Sunday, June 14, 2020

Gygax 75 Challenge - Week 1

A number of individuals have decided now is a good time to partake in the ritual many of us turn to in times of boredom, that being the development of a setting.

We are, however, doing it with the Gygax 75 challenge compiled by Ray Otus and Developed by Gary Gygax.

Week 1 asks you to create a series of no more than 7 pitches and sources to draw from when developing your setting.


- “Post-apocalyptic” takes place after the fall of a great nation ruled by a true god-emperor. Cities are built on top of ruins of the once great cities that came before.

- There are no gods. Instead there are spirits of varying levels of power. They are just as likely to control you as you are them.

- Heavily Travel Focused Hex-Crawl. Rules light system. Inventories will be tracked.

- There are no currencies. Instead people trade and barter. Fantastical wonders recovered from the ancient civilization are worth their weight in gold (sometimes literally).

- Ancient secrets lie buried deep in the ruins. Far more who enter return mad or not at all than those who grow rich off their spoils.

- Trading posts instead of keeps to replace domain-level play.

Inspiration Sources

The Waterborn by J. Gregory Keyes
This is where the magic item and spirits system is pretty much wholesale taken from, though I guess it’s slightly unique. Basically, spirits act as guardians of their locations and magic items are just trapped spirits. It is possible for a spirit to subdue or eliminate all of the other nearby spirits thus becoming either a ruler or a deity.

Tsingy A National Park in Madagascar, not sure who made it.
I want lots of neat terrain features like this example. A bunch of rock pillars in the sky, In a similar location in Asia, each pillar had its own name and story of being either a person or a spirit. Definitely something else to include.

Some article about people growing giant pumpkins I read years ago.
Oddly enough, what spawned the entire idea of this setting. Giant pumpkins will be an essential part of life somewhere. Of course the Great Gourd will be involved.

The Mesoamericans.
Not any specific sources, but I plan on drawing heavily from that architecture style for dungeons and stuff.

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If you haven't hopped aboard the bandwagon yet, there's never been a better time given the extra free time many of us have. So no excuses!


  1. If you're interested in pre-Colombian mesoamerica the book The Fifth Sun is quite fascinating. I'm in the middle of reading it now and would recommend checking it out.