Monday, 29 April 2013

Planet Psychon's glorious geography - hexcrawling

Psychon is a surreal land changing constantly and the gods contriving against mapping or knowing ancient secrets of ancient black science. Most stay in limited area they know, keep away outsiders and hide in ancient citadels and tunnels when wild weather or danger lurks..Locals will love too see you eat their local dishes too. Food and weather are every Pschonian's favorite topics so i have put flavour/odour table below. Exchanging foodstuff, eating and drinking with each other and admiring each other cousine are common greeting rituals. Most people are hospitable to small bands of peaceful travellers.

I can always use random hex descriptions from Carcosa or the G+ created maps like these and stick anywhere. I did 14 posts on the third one best thing on G+ so far in a month. I made Psychon to be ablie ti import anything from DnD, gamma world and many other BX type games.
Ill do some more specific critter and culture generators later

Base Colour - d12

Roll for soil and several colours for vegetation trunks and folliage for example. Most creatures will have several of these as a base colour. Use a different random colour for blood that is different to all above. Red men nomads finding blue men in a red and black forest will be outraged. Some areas may have changes seasonally.

1 Red
2 Magenta
3 Cyan
4 Aqua
5 Yellow
6 Tangerine
7 Emerald
8 Light Green
9 Violet
10 Turquoise
11 Roll 1d10 twice times or ivory
12 Roll 1d10 1d4+1 times or jet

jet and ivory may have a tint of an other colour

Odd Scents/tastes d50
other post had sounds so here is smell and taste. Random road smells, native foodstuffs. Could roll 1d4+1 for a more complex one.

1 Honey
2 Cinnamon
3 Peppermint
4 Peanut butter
5 Chocolate
6 Citrus fruit or oil
7 Incense
8 Smoke
9 Charred meat
10 Hearty food
11 Blood
12 Metallic
13 Sour
14 Bitter
15 Numbing (blocks sense temporarily)
16 Dung
17 Urine
18 Rotten
19 Strawberries
20 Animal bed
21 Insect
22 Seafood
23 Salty
24 Berry
25 Onions
26 Beer or bread
27 Strong spirits
28 Mineral
29 Sweat
30 Milk
31 Sugar or Candy
32 Rose
33 Musk
34 Corriander
35 Cumin
36 Asafetida
37 Pepper
38 Chilli
39 Sandalwood
40 Acidic
41 Smoked meat or other food (bacon, ham)
42 Pineapple
43 Melon
44 Banana
45 Oily
46 Pear
47 Vanilla
48 Mushroom
49 Yogurt
50 Peach

A few extra

Hotdog water
Horse Radish
Fried Potato

Sacred Terrains of Psychon d12
A Terrain is an ancient hex measurement equal to 24 miles
broken into 4 marches of 6 miles

There are 10 sacred base terrain types with various sub types

1 Desert
2 Tundra
3 Rock
4 Volcanic
5 Forest

6 Jungle
7 Swamp
8 Deathlnds
9 Water
10 Manna

11 Roll 2d10 for two terrains types in conflict here
Roll 1d4+1 terrain types in conflict

terrain in conflict could be seasonal shift, actual ecosystem-psychosphere struggle for dominance or one type could be on top of another and exposed at cliff faces, tunnels like a geological era.

1 Plains of black and grey ash with burned skeletons and chared rubble
2 Haunted blood red desert with crystal spirit nodes of the dreamlands
3 Coloured Dust with unique flavour but inedible
4 Bone and boat covered once sea bottom
5 Yellow hot desert with savage plants and hidden predictors
6 Blasted lifeless land of humanoid skeletons from war or a vast necropolis
7 White sand lifeless waste of salt from ancient sea beds
8 Coloured crystalline desert prone to narcotic weapons of the ancients
9 Desert of metalic filings, cogs, scraps and recycling heaps of ancients
10 Glowing mutant crater filled hell


1 Tunnel ridden glacier
2 Frozen grasslands home to herd beast and preditors
3 Icy lifeless hell with a few hidden beast hunting
4 Ice over water with adapted animals
5 Huge ice maze with waterfeatures and difficult crossings
6 Snow filled plain hiding deadfalls and deep crevices
7 Crystaline monoliths and structures could almost be ruins
8 Frozen mountain range seemingly impassable
9 Plains of fine narcotic dust, everything high and wasted
10 Frozen wasteland shrouded in fog and gibbering gargantuans

1 Rock labyrinth though giant rocks or mountains
2 Gigantic rocks and boulders with hidden routes and valleys
3 Huge mountains with some difficult features
4 Petrified forest with pools of tar and oil
5 Huge megalithic rocks buried in ground
6 Plain of statues and blasted stone
7 Cliffs and fjiord harsh coastline
8 Canyon with cliff dwellings, ruins or animal colonies
9 Area riddled in caves and sinkholes, warn down mountain range
10 Giant pillars or stone features which resemble giant buildings

1 Geothermal geysers and pools of mineral salts
2 Lava flows over broken basalt with a few safe crossings
3 Shallow steaming warm waters with scattered lava islands growing daily
4 Erupting volcanoes throw pumice, cinders and ash clouds constantly
5 Broken black landscape, with lava tube tunnels and smoking volcanic vents
6 Burning pits and smouldering craters of burning flammable gas
7 Flaming forest of ever burning trees
8 Blasted crumbling ruined factory and forge buildings which used lava as furnaces
9 Sulpher blasted waste coated in yellow crystalline deposits and dust
10 Plains of boiling bubbling mud and sticky warm clay

1 Covered in cacti and succulents, covered in thorns, many contain water, some hallucinogenic
2 Mushroom forest with moulds, puffballs, toadstools, slimes and rich in creepy crawlies
3 Fur trees with pine cones, some giant, packed thick with berry and shrubs in between
4 Sylvia Trees have slime filled branches that attract and absorb animal life
5 Flesh forest of plants-animal hybrids, some with eyes, or mobile or intelligent or hostile
6 Bamboo grove of thick bamboo of many thicknesses home to bandits, poets, animals
7 Giant redwoods and ancient oak trees, home to beast and humans who earn a livelihood here
8 Scented eucalyptus give off fragrant coloured oil vapour, harsh and dry, eerie haunted land
9 Mist shrouded
giant fern trees, often inhabited by prhistoric looking creatures in ground litter
10 Flower and fruit trees of great beauty and variety, usually prime territory and defended

1 Carnivorous ecology of mobile and non mobile carnivorous plants, some seemingly intelligent
2 Slime jungle of oozing foam and dripping gelatinous mounds and tendrils
3 Single huge plant dominates and connected to lives of all inhabitants, all serve the great tree
4 Thorn jungle of savage dangerous plants and hostile to man, home of beasts and outcastes
5 Macroscopic alien swarm entity englfing and assimilating all life, neural peptides are it's favorite
6 Floral dream jungles produce hallucinogenic and mind control chemical weapons
7 Jungle city of tree houses and walkways high above ground to avoid enemies
8 Ruined ancient cities and statues overgrown by vegetation, forms mazes with water features
9 Trap filled haunted battlefield, remains of dead soldiers and ancient booby traps
Swarming and over run with a single species like giant frogs, triffids, rats, spiders, etc

1 Salt marsh and mangrove forests, encrusted in salt, giant edible worms and crabs
2 Shrubs, reeds and vegetation over shallow water. Rich in beast and outcast men
3 Fog shrouded marsh full of buried bodies preserved since ancient times
4 Swamp drowned civilization with islands of intact structures
5 Bog of quicksand, pools of ooze and tar pits and remnants long dead since primordial times
6 Dark and fog shrouded but glowing vegetation, toxic dump and monster breeding grounds
7 Sentient evil swamp pits its beast against intruders, inhabited by all manner of creatures
Vile stench of nausea, disease and vermin ridden hell hole, everything is nauseous 
9 Dinosaur and primordial species in deep primitive swamp, megalithic stones and bog iron
Sunken ancient battlefeild, still covered in remnants of dead and deadly armaments

1 River divides the land and dominates everything, often thickly settled and a ferry needed to cross
2 Lakes cover the area some just patches of bogs, home to cultists and monsters
3 Ocean with no land, filled with monsters, pirates and occasional merchants or fishermen
4 Boiling ocean of steaming waters, hidden islands and grwat beast reside  here
5 A single huge lake dominates the area, with settlements and island kingdoms
6 Crater lake surrounded by rock wall and forest, weird coloured and long lost remnants of past
7 Lakes on salt plain flats, with different colours, temperature, flavour and even magic properties
8 Sea filled with visible islands, each with tiny dormant volcanic cone, forest and caverns
9 Sea covered a civilization, many islands are former mountains of the old empire
Shallow sea with huge coral reefs with tunnels filled with life, even humans live on reef islands

1 Toxic swamp with powdered chemical mounds and
huge mounds of ancient jars of poisons
2 Blasted ruined wasteland of former mega city, inhabited by hostile machines and a evil god
3 Part of the Moon fallen to earth, aliens, astronauts and weird insect people and ancient ruins
4 Everything glows with strange light, dangerous auroras and crystalline caverns
5 Collapsed into the sub world, a huge subterranean city, mine or cave complex, underworld perils
6 Huge wastelands with fully active ancient weapons and deathfeilds and intact domes inside
7 Sprawling gigantic ruin crawling with monsters, gangs and wandering plundering killers
8 Green slime covers everything but some islands hidden within and isolated
9 Ruin and crypt covered land crawling with rot grubs, psi worms and sons of kyuss grubs
Monster kingdom, appears normal but dark, monsters rule and control their farmed humans

Plateau above land with radically isolated ancient land, filled with tunnels and ruins
2 Floating Lands drift in the sky, a single huge island or many smaller ones3 Floating ruins drift in sky, partially inhabited, guardian servitors, long lost loot
4 Ancient citadel covered by huge energy barrier, sealed from the ages by secret entry
5 Magic Kingdom, dominated by non human species and possible a earthborn godling
6 Everybody dead, acting like nothings wrong, some controlling power
7 Benevolent Utopia like Tanelorn or a Mile high silver pyramid, wary of outsiders, might seek help
8 Under construction, incomplete zone or in the process of being changed by nanofog from a god
9 Ruins and people and beast frozen in stasis, awaiting re use at whim of some god
High mana confict zone, gods battle each other with armies, sprawling trenches, ruined camps 

 Roll these if more detail needed

Roll for local night and day if not specified or suggested by table results
1 Hot
temperature 30-50C2 Body temperature 15-25C
3 Cold
temperature 10 or less

Luminsity 1d6
tilt of planet or orbital mirrors or shades possible1 Light constantly
2 Dusk constantly
3 Night constantly
4 Seasonal cycle (or 1in6 yearly cycle)
5-6 Daily cycle

Ruins or Tech Level? d100 

1-5 No remains of any kind
6-10 Evidence of ancient hunters

11- 20 Evidence of ancient megalith builders or a village21-30 Evidence of bronze age temples, cities, monuments
31-45 Evidence of iron age trade outpost, fortress or town
46-60 Evidence of steel age castle or citadel or palace or tower or cathedral
61-75 Evidence of steam age factory or slumb city or rail network structures
76-85 Evidence of  deco and diesel industry or
metropolis or space industry or airship
86-95 Evidence of advanced (firelances) lasers, mechanical men (robots), ornithopters
96-00 Evidence of most advanced tech like a dead god, terraform machinery, teleporter, FTL

Who Dwelled thar? Or who built these ruins, or who lives here now d100
1-10 Primordial pre humanoid species, megalithic natural looking mega structures
11-25 Ancient humanoid species (Eldren, Morlocks, Mutants, goblinoids, halfmen, )
26-30 Pre cataclysm ancient earth men
31-40 Beast men of single or several types
41-45 Mechanical men built this place for a machine god
46-60 Alien species or long lost ancient astronauts built outpost

61-80 Humans (random colour or multi coloured society)
81-90 Humans for last three generations, re-roll for earlier remnants
91-100 Human last generation,
re-roll for earlier remnants

1-5 None visible, bare soil
6-10 None visible but hidden possible seasonal or nocturnal or underground
11-15 sparse salt bush or dried grass or moss and lichen
16-25 Succulent plants like cacti
26-35 Tree fern forest
36-45 Fungi forest
46-55 Long waist high grass
56-60 Long 2-4 meter grass
61-65 Hedge Shrub, 3m high, naturally grown mazes
66-70 Thorn bush with berries naturally grown mazes
71-75 Sparse tall thin trees
76-80 Sparse huge trees
81-85 Thick forest
86-90 Thick jungle, difficult to pass
91-95 Huge jungle with ecosystems within different tree levels
96-100 Weird slime trees or flesh forest or crystal plants or strange something else

Some Hostile Vegetation

Wolf weeds - hunter dog like plants, used to herd meat beings by some plant folk
Triffid plantation - bred as mobile food, medicine and fuel plant of ancients
Strangle Vines - gripping vines snare and strangle victims
Tree Men - walking trees, some are ancient giants
Pod People - plant grown replicates infiltrate and spread their kind
Vegepygmies - savage competitive tribal plant folk
Pitcher plants - grab creatures with tentacles and stuff in stomach to dissolve
Giant Flytraps - jaws snare and trap or swallow whole
Darkspawn - huge vegetal tripod spawn of the dark gods who hide in forests and eat meat
Dryads - seduce humanoids and enslave them
Killer trees - evil mobile trees that eat meat and share dread lore
Saliva Trees drop slimy nuerotoxin tendrils then dissolve in saliva mass in branches
Yellow Musk Creeper - eats brains and spreads zombies
Mushroom men - not too hostile but dislike intruders none the less
Mutant plants have many powers such as explosive nuts, flotation gas bags, other weirdness
Mandrake - this plant has a killer scream and is enslaved be evil wizards with a spell
Needlemen - humanoids who shoot needles growing all over them
Lotus Fruit trees turn eaters into drug addicted slaves who take it wherever they go
Psychon Poppies - spray psychedelic dust, tries to eat helpless prey
Slaver willow - connect tendril to life forms to enslave and feed, let slaves loose for missions
Symbiote Tree - has birds or insects plague inside it uses to attack and feed itself
Gamma Tree - huge glowing fower when in bloom can kill with radiation, may open if startled
Explodestools - ancient bio mine explode if disturbed
Kelpie - this aquatic slime uses illusions to pretend to be a trapped horse or lady to trap suckers
Green Slime - infectious killer infection converts meat and life into more slime
Crystaline structures resembling plants may have psionics or drain life or make slaves

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Mesopotamia Image Dump 6

Nice Babylonian city and royal scene

Put all my Mesopotamian bronze age posts here - this is latest

Ass pulled chariots in city state wars of Sumeria. Possibly battling Akkadians.

Another fanciful hanging gardens and canal scene. Ill do a post of all the pre 20th century versions one day. They are pretty over the top and inaccurate.

A king enjoying family time in a place garden

Persian soldiers entering Ishtar Gate. Babylon, Persia and Sythia destroyed Assyria only shortly before. Persians blocked river and snuck in under the gap left by lowered river. Babylonians busy enjoying food left out for them. Doh.

Eridu is the city of Enki and was a coastal connection to the Holy land of Dilmun where the gods lived and adam and eve came from (Bahrain). The seven fishy sages came here to re teach humans the arts of civilization ofter the flood. Kish was city where Kingship began. Eridu is supposed to have a water gate to the great subtereanean deep beneath the world. The sea has a plug with a jade seal. By the end of Assyria this city was hundreds of miles inland due to constant laying down of sediment. Kawait didnt exist when Eridu was in its heydey. Early Ishtar and Anu holy places too.
A bit over the top and ziggarutt not painted loud colours but idea of vegetation and roof gardens has crept inti illustration more and more. Newer city art have those roof gardens more green.

More hanging gardens.

More hanging gardens.

 A bit more Persian but nice - dont know what Frank Miller on

 Babylonian King and Sythians talking over ruins of Assyria. Egyptian troops help arrived 4 years too late (doh). Babylon didnt last much longer. Still Mesopotamian, Uratu and Elam were a big influence over Persia.

Another nice chariot scene

Another nice chariot scene

Assyrian vs Nubian

Sumerians building walls and Ziggurat. Note the lack of flying saucers and space gods helping. 3000BC had the lowest labour cost in history so that might have helped the pyramids and Ziggurat more.

 A city bridge crossing view

 A Persian king looking at his booty in babylon.

Ziggurat building

Reed woven house and mud brick walls as used by marsh Arabs for over 5000 years. Stone and metal were scarce resources. I had mythic Sumerian beginning party go to mountains to collect rocks for door posts in civic buildings. Such buildings could be built on a reed raft also.

An early reconstruction of military of early Ur about to be sealed in kings tomb. Only known burial of living servants, courtiers and soldiers found so must have been unusual king. Some peoples worshiped Vedic gods in Mesopotamia so perhaps was some link in this aberration.

Eridu sacred barge of Enki. Gods statues might travel by barge to visit other gods in other cities. Temples are doll houses for adults.

 Eridu holy precinct

This is probably Dara Happa from Indus civilization but similar intense urbanization and mud brick engineering produces similar outcomes. A proven trading partner with Sumeria and Elam.

A very good view of Babylon. I recon would be more visible people and farm structures.

 Eridu I think

Nice city probably Assyrian but coat of arms fro Sumerian era visible and gates look like Ishtar gates so an excellent mash up

Assyrian costume liths based on statue and wall relief art. Id still like to read a good essay on all the types of Assyrian soldiers. UniSA has encyclopedia of near eastern history which is awesome. Might visit libraries next time in South Australia,

Ceremonial procession of king with statue of a storm god like Enlil or Adad - lightning bolts in hands. When those priests used the extra holy month made up of extra days of lunar calender in solar year must have been a big party.
 I looked for this book for years and was disapointed by how dated it is. Still entertaining but some irrelevant comparisons based on mistakes gets annoying. This is the same kind of flawed crap that Stechkin and his space men in mesopotaimia theory uses. Plus he makes mistakes any student in the world can check online now. He is only person to have made certain mistakes and he is followed by thousands of jerks, Aliens in Assyria might be fun in a fantasy game or novel but not as the basis for a whole psuedo historical crap people take seriously. Unfortunately the purpose of history for many is to abuse it for current dickery.
A king overlooking city from some skyscraper overlooking the biggest bulding his civilization ever produced???

 A fairly old reconstruction but quite nice king looking over city scene

A king procession

Some ornament source books

One element I like of Babylonian magic and religion is sanctioned and and unsanctioned magic. Outlaw spell casting gets you chucked in river to let river god judge you. But within a massive temple there might be A specialist exorcists, a sanctioned sorcerer, astrologers, diviners, priests who are healers or experts in reading gods will and animal eviscerating sooth Sayers and many specialists. I always imagined a city with hanging gardens and massive royal parks would easily accommodate Druid. A Ziggurat is a man made symbolic mountain. Botanical gardens and zoos might justify a druid class to manage them. Actually I think druids being on fringes of civilization did copy religious ideas from Mesopotamia. The Tree of life, alphabet and taxonomy list based education, calender making, monoliths and other mutual intrests make me think if any civilization deserve druids, Mesopotaimia would be it. Ningizzida is a tree snake fruit wisdom healing divination cult i always liked. He is the constellation Hydra

Egyptian bride for Mesopotaimian king. Egypt pretty much a weaker more backward rival for early period but after battle with Hittites at Quadesh, Egypt never a power again. Assyria conquered Egypt but by fall of Assyria they were allies against the new powers like Sythia and Persia. Egypt never considered threat by any Europeans. Greeks, Romans and Victorian robbed Egypt and felt kindly of it as an exotic territory. But the Babylonians and Assyrians. Some Englishmen in 1600 escaped Iraq, other Europeans told locals english up to no good and were spys. Has retained mystique very different to Egypt. Who gets the the most books in your museum gift shop? French seem a bit more keen on this history. German is good for Persian translations.

A nice view of Ur type city with at least roofs being used a bit

 A ghostly ziggurat. Id be wary. Ghouls and lamia and succubi and demons or worse.


 Another ziggurat like Ur in middle of nowhere. Id be suspicious,


An Assyrian up to no good

lotsa good wargaming and military info especially for Sumerian intercity warfare
Battle Donkey Wagons Advance!