Friday, October 29, 2021

Three science fantasy locations for weird sandbox settings

Three locations for science fantasy hexcrawls/sandboxes. These are based on output from the generator I put together in Inspiration Pad Pro. I just took the results and fleshed them out a bit, to make more sense. This whole thing took about 15 minutes (and the many hours poured into creating the generator ahahahahah). I will include the original output of the generator below in the comments so you can compare.


Village, population 150

Ruled by a noble family, the Turquoise Clan

The village used to be surrounded by a stone wall, which is now in ruins. The only part left standing is an archway above the main road, but it isn’t maintained either: the locals think it is a dread memento of an ancient horror, walk around it (never under it), and soil it with garbage and obscene graffiti.


  • The Atomic Abode of the Electronic Red Dragon, a lively tavern surrounded by standing stones


  • The village is plagued by swarms of robotic mosquito – actually blood-collecting nanobots emerging from an ancient laboratory buried under the nearby swamps
  • Nefertiry of the Turquoise Clan (a very religious person) is telling everybody that Orges, her identical twin brother, disappeared – actually she killed him because she was afraid that he might replace her completely



Town, population 700

Ruled by council of elders

A heavily fortified settlement, with four prism towers that can fire deadly lasers at each corner. The streets are patrolled by the local militia, the Corcyra Rangers. Despite the dry ground, most buildings are on stilts, so that the inhabitants can pull up the ladders at night for extra protection.


  • Smithy. An ancient laboratory that was repurposed as a workshop. Mostly produces regular tools and weaponry, but for the right price the blacksmith (Lightning Ape is his name) offers equipment made out of the weird alloys that remain in the laboratory’s repository
  • Corcyra Rangers’ Station. A seedy-looking building, stinks like a gym, this is where the local militia hangs out and trains new recruits.
  • Church of the Giggling Goddess. This temple is almost in ruins now, as the worship of this deity is discouraged by the council & militia. A single priestess (Thelma) struggles to keep the church in shape.
  • Fane of the Awful Goddess. This temple is favored by the council members. “Yes, the Awful Goddess is Awful, but only an Awful power can protect us in these troubling times!”


  • Trechus the sell-sword wants to burglarize the rich rat-catcher’s mansion (Oeobazus the rat-catcher is a council member and has monopoly on vermin control).
  • It is rumored that there is a sealed-off dungeon under the Fane of the Awful Goddess, where the essence of the deity resides – the rumor is true, but the Awful clergy tries to suppress it.




City, population 2250

Governed by Gotarzes, Bastard of Uhhaziti, a prominent & paranoid merchant

Clouds of fumes emerging from rotating chimneys hang ominously above the city. The main industry is a bunch of chemical factories, most owned by Gotarzes or his associates. Many of the locals are poor and suffer from the poisonous fumes emerging from the factories. The city feels crowded and is full of seedy establishments and dark back alleys.


  • Temple of the Blazing Cape. A radiant piece of cloth, which belonged to the mythical founder of the city, is venerated here. Worshippers who spend many nights kneeling before it attain a phosphorescent glow (they are known as the Brotherhood of the Blazing Cape).
  • The Hexman Sisters’ Mortuary is the best place to get a proper burial; and ask about their family discounts!
  • City Library. And old establishment, with stacks as dark, labyrinthine and smelly as the city’s back alleys.
  • Sleaze & Heal Music Hall. A popular establishment with live music and deadly drinks.



  • The most popular person in the city is Paris, the hairy wrestler, undefeated champion. Many would love to see him leading the city in Gotarzes’ stead…
  • Ex-crime lord nicknamed the Pro-Consul is hiring assassins to kill Gotarzes. Pro-Consul used to be an important man, but the current mayor’s machinations led to his downfall and the gang war left him shell-shocked.
  • The Brotherhood of the Blazing Cape want to embark on a sacred mission to a ruined castle. They think the soul of the city founder is imprisoned there.
  • Some say there are valuable books hidden between all the trash in the City Library.

Art by Rich Longmore


  1. Raw output from the generator:

    Village (population: 150)
    Ruled by a noble house
    Features: plagued by robotic mosquito
    Important locations: "The Atomic Abode of the electronic Red Dragon", lively standing stone, polluted arch
    Seeds: nun (Nefertiry, Sir of the turquoise people) spreading rumors about a lost relative

    City (population: 700)
    Ruled by council of elders
    Features: prism towers, local militia, buildings on stilts, said to be cursed
    Important locations: "The Tunnels of the Lady", ancient smithy, seedy rangers station, ruinous shrine (Church of the giggling Goddess), Fane consecrated to the awful Goddess
    Seeds: congregation of the Divinity of the Outer Realms led by sell-sword (Trechus) going to huge ratcatcher's mansion

    City (population: 1250)
    Led by haunted merchant (Gotarzes, Bastard of Uhhaziti) trying to escape from assassins
    Features: rotating building, poisoned locals, back alleys
    Important locations: crowded police station, Temple of the blazing cape, celebrated mortuary, seedy music hall, "The Swamped Halls of the sleazy doctor", old library
    Seeds: shell-shocked & hideous criminal (lightning ape Pro-Consul) conspiring in support of hairy wrestler, glowing brotherhood of the bound Deity embarking on mission to desecrated castle

  2. how are the lasers of corcyra activated? At random?

    1. I think it's a whole defense system, which is usually "off", but can be brought online with the flip of a switch inside the city. When online, the lasers fire at every moving target outside the city walls.

      And maybe they are like the prism towers in Red Alert 2, which have mirrors and amplify the deadly beam by shooting at each other first.

  3. Cool post! What is it like using Inspiration Pad Pro?

    1. Thanks!

      I really like Inspiration Pad Pro, and I guess by now I know my way around it well, I know the tricks and the limitations. It's a "hands on" experience, I enjoy having the editor and the "compiler" in one place, I can always test quickly whatever I've written. It is pretty barebones, nothing distracts me or slows down the work process.

      There are some limitations and missing features - the main missing feature, I think, is that when you are running the generator, it doesn't save the output. So once you press the "randomize" button again, the previous output is pretty much "lost in time, like tears in rain".

      So I just have a text editor open in parallel, and copy anything that I might want to use later.

    2. Hmm... I've got my own generator-generator on my website, I think I should be able to add that feature in