Friday, September 16, 2011

OSR Mashup Idea - The Red Tides of Stonehell

Outside the sorcerer-ruled city of Tien Lung, a cruel vizier built a unique prison to house the city's many criminals.  It was a dungeon, a prison dungeon, that would be dug deeper by the prisoners themselves.  The prison dungeons would be vast and holde countless criminals; in this way, the sorcerers of Tien Lung would be assured an ongoing supply of victims to use in their cruel magical experiments.

But then, a century ago, a corruption took hold in the dungeons, twisting prisoners into monsters and driving out the guards; Soon control of the the prison was lost to the inmates. It's been theorized that the corrupting mist of the Red Tide somehow reached into the heart of the island, finding a fertile womb in the minds of the mentally imbalanced and despairful prisoners.  Over the past hundred years, all manner of monsters and corruptions have crept into the ruined halls of the prison.  Something dark lurks in the heart of the dungeon; the sorcerers of Tien Lung are aware of it, and it frightens them.  They've begun offering rewards for adventurers that return with maps, captives, and most importantly, information.

Here's an idea that needs to go right into The Junkyard - a mash up of Red Tide, Stonehell, Vornheim, and maybe even Lesserton and Mor.  If you're new here, The Junkyard isn't a bad place - it's a place where I park campaign ideas that I don't quite have time to work on right now; it's part of my Gamer ADD mitigation strategy.  Instead of scrapping my current campaign whenever a kick-ass idea comes along, I write some notes about the idea and park it for future rediscovery.

There have been some really excellent campaign supplements published in the past year or two since I've returned to old school gaming; last time I posted about Stonehell: Down Night Haunted Halls, I mentioned how Stonehell and Lesserton & Mor would work really well together, or how Stonehell would be cool as an Oriental Adventures dungeon.  (Stonehell is a 5-level megadungeon, with 20+ small dungeon levels in it; Lesserton & Mor is a well detailed home base town and a nearby ruined city.)

Thus, the mash up.  Stonehell would also work really well with Red Tide.  The dungeon was built as a prison by a cruel despot and vizier, and could sit nicely near one of the darker-themed Red Tide cities on the main island like Tien Lung.  The corrupting influence of the Red Tide, Dream Lords, and Tidespawn compliment Stonehell's themes of madness and insanity and outside influences.

A DM using these two together would be able to start a campaign with a solid, 5-level megadungeon, and have a full-blown sandbox setting at his fingertips whenever the PC's wanted to wander elsewhere.

Then there's Vornheim and Lesserton and MorVornheim is a kit for generating city adventures and would help with adjudicating the large cities in the Asian-themed areas of Red Tide (I don't have a review of Vornheim up, but there are plenty out there).  And there's plenty of room on the islands to place Lesserton & Mor in a borderlands region.  It's an instant sandbox campaign with fully realized mega dungeon and multiple adventure sites.

This one goes right on the front burner if there's a TPK in the regular campaign.  There are even Vikings in Red Tide and an arctic area, for whenever I get the Black City done.