Garbage, effluent and the people who work with it are a great source of RPG inspiration because not all adventures take place in beautiful forests, gleaming palaces or sprawling dungeons. There are stories to be found and explored much closer to home, amongst the waste and the not wanted. As part of this month’s RPG Blog Carnival we have three adventure seeds.
Scraps from Above
The city is far above, out of reach of those who live below. It sits on vast legs, three kilometres above the surface. Stories say that it’s beautiful up there, that water falls through air that doesn’t smell. No one knows of a person who’s been up there. The legs are solid impenetrable metal and ladders can’t be built that tall. All that the thousands of people who live beneath the city have to survive on is what comes down from above. Drinkable water trickles down rusting pipes and leftover food is dropped in plastic bags. The inhabitants have done what they can to make the place livable. They’ve channelled away the raw sewage and built shelters. After generations of this existence, only an oral tradition of storytelling remains of their original culture. The most powerful members of society are those that control the water supply and the communities around them. The inhabitants compete for the rare drop of usable material that falls between settlements.
Deals with Devils
The city of Ostrakane straddles a small island chain not far from the coast. Once a small fishing town, it has grown into a fat merchant port thanks to its deep harbour and rich mines. The biggest problem facing the city was where to put all the refuse and garbage. The mine owners wouldn’t backfill the mines with it and the merchants wouldn’t pay for it to shipped to the mainland. A mage called Athux bid exceptionally low for the waste contract, promising a cheap magical solution. Alls been well for a few years now as garbage goes into Athux’s factory and disappears. Recently however, great pillars of fire have been seen shooting into the sky at night from the factory and Athux is nowhere to be found.
The Thin Garbage Line
Come the dawn you won’t find any monsters on the streets. That’s because of a secret order of garbage workers known as the Order of the Can. To the rest of society, garbage collectors are mere civil servants who are well paid to work unsocial hours and the Order of the Can is happy to maintain this impression, as the general public are not capable of knowing the truth. Bins are collected early, not to avoid traffic, but to sweep the pre-dawn for creatures. The trucks are made of thick steel to hold monster’s corpses, not because of the weight of all that trash. Not a week goes by without these brave waste workers sending some horror back to the abyss from whence it came. Then it’s back to the depot for a brew and biscuits.
Image Credit – Garbage Truck by Mark Holloway – CC-BY-2.0