Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Black City Project Outline

Note to readers - for the next few weeks (maybe even next few months), Dreams in the Lich house will be heavily focused on getting the Black City campaign ready for a playtest.  I filled like 20 pages of my brainstorming notebook with Black City content on my travels; flipping through my notes and doing a brain dump, below is an outline of what I expect to be posting.  If it were just a home campaign, it'd be ready to go now, but it takes time to turn those hand scrawled notes into web ready text.

Here is what will be in the first cut of the setting:  the Viking Trade Town on Thule as the home base; guidelines for exploring the surface ruins (hex content generation) and blog posts describing many of the surface areas (like the recent Blue Obelisk post).  I'll have the first two dungeon levels posted and ready for play testing - The Transit Tunnels, with 5 mini dungeons, and the sprawling caverns known as the Warrens of Decay, with 5 mini dungeons.

My vision of putting together a "weird horror" megadungeon, with aliens and elements of sci fi fantasy, a touch of Lovecraft, and a heaping helping of Vikings, is coming together nicely.

My players are still heavily invested in Gothic Greyhawk, so it could be a while before playtesting starts on the Black City.  We are moving closer and closer to starting module I6, Castle Ravenloft, where I fully intend to kill all their characters.  Muhahaha.  Then again, I try to kill their characters every week, and it rarely works out that way - they're almost level 5.  :Sigh:

Regardless - I'm sure they'll be willing to do a few Black City one-shots here and there.

  • Random Tables
    • Wandering monster tables for city
    • Random hex contents within the city
    • Weather charts for islands
    • Sea encounter tables
    • Thule Island encounters
  • Surface Areas within the City
    • Well of Woe
    • Great Glacier
    • Watchers
    • The Plaza
    • The Great Ramp
    • The Hippodrome
    • Sunken Vaults
    • The Blue Obelisk
    • The Palladium
    • The Maze
    • The Tower of Pain
    • The Face in the Ground
    • The Misty Hollow
  • Sealed Surface Buildings
    • Tower of Astronomy
    • Institute of the Arcane
    • Spire of Thaumaturgy
    • Central Command
  • The Black City Bestiary
    • Berserkers and Worm Madness
    • Headless Mi-Go servitors
    • Automatons and Workers
    • Ape Men of the Black City
  • Level 1 Sub Dungeons (5)
    • Well of Woe
    • Electric Company
    • The Dragon's Den
    • The Loading Docks
    • The Healthy Inner Glow
  • Level 2 Sub Dungeons
    • The Eternal Flame
    • Kingdom of the Cave Men
    • The Morlock Caves
    • Chasm of the Crawlies
    • Backstage Apparatus
  • Grey Technology and Cultural Artifacts
  • Doors and Lights in the Dungeons
  • Overview of the Viking Trade Town
  • Mapwork
    • Revised surface map of city - need to add new surface areas (hexographer)
    • Hex map for transit level 1 (hexographer)
    • Hex map for level 2 (warrens of decay) hexographer
    • Trade Town (graph paper)
    • Dungeon areas for level 1 (graph paper)
    • Dungeon areas for level 2 (graph paper)
  • Jeff Rient's 20 Campaign Questions (To help define the larger world outside of Thule)
I'll probably move this content to a "page" so I have a clearinghouse for tracking progress, and maybe add updated entries on the city's history (since some of my early Black City posts I was still formulating the ideas).


  1. That's a lot of stuff! Can't wait!!

  2. Yes, it sounds great. :-)

  3. sounds like a great outline, and I am looking forward to seeing how it develops.

    Sugest also including a couple of bookend sections, one introducting the setting, and another on how to DM the setting, with what things ought to be limited/excluded, rules additions etc

  4. @Lasgunpacker - that's a good idea, I threw the outline together as things I jotted down as to-do's in my notebook, but with just a little effort the outline could cover the whole setting (including cleaned up versions of the city's history, rules editions, that kind of stuff). Nice!