Converting The Fungoid Garden of the Bone Sorcerer from CARCOSA to Chthonian Highways [CH] leaves me with two larger areas to re-work: the dungeon that is the Fungoid Garden itself and the hex it is located in. I will start with the hex, as I want my players to have a little hexcrawl and the possibility of some social interaction before they reach the fungoid garden.
!WARNING! The following block post might spoil things for people that are about to play said adventure. If you want to be on the sure side, ask your GM. If you are a player of my old vampire group, stop READING! Last but not least, I have to disappoint everybody who will expect complete grab-and-use adventure here. A work that detailed would for sure be a copyright infringement instead of “hobby shop talk”, so I will just provide enough information that you could reference your own copy of CARCOSA.
So much for the disclaimer… *clears my throat after yelling that much*. Back to the hex and the hexcrawl I want to include. To make sure this becomes a hexcrawl the PC must not know the exact location of the place they actually want to visit (in this case: the camp of the people that kidnapped the herders, which they do not know much about anyway) but have to be sure that it must be here somewhere. If they know the exact location already they will make a beeline for it and will be unlikely to deal with any of the other locations provided by the GM. If they are not sure that it must be here somewhere, the players might not know what to do, potentially frustrated and might leave the area as they either give up or search at some completely different place. For this scenario I already decided that the characters will follow a set of tire tracks (probably in a hurry) that leads into this area and they might have been following for about two hours already. At some point the tracks will need to “stop” somehow. Possible reasons include a change of terrain (rocky ground, loose sand where the tracks have been blown away already) or something as simple as a downpour of rain that will wash away the tracks. I will decided about the details later.
Here things might fail as the adventure leaves the rails for the first time here. The players are expected to not give up but to look for a vantage point in hope to spot a hint in the surrounding. If they don´t it will be my task as the GM to question their decision. The tried and true “you travelled here to give up now?” should give them a second thought. The fact that the players behind the characters gathered this evening for a game and only played through the set-up at this point will do the trick. The one thing the vantage point is NOT to provide them is the location of the camp of the Clan of the Fungoid Garden. Again, what it has to provide are other “points of interest” (POI) the characters will want to visit in hope of finding some kind of hint on where to go next. The original adventure provides different POI but none of them where actually meant to provide hints towards the Fungoid Garden. Time for some conversion!
So, what POI does CARCOSA offer for that hex?
01# The entrance to the Fungoid Garden and an odd find with no further relevance for anything (but the atmosphere of the game world)
02# A village of cultist that worship a god-thing in a water hall.
03# A shrine for Yog-Sothoth
04# A Space Alien Outpost
05# An oasis with a well
06# A camp of dinosaur riders, a statue which they venerate and the sight of a recent battle that may or may not have anything to do with them
07# A cave with some mad, primitive cannibals
08#A strange monolith
09# A mystic crypt occupied by undead sorcerer-mummies
10# An encounter with a lone hunter
11# The ruins of an abandoned keep
In addition to these the supplement material provides the general lay of the land, diving it into three categories of terrain. I will completely ignore that at this pint since I might end up re-shaping the terrain anyway. Converting a game for one´s own need is not about making an adaption that would find the good-will of a critic that was found of the original work, but about looking at what is there, adapting what seems useful and discarding anything that does not.
The Space Alien Outpost, the dinosaur riders and the hexes related to them as well as the crypt of the sorcerer mummies are all things I don´t know how to put to proper use in the scenario I plan, so I simply ignore them for my hexcrawl-to-be. In a Sword&Sorcery campaign I would flesh them out so that they become adventure locations in their own right, but in regard to a roadwarrior-style game they simply do not ring a bell with me. All of the remaining points I am going to adapt and I will start with The People of the Consumed God [Original: Sub-Hex 2004] (to be continued).