Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Infinity Hotel

Summary

All roads eventually lead to the Infinity Hotel. An extra-dimensional hostel with infinite rooms, all of them occupied, yet always with room for more (or infinitely infinitely more, as the case may be).

From the outside it looks like any other hotel, though no windows may be seen. Immediately inside there's a red-carpeted lobby attended by a polite concierge dressed in a crisp-ironed shirt. He'll offer you a room for a few gold pieces. There's always more, after all.

Just beyond that is a hallway with numbered rooms that curves ever so slightly. The numbers keep going up. The hallway never ends.

The elevator just beside each of the doors can take you to any room you desire... if you know how.

Mathematicians, philosophers and scientists have all tried to unlock the mystic elevator's potential to reach the spaces of the Infinity Hotel beyond the limits of our clunky base-10 mathematical limits. The Infinity Hotel, after all, contains literally everything within its walls. An infinite number of everything. One just needs to figure out how to get to it.

Hilbert's Paradox of the Grand Hotel

Halfway to Infinity

There's one place that we've figured out. It's called Halfway by the denizens of the Hotel. One can access it by the Mystic Elevator - an instantaneous trip. It's become a small beacon for humanity in the sea of incomprehensible mathematics surrounding it. And there is it rumored one can find ultimate power in the Five Philosophical Razors: magic swords that when combined grant one ultimate dominion over the Hotel and its multiverse.

The players aren't the only ones who've laid claim to these treasures. Within Halfway there are five Schools of Mancy, each seeking ultimate power through their chosen epic level arts. They might also need to contend with the Halfway Mercenary Company - a band of universal-law-breaking hooligans with unique reality-breaking powers.

Factions

The Hypermath Cult
The power of logarithms! They dress like scientists, they act like a cult. 10 ranks to the organization, each one allows the use of logarithms equal to its rank. The level 10 Logarithmancer can humble gods and absorb atomic blasts.

The Disomancers
The power of dance! They get their groove on in the Halfway Discotheque, where anyone's welcome to the party (and they do mean anyone). The greatest Discomancer believes that the ultimate spell can be conceived by observing the dance floor.

The Hydramancers
The power of exponential duplication! The Hydramancers of Hydra Hydra Hydra are all about augmentation through duplication. They've got all sorts of hydras in their spawning pits, including the Infinite Hydra (basically a sentient Sphere of Annihilation).

Alpha-Technomancers
The power of reckless technological expansion! These guys are all about building paradoxs and impossible machines. The Technomancers built a robot that built a God - the omniscient Alpha, who has the power to create but not to destroy. Omega's on the way, the yang to Alpha's yin. It's only a matter of time before it's done.

The Paromancers
The power of language! Based around the Codex of Infinite Language, these guys are all about Paromancy, which is the ability to change a spell's function by changing its name into a paronym of its original form. Think "Shocking Grasp" into "Shocking Grass", or "Disguise Self" into "Disguise Shelf", or "Power Word: Kill" into "Power Word: Kilt". Widely regarded as the silliest of the Halfway Schools of Mancy

The Halfway Mercenary Company
These guys are nuts. Each one of them has some kind of game-breaking power.

One has broken the physical law of how many magical items one can wear and use at a time.
One has anything approaching them undergo a Zeno's Paradox (somewhat selectively).
One has Metagaming powers.
One has an aura of GM Resolution Dithering.
One has the ability to induce Rolling to Failure for any action.
One has the ability to morph reality (post-retroactively change the environment).

The Player Characters

This thing was designed as an epic level module. Level 20, positively game-breaking powers, and no fucks given. Anyone reasonably intelligent can doubtlessly find a way to instantly win using some of the pre-gens. The point is to let them do it. The real joy of the Infinity Hotel is to send that Unstoppable Force right into multiple Immovable Objects and let the fireworks fly.

Our Unstoppable Forces:
A psychonaut barbarian with the power to break Universal Laws and aspects of peoples' personalities.
A thief with a poison that can kill any one thing, a bag that produces any mundane objects, and the severed head of the God of Knowledge
A fighter - The Protagonist - with Plot Armor and effective-yet-shouldn't-be fighting skills
A wizard with a wand that can swap heads
A sorcerer with the ability to change die rolls
Nyarlathotep
A cleric who can never die
A paladin who conquered Hell and usurped its throne, with the infinite legions of Hell at his disposal


How the Heck Does This All Work?

Surprisingly well, actually. I've run an alpha version of the Infinity Hotel with three different groups (a local Meetup, some friends, and my family) and each time it's produced some really wonderful play. The whole thing generally focuses in on Halfway as a dungeon, and plays out a lot like a Rick and Morty adventure. It takes a little while for everyone to get used to their near-limitless powers, but once that gets rolling things quickly get crazy fun.

It seems to produce the sorts of problems that the OSR has heralded: no obvious solutions but many possible answers, albeit with the power levels cranked all the way up. It seems to produce this kind of Level 1 old-school play at Level 20, which isn't something I've seen a lot in epic level adventures.




3 comments:

  1. This is amazing. The ability to swap heads seems the most steal-able, so that's what I'll turn my attention on first.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The Five Philosophical Razors? What about the Nine Flaming Axes of Zermelo-Fraenkel?

    ReplyDelete