B.C.'s RPGs: The Hole Campaign Setting

Campaign Background

The Hole

The Hole was originally described in an article by Jeff Koke in the first issue of Pyramid Magazine. The Hole is a campaign setting in which characters from various times (and possibly, various dimensions) have been mysteriously transported to a 30 mile-wide crater on the surface of a barren planet. People and buildings (sometimes whole neighbourhoods) have been appearing in the Hole for millenia; nobody has yet found a way to leave.

My campaign has been heavily influenced by Shadowrun; I've stolen their chaotic feeling and some of the background material. I use their ideas about non-Humans (Elfs, Dwarves, Orks, and Trolls) -- especially the idea that normal humans can "goblinize" shortly after arriving in the Hole.

I've also run some of the Shadowrun adventures in the Hole -- Shadowrun is designed with a mix of magic and guns, and that works for my campaign.


The following player characters have taken part in this campaign:

  • Baird McAllistair

    A cyberpunk mercenary from the early 21st century, McAllistair is the gunner of the group. He's a bit of a danger to have around, however, because there's a price on his head, and many people have been trying to collect.

  • Mr. Blonde

    Mr. Blonde worked for "The Company" in the early 21st century. He's a stealth and espionage expert, but can also handle himself in a gun fight. Unknown to most, he also has an experiemental invisibility device implanted in his brain.

  • Sun-Zhao Ling

    Sun-Zhao is a monk from late 19th century China. He is a master of both ancient philosophy and kung-fu. Mastering English, on the other hand...

    Sun-Zhao always tries to avoid a fight, but will defend himself, if necessary.

  • Ronsoni

    Ronsoni is the group's mage; he's originally from the Byzantine era, and learned hermetic fire magic after arriving in the Hole.

  • Madame Solange

    Madame Solange is the proprietor of one of Paradise Alley's most upscale bordellos. She's also pretty mean with a shotgun, and she packs a derringer just to be safe.

  • Mizzed

    The group's oddest member, Mizzed is a werehorse, a bard, an androgyne and a minor mage.

  • Meg Twirly-Nutt

    Meg is a witch and herbalist from 1980s Britain. She specializes in healing.


There is no recorded history of Elves or Trolls on Earth; however, certain people who come to the Hole are genetically predisposed to be metahumans. After arriving at the Hole, many humans goblinize into their metahuman forms (Dwarves, Elves, Orks, or Trolls).

Humans born in the Hole may goblinize to Trolls or Orks on reaching puberty, but do not become Dwarves or Elves.

Metahumans are multi-racial; each sub-species is evenly distributed throughout the various ethnic groups. One might encounter eastern Indian Orks or Asian Elves.


Dwarves (Homo sapiens pumilionis)

Dwarves typically stand about 120 centimetres tall, and weigh somewhere in the neighbourhood of 70 kilograms. They are short, but sturdily built and covered with coarse body hair.

In the Hole, Dwarves tend to prefer artificial or natural caverns in heavily forested areas, or basements in urban areas.

Cost Description
3 Bump of direction
5 Infrared Vision
-10 Physical Limitations: short arms and legs. Maximum run 8", Maximum swim 4". Frequently impairing
-10 Distinctive Features, Dwarf, Concealable with major effort.
-12 Total

Elves (Homo sapiens nobilis)

Elves tend to be very tall (approximately 190 centimetres) and very thin (on average, 65 kilograms). Skin colour tends to be very pale (in Elves of caucasian or Asian descent), or completely ebony (in other cases). Elves have pointed ears and long, fine hair. Elves are extremely long-lived.

Elves tend not to socialize with other races; the clear majority of Elves have withdrawn from urban areas and have joined into intentional communities in wooded and unpopulated areas. They are politically separatist, and prefer to be left alone. When humans are brought to the Hole and goblinize into Elves, they often undergo a significant personality change.

Cost Description
5 Ultraviolet Vision
3 Lightsleep
-5 Distinctive Features, Elf, Concealable.
3 Total

Orks (Homo sapiens robustus)

Orks stand approximately 220 centimetres in height and weigh roughly 120 kilograms. Body hair on Orks tends to be well-developed, and they have broad noses, pointed ears and large lower canines.

In the Hole, many Orks have formed small, tribal intentional comunities outside of urban centres. They are omnivorous, but seem to prefer meat. In urban centres, they tend to be discriminated against. Urban Orks are often victims of hate crimes.

Cost Description
7 Growth (5 pts) -- +5 STR, +1 BODY, +1 STUN, Mass x2, 0 END, Persistent (+1), Always On (-1/2)
5 Ultraviolet vision
-15 Distinctive Features, Ork, Concealable with major effort, causes major reaction
-3 Total


Trolls (Homo sapiens ingentis)

Trolls are even bigger and uglier than Orks. Their bodies are covered with a tough carapice with bony protrusions. They stand roughly 320 centimetres tall and weigh 230 kilograms. They have large, misshapen teeth with often cause slurring of speech; many have incorrectly assumed that Trolls are stupid because of the way they talk. Also, Trolls tend to have long arms giving them a gorilla-like appearance. They have large, pointed ears.

In the Hole, Trolls tend to be discriminated against. Most buildings, vehicles and equipment tends to originate outside of the Hole, and are too small for Trolls to use effectively. They tend to live in areas shunned by humans, such as condemned buildings and sewers. Trolls are often hired as bodyguards or for manual labour.

Cost Description
13 Growth (10 pts) -- +10 STR, +2 BODY, +2 STUN, Mass x4, 0 END, Persistent (+1), Always On (-1/2)
6 +3 rPD, +1 rED natural Armour (body hide)
5 Ultraviolet Vision
-15 Distinctive Features, Troll, Concealable with major effort, causes major reaction
9 Total

Reptilians (A'kina sapiens)

At one point in the Hole's history, a large percentage of Reptilians warped in over a short period of time. Most who faced the Arena survived, and they quickly organized into a cohesive group. They claimed the land that is now called New A'kina, although they can be found, in smaller numbers, in other burroughs.

There is some question about where the reptilians came from. It is known that their home planet is called A'kina, and that it is the third in a nine-planet system. Some have speculated that A'kina is Earth, tens of thousands of years in the future or past (or in another dimension).

The reptilians are multi-racial, although the exact number of reptile races has not been determined. Their hides range from dark green to a muddy brown colour and there are several variations in the length of the snout and overall shape of the head and tail.

Cost Description
5 Extra Limbs -- Tail
6 +2 rPD, +2 rED natural Armour (body hide)
10 1/2 D6 HKA Claws
5 Ultraviolet Vision
-15 Distinctive Features, Reptilian, Concealable with major effort, causes major reaction
11 Total


Copyright © 1998 by B.C. Holmes. Last updated August 1st, 1998.

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