“So, I been thinking. You know that one game where you play as a Shepard? Was thinking of making a VIU module about that, but this time, instead of sending some ship out for 600 hundred years, the people research a new FTL drive. I’m thinking it’s called the Probability Skip Engine, like that one show with that one guy that was Hercules.”
“Fetu, is this really the time?” Wendy asks.
“Sorry, eh? Jus’ playin’ shotgun inside your head. All I got is time ta think ‘til something comes up.”
Wendy chuckles in spite of herself, “It’s alright. I’ll playtest it once we’re done here.”
Previously, I mentioned using The Nightmares Underneath and World of Dungeons Turbo to generate themes for a dungeon. Another free resource that helps keep it more guided is the Planarch Codex which builds the dungeon like a Dungeon World monster. Using Forthright Open Roleplay’s resolution mechanic, I have a Dungeon World like result table to use with the Planarch Codex.
Danger: The Shadows Between (corruption)
Countdown: [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
Danger: Cogitator Cultists (assimilate)
Countdown: [ ] [ ] [ ]
Anchor: Co-location servers
The result table:
1-7: The Danger is not present
8-13: The Danger is present with +1 Strength, mark one box
14-19: The Danger is present with +2 Strength, mark two boxes
20: The Danger is present with +3 Strength, mark three boxes.
That’s it. Five lines describe the dungeon or environment; five lines describe the results. Everything else comes from the GM side of things or an oracle of some sort.
And on to Fortune: Destiny and cycles. Kind of coincidental with the last scene…
The incursion is a two dimensional pane of dull pumpkin, emitting a glow that bleeds across the lobby floor. Emerging through the other side, Wendy is met with a landscape painted in shades of grey. A large pearl hangs in the sky, shedding light on a charcoal city scape. The only sign of color is the orange portal behind her.
GM rolls for Dangers: Shadows, 17 (2 boxes checked on countdown); Cogitators, 4.
The lobby remains vacant and absolutely silent, not even a sign of the fight that just took place. The shatterproof glass to either side house couches for waiting clients. Ahead, a receptionist’s desk in white streaked marble lies vacant. A dim glow comes from an inactive display; two elevators are positioned behind the desk.
“D, plug in so I can see what’s in there,” Fetu says.
“Only if you promise not to get me stuck again.”
“Hey, I learn from my mistakes.”
Wendy glides over to the reception area and unspools the cable to connect her neural implant to the computer.
Player rolls for hacking: 9, Exchange
Fetu uses his connection from the communicator to the neural interface and gains access to the corporate directory.
“Hey, D, I think I found what we looking for. The basement is getting a lot of powe… Uh, hold on.”
“That doesn’t sound promising.”
Wet, sticky noises come from the hall to the left. Wendy’s NAT implants amplify the ambient light. A shadow black rottweiler pulls itself across the floor; its paws seem to stick and cling to the tiled floor. Heavy tendrils drag behind it.
Corrupted Guard Dog: +2 Combat, +0 Talk, +0 Skill, 1d6 Harm, 20 Luck
“Have what you need?” Wendy whispers.
“Yeah, I think I know where ta go nex’.”
The dog lifts its head and scents the air; the tendrils lift like hackles and wave back and forth. The methodical plodding, sticking steps come closer.
“I don’t think we’re hiding from this one,” Wendy says, channeling electricity into her limbs.
Within the Incursion, channeling what some would consider magic is easier and not prone to Reinforcement, a by-product of the real world exerting natural laws on a practitioner. As the dog moves closer, Wendy eases a shard of trapped blue white energy into her hand, a long blade just shy of two feet composed of electricity.
Player rolls for combat: 12, Exchange. 4 Harm (16 remain). Dog Counterattacks for 6 Harm (24 remain).
Dog rolls for combat: 14, Win. 5 Harm (19 remain).
Wendy leaps from the reception desk and comes down on the dog. Her lightning dagger stabs into the floor.
The dog twists and retaliates, snapping its strong jaws at Wendy’s arm.
A ring of electricity springs to life and forms a parma Wendy uses for defense.
The dog’s face gnashes at the shield; it redoubles its efforts and jumps onto her, attempting to pin her beneath its mass.
Player rolls for combat: 22, Boon. 3 Harm (13 remain) and Team Boons raise to 2.
Dog rolls for combat: 5, Setback. Player chooses Counterattack, 10 Harm (3 remain).
Beneath the dog, Wendy thrashes and strikes at it with her dagger.
The dog rolls to the side and hunches down, growling. It jumps at her again, a thick, oily tendril swinging at her face. Wendy’s counter is severe; she sidesteps away and slashes the tendril cleanly off the rottweiler. It lands with a heavy wet smack and coils futilely along the floor.
Player rolls for combat: 12, Exchange. 7 Harm. Dog chooses Knockdown.
Wendy’s lightning blade slices down through the air and carves into its back.
The dog twists with a final yelp, using the last of its animating force to bowl her down and stare into her eyes. Drool falls from its jaws as the tendrils flail in its death throes. Its eyes burn with an orange sentient light as it glares defiantly at her.
“Soooo, the basement, then,” Wendy whispers with a resigned sigh, shoving the dog off to the side. “That thing. I think… I think it was intelligent.”
“Maybe it was, D, but I don’t think it was gonna talk.”
GM rolls for Dangers: Shadows, 11 (1 box remains); Cogitators, 17 (1 box remains).
Mob of 3 Cogitators: +2 Combat, +0 Talk, +1 Skill, talon implant (1d6 harm, close), pistol implant (1d6 harm, long), 30 Luck
Corrupting Serpent: +0 Combat, +0 Talk, +0 Skill, 1d6 Harm, 10 Luck
The elevator reaches the basement, and the doors open to reveal a dim hallway lit by flickering light. The corridor stretches away, broken by a cage on one side marked with by a warning sign. Black cables connect equipment to each other and the outside world.
Player rolls for stealth: 18, Win.
Wendy walks down the hallway, weapon drawn, and reaches a junction. The black and white sign marked with an arrow: deliveries to the right. Coming down the right hand hallway are three individuals in muted crimson robes with what appears to be a snake trailing behind. The snake is an oily length of tarry black, eyes illuminated within by the pumpkin orange glow.
Player rolls for lockpicking: 18, Win.
Wendy retreats swiftly down the corridor and brings out her lockpicks; she unlocks the cage where the routers are and crouches in the shadows behind them.
Footsteps approach along with muttered monotone computational small talk.
“X is One,” one of the robed figures says as it passes by.
“X is One,” another agrees.
“Analysis: Processing increased by e,” says the third.
Clicks and whirrs respond in unison after the third statement. The cultists continue on, the serpent slithering behind with raspy, sticky tears as it pulls itself along the concrete floor. The elevator doors close and Wendy is left alone in the black and white world.
Next: The Hanged Man