Updates from Carcassay

My hideous city-inside-a-Titan-Rat-corpse is crawling toward completion. I have stopped writing, and started moving the text into layout!

This is a different rodent of unusual size

What’s in it?

At the moment, there are over 100 locations in and around the city. Almost every location has at least one well-defined NPC with at least one Quest/Reward to offer, in addition to selling goods and services.

There are dozens of factions to interact with (or start feuds between): knights, cultists, mercenaries, clerics, merchants, innkeepers, barkeepers, wealthy families, gangs, diplomats, vampires, plumbers, farmers, and Corpse Lords…

As written, the setting of Carcassay assumes that most “people” are human. The few non-human folk are taken from Dungeon Age lore, and include:

  • the Vrahoi delvers (stone-folk, fairly similar to dwarves),
  • the Arbaj dryads (tree-folk, barely similar to elves),
  • the Kadav (undead folk who are functional members of society),
  • the Ghiran (mechanical clerics created by an angel),
  • the Brakken (crab folk), and
  • the Vampires (from outer space).

What’s it like?

The overall tone “feels” a bit low-fantasy to me. Meaning, there are no magic trains, and the few people selling potions are charging an arm and a leg (not literally‚ĶI think). Most Carcassites are regular people, and they don’t have any magic items or abilities. If you were just walking down the street, it would look like any marketplace in eastern Europe, or the Middle East, or central Asia (depending on which district you are in). But there are magic relics, secret societies, and weird monsters lurking EVERYWHERE. You just have to find them.

The major underlying conflict is between factions of Law and factions of Chaos. There is no central “plot”, just a hundred plot threads that your players can tug on to make the whole city unravel. As the GM, you’ll have the freedom (and the challenge?) to page through this place and pick out the types of activities that appeal to you and your players.

The city is divided into four quarters:

  • Spider – the old quarter, byzantine and shadowy, noted for its spidersilk garments and armor, and the entrance to the dungeons down the Rat’s Tail.
  • Firefly – the new quarter, clean and orderly, wealthy and law-abiding, full of deadly artists and deadlier politicians.
  • Worm – the industrial quarter, grimy and smoky, the streets muddy with the blood of giant worms, the air hazy with fumes from the ironworks.
  • Flea – the dying quarter, dusty and dilapidated, half the buildings empty and boarded up, giant fleas leaping through the streets, desperate people lurking in the shade.

And of course outside the city there are ancient hills and plains, rivers and lakes, a regular forest and a fungal forest.

Any actual dungeons?

The tail of the dead Titan Rat spirals down underground, creating a highway through countless buried civilizations (“dungeons”, if you will). I’ve created three of these dungeons, and the layout lets you just keep adding in more dungeons as deep down as you like, so you can plug-and-play other published dungeons to your heart’s content.

Work, work, work

I have the dungeon maps done, but the city map is going to take some more time. There will be two types of art: full-color classical paintings and black-and-white ink illustrations.

Most pages will display 3 locations. There are a few tiny locations, with a bunch on one page. And there are a few big locations, with just 1 on a page.

What systems?

As per usual, I wrote the actual meat of the content to be system-agnostic. The final product will come in three flavors, with appropriate stat blocks: OSE, 5E, and ItO.

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