Saturday, August 6, 2011

Setting Mashup Source #5: Over The Edge

I picked up the 1st Edition and still have it.
Never found a printed copy of the 2nd Edition.
Al Amarja is a dangerous place for the uninitiated and the ignorant. Heck, it's a dangerous place for anyone (or anything) because of the numerous factions that are constantly jostling for an edge over their rivals and opponents. And the internal rivalry and backstabbing within a faction. And the general weirdness of the place: all kinds of magic represented by members of the mystic sh*t crowd, lots of fringe science, aliens, fate, destiny, time travel, alternate pasts, presents, and futures, and so on.

Now, while the island of Al Amarja is already interesting enough to drag into a fantasy realm (no guns except for the Peace Force, more on that later) -- the city known as The Edge can be a refreshing change to the normal type of fantasy world city.

It is nicely laid out with Plazas that attract a certain kind of personage that tends to co-mingle. Taking this tack, you can create Plazas where artists tend to hang out, where fighters congregate to find hirelings and check out the latest developments in weaponry, where mages browse through book sellers and tomes in the labyrinthine alleyways off the main plaza, and so on.

In addition, Al Amarja has its own patois despite the official language being American English (Common) with interesting twists:
An example would be the word "Yes" — the English "Yes" is used for simple confirmation, the French "Oui" is used to imply apathy or boredom, the Russian "Da" is used for dejected acceptance of the inevitable, and the Japanese "Hai" is selected for enthusiastic agreement.

Another cultural twist that serves to reinforce that your PCs just "aren't in Kansas anymore" include the elimination of the terms "police" and "law" with "peace". Hence:
"Stop! Peace!"
"This is the Peace Force! We have you surrounded!"
"Halt in the name of the Peace!"
"You can't run from the Peace."
The prevalence of poisoning (and forcing altered states of mind on victims) as a favored method of expediting matters has many drinkers -- even in 'trusted company' -- covering their cups, glasses, bottles and flasks with their hands.

This setting would get my vote for a cultural overlay on the creepy Principalities of Glantri in Mystara. Or perhaps as a counterpoint to ruler of the City-State of the Invincible Overlord.

Al Amarja's own President-For-Life Monique D'Aubianne -- who is stated as having been Benito Mussolini's lover in the original setting -- could probably give him a run for his money. Or just give an idea what messing with an outwardly polite ruler of a police state is like.

2 comments:

  1. A dungeon designed as a bureaucratic labyrinth after the fashion of the D'Aubainne International Airport terminal would make a pleasantly frustrating change of pace in an otherwise straight D&D campaign. Or the terminal could actually be one of the Nine Hells in a Greyhawk 2000 style campaign. Yes.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Interesting ideas indeed! The airport terminal as a circular dungeon with multiple levels is particularly fascinating.

    ReplyDelete

That's my side of things. Let me know what you think, my friend.

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