter Table

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I really like your encounter table, btw. Looks sharp, and seems like good balance of things.

Week 2: The Dawn Crater
Working title for the region. Going to upload pictures of my journal instead of retyping everything, so I apologize ahead of time for my chickenscratch.

I started with a topographical map of Japan’s Mt. Aso rotated 90° so the western valley entrance is from the North. Then I took some liberties with the two lowland areas of the crater interior, turning the Western half into a plateau and the Eastern half into a verdant river valley. Most of the geological features of the real-life mountain are maintained (including Cloudreach Prairie which is in the same location as Kusasenri Prairie), and the scale is fairly accurate to real life, making this half-mile hexes. I went back and forth on a couple of different ways to represent topography in Hexographer before settling on using a gradient, where darker terrain backgrounds are taller than lighter terrain backgrounds. It’s not perfect but it gets the job done.

https://i.imgur.com/zM1iuOH.png

Didn’t get to any of the extra credit this week, but that’s fine. Instead I spent time making detailed notes of the region, and getting a headstart on what the dungeon is going to be. The encounter tables will be written after the dungeon is completed, as that’s the procedure I have in The Door Locks Behind You right now. The idea is to seed the dungeon’s monsters in the immediate area.

https://i.imgur.com/SrBw0GJ.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/dbbVqmC.jpg

Bonus page of notes I made before I started detailing hexes + my To-Do list for week 5 when I revisit all the things I didn’t finish in the previous weeks. I still need a name for the villagers living on the Northeastern edge of the map, they’ll likely play a role in the wider campaign world, as will the river they live around. One thing that I wanted to accomplish for this region was playing up how dangerous the weather is because of The Tyrant, so I plan to make seasonal weather event tables.

https://i.imgur.com/SAaflbi.jpg

Excited to dig into the dungeon tomorrow for the start of Week 3!

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Yours is one of my favorites … because Zelda, and because I dunno, some charm of your own mixed in. Good luck with the dungeon!!

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Thanks! I’ve found that Zelda strikes a certain chord in most folks. I’m trying to evoke a similar feel in the sounds of the names I have, so far I’m pleased.

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I’m a couple days late, but here’s my results! This is the map for my urban fantasy City of Mist campaign set in 1980s Miami, Florida. Some process photos for creating my region:

1_JEA_Week_2

^ 1. Drop physical objects on paper

2.2_JEA_Week_2

^ 2. Turn into abstract shapes.

Miami_of_Mist_map-draft1

^ 3. Create circuits between.

Miami_of_Mist_map_fin_1

^ 4. Label and voilà!

The circuits are inspired by the mapping procedures in Chris McDowell’s Electric Bastionland.

I didn’t create an encounter table, but I got started on some NPC generators. Here’s what I have for thematic names so far:

Miami_NPC_names

Looking forward to next week!

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