Friday, 29 March 2013

Quick ruinedcitycrawls - and Conan on Necromunda?

For a little background for this post, go read this one at The Tears of Isstvan then this one at Hill Cantons. It's aimed at tactical roleplaying, but you can find an introductory ruleset for that here.

It's all about managing the complexity of a ruined cityscape that's occupied and prowled, and the key elements are the map, faction territories, depth, locations and activity.
                                                                                                                              

First, create a map for the city, maybe with the collaborative method I posted last week.

Mark the faction territories. Don't know much about the factions? You could assume 1d3 strongholds for each. Don't know where they are? Just number the districts and roll.

Lairs and prowling grounds can be treated the same way, or you can find them by rolling dice onto the map, 1d6 per square mile or whetever fits, taking note of the number rolled: if it's high, mark a major creature presence at the point the die fell, or if low, a minor one.

If the landscape is multi-level, give the map a depth relative to length or width. Set the default terrain type, rubble say, and visibility at general height bands, maybe 3d6 x 25' at a mid-level, using one more or less die, die size or factor of five for each higher or lower.

Next think of waves over shoals. Mark concentric areas radiating from the strongholds or territories, closer together in tighter terrain, more widely spaced along clearer avenues.

Now read this, this and this. Tm; dc? There are many reasons factions meet or are met and lots of data available for teasing out the intricacy of the encounter and relationships.

Each time the party moves, drop say 1d3 dice onto the new location, the first of one colour or size, the others of another. The odd die is the significance of the new location: the higher the number, the greater the undiscovered value it has; the territory it's closest to is the territory that's had the most impact on it; roll type on your location table. The other dice are faction/creature activity: the territory each is closest to is the faction or creature most active nearby; the size of the number reflects the power of the given party.

To represent a relative scarcity or sparcity of locations and/or lack of activity you could then have each of the elements met on a given roll, a 5+ for example, or you could just adapt the strength idea here, discarding any results above or below a certain number.
                                                                                                                              

What's a location table? For a 'Conan-on-Necromunda' vibe maybe something like this, working on the premise the ruins are something like a lost hive out in the ash wastes:

'Sores & Sorcery' ruined city locations (1d20)
  1. Toxic slagstone cavern ...
  2. Compression gem drift ...
  3. Sacrificial clotted sump ...
  4. Buried spilltent cluster ...
  5. Foodpack fungal clump ...
  6. Habchamber network ...
  7. Techsmith's workshop ...
  8. Collapsed factory floor ...
  9. Cyclopean machineries ...
  10. Fallen skyship fuselage ...
  11. Outlandish monument ...
  12. Temple to archeodeity ...
  13. Arcane prison or host ...
  14. Stairwell to the heavens ...
  15. Heat sink supercolumn ...
  16. Internal skin structure ...
  17. Access tunnelway hub ...
  18. Unfinished excavation ...
  19. Warren or nest mouth ...
  20. Crater, gyre or sinkhole ...

Just add rough notes to each, maybe basic dangers, hoard types and probabilities. For contours and layouts I suggest Talysman's methods here and here, for grids mine, here.
                                                                                                                              

I've not tried this yet - it's about an hour old - but the next time the group enters a ruined settlement I will and I'll look to do some refining. Refinements welcome in the meantime.

If you want a fuller sense of my liking for Necromunda, there's that reverie from last year.
_

2 comments:

Geordie Racer said...

Inspiring post - a fantasy version of Confrontation would be a cool solo or tournament style game, generate a gang rather than just a character.

Porky said...

It would be good for a convention game too, maybe run as a near-funnel in the style of Dungeon Crawl Classics. Rules-light tactical systems would be especially useful for the larger numbers.

In general, I know The Retired Adventurer has some posts on playing 40K using Stars Without Number and FrDave did some preparation for a hive-as-megadungeon D&D/SWN campaign. There's also the Weirdhammer idea at Mutants and Magic, using Mutant Future and first edition Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, plus Jeff's LasFodder. All of that is probably still just the tip of the iceberg.

Maybe one day we'll get Necromunda under open licence?