Archives of Nethys

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Infinite Worlds / Desert

Desert Toolbox

Source Galaxy Exploration Manual pg. 62
See Biome Subsections on page 46 for advice on how to use the following tables.

Desert Inhabitants

9–12Dragon, abysiumDinosaur, dromaeosaurid
13–16Dragon, goldDinosaur, thyreophoran
17–20DragonkinDust manta
25–28FormianElemental, earth
29–32Ghibrani, huskEllicoth
33–36Giant, sunHerd animal, desert
37–40HaanMephit, radiation
45–48IkeshtiMountain eel
49–52IztheptarPredator, desert
53–56KasathaRageshkor, rock
57–60Oracle of OrasRobot, mining
61–64Planar scion, suliSalamander
65–68QuorluScavenger slime
69–72ReptoidSolar wisp
73–76RyphorianSpookfish swarm
81–84ShobhadSynapse worm
85–88StrixThermophilic ooze
93–96WitchwyrdVoid palm
97–100YsokiWysp, fire

Desert Adventure Hooks

D20Adventure Hook
1 A rare and beautiful medicinal flower’s first super bloom in centuries is expected to occur in the foothills just outside the planet’s capital city, attracting tourists, alarming surface botanists, and enticing enterprising smugglers.
2 A sinkhole has appeared in a bustling marketplace, revealing an elaborate series of tunnels and broadcasting the threatening and haunting calls of unseen creatures. Locals are looking for a group to enter the sinkhole and locate its source, charting the underground system along the way.
3 The annual dune rallies are about to begin! All sorts of competitors, both local and from across the galaxy, are vying to enter, qualify, and win to claim the grand prize—a priceless arcane artifact—all while fending off ruthless competition on and off the course.
4 The water and energy systems in a desert settlement begin to collapse, sinking further into the sand each day, with no discernible natural cause. While the residents welcome outside help, the local government blames any further damage on outsiders’ arrival and interference.
5 A survey crew goes missing while studying nutrient-dense crystals lining the bottom of an evaporated ocean. With the camp left intact and no signs of struggle, it’s up to a brave group of rescuers to find them.
6 Major trade routes across the desert are under constant attack by an infamous gang of raiders who hide their whereabouts in a dizzying forest of thin, rocky spires, their tactics directed by a mysterious leader shrouded in wild rumors.
7 A catastrophic storm has plunged the world into endless night, causing crops to die and residents to flee offworld. Stranded locals and cultural relics alike need rescuing before the atmosphere completely degrades.
8 The migration patterns of electrified creatures have suddenly and unseasonably changed. Their passage will soon take them over a domed vacationer’s paradise where their energy fields will disrupt the power systems that protect the tourists and staff.
9 A strange metaphysical shift recently revealed that a previously impassible stretch of dunes was in fact a permanent mirage hiding a vast, empty city of untold wealth. The discovery draws opportunists and scientists alike.
10 Larger-than-normal dust storms issuing from a remote part of the desert are wreaking havoc in other regions of the world. Local environmental and governmental authorities are looking for adventurers to investigate the potential source of the phenomenon.
11 Vehicles carrying loads from a food-modification district to smaller desert outposts have been found destroyed and abandoned. Stranger still, the crates of produce appear to have been broken open from the inside.
12 Surveyors locate plentiful subterranean lakes underneath a desert plateau—an ideal spot for a new settlement. However, the entire survey crew disappears without a trace... until one of their walking corpses shambles out of the desert.
13 A merchant begins selling capsules of powdery blue silt, claiming that it increases endurance and promotes wellness. Though it’s a rapid success, failure to disclose its source—a forbidden shrine in a vast salt flat—results in nightly phantom attacks.
14 A remote rest stop in the desert is the last known location of a string of disappeared travelers. A living hologram has taken over the depot and has been capturing visitors, forcing them to build it a new machine body so it can escape from its desert prison.
15 A desert starport is infamous for scavengers that pick ships clean while their crews are distracted by the famed local cactus-bloom liquor. But the robbers have just relieved a notorious gang of its latest haul, and someone must intervene before tensions erupt into a war.
16 Each year, highly valuable and culturally revered bioluminescent moths return to the cactus forest. This year, they haven’t arrived on time, nor have they been spotted along their migratory route, throwing local traditions into chaos.
17 A powerful water elemental is holding an entire desert region ransom by withholding the much-needed annual rains. None have been able to determine the elemental’s exact demands.
18 An old and unused system of beacons for communicating during ionic storms suddenly lights up, sending an incoherent distress call that speaks of living sandstorms and animated dunes.
19 Farmers across the biome report that the aquifers they rely on have abruptly run dry. An exploratory team ventures into the empty ducts to find massive, swollen moonflower root balls that are about to break the desert’s surface.
20 A roving settlement of wind-powered dune skimmers is rapidly approaching a more permanent desert settlement. Does the approaching community offer hope of trade and cultural exchange, or something far more sinister?