Mar 20, 2013

Ten Adventure and Dungeon Ideas for Necrocarcerus

I posted these as one-liners on G+ the other day, but here they are fleshed out as concepts / pitches. I'm actually working on Damnation Engines right now because who doesn't love trains? I'll list the influences underneath each one

Intestinal Vaults of the Irrelevant God 

Heretics from the 4th century of the Cannigan Empire have projected into Necrocarcerus as part of a religious schism caused by the death of Vra-Kokorn, He Who Consumes the Works of Man, one of the nastier Irrelevant Gods of the living worlds. They have built a temple-complex on the navel of his shackled titan-body, dug down into it, and are packing him with explosives while extracting the many rare works of art and magic found there. The plan is to detonate him and destroy the afterlife to attain immortality. The Guardians want this stopped.

(City of the Tarrasque; Fantastic Voyage; On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic and the Collection; Shadow of the Colossus)

Damnation Engines, or Tourists of the Hellscape

The engine on the no. 44 Line (Fa Hua - Hill of Avian-Induced Suffering - Fields of Creative Punishment - Rancerburg) transports the Nepenthe produced by the Guardians of Fa Hua to a fortified storehouse in the remote Edgehells. The Rogue Lyth wishes the train to be hijacked, and then driven through hundreds of kilometres of hellscape on a long-forgotten rail line to his fortress, where he will use it to pay his heretical citizen-soldiers in their aeon-long war against the Guardians.

(The Great Train Robbery; Money Train; the Inferno; Surface Detail; Final Fantasy VI; Captain Blood)

Funnel-Webs of the Perfected Spiders

One of the vast glowing funnel-webs of the Perfected Spiders has fallen from the Ceiling unexpectedly. The impact has shattered the four Hive-Towers of Grolanth, destroyed thousands of citizens, and drawn a swarm of fortune seekers. Reports are that the web fell because it was laden with Perfected Spider eggs. Anyone who can overcome the desperate citizens, undead monstrosities, unscrupulous egg-seekers, and hungry hatchlings to retrieve one of the eggs before the Perfected Spiders retrieve them will be able to name his price.

(Mordheim; the Invisibles; Charlotte's Web; the Truman Show)

The Halls of Unanticipated Murder

The Halls protect perhaps the most valuable thing in Necrocarcerus, a traversable permanent passage back to the living worlds (the other end is believed to be a prison in the 278th year of the reign of Iomon the Wicked). Unable to destroy it, the Guardians have settled for merely surrounding it with deadly and cunning traps, ferocious beasts, implacable constructs, horrendous curses, insidious fields of magical death, and then burying the whole thing under a perilous mountain that must be scaled to enter. Not that this stops anyone from trying.

(Numenhalla; Skyrim; Dark Souls; Wraith the Oblivion; Ultima Underworld)

The Tavern of Dessicated Drunks

A casino and hotel bizarrely placed in a parched wasteland, the Tavern has obols beyond reckoning, fabulous lost magical treasures, and the best collection of booze in Necrocarcerus. However, it is cursed so that one can only leave bearing one's own obol, or by being destroyed. The cabal of Rogues who own it employ thieves, cardsharps and skilled tablemen to strip visitors of their wealth, while issuing back only the obols of those registered as long destroyed in winnings. There is a vault, however, deep underneath the casino, where the obols of residents are stored...

(Ocean's 11; Star Trek; the Sting; the Devils/Possessed; Blood Meridian; the Music of Chance)

Torture Temple of the Theosadists

The Theosadistic Guardians have begun construction of a new incarnation temple in the Furylands, and have been enslaving the local citizens for use as labour and construction materials. The completed pyramid will require half a million souls for its walls, and the strain in collecting so many citizens has caused them to ally with malign flying oozes who wiped out their human creators in the 12th century of the Braemonian Hegemony and who have pursued their creators' souls to the afterlife to torment them further. Neither the construction nor the alliance are welcome, and both can be dealt with summarily by seizing or destroying the dream-orb the Theosadists and oozes are using.

(Lovecraft; Perdido Street Station; Forgotten Realms; 120 Days of Sodom; Hellbound: the Blood War; the Gulag Archipelago; Darkness at Noon)

The Ineffable Nomoplex of the Creator

The oldest library in Necrocarcerus, filled with maps, designs, diagrams, charts and instructions which are constantly being dispatched to, and returned from, each of the Guardian factions in control of the various sections of Necrocarcerus. As a section is exhausted, the staff open the next vault, penetrating through the outer circles until now only the innermost remains before the final seal is opened. A Rogue wizard opposed to the Necrocarcerus Program has taken over part of the abandoned outer rings, and sends undead infiltrators into the active stacks to misfile and misplace documents, intercept the messengers bearing instructions, and harry the Guardians, hoping to slow down or even prevent the end of the Necrocarcerus Program.

(Borges; the Name of the Rose; Book of the New Sun; Gormenghast; Alpha Ralpha Boulevard)

The Place That Was Once A Swamp

If Necrocarcerus is flat, then the obverse side must logically have the same area as the inhabited portion. Some speculate that there is a second Necrocarcerus there, or under construction, and the end of the world will merely be the flipping of a coin that hurls the current population off into the black void below. The Place That Was Once a Swamp is now the deepest hole in Necrocarcerus, pushing into the soil at least a hundred kilometres in a gradually narrowing funnel just shallow enough to walk carefully. A cadre of citizens calling themselves the Underlords wish to see if this is true and will reward exploration handsomely. For reasons unknown, the entire place is overrun with undead.

(House of Leaves; the Descent; Cliffhanger; Journey to the Centre of the Earth) 

Scourge of the Teetering Tower

The bottom half of a gigantic worm end has been petrified and embedded in the ground. The worm is peaceable, intelligent, and wise, but cannot free itself. Its lower, stony half has been bored through by undead creatures who dug their way up to slowly feast on its delicious flesh. The worm pleads with those passing by to brave the warrens of its lower half, slay the undead, and discover by what means they keep it petrified and imprisoned.

(Planescape; James and the Giant Peach; The Genocides; Against the Day)