Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Sawtooth Settlement: Legamon Town II

High in the mountains, but not so high the trees grow small is a place where sawblades sing and transformers hum. Hidden between the tall trees and rushing icemelt forming the headwaters of the Gunnison River are the buildings and people of Sawtooth Settlement. 

The rough homesteaders of Sawtooth Settlement send fresh cut old growth logs down river. Among them are the engineers of the Hailstone Dam Corporation who operate the hydroelectric dam that powers much of the region. Many homes maintain a Currant mound to store the extra electricity generated by the dam.

Starting Out

Electric element enthusiast Jasper Fields is the town’s leading expert on Currant mounts. In between installations and inspections he also is happy to provide new trainers with their very first monster.

Daggird, the stealthy bird legamon. (Flying) Daggird are nearly impossible to see at night. They use this to their advantage and are nocturnal hunters, preferring to stab their target unawares.

Sproutly, the young leaf legamon. (Grass) Sproutly grow in all climes and seem to thrive everywhere there is adequate rainfall. Their fruit is often collected and used for medicinal purposes.

Milkitty, the cream legamon. (Normal) Fur as soft as cream, Milkitty help feed the family and keep the barn free from vermin.

Gym Leader

Tesla Sparks poses a dynamic figure with hair that stands on end and padded leather gear that insulates her from the shocking power of her monsters. Her presence brings a jolt of energy to any encounter.

Her gym is in an abandoned electrical substation. Dividing walls open close when powered, and an old crane looms over the station. As a final touch, arcs from tesla coils provide dangerous obstacles as well. 

Trainers must navigate the hazards and use the construction equipment to reach her atop an elevated platform for a final showdown. For those who defeat her, she offers the Circuit Badge. The badge allows trainers to choose the moves their electric monsters learn when leveling up and once per battle a trainer can call on its power to gain priority for a monster’s turn.

Notable NPCs

Marlon Trencher

A burly man with a beard as thick as the forest, known for his skill with a two-man crosscut saw. He leads the local logging operations with a firm but fair hand since his father was killed in a logging accident. 

Marlon is a man of few words, preferring to let his actions do the talking. His physical stature is reflected in his partner, Fightyson, who works with him in order to train. He struggles to balance logging productivity and balance with nature and this affects him. He is a devout follower of the Way and wants to live in harmony with nature. Despite his gruff exterior, his nurturing side is a predominant aspect and he often appears nursing injured legamon to health.

Electra Wattson

After graduating top of her class, she took a position as managing engineer of the Hailstone Dam Corporation. The rough and tumble operation has benefited greatly from her leadership, but the lack of resources means that the power supply for the whole grid is held together with duct tape and prayers.

Electra is visionary and meticulous. Her engineering ability is matched with the ability to lead and inspire, but the task of powering the region is a daunting one. Despite her custom modified Coilisect to aid her in her work, she is nearly upside down.

Maggie Rivers

The proprietor of Hailstone Hearth moved to Sawtooth from the bustling Cingo to seek peace and connection with the mountains. Her small cafe has grown to be the heart of the community. Loggers, electricians, and trainers all call her quaint cafe home.

Maggie’s hot cocoa is legendary and trainers often visit the cafe to share one with their monsters. Besides the cafe, Maggie studies local cryptid legends and tells tales of them at night.

Townfolk who need a hand:

1. Log Jamboree!

Marlon asks trainers to help relocate a group of warring Grumaul trees that have caused a log jam down river.

2. Currantly a Problem!

Electra needs someone to see why the turbines aren’t spinning. She’s going to stay at the power plant and try to do damage control Hurry! (Currant infestation in turbines)

3. Spider and Seek!

Three trainers in town have had their partner Legamon go missing at night and found sticky webs when they went to find them. (The webs lead to a tower infested with Arachnice and their mysterious leader)

4. The Case of the Stolen Stromboli!

An important guest is arriving to the Hailstone Hearth, Maggie’s Grandma! Find her stolen recipe book in time for her to make her favorite recipe. (Maggie explains that a Mtake with a scarf around its neck grabbed the book and jumped out the window when her back was turned)..

5. Shifting Shiftiki!

Marlon needs to map a deeper part of the forest. There are rumors of an old Way shrine and he wants to avoid logging too near to them. (The shrine is guarded by a single injured Sharpain, but the shrine’s Shiftiki is nowhere to be found.)

6. Tricky Twigrouse

A local trainer has gone missing after what was supposed to be a short trip into the forest. (A tricky Twigrouse has led him astray by mimicking the voice of his sister. The monster will try the same tricks with the trainers).

7. Battling Bumbee

A mysterious whirlpool is stirring the waters out in the middle of the reservoir. The fishermen have come back in. Go see what the trouble is about! (A Megalops is disturbed by the sound of the new turbines and is swimming in circles in agitation.)

8. Lilipod Washout!

A group of lilipod are being sucked out of the reservoire’s overflow due to high water levels. If they can’t form a critical mass of pods, the Festival on the Water and their mating season will be ruined.

9. A Berry Good solution

A berry grove is being plagued by rival gangs of shinobug and bakiwi, help!

10. Animal Crossing!

An old rope bridge that monsters use to cross the gunnison has collapsed. Local migration patterns are disrupted and monsters may come into town looking for a place to cross.

Team Hadron

1. Signals Crossed!

A mysterious signal coming from deep within the dam, investigate. (It is a drilling device set to bore a hole in the dam. If the water level lowers enough, a mysterious ruin is accessible in the middle of the Borego Reservior)

2. Missing Machinery!

Machinery is going missing from the old substation. The equipment isn’t in use, but locals use it for a battle arena. (Parts are stolen for a makeshift laboratory in caves under the dam.)

3. Grid-locked!

A hidden source is drawing power from the grid. Find out what is going on. (Cables lead to a laboratory in ruin. Debris indicates an archway with a shocking amount of power directed to it. Plans on the table show sketches of a portal. I wonder if it worked?)


Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Very Best

A new take of Best There Ever Was. This is my... fourth proper shot at it I think. And not a "final" version yet. I want to say something about that. 

Most of my posts on my blog I have not thought about once since I released them. An idea stuck in my mind had to be grabbed, written, and posted just so I could get back to equilibrium. None of my Legamon posts have ever given me that relief. And no other monster tamer style of game has satisfied me in the reading.

I press on toward this lofty ideal; a game that makes me feel like I did when I myself was ten, imagining a world of adventure and danger, but with friends. 

I think most of our hobby revolves around a similar desire to this. So forgive me for being stuck on this project for a few years. I can't move past it and I don't want to. I want to work the problem until I have something that I am proud of and that maybe will give others a glimpse of that wide wonderful world of monsters of my imagining.

This image gives me that feeling too. I hope you enjoy it. It is by local artist Jayme Brandt. I love the set so much I have them hanging in my house.

My last post on Gunnison was a new start to this project. These are the next addition of rules. There will be another 11 or so towns, 60 more legamon to hit that lofty 150. And possibly more besides.

This version holds central the *team*. It does so by learning from the excellent game Best Case Scenario by Mr. Parabola. As Hilander said recently, "If I'm fighting some doomsday cult, I'm going in charmanders blazing." Amen to that, brother. 

Also, this version includes "domain" rules in a way. The game is designed to be run for multiple players acting independently in a region with a map similar to the ones you are already familiar with; traveling routes, fighting gyms and evil teams, tracking rare monsters. This can be accomplished on a dedicated discord server to create a very unique and memorable gaming experience.

A parting word. I wish more bloggers would show their unfinished works, drafts 2 and 3 and 6 and 7. Go back to that post that is stuck in your mind and squeeze the idea again. And then show us what ahs haunted you all this time. We're not pros. We have no deadlines. We just have each other, this shitty blogging platform, and that elusive feeling we chase in our games.

Monday, February 12, 2024

Gunnison; The Spookiest Town in the West

On abandoned battlements, the howl of the wind mingles with spectral cries. Lost in battles long forgotten, widows and widower mourn for love to return. Among the ruins, mediums and mystics work to lay the dead to rest.

But not all here is dead and sad. There are those who press on, too stubborn to be abandoned. In the marshes of the old river delta lives a community of ghost story aficionados, crock wrestlers, and the bravest folk in the whole region. Life is simple here. And though there is no route to bring visitors, the locals know all roads lead here in the end.

Starting Out

An elderly woman affectionately nicknamed Bobbi Yaga tells tales of adventure and spooky ghosts to children at the abandoned Masque de Theatre. Those brave enough to visit her cabin near the mangroves may receive their first starter legamon.

Goblinger, the loitering legamon. (Dark) Goblinger are typically found in packs, unless they are stalking someone to jump scare. These legamon are often looking for a trade, but this is often a trap.

Iristriper, the seeing legamon. (Water/Psychic) Iristriper have been used to enhance divination rituals for centuries as they appear to react to what they see in the near future rather than the present.

Blakrow, the ominous legamon. (Flying/Dark) Blakrow are said to be able to see the way they will die. 

Gym Leader

“Phantom” Wade Halloway

Often seen only by the flicker of lantern light, with a wide-brimmed hat casting shadows over his features. His presence is as fleeting as a cool breeze blowing through the humid mangrove trees, leaving those who encounter him questioning if he was ever there at all.

Wade’s gym is hidden in the abandoned part of Gunnison proper. Those once bustling streets are as empty as the old gold mine now and few dare to walk them at night. The details of his challenge are kept closely guarded secrets, but the human-sized black bird Blakraven chimes “Lenore, Lenore, Lenore!” Perhaps someone in town could explain more about this long lost maiden?

At this, trainers are to appear in the abandoned streets of Gunnison after nightfall. There, they follow the spectral Lenore through haunted way after haunted way. At last, the silhouette of a man-sized bird can be seen perched atop a bell tower amid the graves of those long forgotten soldiers. It is here that Wade, and the trainer’s final challenge, awaits!

Notable NPCs

Silas Moor

Bobbi Yaga isn’t the only one who dwells among the mangroves. The “swamp whisperer” Silas makes his home there as well. A once renowned scientist in the bustling Utico, Silas made the swamps his sanctuary after a terrible experimental accident that left him under a curse. He now seeks redemption and a cure among the flora of the swamp. Others still take the nightmarish howls that echo in the trees as a warning. Silas fled to the isolation of the swamp to protect others from his curse.

Whatever the truth about his curse, Silas is a caring and gentle soul during the day who finds a mirror in the lonely spirits that roam Gunnison. His alchemical studies have resulted in several rare potions and cures for many ailments except his own. On rare occasions, his experiments have granted glimpses of the spirit world.

Esmerelda Reed

Esmerelda is a new face in Gunnison and has recently appointed herself sheriff of Gunnison. A former law enforcement officer in Wyico, she became absorbed in the mystery of Gunnison and its ghostly inhabitants. After a life-changing encounter with a friendly Dormanaut she gained the ability to interact with spirits tangibly. She now considers it her duty to protect both the living and the dead within the town’s old borders.

Officer Reed is a fearless force for balance in the haunted streets. Although she stopped short of becoming a Ranger herself, her sharp wit and sharper aim discourage would-be vandals and treasure hunters from disturbing the dead and causing more trouble than they bargained for. Her partner Houndust has sigils inscribed on her horns that imbue them with spiritual energy. Together they ensure the living and the dead remain on their side of the thin veil between worlds and neither crosses with malevolent intent.

Cassidy Flint

Known to some as “Firecracker” for her fiery mane of hair and spirit, Cassidy is a treasure hunter of legendary renown. Drawn to Gunnison by tales of hidden gold and ancient relics, Cassidy believes that the secrets of the town's past hold the key to unimaginable wealth. Her relentless search through the abandoned buildings and murky swamps puts her at odds with both Esmerelda and Silas, though she respects their prowess.

Cassidy is daring, quick-witted, and unapologetically ambitious. She's an expert in ancient lore and decoding hidden messages, with a knack for finding traps and avoiding them. Her partner monster, a cunning and shapeshifting Dimic, assists her in navigating the dangers of Gunnison with illusions and trickery.

Lend a Helping Hand

1. The Ghostly Gauntlet

Quest: A group of toxpider are moving in closer to the town than usual. Find out what is causing their matron to relocate and clear them out one way or another.

Reward: Wade offers a rare Ghost-type training manual or a chance to learn the ability to understand and empathize with Ghost-type Legamon.

2. Bobbi Yaga's Request: A Herbaceous Solution

Quest: On the full moon, Bobbi Yaga pays a visit to an old Legamon friend that makes their home in the heart of the swampland. Her ailing Conchroach is keeping her from making the trip this month, so she needs a hand. Deliver this side of beef to the heart of the swamp for her “little friend.” 

Reward: In gratitude, Bobbi gives the trainer a choice of one of her special homemade Treats, which have unique effects

3. The Alchemical Concoction

Quest: Silas seeks a trainer's help in gathering various ingredients from around Gunnison needed for his latest experimental cure. The fungal reagent grows in an area so severely haunted that even the townsfolk steer clear. Lay the spirits to rest or make a quick grab for the bright orange mushroom.

Reward: Silas shares a portion of the potion

4. The Relic of Gunnison

Quest: Cassidy needs access to some records in the old sheriff’s office safe, but Esmerelda has taken up residence there since she appointed herself spirit detective or whatever. Infiltrate the sheriff’s office and grab the floppy disk from the safe.

Reward: In the safe is an old dusty monster egg, some handcuffs, blueprints of the Fort, and a map with an X marked on it somewhere out in the swamp.

5. Esmeralda's Patrol: The Night Watch

Quest: Esmeralda requires assistance patrolling Gunnison at night to ensure no dangerous monsters or spirits threaten the town's fragile peace. The trainer is to report any anomalies to her directly.

Reward: Esmeralda offers to teach the trainers the move “Leaf Shot” and grants them a badge of honor, symbolizing their role as protectors of Gunnison.

6. A Spectral Performance

Quest: The troupe of actors seeks a trainer's help in capturing a real Ghost-type monster to add authenticity to their night-time performance at the "Masque de Theatre."

Reward: Free tickets and make a guest appearance at the show! They’ll even give you a few acting lessons.

7. A Berry Big Dilemma

Quest: The townsfolk need someone to brave the swamps and collect rare berries that grow there, essential for making a traditional Gunnison dish for the upcoming town festival.

Reward: A basket of various berries, including some that are perfect for making Links or Kebble, and the town's gratitude.

8. The Miner's Ghost

Quest: An old miner's spirit can't find peace, believed to be searching for something he lost in the mines. The trainer is asked to explore the mines, find the lost item, and return it to his grave.

Reward: The miner's old pickaxe, which is said to increase the rate at which Rock-type monsters gain experience.

9. Water Under the Bridge

Quest: The water in the swamp has started to become unnaturally toxic, affecting the local monsters. Investigate the cause and find a way to purify the water.

Reward: The gratitude of a family of water legamon, and the townsfolk offer their deepest thanks and a special fishing rod.

10. The Lone House: The Light in the Darkness

Quest: A mysterious light has been seen in the windows of an abandoned house on the edge of town. The townsfolk are too scared to investigate. The trainer is asked to explore the house and discover the source of the light.

Reward: An encounter with a rare monster that was guarding a treasure left behind by the house's last inhabitant—a set of Silver Links, which are more effective than regular Links.

Team Hadron; Triple Trouble!

Shadows move again in the windows of the old haunted Fort Gunnison. At night, torchlight. Team Hadron has infiltrated nearly every corner of the region to exploit Legamon for their own secret ends. Even the Fort’s horrible past and lurking specters cannot keep them at bay.

1. A Disrupting Signal 

There has been an uptick in violent monster attacks in the normally spooky but peaceful town. Silas has noticed a radio signal at an unusual frequency that corresponds to the attacks. In the skyline above the town, the old signal tower beacons from the heart of Fort Gunnison.

2. Haunted House 

A common dormanaut haunting turns dangerous when a child with a monster under their bed disappears. A pool of toxin under the bed indicates this was no Dormanaut and the child must be found fast!

3. Artifact Caper

Cassidy Flint uncovered a plot by Team Hadron to steal a legendary artifact thought to be buried with Gunnison’s founder. She enlists the trainers to sneak into the graveyard, find the unmarked mausoleum, and claim the relict. All while she makes a distraction.

Sawtooth Settlement: Legamon Town II

High in the mountains, but not so high the trees grow small is a place where sawblades sing and transformers hum. Hidden between the tall tr...