Lowlife & Beneath Harlowe House
36 pages, staple-bound softcover, 5.5 x 8.5 inches. Full color. New.
"Come on! Just a little farther!" Adelaide called from ahead, "Only a few more feet!"
Cyrus could feel the stone digging into his back, his sides, his hips. Adelaide's lantern-light shone just beyond, but as he clawed at the earthen floor and heaved himself forward, he made no progress. He was trapped, face down in the mud, entombed in a cavern dozens of feet beneath the surface.
A hissing noise sounded behind him. "Hurry! Push!" Adelaide yelled, "It's coming!" The rhythmic skittering of many legs echoed nearby, growing louder by the second.
"Go without me," Cyrus gasped as he strained, "run! Now!"
As Adelaide's footfalls retreated, all Cyrus could hear was his own ragged breath—and the gnashing of teeth.
Lowlife is a toolkit for old-school RPGs about delving into tunnels, trenches, and mines.
The zine has:
- Systems and consequences for caving, climbing, and tunneling: all the ways you might interact with (and suffer horrible fates in) caverns and mines.
- Hazards, challenges, and encounters players can grapple with, down in the dark: flammable gases, toxic molds, and mysterious geological phenomena.
- A handful of monsters and beasties that might live in the shallow underground: critters like the dire hellbender, the precognitive mole, and the greater trollworm.
- Items to use in the tunnels: the standard tools and dynamite, yes, but also exciting chemicals (like gelignite) and strange devices (like singing holler-hammers).
- Tables for generating your own warrens and trenchworks from scratch, if you want to build a hellhole dungeon from the ground up (or down, as it were).
- Guidelines for modifying existing dungeons to be denser and tighter, if you already have a dungeon in mind but want to up the level of tension and danger.
- Bits of flavor, aesthetic, and worldbuilding scattered throughout.
Critically, Lowlife is not a setting guide or an adventure; there's no preset content here. Rather, it's a toolset for GMs and players, full of rules and content you can slot in at your table when and where you need them.