Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Space Dungeon Solo: Wormy Bottom

I dig the Space Dungeon concept, but it seems like maybe I don't have a whole lot of room for playing and running things at the moment, and when I do have the time to game I am preferring to run it, or something like it.  And next month my schedule is going to get a whole lot wackier, so games are going to be a rarity PDQ.  I probably ought to be supporting my friends in the community by playing in their games and testing their stuff - I make apologies openly and forthrightly, friends, should you end up reading this.

What's a wayward Space Murderhobo to do?  Well, if he/she or it is anything like me, then they would find some way to play the thing DESPITE lack of meaningful human contact, I mean a dead tomb world doesn't necessarily need to have whole crews of people mishmashing around in it.  There's the surface of the planet Nebulmor, rife with hominids and triffids and creepy crawly lower life forms and scouring thanatobots.  You could wander around the outposts there, looking for work or romance or whatever.  Or, you could poke around the sophisticated Space Station that administers the claims on the surface on behalf of the race that owns the planet (whose name I don't think is established yet, or even what the name of the station is).  You'll find more reliable tech station-side, surfacer, but it'll cost you and of course you're definitely going to be scrutinized by the Feds.  There, I just named them.  They're called the Feds, but it's like the first syllable in a 20-string nominal noun that you need specific parts to intone, anyways, so everybody calls them the Feds.  The nearby moon Voodrasixth is maybe the equivalent of cloud planet that the Ancients had a techno-temple on, but it's pretty much abandoned, now.  They say that Voodrasixth's heart is a quivering mass of querellium, fabulously dense and strong but flexible and easy to shape by those with superior will.

Where am I going with all this baloney?  Where's the game-able content, brobot?  It's like this.  I been reading this thing by Kabuki Kaiser, lately, The Mad Monks of Kwantoom... The previous release of the same vein is Ruins of the Undercity.  They are great.  Go buy them, dick around with them for a little bit, and then come back here.  I'll wait.  It's cool.  No, no, I'm not kidding on this.  They are that fun.  Mind you, I'm a guy that digs solo-dungeoneering.  I got a hankering for it.

So, the KK things have this interesting system in which you declare your intent to purchase an object by finding the shop/seller first, and attached to the shop is a percentage die roll representing your chance to find it.  Then, you check for events (a 1 in 6 chance), resolve those if they happen, and then check to see if you find the shop, and then check to see if the item you want is available.  So, since Space Dungeon is DCC native with sci-fi hacks onto it, I figured you could throw in standard DCC checks and it's all good.  Also, there are interesting ways to find hirelings and the items listed for purchase are so out there - you're kind of like "Who in the hell would purchase that thing?" But then when you read the monster descriptions and the heavy duty SECRET section of MMK (I only have read 1 entry as I was commanded despite sore temptations) it is evident that a great deal of the miscellaneous gizmos for sale may have deeper use.  For instance, the colors of your clothing can impact the outcomes or course of certain events.

Again, why am I selling some other folks' stuff?  Well, to impress on you what a great idea it can be not just for solo play (which has its merits) but also to allow a campaign to roll on like clockwork, especially in the context of a PbP community-oriented thing like I have done in the past.  It's a great way to give the thing a life/un-life of its own.  Which I've wished to see happen with some other shared spaces I've had on G+ (namely Last Days of Dying Aereth and the Cryptopolis by Gaslight but those petered out mostly due to my own dilly dallying)

Check it:


Wormy Bottom is not so much a concrete place, as a general area between Mons Plotinus and the Verrine Chasm in which the various tribes of Nebulmorean Mongrelmen and assorted Outworld scum congregate to do business.  They come, hitch their slag-beetles and nitrox-tents together for a while to trade, revel, and fornicate, and - when the stars align in certain patterns above - to do weirder things that don't bear scrutiny and description.  They offer scavenged metallic bits and stonework from the surface, hydroponic fungkrill patties (artisanal quality), and detestable protein-liquors brewed from questionable sources.  They buy corpses no questions asked.  Some say that metal women from Voodrasixth come to turn larger hunks of meat into shambling Zomborgs, but this is likely a rumor.  There are no Fed Station-based factions or corporations that are welcome or openly moving in Wormy Bottom, as the felonious regulars are not joiners as a rule, and tend to be honorable and genuinely unpredictable as a matter of course.  Else they disappear quietly down The Chute - a local landmark that some say empties into the tomb of a Ghilonian Necrarch.

Always make a DC Check when purchasing items in Wormy Bottom, as proprietors sometimes roam and adventure or leave for Stationside.  If you have found a shop or faction before, then take a +1 bonus to your check, but still check (note: in the MMK, when you've found a seller, it stays found for you and this'll hold true for most other areas in the campaign)

EVENTS (1d10+Luck Bonus)

-1 or less: Wormy Bottom is not here where you remember it.  Instead, the gaping maw of The Chute yawns, and you tip over without much grace (perhaps entranced?).  Make a DC 15 Fortitude Save - if you pass, gain 3 XP and a cool story.  If you fail, well, it's no big thing to say you won't be missed.
0: You're not welcome in Wormy Bottom this time, for reasons that aren't made clear.  No sellers will sell to you and folks seem to be preparing for something juicy and insidious.  It smells like meat and lubricants.
1:  You're accosted by beggars.  Mongrelmen beggars, and their rotten space-louse infested spawn.  They don't need your pity, only your creds, guv.  If you don't give 1d10 beggars and spawn each a cred, then you'll find a random object missing if you fail a DC 12 Luck check.
2:  A crazed Zomborg (AC13, HP 12, claws for 1d6) stands up from a protein vat and attacks everything nearby.  At this time, that's you, you unruly frood-poseur!  No running, this things hopped up on goofballs and slightly off his tea
3:  A small band of corporate ops from the Fed Station are here, poking around.  Faction/Corporation determined randomly.  They will buy any associated tech or artifacts at a huge markup (200%) but if you choose to do this deal then you can never come back to Wormy Bottom on pain of The Chute.
4:  A ragtag band of 1d8 Irator Mercs (AC 9, HP 5, armed with clubs or stunners) comes out of a aminohooch yurt, looking for a fight.  They will attempt to pummel you/stun you for 2d3 rounds, during which time you can make a DC 15 Reflex Save to evade them or try to take some down.  If they beat you, then you lose all your gear and creds.  Thumb it back to the Fed station lander if you can.  The crew will snigger at you on the ride back. You maybe could hoof it to the next nomad station or poke around in some nearby claims.  Good luck with that.  If your crew somehow beats them, they will offer to join you (unless you kill them, of course)
5:  Some Valtrex from the Pustulating Eye clan are available for service (Valtrex is +Gordon Cranford's nominated slang for 'sex-worker' and I will likely forget but it's plusgood).  They don't care what kind of work they do, as long as it's not physical labor and they can spread microbes and viroids, and will even accompany parties into dungeons for the right price (see below)
6: For some perceived slight, an aged Asteroid Anchorite bedevils you with a nixie-jinx.  Your water stores are drying up fast, and so you can't check more than one shop or faction here today.
7: A dysfunxtional/malfunctional etiquette droid is here, offering to smooth over any problems with the locals. You can hire him/her/it as a henchthing (see below) and it speaks 1d12 languages, including the binary language of embalming machines.  However, your main PC/leader suffers a -2 Luck penalty while the bot is on the crew.
8: A shifty Silgurian trader, slightly taller then the devolved ones seen around these parts lately, brings a Maggot-train into the camp, and it's chock full of antique energy weapons - roughly a tenth of the price but three times the usual  fumble _AND_ critical ranges!  Wear gloves!
9: A pilgrimage of leprous Betans travels through the camp on the way to a nearby shrine to an age-dead Sorcerer Warlord. Their chanting is a spell, and the air ripples with enervating energy.  ANYONE that makes a DC 12 Intelligence check can opt to learn the spell - the mercurial effects will always cause a bonus to _other casters' rolls_.  Who knows what may come when they arrive at the shrine...
10: A flock of Black Obbs descends upon the town, 1d6 in number. Every round half attack the party and half attack settlers, firing scorching beams of mutating radiation. Those hit can take 3d4 points of ionizing damage, or opt for a greater corruption (the results need not make sense in the course of the event).  For every settler radiated, the chance of finding needed shops on the next visit is reduced (an increase in the DC for the check for all shops)
11 or more: The settlers have a holiday!  All Wormy Bottom shops/factions are available and costs are reduced by half.

More on Wormy Bottom later - this phone is not the best writing implement. 

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