Okay, I had a crazy idea over the holidays. A way to integrate all the junk I've been writing and constructing and playtesting with the Wizard City tag for the past year or so into something more runnable at the table. I shall take all of that material on this blog and compile it into the Wizard City Hexcrawl. The prototype map looks like this:
|Made in Hex Kit, using the Fantasyland and Traveling Through Dangerous Scenery tilesets.|
This all encompasses one big six-mile hex. Each mini-hex contains a Landmark and two Secret Locations within. Each Landmark and Secret Location contains a brief blurb about its contents and a table, dungeon, list, or whatever to accompany it.
Random Encounters are determined by District Type. Campaign Turn Developments are tied to specific hexes, although they often have implications throughout the city.
Whale Docks - The River Third brings in all sorts of commerce from the sea. Cargo is often transported by huge telekinetic hands, or brain-in-jars-in-cranes. The water is full of sea-exiled heretical whales who practice wizardry utterly bewildering to landwalking folk, and anything that falls in the river is legally entitled to these mysterious mammals.
TABLE: 10 Jobs and Quests
The Manticore - The last church in the city was taken over by The Devil, a three-faced ogre oracle, and an accountant. Turned into an extradimensional speakeasy in which anything and everything can be gambled away.
DUNGEON: The Manticore
Wand Factory - Strange and exotic woods are made into these essential weapons and tools in heavily-guarded workshops. The Wandmaker’s Union holds a tight grip over the lumber yards and wand stockpiles, and present a strong front to any would-be intruders.
TABLE: Goings-on at the Factory.
The Black Crater - Some magical experiment gone dreadfully wrong leveled a city block on the outskirts, in the center of which is the Pit of Portents. The land is cursed to have any structures built atop it to sink into the ground.
TABLE: Magical Mishaps
Pit of Portents - A bottomless pit where oracles come to hear whispers from the future. Oracles crawl up to it and poke their heads over the edge, for fear of falling in.
TABLE: Portents of the Pit
The Krill Shop - Front for the Transmutation Mafia. Out back they transmute any number of things into krill to feed the river whales.
TABLE: The Krill Shop
Clocktower - They say a terrible monster lives in the highest tower. Others say it’s a wizard. Most say it’s both. They say it greases the gears of the giant clock with the guts of curious magic users it catches wandering in.
TABLE: Wizard City Weather
Pulp Street - A whole alley exclusively devoted to papermakers, printers, and book shops. Everything is ludicrously overpriced. The only place in the city you can purchase (legal) spellbooks and textbooks.
TABLE: What’s going on sale (but not really)?
The Old Prison - Prisons aren’t a thing anymore, so this is more or less a fortress for AMWAT training and business. Jail cells converted into offices. Only place in the city that can maintain a functioning anti-magic field. Home of the CHAMBER OF INCOMPREHENSIBLE TORTURE!
The Low Moon - Scale monument of The Moon. Functionally the same as the full moon at all times of the day. The Moon exists on a swinging pendulum, and has no limit to how fast it can go.
TABLE: Loitering Weirdos
E-SEC Headquarters - Extranational Security Enterprise Corporation headquarters. The corporate branch of the imperialistic ventures of Wizard City. The whole place stinks of stolen wealth.
TABLE: Corporate Acquisitions
The Hothouse - Incorporates the various streets and rows (called roses by the gang) under direct control by the Dead Janes. A variety of services of the necromantic variety are available.
LIST: Services at The Hothouse
The Bank Inerrable - Where Spellgold is minted. Performs most financial services in the city. Functions as a normal bank and money-changer would. They don’t make mistakes. Ever.
The Hat Shop - The owner of some very interesting hats has apparently set up shop, and is offering them for rent.
TABLE: The Hat Shop
The Arcane Exchange Exchange - Where strange and ever-shifting speculative currencies are traded. Auguries are a popular method of predicting how the market will flow.
TABLE: Market Auguries
Ivory Towers - Where the wealthy wizards house themselves and their minions. Dozens upon dozens of extravagant wizards towers within a gated and police-protected community.
RECOMMENDATION: Insert whatever Wizard Tower adventures you want in this place.
ENCOUNTER: Police at the checkpoints. What do they want and how to get through?
Le Restaurant Tranquille - Finest dining in the city. All patrons are required to eat their ludicrously expensive gastronomy in complete and utter silence. You could hear a pin drop from across the restaurant.
Urgo Manor - A luxurious ranch estate long abandoned, managed by numerous animated items. Notoriously trapped home to the famous capitalist Urgo The Enterprising.
DUNGEON: Urgo Manor
Food Street - Dozens of food carts, rotating list of weird wizard food. Gets a lot of traffic from the university.
TABLE: Vendors, Carts, and Foods.
Secret Warehouses - Extradimensional warehouses maintained by private security. A warehouse that contains entrances to other warehouses. Monitored and protected by the 14 5/8th’s Street Gang.
TABLE: Secret Meeting Places
The Spybrary - A secret public library full of encrypted secrets gathered from all over the city by eavesdropping bees and turned into sweet unaccountable knowledge.
TABLE: The Spybrary
Machine Magic Market - All manner of magitech can be purchased here. Encompasses the general commerce sections as well. If you want to find something legitimately, it can probably be found here.
Infinity Hotel - An multidimensional hotel housing an infinite number of people within an infinite number of rooms. Therefore, always having room for more. If you require a room, you can always buy one here. It may require a bit of shuffling around, though.
Surgeon Row - Want to find a surgeon? This is where you’ll find one. They range from actually-capable to backalley sawbones. All of them are happy to offer you payment plans.
TABLE: Surgeon Row
The Wish Well - Where water and wishes are drawn. It’s said that if you toss spellgold into the drinking well, you have a minute chance of this wish coming true. It also poisons the water supply with spell magic and toxic metals.
TABLE: Side effects of drinking the water.
Fire House - Home of the Fire Brigade, the one and only. It’s little more than a clubhouse for the criminally-minded. The pawn shop across the street carries a lot of the loot they pilfer.
Poor Auction - Residential districts are required to provide resources for the poor. This is almost always resolved by hiring the lowest bidder. The Wish Well district contains the notorious "Poor House", where any may go if starved on resources.
Hand of the Archmages - The Seats of Power. Five wizard’s towers holding the offices of the Five Archmages, looming above the city.
TABLE: Who Are The Five Archmages?
The Whale Building - Built like a huge funnel. Home of the Panaudicon - how the Police can track when and where copyrighted spells are being used. The device is shaped like a huge cavernous whale to detect the smallest of small auditory vibrations that resonate like ear hairs. It is also the seat of the King of Whales, who is complicit in these operations.
TABLE: Why can’t you have an audience with the King today?
Suit Court - Where Civil litigation persists in the form of suit-judging contests. Fortunes and freedoms are made and broken along with present fashion trends in high-stakes tailored games.
ARTICLE: Suit Court
Gallax Hall - The largest hall for classes, lectures, and administrative offices within the University. Devoted to the great late Administrator Gallax. Below, however, lies secrets and treasure in one of the most dangerous underbellies the city has to offer.
DUNGEON: Under Gallax Hall
Bureau of Spatial and Temporal Matters - A monument to the hubris of wizardom. Inside is housed a bureaucracy unbounded by space and time, housing offices for intertemporal researchers and administrators. At the front desk contains an attended book, detailing the date, time, and place of every single meeting within the building that has occurred and that will occur.
TABLE: Wandering the Bureau.
Seal of the University - The geometric center of research and education. The Seal encompasses three aspects: The Illuminating Eye, A Spellbook, and an Hourglass. Those who touch, cross, or deface the Seal become dreadfully cursed.
The Drain - Sewer output for the city and university. Serious magical hazard. Where you come to drink water if you’re too poor for beer lite. Great place to find 1) Mystery Goo! 2) Corpses 3) Biohazardous Waste 4) Magical Detritus
TABLE: What’s wandering The Drain?
The Roost - Owls and eyes all over the damn place. Chief laboratory and living space for the Sorority of the Cell.
TABLE: Mad Science
Junk Pile - Why not throw the waste down the bottomless pit? Junk is capable of generating magical energy. Waste not want not.
TABLE: What’s there to find in The Pile?
The Mall - Full of soul-stealing mannequins. Big empty spaces full of hazards are perfect for Nightmare Races.
TABLE: Rules for the Races
Rooftop Dueling Federation - Where wizard duelists from all over the city, particularly students, come to test their mettle atop the tall towers.
TABLE: Wizard Duel Rules
The Dragon’s Lair - The dread lair of The Black Dragons. Toxic acrid fumes assault the respiratory system nearby. It’s said the Grand Dragon himself lurks deep within the bowels of the building, nursing an ever-growing hoard of melting skulls. Gang members nearby sell wholesale acid and partially-melted corpse findings for cheap.
TABLE: Wholesale partially-melted items.
Witch’s Hex - Town square, except a hexagon. Monument to those Witches, Wizard, Warlocks, and Sorcerers lost to their craft. A huge black obsidian monolith.
TABLE: d100 Wizard Gangsters
Intravenous Solutions - Incorporated. (Literally). A potion shop run by three crazy hags. Sells popular drugs, healing devices, and other injectable wizardry. Hazel deals in plasma-based solutions. Gretta with serum-based solutions. Crane with urine-based solutions.
TABLE: Intravenous Solutions
Nano Brewing Company - Super miniaturized bar, shrunk down to the size of atoms. You need to Ant-Man yourself down in order to enter it. You need a guide to hone you in on the right place. 1nm = Roughly the size of glucose molecule.
LIST: Atomic Beverages
Dueling Statues - Two statues depicting wealthy contributors to the university animate and come to blows every seventh day. Students know to steer clear while this is happening.
TABLE: The Donors are Dueling! Today’s weapons are...
Graduate Library of Chronulus - The grandest of public libraries within the city. Generally available to the public, at their own risk. Frequented by Graduate Students, making it dangerous to visit. Presently the battlefield of a three-way war between the Grey Gnosts, Bookworms, and the Department of History.
DUNGEON: Graduate Library
College of Deans - Where the new Deans are made and/or trained. Littered with dozens upon dozens of clones trained to administer the various colleges and keep the peace on campus. Center for Academic Probation.
Pyramid of Providence - Large stone pyramid constructed for some esoteric wizard ritual many years ago. Nobody’s sure how that went. Now it’s used for low-income student housing. The students hollow out the crumbling pyramid like ants. Collapses, succumbing to leftover death traps, mysterious disappearances, and non-reports of horrible Pyramid Head Men are common.
Bootleg Spell Market - If you want to work around copyright law, this is the place. A black market for all things magical.
TABLE: Bootleg Spell Market
The Hidden Eye - Secret hangout for all of the exiled and dispossessed oracles of The Third Eyes. From secret places within the Pyramid of Providence they orchestrate their criminal activities and perform esoteric rituals to foresee the great and terrible apocalypse to come.
TABLE: Future City Developments
Portal of Screams - A defunct portal leading to a dimension of screams. Nobody bothered tearing it down, but at least it doesn’t work anymore… Much. An arch monument now. Whispers of screams can still be heard around it.
TABLE: Desperate People
The Finders Auction - A ruddy stage where bounties are licensed to the lowest bidder.
TABLE: What's On the Block?
The Present - Criminals from the past who were thrown into the future as capital punishment end up in The Present. Plenty end up as fodder for The Steeves. Some escape.
The Old Courthouse - Run-down building where they used to hold jury trials. Overrun by feral children now. Presently the power base of the Dirty Rascals and their Childrens’ Court.
Museum of Crime - Used to be in the Old Courthouse, until The Rascals took over the place and kicked the museum out. Contains histories and incredibly minor artifacts detailing the various criminal organizations within the city. Curated by an incredibly enthusiastic bumbling old wizard named Irwin.
Dog Town - Secret village of the dogs. You need a dog, or a member of The Good Boyz, to guide you through the secret entrance. It’s a dog’s life in Dog Town, and things are generally hard but very silly. The Town is run by The Mayor, a bumbling pit bull on the verge of falling apart from all the problems.
TABLE: Dog Town
The Wandering Monster - Popular student bar. Bartender’s a doppelganger. Inn is a living thing. Its windows are eyes. Its door a mouth. It can get right up and move the entire location at a whim. Developed by some dead old transmuter.
LIST: Drinks at the bar.
TABLE: Where has the Wandering Monster gone?
Heart House - Home of Black Magic Fraternity. Dried and shrivelled hearts hang all over the alley like shoes thrown over power lines. A permenently-present murder of crows feast on the hearts.
TABLE: Heart House - Cursed Items
Gang Fight Alley - A burned-up no-man’s-land where the city’s gangs come to participate in combat if they so choose.
TABLE: Wizard Street Battles
Stirring Up The Pot
Roll a d20 for every Campaign Turn, then roll a 1d6 to find out what nonsense has riled in that respective hex. What is a Campaign Turn? After every Adventure, that’s a Campaign Turn.