Sunday, January 7, 2018

WretchedCityOzborn: Part 1 of 3

This post details a location/module/city for you to use in your games.

Art by Adam Paquette

Author's Notes: Ozborn was conceived and designed as an otherworldly worldly location. I try to mechanically and thematically reinforce the idea of entering a dungeon as entering darkness and the supernatural. I try to have the majority of wilderness encounters be with familair things such as humans or wild animals. Ozborn is a rejection of these principles and attempts to combine the dungeon and the settlement into one. It's pretty conceptually close to CorpathiumVornheim, and the Wicked City


What the Players Know Beforehand

Well known information about the the City of Ozborn


A dark city sits upon the coast. Cloaked figures stride through its maze of streets entering doorway and shadow alike, each wearing mask to obscure their true nature. Those who travel outwards are often clad in audacious wealth and wield sorcerous art. Few travel towards the dim domes of Ozborn to learn magic from their institutes and fewer return knowing little other than ruin and misery. Eldritch and opulent substances are traded openly in the markets and often imbibed even casually.


Rumors about the City of Ozborn (All True)

1The city is built on the ruins of what was once a massive keep constructed by in human hands. 
2 The rituals necessary for sorcerers to gain their prowess remove their humanity
3 Cruel mockeries of man bound in darkness patrol the streets enforcing order
4Their greatest sorcerers have escaped the grasp of this mortal coil
5A castle is bound to the city my massive lengths of chain so that it does not escape into the starry night above
6 A singular goblin remains within the city, the last of his kind bound to a lone tower
7 All who arrive at the city do so at night and none remember seeing the sun being in the sky
8Gangs of men in fine suits wielding hatchets menace the streets harassing those who they find secluded
9Those who wander the streets often find themselves in the vastness of the ancient keep below the city 
10Within the depths of the massive dungeon underneath Ozborn grow fruits whose flesh changes the nature of those who eat them
11All those who walk the streets of Ozborns wear masks, both men and monsters. Only the sorcerers refuse to hide their faces
12There are those who may bring a dead soul back to life

Ozborn Proper


First Impression

Numerous stone buildings strike against the starry sky as if a miasma of darkness was unleash from a great hole in the ground. Some distance away a fortress floats from lengths of massive chains. The ocean crashes nearby in repeated intervals.

The Menacing Dark

Unless characters pay a guide for safe passage through the streets of Ozborn there is a 1 in 6 chance of them slipping through some shadowy gap into the dungeon of Lower Ozborn and a 1 in 6 chance of them encountering a wandering monster. Guides offer to take characters from district to another for the price of 15 Silver, otherwise assume it takes 10 minutes to get to a district nearby and 20 minutes to get to a district far away. If characters choose to travel without a guide roll 2 1d6's. On a roll of 1 on the first six sided die the characters end up in a random Room within Lower Ozborn! Roll on the Ozborn's Gap's table to determine which room they stumble into.  On a roll of 1 on the second six sided die the characters encounter a monster on the Ozborn Encounter table.
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Ozborn Gap Table: Roll two 1d4s and consult the chart below:
Dice Roll1234
1Room 2 Room 4Room 11Room 13
2Room 21Room 23Room 30Room 32
3Room 37Room 40Room 42Room 49
4Room 52Room 63Room 67Room 71

Ozborn Encounter Table
13d10 Ax Gang Members
2Sorcerer of Ozborn + 1d6 Lackeys
31d4+1 Hollows
4Sorcerous Duel
5A Grisly Scene
6Masked Monster

Ozborn Encounter Descriptions

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Ax Gang Members

Immaculately dressed the crowd mirrors the axes in their hands. The off white metal matching their fine silks and the black handle matching their coats and boots. They cackle and jeer at you. They wear no masks but instead style their hair similarly. Each has slicked it back with tar, leaving it a single unmoving mass. A uniformly thin mustache and goatee covers the lower half of their face.


Ax Gang  HD1 DEF2 DAM1d6 MV12 SV6 MO8
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Sorcerer of Ozborn

Surrounded by a few fellows. A long haired figure slouches before you. Squatting in the corner of the room, all of them smoking, he looks up at meets your gaze. Gold dangles from his fingers, ears, and neck. He is clad in a dark clothing with esoteric images embroidered on them. The demeanor of his companions immediately informs you their are his faithful lackeys, riding his coat-tails with a deathgrip.

Sorceror Stats
Lackey - Stats as Bandit
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Hollows

White slabs emerge from black hoods. Each an orgy of wild angles. Their cloaks must hide the shame as their hunched forms contain no curve or symmetry. If one could fully right itself it may two heads taller than a man, but instead they skulk forward. hands draw curved swords with a single edge and they advance each at a jagged pace.

Hollows HD4 DEF6 DAM1d8+2 MV13 SV9 MO20
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Sorcerous Duel

Two figures scream insult and curse at one another as their sycophants shout words of encouragement. The two sorcerers gather dark magics in their hands and prepare to obliterate one another. Each flings their eldritch might at the other, and both miss. The bolt flies towards you all!

A randomly selected character or hireling must save lest they take 1d4d6 damage.
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A Grisly Scene

A man lies headless and disemboweled. Steam slowly rises from the corpse as its blood spreads out along the paved stones of the city.
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Masked Monster

You walk deeper and deeper into the dark before finding yourself in the dead end of an alley. A figure appears behind you staring silently. The figure places a hand upon its mask and then discards it, revealing their true nature.

Stats as your favorite Monster.
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All Further Art by Q Hayashida


Districts of Ozborn



An asterisk denotes that it is not possible for characters to stumble into the dungeon from this district


1 Sinister Seaside

Many unfamiliar faces can been seen along the docks and shipyards here. Cold waves beat a steady pattern as exotic goods are traded in exchange for the rarities only found within. Corpses are taken off ships towards the center of the city in exchange for occult mysteries. The wanton depravity of the sorcerors are kept stated by the various intoxicants brought from foreign shores. Several foreign groups have erected stoney reference to their homelands here, each outlander finding company in a shared compound.

Outlanders found around these docks include:
Gyre Islanders
Ophidians
Citizens of the Empire of the Alabaster Crown
Cut Throats
Mytikans
Green Skinned Fasulians
Thithunwans
Iron Masked Laptains
Hookmen from Hungry Joe
Ash Sifters from Tophet
Thuleans far from their Crystal City

2 Fort Woe*

A bastion of green sandstone rises upwards into the sky. Inside the Sorcerer Ethylwulf governs the city. Those who pay tax within the walls of Ozborn pay for protection to Ethylwulf from beuracratic ends, to the Chained Keep from their sorcerous arts, and to the Black Kult from chaos and horrors beneath the city. Ethylwulf and his retinue dwell within and deal with those who would have complaint.


3 Chained Keep*

High above the streets of Ozborn, this five sided rampart floats. Chain links the width of your arm are periodically pulled tight as the keep bobs up and down in the air. From each edge a vast tower rises, the amber colored windows lit from within. There are those who squat in their shanty town under the shadows of the keep, seeking to determine how the sorcerers enter into their fortification above. Gangs of those who would pretend to be powerful sorcerers ruin each other with vile magics. The secret to enter into the Chained Keep and learn the sorcerous arts is given out by the five Great Sorcerers of Ozborn.

The following are rumors (all true) surrounding the five.

Erasmus has long been absent is said to hide away in the depths of Lower Ozborn in meditation.
Aquarius Karee, by whose hand the hollows walk, will invite those who would best his hollows with feats of swordsmanship.
Ethylwulf, who is said to have conjured Fort Woe from the darkness beneath Ozborn, offers invitation to those who would pass his tests.
It is said that Epiales visits those who possess ability and talent in their nightmares, pulling them with her still dreaming into the Chained Keep.
Often overlooked and forgotten, Edward offers entrance after simple payment is made.
Some even whisper that Ramirez will invoke a door into any where in exchange for a Goblin Fruit.

Spells etched into flesh of those within the Chained Keep are:

Inflict Distant Doom
R: 200'
T: Creature
D: 0

Target takes [sum] + [dice] damage, no save

Revoke Ultimacy 
R: 30'
T: Creature
D: [sum] rounds

Target is bonded to the caster by their destiny bond. For the duration of the spell the caster cannot expire before that target. This spell delays death until it ends.

Telescopic Smoke
R: 10'
T: Smoke/Fog/Gas
D: 0

Target gaseous state is replicated up to 100' away lasting [sum] turns and is [dice] times larger.


4 Cathedral of St. Hastad

A refuge for the religious and lawful amidts this chaotic city, this cathedral is three stories high and made of imposing stone. Few of Ozborn travel inside, and those who do merely use the location as neutral ground free from violence. A skeleton crew of clergy reside inside and perform rituals on prescribed dates.

5 Sewers Complex*

All the plumbing of Ozborn leads to this point. A complex where some men dare to dredge valuables from the gutter and drain the flith into the depths of Lower Ozborn. Those wishing to enter Lower Ozborn often seek to enter by such means, a singular entrance to a fixed point in the depths of the complex. Some hawk maps or supplies to those who would enter Lower Ozborn, seeking to make wealth on those desperate enough to enter.

There is a singular Entrance to Room 1 of Lower Ozborn


6 Markets

Here one may find the Unique Purchases of Ozborn:

Bottled Imp: What, Why, Who, Where, When questions [Costs 300 Silver]
Elixir of Tongues: Speak with Beasts, Birds, Crawling Thing, Fish, Metal, Stone, Plant [Costs 400 Silver]
Doomed Ichor: Once imbibed it grants temporary Magic Dice but the caster takes [sum] damage to caster on a doubles or triples result on a magic dice roll for the next 1d6 days.
Ivory Eye: One can replace a missing eye with this marble sphere [Costs 200 Silver]
Ebony Hand: Candle made from a dead man's hand. Each finger burns lit and holds a charge that has a 5in6 chance of opening any door. [Costs 500 Silver]
Ghost Bath: Jar of tonic which one can dose themselves in to turn their body incorporeal for 1 turn. [Costs 500 Silver]

7 Resurrectionists

A unique draw for tragic souls towards Ozborn is the Ressurectionists. Lonesome souls drag corpses towards Ozborn in hopes of seeing their loved one again. Lines of people holding corpses wait for entrance into their halls. Vast machinery dwells within a dark factory, gears and pumps all dredging some bright liquid from within the depths of Lower Ozborn. Those who may pay the exorbatent toll deliver their corpses to the Ressurectionists who reduce the corpse to their essential salts and attempt to revive them through occult rituals. Ressurection costs 1000 Silver + 500 silver per level or HD of the corpse. Ressurection has a percentile chance of working based on the following: cause of death, days since demise, and quality of corpse. Those who die by natural causes such as age, disease, or the elements cannot be resurrected. Those who die by violence or magic have a base 25% chance of being ressurected. Those who die by other means have a 12% chance of being ressurected. For each day since the corpse's demise there is a -1 penalty to ressurection. If the corpse is perserved with ice or magic there is a +10 bonus to resurrection. If the corpse is let to naturally rot there is no effect. If there was much trauma to the corpse there is a -20% penalty to resurrection. Characters resurrected start again as one level lower and face a -5 penalties on any save against death. A character may only be resurrected once.

8 Black Kult Headquarters

Black flags bearing the sigil of a waterbearer hang from what have may once been a cathedral. Hollows emerge with their curved swords from within, trailing outwards to keep the peace. Each acolyte within bears the same mask, a orb of darkness bearing the sigil of the waterbearer. If spoken to each will reject the notion that their plan is to bring about the next age by cleansing flood. Somewhere deep a distillery stands and imps pulled from dark places are bottled. Acolytes often sell these bottles to raise funds and some even offer charitable aid to the destitute of Ozborn. The Black Kult offers entrance into their organization to those who wish, granting them purpose.

9 Ramirez's Hole

Within a vast depression in the ground a singular arch looms. Those that walk the lone bridge and pass through the arch find themselves within some amphitheather before them a throne. Shackled to the throne by chains of gold is Ramirez the Last Goblin. Your head ends at his knees and if he wished to rise to his full height he may well dwarf a building. Rusted spearheads fill his maw and great balls of flame fill his eyes. One eye is larger than the other but both stare unblinking. His skin is pulled taught over ugly bones and etched with archaic symbols eerily reminescent of those worn by the Sorcerers of Ozborn. He has enough room to wander but not enough to cross through the arch into Ozborn. A singular human servant in a tight leather mask snorts and hobbles towards those who enter speaking in snorting tones. Ramirez remembers much of the time when his kin filled the keep underneath Ozborn and knows many secrets regarding the Goblin Fruits which grow within. He welcomes guests into his hole and offers each a great reward for those who would serve his purpouses. Ramirez will purchase Goblin Fruits in exchange for one of the following: Increasing a random attribute score by 1, making an entrance into any building within Ozborn, the teaching of one spell or 1000 silver. If any who speak to Ramirez having eaten a Goblin fruit he will instead offer to make them into their birthright, should they accept see: ATerribleNightToHaveACurse

10 Tower Sucrose

A gathering place for those who would wield magic not born of the rituals of the sorcerers the hexagonal tower looms high. Free from the plebian terror of the outside world each crafts experiment and goal other place impossible. Some rage in the streets against the Sorcerers trading deaths, while others simply let lose their creations under masks to menace and better learn horrible alteration.

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Traditions

Masks are of such significant meaning of and identity in Ozborn regions of the city is populated solely by the shops of mask makers. These artisans are the source of the many masks worn by the denizens of Ozborn. Many shops mutilate and bewitch materials ranging from leather to stone into shapes reminiscent of human faces. All those who walk the streets of Ozborns wear such masks, both the men and the monsters. Each mask is unique save for the jumbles of white geometric shapes born by the Hollows, the shadows bound in leather which serve the city's rulers. Only the sorcerers refuse to hide their faces. Duels are waged among the sorcerers each challenging another the title of supreme, their motley crew of sycophants cheering them on.


33 Masks Worn in Ozborn (For describing NPC's)

Instead of a head a man walks by with a skull resting on his shoulders and instead of feet his legs end in singular points
A bleeding heart instead of a head, two dark orbs swivel where another may have eyes
Rather than a face a stack of lines seems etched above a man's shoulders, a few orbs linger beside the stack
Spider's head upon a man's shoulders, the mandibles undulating quickly
On the shoulders of a man sits the defeathered carcass of a bird, along his arms hand blocks of stone each a mitten rising up to his shoulders. He holds a long knife in his left hand.
A headscarf covers a figures head but as you approach you notice that inside is only blackness and two glowing orbs of blue light where eyes would be
A lengthy black proboscis descends from a pair of darkened lenses
Black mask pulled taut over a man's head with just two white crosses visible
Mask of fur with two lines going down vertically
Mask with an eye patch over one eye and the other eye visible through a hole
Mushroom instead of a head serves as a mask
A Bat's body wrapped around a face and numerous rats attached by her tail from her cloak
Head of a milky white moth and two hairy filaments like horns rise from the shoulders
Mask with a zipper running down the middle vertically and two glass lenses for the eyes
A man walks above him 8 long necks each bearing an identical face
Blooming Rose
A lit Candle
Shining Urn
An upward yellow cone with two bulbous eyes
A wooden triangle from which several ribbons hang
A Rat's Head
A leg's length of neck and then a snake's head
A beak which splits vertically is split by two eyes on one side and one eye on the other
A jumble of needles takes the place of a man's head
A spiral slowly spins where a man should have a face
Each eye on this mask inserts into a pair of faces, five in total surrounding the skull
A singular red orb faintly glowing, hovers over a set of shoulders
A skull sits upon a pair of crossed bones and cackles
Two bulbous eyes sit beneath a red and black colored horn
An upside down face with a terrible maw of teeth
A maw of teeth sits open below a glowing and dangling lure of a fish head
An inverted octopus like being serves as this man's head, it's suckered tentacles like wild hair
A miniature sphinx sits on a man's shoulders

2 comments:

  1. The link to What a terrible night to have a curse is broken. Just a heads up.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I wasn't expecting to say this, but the fashion/ masks might be my favorite part of all the greatness here.

    ReplyDelete