Let’s Make a Game: Tabletop Part 3

 

More LotFP homebrew stuff! We did a test run that ended up running sort of aimlessly moving around, although the party seemed to enjoy the classes. So I’m working on a system to focus the action a little bit more so things are a little less off the cuff, while not getting too prescriptive or railroady. The issue is balancing how random or not random to make certain systems, because the players have to have enough agency without giving them a healthy dose of choice paralysis. The settlement generator is going to be fun to make, as well as some of the points of interest. The idea is to essentially give the players the freedom to choose a destination, or general area to explore for a period of time before they return to the tower. It’s essentially a big dungeon crawl, but as the players level they’ll get more and more access to the spire as well as the narrative surrounding it. Any feedback is appreciated, but all of this is still in the amorphous stages. Getting more spooky creatures done still though, when I have to ship my CPU back home, this project is going to get kicked into high gear, so expect to see more of it as February rolls around!


Expeditions

As a group of specialists, explorers, or otherwise dangerous individuals, the party has been brought together for reasons the GM may leave up to them or may improvise based on player backstory and party composition. The architects are curious about the world below, and they fear the forces that certainly lurk in the twisted metal and thick fog below. That being so, and the warders already spread thinly to defend the tower, they rely on mercenary work from adventurers, scavengers, and anyone else they may blackmail, bully, or convince to bring them information and artifacts from the world below.

Depending on their standing with the tower, the party may choose from three methods of transportation: zephyrs, land vehicles, and good old fashioned walking. upstart groups without zephyrs tend to have to scout on foot until they prove themselves to the architects and gain access to better methods of transport.

By air

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Art by Chris Riddell, for The Edge Chronicles

Zephyrs are the fastest way to travel in the ruins, and those unfamiliar to them seem to believe the safest. In reality they are dangerous, unstable, and obtrusive vessels. Essentially a shell of hardwood surrounding a fusion reactor bound by old world tech and powerful Mathematics, getting on board a zephyr is arguably as dangerous as venturing into the ruins below. That being said, they are maneuverable and swift vessels above the mist line, and can be the perfect choice for a group of pilgrims who know where they are headed. However, they must descend close to the mist line in order for their crew to deploy the salvage lift, which can make for dangerous sailing, and many zephyrs that descend into the fog never rise again to see the sky. Some zephyrs may be equipped with solar cannons but the requisition cost is quite high, so most pilgrims rely on speed and good decision making.

-Zephyrs require a crew of at least 35, and requisitioning one requires a high standing with the spire.
Zephyr Stats: As a caravel that can fly.

By land

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From Mad Max: Fury Road

The skyways that wind their way along the ruined districts below the tower used to transport millions of people every day. Now they stand as a twisted junkyard of destroyed vehicles, fallen skyscrapers, and rusting metal that stretches for mile upon miserable mile. The tower mechanics have salvaged some of the functioning land vehicles from the surrounding area. The tower’s garage is an assortment of high and low tech including hover skiffs, automobiles, motorcycles, and mechanical carriages. Some pilgrims use these to navigate the ruins at a relatively low profile, but run the risk of bumping into one of the countless skyway gangs that patrol in high-speed caravans, spitting smoke, blood, and rust. Legends whisper of things much worse along the road, however. Wretched shapes skittering and skulking along the underside of the skyways, plucking travelers from cockpits as they pass. Or a wheezing cackle in the middle of the night, followed by wildfire and screams piercing the fog.

Car Stats: 35 Miles per day, HP -120, Capacity – 6.

-Requisitioning a land vehicle requires at least good standing with the spire.

By Foot

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From Adventure Time

It’s not fancy, but it’s free. Some pilgrims choose to follow the skyways on foot, while other dive deeper into the ruins and move along the lower levels that crisscross through the skyscrapers below. Stay alert, stay alive.

Stats: The party moves as fast as its most encumbered member.

Exploration

By foot: Roll 1d20 and 1d6 every six hours of in-game travel time.
By wheel: Roll 1d20 and 1d6 every six hours of in-game travel time.
By air: Roll 1d20 and 1d6 every four hours of in-game travel time, with a -2 modifier due to fog.

1-10: Creature encounter. Roll for the number of creatures and type based on the party’s current location.
11-15: Point of interest. Roll on the respective table below.
16-17: A settlement is sighted. Refer to settlement generator.
18-20: Stumble upon a small tech cache. Contains three trinkets and one lesser gadget.

Creature Encounters

Above the mist

  1. The Leviathan Drone appears.
  2. 1d2 Cloud Cutters rise out of the mist. They fly black flags.
  3. 1d4+2 Sunfire drones begin to dismantle the player’s ship.
  4. A corsair galleon attempts to catch the party’s zephyr with tow cables.
  5. A smog demon appears.
  6. A trader ship willing to barter goods appears.

Upper Ruins

  1. The Leviathan Drone appears.
  2. The Leviathan Drone appears.
  3. A swarm of 1d6+3 sunfire drones analyzes the party. If deemed useful, the party will be brought to Primarch Augustus.
  4. The Astronomer appears, directly controlling two TALOS seekers.
  5. A quicksilver demon argues intently with a broken AI terminal.
  6. 1d4 TALOS seekers are awoken. They hunt for the players.

Skyways

  1. A gasoline witch approaches the party, asking for kindling.
  2. A gang of 1d4+1 skyway gang junkers block the road. They demand an exorbitant toll.
  3. An ambush of 1d6+2 Warblers waits in the skyscrapers flanking the road.
  4. The cobalt children whisper a riddle at the players from below the skyway.
  5. A convoy of 1d6 Skyway gang junkers on the warpath appears behind the party.
  6. A rust demon appears. It will attempt to eat all metal the players carry.

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