Archive for February, 2015

A Greenhorn’s Guide to Shan Fan

Imagine what Chinatown is like wherever you live, then imagine an entire city just like that, and you’ve got a good picture of Shan Fan. Some people call it New Shanghai, or the Maze’s City of Jade.

The city spreads out above Shan Fan Bay, with streets originating at the Waterfront and fanning out into the hills over town.

Shan Fan is divided into several districts. You’ll want to be able to tell them apart so you don’t end up in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Stinktown: Where the dirty work is done; slaughterhouses abound in this meat capital of the northern Maze.

Red Lantern Town: a wild neighborhood of saloons and pleasure palaces, where a miner can let his hair down and throw back a few whiskies after long weeks out on some God forsaken mesa.

Taeltown: Shan Fan’s financial district, and the place where most of the triad’s Bosses make their homes.

Splintertown: the heart of the northern Maze’s lumber industry and the destination for millions of redwoods and sequoias from Kwan Province.  The Uptown Hotel and Saloon (closed for repairs) and the Casablanca Hotel are both located here.  The latter is on the southern fringe of the neighborhood where it joins the Taeltown district.

Prawn Valley: the odor of this place competes with Stinktown on a hot day.  Fish of all kinds are processed for food and oil. Much of the city’s Chinese population dwells here as well.

Three large islands sit in Shan Fan Bay—Angelfish Island (ghost rock mine – played out), Sweat Island (ghost rock mine – active), and the Isle of Ghost’s Tears (haunted, naturally!).

Ang Soon Triad (Run by Chow Fat, the triad boss who assured Barbara O’dell of her safety. At war with the Gun Fo Triad)
Gun Fo Triad (You’ve run into these guys already!  And they obviously know who you are. At war with the Ang Soon Triad)
Kang’s Triad
Kwan’s Triad
New Tomorrow Tria
Shan Fan Triad (The biggest, most powerful triad in the city; Boss Big Ears Tam runs the place!)


Inspirational Reading Material

Wow! Has it really been that long since I posted something here? With Spring Break right around the corner, I figure everyone could use some vacation reading material. And what better to spend your time huddled up over but some good ole wild west yarns with a healthy dose of strange, right? Thankfully, Jack of Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque has done all the work for me.  And so here is his inspirational reading list for the Weird West.

Oh, sure.  You’re too cool to read an actual novel.  “I only read books with pictu…err…graphic novels, Mr Fancy Pants GM Guy!”  Well that’s okay.  Jack’s list includes movies and graphic novels, too.  So get cozy and get to readin’!

Here’s a preview:

Novels & Anthologies
John Joseph Adams (ed), Dead Man’s Hand
K. J. Bishop, The Etched City
Emma Bull, Territory
Richard Brautigan, The Hawkline Horror
Nancy A. Collins, Dead Man’s Hand
Felix Gilman, The Half-Made World and The Rise of Ransom City
Stephen King, The Gunslinger series
Louis L’amour, The Haunted Mesa
Joe R. Lansdale, Deadman’s Road and Flaming Zeppelins
Joe R. Lansdale and Pat Labrutto (eds), Razored Saddles
Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian
L. Wyatt, The Terrible Tale of Edgar Switchblade and The Dreadful Death of Edgar Switchblade
I’m going to these to the list:
John Goff, Deadlands: Deluge (yeah, you should probably avoid this one while we are playing Deadlands; it might give you an unfair advantage)
Shane Lacy Hensley (ed), The Good, the Bad and the Dead, A Fistful O’ Dead Guys and For a Few Dead Guys More (these short story anthologies are set in the Deadlands universe and are as close to the source material as you can get).
 Mark Sumner, Devil’s Tower and Devil’s Engine