|#1tenebMar 23, 2007 13:07:38||My players are going to take a romp through Xaos while searching for the gate to Limbo. I need to develop encounters (combat or otherwise) to make the trip memorable. Anyone have any ideas or resources? I own the MotP, but don't have any 2e PS books.|
|#2ripvanwormerMar 23, 2007 14:22:34||The gate to Limbo is constantly changing; it may be an iron sphere, an eight-headed troll, a railway tunnel, a tree, a pool of acid, a prismatic cloud, a plate of beans, a small child, a raving mental patient, a dream, a mob of formians, a song, a question, a rune, a floating circle of glowing symbols, a titanic construct, a swarm of tentacles, a shimmer of lightning, a whirlpool, a volcano, a disembodied face, a wardrobe, a top hat, a towel, a bed-knob, a chalkboard, a purple crayon, a phantom tollbooth. It is always recognizable for what it is, however, because a river of chaos matter flows out of it, spreading into the town and warping or dissolving all it touches.|
Xaos itself is constantly shifting and morphing, its architecture never the same twice, its population ranging from 50,000 to five. The inhabitants are mainly Outlands petitioners struggling to act, despite their true neutral alignment, to act as orderly as possible in order to prevent the town from sliding into Limbo. There are also a large number of itinerant planar travelers and natives of Limbo - githzerai, slaadi, chaos beasts, lillends, bariaurs, khaastas, raggamoffyns, animate objects, changelings, halflings, chaos gnomes, hagumemnons, dopplegangers, mimics, vorrs, phasms, chaonds and tieflings. And humans, of course. Beings of Law - modrons, inevitables, formians - also come to Xaos to prevent it from sliding into Limbo and thereby further empowering Chaos.
One powerful group in Xaos is the Xaositects, a philosophical guild dedicated to promoting Chaos in all of its forms, promoting freedom, change, randomness, and the bizarre. They seek to entangle strangers in their fights, their strange games, their impromptu plays, their perverse pranks, their cockeyed schemes, their jokes and struggles and epic wars. Other chaotic factions, like the entropy-loving Doomguard, the independent Free League, and the anarchist Revolutionary League, are also strong here.
One idea I had for Xaos was that its inhabitants might build replicas of buildings and districts in other famous cities, but twisted in some way so that they become parodies - upside down, painted vivid and grotesque colors, made much larger or smaller than is practical, used in the opposite of their intended purpose (a cathedral as a public latrine, a bank or prison as a child's playground), put in the wrong context (a palace in a wretched ghetto, a fiendish stronghold on a beautiful rainbow bridge, a boat on the roof of a tall building, a house half-flooded with water in the middle of a lake, a watchtower entirely underground), or simply disturbingly normal in a most abnormal community. Things change quickly in Xaos, though, and a building in the middle of a lake or ghetto one day may be somewhere else entirely the next, or it may have become a different kind of building, or perhaps a moose. Always with the moose.
Struggles in Xaos are usually between different visions or whims of competing Chaos (or within the same contradictory whim), and between those championing Chaos and those who try to force some level of order and consistency on the town before it's entirely lost.
The slaadi come at night, leaving raw chaos wherever they go. They keep adding more chaos, brick by brick and pile by pile. They don't come to fight or devour people (at least not primarily), only to add more of that impossible substance that causes probability and causality to break down in its vicinity. They may be in the town in other capacities as well - as tricksters, as scholars, as merchants, as kings.