Lately I've been doing a lot of high end/hi technological relics for my games & a project I've been working on with a friend. More on that another time folks but the point is that I can easily justify my choice of artifacts & relics. Once upon a time I ran The Lost City (B4) by Tom Moldvay with Gamma World. I took the whole module and threw it into the Gamma World Earth's wasteland.
I can easily justify this by pointing out a rather interesting Appendix N author. I'm talking about A.Merritt whose The Metal Monster & The Moon Pool novels are right on the list.
So last night I was rereading the CH Retrospective on A.Merritt's The Moonpool and it reminded me of what I've been doing with this blog. The Moon Pool itself has chameleon suits, anti-grav vehicles, age accelerating contact poisons, powerful healing elixirs, & gravity manipulation rays all within one hell of a justified megadungeon location with factions, gods, & very dangerous cults just waiting to murder PC's.
So how the hell did the ancient ruined city of Cynidicea and the descendants of the city's people end up on Gamma Terra? Because they were the cause of the destruction of Earth. The monster god of the Moonpool had other spawn one of which was Zargon. The ancient ruined city of Cynidicea was supposed to be the seat of a new capital of the Earth but instead has been forgotten & consigned to the furthermost wastelands.
I personally placed Cynidicea near the ruins of Los Vegas which seems quite fitting & used A.Meritt's Moonpool as the basis for a mini campaign . The wiki entry on The Moon Pool has exactly the sort of background detail that can help to get the heart across the sort of power we're talking here.
"The plot concerns an advanced race which has developed within the Earth's core. Eventually their most intelligent members create an offspring. This created entity encompasses both great good and great evil, but it slowly turns away from its creators and towards evil. The entity is called either the Dweller or the Shining One." Given the break down of power in Gamma World its an easy jump to see that the Cynidiceans, addicted to narcotics and spend most of their time in drug-induced reveries, wandering around in costumes and masks are almost but not quite a mirror image of some of the cryptic alliances from Gamma World.
Alright so maybe the powers at the Earth's core caused the shadow years of Gamma Terra then its not all that much of stretch to see that something went very wrong for them as it did in the Moon Pool. This sort of a campaign shows the power and imagination that The Lost City (B4) by Tom Moldvay has. But what if we took it a step further and cut out the Gamma World aspect entirely. What if we brought the Lost City to Vegas & then took a more modern retroclone say Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea?! Well A.Merritt was a contemporary of Howard, Lovecraft, & Clark Ashton Smith. Could the people of "THE MOUND" by H. P. Lovecraft & Zealia Bishop be simply another faction or culture that was waiting to burst from the ground out in Mid Western United States?! I think so. If we look at the future of Clark Aston Smith's fiction on his future Earth cycles then it becomes apparent that a number of lost world races could be bursting onto the scene causing untold havoc.
This download contains the "THE MOUND" by H. P. Lovecraft & Zealia Bishop for download
There's a very good reading of A.Merritt's Moonpool which is available right over here
From a gaming perspective there's a great supplement from Goblinoid games called Realms of Crawling Chaos that has many of the Lovecraftian monsters, cults, etc. that would work perfectly well for this sort of a mini campaign. Combined with Mutant Future this has the potential to work itself into a very Lovecraftian science fantasy campaign indeed.
The Moonpool gives some really weird options as far as a mini campaign & puts a very different spin on this classic module especially if its set in the post apocalyptic wastelands. There is a lot that can be done with this sort of a campaign and I might develop this further in the next blog installment.
You can download A PDF
of the A.Merritt's Moonpool here!