Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Dangerous Encounter: Exploring The Rockeez

Rather than provide an encounter today, I decided to post a sandbox area for Mutant Lords who need a ready-made wilderness map for their mutants to explore. The Mutant Lord is encouraged to populate the map as he sees fit. Some notable landmarks and areas of interest are described below.

This map (click for a larger version) encompasses a very small portion of a massive mountain chain that runs through the area. Known as "The Rockeez," a part of this massive line of mountains runs from the northwest to the southeast in this map. During the Ancient Wars, many battles were waged in the area since the mountains made for excellent cover, holding many bases and strongholds. It is because of this that the mountain range was subjected to heavy bombing and destruction during the final moments of the Final War. In this map, a large valley (marked in orange) was carved out by a final bombardment. This blasted zone is flattened, gravelly, and without life or vegetation. Radiation levels are minimal, but a threat to those who linger.

There are two populated areas on the map (1). The one to the southwest is called Lead Village. After the massive land upheaval, many new ore veins were exposed and are now being mined in this thriving little town. Silver and gold has been discovered, but more importantly are the radiation-deadening lead deposits. Numerous humans and mutants have descended on this village, hoping to strike it rich. Numerous mining operations litter the surrounding countryside. The town is falling into lawlessness as a true "Old West Mining Town" has developed.

The other village to the north is known as Steaming Springs. Named due to the numerous geothermal hot springs in the area, Steaming Springs has a small colony of tinkerers and inventors who are trying to harness the geothermal power. Steam-powered cars and machines clank through the streets and steam-powered generators provide much of the electrical power. The village, though small, is heavily fortified and protected.

An Ancient road connects Lead Village and Steaming Springs since they have a trading route set up. The inventors of Steaming Springs needs the raw ore for their devices whereas Lead Village benefits from the cutting-edge mining equipment designed by the tinkerers to the north. The PCs could be hired by a caravan of traders to escort a shipment of ore to Steaming Springs, or they could be hired to deliver some heavy-duty equipment to Lead Village.

Other features to consider:
  • There are three highly radioactive zones in the area (2). Camps of The Irradiated and other radiation-dwelling mutants have been reported in these areas. The danger from these creatures - and the Level 5 or higher radiation found there - should be enough to keep the curious at bay.
  • There are two bandit encampments (3) just off the road. These bandits have been raiding the towns (when they're feeling brave) as well as attacking travelers on the road. The PCs could be hired to drive these brigands out of the area.
  • Two Ancient ruins (4) could be explored. These massive Ancient cities are avoided by the denizens of the two populated towns as explorers have a tendency to not come back at all. It is unknown what they hold since no one has returned. The ruin to the southeast is known as Deever and the one in the central blast zone is Buildor.
  • A deep subterranean cavern (5) was opened up when the lands were destroyed. This cavern is rumored to hold Ancient riches as well as ravenous cave-dwelling creatures. The area is known as Veil, though some have nicknamed it Death Shroud.
NOTE: The overland map was created with Inkwell Ideas' Hexographer hex map-making software. (You can try it for free too!)


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  2. Nice post. Your approach to making a hexmap sandbox scenario is very useful!

  3. Sniderman,

    Great sandbox and the link to the Hexographer hex map-making software is appreciated! By any chance have you tried AutoREALM at http://autorealm.sourceforge.net? You can make hex maps and grid maps with it...plus, the application is free.