I spent my #dungeon23 time this past week detailing a trio of small, connected fragments of the broken moon. I like the challenge of designing interesting locales, one or two at a time, that are weird and unique enough to be interesting, malleable enough to work as SF or as science fantasy, and that fit together into a single milieu (albeit a kind of jigsaw setting).
The challenge here was to think about how the three fragments connect to one another, and also outward to other nearby fragments. I’m getting a sense of how I want the broken moon to feel: lived-in and with a history of presence, but not quite settled per se, and with a lot of phenomena frontloaded that have more to do with the fracturing of the moon. There are enigmatic ruins, a weird “tree library” some crystalline memory peaks in the mountains, and creatures that seem as if they couldn’t have evolved naturally. There are also just enough sentient beings who aren’t human but are close enough to have their own beliefs and legends about the history of the place… for which purpose I suppose it would be nice to do up a d66 chart of legends, stories, beliefs, etc.
For my next chunk of work on the project, I’ll be detailing the Tomb of Khashasha, which is sort of modeled on my memories of Fatehpur Sikri during a long-ago visit, with the difference that there’s an elaborate mausoleum contained within the palace complex. I’m thinking of the palace as an aboveground “dungeon” of sorts, but one with more challenges and hazards, and fewer opportunities for outright combat.
Anyway, I’m happy with how the project is going, though I suspect actually detailing enough of the moon to use in a game will take more than a year at the rate I’m going.
That said, I have a pretty cool idea about how such a setting could be presented if it were printed—right down to how one represents the chunks of the moon as they float around in space, some connected to others and others disconnected by anything save gravity. After all, a traditional printed map is not up to the task of representing a world of soaring, orbiting chunks in motion, is it? The orbiting motion is beyond what is easily representable on a tabletop, but modular maps are a known quantity, and I think the idea applies well.