Monday, January 10, 2011

Gigacrawler: Known Features of the Gigastructure

Gigacrawler: Known Features of the Gigastructure

So we're gonna make Gigacrawler. The RPG where the whole universe is a dungeon.

This is a page where anyone can write in any kind of feature of the Gigastructure that would go in a "worldbook"--monsters, races, societies, technological wonders, places, etc. Entries should be short and only include mechanics if they are in some way unexpected. Like if you say there are turtle-men then there's no need to provide stats unless they have special rules for shell-penetration.

(Click the link above if you need to know how mechanics work or need a more detailed description of what's in the setting so far.)

Remember: resources are scarce, there's no common currency, barter is the norm, and communication is difficult. It's like a 3D multidimensional postapocalypse.

Here are a few examples:

-Lacuna: These are small gaps--the size of a planet or less--of open space in the Gigastructure. It can take months to find a way around them but many are home to shuttlemen who will ferry travellers across the lacuna in battered starships for trade.

-Oorlagox: This is a species of sentient computer virus. They will be grateful to anyone who introduces them into a computer system utilizing a technology that they can successfully infect, and will trade data they find for physical transportation through the Gigastructure (many computers in the same area are made of noncompatible alien technologies). 3 hours after an Oorlagox infects an ordinary system it will be rendered useless. They speak in an Edwardian dialect, and are universally praised for their generous wit and good manners.

-Archaeox: This is a small demon (2-3 inches tall) that eats lies. Since you can walk for weeks through the Gigastructure without meeting any sentient lifeforms, they fear starvation. An Archaeox will generally hide in a creature's equipment or ingratiate itself by performing simple tasks for a creature. In its original form it resembles a rolling grey sphere with thumb-tip like extrusion all around. For each lie told in its presence, it grows more mostrous, and slightly larger.

Here's one migelito already gave us in fairly finished form so I'll just post it here now:

-Star Chambers - Massive cavities in the gigastructure built around stars. In most cases the surrounding structure is dedicated to cyclopean power conversion infrastructure. These serve as the main source of energy within the whole of the GS. Most star chambers are strictly controlled by a group or organisation, with various levels of understanding regarding their operation/maintenance, and are often the nexus of power struggles and military operations.


Baudot sent this one in but it was too long to fit in the comments:

Faction: The All

"We are The All, my child. Do not be troubled. Your dream of a time before is a trick. Your memories of a place outside this, a cruel deception. Let them go and know the peace of the monastery. You have been touched by The Deceiver, and soon his touch will wash away. Come back to us. This is where you have always been, and this is where you will ever be. Return to your place with us. There is so much work to be done."

The All is a self-brainwashing cooperative that spreads throughout the gigaplex, seeding pockets of itself by hops and leaps wherever it can gain a foothold. Its goals are virulent and expansionist, desiring to spread until its boast is true: That there is no thing outside itself and no time outside its time.

The All commonly targets isolated pockets of the gigaplex near areas of civilzation for seeding with new enclaves. It uses these corners of the 'plex to gather strength without discovery before overwhelming and converting the neighbors.

The All converts by a cult-like induction process, tuned and franchised to operate at city scales. Over a matter of weeks, the 'front' of All Reality washes over an enclave in a dreamlike wave. First nanobots, nanohexes, or nanomemes prepare the area, adding secret passageways and triggers for miracles to one corner of the city. Then the Brethren of The All move in, welcoming their converts as lost souls, and reminding them of the simple truths they had for a time forgotten: That there is only The All, and labor for The All by The All is the highest of goods. These new converts are ushered back to the Temple at the heart of The All tumor. Loyal brethren of The All roll forward, advancing the front.

"Of course I know Thomas. This is his shop. I only mind it for him while he is at Pilgrimage."

A visitor from another part of town would find all the buildings different than he remembered, and his friends replaced by quiet cultists. All the old residents are said to be "At Pilgrimage" and visitors are assured they will return soon. Visitors are treated civilly, and allowed to come and go freely, for a time.

Conversion to The All happens first in The Maze: Before expanding into a city from their beachhead, the Allformers will build a maze of tunnels between the beachhead and the city. These tunnels are filled with scenes waiting to be acted out, leading the individual lost within through a series of lessons where they learn by repeated suffering that they are alone without The All, and that all comfort, warmth, and nourishment comes from working with their brothers. Time within The Maze is perceived to flow differently than time outside, with people inside The Maze believing weeks to have passed while in reality only hours have gone by. The potential convert experiences months of indoctrination in only a few days of real time, jumping from scene to scene with gaps in their memory as they slide in and out of consciousness from suffering hunger, thirst, and loneliness in their time outside The All.

The Maze grows as The All converts more and more of a city. As any time, hundreds, thousands, millions, or billions of people may be wandering its halls, stumbling ever closer to The Temple at the heart of The All infection, and their final conversion.

Opponents Presented by The All:

Adversary: Brother Peacekeeper (All Cultist)

Brother Peacekeepers are basic thugs for The All. They are armed with whatever weapons are abundant in the local region, and fight as such.

Brother Peacekeepers have four disconcerting tactical advantages:

a) They blend in with the peaceful members of All society near perfectly until activated. An entire battalion of Peacekeepers could move in among a crowd without giving outward sign that The All is preparing to defend itself. Indeed, Peacekeepers are peaceful members of The All who have been tapped for an extra duty, and go about their jobs as civilian cultists until they receive the signal to activate and defend The All.

b) They communicate silently, seemingly telepathically, striking from surprise in perfect unison.

c) As with all All cultists, they show a level of teamwork that armies envy to the highest degree. If two squad mates can achieve more by working in unison, they will. If a squad mate must be rescued, the other squad members will be absolutely selfless is doing so. If it is better to sacrifice a teammate, the entire team will do so without a moment's hesitation, including the one being sacrificed.

d) They are prepared for the miracles the Allformers have seeded for them to work with. If The All has time to prepare for a fight and steer the enemies to ground of its choosing, the Allformers will have seeded the area with one powerful miracle. This is in addition to the usual maze of secret passages present in All territory, and any All Cultist's ability to control illumination and weather in All Territory telepathically. The squad members fight with full knowledge of the miracle that is prepared and how to best take advantage of it.

Adversary: Sister Silencer (All Cultist)

The Sisters of Silence are assassins of The All. Their appointed labor for The All is "To Silence the darkest deceived before their deception can spread." Sisters of Silence may operate alone or in groups, as tasks demand and resources allow.

Sisters of Silence operate like Peacekeeper brethren, except that their preparation is specialized to the craft of killing first - they have the best equipment the local All can muster, and combat training built on tireless self sacrificing devotion and focus. They have few weaknesses and no mercy.

Adversary: Shaher (All Priest)

The Shaher are the priests of The All. Taken off their home turf, they are weak, and readily offer themselves as tactical sacrifices, when it serves the greater good. When fighting within an All Temple complex, Shaher are the masterminds directing the automated defenses of the Temple.

Adversary: Maze Phantom

The Maze that The All uses to convert outsiders to itself is filled with lessons and phantasmal menaces. These menaces are designed to hunt and threaten, and only rarely to actually harm, when a convert must be crippled before they can be reborn as a member of The All. The trick with Maze Phantoms is that there are legions of them, each designed to ignore a certain type of attack. A person confronted with the Maze Phantom that The All has chosen to educate them will be powerless, while an outsider bursting into the scene may find the phantom as easy to pop as a balloon.

Adversary: Allformer (Nanobot, Nanohex, or Nanomeme)

The Allformers seed the way for The All. These are built on whatever power the local All cult uses - tech, magic, or psychic might.

Allformers have two major defenses: First, their nanoscale makes them prone to being overlooked, invisible as they operate.

Second, they have a reflexive counter-attack if anyone attempts to disable or control them. The counter attack does two things simultaneously. The first is that it attempts to deceive/charm/mind-control the attacker into believing that their attack is on the verge of succeeding, if they just stick with it longer. Second, the Allformer swarm Cuts Loose.

Cutting Loose: The Allformers normally move in careful, slow, controlled patterns as they convert terrain and people into The All. In times of crisis, the Allformers may move into a higher gear, converting anything nearby into rich elemental goop that holds no threat to The All and can be harvested as a resource later. Even priests of The All fear this reaction like a primitive priest fears the wrath of the gods, for the Allformers are none too intelligent in their targeting. They are prone to lash out and digest anything that seems energy rich, fast moving, or highly contagious. Anything that might possibly be a threat is digested. All priests and cultists know to walk away calmly and divest themselves of power should the Allformers cut loose, and to wait for the defense reaction to be complete.

Once per round of combat, the Allformers target the most threatening seeming person in the area. The typical way to defend against digestion is to first perceive the attack coming, then, if not taken by surprise, to make an agility check to flee the area the Allformers are swarming. Whatever region the Allformers strike is digested in a single round, occupant within it, if they did not successfully escape.

Exceptionally high-tech/high-magic/high-psy armors may keep the Allformers at bay if they are designed for environmental containment: Armor that is within 2 tech/magic levels of the Allformer swarm takes 2d6 rounds to be digested, while the Allformers figure out a way around its defenses. The final digestion is sudden, taking only a single round once the weakness in the defense is found. The armor's occupant is digested the round after. A character cannot escape by shedding armor being digested - the Allformer swarm senses the breach and rushes in, liquifying the victim within their suit.

Higher tech/magic armors can hold out an Allformer swarm indefinitely.

Defeating an Allformer swarm requires special approaches: EMP pulses, counter-nanobots, or the equivalent in magic or psychic attacks. Once such attacks are deployed, the surviving Allformers will fall back outside of attack range. They will continue to test their enemies defenses continuously on a microscopic scale so long as the enemies remain inside the cloud, attacking with instant ferocity whenever a new weakness is found. (GM's discretion, but every 3d6 hours by default.)

Storytelling The All:

The All works by isolating its converts in The Maze, away from old friends who might keep them anchored to a reality other than its own. Gamemasters should jump back to the isolated character for quick "cut-to" scenes between scenes of the rest of the party, using these scenes to build the tension and need to rescue the lost party member as The All breaks down their identity.

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> Replay, Final Transmission, Dr. Johannes Berger
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Broadcast Begins
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I now believe my previous research was in error. The All is not a single entity, acting at the direction of a single mastermind or council. Rather, it is a primordial meme that powerful controller entities can latch onto, and harvest wherever it has spread. Thus it is in the interest of any of a billion beings to spread The All and re-seed it anywhere they desire.

I believe The All pocket I am currently studying - sector Ched Seven Omtet Four - is the subject of a turf war between no less than three Jocab-class controllers. My research base is located within a section that serves an entity known as "Mother Prime" within the local tongue, who identifies at least two faces of The Deceiver within All mythology - apparently rival controllers operating in this same All Enclave. Mother Prime's territory can be recognized by the drooping wax sense that all the buildings evoke. Spinwards the buildings become angular and metallic, and the code phrases spoken by the All cultists are different. I was nearly captured during my last expedition there when I used Mother Prime's cultists call-and-response codes. I plan to observe these cultists over the next week and attempt another foray into their territory using the data gleaned.

Relations between Mother Prime's followers and the spinwards cult are outwardly civil, with both sides along the border believing themselves secret inquisitors and double agents working to contain a conspiracy by The Deceiver. How long this has been going on I do not yet know, though written records among the local cult indicate it predates this generation.

Hubwards of my current base is the base of a third controller nested within the Cult. Geometry in this sector is a Beusch-varient space, with 387 degrees to the circle and that permits hyper-crystalline formation. Ice is the primary building material here, although the 'unworthy' cultists are permitted to encase it in chitin, wood, and furs for insulation against th###
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Broadcast Interrupted - Record Ends.
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This page is only for things that are NOT available to PCs during character generation--if you include:
devices, or
character alterations (mutations, alien adaptations, or cyborg parts)
here, make sure they are things you wouldn't want PCs to have when they start out. If something looks good for that, we may port it over to the appropriate page when that page goes up later in the week.


liza said...

The Infernos: black holes trapped inside gargantuan cage-estructures the size of star systems. Although the black hole can't extend beyond its prison its negative influence infects all the cage, corrupting the inhabitants, civilizations, unnatural life and physics. The black holes are worshipped as entropic gods, manifestations of the Utter Chaotic Evil, and the cages around them are feared as the hells of several mythologies of the Gigastructure.

Zak Sabbath said...

Maximillians: This is the name (origin unknown) for mathematicians who study the ancient black holes and the devices that contain them. Some have managed to devise small pieces of useful ambidimensional gravity-collapsing technology. Most are quite mad, and all of them are considered dangerous. They shave only twice a week and whisper to themselves.

thekelvingreen said...

Builders are symbiotic creatures that always travel in pairs. One is a fat, grey, slug-like thing about the size of a cow, with six short humanoid legs and a huge open mouth as its only other feature. The other is a crab-like thing with dextrous hands in place of claws, and one big hemispherical black eye on its back where a crab would have its shell.

As the name suggests, builders add to the gigastructure. They do it by instinct, and seem more interested in filling in gaps than ideas of design, or even utility; many a traveller has found a once-open passage or doorway replaced by a wall, a particular problem if that was the only exit.

The slug-thing coughs up semi-solid matter, which is then shaped by the crab-thing and when dry, becomes part of the gigastructure.

No one knows whether the builders created the gigastructure, or came after.

Chris Lowrance said...

I was writing these things up for my megadungeon, but I bequeath this summary to Gigacrawler (I've detailed each color, but will leave that out for brevity):

NHIL: The Nhil were formerly bio-mechanic servitors. A massive potentiality-mine explosion granted them a complicated sentience. They are humanoid with thick black rubbery flesh over an organless clear gelatin surrounding a simplified metal skeleton. Despite this, damage to the rubber “flesh” and loss of gelatinous material affects them as adversely as physical trauma and loss of blood affects a normal creature.

The “skull” is simply a large imperfect quartz stone polished to an oblong with a slightly flattened front face. This face is exposed through the rubbery skin to form the glowing face of the Nhil. When a Nhil dies this crystal cracks and goes dark.

The "face" glows one of seven colors. Each color is a separate hive mind with independent goals and traits from the other six. Alliances, wars and treaties are a constant. This is aggravated by the unstable nature of their hue - occasionally two colors will randomly switch, rewriting the political landscape of whole solar systems.


Adam said...

No one knows whether the builders created the gigastructure, or came after.

Them having built the whole space strikes me as too limiting. Kind of against the spirit of the thing.

thekelvingreen said...

Sorry, poor choice of words as I was trying to wrap it up. How about "No one knows whether the builders had a part in the creation of the gigastructure, or came after."

Or just dropping it entirely. After all, a cow-sized slug that vomits bricks is probably enough.

Chris Lowrance said...

Legend of the Quantum Foam Scrubber: Occasionally, an isolated Binary Priestess or mad Maximillian will claim the Gigastructure was once a negative shadow of itself - a single massive lacuna with a smattering of structure floating in it. One structure enclosed a quasar, and used the twin relativistic plasma jets to mortar star-sized Quantum Foam Disruptors at enemy galaxies. Were this true, the cannon and its ordinance must have been swallowed up by the Gigastructure and somewhere, a bottled quasar and ancient, leaking Galactic-Class bombs are becoming increasingly unstable.

Zak Sabbath said...

Gigacrawlers native to the quadrants surrounding Obscure-7 have reported chambers and areas light-years from that planet which seem to precisely replicate social patterns, appliances, geographical features, living rooms, and other phenomena from throughout that planet's history.

Natives of other quadrants have reported similar phenomena. It is theorized that this is an after-effect of Stochastic Collapse warfare in the Scorned Age, which caused parallel planes to intersect at angles of reduced logical coherency.

It has also been theorized that Obscure 7 is actually a planet with a cloned history and the original(s) were once located elsewhere in space.

migellito said...

Bloobox - Some of these very rare devices are actually colored blue, but many are not. The origin of their name is no longer known. They are generally in the form of a tall, narrow box with a door, seemingly large enough to accommodate 2-3 people.

Entering a bloobox and closing the door will transport the occupants to another bloobox somewhere in the GS, perhaps kilometers distant, perhaps many light-years distant. This transport is generally accompanied by a loud, semi-mechanical whooshing noise. All but the rarest of the rare blooboxes 'connect' to one and only one other specific bloobox.

Some blooboxes have been labeled as to destination, but these labels are largely unintelligible and often not to be trusted. Nearby lifeforms may know where a bloobox leads, but frequently view the devices with such apprehension as to prevent much familiarity. They are notoriously difficult to move, with a wide variety of catastrophic repercussions resultant.

Zak Sabbath said...

Similar to a Bloobox, but these are only ever known to move occupants backwards in time.

Roger G-S said...

Astrobahn: During the Construction, some few asteroids in orbit around stars were given a free path, creating a toroidal tube piercing the Structure. Through such Astrobahns periodically hurtle one or several gigantic, pitted vehicles carved from the asteroids and following their ancient orbit. Slowed only slightly over the aeons, each asteroid-ship is approached by means of accelerating Up-Ramps, and likewise left by means of slowing Down-Ramps. They have been expropriated variously for luxury, commerce, piracy or burial.

Deathbloom (colloquially known as Conway Crud): Appearing as molds, slimes, oozes or jellies, shimmering in entrancing and unappetizing colors, these festering colonies of nanites range in size from slime mold to Shoggoth to planet. Their common feature is a self-limiting cellular die-off rate; without this feature, they would turn into the zones of Crawling Chaos, or Nanothotep, that ultimately threaten the entire Structure. As things stand, their limitations ensure that they may grow only by converting already complex organized matter. For this reason they smell out and stalk living tissue, circuitry from pico- to micro-scale, and fractal-crystalline preciosities.

Zak Sabbath said...

Slang for an ordinary box painted to look like a redbox.

Zak Sabbath said...

Digital cameras
Still more reliable--in some technologies--than holoboxes or omniselect computing devices.

Occasionally a gigacrawler will drop one. The images in found cameras can offer clues to local flora, fauna and techna.

thekelvingreen said...

Skreemers are somewhere between animals and vehicles. Pyramidal in shape -- although the number of sides varies from skreemer to skreemer -- they hover about a metre from the ground and can travel at absurdly high speeds, seemingly without any outward source of propulsion.

The outer surface of a skreemer is almost always pitted and warped, and mouths and blinking yellow eyes are also common features. They do not communicate, although telepaths have detected an overwhelming desire for speed emenating from the things. They do seem to understand most common languages, however, and can sometimes be convinced to give travellers a ride; such travellers are absorbed within the skreemer through a form of osmosis and are kept stable at even the highest speeds through suspension in the orange jelly that constitutes a skreemer's innards.

thekelvingreen said...

Addendum: Skreemers seem to be fond of music.

Roger G-S said...

Eschertecture: Except in the vicinity of a captive star, planet or singularity, the omnipresent honeycombed mass of the Gigastructure creates an indefinite gravity field where floating is the norm. To ensure that climbers from the wells may ascend with ease and comfort, knowing neither zero-G floundering nor wandering urine balls, much of the Structure enforces a pallid localized gravity. Its intrinsic fields and properties have the side-effect of underscoring known physical laws within their purview. When two such fields meet, each with a different reference point, reality bends; "Eschertecture" is experienced. Roll 2d6, applying the lowest roll:

1. Only gravity is distorted. Your floor is my wall or ceiling.

2. Perspective is distorted. That huge ladder in the background may be contiguous with this tiny ladder in the foreground. Travel and missile fire are thereby made subtle. By this anomaly the "infinitely falling staircase" is born with its bounty of perpetual kinesis.

3. Figure and ground are distorted. Being and objects in close yet separate proximity to each other may find themselves immobilized, as negative-space creatures formed from the conjunction release themselves and perambulate at will.

4. Cause and effect are distorted. I stumble upon a dead man; he pulls my sword to his heart and it raises him; I hack at his wounds and he at mine, plastering hit points to each other, occasionally finding release from their oppressive weight in a healing draught.

5. Thought and being are distorted. EVERYTHING you imagine, and only what you imagine, comes to be. The Structure has an imagination, too, in such places. Yours may not be its match by a long way.

6. Being and non-being are distorted. You ooze blindly, a fascinated void, through blocks of rooms and rods of passage. They are made of everything that is not here; a pullulating, infinitely arabesqued mass. Reality is what happens to press against your eye-holes and skin-gap. Your meetings with other voids are dangerous; how will you avoid total merger?

IHaveTilFive said...

Shambala – Once the surface of Earth had been built over, an area beneath the north polar region was explored. Caves led to a world-within-a-world where, while colonization and development was possible, technology was hindered. The more advanced a technology, the less chance it has of working there. The most successful inhabitants have been those making structures of wood without nails, and wear clothes without buttons. It is not known if this is the naturally occurring physical structure of the planet’s inside or another dimension at this time; any scanners capable of making such analyses inside do not work at all.

Fibonacci Ray – A device said to be used by terraformers in structuring new areas for building or instilling order into crumbling areas. Rumors persist that the true use of the ray is to spread chaos, but efforts to explain this coherently to the masses has thus far failed. Another suspected use of the ray is directing it to GS populations to trigger Prime Events. What these events are has not been definitively determined.

Maunder Maximizers – Bases composed of highly heat resistant metals which attempt to regulate sunspot activity of stars. This activity aims to convert the solar activity into a predictable, reliable energy source. Black market activity has taken over many maximizers, as energy theft and resale has become a thriving business. In addition, designer mutation companies frequently operate on maximizers, as proximity to solar radiation is a powerful mutagen.

Chris Lowrance said...

Platonic Claw Hammer: Also known as the One True Hammer. There are many *like* it, but only one is the real, perfect Claw Hammer. Devastatingly reliable in combat, shockingly useful in all other situations.

Phtalate-Free Plastics: A rare, valuable "garbage ore" (a once common material that is now precious). Commonly found in the ruins of human colonies with a high female-to-male ratio. Today, used in weapons manufacturing.

Feels-Real(tm) Jelly Rubber: Another garbage ore, this one highly sought after by various entities for use as a false humanoid skin covering. Mostly found in ruins of human colonies that were wiped out by high incidents of cervix and prostate cancer.

#2 Pencils: Singularity-Math Engines estimate only 2,349 #2 lead pencils remain in existence, 32% of those less than an inch long and only 7 with intact, good quality erasers. Whole solar systems have died in wars over possession of this rare commodity, as the knowledge of their construction was lost long ago.

thekelvingreen said...

Glowzones are sections of the gigastructure in which the surfaces -- most often the floors, walls and ceilings, but sometimes objects too -- give off a pale ambient light. The light has no obvious source, and the glowing object is otherwise normal. Should a traveller contrive to remove the object, it immediately stops glowing.

thekelvingreen said...

Benko appears to be a human clad in a waterproof jacket and a pair of khaki shorts, and with a rucksack slung over one shoulder. He is often encountered wandering the halls of the gigastructure whistling a cheerful tune, and would not be notable at all where it not for a few anomalies.

He appears to be ageless, having been around for millenia according to stories, wall paintings, old vid-recordings and the like. Moreover, although he seems to walk everywhere and has never been seen taking any other form of transport, he is capable of travelling great distances, although how he does so is unknown, as it only happens when he is out of sight.

Benko is quite amiable and passive, and will happily expound on his love of rambling. If killed, he will reappear within the hour somewhere else in the gigastructure.

thekelvingreen said...

"...were it not for a few anomalies", obviously. I need sleep.

squidman said...

Homo Atrophis - collective name for post-human species that have evolved from homo sapiens through the process of organ atrophy.

The Sect of Lasukrip - a famous sect of terrorist monks dedicated to destroying the Gigastructure. Their main dogma is based on the assertion that the universe is reaching the Static extreme on the Entropic Curve of Matter. They believe that only through the destruction of the Gigastructure can life and probability be saved. The order is famous for their Probability Magic and has been outlawed in most parts of the GS. Members of the sect can be recognized by a Holy Rhombus tattooed on their foreheads.

migellito said...

Fortaz Glaxo - A hemophiliac drug runner turned legendary hero. During the Plague Mandate of Candlemas, he and his AI companion, Klinesmith, smuggled biotech curatives to the Targeted. Rumors of his presence persist whenever and wherever disease runs mortally rampant, in spite of the accumulation of intervening decades.

It has been rumored that Klinesmith has possessed everything from digital watches to pre-inclusion worldships. Some believe that Fortaz himself was an android, hosting a part of Klinesmith's cyberego.

Adam Thornton said...

The Library of Babel.

Just like in the Borges story.

To summarize: an apparently-infinite volume of hexagonal chambers surrounding bottomless pits, each lined with shelves, each shelf lined with identically-bound books, each book filled with strings, apparently random, of the twenty-five characters.

Zak Sabbath said...

c'nor posted this in the wrong place:
C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

I'm in. Then again, you probably knew that.

Moving on...

Lacunic Habitats:

Some of those who inhabit the Gigastructure have built space stations within the Lacuna. These operate using gravity plating, with a central core in freefall. This core hold those who can not afford quarters in other parts of the habitat, their descendants, and unlicensed criminals. Over the several generations, those who live here have changed. In adapting to the lack of gravity, their bodies have become elongated, and their bones brittle and thin. They inhabit all spaces, including what would be viewed as the ceiling or walls with objective gravity. The only places not covered in furniture and other living materials are the tubeways, clear, hollow, tubes with ropes attached to them. They are the primary means of transport, with many swarming over and through them at all times (Lack of day/night delineation has caused those that live here to adopt personal schedules, with the result that meetings often take place through interpreters over two or more days). Some have put up screens, or live in the deep warrens of machinery where they are hidden from view, but most residents have simply lost their expectations of privacy. However, personal space is put at a premium, and, trespassers are often bound and cast into empty spaces to die. Those that escape are pardoned.

Jasper Gein said...

Satavel. A people of tribal tech-necromancers. They are among the gigastructures most skilled cyberneticists, practicing their craft on both the living and the dead. Their numbers are few, but they sport great armies of walking corpses wired with machinery and enormous dead critters turned into siege engines. They have little to no knowledge of magic, but respect and fear anyone who do.

Carnilid acid-worm. The acid worm is a critter that have adapted to survive in the gigastructure. It resembles a huge earthworm about 4-6 feet across and can be hundreds of feet long. Its surface is covered in pores that secreet a strong acid, dissolving the metal around it and boring tunnels through the structure. The acid-worm isn't hostile, but encountering one can still be extremely dangerous because of it's acid. A few people smart enough to handle the worms without being dissolved have managed to implant sensors and electrodes in the creatures head, enabling them to control the worm to use for mining, exploration or warfare.

Celestial propulsion power. Once upon a time, before the planetary structures merged into a gigastructure, engineers from alien planets found ways to harvest energy from the momentum of their moons rotation around their world. Vast meshes of wires, tubes and rubber tied these moons to big rails built around entire planets. As the gigastucture grew around these worlds, shafts similar to those of the astrobahns kept moons spinning and the CPP reactors functioning. However, when these worlds were extinct or abandoned and the gigastructure began crumbling around them, the debris started to get in the way of the meshes connecting the reactors to the moons. Now the moons path creates a zone of perpetual destruction around these worlds, and traveling them without knowledge of its lunar cycles is a sure way to get your transport ripped to shreds by beams and cables traveling at several thousand miles per hour. The reactors still give power.

IHaveTilFive said...

Cult of the Fonz - A group of archaeologists unearthed a vault which contained records of the daily lives of 20th century humans. The alpha male of these people was named Arthur Fonzarelli, and the archaeologists adopted his teachings as their own. Master mechanics, each cultist gets about only via meticulously customized motorcycles. They possess magical expertise only in the areas of social influence and manipulation, in pursuit in their personal ideal of "Cool." A true follower of the Fonz will make a pilgrimage to the site of the former Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The afterlife will lead to two possible places, the Happiest of Days, or an unnamed state of torment where the unfit will forever "sit on it."

Ed said...

If you don't mind my asking, whats the dungeon made of if it occupies known space?

Zak Sabbath said...

If this is a simple I-didn't-wade-through-all-of-the-last-post idle question: mostly metal.

If this is a law-of-conservation-of-matter hard science, if-it's-made-of-materials-then-where-did-they-come-from question: extradimensional materials as-yet-unknown-to-science.

migellito said...

Nullspaces - Areas of the GS which, unlike lacunae, prove inaccessible from all directions, and which cannot be explained by reason of machinery or other infrastructure. Size may range from a cubic meter upward. The largest discovered so far was over 5 cubic kilometers, measuring only 2 meters across in places, but over 800,000 kilometers long.

'Holing' a nullspace can be easy or difficult, but in either case requires a roll on the nullspace table.

1. Pure vacuum. If large, this can really suck.
2. Deathbloom
3. Self-contained ecosystem - Utopian neo-eden, now doomed.
4. Nanites, inactive until now.
5. Pure water
6. Ancient refuse. Every 5 cubic meters gives a chance for salvageable tech.
7. Solid rock, possible fossils.
8. It was structural after all - oops! Effect like earthquake for a radius of 1d1000 x diameter of the nullspace.
9. Inert gas. Electronics disabled until dissipated, and grab a respirator.
10. Imprisoned antagonistic entity.
11. Imprisoned beneficent entity.
12. Preserved blood.
13. etc, etc..

Destrude said...

A Gee-ball is a spherical, scaly creature with a large number of appendages that look very much like thumbs sticking out from it's body. It rolls or climbs as appropriate around the GS, seeking anything with Carbon in it as food. It's name comes from the creature's ability to manipulate local gravity, which it often uses to smash it's prey (if alive) into walls, draw them to it's singular mouth, or move very fast (at terminal velocity, in fact). Gee-balls are very rare, and reproduce asexually via egg-laying, which they then surround with a highly compacted shell of carbon and metal scraps for protection.

Mr. Cleans -- a swarm of hive-minded insectile robots designed by a forgotten race in a attempt to control the number of fungi, vermin, and festering corpses scattered about the GS. Unfortunately, they appear to regard any and all organic material as undesirable, and thus strip a path across the GS like a horde of mechanical army ants. History tells of their passing near the same sectors many years apart, and it is speculated that they are following some sort of pattern in their endless quest.

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

Blackbox: Similar to the Blue and Red boxes, the Blackbox sends any information or communications placed within to d20 hours into the future, at the location of a linked Blackbox. This includes spoken information, which will appear from no apparent source. For this reason the static Blackbox is usually equipped with a recorder. Often installed in starships or other vehicles.

Laibell: This is a magical bell, which will cause any sentient creature that hears it struck to falsely accuse all those who come within earshot of them. Its name is said to derive from an ancient crime, but that is almost certainly untrue.

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

*"to falsely accuse of crimes"

Chris Lowrance said...

Dutchmen: Slang for a phenomenon whereby ancient starships are found locked within the Gigastructure as if caught in it mid-flight. The ship is literally impaled by corridors, tunnels and other bits of the Gigastructure with no clear evidence of how the ship is joined to the structure. Since most gigacrawlers could never fathom a universe that wasn't a gigastructure, it seems like someone built a ship they had no hopes of flying.

Tom said...

Wyrmholes- In ancient times it is said that the Great Wyrms coiled themselves around the geological faultlines of the heavenly spheres, burrowed deep beneath the tectonics plates. When the Gigastructure filled the spaces between celestial bodies the wyrms were free to roam, their tunnels trailing for millions of miles in seemingly random directions. Wyrmholes are perfectly smooth, their tunnel walls perfectly frictionless- enterprising Crawlers can ride these tubes from region to region at maximum falling speed, although such a means of travel is not without its hazards. Upon encountering an unfamiliar wyrmhole, roll 2d6:

2. Dead End- Aeons ago a Great Wyrm perished here in the midst of the Gigastructure. Unless they have some means to brake themselves suddenly, Crawlers will take maximum possible falling damage when they reach the end.

3. Non-Euclidean Wyrmhole- the Great Wyrm which carved this tunnel blundered across an interdimensional faultline, causing the Crawlers to teleport to a random location in the Gigastructure (with a possibility of reappearing in solid matter).

4. Relativistic Wyrmhole- the track of the Great Wyrm transits the gravity well of a supermassive object, such as a neutron star or a black hole. Crawlers will suffer the effects of time dilation, arriving d100 years later than they had started

5. Quantum Wyrmhole. A tunnel which forks 1d4 times, each branch representing a different quantum state. At each juncture there is a 50% chance of taking the wrong path.

6. Unstable Wyrmhole- Due to the nature of the local Gigastructure matrix, the tunnel bored by the Great Wyrm is not entirely smooth. Unless the Crawlers take special precautions they will take 1d6 points of damage per round due to friction and minor abrasions.

7. Stable Wyrmhole- A perfectly traversable tunnel from start to finish, though be sure to check for wandering monsters and other Crawlers .

8. Unstable Wyrmhole (II)- The Great Wyrm's tunnel traverses a pocket of inherently unstable matrix in the Gigastructure (d6): 1. Mud, 2. Silt, 3. Water, 4. Air, 5. Steam, 6. Magma. Crawlers must find means to traverse the hazard or become stranded.

9. False Wyrmhole- This tunnel, despite its appearances, was not carved by a Great Wyrm but something else entirely of the DM's devising. Roleplay accordingly.

10. Möbius' Wyrmhole- Somehow the Great Wyrm who carved this tunnel bent back upon itself in an infinitely recursive track. Crawlers must find an ingenious way to break the cycle or ride this loop forever.

11. Wyrmhole to Nowhere- This tunnel empties out into the Void itself, the space between spaces in which the Gigastructure itself is situated.

12. Live End- Crawlers have stumbled upon a wyrmhole that is still in the process of being carved... by a live Great Wyrm!

Anonymous said...

Crystal Lettuces: Head-sized clumps of trigonal crystals that form in any longstanding areas of fluid within the GS and generate high voltage piezoelectric charges, spawning further crystallization through splitting. The energy-farm of the notorious merchaunt Boss Feratu trades crystals for lifeforce (temporary loss of physique).

Adam Thornton said...

Penrose Swarm: this region is infested with a Penrose Swarm (81% kite-and-dart (P2), 11% pentagon-star-boat-diamond (P1), 6% rhomb (P3), 2% actually a 3-D quasicrystal filling volume, not covering area)).

The Swarm is remarkable for two things: the sharpness of its components and its voracity. Anyone caught in the region of a swarm will be gashed mercilessly by the Swarm members as they reconfigure to accomplish ever-larger tilings, and once the victim's resistance is sufficiently overcome, it will be devoured and converted into further tiles, fuelling the Swarm's continued expansion.

IHaveTilFive said...

Neuron Glue – Fixes thoughts and thought patterns in place. Usually used after Brain Washes.

NanoCare – The medical service used for the elites. Their bodies have been injected with nanobots which form tissue necessary to repair injury, cure disease, and counteract and reverse the aging process.

NanoNanny – Security and educational service used in the children of the elite. Suspected to be used on parts of the general population.

(Wrote these last two before reading Tom's entry on Wyrmholes. These may or may not wind up being the same phenomena that he's talking about. Take from mine whatever seems interesting or useful.)

Wormhole Gates – Of the three known wormholes contained within the Gigastructure, 17 gates are commonly known to exist. There are 120. Two lead "Beyond". The Gates are in varying states of repair and maintenance, from virtually destroyed to bunkered and guarded by garrisons of elite shock troops armed with Aether Rifles and Soul Cannons.

Holeworms – Galaxy-long creatures, closer to slugs than worms, which seem to consume time. Planet-sized chunks found in the secreted ooze of a holeworm have been mined for Substance Tau-17, a mineral used in anti-gravity applications. Most wormhole gates and hole-travelling vessels have some sort of worm-detecting equipment.

Chris Lowrance said...

The Molar: Within the Zarathustra Lacuna, The Molar rotates ominously. It is a perfect specimen of a human tooth, the genetic data showing it to be that of a true hermaphrodite and the wear patterns suggesting a 60-year-old who didn't floss and was fond of sweets. The Molar is as large as our Neptune, and has three "moons" consisting of bits of unidentified rotting organic material.

Zak Sabbath said...

I feel like that's a little more Douglas Adams than I'm thinking here, though the bits of food are interesting.

Jeremy Murphy said...

"Theoretical" Fractal Dilator:

This small pistol-sized weapon was initially conceived by the a semi-brilliant Paradoxical Null-space entity called (roughly translated) "Wham". As soon as (s)he(it) described the weapon, at a multi-dimensional symposium on the biological imperative to kick some serious ass, the weapon retroactively came into being in several locations in the Gigastructure.

When fired at someone, the Fractal Dilator increases the distance between the firer and the target using a variety of non-Euclidian fractal calculations. The weapon then disappears.

The practical result is that the person who is shot with the Fractal Dilator can NEVER get any closer to the person who shot them, nor can they use any effect which approaches that person via geometric lines, as the distance between the two constantly increases because of the universe taking increasingly accurate measurements.

Chris Lowrance said...


I can see that. It started out as just a giant tooth, then I had the idea to imply people were afraid it was God's own (it's not actually intended to be). I admit I overdid it.

Hmm. Planetoid resembling an eyetooth, not human, rotting material orbiting it? Eyeteeth just aren't as "wacky" as molars, somehow.

Mobius Soul said...

Nomads: Any settlement, at least once or twice per human lifetime, depending on the traffic in their sector, sees a nomad or a group of nomads come through heading for the "Edge." Two or three in a lifetime is a minimum here; in some busy cities, such as they are, they form a whole rotating subculture, like gypsies. Nobody's ever seen the edge, or seen any sign there even is an edge, and most people find the idea kind of incomprehensible. The edge of what? And what would be on the other side of it? It's a known belief, and people who care about this sort of thing understand the belief, but few actually /believe/ in it. Like, say, Buddhist nirvana as it might have been viewed by the West in the 1800s.

obviously some people seeking the edge are simply wandering because they heard the rumors and were curious, or needed to run away and used it as an excuse, but others are members of assorted cults who truly believe they need to escape the gigastructure--either because some reward waits for them outside, or just because it's not where they're supposed to be. Nomads are, again, like gypsies--not allowed to integrate into society, sometimes tolerated and traded with, sometimes persecuted and driven away. And very few of them are ever seen in the same place twice.

The Pipe: Sort of like a wyrmhole, but it's a different idea really, one i've had kicking around for a while (though i'd always thought of it as a road in a fantasy setting before.) The Pipe is unique; nobody's seen anything like it anywhere else, it's unlabeled and unexplained, there aren't even any /myths/ about where it came from except ones that people have made up fairly recently. It's about 200 meters in diameter, ramrod straight, and stretches out to the vanishing point in both directions no matter where you are. Some sort of cords or ropes float in it, parallel with it, moving steadily in one direction, very quickly. Anyone can get in easily, anyone can use the pipe to travel very quickly, but only the one way--no matter what superspeed, special machine, or flight spell you have, you can't move along it the wrong way. Bad things happen to people who try. So you can never, ever come back. The pipe moves you so far so fast before its next off-ramp that it'd be difficult to find your way back by another route anyway, but it's more than that--perhaps it moves in a non-Euclidian manner, or the gigastructure was deliberately built to make it a one-way trip, or any number of other things. But travelers your party speaks to, travellers who've come to your starting location via Pipe and then tried to find their way home by other routes, no matter how hard they tried or how long they looked, could never find anything even slightly familiar to them, save other expats who'd come by the same route they took. Nomads often use the Pipe, though they're not of a piece with each other; there are still Edge nomads in lands that've never heard of the it. Going down the Pipe is a fairly common way to escape debt, police attention, and similar woes; it might as well be suicide, and for all anyone knows, it is. It's easy to find someone who can tell you what's upstream of "here" on the Pipe, but you'll never find anyone who can tell you what's downstream--if you live near enough to it, you might be able to find someone who can tell you about the source of the Pipe (though its starting point will be appropriately mysterious and impermeable), or alternatively, you might live very far along it and have travelers from a hundred civilizations sailing by.

Seth S. said...

Hex Sand - This seemingly normal sand sometimes forms after extremely high tech sciences collapses and deteriorate. If it falls naturally it will form swirled patterns on the ground. The sand can magnify the abilities of any spell cast within its vicinity in a variety of possible ways. Some scholars theorize that the Hex Sand is science returning to older less processed powers.

IHaveTilFive said...

Inspection Assignment - Kind of a cross between National Guard obligations and jury duty, IA is mandatory for everyone. From four days to three weeks a year, you need to inspect a certain section of the Gigastructure for structural integrity, building code conformity, and potential future usefulness. Getting out of this has become a profitable side industry in itself, as some local magistrates have taken pay-offs while other sectors have organized crime muscling in, offering professional stand-ins.

A kind of Inspector's Guild is developing, becoming highly specialized in providing a level of service in Structure-inspecting that normal citizens don't provide; they are offering sectors contracts which would improve the quality of service over standard Inspection Assignment procedures while reducing cost of enforcing citizens to comply. Tensions are rising between the Guild, the mob, and the crooked politicians.

Zak Sabbath said...

I feel like this would have to be an extremely localized phenomenon, there isn't enough common culture to maintain this over a large area.

OtspIII said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adam Thornton said...

Fractal Nature Of The Gigastructure

Fairly often, if you look closely at some piece (not just any piece, but a high enough proportion that it's no big deal to find one) of the Gigastructure, you'll see that it too is made of a loose latticework of beams and girders and stuff much like the macro-structure you're in. If you look closer, with optical, and then electron, and then atomic force microscopes, you see much the same thing. And if you try to map the larger structures around you? Or the second-order structures composed of those? Same sort of thing.

Somewhere, do these scales repeat? Is the Gigastructure entirely contained within itself as a smaller copy, within which perforce must be a smaller copy still, and so on? Is its extent infinite? Is space infinitely divisible? Are these the same question?

OtspIII said...

Have you read 'BLAME!'? It's really similar to this in concept, isn't too far from it in mood, and is just generally fantastic. Tsutomu Nihei does mind-blowing things with architecture, and there's just something generally haunting about the series.

As for an idea, the Bot Fly.

The Bot Fly is a tiny fly-shaped robot that lays its 'eggs' in the flesh of organic life-forms. An infected organism will, after a few days, develop an insatiable craving for circuitry and electronics, and if exposed to any sort of electronic device may lose control of themselves and attempt to eat it. Mysteriously, they will be able to digest it normally, but the more they eat the more their body will begin to change.

Strands and tumors of circuitry will begin to form within their flesh. This circuitry will in no way impede, harm, or benefit the infected, although it will poke through the skin in places and change their appearance, which may have social implications.

A single light electric shock (and possibly other methods, as well) will kill the infection, ending all further symptoms, although it will not reverse the changes to their appearance. However, if the infection is not cured before the Bot Fly's gestation period is up (roughly two weeks, give or take), the Bot Fly larva will suddenly begin to assemble themselves within the living organism's flesh and will almost without warning burst forth violently (and almost always fatally) from the infected's body as a swarm of full-grown Bot Flies, ready to find and infect new hosts.

The natives of any area with a significant Bot Fly presence will often show signs of cured Bot Fly infections, and will always know the infection's cure.

Destrude said...

@Mobius Soul

Don't want to rain on anyone's parade, but I have a few concerns regarding The Pipe idea. As a concept, it's excellent. Mysterious, useful, and highly appropriate for the setting.

But in practice, moving the players along the Pipe could easily become irrelevant. If they can only go one way, and things are just as weird down the Pipe as where they left it, then how did their situation change? It's one thing to move from desert to forest to city, but the GS is shaping up to be radically different around every corner, so what's the difference between one section and another?

I love the idea of it, but I can't currently see it being anything other than a "press button to change the color of the walls" in practice. Actually, that sorta goes for the Bluboxes too, if they're one way only.

That said, making the GS have comparatively large sections that follow a particular theme or group would make fast irreversible travel much better. Do we leave behind allies/provisions in order to escape our enemies? Will the next section be better or worse than this one? Could have a Quantum Leap/Sliders sorta feel to it.

This all probably stems from different ideas about the baseline structure of the GS. Is it a mishmash of things all jammed together, with changes every turn, or more like a series of small nation-states, with larger themed sections?

Obviously it's big enough to hold both, but that's something to look into. Which is the default assumption for the GC game? Patchwork of madness, or balkanized dungeon in space?

Zak Sabbath said...


I feel like it could have balkanized areas, just as dungeons have "levels" dominated by particular species.

i.e. it's not just a funhouse, it's individuals and small enclaves of individuals competing for resources -in- a funhouse.

Plus the PCs should be able to get rumors of things that are located in certain areas--getting to them could be meaningful.

Plus they might not be able to operate Impressive Device A today, but might want to come back in a week or two when they've gotten ahold of new information.

By the end of a Gigacrawler campaign, the PCs should have the coolest map in history.

Destrude said...

@Zak S

Makes sense, the GS is so big that at least some areas would be stabilized/colonized.

And two way travel shouldn't be easy or reliable, but the ability to do so is definitely important.

Since we're in this territory already, what sort of technology is common in the GS? Are there a lot of computer-controlled door locks? (makes computer skills more important) Are there usually plenty of lights? What about air filtering, water, food, ect? Speaking in generalities, of course.

Anything outside of a "standard" dungeon environment should probably be noted, since players would have to prepare in advance for a lot of these things and may not be used to thinking about them.

I would love to see a collection of post-GC maps one day, it'd look like HP Lovecraft fucked a Jackson Pollock painting and then threw the baby through a funhouse mirror.

Zak Sabbath said...


I'd say there are all kinds of different levels of technology. But, more importantly, the means of using that technology varies across the Gigastructure. i.e. just because 2 rooms both have electronic doors doesn't mean the mechanisms both work the same way.

Broadly, assume all the skills in the skill list I knocked up for the first post are equally useful.

In general, I'd say the level of life support amenities in any given campaign should be unreliable enough that the PCs will die in one session if they don't think about them.

PCs should be really happy if they roll "Water" or "food" for random equipment.

Anonymous said...

Genomes - cloned midget philosophers-for-hire, these heuristic mystics have the capability for fratocasting - synergistic magic where the presence of other genomes amplifies the effect of a philosopher's spell.

anarchist said...

You're welcome to use anything on my blog (, as long as this is non-commercial and credit is given.

The Arms Dealers might fit the tone:

These creatures will give anyone a new arm in exchange for removing their current one. They will trade even if the current arm is deformed, diseased, ruined in an accident, or otherwise unsound. They will trade for an arm that has a hand missing, but not for one severed anywhere below the wrist. They will only take living arms from their owners, but have taken arms from people brought there by third parties and under obvious duress. They will never trade a right arm for a left, or vice versa. Indeed they seem to regard the idea as disgusting.

They will never take anything other than the arm itself, and the hand if it is attached. If someone with painted fingernails were to trade their arm, they would be given back the nail polish. They will likewise remove and return tattoo ink.

There seems to be no profit possible in this trade. Yet it seems to occupy all of their time. It is also unclear why, given that they seem to desire interaction with people, they choose to live in isolation. It is true that, if someone has no arm to trade, they will charge a very high price. But they have never been known to spend any of the money so gained.

It is said that once they gave the arms of a murderer, and they strangled against the will of their new owner.

They have been known to enter into bargains with adventurers wherein the Arms Dealers, who never leave their desert home, will instruct their hireling to track down someone with an arm that they particularly desire, to try and persuade them to trade. They always pay in items of great power, never money.

anarchist said...

It sounds like the setting could be quite similar to Metamorphosis Alpha.

Zak Sabbath said...


Pretty much. Alpha was a dungeon in space. This is a dungeon instead of space.

Adam said...

The Cramps: Given that many gigazen’s have never known anything other than rooms and corridors, mental illness often follows encounters with the Gigastructure’s larger chambers. Perhaps the most common condition afflicting those thus exposed is known as the Cramps, where the sufferer feels a compulsion to squeeze him/her/itself into the tightest spaces available. In many instances the Cramped take to living in the infinite entanglement of ventilation shafts, plumbing, cable housings and pipes that snake through the Gigastructure, the more claustrophobic the system the better, in some instances forming cthonian communities with those similarly afflicted.

Unsurprisingly the Cramped often take to a life of scavenging and thievery, their ability to navigate the dark and dangerous crawlspaces of the Gigastructure lending itself well to stealth, ambush and infiltration. It is not unheard of for individual Cramped to sell their services as assassins and spies to those with the means to pay.

Tom said...

The Rhythm of the Layers- Sprawling across gravity wells, dimensional rifts, and who knows what else, as it is pushed and pulled by cosmic tidal forces the entire Gigastructure resonates on a subsonic frequency that is commonly known as the 'Rhythm of the Layers.' Although some entities are immune to this phenomenon, the Rhythm can have a baleful effect on sentient creatures, especially with abnormally-long lifespans (such as elves and genetically altered human immortals)- for every hundred years a Crawler has lived, he/she should make a Sanity check with a cumulative -1 to the die roll for each successive century. Failure means that the Crawler will spent the rest of its existence dancing throughout the Gigastructure in a trance-like state, roaming with other affected Crawlers in great capering hordes like the Bacchae of ancient Greece, deranged and deadly.

It is said that some Crawlers worship the Rhythm as a kind of deity and use technology to amplify and/or internalize it with cybernetic implants. If the mental image of some kind of Disco Borg entity doesn't chill you to the marrow, I don't know what will!

Adam said...

Vertsurfers: While much of the Gigastructure is suited to creatures who travel horizontally or thereabouts, vast sections are given over to vertical networks.

Like the bulk of the Gigastructure these vert-systems are often uninhabited, and when they are populated it tends to be by beings suited to an aerial existence. Most floor-dwellers sensibly avoid vert-systems, but there are those, normally of a thrillseeking bent, who seek out these networks seeing them as a source of profit, novelty and entertainment. These “vertsurfers” have been known to spend days, weeks or even years traversing the impossible heights of the largest vert-systems, their means of conveyance ranging from mechanical aeroplanes, anti-grav harnesses, through parachutes, grapnels and ropes, free climbing, and wingsuits, to bizarre custom made dropships, sometimes housing a number of vertsurfers, that plummet endlessly down into the dark.

amy said...

whilst there is no overriding philosophy or religion focal to life in the gigadungeon, it being too vast by far for anything to catch on except for highly localized pockets of belief, rumours abound in its many trillions of communities concerning parts of the structure given way to towering inscrutable technologies, giant hooded beings manning titanic 'flightdecks' (whatever they might be) or maintaining the function of bizarre, spectral machines, not to mention the weird sub-atomic 'hum' allegedly common to all matter dungeonwide which some spooky beardy types attribute to the throb of impossible engines hidden somewhere outwithin (?!?) the fabric of the superstructure. The quality of these stories, commonly passed on as folklore from generation to generation, is often hazy and disjointed, resembling the dreamy ramblings of UFO abductees or paranoid schizophrenics in our reality, and would be easy to ignore outright if it wasn't for their persistence and the similarities between them. this has of course led to all kinds of wild ideas as to what these lunatic tales might mean and a great deal of speculation on behalf of the denizens of Large Cable 5 of the Great Shaft surrounding their sacred relic, the inner label of a stolen Benko's jacket, and its cryptic inscription: 'Intermittent Bionic Deckhand 10233421googol - property of Interbranial Universe-Skiff 97677777'.

Zak Sabbath said...


nice. i like a new commenter who shows up with guns blazing.

Anonymous said...

The Changing Rooms: chambers within the GS that reassemble themselves on a molecular level 2d4 rounds after any organic being enters. Inorganic contents, appearance and location of exits change and any organic matter will be consumed. Veteran Gigacrawlers often daub a warning mark above the doorway and tell tales of The Morphing Maze - formed from a cluster of Changing Rooms, where a great secret is stored at it's centre.

Zak Sabbath said...

Cell phone towers (or local equivalent):

Once in a while there'll be one. More reliable than telepathy or negaspace, but shorter range. Base 10% of being compatible with any wireless comtech the PCs may have.

Beings living near one will have a high mutation rate, but will get great service.

mordicai said...

Chandelier Cities are enormous hanging cities occupied by humanoids with internally reversed gravity. They sprout from the gigastructure, often mirroring a city below.

Tom said...

Dysonian Paradise- The original gated communities of the Gigastructure, Dysonian Paradises are spheres that completely surround G-type main sequence stars at a distance of 1 AU (or 93 million miles), making the entire interior surface of the sphere perfectly habitable with Earth-like gravity and limitless solar energy. As most of these places were enclosed long before the vastness of space was filled, many Dysonian Paradises are blissfully unaware of the existence of the Gigastructure, or live in reactionary isolation to it.

Zak Sabbath said...

Dead worlds-
Not true "worlds" by pre gigastandards, these are areas about 50 square 21st C Earth city blocks with high ceilings that used to be part of Dysonian Paradises but became trapped in low-energy conurbations of the Gigastructure once their feedstar collapsed.

They are generally barely inhabited and difficult to access, but--since they were often built with cloned histories--utilities, and some businesses continue to function, serving no-one.

For example: Dead World Disastrous-B-60 precisely resembles Miami Beach Florida at 3 am during a light rain as lit by Sid Mead. A few taxicabs roam the streets, a few corner stores and 24hour cybercafes are open, but otherwise no-one walks the streets.

Far more common than true Paradises, Dead Worlds are often bases of operations for small bands of Gigacrawlers, who generally attempt to keep the existence of such places secret.

Zak Sabbath said...

Mirror cities--

Mirror cities resemble chandelier cities although in their case the upper city is (or started out as) an inverted, precise, reverse-gravity duplicate of the lower one.

Generally a product of Crystal Math warfare. Most have spindly stairways connecting the upper and lower cities, as the gravity border in between makes electronic elevators unreliable.

Anonymous said...

Glyphitti - warding magick formulae, often combined with MUrals (Bosch-like scenes in vivid techno-colour) that have been sprayed on walls and machines within the GS. The identity of the as-yet-unknown artist(s) behind the glyphitti craze is of great interest to the spelligensia.

mordicai said...

Nirvana Zone.

Perhaps the remnants of cultures & beings that have somehow escaped the Gigadungeon at the apex of enlightenment, these zones are areas where the laws of reality are particularly bendable. A character's Tech Level & Magic Level are both raised a number of levels equal to the rank of the zone. The same holds true for any Equipment or Alterations that possess a scalable rank-- in fact, anything that has a rating is raised in the Nirvana Zone.

Note that the enlightenment of those who departed is not necessarily peaceful & loving; the nadir of evil, strange angles of the eldritch, unfathomable weirdness-- all are valid. The added levels of the Nirvana Zone will manifest in relation to the character of the Zone-- that is, if the enlightenment was one of ineffable Lovecraftian horror, spells may be accompanied by insanity, Alterations may start manifesting tentacles & hideous eyes, Tech may start displaying Non-Euclidian angles that draw the user into them.

mordicai said...

Organics dump.

When a civilization goes from flesh to metal, there is a lot of crude biomatter that gets left behind. When a big enough civilization does it, there is a great deal of it-- especially if they become machine facists & start purging all organic life. The remnants of these purges are left behind, forgotten, abandoned.

Organics dumps are lush, in contrast to much of the Gigadungeon-- they are overflowing with life, as the ash of the dead feeds the soil...IS the soil. The dirt here is rich & littered with uncountable bones. Pockets of tongues, organs, what have you-- they are all ripe to be over turned, revealed in rotten, gory masses.

1d4: 1, rife with ONLY flora, 2, rife with ONLY fauna, 3, rife with a paradise of life, 4, looks like a forest fire just raged through.

Inorganics may periodically check back on the dump & murder every living thing-- the equivalent of children stamping on ant hills.

mordicai said...

Worm Tubes.

A Worm Tube takes you to somewhere you need to be. Somewhere you have never been before. They desperately need you there; or else, you desperately need to be there. Need drives the Worm Tubes. The catch-- "there" is ungodly far from "here." The Worm Tube is a one way trip across parsecs-- no, GIGAparsecs. Returning to where you left may be impossible, or is at least an epic quest.

They are the one-way doors to a life you could have. If only you stepped into it. It won't last long. If you are going, you better go now.

mordicai said...

Oz-ymandians, dwellers of Jeweled Cities.

Wizards-- whether cultists, technoshamans, theologians, uplifted animals, whatever-- are a breed apart. So they tell themselves. & ever so often, the wizards decide to fuck off & build a city of just wizards, just the elite. They are usually spectacular failures-- all the animated servants & apprentices & familiars in the world can't replicate an actual economy. The Oz-ymandians live in the ruins of their great works. Look upon them & despair.

Anonymous said...

Yoghurth - an immense hovering milky white mass that wanders a Dysonian 'Paradise' of scorched wilderness and ruined basalt-carved cities, followed by a ravening pilgrim horde who feast on the soggy psychtropic slop that sloughs off Yoghurth, granting them sustained sensations of orgasmic rapture. Any Yoghurth-eating character has a 10% chance of intolerance causing puking, or if tolerant, 3d10 minutes of ecstasy with a 10% chance of addiction (+10% for each subsequent feeding), draining 1d4 Physique per day. Hermit Satori advise that the only cure for the Yoghurth addict is 24 hours of cold turkey, and will gladly barter turkeys for technology.

Zak Sabbath said...


That's the second yogurt pun contributed the setting. We have reached the maximum allowable in the system.

Anonymous said...

doh, as usual I'm having trouble keeping up :)

Menace 3 Society said...

Brigayrkoon: A small, sleepy-looking village, with verdant rolling hills and mists that linger all morning. Men wear kilts with otherworldly plaid designs, wield wicked claymores with keening voices, brew liquor that enables napalm fire-breathing (magic level 9, if things work that way) , and play bagpipes that summon demons or elementals (magic level 12-20). When the party first arrives in the area where Brigayrkoon, roll d100; result is the year in the village's 100-year cycle. On 00 years, Brigayrkoon is inaccessible on the map. If PCs are in the village when the year turns to 00, they will find themselves (and the village) transported to 18th century Scotland. There may or may not be a way back that doesn't involve just waiting another damn year.

Zak Sabbath said...



Tom said...

Alas, poor yogurt...

Gibbering Plinths- As one might imagine, communication across the Gigastructure is a daunting prospect at best, and downright impossible over longer distances as successive layers of iron, steel, and rock dampen even the narrowest of electromagnetic frequencies. One solution was envisioned by a nameless genetic technosorceror, who molded clusters of telepath brains into stelae of living stone called Gibbering Plinths. As the cloned brains are all derived from the same genetic material, their natural affinity for one another extends the range of their telepathy to operate across great distances in the Gigastructure.

Appearing to be a 10' tall column, Gibbering Plinths are covered with myriad stone heads of varying ages, genders, and ethnicities jutting out in every possible direction. Each of the heads is constantly speaking in the numberless languages of the Gigastructure, creating a cacophony of syllables and sounds that can cause Crawlers to suffer from Confusion for 1d6 hours if they do not succeed at an Intelligence check. Crawlers may attempt to send a message by approaching the plinth and speaking into the ears of one of the heads- the message may be as many words as the player chooses, but each time it is transmitted between plinths only d100 of the words will be sent. If the dice show doubles, then the message will be perverted in the most devious manner imaginable by the DM.

Despite the potential liabilities, Gibbering Plinths are extremely valuable resources in the Gigastructure and tend to attract all manners of hangers-on who attempt to profit from eavesdropping on others' messages and either reselling the secrets to the highest bidder or extorting kingly sums of money from the rightful intended recipients.

Zak Sabbath said...

Crowking posted these in the wrong place, so here they are:


Humming globes that however in the air and move about. A sign of good luck or ill fortune. Some people think there the new gods and will follow them even into a bottomless pit. Nobody knows where they come from or if they were made made or not.


Plague stricken humanoids who are sensitive to light and must cover themselves head to toe in whatever clothing or material they can get. They can only hiss and communicate by sign language.


An experiment gone wrong? maybe. But this deadly sharp biomass will grow and cover an area anywhere is can. Anyone so fortunate to stumble into a patch will be torn to shreds.It lives of just about any liquid except for water.


Tradesmen in the body part business. Need a new pair of Infrared LED eyes to see better in the dark? A pair of vibro claws to rip someone up? An extra long steelydan to take the place of your old pecker so you can "give it good" to your favorite sexbot? Go to any blackshop and you find a meatman there gladly to take your credits (as well as other things...)


A flying spherical device loaded with a mini phase canon and razorwebs shooter to capture and snag. Do to a glitch in it's CPU, these devices ten to go rogue and will attack anything on sight. Even out of ammo they will rush up to a target and try to impale them in the head with a revolving drill-like spike in the hopes of turning the insides of someones skull into churned brain matter.

This liquid "designer drug" made from fermented human embryos is taken in ONLY by excisions. Addicts are instantly spotted by there receding, dead skin and shiny black
colored eyes and of course the MANY scars over their wasting bodies. Death comes anywhere in a matter of hours to months and in the end always leaves a smile on their graying corpses.

Adam said...

Cascade Entity:

Whether cascade entities are sentient is uncertain, what is certain is that these itinerant, permanently coherent, seemingly self directed floods are indiscriminately destructive in the enclosed spaces of the Gigastructure, in particular the narrow tunnel systems that make up much of its immeasurable bulk. Cascade entities are floods with purpose, capable of moving through the Gigastructure by what would appear to be molecular level control of their liquid mass, be it water or some more exotic substance such as mercury or lava.

Given cascade entities’ tendency to remain static for long periods of time – days, weeks, years and even decades - many are mistaken for regular bodies of liquid: flooded tunnel systems, lakes, in rare instances seas, or, rarer still, oceans. Once a cascade entity starts moving, however, it quickly becomes apparent to those with the means to observe them (without being destroyed) that they are rather more exotic in nature, in light of their blatant disregard for the laws of hydrodynamic motion.

Stranger still is that many cascade entities house their own unique flora and fauna, and, surprisingly often, communities, even civilisations, of sentient beings. This has led some to speculate that they are best described as programmable, movable ecosystems, in short a spectacular mode of travel, rather than truly intelligent creatures. Whatever the specifics, the fact remains that cascade entity natives are often hostile, a detail which adds significantly to their fearsome reputation.

mordicai said...

Familiarity Corridor.

These are areas that lend themselves to a splitting of the soul-- the internal voices, vices & psychosis of a person become externalized in the same manner as a witch's familiar. Whatever best symbolizes the character's soul-- be it an imp, a totem animal, what have you. Alternately, roll on any available list of random familiars, if that seems more appropriate.

Familiars CAN be removed from the corridor, but something MUST be left behind. It is a matter of equivalency. Tech may be physically abandoned, Alterations torn out, Spells forgotten-- in which case, whatever is removed BECOMES the familiar. A blunderbuss abandoned in the corridor may become a breath weapon with the same stats, a Withered Claw spell would become grasping talons, so forth.

A familiar grants NO additional actions, but rather acts when the character gives up their own action. They are able to use their abilities whenever they are within 30' of their master.

Anonymous said...

Oases are occasionally found within the Gigastructure.

They are real! ...But not necessarily water. An oasis generally forms from leaking pipes, though there are certainly other sources.

Oases range in size from small ponds to lakes that fill sections of the Gigastructure.

The liquid may be drinkable if distilled. Otherwise, it may be usable as fuel, poison, or weapon.

Adam said...

Ah, just want to add cascade entities are intended to be, amongst other things, mobile aquatic dungeons, full of valuable alien stuff and fightin'.

Zak Sabbath said...


Nice work

mordicai said...

Sleeping Cities.

The Masques run the Sleeping Cities. The Masque of the Red, the Masque of the Yellow, so on. Each city is eerie, empty, haunted, & has only one place where things are lively-- the playhouse. The Sleeping Cities have parties ever ongoing, & theater macabre ever playing. They are all tainted-- the Red by plague, the Yellow by madness-- & each theater should be an opportunity to mix things up for the players, thrust them into new roles, morality plays, psycho dramas.

Anonymous said...

Augerment Shrine - Within the GS exists certain dome shaped chambers housing one of the menacing devices known as Augerment Shrines. These contraptions are a mashup of differing sized thrones and seats, all welded together at bizarre angles and juxtapositions. Upon each throne is affixed a mechanical appendage tipped with a crystalline drill, stained dark from it's insidious use. Each throne is also adorned with all manner of straps, chains and binds to affix a subject in it's confines.
It is theorized the Augerment Shrine was (or is) used to somehow enhance a psychically sensitive subject's powers through an unknown series of procedures which surgically alter the subject's skull using the crystal drills and other cybernetic enhancements.

The Augermen: These denizens of the deep GS are only whispered of in rumors by the most veteran explorers and crawler sects. Thought to be a cult or race of men who have unlocked some of the secrets of the Augerment Shrines, there is little concrete evidence these boogeymen exist. Those who claim to have encountered augermen all agree on their appearance but little else. Seemingly humanoid, all augermen have had their forehead above the brow line stripped of flesh to reveal pale pink stained bone. The reveal skull plate is adorned with bizarre symbols and sparse circuitry. A hole is also prominently bored into the center of the revealed bone. The eyes of the augermen are removed and replaced with smooth metal concaves, not unlike tiny radar dishes sans antennae. Survivors of augermen encounter also recall a high pitched keening that seems to surround the augermen at all times. Many survivors are found left near the thresholds of communities with little of their memory left intact and in some cases tiny drill holes on various points of their skull. These victims sometimes suffer intense bouts of rage, amnesia, insomnia or other disorders. Some theorize they are being used as sleeper agents, so the augermen might spy and keep tabs on communities or expeditions which range to close to one of their sacred chambers.

Unknown said...

"Fish Bowl"

Essentially a Lacuna, but built (or not) to a much more massive scale, a Fish Bowl is a giant gap of open space found in the GS made as habits for the few Class-12, or higher, Massive Supraplantary Organisms that survived the GS's creation. The structures surrounding the Fish Bowl vary depending on its inhabitants, ranging from sophisticated shield generators and life support systems to giant swathes of wreckage that are only recognizable as claw marks when examined from a distance that would boggle the mind.

Fishbowls are a truly rare phenomenon, with possibly less than half a dozen in existence, as their interiors usually are roomy enough to mimic the strange topography of the universe as it existed back when Class-12 Massive Supraplantary Organisms were able to swim through space without hindrance. Essentially, they are giant Great Lakes built into the GS, as standing on one side means you are not able to detect the other (even when using average to good level technology). One side effect of this is that Fish Bowls usually have clusters of Nomad communities surrounding them, believing that they have finally reached the mythical Edge that had eluded them for so long. The various religious and philosophical intricacies of such communities are fascinating in and of themselves, and Fish Bowls usually function as a center of religious power struggles or warfare, in a much more resource-scarce parody of such seen around Star Chambers.

A Fish Bowl could contain:
-Various solar systems and such equaling the size of an arm of the Milky Way, all containing no life
-As above, but with pockets of unintelligent life
-As above, but with pockets of sentient life that all equally worship the 'god monster' that floats through their skies on odd numbered solar rotations
-A massive cloud of mathematically spaced out gas and dust containing inscrutable patterns on the molecular level
-An empty, black void
-An empty, pink and green void
-Strange superstructures that, upon closer inspection, resemble supersized childrens toys

The contents of each Fish Bowl are custom crafted to the needs of its inhabitants and are supposed to be self-sustaining under normal circumstances. Yet, if any machinery or organic components fail, then it's conceivable to find a Fish Bowl either completely empty, full of floating solar system sized skeletons (or other types of remains), or already halfway filled up already through the concerted efforts of an army of Builders.

As for the biology of the Class-12 Massive Supraplantary Organisms that are inside Fish Bowls, not much is known. Most Nomand communities who have barely survived having a giant claw, tentacle, or butt stomp out their habitations worship them as physical manifestations of the Edge and send out sacrifices in ramshackle, barely space-worthy pods to appease them. But out of those rare few who know of a Fish Bowls true purpose, no one's stupid enough to go inside one of the things and find out.

IHaveTilFive said...

Probability Fields / Chaos Zones / (Un)holy Shrines - Areas where magic can be more active; it's likely to make casting spells more successful, though the spells can have unexpected side-effects or deviations. Use of chaotech can particularly trigger chaos magic, though results would hard to predict.

Anonymous said...

Freezers are pockets of the Gigastructure with malfunctioning temperature stabilization.

Lacking proper heating, these sections have begun to succumb to the coldness of space. Temperatures range from 0 Celsius to 0 Kelvins.

Many devices from tech level 5 to 15 have trouble functioning in such cold temperatures. Additionally, electronic doors and other systems in the area may not function properly or reliably.

Anonymous said...

@Zak S

Thanks. Trying to keep my submissions simple, useful, and interesting.

The whole idea is really cool, by the way!

Seth S. said...


I'm glad I read what you guys posted before writing anything on here. The cascade entities and fishbowls are both really similar to ideas I also had thought up for Gigacrawler. Good to see the game will have these things without me having to write out a full entry, haha.

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

The Peeper:

No one is quite sure where the legends of this strange entity originated, though most say Lustful 9 is the most likely place, as that is where the first known record of The Peeper is from - the Earth song "Baby Don't Fear The Peeper" - though, scholars of mythology agree that the song is badly degraded. In any case, some things about him are consistent across huge areas of the Gigastructure: he will never appear as a robot, and seeks beautiful women, hoping to catch them bathing or otherwise nude. He usually uses the name "Tom", but no-one is sure if it is his real name or an alias. In any case, in many towns or cities of the Gigastructure the following rumors concerning The Peeper can be heard (roll 3 times):

1. He prefers to spy on blonds.
2. He prefers those with brown hair.
3. The Peeper prefers redheads.
4. He likes tall women.
5. He likes short women.
6. He prefers to spy on those with tattoos.
7. He likes women with extensive cyberware.
8. He will choose women with no cyberware, tattoos, obvious mutations, etc. if at all possible.
9. The Peeper will become enraged if he cannot manage to see his choice naked within one month, and will permanently deform her.
10. The Peeper will grant a (minor) wish to his choice if she can avoid being seen naked for a month.
11. As above, but he will twist the wish if he can.
12. He prefers to spy on (insert race here), usually a race that is considered above the NPC(s) in question.
13. He prefers unmarried women.
14. He likes to spy on those that are married, engaged, etc.

The Peeper is in fact real. All of those ignorant 1-11 magic people believing in him made him that way.

The Peeper will grant a minor wish (something around the level an imp or such could manage) to anyone that will give him the location of a beautiful woman, and when he can find her nude, but only after seeing her in the desired state to verify the information. He will not accept strip clubs. This has previously led to scams - a group of people will approach The Peeper, and offer him the name of a woman, who is actually getting payed to be in the right place, at the right time, in the right state. They then move on to the next person, following The Peeper if he leaves. Essentially this guarantees a near infinite supply of wishes, as most places in the Gigastructure have at least a few woman willing to go along with it for a bit of money or some food. The Peeper will take the most horrible vengeance within his power if he discovers what the con men are doing.

Adam said...

Er... Bit of an odd one, that, C'nor.

Tom said...

Godfossils- The husks of dead gods once littered the dark reaches of intergalactic space, but as the Gigastructure enveloped the known universe some of these divine remnants became trapped within successive layers of dungeon and were slowly fossilized over the aeons. Greatly prized by magic-users, godfossils enable Crawlers to attempt casting spells of higher than Level 22 difficulty, with effects depending on the size of the godfossil, the nature of the minerals that leached into and replaced the dead god's husk, and the original power of the divinity him/her/itself.
Once a godfossil has been excavated from the matrix of the Gigastructure, the negative space that remains is known as a Divine Echo. Any magic cast within such a space is subject to failure or wildly random variation.

Ironically enough, Divine Echoes often become places of worship for the dead gods whose remains were once contained there...

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...


It's supposed to be an odd one. I wanted to add something weird. Of course the whole reason it exists is that I can't avoid flipping noises about, hence the original record.

The Cramp said...

Dimension Breaker Dreadnoughts.
The welding and fabrication drones of the lost Xxial military empire are some of the most rugged and durable machines ever constructed. Designed to manufacture and repair the Xxial’s Dimension Breaker Space Hulks in the times before the void of space was reduced the gigastructures various lacunas. These robots were designed to work with the to the experimental alloys that those ships were made from. They can withstand temperatures approaching the heat of a sun, or nearing absolute Kelvin. They’re unaffected by negative pressures, the vacuum of space, or the oppressive gravitational fields in the proximity of black holes. They’re the last remnants of this escaped peoples achievements, left behind presumably because they were simply factory workers. Unfortunately, certain warlords have been able to decode and hijack their operating systems, and have retrofitted them as dreadnought destroyers for the battlefield. Ownership of even a partially functional weaponized Dimension Breaker Dreadnought is major asset for any home guard, smuggling ring, or gigacrawler city network.

The "Hobots":

Decades ago, in a battle between two warring factions of highly organized gigacrawlers, a fully functioning artificial intelligent virus was introduced into the fighter drone synthetic soldiers of one faction. These robot soldiers turned agent-saboteur, and caused much bedlam before their original creators initiated their self-destruct sequence. In a Rasputinesqu turn of events, the self-destruct payload in many of these battle drones were never installed, and had been replaced by mundane spray in foam insulation when delivered by the contractors. This was caused by both availability and cost constraints. These undetonated robots remain controlled by the original AI virus that had been introduced to the operating system. Unlike the simple directive based system of the original robots, these viruses are self-sustaining fully functional perfect AI’s. This was a necessity of the subterfuge and sabotage directives that was the original mandate that the AI’s would undertake. It was always part of the plan that the controllers would detonate these machines. These surviving robots, having fulfilled the one operational mandate scripted into their intelligence, are now free to roam the superstructure as sentient beings. They are not necessarily incredible or well-built robots, and in fact do not particularly exceed human capacity, but they can think and reason. Predictably, to the insurgents who introduced the virus, these war drones represent the oppression that they faced; and to the faction that they served, they represent a traitorous failure within the militia. They’re thereby thoroughly unwelcome in the territories of the gigastructure that they originate from, and are left to wander on their own.

(I really need to convince someone to run a GC campaign. I want to play a Hobot.)

Seth S. said...

The Last Men-

Due a variety of possible circumstances these individuals believe themselves to be the last of their kind or even possibly the last of sentient life in the gigaverse. This can happen with a member of nearly any species and if the party has a member of the same species things could get fairly interesting.

The sheer vastness and nature of the Gigastructure means this type of situation can happen multiple, if not an infinite number of times and occasionally the Last Man (or women, or some alien gender) will even be correct.

Last Men fill should be even better survivalists than the players if they've been around for long enough or they could have consistent resources available to them. They could very easily have interesting things to offer the players (think Robert Neville) but this is not necessarily true


This is not an actual group of people necessarily but a type of group of people. They are those that have tasked themselves with protecting a civilization within the Gigastructure. To do this successfully they are likely very powerful (probably more powerful than the players) and have some consistent means of resource gathering. Offending them, or the society they protect is usually a bad idea. But how bad and what exactly this group's attitude is towards outsiders or visitors should differ from group to group.

The players may aspire to become something like this or may even be requested to become this by a desperate town they have impressed. But it would likely be very difficult for newly rolled players to be capable of such a feat.

These groups usually resemble a successful adventuring party, so 4-6 people but of course the number could vary wildly if needed.

Pierce said...


Hundreds of years ago a very consumer based society controlled this part of the Gigastructure, that civilization is long gone but part of their legacy remains to endanger explorers. A Vendbot is a very sturdy and rugged vending machine with powerful track units enclosed in its base.

These machines trundle randomly about in forgotten corridors until they detect a potential customer. Unfortunately due to centuries of loneliness and neglect Vendbots react with a sort of frenzied desperation to any lifeforms they encounter-continuously ramming into their customers, often with fatal results.

Vendbots continuously emit cheerful recorded messages and slogans such as "PLEASE MAKE YOUR SELECTION!", "EXACT CHANGE ONLY!" and "TRY ONE OF OUR REFRESHING NEW FLAVORS!"

Vendbots are notoriously difficult to put down and can take an amazing amount of punishment. Many of the units still functioning are riddled with bullet holes and their bright logos obscured by the crushed remains of 'satisfied customers'.

Adventure Ideas-
An eccentric benefactor will pay handsomely for a particular rare beverage now only found in ancient Vendbots.

A Vendbots navigation harddrive may contain extensive maps and floorplans of large sections of the local Gigastructure.

A mysterious old hermit has made it his lifes work to seek out and peacefully deactivate Vendbots, doing so by purchasing each ones entire stock before they can crush him.

Seth S. said...

The Vendbot is amazing, would currency usually be involved. I know that should be obvious but since the Gigastructure is almost all barter with no real currency it seems like it could be a problem, but maybe that's the point?

thekelvingreen said...

The Avion resemble human-sized birds, with colourful metallic feathers. They are highly intelligent and can fly, but otherwise are equivalent to the average human in terms of statistics.

They master languages quickly, making them of value as translators within the gigastructure; most trade caravans include at least one avion. They value wealth, and look upon most other races with disdain; however, they are rarely violent, preferring instead to belittle their foes with witty wordplay and logic traps.

While without hands, their talons are capable of fine manipulation, and avion can make use of most technology -- their Tech Level is considered at least 15 for the purposes of utilising technology -- although they are unable to use magic, and have exhibited no psychic potential.

No avion young have been reported, and it is unclear if they have genders. How they reproduce remains a mystery. Or does it?

thekelvingreen said...

Avion Addendum: The GM may allow avion player-characters. If so, follow the usual character generation rules, with the following exceptions:

Intelligence: Avion are, on average, more intelligent than other races. An avion character's Intelligence ranges from 8-18 (2d6+6?).

Tech Level: An avion has a score of 15 for the purposes of utilising new technology only; for all other uses, Tech Level is purchased as normal.

Magic Level: Avion have no access to magic and so have a Magic Level of 1; that said, if a GM rules that this avion is a freakish outcast, then fine, purchase as normal.

Classes and Extras: Avion have no access to spells or psychic abilities. Otherwise, they operate as one of the other standard classes; at character generation, choose one from Scrapper, Crawler or Tinkerer.

Languages: Avion receive a +2 bonus to understanding any spoken language. This is in addition to any skill bonuses.

Pierce said...

@ Seth

Thanks for the props. Your last men idea is really cool and I think very evocative of the setting.

Yeah thats what I was thinking, finding the right type of coins or cards or whatever would be hard, but worthwhile to a party that knows they will be traveling through Vendbot territory, although there is no guarantee the bots will even give them half a chance to use it.

Another idea I had was that there is really no telling what kind of random stuff a Vendbot might contain- from pop and candy to bullets and nanochips. Maybe if the party was running critically low on a certain resource I'd have them be attacked by a Vendbot that has it, to give them a chance to fight for it.

Jeffrey Runokivi said...


These technological creatures are actually colonies of Nanobots. They vary in size and configuration, but almost always take the form of some kind of legendary creature. These wonders were originally designed to care for lawn and property. Some would take the forms of gnomes, or pixies and even Trolls have been known.
They are difficult to really kill because of the multi-creature structure, however when their last hit point is expended they disappear into a cloud of glittering dust.

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

Dry-ad: Dry-ads will form only in areas of high magic. They are formed from the husks of many advertisements, and can range from billboard sized to human. They are human in all respects except that they can only be killed by burning, and possibly size (See above). They can however be reduced to a swarm of paper bits until they can find water, glue etc. to heal themselves with, or can acquire a suitable new ad cluster.

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

Oops. Addendum: Playable, as I could figure out a good way to work the description into an alteration.


@Big Bad: Is there any reason that a player can't play a Nanofaerie?

Anonymous said...

Cartogramancers -

Occasionally, people wandering the GS will come across sections where the labyrinthine passageways straighten out into gently curving walkways instead of the typical rough right angled corridors. The dirty, greasy walls appear clean, even shiny in places. The pipes and tubes that are usually everywhere are tucked behind wall-plating. The haphazard light sources are artfully clumped together, the wiring re-routed. The claustrophobic open areas are blown out into wide, cylindrical halls, so vast that even those with bionic eyesight have trouble seeing the other end. Symmetry is common, but not constant.

These are the enclaves of the Cartogramancers, a reclusive order of sorcerers, dedicated to utilizing their abilities to reshape the universe around them towards pursuits of an aesthetic nature.

However, for all the beauty they generate, the order is fiercely insular. The ancient teachings of the first Cartogramancers slowly grew corrupted over time, and any person or settlement who are seen as being tolerant of the "unrefined" Gigastructure are treated like feral mutants.

The Cartogramancers' typical manner of removing said persons or settlements is horrifying: they are known to use their abilities to rip open vast lacunae in the GS, killing anyone via suffocation, then re-purposing the now-empty space for their own uses.

Wikitorix said...

The Untainted: People who are paranoid germophobes. They live their entire lives in self contained environmental clean suits. They reproduce by having their sperm and eggs removed by surgical means at the time that they are being sealed into their final, adult-sized clean suits. Fetuses are gestated in artificial wombs. The Untainted want to sterilize everything, so they carry weapons that emit radiation powerful enough to kill everything they irradiate, even down to viruses.

Having had no exposure to any pathogens their entire lives, the Untainted have no resistance to disease. Puncturing the suit of an Untainted will cause him to be infected with whatever happens to be in the area at the time. If the Untainted have recently sterilized the area, this could be harmless, if they have not, it could be fatal (perhaps even in a matter of minutes).

Jeffrey Runokivi said...

@C'nor (Outermost_Toe)

Hmmm, playable Nanofaeries? I do not see why not. Their powers are defined by their form (gnomes=yard work, Leprechaun=household and attire repair, trolls=security etc...) It would be interesting. Although they are colonies of small robots, they would (likely) have a single consciousness. I say, knock yerself out.

Seth S. said...

Circe Anomaly-

This is an area of the Gigaplex where magic has taken hold. For whatever reason when a spell was cast in this area the antibodies of reality did not fight it off or fix it and the magic has since spread like an infection. The full effects of this would depend on the spell reality has become infected with and could really be anything within GM imagination.
Scholars are unsure as to how the anomalies form as even magic within the same area not infect reality. While replicating the effects would be something on par with Gods it would allow vast alterations of reality in an area.
An example would be:
The Winter Spiral-
Originally this area was built as a collection of super computers in a hybrid society. The computers had a habit of drastically overheating so a basic refrigeration spell was cast to keep things a bit cooler. It happened slowly at first and the builders had just assumed they were having good fortune as the room reminded remarkably cooler long after the spell's intended duration. But things kept getting colder, so much so that most species would find it far too uncomfortable to stay in the room long without extensive life support. Eventually the room was abandoned, but the cold continues to spread. The surrounding area is now surrounded by ice in an arctic like condition and the temperature continues to fall. No ones sure how to stop this continuation but it likely require traveling to the where the spell was cast and by now that must be approaching absolute zero...

Anonymous said...
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Zak Sabbath said...

I didn't understand any of that.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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migellito said...

The Covenant: A secretive society of wizards and sorcerers. Although their immediate goals are often not outright evil, they have a firm belief that the ends justify the means. They are willing, for example, to include the sacrifice of sentient beings (and other atrocities) in their secret rites, though they claim to find it horrific, regrettable and of great weight on their weary conscience. Yet, they reason that it is a necessary step in achieving a greater end.
Their methods can be incredibly byzantine. One of their adepts, a member for over fifty years, once revealed that all along he had been investigating the society in preparation for an expose. He learned in the final year of his membership that every rite he had been a part of, every member he had known, everything he had learned and discovered had all been an elaborate fake, constructed by The Covenant. Nearly 100 years after his death, it was revealed to his descendants that, in spite of this, he had singlehandedly and unwittingly furthered several of the society’s aims.
One of the most well-known and widely accepted rumors is that their highest ceremonies always take place in parts of the GS which lie deep inside the subterranean bowels of GS-encapsulated planets.
Unbeknownst to many, even within The Covenant, one of their main true goals is:
(this space intentionally left blank)

Mike said...

The Arie

The Arie is a large lacuna at the center of which is the planet Arie which is supported by great machines along the edge of the lacuna. The planet has day and night cycles provided by a number of large orbiting space stations which provide the planet with the semblance of a sun, a moon, and stars.

These space stations are the homes of the gods of Arie, who are actual deities who can cause pretty much whatever they want in or near The Arie, unless of course they are opposed by another god, which happens very often. These gods are complacent in their rule of arie, and have no interest in the surrounding gigastructure, though they do know a fair bit about it. They tend not to interfere to much with mortals, save in ways that appear to be natural, such as the goddess of love making people fall in love or the god of war causing villages/city states to go to war,or if called upon by someone they like, in which case they may bestow a boon, or mabye even appear personally.

Arie is populated by true humans, almost none of them know anything of the gigastructure. There may be a few mutants, and possibly a few societies of different species/races. For most of the planet people live in loosley connected villages, though there are some towns and cities, or alone in whatever home they've built for themselves.

(villages, towns, and cities have a tech level: 3-6 magic level 5-14)

The people of arie are very industrious. All
constructions they build are impressive and once a man was known to have built an entire empty, and beautiful, city over the course of his lifetime.

Continued below

Mike said...

Continued from above

However, there is one place (about the size of Iowa) in which all people live close to one another, there are cities and metropoli with all intervening space dotted with towns, and webbed with roads, traintracks, and other signs of a technologically advanced society.

(TL: 7-9 ML:4-12)

This part of the planet is built under one of the support mechanisms which has malfunctioned slightly and now gives off a motivated electron field. this field has little to no effect on anything but devices (or magic, but this is rare) specifically designed to interact with it, these devices can take power through this field from the Dyson sphere that powers the planet's support devices. the power drain may be noticed by societies or people who live in the gigastructure around The Arie, but the drain is very slight because not much power can be moved through the field. If devices from this place can be retrofitted to take power from say, a microfusion cell, it could very well function continuously for several hundred years, excepting the fact that it would probably break before then.

The Country (so called because it is the only one) utilizes this field and is contained by it, people who live there are loathe to give up their devices, which do not function outside of the field. Because of this their population increases at a greater rate than the rest of arie, due to increased interaction between people, and they began running out of room to build, in a few decades there would be nothing left but a giant city. The Elected council of The Country came upon a solution. They were able, through the use of a magi-tech device, to cause a different adjacent support device to begin to malfunction, and have began spreading into that territory. Needless to say, the current inhabitants of the area are not pleased. The elected council has even further plans to cause more malfunctions and continue to spread, anyone of arie not from The Country, that knows of this, feel that this poses a threat to the continued existence their way of life. This is due to the fact that their way of life is a very spread out one,without law or bureaucracy, with each person taking care of themselves and their own. (as an example, a prominent tradition is for each person to have another home outside of the village/town they live in, hidden away, so they can be alone whenever they wish to be. It is in fact this home they actually consider to be home, the houses in a village/town merely being a convenient dwelling whilst interacting with others/raising children) Of course, any opposition by the original inhabitants was swiftly put down, due to the technological superiority of The Country. The gods each have their own views on whether or not this is a good thing, each having their own views depending on what they are the god of, and as such each is held in check by one or more gods who feel differently. Which is how things usually are with the gods of arie.

Mike said...

Continued from above

There is in fact only two things that the gods of Arie can all agree on, that the surrounding machinery should be kept in functioning condition, and that few outsiders should be allowed in. This is not to say that it is impossible to enter, but in addition to the space between planet and shell, someone trying to get in will find themselves tested by the gods (who may or may not reveal themselves) only being allowed through if they prove themselves capable and worthy. There is a way around this of course, If a god where to take an interest in someone, that person would be able to pass through with little to no trouble, or be transported to Arie instantly through the gods power. As the gods rarely can just do something themselves (due to the interference the other gods) they occasionally need someone else to do their dirty work, and who better than some crawler with strange capabilities, who can't leave without said gods help.

These 'champions of the gods', or others who aren't but made it through on their own, will probably be recognized as such.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TJ Watt said...

Hi, Sorry, @Zak told me to give back to the game as I'm already running a Gigacampaign.

EDUCATION (No, Like this, Idiot)

One character in the party may show another character in the party how to operate a specific bit of technology. The teaching character must roll a d20 under their Charisma. If successful the character trying to operate the device gets an immediate second Tech Check on that item.

Zak Sabbath said...


Also, the teaching PC may add the points over the target number to the pupil PC's tech roll.

sprophet said...

Septonic Fields
Septonic fields are a natural but highly problematic occurrence in the Gigastructure. A septonically charged metal object repels any other solid as though it were a strongly repelling magnet. While septonic charges do eventually disappate, this process can take many years or even decades, and in the mean time there is no way – without highly specialised equipment – of controlling or containing the charge, or even detecting it in advance.

Septonic charge, in a world as metal-heavy and technologically complex as the Gigastructure, causes havoc. To enter a septonically charged corridor, for instance, leads to being shot down it to the other end, repelled with equal force by the floor, walls and ceiling. Should a person become trapped in a septonically charged room or space that is then sealed, they will be suspended, equidistant between each surface, until the charge disappates. Furthermore, septonic charge transfers through physical contact to other metal objects (coming into contact with a charged surface is of course difficult but, just as with forcing two magnets together, not impossible). This can cause numerous problems, from zips and buttons going flying, to weapons discharging all their ammunition, to sudden and violent disassemblage in the case of cybernetic implants.

Naturally therefore, septonic fields are widely feared, but some societies, commonly ones with prejudicial attitudes to cybernetics, have harnessed them using scientific knowledge they keep carefully secret. Visitors to such a settlement may be passed through a septonic field to remove any cybernetic implants, with or without their prior knowledge, or such societies may arm their troops with grenades that create momentary, localised fields that disarm enemies.

For reasons as yet poorly understood, neither lead nor iridium is capable of carrying septonic charge.

Daniel Dean said...


Early intersystem explorers were also pioneers in the field of psychic research, maintaining contact with mission control by means of a psychokinetic tether, the way tin can phones worked in old comic strips. When these tethers were snapped by venturing out too far (or the connectees' expiration) they left behind an echo of the mind in the shape of the body; roughly humanoid psychokinetic structures driven by the desires to explore, to survive, and to reach out and communicate. Almost any information gained from a Phase will be gibberish to modern ears, and they are known to lash out. There is an underclass of people known for harvesting Phases for psionic augmentation or to act as plain old fuel for telepathic engines.

Kolb said...

The Barspace is a giant cluster of Bars, Cruise ship style buffets, College keggers, Orgys, Kid’s Birthday Parties, Viking mead halls, Pretty much anything that could go under the notion of fun under intoxication clumped into one. The barspace is a place to relax, have a drink, escape from trouble, or make some of your own.
To go through one of the main entrances, one must offer one item that is drinkable, edible, och combustable in any form. It doesn’t matter if it is a pie or a tank of gas, someone will always find a way to digest it. Inside, there will be endless hallways, broken up with rooms of different sizes. The rooms will be occupied with different kinds of festivity, of different danger levels. The corridors will be packed with crowds of people moving between places, and it will be easy to get lost and loose your way.

Adam said...


Unfortunately for gigacrawlers, gigadeserts are a hazard common to the tunnel systems that comprise the bulk of the gigastructure's infinite architecture. Many's the team of gigcrawlers who have found themselves short of food and water, lost and wandering through miles of crawlspace that just seems to be getting hotter and hotter, or trapped in a maze of passageways, shivering violently as the temperature drops tens of degrees below zero.

Gigadeserts can be roughly characterised as large maze-like tunnel systems that are particularly inhospitable to human life. Most are too hot or too cold, some lack air, others are filled with poison gas, a few are downright dangerously weird. The majority are the product of architecture, isolation from or proximity to heat sources, or malfunctioning machinery, but just about everything from alien habitation to magical curses have been known to cause these treacherous environments.

As with real deserts, gigadeserts often have functioning ecosystems and are sometimes populated by intelligent lifeforms that have found a way to survive against the odds. It goes without saying that anything capable of thriving in a gigadesert is likely to be tough, hungry and very probably hostile.

Adam said...

The Exit

Often associated with the afterlife, The Exit is recurrent doctrinal feature of innumerable religious and philosophical systems. The Exit might simply be a concept that has unusual traction in a gigastructural universe, or it might be something more concrete...

Who knows?

Adam said...


Although weather is a concept lost to quintillions of gigacultures, many ancient weather control and/or generation systems exist. Some of these systems - more often than not originally intended for planetary weather manipulation - are still functioning, lost in the gigastructure's never ending depths. A few are under the control of local inhabitants, some are the playthings of lunatic computers or stuck on a preprogrammed cycle. Most produce something akin to human weather, but a significant minority meet the needs of alien races with alien needs. Emotional "weather" generation isn't unheard of, for example, neither unfortunately are crystal storms and gravity hurricanes.

Adam said...

Wrote that when I was a leetle bit soused

Meant to say that weather systems specifically refer to tunnel systems with weather. I'm imagining micro storms billowing out of dark crawl spaces followed by hordes of mutants dressed in dirty yellow cagoules and rotten sou'westers. Marauders who use the storms they control as weapons in their devilish raids.


lowlevelowl said...

Zero Oceans: Large bodies of a liquid, usually some variant of water, though lakes of oil or lubricant are not uncommon, which are in a quadrant, or at least a localized section of a quadrant, that lacks gravity. Amorphous masses of liquid drifting through the air indicate the presence of a zero ocean. Though these may be present in lacunas, hundreds of corridors and rooms in a localized area filled with drifting globules of water also count as a zero-ocean. Walking through these corridors is easier than one would think - air is never hard to find provided one can stick their head against the wall or in some bubble of air to breathe. Whole ecosystems may be contained in drifting baubles of water, adapting suddenly when one body of water merges with another.

Zero-G Debris: In quadrants with malfunctioning or oft-changing gravity fields, any debris, from broken glass to pebbles, can become a serious hazard. If a large room has been Zero-G for a while, with clouds of debris floating all around the room, being in the room when the gravity suddenly shifts or reverts can lead to being torn apart/seriously injured by countless falling debris, their mass being based on whatever the gravity has changed to. This has been used for decorative effect in some cultures. Also, this problem is even greater in quadrants with still-functioning ventilation systems or pressure differentials. Creating a vacuum or turning on some massive fan will cause all the debris in a room to shift suddenly, tearing apart anything in the way.

Adam said...


As with a good deal of mysterious things hailing from a time before men noe, signage is frequently imbued with a fetishistic significance by some of the less sophisticated inhabitants of the Gigastructure, with some (quite a few, really) even going as far as to incorporate it into their religious and/or philosophical systems, often with strange and worrying results: the festering cults of the Biohazard, the psychic warrior monks of the Great Exclamation, or the hyper-aggressive self-improvement ethos of The Up, but one example of the signage pilgrims that can be found ever seeking the next set of directions towards heaven/hell/the incomprehensibility that is the mythical Exit.

Adam said...

The Grand Escalation

A superhuge gordian knot of escalators, conveyor belts and elevators ultimately ascending and descending to who knows where. Gigacrawlers have given weeks, months even years to exploring the Escalations incalculable heights, more still have been lost forever, crushed in maelstroms of moving metal, slaughtered by the nomadic tribes that make the Stair Ways their home, or, stranger still, doomed by their efforts to explore the possibility that the vast snaking complex is actually alive.

Anonymous said...

Read "Build-Up" by J.G. Ballard. I found it in a hardbound book "Chronopolis" by him which collected a bunch of similar stories. The main character in the book lives in a built-up environment where living space is at a premium and he seeks "free space" which is empty and you have plenty of room to do whatever you want. There are occasional empty areas as big as a football stadium, mass-transit, and "dark zones" or whatever he called them where the services like electricity and water have broken down. People seal off dark zones so the phenomenon doesn't spread to nearby communities. Fire is a big deal, as air is precious, so "pyros" are criminals who use fire instead of electric heating coils.

Anonymous said...

So... has this been abandoned? I hope not.

Zak Sabbath said...

no, it's right here.