Thursday, 14 June 2018

City of Masks - First Peek

Here is a little preview of something I have been working on: a city supplement presented as a random encounter table. Below you can find a work-in-progress description of a district, plus a piece of the encounter table expanded.

The Wharf

A hundred docks and a hundred ships. Cost of entry is a seashell. Gloom is a popular dissociative.


  • Fishmongers’ Guild (rivals of whalers; ruled by the gang of One-Eyed Katlar)
  • Malakai’s Shed (standard equipment up to 25gp; addicted to gloom)
  • Outrageous Serpent (low class tavern and gambling den)
  • Shrine of the Silver Moon (dedicated to Luna; grants blessing on a full moon)
  • Voracious Nautilus (low class eatery specialising in seafood)
  • Whalers’ Guild (selling whale oil and aphrodisiacs from narwhale horn)

Patrons & Contacts

  • Abraxas (seaweed covered mummy; seeks to unite with dead lover)
  • Boswick (fat and paralysed and filthy rich; runs blood sport events in a seaside cave)
  • Maugel (informant and seller of gloom; 25gp per dose)
  • One-Armed Caldwell (pirate captain; magical oculi replicate gaze attacks survived)
  • Smirgul the Creeping (former assassin; may teach secret art of murder)
  • Yuan the Rich (owner of shipyard; seeks portal keys)

Special Equipment & Services

  • Bottled Message (10gp; reaches any port or beach in 1 haven turn)
  • Eel Grenade (25gp; thrown weapon; 1d8 electricity damage; double vs. metal and water)
  • Harlot (5gp; reroll HD with advantage; save or contract STD; +5gp gain 1 rumour)
  • Harpoon Gun (50gp; mounted; 2d6 damage; takes 2 rounds to reload)
  • Sea Candle (100gp; whale fat; cancels charms and mind control if only light source)

Encounters (1d4+1d8)

2 - Foreignors
3 - Gull People
4 - Lunatic Priests
5 - Pirates
6 - Fishermen (and Giant Slugs)
7 - Harlots (and White Ape)
8 - Whalers
9 - Drunkard
10 - Traders
11 - Lamprey Folk
12 - Monsters


Members of the Fishmongers’ Guild. Masks made of fish scales and oyster shells. They haul their fish around in carts drawn by giant slugs. They hate whalers with a passion, and the feeling is mutual.
Fisherman (2d6): HD 1 | AC unarmoured | MV 12 | ML 5 | ATK net (save or rooted) or knife 1d4
Giant Slug (1d3): HD 5 | AC leather | MV 3 | ML 5 | ATK bite 2d6 (save or swallowed)

  1. Secret agents in disguise. If they feel their position is compromised, they draw their weapons (1 short moonsteel blades, 2 bottled lightning, 3 light crossbows with poisoned arrows, 4 flaming whips) and clear an exit route.
  2. Smuggling contraband inside fish (1 angeldust, 2 flamingo feathers, 3 red ink, 4 striped socks).
  3. Chasing someone (1 prankster child, 2 thief, 3 lone whaler, 4 unmasked vigilante).
  4. Marching towards an alley to beat up 1d4 whalers. Will inevitably drag the party into the conflict on either side.
  5. Selling one-use bamboo fishing rods for 50gp (3-in-6 of catching something interesting: 1 map, 2 boots, 3 love letter, 4 mermaid).
  6. Chatting about an interesting location (1 pirate cove, 2 island with ruins, 3 secret tunnels, 4 pagan shrine).


  1. I think this kind of world-building by Random Encounter Table is probably the best way to do it, since it you only create material that will actually be used in play. You've definitely got some great ideas for a fevered Weird Fantasy setting. One suggestion - if you've got slugs hauling carts, then maybe there should also be a class of people who constantly mop up after their mucus!

    1. Yeah, I tend to use very minimal keys and improvise off adjectives in my notes.

      Great suggestion! I can already imagine those poor mucus scrubbers.

  2. Striped ssock as contraband? Interesting... Is there a story behind that, or was it just procedural generation?

    1. More like an artefact of free writing. It will probably get replaced, unless it comes up during playtesting and my players do something hilarious with it.