Friv Makes Fourteen Environments!

Late’s better than never.

Of course The Wretched Hive has an acid sprinkler system!

“Bravo?” “Afterburn?” Who are these guys? I suppose they could merely be random mini-villains you just thought up, but I feel like there’s a story here.

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If they feel like there’s a bigger story, I have done my job!

In all seriousness, there is not. I grabbed a couple of names off a list I drew up for a campaign a long time ago for if I needed a hero or villain in a hurry, gave them some flashy descriptions and a role at the bar, and that was that. But they could have bigger parts to play, especially if players take a shine to one of them!

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Wow, this one is definitely gold, I love the idea of having a superhero bar brawl. I’m currently writing a SCRPG campaign to run after my current D&D campaign, and I’ve already “appropriated” a couple of your environments to stick in my notes (the oil rig environment and the mad scientist lab). This environment definitely makes me want to put a bar brawl in my story somewhere.


Only five environments left. My choices are getting increasingly narrow, and my duplicates are rapidly vanishing. Let’s get started with…

Step 1: Green Zone

Our Green Twist options are:

  • Minor: Attack One (Mid), Defend One (Mid), Attack All (Min), Hinder All (Min)
  • Major: Attack One (Max), Hinder One (Max)

Okay, so. A very, very standard array of choices for Green. I’m going to go with Defend One (Mid) and Hinder All (Min) for my minor with Attack One (Max) for Major, so that all three are doing different things at least.

Step 2: Yellow Zone

In Yellow, we are looking at a slightly more robust set:

  • Minor: Mid + Min One, Hinder 2 PE (Min), Boost 2 PE (Min), Add Multi-Step Challenge
  • Major: Action One (Max) + Mid Effect, Target Two (Mid)

Okay, hm. So we’re looking at an environment that starts things off standard, and then goes woobly. Let’s take a Boost 2 PE to speed things up and a multi-step challenge to slow things down for minors, and I’ll add an Action One (Max) with a Mid effect for the major.

Step 3: Red Zone

Finally, in Red, we are looking at the following possibilities:

  • Minor: 2 Actions One (Max and Mid, Boost PE), Two targets Hinder PE (Mid), Add Stronger Lieutenant, Add Stronger Lieutenant
  • Major: Heal all minions/lieutenants, add stronger lieutenant and effect

Okay, hm. For minor, we’ll add a strong lieutenant, and a two-target Hinder since we’ve already got a persistent/exclusive Boost going on. For our Major, we’re going to heal any lieutenants that have already appeared, just to make the situation seem unwinnable. So that just leaves…

Step 4: Where Are We?

Welcome to a Crashed Zebrexian Prison Transport!

This alien prison-ship was brought down during an ill-fated escape attempt, and your heroes have arrived on the scene. Are they responding to a distress call? Is a villain there trying to round up some particularly dangerous new helpers? Perhaps your heroes were themselves prisoners; the Zebrexians are not known for their kindness to strangers…

The Crashed Zebrexian Prison Transport has the following traits: Wardens d10, Overloaded Fusion Core d10, Collapsing Metal d8

Step 5: What Do We Do?

In Green, the prison ship attempts to maintain its systems as things begin to shut down. It’s possible that there are already wardens on the ship, in which case they should be portrayed by a group of hostile minions, or they may have all been incapacitated in the crash. In the mean time, delayed concussion cushions deploy to protect heroes from impacts, coolant leaks flood corridors and slow everyone down, and a handful of warden systems open fire on intruders or escaping prisoners.

In Yellow, as the ship’s systems overload, dangerous fusion reactions threaten trapped prisoners with death. Particularly quick symbiont prisoners try to bond with heroes, offering help in exchange for escape, and a lone warden emerges with a powerful but one-use attack.

Finally, in Red, the actual dangerous prisoners begin to emerge, willing to fight anyone to escape. As they gather in force, restriction systems attempt to bind them and the heroes back into their cells, and desperation drives them to increasingly deadly focus.

Crashed Zebrexian Prison Transport

Traits: : Wardens d10, Overloaded Fusion Core d10, Collapsing Metal d8

Green Zone

Minor Twist: Concussion Field. The inertial dampeners that kept everyone alive in the crash are continuing to deploy at unpredictable intervals. Defend a random target with the Mid Die, protecting them against the next physical or concussive attack against them.

Minor Twist: Coolant Flood. Pipes groan and burst, sending coolant flooding major corridors. Anyone in those corridors is Hindered with the Min die until the coolant runs off the next turn.

Major Twist: Security System. A hidden warden activates a defensive system against the intruders. Attack one hero with the Max die, using cosmic energy.

Yellow Zone:

Minor Twist: Prisoners in Danger. The overloading reactor, flooding corridors, or a spreading fire is threatening a group of helpless or semi-conscious prisoners. This is a multi-step challenge. Three successes are required to avert the danger, or two successes are required to free the prisoners. If neither is accomplished, at the end of three more turns or if the scene ends the prisoners are killed.

Minor Twist: Symbiont Prisoners. A pair of bug-like symbionts skitter out of the malfunctioning life-support cell they were trapped in. They each choose a target and attempt to bond to them, telepathically offering support in exchange for letting them escape. If a player accepts this help, Boost them with the min die; this is a persistent and exclusive boost. If they do not, the symbiont will attempt to reach someone else on the next turn, and if they fail they will pass out and begin to die.

Major Twist: Warden Assault. A lone warden emerges from hiding with a massive weapon, unleashing it at the largest hero. Attack that Hero with the Max die. Generate a minion based on the result of the Mid die: a d4 for 1-3, a d6 for 4-7, or a d8 for 8+.

Red Zone:

Minor Twist: Prison Break. The system’s defense systems have collapsed to the point that a prisoner from the Maximum Security section successfully breaks out! Each prisoner who escapes is a d10 Lieutenant. Choose a primary and secondary Ability for that lieutenant. They have the following ability:

Whenever this lieutenant takes the primary Ability action, they may also take the secondary action with the same result.

The prisoners may or may not work together; their primary goal is escape, and they will do anything to achieve it. No more than three of these prisoners should be out at once.

Minor Twist: Restraining Cells. Cables and energy whips lash out at heroes or escaping prisoners, trying to corral them back into their cells. Pick two targets, and Hinder them both with the Mid die. This is a persistent and exclusive penalty.

Major Twist: Burst of Desperation. Seeing freedom slip away, all of the escaping prisoners give off a burst of terrified energy. Heal any prisoner who has not been incapacitated back to d10.


I really wasn’t sure where I was going with this until I got to the ending and its “multiple lieutenants may break out at once and get healed, depending on how many twists get spawned.” That let everything else sort of retroactively come into place; before that, I had a vague idea of a science fair? Maybe?

It wasn’t an easy one, is what I’m saying.

Only four environments left! And I’ve conveniently got four major villains / villain groups left, so we’re going to see if I can link my remaining options to them. Fingers crossed!


As I read this, I realize one problem I have with making environments.

These have mostly been really fantastic. And I feel like they’re getting more fantastic as you run out of options.

Which is neither a criticism nor a bad thing, fantastical environments are awesome! But when your campaign is taking place in, like, Megalopolis. A regular place, exceptional though it might be. When your fight is taking place on a rooftop or in a bank or in an abandoned building, there’s just not that much room for making interesting twists. Oh, something might crumble. Maybe the cops show up. Maybe there’s traffic. :confused: I feel like you’ve really got to move off Earth to do anything interesting.

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This is true, but also - not every action scene needs to be an active environment. If the scene itself isn’t in some way wild and interesting, you’re probably better off having some bigger scene challenges in place to reflect whatever is going on, and then the twists can be about the challenges themselves.

Like, if I was just having a fight with four heroes against a villain on a Crowded Megalopolis Street, I would probably take the following scene elements:

  • The villain, probably with an upgrade if the scene is moderate difficulty
  • A set of minions for the villain, possibly with lieutenants if it’s appropriate and I didn’t upgrade the villain
  • A 3-4 step challenge involving getting civilians to safety before they’re trampled or caught in the crossfire. Twists either reflect what the heroes are doing, or reflect partial success through damage and people getting hurt (or killed, if you’re going dark.)
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So, looking at my upcoming options, I’m going to have some… weirdness. Specifically, these last four environments are all going to be extremely minion-heavy.

See, thanks to the vagaries of random chance, I have eight options left for each minor twist, and four left for each major twist. In Green, two of my eight minor twists are minions, so two out of four environments. That’s not so bad. In yellow, I’ve got two minor twists and a major twist for minions – three out of four environments, probably. Finally, in Red, I’ve got a minor twist each for minions and lieutenants, and a major twist for a lieutenant.

That’s a total of eight twists remaining that generate minions. Which means that, on average, every remaining environment will be doing that in one to three zones. Should be… fun? Let’s see what I can do.

Step 1: Green Zone

Our Green Twist options this time around are:

  • Minor: Hinder One (Mid), Defend All (Min), Add a Minion, Add a Minion
  • Major: Hinder One (Max), Action One (Max)

Let’s save that free action for later. I’ll grab Defend All (Min) and Add a Minion for my minors, and Hinder One (Max) for my Major.

Step 2: Yellow Zone

Having gotten the ball rolling in Green, let’s see what Yellow has to offer.

  • Minor: Hinder One (Max), Hinder Two (PE, Min), Hinder All (Min), Add Min Minions
  • Major: Boost or Hinder One (Max, PE), Add Min Minions + effect

Well, apparently Yellow has Hinders and minions to offer, huh.

Okay, let’s see. I’m going to take Hinder Two (PE, Min) and Add Min Minions in Yellow, and then Boost One (Max, PE) as a major twist. I think I now know where I’m going with this.

Step 3: Red Zone

As we enter Red, what are we looking to do?

  • Minor: Two Targets Hinder PE (Mid), Add Max Minions, Fully Heal Lieutenant, Add multi-step challenge
  • Major: All Targets 2 Actions Mid (PE), Advance Scene Tracker

Boy, that is… that is just a lot of Hinders. Can’t heal a lieutenant when there isn’t one (going to try to keep those two options together) so it’s time to make things complicated. We’ll add Max Minions and really minion up this place, plus a last-minute multi-step challenge. For our major, an all-target action will Hinder some people and boost others with the Mid die, persistent-exclusive.

Step 4: Where Are We?

We are in the depths of The Bloodstone Catalyzer! Located behind a popular new nightclub that has been attracting patrons like magic, the Catalyzer drains partygoers of their life energy as they party, siphoning it to the techno-fae of the Court of Vicissitude. In the heart of the machine, the effect is amplified, and heroes will have to contend with their life energy draining away and creating dangerous manikins, monstrous banshees, and empowering the Court themselves.

The Bloodstone Catalyzer is very much a Hostile environment. Nothing here is likely to make the heroes’ lives easier, and they will need to be careful to survive.

The Catalyzer is another highly random environment. It has the traits Blood Magic d12, Corrupted Leylines d8, and Strobes and Sirens d6

Step 5: What Do We Do?

In Green, the Catalyzer is still drawing on the stored energy of the club as it adapts to the presence of the heroes. Digital banshees spawn to sing dubstep at their foes, the catalyst’s energies defend the Court from harm, and blasts of ley energies weaken foes.

Starting in Yellow, the Catalyzer moves to draining any non-fae targets present. Circuit-glyphs draw on the heroes’ power, weakening them, and spawning groups of wire-and-circuit manikins. Eventually, the stored power is dumped into a key Court member, massively boosting their power.

Finally, in Red, everything dials up to eleven. Hordes of manikins take form, and the converter begins a process to drain the club’s patrons to death, which the heroes will need to find a way to stop. At the worst moment, every hero is drained of energy and every Court member is boosted, giving them the energy for a final push.

The Bloodstone Catalyzer

Traits: Blood Magic d12, Corrupted Leylines d8, and Strobes and Sirens d6

Green Zone

Minor Twist: Banshee. Sound and magic spin together to create a banshee of musical power, which screams club music as it strikes at the heroes. The banshee is a d8 minion which suffers a -2 penalty to saves against sonic or magical damge.

Minor Twist: Good Vibrations. The Bloodstone Catalyzer pulses, and energy washes over the fae. Defend all fae characters with the Min die.

Major Twist: Sap Strength. The Catalyzer targets a hero, lashing out with corrupted ley energy. Hinder one hero with the Max die.

Yellow Zone:

Minor Twist: Drain Lifeforce. Circuit-glyphs whir to life, and pulses of anti-power draw in the life energy of the Court’s enemies. Hinder two heroes with the Min die. This penalty is persistent and exclusive.

Minor Twist: Manikins. Foot-tall goblins made of circuits and wire spring to life, crawling from their hidden spaces to attack. Add a number of d6 minions equal to the Min die to the room. These minions get +1 when attacking an enemy who has been Hindered by the Catalyzer.

Major Twist: The Life Fantastic. The Catalyzer pulses, sending the power it has gathered into one of its champions. Boost a villain target with the Max die. This Boost is persistent and exclusive.

Red Zone:

Minor Twist: The Digital Horde. Mankins and banshees begin to spawn from all directions. Add a number of banshees equal to the Min die, and a number of Manikins equal to the Max die minus the Min die.

Minor Twist: Closing Time. The Catalyzer boots to full power, draining a terrible amount from clubgoers. Create a two-step challenge: Save the Clubgoers! This can be resolved by getting clubgoers to safety, magically or technologically blocking the catalyzer’s effects, or straight-up physical sabotage. If the challenge is not resolved by the next environment turn, some clubgoers die and all of the fae present are Boosted with the Min die.

Major Twist: Your Power Is Mine. The Catalyzer focuses all of its power on the room. All non-fae targets are Hindered with the Mid die, and all fae targets are Boosted with the Mid die. These bonuses and penalties are persistent and exclusive.


Well, that was appropriately nasty. This is not a good place to be, although a fae hero can mitigate just how nasty it is by sneaking in on the receiving end of some of the benefits, and the right heroes can pull apart the Hinders pretty quickly. I think it’s about the right level of “hostile environment.”

I’ve also slightly defused my heavy-minion situation by having minions at every stage of this environment. Only five minion/lieutenant slots left for the last three, which means nothing this robust is likely to appear again.

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All I need are the words “techno-fae”, and I’m there. :smiley:


TakeWalker have you read Mercedes Lackey’s SERRAted Edge series?
Living in America the Fey tradition of dueling at crossroads at night evolved into the races of moonshiners that evolved into NASCAR so the “elves” make money making racecars and use it for good deeds

SERRAted Edge Series by Mercedes Lackey (


We’re into the home stretch! With only three environments left to go, this is the last time that I will be making random choices; after this, every remaining option will be a choice for #13, with the remainder assigned to #14 (so I’ll kind of be making both of them at the same time.)

I’m descreasingly certain that I can get my last three villains to three reasonable environments, but let’s see how I do…

Step 1: Green Zone

Our Green Twist options are:

  • Minor: Attack One (Mid), Hinder One (Mid), Hinder All (Min), Boost All (Min)
  • Major: Two Actions (Mid and Min), Two Actions (Mid and Min)

Well, I guess I know what my Major Twist is. For minors, let’s take Hinder One (Mid) and Boost All (Min). Gives me a bit of variety. The major can round out as an Attack/Defend.

Step 2: Yellow Zone

In Yellow, we are looking at the following choices:

  • Minor: Hinder One (Max), Hinder One PE (Mid), Mid + Min One, Hinder All (Mid)
  • Major: Target One (Mid+Min), Target Two (Mid)

Uh… huh.

Well, two interesting things developing. First, I’ve managed to dodge three different minion-generating effects, so I guess those last two environments are going to be minion-y. Secondly, I’ve hit every Hinder option remaining in Yellow, so this environment is going to be wildly Hinderous. I don’t know what that means, precisely, but it’s interesting.

Let’s take an area Hinder All (Mid) and target one person with a Mid and a Min effect. For our Major, I’ll take a Target Two (Mid) and let it be an attack.

Let’s take a Hinder All (Mid) and One

Step 3: Red Zone

In our final zone, I think I know what’s going on and how to tie it to an existing villain, but there’s room for things to change. My options are:

  • Minor: Two Targets Hinder PE, All Targets Mid, All Targets (Max one Mid others), Fully Heal Lieutenant
  • Major: All Targets (Max), Advance Scene Tracker

So, yeah. I have successfully dodged being able to take a single minion or lieutenant generator, leaving five for the last two environments, and I have hit every Hinder on the board. I’m going to go ahead and take All Targets Mid and All Targets (Max one mid others) for my minors, and then Advance Scene Tracker for the major; things can get bad in a hurry right at the end.

Step 4: Where Are We?

Let’s take some time to visit the Daniel Montgomery Memorial Science Fair! Named in honour of a rich and civic-minded industrialist, the fair celebrates the newest inventions of college students looking to bolster their reputations and develop new tools and devices for the good of the world. Since its inception very recently, the fair has already provided winners and runners-up with lucrative contracts, and created some tangible good in the world.

So of course the Ultramind (or some similar villain) is going to crash it this year to steal some particularly valuable goods.

The Science Fair has the traits Prototype Devices d10, Overly Earnest Students d8, and Jittery Security d8.

Step 5: What Do We Do?

In Green, people become aware that the fair is under attack. Some students try to use their devices to save the day, with decidedly mixed results. One student uses a grappling ray that may or may not hit who they’re aiming at, while another tries to give them heroes a hand and accidentally coats everyone in strength-boosting nanoswarms. Security does their best to provide support and protect anyone in trouble.

In Yellow, fair devices start to interact with each other in unpredictable ways. Malfunctioning devices slow progress, a prototype psychic emitter pulls people’s nightmares out of their heads to act as their own minions, and a particularly powerful laser drill goes off.

Finally, in Red, things are out of control. Devices are exploding or deploying barricades that do not help at all, and things are heating up rapidly; the situation won’t be staying this contained for long…

The Daniel Montgomery Memorial Science Fair

Traits: Prototype Devices d10, Overly Earnest Students d8, Jittery Security d8

Green Zone

Minor Twist: Grappling Ray. A student attempts to slow the villain down with his prototype rescue device, but his aim is terrible. Hinder a random target with the Mid die.

Minor Twist: Out-of-Control Nanoswarm. Another student attempts to deploy his rehabilitative nanoswarm to help the heroes, but they spread rapidly. Boost everyone in the room with the Min die for their next physical action.

Major Twist: Security Forces. Security troops deploy, trying to help people. Attack the most threatening-seeming target (probably the villain, but who knows?) with the Mid die and Defend the most harmless-seeming target with the Min die.

Yellow Zone:

Minor Twist: Construction Webbing. A device to hold concrete in place long enough to set begins spraying the area with sticky webbing. Hinder everyone nearby with the Mid die.

Minor Twist: Psychic Emitter. An emitter designed to help people deal with their inner demons goes off, yanking nightmares out of people’s minds. Attack a target with the Mid die. Then give them a d6 minion who acts on their turn and can only take one action; decide what that action is based on that character’s deepest fears and insecurities.

Major Twist: Laser Drill. A laser drill detonates, sending a burst of crimson energy careening through the space. Attack two targets near to each other with the Mid die.

Red Zone:

Minor Twist: Cascade Explosion. A device damaged in the fighting explodes, setting off a cascade of explosions that rips through the area. Attack every target in the zone with the Max die.

Minor Twist: Auto-Barricades. The building’s anti-fire measures go off, deploying barricades meant to isolate dangerous elements. With everything that has been happening, they can’t tell misfiring devices from battling superheroes. Attack whichever character is doing the most damage or using the most elemental powers with the Max die, and Hinder every other character with the Mid die.

Major Twist: Overload. All of the devices remaining in the fair begin to overheat, threatening to blow up the whole facility! Advance the scene tracker.


I almost didn’t do this one, because it felt kind of similar to Freedom-Con stylistically. But I think it’s just different enough to work, and it gives me something for the Ultramind to attack. You could also use this for a large supertech company’s experimental labs, without much in the way of change.


Also, it’s a memorial to Daniel Montgomery, and he deserves that. :B


Yeah, but it seems different enough mechanically.


Okay, we’ve only got enough elements for two scenes, which means that we know exactly what we’re getting. Let’s run through #13 and see what that means for us.

Step 1: Green Zone

The final four Green Zone options are:

  • Minor: Attack One (Mid), Attack All (Min), Hinder All (Min), Add a minion
  • Major: Action One (Max), 2 Actions (Mid + Min)

I don’t want all-attacks, so for our first area we’re going to go with Attack All (Min) and Add a Minion for our minors, and 2 Actions against 2 Targets using Mid then Min for our big and complicated one.

Step 2: Yellow Zone

In Yellow, our final options look like this:

  • Minor: Hinder One (Max), Boost One (Max), Hinder One PE (Mid), Add Mid Minions
  • Major: Add Mid minions + effect, Action One (Mid+Min)

We want those Hinders and those Minions to not show up in the same place, so for this side I’m going to pick Hinder One (Max) and Boost One (Max) for my minors, and then Add Mid minions + effect for my major. I know exactly where I’m going, and I think I can make it work.

Step 3: Red Zone

Finally, as we approach Red, we’re looking at the following:

  • Minor: 2 Actions One (Max, Hinder PE), Add stronger lieutenant, Two targets Hinder PE (Mid), Fully heal lieutenant
  • Major: All Targets (Max), Add stronger lieutenant and effect

Once again, we want to make sure that we don’t stock up on lieutenants. I don’t think I want “spawn lieutenant” and “heal lieutenant” to be on the same environment’s minor, because that’s pretty repetitive, and I don’t want two persistent-exclusive Hinders in the same place, so let’s take 2 Actions One (Max, Hinder PE), and Add Stronger Lieutenant for my minors, and then All Targets (Max) for my major.

Step 4: Where Are We?

It’s a Kesonee Mob War!

Things have reached a boiling point, and two factions are slugging it out in the streets. Both sides have access to experimental alien-derived weapons and a handful of powered individuals, and both sides want to resolve this once and for all. Is the Expansionist clearing the way for total control? Has a war broken out between two of the factions of her gang? Depends on the story, but this is the result.

The Kesonee Mob War has the traits Armed Goons d8, Experimental Alien Weaponry d10, and Civilian Targets d8; the risk of people getting caught in the cross-fire pushes heroes to dangerous places.

Step 5: What Do We Do?

Well, first off, this is an environment that probably needs something else. My thought is that rather than having (H) challenge elements, you are going to be dealing with two groups of (H-1) enemies, who will fight each other as much as the heroes. Maybe one side has the Wasteland and his partners, and the other side is made up of a couple of lieutenants and a gang of minions, or maybe each side has one villain and their henchfolk. But there are a lot more people in the background; this is a climactic battle that will likely shatter the power of one or both groups if the heroes can stop them.

In Green, sprays of gunfire target everyone in play, as various mobsters on both sides open fire on whoever they can see. Individual grunts break away from the fighting to get involved in the main event, and occasionally a group will target individual heroes with energy weapons that wrack their bodies with pain.

In Yellow, collateral starts to be a thing. Suppressing fire brings buildings down and flips cars onto heroes, while goon squads provide support for the villains of their choice. At the height of the conflict, one side begins to take the advantage, freeing up a squad of minions to support their chosen villains.

Finally, in Red the battle is all but won, and the heroes are running out of time before one side crushes the other and emerges victorious. Goons start targeting heroes with high-power energy weapon attacks that cause their blood and muscles to spasm, and key mob enforcers enter the fray on the winning side. A massive hail of gunfire targets everyone on the losing side, and if the situation reaches the end the mobsters on the winning side have killed or scattered their opposition and the heroes will be forced to retreat…

Kesonee Mob War


Green Zone

Minor Twist: Spray of Gunfire. A lot of people are shooting at a lot of people right now. Make a physical attack against every target in the scene, using the Min die.

Minor Twist: Hired Goon. Someone with more bravery than common sense breaks off from the surrounding battle and comes at the heroes. Add a d8 Armed Goon minion to the battle, and decide which villainous side they belong to. When they Attack, they can also Attack a second target for half the damage rolled on their attack.

Major Twist: Pain Grenade. An alien grenade gets tossed into the middle of a fight. Pick two targets close to either other, as long as they aren’t from both villainous sides. Attack them both with the Mid die, then Hinder them with the Min die.

Yellow Zone:

Minor Twist: Collateral. Stray fire threatens a civilian, brings down architecture, or otherwise creates a serious hazard that a hero gets caught dealing with. Hinder that hero with the Max die.

Minor Twist: “Got Your Back!” Seeing their bosses in trouble, some minions move in to provide support before returning to the general fray. Boost one villain on the currently-losing side with the Max die.

Major Twist: The Tide Turns. As the Yellow Zone draws to a close, it is starting to become clear that one side is winning, and they’re able to send a group of minions to help out. Add a number of Armed Goons equal to the Mid die result, choosing whichever villainous side is now stronger, and Boost all of that side’s existing villains and lieutenants with the Min die.

Red Zone:

Minor Twist: Interpolation Blasters. Stolen blasters lance out at dangerous targets. Attack and Hinder one character with the Max die. The Hinder is persistent and exclusive until the target can heal the energy spasms through their muscles.

Minor Twist: Helping The Boss. As the winning side mops up the opposition, their best fighters come to help. Add a d10 Mobster Lieutenant. Whenever this Lieutenant takes an action, they may also Boost one of their allies with the result.

Major Twist: Mopping Up. There aren’t many enemies left on one side, and the other side takes advantage, opening fire into the fray. Attack all heroes and all villains on the losing side with the Max die.


I think this might be a mess and a half to run, but it would be an entertaining mess.

Having the heroes wading into the middle of a nasty all-out war on the streets of their town to try and shut both sides down before things get entirely out of hand seems very superhero. I don’t know if the challenge suggestions I put in place are good, but I think they give a lot of levers for the GM to adjust the battle’s difficulty by having villains mostly focus on each other if the heroes are getting too beaten up.


Nice! It’s fun that this one is as much an event as it is a location.

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This’ll be a pretty quick one, I expect, because I don’t actually have to make any choices beyond “how does this hang together?” I have some thoughts, but let’s see where we’re at with…

Step 1: Green Zone

Our Green Twist effects are:

  • Minor: Attack One (Mid), Hinder All (Min)
  • Major: Action One (Max)

So a very straightforward Green Zone, doing a set of extremely ordinary things.

Step 2: Yellow Zone

In Yellow, we’re looking at:

  • Minor: Hinder One PE (Mid), Add Mid Minions
  • Major: Action One (Mid+Min)

Some minions are crawling around, something is messing with people on a long-term basis, and something big is going to happen once. Nice and simple.

Step 3: Red Zone

When we hit Red, something nasty is going to happen…

  • Minor: Two targets Hinder PE (Mid), Fully heal lieutenant
  • Major: Add stronger lieutenant and effect

I actually kind of like the interconnectedness here. Spawn a big, tough lieutenant, then heal them every turn. If they’re already healthy, absolutely wreck a couple of heroes’ days, encouraging healing. This is the setpiece that the rest of the event should probably turn on, so here we go…

Step 4: Where Are We?

Welcome to the Grave of the Nechronist!

What exactly is the Nechronist? Perhaps it is an alien entity of phenomenal power, or a Scion of Oblivaeon defeated before the main event. Perhaps it is an ancient being from before time itself, or a fragment of the Void made manifest in a terrible and potent way. Whatever it is, it has been held in a place beyond time, where it could not emerge to do any more damage. But someone has gone to release it, and if it finishes blossoming into its full power it will devour Time itself and consume entire galaxies!

The exact trappings of the Grave should reflect whether this is a science-based creature, a cosmic monstrosity, or a magical threat. It is filled with opaque warnings carved into the walls, and the shattered remains of the mechanisms that were used to keep time from touching the Nechronist and feeding it once again.

The Grave of the Nechronist has the following traits: Temporal Instability d10, Shattered Leylines d10, and False Visions d8.

Step 5: What Do We Do?

This is probably an Epic Scene, sitting in Red longer and making things absolutely wild, because you want to have time to set up the Red puzzle (read ahead) if the players aren’t triggering a lot of environmental twists. So with that in mind….

In Green, the grave trembles, as time begins to flow into its recesses. Eddies of entropy wash over heroes, causing their flesh to wither, and sudden timeskips confuse everyone present and throw them off-balance. A sudden rewind even heals someone as they revert to how they were moments before.

In Yellow, Maxwellian Demons – parasites that feed on the shattered time the Nechronist creates - emerge to speed and reverse entropic flows in preparation to feed. Timewracks press into heroes, slowing them down compared to the world around them, and a terrible entropic blast catches someone off-guard and ravages their flesh.

Finally, in Red, the Nechronist awakens! As soon as the environment turns Red, it cracks free of the crypt, staggering into the light. If the heroes can’t resolve the scene before the environment expires it will become unstoppable. In the meantime, any damage to it is unspun almost as soon as it is created – but if there is no damage on it when it acts, it pulls apart time around the heroes, badly impeding their efforts to stop it…

The Grave of the Nechronist


Green Zone

Minor Twist: Entropic Eddy. A twitch of time slashes across a hero, weakening and corrupting their flesh. Attack them with the Mid die.

Minor Twist: Timeskip. The entire grave stutters and flickers as fragments of time boil away. Hinder all targets present with the Min die.

Major Twist: Rewind. As a blow strikes home, it is pulled backwards and undone. One target that has been Attacked by a hero Recovers with the Max die.

Yellow Zone:

Minor Twist: Maxwellian Demons. The parasitic entropy-eaters that surround the Nechronist begin to break free. Add (Mid die result) d6 Maxwellian Demons to play. These minions can only Boost or Hinder, but when they Boost they also Hinder at (result -1), and when they Hinder they also Boost at (result -1).

Minor Twist: Timewrack. A hero is caught as their time drains away, causing them to slow as the world seems to speed up around them. Hinder that hero with the Mid die; this penalty is persistent and exclusive.

Major Twist: Entropic Eruption. Time that has bubbled up into one place breaks free, washing over an unlucky hero. Attack one target with the combined total of the Mid and Min dice.

Red Zone:

Minor Twist: The Nechronist Recovers. The shattered flows of time that have been expanding outwards contract, surrounding the Nechronist in a shimmering shell. If it is active, restore it to d12 health. If it was defeated, return it to play at d8 health.

Minor Twist: The Nechronist Feeds. The shimmering shell surrounding the Nechronist pulses outwards into shattered flows of time, targeting the closest heroes who aren’t already affected. Use this twist only if the Nechronist is active and at d12 health. Hinder two heroes with the Mid die; this Hinder is persistent and exclusive.

Major Twist: The Nechronist Rises. Trigger this Twist as soon as the Environment turns Red. Space itself cracks open, as the impossible fractal shape of the Nechronist emerges into linear time. When it is struck, the waves around it focus inwards, and as it feeds, they echo outwards into the area. The Nechronist is a d12 Lieutenant. Whenever it takes an action, it also Hinders one target with half of the result.


I wanted to end with something weird and wild, so here we have it! This is another event-style environment, with the consequences for failing to handle the scene built in as the goal. Depending on the situation, you could create a multi-step challenge that needs to be accomplished to bind the Nechronist once again, or it could be sufficient to defeat a villain, stopping whatever machinations were allowing the creature to revive.

One thing I sort of like about this is that battering the Nechronist is not a bad plan, because it keeps devastating Hinders from being dropped on the team, but it’s also not the winning plan, because the monster keeps coming back.

And with that, we’re done! Fourteen environments of varying styles and effects, some tied to the villains that I created and some new and strange, and all of them essentially functional and decently useable. I don’t know if I’ll randomize any more things, but this has been a ton of fun. Thanks for reading along!


And now for your Major Twist in the Red Zone, the Nechronist sends you back in time to the start of this project.

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Whoo, you did it! :smiley:

And that tomb might just be the coolest one…


Thanks so much for this series, I feel like following along through your environment creation thread has helped me a lot with figuring out how to create my own environments, plus given me a lot of material I can stick in my own game!

Hmm, I was planning a scene in my game where the daughter of Baron Blade (who is into magic, talk about a black sheep!) is using magic to try to release xxtz’Hulissh from Atlantis. This Grave of the Nechronist may be a good starting point to adapt for that encounter.

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I just used the Daniel Montgomery Memorial Science Fair Environment in a game today! It was great! (Fittingly, the Wraith was one of the Heroes being played.)

Thanks for providing this handy resource of so many premade Environments. It’s especially useful when one has to improvise.

I plan to use more of your Environments in my future games (namely the Crashed Zebrexian Prison Transport, the CRUCIBLE Base, and the Hurricane Generator), as well as some of your villains, @FrivYeti. But first I simply wanted to ask permission. It seems likely that you’ll grant it, based on your previous statements, but I wanted to ask nonetheless.


Absolutely! Anything that I post publicly is meant to be used, studied, taken apart for spare bits, whatever people want to do with it. Hell, I’d put together PDfs for people so that they can more easily archive the things at their own tables if I didn’t think it would go against C&A’s wishes.

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