Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Ralph McQuarrie Mega Dungeon Among The Clouds

A while back I was able to find a book that I had 'borrowed" by a fellow player back in the 90s called The Illustrated Star Wars Universe. I just got this one in a Good Will find back about 2 weeks ago. One of my favorite bits of the book was Bespin. 
We're given this inredible overview by Councilman Po Ruddle Lingshot about cloud city. The ins & outs with the various miners of the gas, the history, etc.

 The interesting bit about this chapter was this bit

Your looking at Tibannopolis an abandoned derelict boom town in the sky. The place went bust in the early days of the Tiberian gas mining operations.
The repulorlifts are dwindling, the whole place has been stripped of metal! The ruins are adrift in the clouds. Time & again when I've run Star Wars D6 this location was one of my main stays. Slavers, gamblers, & all types of rogues use the place for meetings & what have you.
Strangely enough all of  my players were scoundrels & rogues of the deepest dye. They weren't ever Jedi or the guys trying to save the day.
They ended up on Tibannopolis  in the middle of a fierce storm that they had to weather through. The place proved to be inhabited by fierce gas hunter creatures.
Tibannopolis in the OSR campaign  

The place or something like it recently showed up thanks to Carl Sagan's Cosmos. The above illustration is of a gas giant which sustains extraterritorial life. I used the ruins of  a Tibannopolis city floating among the atmosphere of this planet.
I stole lots from Carl Sagan's Cosmos including the floaters 

The hunters & the grazers.. 
I had Star Wars fans frantically searching through books for these entities. The Jovian ecosystem would also have its share of predators which Sagan and Salpeter named, appropriately, hunters. The hunters were envisioned as being fast and able to maneuver, preying on the floaters “for their organic molecules and for their stores of pure hydrogen.” The Jovians were briefly introduced in a magnificent painting made by artist Adolf Schaller & Carl Sagan.

So basically I borrowed the idea for this megadungeon from
,the art of Ralph McQuarrie and  Kevin J. Anderson.Adolf Schaller & Carl Sagan.
There are 47 levels on this city in my campaign for Human Space Empires. 


  1. Cool mixing of inspirations. It seems so obvious now but I never thought of it before: a floating dungeon.

  2. Thanks for the comment Trey!
    I loved the idea of Bespin since Empire Strikes Back! The floating Dungeon In The Clouds isn't new. But I wanted to try something interesting & sort of different with it. Also Bespin always seemed a great city to base an adventure in. This concept can also easily work in fantasy & goes back to Gulliver's Travels where we get our first glimpse of a floating city in the clouds! There's more to come & I really have got to flesh this concept out more!


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