Saturday, September 26

Taikang City, word on the street

While the PC's have only been in Taikang City for a short while, crew members have noticed the following about this large, old city:

  • A bureaucrat caste sits astride a teeming underclass of tradesman, merchants, laborers and slaves. Pretty much the same as every city you have been in so far in the world of Xoth.
  • From the magnificent houses of the Butterfly Palace shrouded servants tend to the city's spiritual leader who issues confusing edicts for the city's poor to follow. 
  • Mercenary warrior clans serve at the will of the city's treasury. 
  • Some tea shops sell lotus, all lotus dens sell tea and rice wine.
  • The inane chatter of members of the various philosophical societies fill up the air of most tea shops and lotus dens.
  • Tea shop can also be a euphemism for an assassin's poison workshop.
  • Large cockroaches the size of chickens have been seen being herded through the city streets at night.
  • Inns are very expensive, and have set dinner times with inscrutable prayers and gestures mumbled throughout the meal.
  • The local guard favors 9' pole arms.
  • The fishing is poor in the harbor, but clams seem plentiful on the tidal flats south of the city.
  • The Harbor Master dropped off a voluminous pile of scrolls stamped in ornate insignia.

Wednesday, September 16

Lotus Politics in the World of Xoth

The PC's have come across several types of Lotus during their adventures in the World of Xoth, and I thought I would jot down this quick reference to these dangerous plants as is so far known in the campaign;

Yellow Lotus is most common and like most of the different lotus plants, must be turned into a powder before it can be used effectively. It is grown in Khazabad, Amanti, as well as some of the far western nomad nations. Favored by thieves and cultists, Yellow Lotus is highly addicative, can cause incredible hallucinations, and makes one susceptible to suggestion.

Red Lotus; a highly addictive powder which when smoked gives one increased physical and sexual attributes beyond normal ken. This lotus is also found throughout Khazabad and the other decadent western nations. The Red Lotus is favored by gladiators, and pleasure slaves for "seeing red" is one of the only ways to blot out the pain of their fates.

Silver Lotus; can only be found on the Silver Lotus Isles. Reported to give the user enhanced powers of the mind. This is all considered nonsense as none of this miraculeous powder has ever been seen in the markets of Xoth

Purple Lotus; the mysterious lotus of the far east. Known to deliver exquisite ecstacy beyond the comprehension of mortals, and produce the most powerful and subtle poisons in the hands of master poisoners. This powerful narcotic is grown only amongst the high peaks of the island kingdom of Taikang. Only the truly powerful have access to the hidden trade for the fruits of this elusive plant.

Black Lotus; the stuff of legend and mythology. It is believed that through alchemical formuli derived from the inscrutible texts of ancient gods the purple lotus can be transformed into black lotus, the essential ingredient of sorcery.

Tuesday, September 15

Sailor Hiring Table for Taikang City in the World of Xoth

When PC's need to hire additional crew members amongst the tea shops and lotus dens crowding the busy wharfs of Taikang City, roll on the following table to see who responds to their job opportunity. 

Don't forget to consider how the PC's go about their hiring campaign. While Taikang City is busy harbor town, foreigners can misstep and cause difficulties within the teeming streets. 

Whether running afoul of the inscrutable bureaucrats which hold power, alchemical assassin guilds, or lotus drenched sorcerers, pulling off a successful recruiting drive can be an adventure in itself.

Taikang City Sailor Table; roll 1d12+4 for number of applicants. For each applicant roll 1d12 to determine who he is.

1. Fleeing acrobat.
2. Disturbed psychotic.
3. Visionary beggar.
4-12. A seasoned clam harvester who is good with a net and knows how to trim a sail. 

Monday, September 14

gOnZo Adventure Generator

The following tables gives the Managing Editor gonzo content on the fly for your Fear & Loathing USR, as the good Dr. would have you do it. Gonzo adventures by their very nature are improvisational, and you are encouraged to go with your player’s suggestions, respond to their crazy ideas and turn them into sordid, depraved nightmares. I have seen others suggest that when you have used a result from a table that you cross it out and replace it with one of your own! This is excellent advice and is encouraged for this table as well.

Using other adventure hook generators I've found on the web and reskinning them with gonzo chrome has yielded the following forty one adventure hooks. Feel free to help me get to 100! 

Gonzo Adventure Generator; (roll 1d100) actual location of event, foreign or domestic, is left up to the discretion of the ME.

1.  The police think the PC’s are responsible for a car bomb that went off in front of a political campaign headquarters. Can the PC’s find the real culprit before they are hunted down themselves? Do they dare, knowing that the criminal operates with a frighteningly degree of sophistication?
2.  The PC’s are arrested by the local police upon first entering town. Once in custody the police captain attempts to deliver the PC’s to a murder death cult.
3.  A woman falls into the street from the second story window in front of the PC’s and dies on impact. Soon after, a man with a gun comes out and complains that the sites were off, that him and his wife were playing a game of “William Tell”. He hopes that the PC’s will help defend himself from a murder charge as witnesses. As soon as the police show the man quickly disappears into a maze of side streets. The PC’s are arrested and held for the “murder”.
4.  The PC’s are invited/sent on assignment/gate crashing a political fundraiser by an important socialite. They could be looking for a potential job opportunity, being extorted, what have you. At some point the PC’s are told to wait in an empty room. Soon after entering the room, the PC’s realizes they are locked in.
5.  The PC’s stops to witness a funeral procession for a beloved celebrity. Soon after passing, the PC’s hear an explosion and witness the hearse erupt into a smoking fireball.
6.  In need of food and shelter from the elements (in the middle of a natural disaster), the PC’s come to a ruined casino/restaurant/airport full of reveling looters.
7.  As you step out of the bar, a disheveled girl smashes into you. "The dog is loose again!" she exclaims as she attempts to hide behind you. You turn back in the direction she came to see a; (roll 1d6) 1-2 metal construct. 3-4 loping maniac. 5-6 alien entity charging toward you.
8.  Someone you know has come across a big story and wants to get together an investigative team. Later you meet at a hotel room only to find murder, drugs, and mayhem.
9.  While spending a day boating your anchor gets snagged on something hard and impossible to dislodge. The water isn't too deep and you have diving gear onboard.
10. You find a strange machine in the basement of your new apartment. Do you turn it on?
11. You are asked to go find the whereabouts of a coworker who went missing on assignment.
12. You wake up in an unknown location with several other amnesiacs. What have you been doing over the last few hours/days/years?
13. You wake up in a dumpster behind a Chinese restaurant. You have $50, a .45 automatic, a cassette tape in some strange language and no memory.
14. A contact of yours works in the morgue, and he called to say a cadaver suddenly sat up and left the building.
15. Smugglers are landing illegal contraband onshore. Their supply ships remain anchored well outside any exclusion zone. How does the stuff get ashore? No diving equipment is ever seen, and no other vessel ever approaches.
16. You get lost outside of Tijuana in the dead of night on Los Díos De Los Muertos.
17. A young activist calls you up and tells you to come up to northern Canada. Due to global warming hideous creatures trapped in the ice for millennia are coming alive. This has got to be some mad, radical hippie stunt just to attract attention to their cause, right?
18. You are at home one night when you hear frantic knocking at the front door. You arm yourself and open the door to face....you! Thinner, haggard looking, wounded and yelling. "C'mon they'll be here any moment! We've got to get away! Now!"
19. It was a Tuesday just like any other Tuesday in the City of Lights, a cheap bottle of Whiskey three quarters full beside a silent phone, when there is a knock on the door. Another dame, another doll face. “How much do you charge for your services?” She has a package she needs delivered.
20. You are picked up in a night club by an intense young lady. She insists you come with her to a motel. Here she shows you her; (roll 1d6) 1-2, city map filled with pins, lines, newspaper clippings, fetishes, etc. 3-4, mass of tentacles and gaping maw splitting her abdomen from throat to groin, filled with an insane conglomeration of razor sharp fangs... 5-6, a kilo of coke, and transcripts from an illegal wiretap.
21. People who work at a PCs place of work / at the local fast food restaurant, etc. keep turning up dead, in the same bizarre way (Spontaneous combustion? Partially cannibalized?) Local Police don't seem inclined to investigate.
22. You receive a complex paper from a local university professor the same day he is reported missing.
23. Someone has stolen your lawn flamingo, an unforgivable offense. To make matters worse they taunt you by sending pictures from around the world of your beloved decoration in various countries. But when you look at the photos and compare them to news articles from these places you start to see a pattern emerge… Paranoid delusions or a nefarious plot? Either way, you are going to get your damn flamingo back!
24. Something strange has been captured on CCTV. When it was viewed, several people flipped out, and are now residing in the local sanitarium. However, copies were made, and are doing the rounds on the internet. The footage comes with dire warnings, about "What you are about to see...was captured...while...and made people mad....etc." It now has a cult following, with an online club who "Saw the film and didn't go mad”.
25. After turning out an old house or University stores you discover a "Grow your own Top Secret Life-Form" kit. With a few simple chemicals, and the protein goo contained in the included glass cartridges, you can grow a weird living being in four days! At first it is content to simply feed on scraps.
26. Invasion; (roll 1d6) 1-2 giant snakes, 3-4 alien beings, or 5-6 the feds, invade the; (roll 1d6)1-2 resort 3-4, training camp, or 5-6 country farm you are currently staying at.
27. You're working late in the hospital one night, when; (roll 1d6) 1-2, Secret Service arrives with someone who has been shot. You are sworn to secrecy. 3-4, a loud noise alerts you to a break in at the pharmacy. What was taken? There is a blood trail. 5-6, the ghost of a dead relative tells you where confederate gold is buried.
28. Someone gives/lends/asks you to research a clock. The clock in question resembles a Grandfather clock. Ornately carved in wood and inset with semiprecious stones. It has a fairly mundane face, but has many other dials inset in it and around it. The clock chimes at irregular intervals and with several different chimes. Some quiet, some loud, some in frequencies beyond normal hearing. What is the purpose of the clock? How does it work?
29. You are travelling by plane. A star-vampire materializes in the cabin, and starts sucking the life out of the passengers. If it makes it forward to the pilot, you’re all going to die. Can you and your fellow investigators dismiss the beast with only an in-flight magazine and a few bits of plastic cutlery?
30. A conservation agency wants to hire you to stop a fracking operation from disrupting a natural cave complex near a fault line. And they are prepared to use any means to succeed.
31. The old woman who lives upstairs from one of the PC's, a recent stroke victim, divulges future terrorist attacks in the middle of mundane sentences. She has no knowledge of these other words she speaks but they are coming true.
32. In an overwhelming sense of paranoia a powerful politician wants to hire the PC’s to find a mole within the party leaking info to another campaign’s political operatives. Is it all a twisted hallucination?
33. Invited to a dinner party by an old physician friend of the PC's, they arrive to find out he is still at work at the local sanitarium. His housekeeper informs them that the good doctor has sent word they are to go ahead and eat without him. He will join them later. A few hours pass and the doctor has still not shown up.
34. Someone sends them a warning to “Leave town and never return” Are they brave enough to stay and find out why?
35. All the PC’s electrical goods go haywire and try to kill them.
36. The investigators are travelling in the hills when they come across an old car. Inside the car is a set of clothes that might be a disguise of some kind. They also find a suitcase. Inside are; (roll 1d6) 1-2 some papers. 3-4 a million dollars. 5-6 antidote to the zombie plague.
37. A music album is released. The music is surreal and nonsensical, but it sells well... and a rumor circulates that if it is played at the same time as a specific pre-existing film, then the music synchronizes exactly with the action. No-one is sure whether it is a coincidence, but a film student who became obsessed with the sync is found mysteriously murdered. Some who watch the synchronized film/album are able to see a hidden message in the combined works.
38. A coworker, and/or friend has been kidnapped. You are going to get them back.
39. Activists want to get evidence of animal rights violations on the circus in town. They appeal to a man of your particular skills for assistance.
40. After the (national sporting event) your neighborhood is placed under quarantine. Some type of fever is what you are being told.

41. At the bus station a homeless woman grips your wrists and says; (roll 1d6) 1-2 “I reckon Melvin, he ignored it ’til it blowed up in his face. He was obsest ’til it all come undone with this wallet Clarence lost.” 3-4 “Retrace your steps.” 5-6 “Code 20, officer needs routine assistance. Commissioner’s Office reports possible Promoting Prison Contraband, in 800 block of Adams Street. Suspect is 390W, clearly intoxicated apparently biracial female, wearing silver tooth decorations. Over”.