Thursday, January 14, 2021

It's a Sprawl World After All - a Module for Shadowrun

     Given the prominence of Cyberpunk in culture with recent...events, my players were interested in playing a ttrpg with cyberpunk elements. Given that I don't have any copy of Cyberpunk besides the abysmal V3, I chose to go with a set of books I did have, Shadowrun 4th Edition. The last decent edition of the game (don't @ me Chummer), I was more than happy to share the tolkein-inspired game of dragons and street samurai with them. This module is intended to launch a game in Shanghai, focused on dealing with the interactions between the Horizon and Wuxing mega-corps and the Triads that control the city. 

For any purists of SR reading, yes, I have made some lore errors--specifically with the existence of Disney as a distinct corp. I wanted the aesthetic and didn't think having them Horizon branded would be as fun. 

Thanks for reading!


Steal a Donald and/or Goofy Animatronic, then deliver it to Sagacious Cho at the Jumbo-Jackpots within two weeks.

Required for full payment: Don’t leave any bodies if you have to kill anyone.


The fixer, Sagacious Cho, is a mage and White Paper Fan in the Glowing Eyes Circle operating out of a casino named the Jumbo-Jackpots. His gang has been contracted by a Wuxing VP of Magical Research and Development named Cheung Wingji. Wingji is looking to use the animatronic in a Feng Shui ritual meant to tilt her chances towards being named head of Magical R&D for Wuxing’s Shanghai division. Fearing attempts at sabotage from their rivals, the executive reached out to her contacts within the Red Dragons Triad. After several layers of decision making later, the job was given to the GEC. Wingji is worried about the job getting back to her, so she has specifically requested that bloodshed (or at least the evidence of it) be kept to an absolute minimum.



     Shanghai Disneyland is situated as part of the greater Disney Arcology in the Pudong district. Opened in 2016 and boasting an annual attendance of roughly 16 million guests, the park is the second-most profitable of the media giant’s resorts. Constructed in 2026 among rising security and environmental concerns, the Disney Arcology is a somewhat fanciful take on the concept, hearkening to the EPCOT project of the 1960s. Boasting a population of 65,000 and its own private city services and administration, employees are not required to live on-site, but are heavily encouraged to do so through low-wages and rent subsidies. Security for the park itself is contracted out to Ares Macrotechnology, which does not hire locals. Most materials needed for the park are produced by the arcology itself, but supporting companies in the form of courier or delivery services are provided by a company named SS & DM. The animatronics themselves are fully interactive, independent machines with simple machine intelligence. Due to their complexity they need constant servicing, and as a result of several agreements made when the land was first purchased from the city in 2005, locals must be used for several steps of the operation. Maintenance of the animatronics is required roughly every 2 weeks, necessitating a rotating trio for every major character. 

     Before being shipped out, or when inactive, the robots are kept in a secure facility within the arcology itself, which given the security around the building, is nigh impregnable. The animatronics are assigned loops in the park, functioning as a form of walk-around exhibit. The robots are friendly, and will acquiesce to most requests from guests, but will quickly notify security if anything untoward is happening.



     Ares Security Services provides both physical and digital security for the Shanghai Disneyland park. Operating under exclusive contract for the last 27 years, the company has maintained an impeccable safety record even when faced with the myriad threats presented by the Second Chinese Civil War. Though once seen as a particularly challenging post, changing circumstances have led it to becoming something of a backwater. Due to the often humiliating and humdrum nature of the work, assignment to the area is generally done to season new officers, or as a punitive posting. The current overseer of security is Captain Malo Siharath (a Laotian Ork) who has been in the position for just over 3 years. A well-keeled and thoroughly organized man, Malo is running out the clock until his retirement within the end of the decade. Though a fine commander, the nature of the work has left him short-staffed. His requests for personnel are largely ignored by the greater company, and Disney’s requirement that local workers be excluded from security and administrative roles leaves him with few options. The Captain’s men are overworked and ill-equipped to deal with the enormity of the task that has been given to them. With just under 120 guards split across two shifts, the average number able to work on a given day is generally between 40 to 50. IT security is provided by a small staff of a dozen extremely overworked Deckers. Most of the day-to-day security and public relations is provided by a proprietary AI named Mulan.



     Shangai Supply & Distribution Materials General Co-Operative (SS&DM) is the largest supplier of parts and technical equipment that cannot be produced by on-site. Ostensibly independent, SS & DM is in many ways just a subsidiary of Disney in all but name. The company is operated out of a trio of warehouses surrounded by a security fence, in the dockyards on Heqingzhen Bay. Deliveries are automated by a pair of riggers named Yuan Su (an Ork) and Chang Zhi (a Human) through a small fleet of a half-dozen drone vehicles—two vans, a pair of rapid delivery helo-drones, a flatbed truck, and a cycle. Particularly sensitive or expensive deliveries may be made by a third-party bonded courier, but this is on a case-by-case basis only. The company’s CEO and majority owner is an Elf named Dai Gengxin, is content to take money from Disney and allow the business to be a largely hands-off operation. Security at the warehouses is provided by a squad of eight relatively competent soldiers sourced from a local gang named the Flame Moths. The gangsters typically hang out and play cards in a security shack near the entrance to the premises, but will actively patrol if a delivery is going out, or new product is coming in. They are equipped with basic body armor and small arms. 

     The warehouses operate 24/7, with a staff of two dozen workers split across three shifts. Overtime is common and the laborers are generally busy either sorting stock, or loading it onto one of the drone-vehicles for a delivery. Su and Zhi are split into rotating 8-hour shifts, five days per week. The riggers are housed in a secured room within the middle of the three warehouses on the top floor. Security is limited to a pair of cameras at the entrance to the gates, one on the door of each warehouse, and one on each warehouse floor, as well as one in the room that the riggers are housed in. Given that SS&DM is current with their protection payments, the Moths will do their best, and will call for back-up if pressed. The installation and refurbishment of the animatronics is a job that requires roughly 10 man-hours, and is usually fulfilled within three days of being delivered.

NPCs

Flame Moth Soldier

B

A

R

S

C

I

L

W

ESS

Init

IP

CM

3

3

3

3

2

2

2

2

5.8

5

1

10


Skills: Clubs 2, Pistols 2, Unarmed Combat 2.

Cyberware: Hand Razors.

Gear: Armor Vest, Streetline Special, Baseball Bat.


Ares Security – Disney Division


B

A

R

S

C

I

L

W

ESS

Init

IP

CM

3

3

4

3

3

3

2

3

6

7

1

10


Skills
: Dodge 2, Pistols 1, Shortarms 3, Unarmed Combat 2.

Gear: Armor Vest, Fichetti Security 600, H&K 227X, Stun Baton.


Sagacious Cho, Criminal Middle-Manager


     A middle-aged White Paper Fan (a financial or administrative officer in a Triad) working within the Glowing Eyes Circle, Cho has been on the outs with his gang for the last six years. Originally seen as a rising star and operating a lucrative business out of his casino, The Jumbo-Jackpots, Cho lost the respect and trust of his gang after a drunken brawl with a lover left the young man dead, and Cho as the target of a Wuxing Security investigation. Though cleared of charges due to the intercession of the family’s Dragon Head, Cho was largely cut out of the organization and instead used primarily as a money launderer. Unwilling to accept the new position he has found himself in, Cho has spent most of the last half-decade trying to work his way back into the gang’s good graces. Due to his gusto, he has been assigned some of the most humiliating tasks possible that the GEC need carried out, and it was this tendency that led him to being assigned the Disney Heist.

     Cho is a churlish and resentful Ork with a bad fashion sense. His thinning gray hair is poorly combed over, and his teeth have been stained yellow from habitual smoking. He is short for an Ork, under 2m, and is paunchy, with a greyish hide. He tends to dress in knit shirts, chinos and shoes made from artificial leather. Though technically a mage, Cho is not particularly talented, barely able to master even the simplest of spells and poor at dealing with spirits. His repeated failures and maltreatment by the hands of his superiors have left him angry and impatient with others, often venting his accumulated frustrations upon his underlings.

Friday, January 8, 2021

Nothing beside remains - a Ruins generator

 

Art Credit Ma-Ko

Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
-
Percy Bysshe Shelley, "Ozymandias"

In yet another entry in my generator series, today we'll be going over ruins. What is D&D without some ruins to crawl through? Half of the game's title refers to the concept after all. That being said, the concept of every ruin or wrecked building leading downwards into the earth always seemed an artificial assumption to me. While miles of mine-shafts, network tunnels and subways crisscross our world, very few previous cultures actively built large subterranean complexes. What we have instead are things like ghost-towns, forgotten cities and buried ruins. Not every end is equal either; for every city wrecked by over-foresting, another met it's demise through climate change.

     To use this table, simply roll 4d8 and consult the relevant results below.

d8

What kind of ruins did they leave behind?

1

Effectively nothing—perhaps some scattered bits of masonry or timber.

2

A few foundations and some grave stones.

3

Some tumbledown buildings and walls that make up a few blocks.

4

A handful of largely intact structures, as well as several more dilapidated ones.

5

Some particularly robust structure like a fortification, catacombs, vault or tomb.

6

An extensive network of tunnels or other subterranean structure.

7

The majority of the settlement, town or structure is serviceable, but in dire need of repairs.

8

An eerily intact town, settlement or larger structure, still usable.


d8

What did them in?

1

Disease, pestilence and blight.

2

An economic or political collapse, leading to unrest and starvation.

3

War or some other sort of wide-scale conflict.

4

Some sort of natural disaster, like an earthquake or a volcano.

5

A climactic shift, such as an ice age or drought.

6

A magical catastrophe, such as everyone being turned into gold statues or being disintegrated by beams of light.

7

Malaise, ennui, depression. The place simply ceased to be important or upkept by the residents.

8

The wrath of an angry deity or powerful sprit. Roll again, ignoring this result if it comes up again. The second result is what form the being's rage took.


d8

How long ago did it happen?

1

Before recorded history. The details have passed into myth or legend.

2

Centuries in the past. Accurate details will likely be very hard to find.

3

A decade or more. All that is left are tumbled stones and painful memories.

4

A couple of years. It has faded into trivia for everyone but the survivors of those they left behind.

5

Several seasons ago, long enough that the situation has largely stabilized or fizzled out.

6

A month or two. Short enough that refugees may still be pouring from the area.

7

Quite recently. Days, perhaps a week at most.

8

It never ceased, or is currently ongoing. Roll again, ignoring this result if it comes up again. The second result is how long ago the place's decay began.


d8

Were there any survivors?

1-2

No.

3

Scattered handfuls, a mere fraction of the former population.

4-5

A sizable band, constituting a few families or a distinct organization.

6-7

Good portions of the populace escaped before being claimed by whatever took the rest.

8

By some miracle, nearly everyone survived or fled successfully.

All art is the property of its respective owners, and will be taken down upon request.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

"So who gets to be a wizard?!" - a Generator for Societal views on Magic



          It is time for yet another entry in my overall series in generating a setting's elements with tables, today we're going to go over how a society reacts to the presence of magic.

    Most fantasy settings are fantastical because of a simple reason: magic is real. Though there is tinkering around the edges—low magic settings, magical undergrounds, urban fantasy—the core premise is that humans can affect the world in wonderous and impossible ways. This seems like a banal statement, but one that often is not always questioned by most world-building. Most societies in commonly held fantasy settings are ordered in ways that do not necessarily reflect the impact that being able to wield magic would have on them. Not including magic from the get-go can lead to a strange disconnection between magicians and the rest of the setting. Though this certainly could be played up for effect, most settings are probably aiming for a more seamless inclusion.

This set of tables aims to give you a starting point for how a society might regard magic and how it is used within it. To use this generator simply roll 4d8 and consult the relevant results below:

d8

Who is allowed to practice magic in this society?

1-2

Anyone with the aptitude, provided that they can afford the training or find an apprenticeship.

3-4

Anyone with the aptitude may learn, but only at a state-sponsored place such as a specific academy or tutor.

5

Only those of a certain gender expression may practice magic here.

6

Members of a certain family or set of families are allowed to wield magic.

7

Magic is completely or supposedly forbidden. The only practicioners are in secret.

8

Magical training is held by a group such as a church, cult or other mystically inclined organization. Only members of this organization are allowed to practice the art.


d8

How is magic seen here?

1-2

Fearfully. The use of magic and those who wield it are seen as ill-omened or even accursed.

3-4

With awe. Magic-users of any stripe are figures of respect and wonder.

5

A hedonistic pursuit, turning users soft against the hazards and boring iterations of daily life.

6

It is considered a diversion or hobby, no different from whittling or whistling.

7

Pragmatically. Practicioners may be expected to serve their community.

8

A repugnant pursuit, something to keep behind closed doors.


d8

What kind of eldritch power predominates here?

1-2

Arcane magic, the kind that sorcerers or wizards use.

3-4

Divine practices, those of druids or priests.

5-6

Cultivation of the Way, the power of psionics.

7-8

Magic here is generally gained through bargaining or intimidating beings such as outsiders or fae into giving up boons.


d8

What sort of practices are considered taboo?

1

Disturbing the dead or their souls.

2

The binding or enslavement of nature spirits.

3

Occlusion of the truth—the use of illusion or deceit.

4

Any kind of spell or effect that causes direct violence, up to and including death spells.

5

The beguiling or tampering with the mind or emotions of others.

6

Summoning creatures from other planes—Celesitals, Fiends or Elementals.

7

Any effect or spell is fine, but magic is only supposed to be practiced in particular circumstances, such as while being observed by another spellcaster, or while completely alone.

8

Any effect or spell is fine, but magic is only supposed to be practiced at a certain time, such as in the day or at night.


All art is the property of its respective owners, and will be taken down at their discretion.


Thanks for reading!





Monday, December 21, 2020

The Jovial - A Christmas themed Class for OSE & LotFP

They're making a list. They're checking it twice.

They're going to find out who's naughty or nice.

They know when you are sleeping.

They know when you're awake.

They know if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!

Level

Experience

HP

Paralyze

Poison

Breath

Device

Magic

Detect Law or Chaos

Detect Life

The List

1

0

1d6

12

10

13

12

14

1-in-6

-

1/day

2

2,250

1d6

12

10

13

12

14

1-in-6

-

1/day

3

4,500

1d6

12

10

13

12

14

2-in-6

-

1/day

4

9,000

1d6

10

8

11

10

12

2-in-6

1-in-6

1/day

5

18,000

1d6

10

8

11

10

12

3-in-6

1-in-6

2/day

6

36,000

1d6

10

8

11

10

12

3-in-6

1-in-6

2/day

7

72,000

1d6

8

6

8

8

10

4-in-6

2-in-6

2/day

8

144,000

1d6

8

6

8

8

10

4-in-6

2-in-6

2/day

9

288,000

1d6

8

6

8

8

10

5-in-6

2-in-6

3/day

10

432,000

+2*

6

4

6

6

8

5-in-6

3-in-6

3/day

11

576,000

+2*

6

4

6

6

8

6-in-6

3-in-6

3/day

12

720,000

+2*

6

4

6

6

8

6-in-6

3-in-6

3/day

13

864,000

+2*

4

2

3

4

6

6-in-6

4-in-6

4/day

14+

+144,000/lvl

+2*

4

2

3

4

6

6-in-6

4-in-6

4/day

B/X & OSE Rules

Requirements

Minimum WIS 9

Prime Requisite

WIS and CHA

Hit Dice

1d6

Thac0 Table

As Rogue

Maximum Level

14

Armor

Any

Weapons

Any

Languages

Alignment, Common, Elvish


     Befitting their roles as judges of moral rectitude, the Jovials have several abilities relating to this role. Detect Law/Chaos & Detect Life both function similar to Specialist/Rogue skills, and can be used as many times per day as the PC wishes, though they each consume a certain amount of time as detailed within the skill.


    Detect Law/Chaos: By observing a creature for at least a round, a Jovial can determine whether they are naughty (Chaotic) or nice (Lawful). This knowledge is transmitted to the character visually, usually through an aura of some sort. Particularly powerful creatures such as fiends or celestials may blind a Jovial who attempts to use this skill on them, at the referee's discretion.

     Detect Life: Meditating and using their connection to the hopes and dreams of living beings, the Jovial can detect the presence of living, intelligent creatures within 30ft. This ability can be used on the surface or underground, but is blocked by effects such as anti-magic fields.

     The most powerful ability of the Jovial is known as The List. After determining whether or not a subject is naughty or nice using Detect Law/Chaos, the Jovial may then write the target's name down into a suitable object given over to that purpose such as a book, scroll or tablet. This has one of two effects, depending on the disposition of the target:

  • Nice: For a number of rounds, equal to the Jovial's level, the target gains advantage on all saves and skill rolls.

  • Naughty: For a number of rounds, equal to the Jovial's level, the target gains disadvantage on all saves and skill rolls.

     After reaching 9th level, the Jovial may establish a Workshop, attracting 2d6 level 1 Elves to serve them. These Elves will serve the Jovial loyally; however they must also be supported and housed year round.