Friday, November 21, 2014

A World a Week: The Afterlife

As everyone knows that the sun and moon circles around the Earth, they are sure that the universe revolves around them. It was with sort of medieval reasoning that I designed the Underworld. When a Character died and the player wanted a chance to bring it back to regular play, I used this graphic to handle those situations.

 This would end up being used in various campaigns regardless of settings. It was originally designed a standard fantasy campaign, I just wasn't wild about "Beyond the Silver Pane." It helped a couple T&T players, get over their losses, gently. But the longest run there actually happened during my run of an aborted Top Secret spy campaign. 

Some gumshoeing went south quickly and all-but-one of them ended up not being so Quick at the first encounter. Well, the dudes did start a shoot out in the Amsterdam airport when they saw someone who might've been KGB. The players, being goobers, er real role-players, actually couldn't think of letting their beloved characters, made up in 30 whole minutes of rolling dice and scribbling, so they agreed to undertake the voyage in the Great Beyond. The player with the surviving Character, Michael once again, even agreed to continue his story at the same time. In the 80's, I ran Stalking the Night Fantastic for six years so mixing guns and ghosties was nothing new. It did kind of spoil my hankering for a wholly non-supernatural campaign. Still I was going through a divorce so I wanted to do something on Friday night before going to the bar. So while the living Character worked on getting the floppy discs with the super doomsday virus from the evil mastermind in the Central African Republic, the other three players journeyed into the Underworld.

Characters in the underworld start out with all their worldly knowledge from before, but they have the bodies and stats of toddlers. While their "bodies" are bound to the ground, gravity doesn't change for the rest of their spirit and the world around them isn't-- they're upside down most of the time. This was when I maturing "gravity salad" recipe (I was doing a lot of rappelling in those days). As wide as the world was above, so was the Underworld, so traveling had all the limitations as in life. The world was pretty surreal and not just because of the gravity. Charon would drop them off in the Mists, where'd they'd notice the gravity and hopefully realize that the shadows were "barghast spirits" or Slavers. If they tried to return to where they came from, gravity would pull on their bodies regularly, falling into the misty skies below them NPC spirits never returned.

Notice that little structure?That was a combination of the Tower of Babel and a really massive pyramid, ran by somebody called the Dark Pharaoh who was always looking for slaves. There was a little hole where the stones for the Zigguarmid where cleft from, bottomless and leading to the fiery core of the world. Things got a little better once the dead characters, now in their physical teens, reached the beaches of the Elysium Ocean with rumors of the Minotaur's Palace. And that is the farthest that anyone has ever made it in my Underworld.

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