29 May 2024

Review: Infinigrad: The Weird City Toolkit

tl:dr; a shiny new iteration of the go-to urban generator for Suburbs, Buildings, Guilds, Foes, Dungeons and Quests.

Infinigrad: The Weird City Toolkit by Gorgzu Games is the current iteration of a toolkit I have been gleefully using for years - in its first iteration as it was released in parts on the Lizard Man Diaries blog to create cities for my Lizard Kingdoms campaign and it has remained by go-to whenever I want to get granular and creative in an urban environment. Books like World Without Number give you great high level stuff but Infinigrad is the one that takes you down through the suburbs to the room by room.

Conceptually, I belive this sprang from the authors desire to have a toolkit that would support random generation of episodic weird fantasy heists or cyberpunk style 'runs' - each session would see a newly diced up location in the infinite city complete with atmosphere and opposition and off the players would go. What is is now is a hugely detailed set of urban location generators from the suburb scale down to the people and things in the rooms which can be deployed to support any urban setting from fantasy to far future.

The book itself is, to my mind, a solid improvement in useability on older versions, cleaner text layout, easier to read and same great content expanded in useful places. The art through is AI, by "the Daemon Midjourney", as has been the Authors style for years. This may or may not sit well with you but for the vibes of Infinigrad it works as a dreamy, twisted place where people *do* have the wrong number of fingers and generally look twisted, warped and uncanny.

The DriveThru package also includes a bunch of HTML generators - Building Stocker, Guild Dog Generator, Job Generator, Suburb Generator, Suburb Street Stocker and Universal Stocker - which you can just click-to-use instead of rolling dice to look things up. I think I will be sticking with dice on the table and the pdf but these are a nice quality of life inclusion for those who want them.

So what is all this stuff you get in here?
Introduction - 10 pages with setting background over art
Suburb mapper and stocker - 5 page
Street stocker - 1 page
Universal interior mapper and stocker - 2 pages
Overall suburb details - 8 pages
Building details - 4 pages
Resident generator - 4 pages
Merchant generator - 2 pages
Small items - 1 page
Large items - 1 page
Spell laden item generator - 2 pages
Ornamentation generator - 2 pages
Mental pursuits - 2 pages
Entertainment generator - 2 pages
Gang generator - 8 pages
Order keeper generator - 8 pages
Guild generator - 12 pages
God generator - 6 pages
Monster/beast generator - 4 pages
Rival guild dog generator - 4 pages
Dungeon generator - 2 pages
Trap generator - 2 pages
Device generator - 2 pages
Utility building generator - 4 pages
Augmentation details - 2 pages
Universal job generator - 6 pages
Alternative suburb mapping - 2 pages
Alternative building interior mapping table - 2 pages
Alternative generic room stocking tables - 3 pages

So what is in here chunk by chunk? Practically you all the above is six chunks - Intro, Suburbs, Buildings, Guilds, Foes, Dungeons, Quests.

The intro is setting fluff and art - 10 pages of vibe setting, it will either gel with you or not.

Suburbs is the core bit why you should have this on your shelf; it has a Suburb mapper and stocker, Street stocker, Universal interior mapper and stocker, generators for Overall suburb details, Building details and Residents as well as a specific Utility building generator. These are all great and extensively battle tested in the authors ongoing campaigns. As a bonus we also get recreated the old methods that were in-use when I first found Infinigrad for suburb mapping, building interior mapping and generic room stocking. I like having these here for that additional creative spark and as a way to futher detail or differentiate places you are creating.

Building Contents (non-hostile) has all the things that you could buy or blow your loot on - the Merchant generator, Small items, Large items, Spell laden items and the Ornamentation generator as well as generators for Mental pursuits, Entertainment and Augmentation details. Some of these are also going to be incidental occupants for buildings in a suburb or that is the target of a job for some other reason. The tables here can also be useful for filling in rooms, creating on-person loot and other times where you need to have some things.

Guilds, Gang and God generators as the 'patrons and friendlies' box. A block of this is common from The Blasphemous Roster from the same author but the visual generators have been removed and the city elements greatly expanded for Infinigrad. Gangs get a type, look, vibe, goal and leader. For Guilds, each gets two areas of expertise, a vibe and a look - you can use it for gangs or for cultures, noble houses, whatever faction you are generating. Gods get an appearance and a domain - useful both as patrons for people you meet and for direct encounters.

Beasts and Rivals has the generators for Order keepers, Monster/beasts and Rival guild dogs - the rival guild dog generator is actually an NPC generator giving nature, posessions and abilities - useful both for hirelings or opponents. The monster/beast generator will give you something original or you can pick something from your favoured bestiary and roll on the mutations table to get some interesting variation.

Dungeon generator (in which I also include Trap generator and Device generator) is a little shorter than others with just location and danger components but combine them with the traps generator (nature, means of harm) and the mysterious device generator together with the building generators and you can easily fill out as large a complex as you need.

Universal job generator - endless ideas for city based missions needing doing by guilds you generate. Here the tables are d4,d10, the beloved older form - so we get "The target of the job is [d4,d10]. The desired outcome of the job is [d4,d10]. Job location [d4,d10] and the danger at the location [d4,d10] while the reward to complete the job is [d4,d10]. The rewards can serve as further treasure tables if you need them, you can switch out the danger tables with the suburb dangers for further variety.

Overall, this is the business - the sheer breadth of the prompts in the tables means a couple of rolls gets you a bunch of things to juice your creativity and locations will end up being interesting and creative. I bring this into play for figuring out what is within my cities - there are plenty of generators out there that will give you city level and maybe identify the number of suburbs but this is *the* generator set to get you down through the suburbs and their streets to the things lurking in the rooms. If you are running cities or dungeons, check this out.

For another review see Axian Spice or search reviews of The Blasphemous Roster to get more takes on the content (though not the presentation).

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