[ Gygax 75 | part one ] Wereham: the Masket-town

sean f. smith / he, him
2 min readFeb 22, 2022


two-page spread from a zine: top left has a couple of paragraphs, bottom left has a hex map, right has a table
Screenshot from The Gygax 75 Challenge by Ray Otus — licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Ray Otus’ Gygax 75 is doing the rounds again, and since I never finished it the first time I tried (post-apoc cyberpunk about megamalls) I thought I would give it another go.

There’s a line in the early section of the book that says you don’t have to do it on a weekly basis. So I’ll be doing mine on a daily basis and hoping that momentum brings me to the edge…


(working title)

I was thinking the other day about how power metal is high fantasy, and doom and black metal are grimdark. So what’s midwestern emo or metalcore? The consensus seemed to be urban fantasy — a genre I have never really played but have massively enjoyed in other media. Well, I’ll either fix my enjoyment with it or get it sufficiently through my system to know if I care.


Three jobs here.

1. Get a notebook

Done, sorted, fin.

2. Pitch

Write down 3–7 (no more!) well-crafted bullet points that will “sell” the world to your players

  • rural intrigue: this is about towns, but it’s not about cities
  • hidden identities: crux of the genre; I’ve yet to decide if “unnaturals” are public knowledge
  • secret wars: tied to the point above — it’s one of my favourite things of all conspiracy themed media. Think inter-faction rather than between. Blade not Twilight.
  • not about spoopy folklore: I do a lot of folklore, and much Brittish stuff leans hard into it. I might dip into it later, but it’s not about the folklore.
  • PCs are “unnaturals”: all one type? probably vamps?

3. Touchstones

Gather your sources of inspiration. List them as an annotated bibliography — citing the name, author, etc. and a sentence or two explaining what each source brings to, or supports within the setting

  • HOT FUZZ (2007) = seemingly quaint setting; Timothy Dalton
  • TRUE BLOOD (2008–2014) = knock-on effects of unnatural presence; inter-faction war
  • BLADE (1998) = inter-faction war; uphill ice-skating
  • THE WICKER MAN (1973) = seemingly quaint setting; “do sit down — shocks are so much better absorbed with the knees bent”
  • The Shadow Over Innsmouth (1936) = grim-ass shit town; Akashic draw to region
  • Apple of My Eye’s “Man on a Rope” = purity and bleakness; “carry him now out of the city to unhallowed ground”

And if you’ll excuse me, I’m now off to Costa to complete part two.

I do seem obsessed with conspiracies in peripheral towns eh. EXUVIAE helps.



sean f. smith / he, him