Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Visit Corpus: The Living City

Corpus: The Living City

Viewed over time and from a sufficiently distant vantage, Corpus appears as a festering wound upon the landscape. Architecture bubbles up as inflamed tissue only to burst and leak the fluid of human exodus after any number of inevitable localized disasters. The dead tissue of uninhabited buildings becomes infested by maggoty squatters and slowly rots away to looting and neglect. The resulting topography is as layered, richly textured, and chaotic as a cancerous tumor. Temples, brothels, and emporiums stack and flow upon and within one another. Buildings are cannibalized to erect eclectic new structures with a frequency that renders entire districts unrecognizable from one visit to the next.

Grifter's Wharf

Few tourists fresh from the terrestrial spaceports at the heart of Corpus retain possession of their wealth and belongings for further than a handful of strides after disembarking. The tourist district of Grifter's Wharf surrounds the port in a great ring of structures densely piled on atop each other, ensnaring all with sticky, saccharine commercialism and confounding architecture.
  • Gift shops hawk Holy Mountain themed shirts, mugs, religious iconography, rocks, and other tchotchkes.
  • Kitschy, themed restaurants, bars, and hookah dens decorated with plastic torture implements and climbing equipment peddle swill at exorbitant prices.
  • Coffee-aged, crudely forged maps, prophetic scrolls, and other clues are proffered conspiratorially in dingy alleys and back rooms. Most lead nowhere, and the rest conclude in bandit dens and ambush spots.
  • General stores sell defective, shoddy equipment and rancid provisions.
  • Apothecaries market miracle cures to desperate, diseased travelers.

Navigating Grifter's Wharf

Surrounding the landing pads, a throng of bodies creates an introductory tableau to the dynamics of Corpus.
  • Within the immediate vicinity is 1 of each: Tourist, Profiteer, and Mystic.
  • A money changer attempts to reel in tourists fresh off the boat, passing worthless prayer beads off as currency necessary to purchase anything on the sphere.

A ring of shops form the outer wall of Grifter's Wharf, filtering tourists according to need and desire.
  • Exterior entrances into shops are 1 way turnstiles. Near impossible to cheat without dismantling.
  • Interior exits lead laterally into adjacent shops via 2-way turnstiles, cost 1 sp to cross. Chain of shops loops infinitely and unbroken around the ring.
  • Interior of each store protected by d6 Guards (stats as Profiteer), wielding store-appropriate weapons and wearing thematic uniforms.
  • Most other employees are tourists who got stuck after running out of coin.
  • Each shop has a secret back entrance only the guards know how to access.

Shop Generator
1. Taffy's Milkshake Emporium
2. Premium Haze Dungeon
3. Not Your Grandmother's Meat Shack
4. Bartholemew VI's Trading and Bar
5. Occult Miracle Pit
6. Sphere's Largest Gift Shrine

Narrow, twisting side streets and alleys lead past the shops to nowhere in particular.
  • Confusing signage and meandering architecture makes navigation difficult.
  • Possible escape routes include climbing over rooftops or tunneling through buildings.
  • Cursory exploration leads to fake dungeon created to entice traveling adventurers: The Tomb of Sithisian the Wise.
  • Failed navigation or aimless wandering leads to trouble:
    • Cornered in dead end by d6 Acolyte Mystics, forced to pray at knife-point.
    • Encounter a lost and wandering monster, such as a Tiger or Ogre (see Troika Bestiary).

The Tomb of Sithisian the Wise

  • Entrance marked "Tomb of Sithisian the Wise", meagerly disguised by fake moss and other detritus.
  • Door at bottom of staircase must be pulled open, else plastic spiders fall from ceiling.
  • Harmless, cardboard skeletons pop up from coffins in antechamber.
  • Lid to the sarcophagus of Sithisian is stuck, and muffled proverbs and vague wisdoms can be heard from inside, along with the thumping of the animatronic failing to escape its container.
  • At the end, a chest receives payment (1 sp) and dispenses plastic baubles, and another coin slot in the wall (2 sp) ejects group photos of the party taken in the skeleton room.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Tourists and the Profiteers Who Love Them


Spurred by lucrative kickback schemes for interplanetary travel agents, the Sphere of the Holy Mountain has become one of the more popular tourist destinations in recent years. Few find the vacation exactly what they imagined, but their experience is invariably difficult to forget.
  1. An adventurer squandered all their wealth and vitality in the search of the Holy Mountain. Roll d66 on the Troika! background table, and choose one possession as their last remaining item. The poor soul will sell or pawn the object for cheap, dearly needing food and a ticket home (stats as Profiteer, Mien of Tourist).
  2. A pickpocket's wet dream obliviously gawks at landmarks while a bulging purse hangs at his waist.
  3. A space hipster who's ironically visiting this tourist trap of a sphere to soak in the camp and nasally complain about its inanity.
  4. A troop of big game hunters seeks to kill at least one of everything on the sphere (stats as Profiteer, Mien of Tourist, Armour 0, damage as Fusil).
  5. A gaggle of young school children from the academy of the Cordial Wizard God wearing adorable wizardly uniforms are herded by an ill-prepared and increasingly distressed chaperone. If threatened or prankishly inclined, the children start casting random spells.
  6. A Squad of Chaos Knights, sold on the idea of crusading on the sphere, find there's little they can do to raise its chaotic magnitudes but try anyway (stats as Profiteer, Mien of Tourist, Armour 2, damage as Maul).


The Sphere of the Holy Mountain is full of exclusive deals proffered in hushed and confidential tones.
  1. A troop of charlatans who emulate a true order of mystics, and scam aspiring followers. Roll on the Mystics table to see which group they impersonate.
  2. Census takers corral new arrivals and question them in an attempt to come to grips with the local population. They are secretly a marketing group collecting data to target ads demographic targeting.
  3. A company of miracle prospectors scours the sphere for holy relics and mystical phenomena.
  4. A snake oil wholesaler attempts to offload their stock to enterprising entrepreneurs, and offers a tantalizing recruitment scheme for introducing other salesmen to the system.
  5. Con-folk precariously balance jugs of soured wine and veer into likely marks. Once shattered, their owners claim the vessels once contained product of the finest vintage and demand outrageous sums in payment.
  6. Psychic Hygienists in spotless purple and white jumpsuits extol the benefits of practical minimalism and fashionable asceticism. These seers visit your home or evaluate your unloaded pack to divine the future of each of your possessions. They "dispose" of each item they foresee you never using again, to relieve you of unnecessary burdens. Many clients are surprised that some of their most valuable possessions will be entirely useless to their future selves.



Skill 4
Stamina 6
Initiative 1
Armour 0
Damage as Knife
  1. Confused
  2. Awestruck
  3. Overconfident
  4. Homesick
  5. Curious
  6. Rude


Skill 7
Stamina 8
Initiative 2
Armour 1
Damage as Weapon
  1. Vigilant
  2. Desperate
  3. Imperious
  4. Patronizing
  5. Remorseful
  6. Fawning