As I’ve mentioned a few times now, I participated in the RPG Writer Workshop back in November, writing and publishing an adventure to DMsGuild.
(You can still get the adventure as part of a bundle with other products from other creators, and save yourself a bunch of jink by buying it all at once.)
The Haunted Mine came to me whilst I was thinking about classic locations for low-level adventures, but also when I’d been thinking about my Out West setting. Haunted Mines are a great fit for a six-guns and sorcery game, so it made sense to throw them all together.
But I couldn’t throw my work on DMsGuild if I set the game in my Out West setting, and I couldn’t use the monsters and NPC abilities I wanted to use if I threw it up on DrivethruRPG, so in the end I decided to files off some of the setting-specific stuff.
This post puts some of that stuff back in.
First of all, the Town of Mud lies way out in the Wastes. It’s a few days hard ride from the current end of the Ironroad, though that moving construction site is heading in Mud’s direction.
Mud was founded to make coin from the local Witch Rock deposits, many of which have been exhausted.
Witch Rock is what makes some of the newer doodads and gewgaws that society ‘needs’ work. It’s also a key component of Warforged bodies, but nobody’s building more of them in a hurry with no war to fight.
Mud sits near a ford in a river, making it the ideal place to cross and head north to the hills and the mines there.
It also sits on a confluence of leylines, making all kinds of strange events more likely to happen in or near the town.
It’s one of the most built-up settlements Out West, and it’s far enough from the Compact that most folk Back East pay little heed to what goes on there – so long as the supplies of valuable raw materials keep flowing.
There’s few large settlements further west than Mud. Two smaller towns sit on the horizon, just visible from the roof of Mud’s tallest building – Signal and Webs. Every day at noon, a magical bolt of energy is fired up into the sky above Signal, though no one remembers why this appears in the town ordinances. Webs is surrounded by strangely-patterned rocks, reminiscent of spiders webs.
West of Mud lie only the empty Wastes, though empty is a negotiable term.
The wildlife in the Wastes starts the size of an Ankheg larva and gets bigger from there. Legend says there’s dragons out there, though that’s from back before the Compact existed.
There’s folk wandering the blasted rock and sand, moving from watering hole to watering hole. Mostly, they’re Orcs, though they tell tales of a city carved into the rock deep into the place, where there’s all kinds of people. They won’t tell how to get there though.
Head south for long enough, you’ll hit a city of vice the goblins have built on the edge of an ocean. They trade with local swamp-dwelling frogfolk and sea-dwelling fishpeople, if you can believe that.
World is a strange place.
Back to Mud.
There’s a strange mix of people here. Some want to forget, some want to be forgotten, a few have been. There’s dwarves and elves and halflings, there’s goblins and half-orcs and kobolds.
And there’s dragon-blooded drudges, and were-touched, and half-dead.
Some work in the Iron Bank. Some work for Satchel in the market. There’s a former gang of bandits who’ve made good with the Sheriff and now work as a posse of hired guns when needed. Plenty of others just work the fields, or any of the still-open mines.
If I wanted to run the Haunted Mine in my out west setting, the first thing I’d do is make sure that diversity of people is reflected.
The patrons of the White Skink Saloon are a decent place to start, along with the staff. There’s a drudge with the voice of an angel that sings in the saloon between cleaning. The table in the corner is playing a game of cards that’s last for a week. They’re all half-dead so they don’t buy anything to drink themselves, but they float coin for everyone in the place once a day.
The staff in the market are mostly goblins, but Satchel employs a few drudges as muscle, and a were-touched and elf couple as troubleshooters when he needs them.
Sheriff Galen’s cells are usually filled with all kinds of rabble, mostly drunks or dosers, the occasional bandit when a posse drags them in.
Some master wizard tried to rob the Iron Bank once, but the Whiteaxe sisters know a thing or two about powder magic so he didn’t get very far.
That’s all I’ve managed to pull together so far. Hopefully once I write something else in Mud, more stuff will fall into place.