Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017: The Year In Review Adventure Setting

Favorite TV of 2017
The rogue city-state of Hellsalem's Lot sits like a madhouse on the borderland between worlds. It is a city of chaos and crime, of uncontrolled magic and regularly scheduled existential threats. Terrorist cells breed like fruit flies, cults pop up like weeds, rogue sorcerers lurk in every unattended alleyway, gang wars are so regular they're made into serialized television, and the eclectic members of Libra have to, as their name suggests, keep the balance of it all.

And deal with the vampires.
  • It's very easy to die and very difficult to stay dead in Hellsalem's Lot. Don't question it, it stops working if you question it.
  • The Blood Breed don't fall prey to typical vampire weaknesses: you're going to need a true name and some potent blood magic to seal those bastards away.
  • It's easy to tell if Femt is behind the current disaster; The King of Depravity loves hacking into video billboards to make his announcements. What a ham.

Favorite game of 2017
In the harbor there is an island: a prison that once housed the city's criminals, now overrun with beasts and monsters. The prison's layout is ever-changing, kept a-flux by the weakened dimensional boundaries of its parent city. Creatures within are often possessed of dead cell mutagens, which may in some cases become self-aware and capable of puppeting about corpses as their own bodies.

  • A mad inventor is known to live on the Island, trading powerful magical weapons for dead cells harvested from the bodies of fallen monsters.
  • The great eldritch Watcher still keeps its post in the Insufferable Crypt, guarding the depths of the island from any intruders or would-be escape artists.
  • There's an assassin up in the Clock Tower - who was she sent here to kill, and why is she still here?

Other favorite game of 2017
Beneath Hellsalem's Lot there is another city: the ancient grounds of Hallownest, home to the old insect-folk. But the city's time has passed, and the lonely tunnels are now filled with the remnants of that lost civilization. Spelunkers and treasure-seekers are still found every so often in the caves, uncovering the mysteries of the long-dead and long-forgotten.
  • The caves are filled with undead husks, possessed of a terrible infection. The vessel within the Temple of the Black Egg is breaking apart, but none can get inside without releasing the Dreamers' seals.
  • The moth-shaman in the Resting Grounds knows how to cut ones way into the dreams of the dead.
  • The fungi are not to be overlooked. Simple-minded they might be now, but with the leadership of Mr. Mushroom they will inherit the age to come.
Favorite game-book of 2017
Further below Hallownest, in the furthest dark abyss, there are the Veins of the Earth. Here there are no friendly faces, there is no bench to sit awhile and listen. There is only darkness and death and unimaginable hunger. There is only cold, blood-slick stone.
  • In the terrible black abyss did the Pale King and his five great Trilobite Knights discover the Radiance ages ago, and build the city of Hallownest by her light. When they turned from her, she delivered a terrible infection upon their dreams, and Hallownest was no more.
  • Fossil vampires, older and more cruel by millions of years than the Blood Breed, still lurk in the stony dark. They are feral and mindless, and can smell blood spilled even miles above.
  • The dErO conspiracy seeps outward, like lead in an aquifer. Rumors of it have even reached the Thinking Machines of the surface world. Tell us what you have seen in the Thinking Machines. There are no Thinking Machines. Tell us what you have not seen. We know what you have and have not seen.

Other other favorite game of 2017
Far beyond the walls of mist that wreathe Hellsalem's Lot there is the Downside: a purgatorial landscape of great beauty and great danger. Bands of outcasts make a rough life here, partaking in the holy Rites that might see them returned to civilization
  • The Nightwings have been broken apart. In their absence, the Liberation Rite atop Mount Alodiel cannot be held, and no one may be freed from this hellish land.
  • The bog hags of Flagging Hands have gathered at the Pit of Milithe, to call forth Yslach Astral-born. The stars are not yet right, but soon they shall be so, and the earth ripe for its devourer.
  • "I hear that bastard Volfred Sandalwood is trying to fix the Rites, just to stick it to the old Archjustice. And get this - he knows how to build a machine that can make books! Can you believe that?"

Other other other favorite game of 2017
Out past even the Downside there are ruins of an older world, green with life and brown with dust. Here the YoRHa androids do battle with the alien machine lifeforms over a world that has lost both its human and alien masters.
  • Broadcasts from the secret human moon enclave are a regular occurrence, but lately they have been a bit irregular: they've always lacked specific details, that came with the territory, but now they keep mentioning something about dErO machines, and YoRHa hasn't got a clue what the old humans are on about.
  • A pacifist machine enclave has emerged in the forest out near the old amusement park, and to everyone's surprise they've decided to focus their single-minded obsession with imitating the humans of old through the study of existentialist philosophy. YoRHa hasn't got a clue what they're going on about.
  • And now a message from everyone's favorite immortal gay teenager junk salesman, who is also a magical skeleton and has definitely seen some shit: "Every day's a sale, ever sale's a win!" 


Man, it's been a big year. A pretty rough start and a lot of shakeups throughout, but you know, it turned out pretty okay. The blog's going strong (Seven months now? Holy guacamole.) and I feel like I'm in a better place than I was this time last year, even if only for having a place to yell about games online.

Happy new year, folks!

1 comment:

  1. Hollow Knight + Veins of the Earth is a combination I should have thought up long ago.