This week, the town of One-Eye, a penal colony at the edges of civilization. Although I wrote this for a fantasy, it was inspired by Jupiter’s Moon Titan and could easily be adjusted for a sci-fi campaign.
High noon; the sun barely visible as a tiny smudge through the tangerine clouds. A purple ship glides through a stinking sea toward a black shore. People stand ready to greet the ship, their pale skin giving them the appearance of ghosts waiting to greet comers to the underworld. And perhaps they are.
This the far-flung land of One-Eye, the penal, mining colony for all undesirables. Behind the greeters loom the caves formed by the acid snow that frequently falls onto the soft rocky terrain. The caves honeycomb the land – no one knows how deep they go. Melted snow and sea water collects in the caves, forming deep, dark lakes. At the bottom of the lakes rest valuable black sand, and it is this the miners must dive for. Miners go missing with such frequency that a short memorial service is held everyday. One bell tolled for each miner.
Dungeon World Stats
Poor: No trees grow on One-Eye, only odd purple fungus that burns poorly. Ships bring only necessary supplies and the odd luxury for the few number of free people (prison guards) tasked with running the colony.
Steady to Booming Population: While some children are born here, the birthrate is not enough to replace the lost miners. However, the population is still steady from the sheer number of new undesirables shipped monthly. In recent months, even more undesirables have been sent than usual, stretching the already thin resources.
No Defense: No one here is spending their time worried about defense, there’s nothing to steal. Although most miners do come from criminal backgrounds and could be quite deadly with improvised weapons.
Resource: Purple fungus (edible, can be used to build with, but does not burn well), black sand (extremely valuable for various industrial uses, not useful without industry).
Blights: Acid snow, extreme cold, mining labyrinth, unknown monsters in the deep.
N Small Town. The prison guards are typically LN. The undesirables typically range from CN to N, with most being Neutral. No undesirables are Lawful.
Corruption +4; Crime Modifier +3; Economy +2; Law +1; Lore +5; Society +1
Qualities: Untamed, Notorious, Impoverished
Population: 2,000 (1,000 humans, 200 elves, 200 dwarves, 100 halflings, 100 gnomes 200 half-orcs, 200 other)
Base Value: 650 gp, Purchase limit: 3,750 gp, Spellcasting: 4th
Available magic items: 1,000 gp, 3d4 minor items, 1d6 medium
Sadistic Prison Warden, George Skinner (NE, male, human aristocrat 2/fighter 2)
Infamous Former Crime Queen, Stella Rose (CN, female, half-elf, rogue 7)
Unjustly Accused, Robin Humms (N, male half-orc barbarian 1)
Also see Dungeon World Stats for more information on this settlement.