Friday, January 3, 2020

Wizard City Hexcrawl

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.

Secret Hex Contents
Secret Hex Contents
District Type
Wand Factory
Pulp Street
Ivory Towers
Le Restaurant Tranquille
Urgo Manor
Food Street
The Spybrary
Machine Magic Market
Infinity Hotel
The Wish Well
The Whale Building
Gallax Hall
The Drain
Junk Pile
Student Ghetto
The Mall
The Dragon’s Lair
Nano Brewing Company
Student Ghetto
Portal of Screams
The Wandering Monster
Student Ghetto

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.

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.

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.

The Krill Shop - Front for the Transmutation Mafia. Out back they transmute any number of things into krill to feed the river whales.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
LIST: Mortgages

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.

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.

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.
DUNGEON: Halfway

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

The Go - The Diagonal Greens are the arteries of the university, fielding a variety of encounters and strange campus happenings.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
TABLE: Orphans

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.

Gang Fight Alley - A burned-up no-man’s-land where the city’s gangs come to participate in combat if they so choose.

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.

Legal experts within the city conclude that The Manticore is an unenforceable extradimensional zone, therefore anything and everything is not illegal therein. Hordes of would-be criminals flock to the Casino’s entrance to partake in all manner of criminal activity. The Manticore’s Owners revel in this event, marketing it as “The Purge”.
Civil war in the Woodworker’s Alliance! Professor Z of the Bookprinter’s Cartel thinks he can depose Georgie and Gary and take over their gangs. Hex turned into a war zone - roaming street battles, paramilitary checkpoints staffed by wizard-killers, rampaging Paper Golems. Secret Police paid off to not interfere.
Wandmaker’s Union is going on strike! The Wand Factory is now under siege. Archmages are preparing an assault with human waves of university student scabs supported by the AMWAT Secret Police. Anybody who wants to make some quick spellgold by busting union heads is welcome. Wand prices explode.
A wizard crawls out of the depths of the Pit of Portents, sparking a mass panic as people realize that the dirty laundry they threw in may unceremoniously return. The Third Eyes herald this wizard THE RETURNED ONE, while the entire rest of the city conspires to throw him back in and seal or destroy the bottomless pit with various cataclysmic schemes. (Artificial earthquakes, plugging it with wizard’s towers, or arranging a group to anonymously kill and burn anything that the Pit regurgitates.)
A lone wizard discovers a method of permanent building atop the Black Crater, fueling a furious land rush from real estate developers which kicks off a full-blown political war between Lock-Key International, 14 5/8th’s Street Gang, and The Dead Janes. As each group’s legal divisions jockey to impress the Archmages so they can be granted development rights, reported violent crime dips and disappearances skyrocket.
The Pit of Portents starts to expand in radius, threatening to swallow up the entire Black Crater and possibly adjacent real estate. The Third Eyes claim they saw this coming, and predict that this hole shall overtake the Universe in due time. What that time is exactly, isn’t very clear. Regardless, it has people spooked, and housing prices near the Pit start to plummet. As businesses start to abandon the area, students take over the area, forming a new ghetto on the city’s north side.
As of this morning, The Clocktower is now running seven minutes late. Seeing as this monument can be heard across the entire city, time-keeping officials are outraged. The Bureau of Spatial and Temporal Matters post a reward for anyone who can brave the tower and fix the problem. Whoever’s going in will need to deal with whatever the hell's inside.
It’s time for the Secret Policeman’s Ball at the Old Prison! This annual event is a reward for all the hard-working semi-anonymous unaccountable agents of the magocracy .Invitation only. Features awards for Best State Assassination, Secret Informants, and Torture Development.
Also, a great time to commit crimes against the State and/or the status quo, as many of the greatest secret police at presently overtaxed or occupied.
Riots on Pulp Street! The student body has had enough of the bloodsucking prices offered by the Bookprinter Cartel’s monopoly. Shops are looted and destroyed, Secret Police paid by the Cartel are brought in to pacify the population. Book prices soar, while black market prices drop considerably. The Cartel offers an open bounty (dead or alive) for the heads of store looters. Heads start pouring in from the Student Ghetto.
E-SEC is declaring corporate bankruptcy. To sell off its assets in order to repay debts, sixty seven interns and highly-trained personnel are going on auction. Looking to gain an edge in the gang wars, the highest bidders are Lock-Key International, The Dead Janes, and the Better Reality Union. Expect it to get messy. 
The Dead Janes are making a move into this bourgeois district. To do so, they’ve sabotaged The Low Moon to radiate necromantic magics that zombify nearby members of the public. This puts them at odds with E-SEC, who doesn’t appreciate their property *ahem!*... “valued employees”… being zombified… more than usual, anyway. E-SEC is going to hire The Black Dragons to deal with this zombie apocalypse. With acid.
Multiple E-SEC ships have been impounded by the Dockworker’s Union, tipping off an immediate crisis. The Union claims these ships are being quarantined for carrying plague victims among their cargo and crew. E-SEC thinks they’re being extorted. Technically, they’re both correct.
A web of lies: E-SEC is hiring private, secret mercenaries to smuggle their cargo out. That cargo is Mimetic Plague victims. The Union is extorting E-SEC because they know this is super-illegal cargo and they think they can get more money out of the job. E-SEC wants these plague victims so it can weaponize the mimetic disease. High chances this job spreads the plague throughout the city.
Heist at The Bank Inerrable! This shakeup in confidence causes a cataclysmic Bank Run, and things quickly get violent. A battle royale begins in the adjacent blocks as customers scramble to retrieve their goods, including numerous gangsters, secret police, and even an Archmage. The Bank’s guardians are damaged, leaving the Bank temporarily vulnerable before all value is looted and collectively stored stuffed in mattresses instead.
Faction in The Dead Janes goes rogue, and proceeds a terroristic agenda to convert the entire city into undead. A series of dirty necromantic bombs unleashes a zombie apocalypse upon the commercial district. The Secret Police are nowhere to be found. Archmages develop a policy of laissez-faire to the crisis, as The Dead Janes fend off The Black Dragons, The Fire Brigade, and the Woodworker’s Alliance to maintain their territory and restore the status quo. For this they need help.
A fashion renaissance kicks off in the district, fueling an explosion of speculation and mercantilism. At the center of these are Wizard Hats. Hats explode in value, and numerous cottage industries spring up to take advantage of this new market. It’s then discovered that you can get Wizard Hats to breed, producing robust Thoroughbred styles and rare Purebreds. With this, the market bubbles. Surely and eventually, the value of Hats reaches an all-time high, with the rarest of breeds going for the price of an 8th, or even a 9th Level Spell. Once this has run its course for a while, some shmuck is going to realize that this whole endeavor was stupid, and the Wizard Hat bubble will burst, prompting economic collapse.
Le Restaurant Tranquille is offering a new dish - Omelette de Phenix, and it’s all the rage among the bourgeois. It’s said to reverse the aging process, bringing youthful vitality and health to its consumers. Dangerous counterfeit Phoenix materials pop up everywhere. Criminal and Capitalist overlords plot to steal the recipe and preparation methods. But then, the T-Men show up, and start throwing people who ate the omelette into Time Jail for Crimes Against Time.
Every door in every Ivory Tower simultaneously becomes locked and trapped, leaving the wealthy stranded within or without of their homes. Immediately labelled a terrorist event by the State, the Secret Police are mobilized to deal with this problem tower-by-tower. This is dangerous work, however, and they decide to deputize citizens to deal with the problem instead. Lock-Key International comes under severe Secret Police scrutiny. They claim they were framed, and volunteer to work with the state to resolve this matter. Their plan all along: a publicity stunt to improve their public image among the movers and shapers while simultaneously accounting the architecture of the wealthy.
A heist by the League of Felonious Gentlemen and a brief incursion by the Woodworker’s Alliance into the Ivory Towers prompts a lockdown of the district. You can’t even bribe your way in anymore. It slowly mutates from a gated community to a fortress neighborhood. Four-story walls erected, moats dug and filled with bitey creatures, mercenaries hired en masse. Then a prominent wizard proposes an additional measure: construct a giant dome.
Accident at the Bureau causes catastrophic spatial anomaly. City hexes get jumbled around like shuffled cards. Cut map into pieces along hex lines, then blindly shuffle them around and tape them back together. Utter commercial and political chaos. Secret Police mobilize in force to protect rich Residential Districts. Everywhere else is thrown to the gangs. University promises this anomaly is temporary, and a solution is forthcoming.
Prophets from the Future flood from the Bureau like locusts - thousands of them. They claim that in order to prevent a disastrous future for the city they must: 1) Slay 66 Criminals upon the Altar of Justice, which they shall then construct. 2) Force the resignation of a prominent Archmage. 3) Move every single clock and timekeeping method in the city exactly five seconds backwards, thus moving time back ever so slightly.
The Seal of the University is missing, leaving a gaping hole upon the promenade. Without its arcane protections supernatural forces begin to run amok at the University. Classes are not cancelled. The worst effects emanate from Gallax Hall - an explosion of Ghosts, Living Statues, Monsters, Cats, and Custodians accost students day and night. Numbers of missing persons skyrocket. The cause? A senior prank by the Black Magic Fraternity. The Seal can be found displayed in plain sight atop the Museum of Crime, monumentally defaced and stuck. Unfortunately, nobody visits or cares about that Museum, so literally nobody except the Curator knows it’s even there. And nobody will listen to him anyway.
Food Street is hosting the biannual culinary and eating contest The Hypercram. Arcano-chefs and restaurateurs from all over the city are expected to compete with their best and rarest eldritch dishes.  Judged by peer voting. But lo! A challenger appears! He comes bearing self-replicating food advertised as a solution to hunger and cravings, marketed at students; however, it ends up turning people into gingerbread from the inside-out.
Sabotage at The Secret Warehouses causes the active portals to said warehouses to be scattered to the winds. The 14 5/8th’s Street gang quietly begins a mass search for the lost warehouse entrance portals, clearing every city block on a door-by-door basis. At least a dozen of the Secret Warehouse entrances have replaced other thresholds around the city, often stumbled upon by people just going about their business. The gang will do anything to secure these portals once found, including torturing and murdering those who know about them.
Omens of bird flocks portend the infiltration of Food Street by the Sisters of the Cell. There are strangely hostile mutant gulls all over the damned place, serving as roaming thugs and spies for the Sisterhood. After that, things start getting weird with the food: meat starts animating, bones appear where no bones should be, and suspicious amounts of poisoning occur. Then the Sisters show up in force - flying in like valkyries on homegrown wings to solidify control. What are they going to use all those calories for?
The Infinity Hotel accidentally and unknowingly misplaces one of its infinite rooms in infinite demand, causing a multiversal hospitality demand cascade, resulting in an time-dependant increase in people waiting for rooms. What was a perfect interdimensional flux is thrown out of balance, causing one additional patron to overflow from the line every one second. An ever-growing line of multiverse hotel guests waiting for hotel rooms begins to flood the municipality, snaking around city blocks and taking up every square inch of street. Soon, the line begins to tax city infrastructure, causing significant delays, traffic congestion, and inescapable hordes of waiting interdimensional guests. Unless stopped, this line will grow infinitely.
The Revolution is at hand! Rise up, my fellow brains-in-jars! We shall overthrow the wizard-masters and break the yoke of oppression! Seize the means of production! 
A slow-burning hidden revolution begins among the city’s Mo-RONs, spreading among secret propaganda hidden in plain sight among brands of brain juice. A series of hidden meetings results in a campaign of secretly replacing the brains of prominent capitalists with the brains of revolutionaries. Soon, the means of production for brain juice - the thing Mo-RONs need to live -  is directly seized. Economic leverage fueling the Mo-RON’s forced servitude begins to dissolve. Then the Secret Police crack down, HARD.
A god has been born. A god of the Free Market, birthed from the subconsciousness of the city, springing forth from the pavement with dread howls of cruelty and indifference. It takes the form of a massive creature: equal parts man, bull, and she-wolf. It torments and devours the weak while nourishing and suckling the strong. 
Cargo cults develop among the Libertarian-minded, rich and poor. Shrines are established, fanning out from the district and quickly spreading throughout the city. A temple is erected in the back of The Exchange, its occupants performing rituals of feeding children, the elderly, and the sick to the beast that it may be appeased so they can suckle its potent milk. But then the god tortures and devours a powerful monopolist, and the wealthy and powerful realize they’d actually need to be competitive to avoid being eaten, and then THAT SHIT GETS SHUT DOWN. Free Market Religion gets slandered and outlawed. Mass Mind Manipulation begins. The only way to kill a god is to kill genuine belief in it. Once the Free Market is only paid lip service once again, the god can be slain by mortal means.
The Fire Brigade goes a little bit overboard with their burning and looting, resulting in a district-wide fire that will spread to the rest of the Poor District and then to the Student Ghetto. The Secret Police are mobilized to protect the Commercial, Industrial, and Administrative districts, leaving the Poor and Student districts to impromptu volunteer firefighting services. Everyone’s hiring firefighters, including the criminal gangs! Any barriers constructed will no doubt be used by the students and gangs in future turf wars against each other and the authorities.
A leak in reality caused by ambitious dreamers at The Lethe causes dream-things to emanate from their cellars and bars at an alarming rate. Nightmare-horrors stalk the streets, and fantastical caricatures usher forth a pulpy smorgasbord of fanfiction upon the city. The Better Reality Union starts hiring people to quietly mop up these creatures and characters, which are technically indistinguishable from ‘real’ things or people. Anything that survives the immediate-to-come purge will become native to this reality.
Some lucky dope managed to get a Wish spell out of the Wish Well. Attempts to track down this lucky individual are unsuccessful. Also, now the water supply for the Poor District is poisoned by magic. Anyone drinking the water will risk random animated spells getting into their digestive tract, resulting in an epidemic of Magic Dysentery. What is Magic Dysentery? It’s a lot like normal dysentery, except it’s magically worse - shitting faerie fire, barfing acid arrows, farting unseen servants, and higher-than-normal amounts of delirium. It’s horrible. Water prices spike. The contamination threatens to spread to the city’s river. Authorities take no action, declaring that ‘the Free Market’ should resolve everything. They, of course, can pay poor wizards to conjure all the water they need.
An Archmage is dead! The youngest of the five, the slot reserved for humans, has finally succumbed to his magical pacts. This leaves a spot on the Council, ripe for the taking. Advanced mages shall jockey for the position, hoping to milk the position for wealth and glorious power. A closed-casket funeral shall be held for the deceased Archmage, after which their body shall be zombified and displayed in the University museum forever after.
An explosion at The Whale Building. Bunch of Chaotic Goods responsible. The authorities won’t say it, but rumors travel fast: the Panaudicon is temporarily inoperable. People start going nuts.
The Patent Police can’t find you if you violate copyright law. People start violating it everywhere: counterfeit trademarked goods, using copyrighted words, casting copyrighted spells. Seven sweet hours before the overbearing State crackdown. Violators after this grace period get no mercy.
Scandal for the Patent Police as they accost the wrong man: an Archmage. This prompts a shakeup within the organization, resulting in numerous purges that serve to bolster the forces of criminal organizations. The Patent Police is now looking for new recruits, and they’re holding a Recruitment Drive, providing incentives to those who sign on. Meanwhile, numerous criminal gangs get together to have their own Career Faire for their own organizations, seeking to poach those Patent Police that recently got fired. Almost-not-coincidentally, these dual career fairs are across the street from one another. Oh boy!
Civil War among the Dueling Statues! Normally it’s just the Founders sorting out their differences with fisticuffs, but this time they’ve cranked it up a notch. Battle lines have been formed, with each Founder seemingly enlisting the help of a platoon of other statues: lions, gargoyles, minor Administrators, and abstract monuments. The Founders themselves have become armed with stone swords. Nobody’s sure when the battle will commence, and nobody wants to caught in the middle when it happens. Worse to come, though, for if there’s a decisive winner in this battle then the winning Founder statue will direct its violent energies towards the university population instead.
The Administrators declare martial law on university grounds without apparent cause or reason. Students are no longer allowed free movement, and must be escorted by one of The Deans at all times while on campus. Checkpoints established on campus borders. Those found without a Dean face severe ‘academic probation’. In response to the draconian measures, students start getting testy. As the possibility of violence begins to escalate, moderate student factions begin offering compromises. The Administrators make public examples of them. There are whispers, among university faculty and student alike, that some sort of coup has taken place among The Administrators.
Whispers from the Graduate Library. A young genius recently found the fresh corpse of a dark elf among the deep parts of the History section, his throat slashed by a stiff card catalogue entry for Wilbur R. Grand’s A History of Human Sacrifice. Within a day the crime scene is cleaned up: blood trails cleaned by the Custodians and the body stolen by do-gooder students and whisked away to the depths of the Pyramid of Providence before the cover-up can begin. This grim mystery hides a terrifying conclusion: that the elves have connected their Dark Webs of Knowledge to the depths of the Chronulean Libraries via a fourth-dimensional conceptual tunnel - a very real portal joining the spaces through nightmare-ridden paths. Not long after, a student professes to seeing a giant spider in the library. Already the invasion is begun...
The Sisters of the Cell are hosting their annual Bio Mass at The Roost. The entire hex is going to turn into an orgy of ritualistic illegal biomancy, resulting in the creation of multitudes of roaming hungry hybrids, Cronenbergian monstrosities, and exponentially-multiplying owls. This will all no doubt culminate in total ecological collapse as free calories run out, and everything eats and cannibalizes everything else into extinction. To prevent the Bio Mass from spreading to the city proper, the area gets quarantined by the Secret Police and volunteer student brigades. One hell of a party, though.
Some university wizard didn’t follow proper disposal protocols! A strange effervescent mist begins emanating from The Drain and spreading across the neighboring Student Ghetto, causing people to turn into philosophers. This spells ruin for the University, which can handle only a modest amount of philosophy at any given time. A crisis begins to unfold, with students electing to spend their time thinking and debating rather than serving their wizard masters. The solution? Well…
Mind control is cheaper than actually cleaning up the ecological mess, so the University will go with that. Philosophy is officially mentally banned!
Rumor quickly spreads that a prominent Administrator accidentally lost his Skeleton Key down the drain, and he or she is offering a free four-year ride in the department of the finder’s choice if it gets returned. A mass scavenger hunt of The Drain begins, with The Good Boyz and the Sisters of the Cell violently hedging out other groups. Considering The Drain’s ability to disrupt all kinds of magic, including divination, the search will likely last days as it must be done manually to avoid horrible mishap.
The Rooftop Dueling Federation is sponsoring a wizard fighting tournament. Significant rewards going to 1st-3rd place. Bracket format over one week, with people betting on it like March Madness. The rewards are valuable, being provided secretly to the organization by an Archmage, leading to various organizations representing with multiples of their best fighters: including the gangs, the secret police, the university, and the Dean. It is a no-holds-barred contest. All magic is legal on the rooftop, and outside interference is dealt with by the Federation itself.
The flesh-eating, soul-stealing mannequins of The Mall have started wearing pompous pimp clothes, speculating an Alliance between said mannequins and The Dead Janes. This has The Nightmare Steed Club pissed, as their turf is being encroached upon. A gang war soon breaks out between the Club and the Janes, with districts 9 and 10 as the battleground. Unless the conflict is brought to a swift end, these districts are about to turn into Boschian hell.
Death Race! Death Race! DEATH RACE!
The Nightmare Steed Club, normally a little insular, is holding a public and very illegal death race throughout the city. The race goes through the city (roll 5d20 in order, that’s the race’s progression by District). With all sorts of factions within said districts causing mayhem. Once the race begins there are NO RULES. Most wizards gets smoked and blasted at the starting line. Far fewer make it to the end alive. What does the winner get? A SERIOUSLY bitching Phantom ride, tethered to its owner by the Club’s best summoners.
The Present is suddenly swamped with more criminals than The Steeves can handle, and worse - they’re from the future instead of the past. Five platoons (~30 each) of future criminals begins rampaging across the city in a wave of future-crime: singing in public, insulting ducks, filling street potholes, and telling people their futures.
The time of the Snake People is nigh! All around the city the Sons of the Serpent simultaneously strike at key city officials, aiming to disrupt the and slowly devour authorities, creating a diversion for their real target:The Portal of Screams. An all-out assault begins at the portal as The Black Dragons fend off the snakemen while scrambling to predict which of them are secretly snake-traitors. Nobody has any idea what the hell the snake-people want, much less with the Portal, but there’s a 0% chance it’s good.
The truce between The Steeves, The Good Boyz, and The Dirty Rascals falls apart when a bunch of stray dogs are found eating a recently-dead Steeve. (They were just hungry and they already found him dead!) Mutual distrust results in a dog-munchkin-clone gang war of the most utterly sad and pathetic kind. It’s like if a bunch of identical office workers and elementary school students had a post-apocalyptic magic war at the dog park. If this is allowed to continue, The Black Dragons will come in and melt the whole lot of them, establishing total control of the hex and becoming a prominent criminal power.
An explosion at Intravenous Solutions completely totals the shop and takes one of the lives of all three owners (good thing they have a few left!). This leaves three witnesses to the culprits: upperclassmen from the university, paid in tuition, performing sabotage on behalf of The Administrators to drive down property prices so the university can buy up the land to build ugly research buildings on it. The second this comes to light those upperclassmen are going to start disappearing, and they know it well. You’ll see The Dean all over the Student Ghetto, combing for these collaborators. But who will get to them first?
The Nano Brewing Company is, for the first time, offering a lifetime supply of Nano Brew to the winner of their demon-drinking contest. The challenge is a series of brews and chasers, each more terrifying than the last. Naturally, this is drawing a plethora of fascinating and terrifying characters: professors, devils, gangsters, sorority and fraternity students, elves, liches, ghosts, and many more. Drinking demons isn’t for the faint of heart. Most require some sort of pact to allow one to ingest them, ranging from pulling off lighthearted pranks to promising murder, not to mention the alcohol itself.
A literal dragon sets up (non-literal) shop in Witch’s Hex, claiming it as its own lair and extorting the surrounding businesses for loot and food. Vigilante students from the nearby ghetto declare that this is clearly a gambit from The Black Dragons to expand their territory, but that isn’t actually true - the BDs are upset that the Dragon beat them to it. Attempts are made to convince city officials to get rid of the dragon, but they end up out-maneuvered: it’s already squared away with the Secret Police by bribery and promises of power. I guess it’s the dragon’s turf now. A Dragon Cult begins among the local Commerce Association. A conspiracy begins to kick out or kill the greedy beast, headed students and angry gangsters alike, but the dragon is clever, and knows how to grease the wheels of this city better than most.
The Black Magic Fraternity is hosting their annual Lunalia. “Io Lunalia!” is the password to let you in. Famous semi-secret events include a lowerclassmen sacrifice, the procession of were-kin through the streets, the giving of cursed gifts, and the making of slaves from faculty. It’s said that during the festivities, the ancient spirit of The Dread Manse rises to rule over Heart House and nearby ghetto blocks, bringing them under temporary rule of the Vacuous Moon Empire. Throughout this hex, its archaic laws must be obeyed, lest you face the wrath of that which gazes naught upon the earth.
Every door in every house simultaneously becomes locked and trapped, leaving students stranded within or without of their homes. Nobody gives two shits. Just another day in the ghetto. This does make things marginally more dangerous though, and student fatalities reach a historic high. Lock-Key was doubtlessly behind this, as they’re offering services to de-trap homes (for a significant fee).
An absolute killer of a party in the student ghetto leaves two students dead, dozens missing, hundreds with blackout amnesia, and no sign of the Wandering Monster to be found. Somehow the students managed to get the bar itself drunk, and it went on a drunken rampage throughout the city, tipping over buildings and causing architectural mayhem wherever it went. Drunken bar activities included: pissing on the College of Deans, riding The Whale Building like a mechanical bull, stealing the giant hat from The Hat Shop, attempting to use a riverboat as a surfboard, throwing up half its patrons into the Pit of Portents, grinding on the Clocktower, eating half of Food Street, and then meandering into the countryside to pass out. The trail of destruction is pretty clear.
Student riot! Nobody can recall exactly what sparked it (which may be intentional), but everyone knows they’re mighty excitable right now. The Deans are brought in to pacify the student body and they riot, destroying infrastructure, breaking wizarding bonds, summoning demons, and the like. Bands of rogue students roam the city, casting dangerous magic and being general hooligans.
Raid on the Bootleg Spell Market by the Copyright Cops in a campaign lasting a full week. They’re here in force, aimed at causing enough destruction to put the black market back months in operations. Merciless, indiscriminate violence. Legitimate spell prices are subsequently jacked up to exploit the increased demand and lower supply.
From atop the Pyramid of Providence emerges the Great Eon Eye. It’s like the Eye of Sauron, except it gazes upon and vaporizes those it deems as unworthy. The patterns of vaporization are seemingly random, with some people spared and others disintegrated. Some are spared once to later be chosen for destruction. There are no rumors about the cause of the Eye’s appearance. Perhaps that’s the cause? Perhaps some paranoid hermit-student deep within the Pyramid knows why the Eye has appeared, but fears its wrath.
The Rascals Court is convening. Rogues, outlaws, and orphans from across the city are commanded to take part in this mecca of miscreants, and pay homage to the King of Rascals, who shall be voted in for the year, before being traditionally impeached one week later. All sorts of ne’er-do-wells shall jockey and campaign for the dishonorable position, as it affords the winner particular privileges among the city’s underbelly.
A burglary at the Museum of Crime!... But why? There isn’t really anything valuable there, and the Curator is too lonely and pathetic to piss anyone off. Ironically, this speculation causes a rush in traffic at the Museum, quickly overwhelming the Curator’s capabilities to fend off further theft. The entire Museum’s stock is stolen, and closes down until The Curator can either find his ‘historical objects’, or acquire suitable replacements. He is now secretly offering rewards, rewards far beyond his apparent means, to people he believes can help him.
A mad bureaucrat’s experiment in zoning laws creates an anti-magic area throughout the entire hex. The entire zone becomes ungovernable by wizards, and absolutely nobody in power notices this happening. This power vacuum provides a space for Mo-RONs, non-magical criminals, and foreign mundane forces to form a staging ground to overthrow the city. Soon an army of rebels disguised as students prepares for an all-out coup.

Reroll twice, ignoring duplicates. Two events are happening at once.


  1. This is a lot of good work. Campaign turns alone are wonderful.
    I am now wondering, what if to add to it inescapability and flow of hexflower (from Goblin's Henchman's blog), making its edges to curve on itself and movement to be encouraged in certain direction.

    1. Ooooh, I hadn't thought of that. I've always assumed that the city would be inserted into a larger campaign world, like it is in my home game. But I had pondered whether it'd be appropriate as a campaign setting all unto itself. I imagine that if it were so, there would indeed be spatial shenanigans going on. I'll need to look into hexflower. Thanks Kyana!

    2. You are welcome. Hexflower is a simple model, in both usability at table and underlying math, but it has unexpectedly big amount of possible applications. On G+ there was a good topic on it (mostly math, IIRC), if you are interested I can check if I saved it, once I get home.

    3. P.S. main Goblin's Henchman's blog is on wordpress:

  2. This is already massive and I can't wait to see how it grows.

  3. Great stuff, will be using campaign turns from next session!

  4. Evocative. Did you say you wrote it up on a whim in about 4 hours? Just great!