by Ramanan Sivaranjan on February 14, 2015
The default setting for Carcosa is full of xenophobia. I wanted a list of reasons why a group of adventures of various races might be adventuring together. I started writing one, but got stuck fairly quickly. So, I asked my friends to help out. The good entries below were all written by people other than myself. They call that Gygaxian Democracy.
Why are we together?
- Awoken from a lotus induced stupor you have fled from a sorcerer. I’m sure they want you back.
- Escaped from Slavers! One day you will have your revenge on those bastards—unless they get you first.
- Members of a traveling troupe of actors. You know one play, which you tweak based on your audience to play up on the local prejudices.
- Members of a janissary regiment, put together by long gone—perhaps?—Alien overlords.
- After years of wandering with your herd the symbiotic fronds were yanked out from the backs of your heads. Who knows how many years you lived as root heads.
- Returned to Carcosa after being experimented on by the Space Aliens. Hopefully they don’t come looking for you again.
- Cultists! (Must share a common alignment.)
- Foundlings raised by Lawful spawn hunting illuminati.
- The wrong coloured children of an otherwise homogenous village. Did they treat you well?
- Refugees who have fled a natural disaster. Famine? War? God damn Aliens with laser guns?
- Kidnapped orphans raised deep in the desert by a mad, but kindly, old couple.
- Psychically summoned to a crashed space ship. You have no memory of the recent few months.
- Members of a diseased community of outcasts. Everyone shares a common (mostly harmless) mutation.
- Emerged from a sorcerer’s birthing vats deep within an abandoned complex. (Thousands of other pods full of replacement PCs available as well.)
- Once from a religious community, where all members wore body obscuring clothes and lived as equals without colour based caste. After the sorcerer’s troops/raiders/slavers/shaggoths came that dream, and the obscuring robes and windings, have been cast aside.
- A bad medicine show went through some villages a while back selling poisonous mutation causing ‘snake squeezings’. The adventurers are relatives of the slain, banded together to hunt down huckster and deliver ‘justice’.
- All that remains of the local criminal underworld, driven out by an unspeakably violent new boss or spawn inquisitors.
- Each character bears the same tattoo, which causes horror amongst village elders Carcosa wide. (The characters have no memory of when or how tattoo appeared.)
- The former retainers of a group of strangely coloured people who spoke a weird language and claimed to be from another world called Dirt (or Earth or something like that). The original adventurers are all dead, but retainers continue to adventure together. Some continue to search for a portal to this world of Dirt, because there are no shoggoths there.
- You each have vague memories of a past life as a White Man sorcerer, until you performed some ritual that split you into different facets of your core personality.
In the game I am running now, the players rolled a 3 when starting the campaign. So, they are all members of the acting troupe The Rainbow Connection. Their back story has been far more fun than I had thought it would be.
Thanks to Stuart P, Brendan S, Evan W, Gus L, and David R and everyone else for their ideas and suggestions.
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