Thursday, July 31, 2014

Anomalous Subsurface Environment Meat-grinder

I finally got around to ordering Patrick Wetmore's gonzo* megadungeon, the Anomalous Subsurface Environment. It is just as fun and inspiring as everyone else said it was a few years ago.


The modules are written for Labyrinth Lord, and as a B/X fan, that should have been good enough for me. But I'm an idiot with poor time-management skills, so instead I wrote a Microlite20 variant for it.

I also wrote it as a DCC-style meat-grinder. This obviously owes a huge debt to both the DCC funnel and Austin Schaefer's AES Character Tumbler. By huge debt, I mean "look! I can hit copy and paste!"

Backgrounds
1-3      Acolyte of an orbital god (1d20 to determine deity)/ Mace / Sacred symbol, Book of Orisons
4-6      Acolyte of Science / Broken Robot Arm (as club) / Religious tattoos
6-8      Acolyte of Starry Wisdom / Sacrificial dagger / Incense burner, foul-smelling incense
9          Apprentice Scribe / Penknife / Bottle of Ink, 10 sheets of paper
10       Artist / Copper wire (as garrote) / 1d6 for materials: 1) paint pots and brushes; 2) lump of grey clay; 3) uncarved ivory tusk; 4) spools of colorful thread; 5) 3d10 sheets of origami paper; 6) 300-page proposal for conceptual installation
11       Baker / Rolling Pin (improvised weapon) / Basket of bread
12-14 Barbarian / Club fashioned from giant jawbone / Bronze medallion
15       Barber / Razor (as knife) / Brass bowl, diagram of latest hairstyles
16       Barkeep / Sword / 1d4 bottles of hooch
17-19 Blacksmith / Hammer / 3d6 horseshoes
20-22 Bodyguard / Flail / Collection of teeth on a string
23-24 Butcher / Cleaver (as hand axe) / Bag of smoked ceratops meat
25       Cartographer / Knife / Maps of Denethix and Environs
26       Ceratops Ranch Hand / Prod (as spear) / Overalls, tall rubber boots
27       Cheese Monger / Big steel ladle (improvised weapon) / Collection of foul-smelling cheeses
28       Civil Servant / Baton / Brush, can of paint
29       Cook / Iron pan (improvised weapon) / 1d6 meat pies
30-33 Cutpurse / Dagger / Locket, ivory ring, 3d4 coppers
33-34 Dandy / Rapier / Stylish clothes
35       Disreputable Bookseller / Sword / 1d6 scrolls of farcical drawings
36       Ditchdigger / Shovel (as staff) / Wheelbarrow of sod
37       Drover / Whip / 1d6 for livestock: 1) Donkey; 2) Mule; 3) Horse; 4) Cow; 5) Sheep; 6) Goat
38       Farmer / Hoe (improvised weapon) / Wheelbarrow, 1d6 for contents: 1) Dirt; 2) Onions; 3) Potatoes;  4) Dead rats; 5) Turnips; 6) Empty sacks
39       Farmer / Pitchfork (as spear) / 1d6 for livestock: 1) Hen; 2) Goat; 3) Pig; 4) Calf; 5) Sheep; 6) Duck
40       Farmer’s Son or Daughter / Hand axe / 1d6 for livestock: 1) Goose; 2) Dog; 3) Rooster; 4) Barn cat; 5) Ox; 6) 3 snow-white lambs
41       Fisher / Knife / Bag of salt cod
42       Flagellant / Whip/ Pot of salve
43       Fortune Teller / Stiletto / Polished chunk of quartz, Book of Prestidigitation
44       Gangster / Pistol, 1d6 bullets / 2d6 doses of drug, 1d6 for type: 1) Stimulant; 2) Depressant; 3) Euphoric; 4) Hallucinogen; 5) Anesthesia; 6) Soporific
45-47 Graduate Student / Pocket knife / Book, 1d6 for title: 1) Economics in the Worthless North; 2) Snails in Post-History; 3) Aetheric Aesthetics; 4) Transcendental Unity of Apperception & You; 5) Mi-Go Architecture; 6) Squamous Horror Kinesthetics
50       Grunkie Vendor / Net / 2d6 baby grunkies, wooden crate
48-49 Herbalist / Sling, 2d10 stones / Sheaf of dried herbs
50-52 Hunter / Bow and 2d6 arrows / Pelt
53       Itinerant Gamer / Sling, 2d10 stones / Sack of polyhedral dice, deck of cards
54       Janitor / Broom (improvised weapon) / Bottle of cleaning fluid
55-57 Laborer / Crowbar (improvised weapon) / 50 ft. rope, chalk
58-59 Locksmith / Dagger / Lockpick set
60       Merchant’s Spoiled Progeny / Silver Dagger / 3d20 silvers, 1d6 for pet: 1)Trained monkey; 2) Talking bird; 3) Juvenile ceratops; 4) Lion cub; 5) Lap dog; 6) Large, jewel-encrusted beetle
61       Messenger / Flag of Truce (as staff) / Vial of poison, sealed treaty
62       Metallurgist / Iron rod (as club) / Tongs
63-65 Military Student / Wooden practice sword / Tin of boot polish
66       Miller / Club / Sack of flour
67-68 Miner / Pick (as hand axe) / Pigeon in a wicker cage
69-70 Monastic Initiate / Staff / Prayer beads, begging bowl
71       Mushroom Vendor / Shovel (improvised weapon) / Mushroom, 1d6 for type: 1) Stimulant; 2) Depressant; 3) Euphoric; 4) Hallucinogen; 5) Anesthesia; 6) Soporific
72       Orphan / Kitchen knife / Rag doll
73-75 Pickpocket / Cudgel / 2d6 coppers, wide-brimmed hat
76-78 Pit Fighter / Surgically-implanted brass knuckles / Loincloth
79       Plumber / Giant wrench (as club) / Toolbox
80       Poet / Staff / 1d6 half-finished poems, gold ring
81       Professional Beggar / Crutch (improvised weapon) / Makeup kit, begging bowl
82-83 Sailor / Belaying Pin (as club) / Spyglass
84       Shaman / Sling, 2d10 stones / Colorful feathers
85-86 Shepherd / Staff / 1d6 for livestock: 1) Dog; 2) Mule; 3) Pig; 4) Calf; 5) Sheep; 6) Goat
87       Slave Hunter / Bolas / Leather armor, manacles
88       Slumming Noble / Pistol, 2d6 bullets / 3d6 silvers, fake beard
89       Smuggler / Dagger / Waterproof sack
90-91 Sorcerer’s Apprentice / Dagger / Spellbook of Cantrips
92       Street Performer / 1d4 throwing knives / juggling balls
93       Tailor / Shears (as knife) / Bolts of fine cloth
94       Tattoo Artist / Brass Knuckles / Needles, colored inks
95       Tinker / Hand axe / Clay, solder, ball-peen hammer
96-98 Unyielding Fist Grunt / Spear / Chainmail shirt
99       Wandering Musician / Dagger / 1d6 for instrument: 1) Ukulele; 2) Concertina; 3) Pipes; 4) Harmonica; 5) Lyre; 6) Wind-up Theremin
100     Woodcutter / Hand axe / Bundle of wood



* I love that "gonzo" is a precise genre descriptor. It shows that we're doing something right.