Friday, February 12, 2010

Warriors of the Red Planet Preview - Random Ruins

One of the important parts of the Sword & Planet genre is the constant presence of reminders that grander civilizations have fallen. No proper ocher wasteland or purple fungus forest would be complete without a smattering of bizarre monuments, relics, and ruins. Thus the following charts:

Ruin type (d6, then roll on corresponding table below)
1. Monuments

2. Relics
3. Settlements

4. Vehicles
5. Buildings
6. Unexplainable

Monuments (d20)
1. Quartz pillar, pulses with purplish inner light.
2. Obsidian pyramid, inscribed with hieroglyphics (10% of secret door).
3. Small dome of smoked glass, no vegetation for 1 mile radius around it.
4. Stainless Steel Statue of a warrior with four arms, each holding a blade.
5. Featureless, crimson, stone cube that seems to throb gently.
6. A cliff face with a bas-relief of an eyeless god.
7. Sculpture made of bone reinforced with some shiny, reddish metal.
8. Gray stone monolith with seven hand-sized recesses.
9. Twenty-foot-square brass plate set into the ground, covered in symbols.
10. Pitted, wooden dolmen crawling with glowing green insects.
11. Ring of rusted iron pillars surrounding a pool filled with molten glass.
12. Tomb set into a hill with a circular door decorated with painted eyes.
13. Sculpture of a brooding face carved from a natural stone outcropping.
14. Outline of weird creature cut into the ground, best viewed from the air.
15. Great stone basin filled with rusted ornaments, jewelry, and baubles.
16. Fifty-foot-high pillar of greenish salt, humanoid faces faintly visible within.
17. Enormous, petrified skeleton of dragon-like creature covered in tribal inscriptions.
18. Wide glass bubble with a giant fetus-like reptilian creature floating inside.
19. Barren, scorched area of ground with a day-old bouquet of weird, alien flowers laid in the center.
20. Sixty-foot long marble hand, seems to have been broken off at the wrist of some impossibly huge statue (nowhere to be seen).

Relics (d20)
1. Engraved wooden case containing a pistol-like weapon.
2. Tattered banner bearing the insignia of a lost kingdom thought to be mythical.
3. Massive humanoid skeleton pinned to a hillside with silver spikes.
4. Partially buried row of gold-tipped lances, each inscribed with hieroglyphics.
5. Small, sad-looking humanoid skeleton curled up in a cave with silver ornaments.
6. Scorched plain dotted with bones and broken weapons.
7. Huge steel cave broken from the inside.
8. The sun-bleached figurehead of an airship, depicting a beautiful princess.
9. A hill topped with the moldering remains of ancient artillery.
10. Empty tent of silvery metal stands beside a dried-up oasis.
11. Skeleton of a jewel-collared predator, leashed to a stone outcropping.
12. Ancient husk of a trader's wagon, once brightly painted.
13. A man-like figure made of metal parts overgrown into a petrified tree.
14. Smashed pottery littering a rocky field, an intoxicating mist hanging over it all.
15. Seven rolled-up tapestries depicting battles stashed in a shallow cave.
16. Row of nineteen skulls placed carefully around a quartz outcropping, staring outward.
17. Partially buried stack of copper plates covered in indecipherable symbols.
18. Magnificent sword in a shoddy leather sheath laid beside a weathered tombstone.
19. Vine-covered suit of armor made of pieces of spiny insect carapace.
20. Beautiful wooden scroll tube filled with love poems to a mysterious priestess.

Settlements (d20)
1. Burned-out village, the huts filled with strange green goo.
2. Wide valley dotted with the foundation outlines of a lost city, all giant-sized.
3. Three shattered crystal towers that vibrate tunelessly in the wind.
4. Walls of a ruined fortress overgrown with eerie fungus-like growths that stink of carrion.
5. etc...

(See Warriors of the Red Planet for the rest, coming soon!)

Past Previews.
Princess via the amazing Thomas Denmark!


  1. This is very nice. I'd argue, though, that tables like this belong in every type of pulp fantasy game, regardless of whether it's sword-and-planet or not. My feeling is that most S&S settings are "post-apocalyptic" in a broad sense and ought to include regular reminders that the world that was had wonders the likes of which no living man has ever seen.

  2. Very true, JM! One of my hopes for WotRP is that it'll be a handy companion to more standard S&W campaigns, perhaps with an eye towards the "weird", as well as a self-contained Sword & Planet game. :)

  3. Very cool. I was going to make my own rules for a Planetary Romance type game...but these look like they are going to be super cool and I am willing to limp along with house rules until this is available. The illustrations are even very good...I wanna go to Mars, man.

  4. Very cool indeed! Consider this pre-yoinked, until the pre-pay button appears!

  5. some great inspirations here, Al! thanks

  6. This is fantastic. When is this coming out?

  7. Excellent post. I am going to be adapting this for my own campaign, which is *mostly* straight fantasy and by-the-book Swords & Wizardry. This S&P idea is really intriguing, however, and I may be running a campaign like this next.

  8. Classic stuff for any fantasy game.

    Awaiting with interest.

  9. This is really cool.

  10. Hot Diggity. Looking forward to this. :)

  11. Al, you are the random table KING! :O)

    I am so psyched to get my hands on WotRP!

  12. Great stuff! Really helps with some fan fiction I'm writing. Love the drawing, who is it by?



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