Sunday, 30 July 2017

Suburb Crawling in Salt Field

First session of suburb crawling in the city . Generating the ideas/images to have ready at at the table to run the crawl  took four hours of mashing together a variety of images , the "chassis"/format of which can be found here.  I spent an additional hour tying together the ideas/images, jotting down some notes to formulate the basics of a couple of the suburbs, their guilds and other inhabitants.

The players didn't leave the suburb they started in, really only travelling a block the whole game. Admittedly they entered the hell hole which is "The Salt Fields" which occupied most of their time. I feel like I've got quite a few sessions lined up from what I've generated.

This post will give a run down of how the visual generator worked to build the basics of a suburb, a suburb profile for "Salt Field" and a play report.


The Generator Result: 



I'm going to try and write relatively stream of consciousness, to try and give some insight as to how my mind translates the results above into a playable suburb.

The field on the map and the pillars of salt (that's what I think they are) in the magic card go perfectly together. There is the Salt Fields of Salt Field. Crumbling stone architecture is explained by the corrosive nature of whatever the "salt" of the Salt Field is. Karma =  destruction due to bad deeds in the past = the field of salt is a punishment, an experiment gone bad (a weapon factory from the guild wars that's now a blight on the land). The Salt Field was once a park, then a weapons factory now a field of nightmares. Streets = thought = writing = the stone buildings are covered in engravings (in a hand barely known), this brings scholars to study them. Lighting = black holes = total and utter darkness, no street lanterns here. Climate = holy = holy wind (?) (not sure how I made this leap) = there is a constantly wind emanating from the salt field that cakes the whole damn suburb in the stuff. There was also a picture of a dog under "Mundane stuff", there fore there is guard dogs that keep order here. (These were later linked to the resident guild "Judges of Bellona").

I'll give a more structured description of the suburb below. The points of interest, guilds, neutral groups, threats were all generated using a similar "visual generator" as used for the suburb. Their generation was informed by the basics I now knew about "Salt Field".

Suburb Profile:

Name: Salt Field.
Suburb type: Ex weapon factory, corrupted by defunct guild during the guild wars.
Streets: All buildings and road covered in archaic engravings, caked in calcified salt.
Lighting: None, pitch black without own lighting.
Climate: Warm and salt windy blows from Salt Field, invigorates the lungs and gives feeling of robustness.
Architecture Description: Crumbling and blocky stone. Any past ornateness eroded by salty wind.  
Description: The titular Salt Field is a blessing and a curse for the suburb. Slowly killing it, slowly calcifying all of its buildings and inhabitants but brings travelling scholars and guilds, mercenaries and peddlers interested in dust.

Points of Interest: 
The Rat Skull Dustery: Giant rat skull building, either carved marble or an actual skull of some primeval beast, truth is not known. Variety of dust and accommodation provided.
Salt Field: Sprawling pitch black field covered in pillars of crumbling minerals with a variety of chemical properties. Haunted by those now addled, mindless and calcified due to over consumption of dust/salt.
Ruins of Madness: Collapsed building that seems to call to and collected the calcified salt addicts.

Resident Guild: 
Judges of Bellona: researchers and catalogers of the effect of over consumption of dust. They have their work cut out for them here. Red robe wearing. Have harness that straps a desk and lantern to their body allowing constant scribing and research on the go. Guarded by Salt Dogs.
Neutral Groups: 
Quagmire Arms: relatively successful mercenary group unfortunately moving deeper as a group into dust addiction. Hoping to unlock the secrets of Salt Field to give them an edge in battle.
Threats: Salt Dogs, Calcified madmen and women.
Mundane:  Dust peddlers and cooks, Scholars present to study engravings on the wall.

Some rumors/possible quests (extrapolated from the information above):

  • Judges of Bellona require research and collection of materials from either Salt Field or Ruins of Madness.
  • Specific member of Judges of Bellona wants protection as they observe first hand the Salt Field or Ruins of Madness. 
  • Scholars wanting rubbings of hard to reach engravings. 
  • Dust peddlers needing chunks of specific salt from the salt fields.
  • Family members wanting calcified salt addicts recovered from the salt fields. 
  • Quigmire Arms wanting intel or samples from the salt field. 


Play Report: 

"The Salt Fields" ended up being an impromptu dungeon (which I wasn't aware of it being at the start of the game). The party was tasked with finding some "crystal clear" salt chunks by the leader of Quagmire Arms. Two forays into the field followed, with the party terrified with either getting lost in the darkness, or being eaten alive by calcified madmen. No "crystal clear" salt chunks were found, but interesting black salt sample was found and returned to The Rat Skull Dustery. Of note was also the discovery of a stone shed with a bubbling fountain that seemed to remove salt calcification. Three saltmen were killed by the party, the rest were either run away from or avoided through guile.

A brief session of reconnaissance occurred between forays into the salt field by the "apeman" racoid party member. This involved climbing up and along the the second story of a tenement building. A crossbow aimed at his head, a snoring salt addict and a party of scholars were encountered. The scholars were oddly cheerful and were intrigued by the party members climbing skills and offered him a job taking rubbings on the higher levels of the building. Unfortunately the party member fell while attempting said rubbings and came very close to dying. The rubbings were never completed.