Setting Spotlight: Giger’s Inferno

I had another Idea for a megadungeon-based campaign setting. The players are goverment/scientist/criminal operatives exploring a predatory alternate reality that lies parallel and is slowly invading our own. Whether they are a team of eggheads on a goverment budget exploring a natural fissure or a ragtag band of loveable entrepeneurs that have scrounged together enough dollars to afford a dimensional perforator gate (limited number of uses, one-way gates are definetely cheaper), the game is now properly afoot.

The Alternate reality resembles the nightmarish visions of H.R Giger and Tsumoto Nihei: a hideous labyrinth of techno-organic corridors and Xenomorph/Safeguard things. Hideous and unknown peril awaits. Some of your worst enemies are rival explorers, since the Alternate universe is connected to different points in time simultaneously. Magic items are replaced by bio-technological constructs or parasitic technologies that must be grafted into the player in order to function. Every time a player does so, they become less human and less able to survive in the normal world. This is how you can use magic btw, which only works in the Sidereal universe is distinctly satanic and unpleasant in nature.
Eventually a player cannot survive in the normal universe anymore. Everyone gets rich by selling bio-tech to the highest bidders, usually corporations that seek to reverse engineer them.

Sample hazards:
* Seemingly innocuous areas with radically different properties: Pressure. Heat. Cold. Intermittent lightning (as per Roadside Picnic).
* Spiderweb. Fungi. Odd fluid. Prismatically coloured mist. All of them with lethal properties.
* Intelligent predators reminiscent of Xenomorphs (as per Alien). Intelligence increases as one goes down.
* Hideous demoniac courts of biomechanical horrors as per Giger or Xenobites as per Hellraiser. Must be bargained with to allow safe passage. Inevitably ask terrible price.
* Riddle doors that amputate limbs on failed answers, neccesitating biomechanical replacement.
* Anything that could be in your nightmares or in Silent Hill (because of the psycho-reactive properties of the maze. It goes without saying that most adventurers block out their more traumatic memories with hypnotherapy since they make adventuring considerably harder).

Sample Items:
* Cartilige gun that fires human teeth/eyes/fingernails
* Hive of telepathically linked wasps that lives in your arm/Lungs/Head
* Eyes with multiple lids/pupils that can see in multiple dimensions
* Swarm of femto-tech that allows character to create temporal duplicate at cost of losing humanity
* Needle that must be pierced through both cheeks to grant limited spellcasting powers
* Extra-dimensional

While the worst creatures in the labyrinth cannot possibly enter the real world since their very nature goes against all known physical laws, sometimes players can bring back things that are no quite as unnatural: Nanotech plagues, hideous parasites, shapechanging monsters that disguise themselves like explorers and probably things that are way worse.

Everyone wants to find out what is at the bottom of the Alternate Space ever since a band of explorers found a 4-dimensional funnel-shaped map of the Gigerverse that top-dimensional physicists say clearly means it is finite or at the very least, has a lowest level where certain properties take on transfinite qualities. Godhood, Infinite Knowledge, A perpetuum mobile, Your True Love. Everything might be down there.

Once a player can no longer return to the real world he is forced to rely on the very few and constantly shifting safe locations or hook up with the other hideous mutant hybrid-things that skulk amidst the cold and the dark.

Beyond a certain level less humanity/more augmentation is neccesary to prevent suffering ill-effects/Death. In addition, you might need to get rid of such things as:
– Your childhood memories
– Your good alignment
– One Emotion of your choice
– A Favoured Henchmen
– You allow the Gigerverse more access into the real world (affecting available resources/safety for other/future characters)

Appendix N:
Roadside Picnic
Silent Hill – (2-4)
Dark Seed
Diamond Dogs – Alaister Reynolds
– the Phyrexians from MtG
The Eye in the Sky/Ubik/The Maze of Death/The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldrich by P.K.Dick
The Art of H.R Giger
Alien and Prometheus
The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker

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2 thoughts on “Setting Spotlight: Giger’s Inferno

  1. Despite the best efforts of French Scifi gatekeepers (look, social commentary disguised as lasergun porn !) I resisted reading any Soviet material so far. I may finally relent now. I guess that I will then realize that one or several of my favorite books/movies/games were only a rehash of said old material. I hate when that happens, which is all the fucking time.

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    1. The interesting thing about Soviet material is that the good Russian shit is usually a criticism of the soviet regime (or contains elements thereof), but they had to be really creative to get it past the Censors. That being said, Roadside is never preachy or too social-commentary-y. It is a good book first, message second. As god intended.

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