Thursday, 7 November 2013

Zone-age Rumours (1d30)




If you've read Roadside Picnic or seen Stalker, you know how inspirational they can be.

John at Fate SF is running a creative project, open to all: add a Zone-inspired work to the gaming canon, for any system. Just write it up and post - maybe using the funky image by Hereticwerks up top - and leave the link at John's, to go into the master table.

Here's my starting point, for narrative skirmish and tactical roleplaying especially: a d30 table of rumours from a Zone-struck world, for some context and large-scale campaign seeds. Feed them into a weird, modern or near-future setting or use them for inspiration.


Zone-age Rumours (1d30)

  1. Networks are down worldwide: someone must have found something special...
  2. A crazed individual or group known as the Interknut has claimed responsibility.
  3. The centre of a major city is on lockdown following a possible Zone-tech attack.
  4. Warheads are being retargeted at host countries - it's the only way to be sure.
  5. A growing paramilitant group is recruiting and training stalkers for its own ends.
  6. A thinktank wants to encourage Zone creation to stimulate the global economy.
  7. Shares in private spaceflight firms are rocketing - those with the cash want off.
  8. Tech firm Jubbly is using modified Zone-tech in its soon-to-be-released jTorch.
  9. Pollinations, sporings and seasonal migrations are producing strange hybrids.
  10. Someone is hacking radio telescope arrays, broadcasting coordinates offworld.
  11. For each person frozen in fear, one violates the exclusion laws, to risk knowing.
  12. A superpower is faking Zones in strategic regions, to undermine governments.
  13. The Zones are a pox, a wasting disease with which man has infected his world.
  14. Those hoverboards from Back to the Future Part II really weren't props after all.
  15. Brain Plague - a noetic bug - is spreading; the symptoms are sin, Tom's a sim!
  16. Someone has come forward with a daguerreotype of Brunel - in a stalker suit...
  17. A tabletop game blogger knows more than he's letting on and may be a cause.
  18. Life on Earth was born in a Zone, a garden grown in the spoil of a former world.
  19. Relatives of the Strugatskys are being taken into custody for their own safety.
  20. Protesters at CERN demand to know the whereabouts of John Higginsbottom.
  21. The Zone artefacts may be the higher beings known by the codeword 'braner'.
  22. A secret international group has built an insectoid walker for Zone exploration.
  23. Whole tracts of a Zone have seized up - the air knows we'll run before we do...
  24. One of the Zones holds a newly grown world tree, but not a tree for this world.
  25. Roadside picnics have been banned, for fear of retribution by the local wildife.
  26. Crop circles are transdimensional exhaust plumes, marks of the near-misses.
  27. The Zones are infusions of life - vaccinations - or stimulants injected from afar.
  28. Muddy, garish figures are walking out of the Zones, with a message of change.
  29. The heart of each Zone holds a portal to another world, an End to a life in this.
  30. The Zones were always there; we ourselves have only now woken from sleep...

If you need to know more about the veracity of a given rumour, make a roll on this table.

If you don't have a d30, roll 1d3 for the tens and 1d10 for the units. No d10 either..? Roll 1d2. If the result is a 1, roll 1d6 to get a number from 1 to 5, i.e. rerolling 6s. If the first result is a 2 instead, roll 1d6 and add 5 to get a number from 6 to 10, rolling all 6s again.

So, venture in, if you dare...
_

8 comments:

John Till said...

Hi Porky! Great post! I put up your post AND table itself today: From The Zones Community Project Table

garrisonjames said...

Cool table, especially liked the nod to Brunel...

Trey said...

Great rumors.

Porky said...

It's been a while since we had one of these and it's good fun, like stretching the cross-blogging legs. I'm hoping to stay in the Zone so to speak and put together at least one more, something trailed in the table...

Jedediah said...

Very cool. I need to bookmark the project for when I run the Stalker RPG!

John Till said...

Jedediah, it would be wonderful to have a post on the Stalker RPG for the "From the Zones" community project, or anything else you'd like to contribute!

Porky said...

I can second that - wonderful it would be.

Porky said...

For everyone passing through, if you haven't seen it or been to the master table recently, have a look at Brett's first contribution - Jack Moulson, Stalker.

I don't have a profile that can comment at Brett's blog, so I'll just say here the text is a fine window into a possible mindset and set of experiences for someone going into a place like the Zone, with plausible natural reactions, as well as more ideas for the kind of phenomena that might be in there.

Have a look at John's most recent too - The Zone as Character - especially if you're not sure what the Zones might be.