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Dortoka: City on the Sea of Glass

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Plunder the dead metropolis on the Sea of Glass in this OSR urban toolkit and setting guide

Dortoka: City on the Sea of Glass is a city-building toolkit and adventure module designed to work with Vagabonds of Dyfed. Because of its origin, it’s semi-compatible with most OSR systems (such as B/X and Labyrinth Lord) and PbtA games (such as Dungeon World).

Inspired by magical post-apocalyptic settings like Dark Sun mixed with fantastical and wild cities like Doskvol, Dortoka is a compact supplement that lets you build your own incomprehensibly massive fallen metropolis. 

As a product built for Vagabonds, it comes with additional mechanics -- a new lineage, new techniques, and guidelines on psionics. While made for a specific game in mind, these rules are easy to port into your game of choice.

Vagabonds Stuff

The first chunk of the book focuses on how to incorporate Dortoka (or Dark Sun inspired cities) into your campaign, especially for those playing Vagabonds or similar games.

  • Basics and intro: evocative details, a brief write up, and tips on how to bring Dortoka into a new or existing game
  • Psionics: a combination of rules and setting information; psionics play a key role in Dortoka and the surrounding Sea of Glass. Guidelines on how to acquire and use psionic powers, how they can go wrong, and what they might cost an unwary psion who opened their mind too greedily
  • A new lineage, the Hozka: an insectoid people inspired by Thri-Kreen and Formics, this species has a tenuous hive-mind, latent psionic abilities, and impressive strength
  • New techniques: short and punchy special abilities not unlike spells or feats in other systems
  • Dortokan enemies: a handful of setting-specific monster stat blocks for Dortokan bad guys (including a demonically possessed dragon and the glass-and-steel constructs left behind by the Dortokan Mind Lords)

City Building Toolkit

The rest of the book’s all about how you can build your version of Dortoka as you play. Each section has tables, examples, and tips to make the best out of your time:

  • Organizational structure: a quick outline to help you mentally (or physically) map out Dortoka, splitting things into distinct wards and blocks
  • Randomizing streets, blocks, and landmarks: a system for quickly randomizing a cartographic view of a block or a few streets. Likewise, you can generate key areas in a given region (and how hotly contested they are)
  • The city as a pointcrawl: advice and techniques for running a city-exploration game as a pointcrawl; focusing on points of interest and the routes connecting them
  • Tables and tables and tables: descriptor tables, bits of inspirational details, color-palettes, themes, and adventure seeds for each “class” of ward (from warrens to palatial)
  • Six sample wards: a complete (albeit unmapped) ward for each class including key resources, population, and details


While the city’s all but empty -- the once invincible Dortokan Empire is mostly peopled by ghosts now -- hundreds of factions scrape together a living in the psychic mirage of a wasteland that is the City on the Sea of Glass. 

  • Organization randomization: twelve tables to randomize every aspect of a faction from how it’s structured to its armament and current struggles
  • Details: as with cities, details and inspiration for factions that the GM can plop in at will
  • Rumors: a rumor table related to each type of faction, setting up encounters, adventure arcs, or quests  
  • NPC tables: quick NPCs on the go, name generators, and all manner of people-specific descriptions 
  • Six sample factions: organization, structure, territory, goals, and resources to easily insert into your game

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File Last Updated:
November 30, 2018
This title was added to our catalog on November 23, 2018.