Sunday, April 8, 2012

Mega dungeons In The Sky - Ghost Scrapers A Location Encounter For Your Old School Post Apocalyptic Game

Has your party explored every bunker, missile silo, abandon military base in the post apocalyptic world of your dreams? Do you need to take them someplace sinister & different?

Then look no further then the haunted stairs of the Ghost Scrapers! These incredibly tall structures offer a wide variety of encounters for urban crawls! From 4 to 405 floors of terror filed   encounters! 

From encounters with robotic entities long forgotten to a base for that rampaging gang of mutants this is the perfect environment to scare the living daylights out of your group of jaded role players. 

These incredible edifices offer the perfect opportunity to deal out the pain to PCs. They can be living entities within their own rights & the undead who often inhabit them are tortured souls who often give life to these structures. Natural hazards abound!
A Random Natural Hazard Encounter Table 1d10 
  1. Weak Flooring! The floor gives way beneath your feet & you fall 1d20 floor taking 1d4 points of damage unless a successful Dexterity check is made. 
  2. A live wire whips in the wind & may strike you for 1d4 points of damage. Roll dexterity to avoid 
  3. A colony of fungus carpets the entire floor here! A rolling cloud of sports is shot up into the air! Roll save versus poison 
  4. A piece of steel comes loose with your prowling around & flies from the ceiling above doing 1d3 points of damage. Roll Dexterity again 
  5. The skeleton of another explorer is strung up from a piece of wiring! What happened? Are those boards below your feet loose? 
  6. An incredible wind blows from no place at all & everyplace almost knocking you off your feet! Roll Dexterity  here! 
  7. The floor is covered in a fetid pool of water waist deep. There is a 30% of contracting the rot if you go through it! Also a 10% chance of green slime 
  8. The walls here are covered in steel rebarb & it glows with radioactivity make a check here! 
  9. The floor is impassable! Its choked with all types of debris. You must go around! 
  10. The entire floor collapses right under you! 

Ghost Scrapers offer unique urban opportunities for the Dm. They present a snap shot of a lost time & may be haunted by dangerous spirits, zombies, & many types of hazards. 

Weird Happenings Random Table 1d10 
  1. Glowing balls of light spin around the party & simply depart 
  2. A whispering sound like ancient insanity come to play echoes from every passage 
  3. Monstrous crashes followed by the sounds of shouting & the blasts of air horns goes on for 1d3 rounds 
  4. A smell of decaying bodies fills your nose & vanishes to be replaced by shouts of dismay & doom 
  5. The forms or after images of people dance around your party for 1d3 rounds made of shadow & light 
  6. The ravings of a mad man echo from other rooms for a moment & then are gone. He whispers something right in your ear & then skips off invisible 
  7. A ringing phone echoes from just over your shoulder in another room. This repeats until the sound is almost deafening. Then it stops all at once 
  8. Blood pours from a nearby door. Gallon after gallon rips into the area where you are only to vanish 1d3 rounds later only to be replaced by the sound & smell in another room 
  9. A ghostly child watches you from behind a door. She smiles at you & then vanishes as you look away. 
  10. Something whispers your name from beyond the vale  

Why journey into these places of horror & lost time? Places where decay & death are often suspended by the laws of hell itself. Many of these places sport electricity & running water as they acquire spiritual lives all their own.
Rumors of post apocalyptic treasure & relics from beyond the pale of death itself! 
 Random Treasures Of The Ghost Scrapers 1d10 
  1. A lost & locked up AI secured within a strange data terminal. Its scared & needs a friend. 2000 gold pieces to the right collector 
  2. A cache of pre Holocaust fire arms & ammo. 1d3 pieces with 200 rounds of ammo. Also the skeleton of their late owner. Is he really dead? 400 gold pieces
  3. A stash of rare herbal spices. 1d20 drugs which will get you high & reduce all of your stats by 2 for 1d10 rounds. 200 gold to the right collector as well 
  4. A relic of alien technology, a strange black disk with weird copper & gold wiring around it. Makes a buzzing sound as you pick it up. 300 gold pieces 
  5. A bunch of gold rings, silver bangles, & gold tooth fillings are scattered on the floor here. 200 gold pieces worth. Also a bunch of pre holocaust clothing 
  6. A shattered black mirror with 1d4 ghosts trapped inside. They are harmless but will wail & moan as soon as picked up. 1000 gold to a necromancer 
  7. A strangely wrought golden pipe - Actually a psionic artifact containing the mind of the woman who was holding it before she was blasted to atoms. 1d3 random psionic powers. 500 gold pieces  
  8. A golden brass ring - The ring sings to anyone who picks it up. 1d20 random songs from before the holocaust. 200 gold pieces 
  9. A magic wand with 1d4 spells stored within. Worth 200 gold pieces there is a 20% of a demon trapped with 
  10. A silver hand with a strange alien looking AI drive wired to it. Its missing the memory stick fingers. Complete 1000 gold but 200 gold pieces in present condition  

Ghost Scrapers Random Monster Encounters 1d10 

  1. Wights squatting in the hallways. 1d6 4 hit points each 
  2. Ghost Tower Urban Dwellers 3 hit points each & 1d6 mutations 
  3. 1d6 ghosts trapped with in the mirrors within the building. Very tormented & angry 
  4. 1d10 random squatters living within the various rooms. 30% of a psionic among them 
  5. 1d4 energy creatures living within the electrical wiring. Will feed on life force & is starving for some 
  6. Malevolent AI running holoporn within 1d4 rooms to lure folks. Very twisted & depraved.. 
  7. 1d6 vampires living within the buildings super structure. Sleep by day & feeding on the city below. 
  8. 1d10 demon crows live & nest within this area. 4 hit points each 1d4 mutations 
  9. Giant Hornet Nest 1d20 dead adventurers corpses. 40% of treasure type H 
  10. Fully functioning floor crewed by 1d30 androids. These will turn on the party within 1d4 hours trying to murder them. This floor is a treasure house of relics. 

Some real world examples of Ghost scrapers 

Torre Abraham Lincoln, Rio de Janeiro

(images via:rafael pacheco)
“Paradise exists: it is here!” That was the tagline for Barra, an affluent area of Rio de Janeiro, in the 1960s, and the oddly named Torre Abraham Lincoln was supposed to offer a new, luxurious form of urban living to Brazilian residents who could afford it. The 37-floor circular tower suffered not just from the failure of the prestigious urban island lifestyle concept (74 similar planned towers were never built) but a host of other issues and has stood empty ever since. In 2004, more than 300 people squatted in the tower to highlight its plight and a 2010 art project by two Dutch artists attempted the same, but the tower may be demolished in the lead-up to the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Michigan Central Station, Detroit

(images via: buildings of detroitwikipedia)
As one Detroit blogger puts it, “Nothing symbolizes Detroit’s grandiose rise and spectacular fall like Michigan Central Station. And no other building exemplifies just how much the automobile gave to Detroit – and how much it took away.” Once a thriving railroad hub, the 230-foot 1913 Beaux-Arts Classical style building was shut down in the ’80s and was nearly demolished in 2009 before a Detroit resident sued the city to stop demolition, citing the National Historic Preservation Act.

Piraeus Tower, Greece

(images via:
Athens may be known for its ruins, but tourists don’t exactly come to the area to get a look at urban architectural skeletons like the Piraeus Tower, an incomplete 24-story structure started in 1972. Residents of the city have generally never been fans of the tower’s unremarkable 1970s design, especially since it dominates the skyline. The first three floors were used for various purposes including a high school in the 1980s but its upper floors have never been occupied. The hulking husk of a building was the subject of arecent design competition seeking imaginative makeover ideas.

Edificio Sao Vito, Sao Paulo, Brazil

(images via: wikipediadiego 3336)
Referred to locally as a ‘vertical favela’ – high-rise slum – the Edificio Sao Vito in Sao Paulo, Brazil is undoubtedly an eyesore. Bearing none of the romance and gothic beauty of many other abandoned structures, this 27-story former residential building was evacuated in 2004 but has since been overtaken by squatters. Almost every inch of its exterior is covered in graffiti.

Henninger Tower, Frankfurt, Germany

(images via: murdoch666wikipedia)
Built as a silo for Henninger Brewery in 1959, the Henninger Tower in Frankfurt, Germany could store 14,500 tons of grain but wasn’t used that way for long. It housed two revolving restaurants before it was closed down in 2002, and plans to demolish it were abandoned. Purchased by a developer in 2005, the 33-story tower was slated to be converted into residential towers, but it’s unclear whether those plans are still in motion.

Sterick Building, Memphis, Tennessee

(images via: wikipedia)
When it opened in 1930, the 29-floor Sterick Building of Memphis, Tennessee was the tallest building in the South. Once called “Queen of Memphis”, the tower is still beloved by architecture buffs though it was boarded up  in the 1980s.  Because it’s so old, has been empty so long and will likely involve sensitive environmental issues like asbestos, renovation may be difficult, but it seems destined to be a Memphis landmark for years to come – it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Book Tower, Detroit, Michigan

(images via: michael lavanderdan_dc)
Book Tower is just one of many empty structures adding to Detroit’s growing reputation as a lost city. 38 stories tall, the intricate Italian Renaissance-style stone-faced tower with a verdigris copper roof was actually the smaller of two planned Book Towers; plans for an 81-story sibling were axed during the Great Depression. Financial turmoil led to evictions and though the tower is currently unused, the Detroit City Council’s Green Task Force announced in 2009 that the tower will be turned into an eco-friendly complex of 260 residences.

Baker Hotel, Mineral Wells, Texas

(images via: nkerns)
While not the tallest building on the list, the Baker Hotel is definitely a massive abandonment, a 450-room luxury hotel that once housed Hollywood stars seeking rejuvenation at the town of Mineral Wells, Texas’ namesake ‘healing’ waters. Closed for good in 1972 after a long decline, the hotel has been the subject of many a ghost story. But there’s life yet in the historic building, and an Austin-based hotelier purchased it in 2010 with hopes of restoring its former glory.

Wacker Tower, Chicago, Illinois

(images via: dirtbag laundry service)
How could such a stunning building, unknown even to many lifelong Chicagoans, be left to decay? The former Chicago Motor Club building – also known as the Wacker Tower – is a hidden gem despite its auspicious location near the Trump Tower, the Sears Tower and other major landmarks. At some point in the 1990s it was almost converted to condos, but for now it’s empty, plastic sheeting reportedly covering up a view of the Art Deco lobby and a large mural of 1920s vehicles.

Old Central National Bank Building, Richmond, Virginia

(image via: jamie betts photo)
Built in 1925, the Art Deco Central National Bank building on Broad Street in Richmond, Virginia hasn’t lost much of its beauty despite the fact that it has been empty since 1949. At 22 stories, the historic high-rise was the tallest building in the city for decades. It may have lost that distinction, but it still draws tourists who stand and gape at its towering decay.

The PacBell Building, San Francisco, California

(images via: terrastories)
San Francisco’s most famous abandoned building is a 26-floor Neo-Gothic stunner topped with eagle statues. Bells can be spotted in various places on the building’s facade, hinting at its original purpose as headquarters of Pacific Telephone & Telegraph, later known as Pacific Bell.  When it was built in 1924, it was the city’s first significant skyscraper development.  It has only been vacated since 2005 but has already suffered some interior water damage; a new developer purchased it and plans to turn it into condominiums.

Sathorn Unique, Bangkok, Thailand

(images via: sweet_redbirdneajjean)

The Sathorn Unique is one of the most eye-catching buildings in Bangkok, and it’s easy to see why this would have been one of the most exclusive residences in the city. But the 49-story building was abandoned in mid-construction back in the late ’90s, when the economy tanked in Asia. Since then it has accumulated trash and graffiti. You might think that revitalizing such a prominent skyscraper would be a priority for the city, but the fact is, it’s just one of over 300 similar abandoned structures in Bangkok.
 Original article found Here

Other real world structures to inspire can also be found Here


  1. Glad you liked it! Thanks for the comment Bill & yes there is more to come!

  2. Fun and educational. :) I'm reminded of a abandoned structure here a few years ago that homeless people inhabited and christened "the abandominium."

  3. Glad you liked it Trey! I didn't see the comment until just now. Thanks a lot!
    I've been to my share of 'abandon' structures & met with their inhabitants.. This is a bit safer. I'm going to do more with ghost scrapers coming up soon.. Thanks again for the kind words!


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