Saturday, February 1, 2014

MegaStructures As Megadungeon Fodder For Your Old School Science Fiction or Fantasy Campaign

Science Fiction artwork from the nineteen hundreds through now has been filled with Mega Structures. Incredibly breathtaking and inspiring locations that seem to echo throughout old school rpg campaigns. These can make or break a game setting by simply being there.
They make great opportunities for exploration and looting potential.

One concept for the space elevator has it tethered to a mobile seagoing platform. This concept has appeared in Gamma World campaigns and recently a Mutant Future campaign 
 What is a Mega Structure? 
Well wiki has a pretty clear definition of the Megastructure:
A megastructure is a very large manmade object, though the limits of precisely how large this is vary considerably. Some apply the term to any especially large or tall building.[1][2]
Some sources define a megastructure as an enormous self-supporting artificial construct. Other criteria such as rigidity or contiguousness are sometimes also applied,[citation needed] so large clusters of associated smaller structures may or may not qualify. The products of megascale engineering orastroengineering are megastructures.
Most megastructure designs could not be constructed with today's level of industrial technology. This makes their design examples of speculative (or exploratory) engineering. Those that could be constructed easily qualify as megaprojects.
More right over HERE

 A couple of proposed Megastructures that I've used in my games: 
  • Trans-Global Highway, highway systems that would link all six of the inhabited continents on Earth. The highway would network new and existing bridges and tunnels, improving not only ground transportation but also potentially offering a conduit for utility pipelines.
                                                      Appendix N For Megastructures 
Here are a couple of titles to get the DM started on Mega structure design for their old school games. Often times measurements, mapping, diagrams and more have been done making incorporating these elements in your campaigns easy and simple.
  1. Urban Structures For The Future 
  2. Megastructure By Reyner Banham 
  3. Urban Futures Of The Recent Past 
Dark Roasted Blend is another great site for a boat load of potential 
megastructures. They have at least three articles that will provide hours of inspiration for the DM looking to use megastructures as potential for their games!
Recently I was reading the Mega Structure Update from Avi Abrams on Dark Roasted Blend. The writer captured proposed Megastructures going all the way back to the thirties and more recent ones as well.
These would make incredible set pieces for many games but they especially brought to mind games like Carcosa, and many of the post apocalyptic games like Mutant Future. The ones below are only a sample and you can find the complete article right over HERE
Its really worth taking a look at. These maga structures below are perfect to be 

turned into Meg dungeons with their own Gygaxian ecology.
Heck even the 'Warden' could be considered a space going mega dungeon
And many of these might be ripe to put into various planets or alternative Earths

as locations of danger and darkness!
These are only a sample of some of the awesomeness found in the Dark Roasted Blend article. 

(image via)

This design by UK architect Yheu-Shen Chua has been awarded Third Place in eVolo's 2011 Skyscraper Competition: "One of the main purposes of the project is to allow the water from the upstream river to engage directly with the visitors through a series of containers. A hanging tower above the 700-foot drop into the Black Canyon would be used as gallery and a vertical aquarium."

Belgian Architect Vincent Callebaut dreamed up a combination of skyscraper and airship, where the skyscraper itself floats in the air, feeding on a green "algae" energy: the "Hydrogenase" project is as eco-sustainable, as it is beautiful - more info:

(images credit: Vincent Callebaut)

Vincent Callebaut uses organic shapes in his designs and and dreams BIG - see all of his fantastic projects here.

Floating Observatories: Unreal Tower Proposed for Taiwan

Strange combination of a tree-like skyscraper and huge Zeppelin airship-inspired floating observation decks is a radical vision by RomanianDorin Stefan Birou Arhitectura - more info and images here

(image via)

The flowing shapes of this skyscraper remind us of the work of late Jan Kaplicky: on the left is the new national library in Prague, on the right is the Selfridge building, part of the Bullring complex in Birmingham, England:

(image via)

The Taipei City Museum of Art concept by OODA is based on two hypercubes and looks like an alien artifact:

Another alien creature-like Taipei concept is proposed for the Performing Arts Center, by B+U design:

(image via)

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