City of Skull banner showing purple clouds and the silhouettes of warriors.

Secrets from the City of Skull: Designer Notes

Hear from the design team about the new City of Skull campaign setting and adventures. City of Skull for Mazes Fantasy Roleplaying is launching on Backerkit June 4th. Follow here!

Mazes designer Chris O’Neill on CITY OF SKULL

City of Skull is a campaign setting for Mazes Fantasy Roleplaying - a gazetteer, a GM’s guidebook, and filled with new options for the players. 

  • Part of the book is new rules for handling traditional game modes that our “kick in the door” dungeon crawler didn’t enable - mainly hex-crawling and campaign stories (and some social gaming and character growth as well).  
  • The game itself is built assuming that it will be played in a West Marches mode - and rules that combine Wealth, Darkness, and come together to build a framework for that.

For everyone, the game comes with a completely new and different Fantasy World to explore. A city that has survived a cataclysmic war, a sleeping god with warring factions of worshippers, a desert waste under eternal eclipse, new lineages for characters, and a guild system that rules the City of Skull.  

“The world comes from an idea - what would it look like to have a world where “dungeon exploration” was the main business. Why would that happen? My answer - a single bastion of life is clinging to survival by feeding magical items to a sleeping god whose dreams keep us all alive. Thankfully, in the detritus of the great war, there are castles and ruins, dungeons and tombs, to explore and retrieve the needed treasure to keep the White Temple and the Red Church empowered to serve the Sleeping God.” Chris O’Neill

Mazes writer & maze architect, Patrick Clapp, on BEYOND THE CITY OF SKULL Adventure Path

Beyond the City of Skull combines the accessibility of a Mazes experience with an overarching plot that shows off the Guilds of Skull and plenty of strange locations for adventure within the Eclipsed Plain. 

  • Within the campaign, the players take dual roles, Atriarchs within the Black and Gold helming an Adventuring Company as well as Venturers from the Company sent out into the Mazes to find and retrieve treasure. 
  • After each adventure, the Company and the Venturers navigate the mysteries and rivalries within Skull itself, working to improve their chances for survival and uncover clues about ongoing mysteries. 

“This campaign is tied to the purpose of the Adventuring Company, from a desire to recover new lore or forgotten secrets, to a drive for exploration and discovery, to quests for battle and danger, or as a rescue force employed to save others. The Atriarchs decide what sort of Adventuring Company they want to lead and the story adapts to them. The threads within the campaign will differ based on choices the players make as Atriarchs and the capstone adventure in the campaign will push their Venturers to their limits.”  —Patrick Clapp 

This campaign will also serve as a template for other Maze Controllers to create their own Mazes campaigns centered on Skull. The City of Skull can support a large shared world of Maze Controllers and Adventuring Companies. Adventures in the Salt March can be sprawling Hex Crawls or tight five act plays. The campaign book will contain the tools any Maze Controller needs to manage either.

City of Skull for Mazes Fantasy Roleplaying launches on Backerkit June 4th, 2024

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