The Rust Plains – #tenmonstersetting

by Ward Lindhout

This time i’m focusing back on the Rust Plains, giving them a little more depth by taking a pass with the #tenmonstersetting filter.

Its been pointed out that I didn’t actually explain what the #tendmonstersetting experiment is – basically you take 10 monsters (given a specific set of types – humanoid, undead, fey, giant, reptile, arial, lurker, dimensional, mythological, underground/crawly) out of a published book, and make a setting out of them.. In my case i’m not doing it strictly as intended (i’m using more than 1 book)- but I am using the thought experiment to gather 10 published monsters (with some modification) and tie them together to make an area more interesting.

The Rust Plains are your classic “post apocalyptic wastelands”. But from the results in the random generation of sites there was a lot of god-smiting going on during the “apocalypse”. More so in the Shatter rather than the dust plains, but still.

So the apocalypse was, basically, a god-war with magical nukes. The rust plains had been the site of some major metropolis that was largely ground into dust. There are very few recognisable buildings or other structures on the surface – only some strange piles of rubble, “stone and metal trees”, and things that may look like ribs of some giant creatures.
There is little living growth, as so much magical residue and pollutants make life difficult – but as always, life finds a way. Even in the most desolate and dangerous of environments.

After the teeming life of the Drained Sea, the Rust Plains feel like a desert, but there is moisture and even small rivers and lakes scattered across the ruins. But the most dangerous things here are not necessarily the living, but those things that somehow weathered the cataclysm, or have been changed by it.

What interested me in the random-site generation was the Fortress-monastery of the holy order on the northern edge of the Rust Plains (G3). These guys are somehow fighting a holding battle against invading angels! Perhaps not alone as there are all the other left overs (Iron Legionaires and God-Warriors) but still an impressive feat for a handful of warriors. I suspect they have some serious hardware left over as well – artefact armour and weapons as well as some mystic knowledge handed down that enables them to keep it all working…

But this area feels very dangerous – perhaps the roadway is a little safer, but there is ample opportunity for underground mazes, old transit tunnels, and hidden communities eking out a living hidden from the monsters above.

1. humanoid: Iron Legionaires (B/X Iron Living Statue)
The Cataclysm contained a war, and some of the weapons survived. Meeting them is always dangerous as you never know what they will do. Some are so damaged that they will lash out at anything that moves, but even the ones that have kept themselves in good repair might not consider you on their side…

2. Undead: Wraiths (B/X Essentials)
The magical energies that levelled the great cities of the before-folk did more than destroy matter – memories and souls were ripped from bodies. Now these fragments have been infected by magics and given a nightmare semblance of life. These fragments now wander the wastelands, trying to reconnect their memories and grasp some semblance of life. Unfortunately many of these are fragments of the soldiers caught in the wars – and their clearest memories are of violence.

by Matheus Graef

3. fey: Eld (dark elves sorta – Misty Isles of Eld)
The Eld have taken full advantage of the breaking of worlds. They travel through the dimensions and take what catches their fancy. These beings use thaumaturgy in all their works – armour, weapons, tools. Only a few are ever seen, but they bring with them an entourage drawn from all the dimensions they have plundered.

by Andy Park

4. giant: God Warriors (Bronze Golems B/X)
These were constructs made in the time-before by advanced thaumaturgy. Made to distract gods and fight legions, some survived – their magics sustain them. Now they often lie dormant, but magical exertions will awaken them to their old protocols.

by Leonid Enin

5. Reptiles (sorta). Violent Machines (convert dinosaurs -> constructs)
These are a curiosity. The tribal hunters have learnt ways of scavenging parts from these creatures. They are not inherently aggressive, but concern themselves with “eating” the ruins. If careful, it is possible to retrieve advanced materials and weapons from their bodies – but be warned that they will call for backup if attacked.

from Horizon Zero Dawn

6. aerial: Harpy (B/X Essentials)
These creatures are rare and dangerous. Not from this world, but the advanced scouts of the forces trying to come through in G4. These creatures are dangerous to even look at – their open wings cause fascination, and they can then influence people to act against their own allies.

by Sandra Tang

7. lurker. Grey Ooze (B/X Essentials)
Magical pollution sometimes has an unfortunate side effect. Sometimes it becomes aware… This stuff is insanely hard to clean up – its essentially a liquid that is immune to most things (energy etc) and eats away at anything it touches. Magical outbursts attract them.

by Matt DeMino

8. dimensional(sorta): Gargoyle (B/X essentials)
These are the arcane constructs that are being sent by the forces in G4. These constructs are advancing into the Broken Lands, taking samples of what they find. They are highly intelligent, but not free-willed. Expect ambuscades and use of the environment against you.

by Mozchops

9. mythology. Angel (Angelic Guardian- Godbound)
This is the Captain of the invaders. If you it you are already in deep trouble. It finds the Rust Plains uncomfortable and distasteful, but is determined to find and remove the threats to it’s ideology that exists in the ruins. (The random roll of “religious conflict” inspired me to make the angelic forces an enigmatic threat….)

by Pete Morbacher

10. underworld. Ether-Rat (Into the Wyrd and Wyld)
Rats will always survive and adapt. This time they got hit with some serious magical residue, and have leart to avoid trouble by hopping dimensions. Good luck catching or even containing these little buggers. They will forever infest your sewers and back alleys… even when everything else has crumbled to dust.

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