This past weekend I attended GASPCon 16, the annual gaming convention of the Gaming Association of Southwestern Pennsylvania, or GASP, with a few friends. One of the games I played via the Games On Demand table was Archipelago. I don’t know a lot about the game, except that I had heard about it before the convention a few times, and wanted to play it. For me, it fell into a similar category of a game like Microscope. Unfortunately, because of a raging headache, I was only able to play the first third of a game of Microscope, so I can’t make an intelligent comparison between the two. What I did want to do is to post the setting we developed using Archipelago, because I think it’s a cool setting, and leave it at that for now.
In the center of the Elemental Plane of Fire lies the City of Adamant, the single fixed point in the ever-changing landscape of superheated rock, magma, and ash. To the west of Adamant lies the Cinder Tempest, an unending storm that few enter. To the east of Adamant lies the Caldera Sea, a vast inland sea of magma, plied with junks carved of pumice with mica sheets set as lateen sails. To the south lies the source of wealth in the region – the inert body of a fertility goddess, continually mined for magical and mundane resources.
Fire giants dominate the police and military forces of Adamant, led by a huge individual named Surt (my character). Efreet share dominate the administrative leadership of the city, and are likely more populous than the fire giants. There is currently an efreet-led insurgency against the authorities in Adamant, led by Khalid and his lieutenant Jabril (played by Marc, the guy introducing us to the game).
Salamanders focus on trade and economics, and it is their ships that most often ply the Caldera Sea, trading with distant settlements in the Plane of Fire. Saalix (played by my friend Dave) is a powerful member of their trade cartel. The Azer run the mining guilds in the north that bore into the body of the fertility goddess and extract valuable resources. Cessily (played by my friend Pete) is an independent miner working in that same body, though with misgivings.
Dragons (presumably brass, red and gold) are used for transport, and quiet but intelligent specimens are wrangled and trained to be used for industrial and military purposes, as well as mounts for the wealth – something like private jets. In exchange they are fed their preferred food: melted precious metals.
Then there are the Invaders. Through the Hole in the Sky, appearing like the moment a strip of film begins to bubble and melt away on-screen during a malfunction, lies their vast, plant-based ship, hovering in the Astral Sea. Periodically they send huge seed-pods falling through the Hole which land and crack open to reveal treants and elite scouts and shock troops. They wield plant-based technology, including rifles that store energy photosynthetically and then discharge it in laser form.
Image credit: http://rift.wikia.com/wiki/The_Plane_of_Fire