Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Dark Sun Terrain: Rocky Badlands

Windswept Rocky Badlands. Badlands National Park, South Dakota, USA
Rocky badlands are usually found at the base of mountain ranges, sometimes stretching out for miles around. They are twisting canyons with walls of crumbling rocks. Many of these canyons are separated by thin ridges, but some have rounded or flat tops as well. Rocky Badlands are a popular location for many living things, due to the natural shade they provide.
Life is fairly common in the rocky badlands, due to a majority of the suns harsh rays being blocked by the canyon walls. Water pools up and doesn't evaporate as quickly as elsewhere. Wind often blows through the canyons, but rarely in the form of a cool breeze. Hot, oven-like wind blows through the canyon, making life miserable for those inhabitants who call the rocky badlands home. Thorny and serrated leaved bushes, as well as stunted trees, grow in the rocky badlands.

Zion National Park, Utah, USA
Many animals and monsters call the rocky badlands home. While the food chain demands small animals be present in great numbers, larger predators roam the canyons day and night. Natural caves can be found in abundance and provide homes for numerous creatures. Erdlands, bullettes, kes'trekel, giant lizards, and even earth drakes can be found among the wide and narrow canyons.
Traveling in the rocky badlands can be an exercise in frustration. The canyons are never straight lines, leading to when the traveler wants to go. Rocky badlands are like giant mazes and travelers often encounter dead ends. Scaling the cliffs prove equally difficult, as the stones are either windswept and smooth, or crumbling rock faces. Wagons and pack animals must travel on the canyon floor, for the walls of the canyons are far too steep.
Willis Creek, Utah, USA
When it comes to the terrain types, rocky barrens might be one of the most inhabitable. Water and plants are protected from the sun and natural caves may provide shelter from the many creatures that live there. However, getting lost is easy and travelers may enter one canyon and get lost for several days, weeks, or perhaps longer.

Official rules: All creatures move at their full movement speed on the floors of the canyons.

House rules: Climbing the canyon walls imposes a penalty from 20-50%, or more, depending on the smoothness or crumbling nature of the wall.

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