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Supplements and Expansions - Connecting Your Gameworld

Tue 13 Jun 2017, 07:58

Mutant: Year Zero might be my favorite system, both in that I like it more than almost any other RPG, but also because I adore post-apocalypse and its themes, and the way M:YZ does them is excellent. I have all the currently released Compendiums and Sectors, I'm looking forward to the new Expansion, and I want to use all that content in some way. The only way I can think of is to integrate it all into one big campaign setting, however - partially because I love the way the adding of these layers and expansions captures the concepts of an expanding world and the challenges of a recreated society, but also because I have very limited access to people who want to play Mutant, and we use the narrative-heavy format of play-by-post.

Here's the question, though... how would you (or, how have you) tied everything together? Do you set your campaign in the Dead Blue Sea, or do you visit it? How do you integrate mutant animals at the end of Genlab? What do you do after the mysteries surrounding Eden have been resolved? I have thoughts, but I want to hear yours.

I'll put my thoughts right here, for critique or advice or whatever:

I'm starting with an Ark in Year Zero, and I plan on using either the Dead Apple, the Big Smoke, or a coastal Zone of my own creation. I like how Year Zero is the most vague in terms of setting and actively obscures the truth of things. I'll probably put in the Sectors from Compendium 1 and the two Zone Sector PDFs right off the bat. Assuming things go well with the Ark and the metaplot gets resolved, anyone who makes it through that experience will be able to wrap up the immediate plot in the Ark; either way, once either the metaplot has resolved or the original Ark falls to obscurity, we'll cut to Genlab Alpha. Hopefully that goes well, because I look forward to seeing how the animals integrate into (what I hope) is the growing society of the Zone. We can work on new plots and integrate the Sectors from Die, Meat-Eaters, Die! as the animals settle down.

My big outstanding question is how to integrate Dead Blue Sea. I really love it, and want to use it, but I don't want to start there or set an Ark there. I had considered using the Derelict Oil Rig Threat as a plot hook to get them out there - perhaps there is an Ark out in the Dead Blue Sea, or some other reason to go out beyond the "Zone" as the People know it. That would be easy from the Dead Apple (it's very coastal), but I don't like that Zone; it would also be easy from some custom Zone, but then I'd have to make it. The Big Smoke is my favorite overall, but is so far from the coast that... I guess an oil rig could somehow wash all the way down the Thames, but... really? I also don't know when to do all that. A whole new Zone to explore is a big undertaking, and it would take them far, far away from the world they'd have worked to understand and develop. 

Thoughts? Concerns? Stories from your own grand campaigns?
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Re: Supplements and Expansions - Connecting Your Gameworld

Tue 13 Jun 2017, 13:19

Very cool stuff! The games is intentionally built to make it possible to tie the different parts together in a variety of ways. It would be great if some Swedish players could share their ideas and experiences here too. :)
Fria Ligan
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Re: Supplements and Expansions - Connecting Your Gameworld

Wed 14 Jun 2017, 11:59

How would I get my players into the Dead Blue Sea from the Big Smoke? Easy - Pirates..!
Just have a few boatloads of heavily-armed and efficient North Sea oil-rig dwellers sail up the Thames Estuary looking for slaves/food and have them raid the Ark. Some of mutants they kidnap are close friends/lovers/family of the PCs, which should be enough motivation to send the characters off in hot pursuit.
And they don't have to come from oil rigs: their home could be the sea forts that dot that area of the Channel, or a community built around an off-shore wind farm, turned into a built-up island archipelago made from wrecked ships and debris, and the spoils of many raids on the mainland.
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Re: Supplements and Expansions - Connecting Your Gameworld

Fri 21 Jul 2017, 10:41

Have you started your grand campaign yet, Nigel?

While the Big Smoke isn't truly coastal, London extends far enough that you could enlarge the zone map to the coast or sketch up a new one further down river if you prefer to keep the map contained. Or given that the water level has risen so much, you can easily rule that mutants exploring one more sector east of the map's edge find the sea.

Inspired by FantomPencil's ace pirates idea, another option is to have the PCs part of a desperate flotilla in need of refuge. A storm or monster has chased them into the Thames and wrecked their big boats, now they need to find a new place to call home. The starting Ark now represents their makeshift port as bosses argue between getting back to life on the waves or making a fresh start on firm ground.

Or else start with a regular ark but have a faction obsessed with building a ship and sailing away. Then if things go really badly for the ark at some point (like a battle in which players can only roll 1s - true story!), mutants can flock to their banner and you're ready with Dead Blue Sea.

The animal mutants and robots don't have to wait for their own origin stories before entering play. Early in our MY0 campaign, the PCs encountered animal mutants from the bestiary, narrowly killed their leader and ran, only to be followed by a handful of these 'muttmen' (we made up a lot of names) wanting to join us. They became back-up characters for players whose PC was out of action or dead and we were away from the ark. This being before Genlab, we picked suitable mutations for the muttmen and ran them as mutants.
Just before we switched to Genlab Alpha, our human mutants discovered an outpost of more peaceable animals in the ruins of London Zoo - when we get back to the zone, they'll be an option for new characters with a different backstory to MGA's Paradise Valley. There's also a recurring android antagonist in our MY0 game who again came out of the zone bestiary so the odd lone robot, or even a whole settlement somewhere deep in the rot, is easy to include using Mechatron's rules.

Our Genlab campaign has proven quite lengthy but my initial plan as GM was to have any animals that manage to leave Paradise Valley follow the river to the sea (with a zone sector to explore here and there), crew a number of half-rusted boats from a ruined port there and sail along the coast (with adventures using Dead Blue Sea) to our Big Smoke campaign, which is run by another member of the gaming group.

As a plan it's still workable but there's going to be some difference in XP totals between the two sets of PCs. As problems go however it's pretty minor and easily solved through playing a few more sessions. It's a hard life!