Join special guests Sam and Owen with the Liberation Industries crew on a spandex clad romp through the ruins of a disintegrating future Newark, engaging in string of desperate ploys to save their beloved Lucha Libre gym. Can Francois the Dragon of Detroit, Stanton “Red Bear” Barbados and Bryan “El Tomate” Middleton scam enough to keep the Federation open?
Fates Worse Than Death: Rentpunk is a product of Vajra Enterprises, and frankly deserves a much saner playthorugh than we have really given it.
Well, the Liberation Industries team took to the world and character creation section of our Karma in the Dark game with characteristic gusto. The full recording of this technologically hobbled session is still available through the Whimsy and Metaphor Twitch, and should surface on our Youtube pretty soon. But for those in the Too Long, Didn’t Listen camp… I’m going to do a few quick blog posts here to summarize the results, and whet your appetites for when the next live sessions air.
Welcome to Metro East
Now Karma offers us some downright robust world building tools; though the game’s elevator pitch is probably “Blades Powered Shadowrun” its got a lot more going for it than that, and can basically handle all of your magic cyberpunk needs. It lets you build a world with a strong focus on privilege, and the exact avenues that power is expressed in that dystopia.
Naturally, we decided to set our game in Sydney, Australia. Or at least, what’s left of it.
Power is influenced by three factors in Karma, chosen by the players at the start of the campaign. Our group chose Metatype as one factor in a nod to classic Shadowrun; elves and humans have an easier time negotiating society than their goblinoid cousins. The other two factors we chose were Bloodline and Property, with family ties to the Oligarch Clans offering a measure of protection, and a citizen’s social clout strongly resting on how much capital they can bring to bear.
With that in place, we have a distinctly neo-feudal city.
Glittering Heights, Murky Depths
Even before the magical Outbreak hit, Metro East was not doing so well. With its lower levels subsiding in ever greater floodwaters and further growth choked by geographical restrictions, the skyline grew desperately taller, clawing for the sky even as the building’s foundations were swallowed by the sea. The city grew upwards in layers, like a mad termite mound.
Then the Outbreak struck, and the world changed completely. With the return of magic to the world, technology that had been the lifeblood of a globalised economy – wireless communication, positioning satellites, even long distance radio – went silent in the face of a global magical susurrus. Technology had to be rebuilt in shielded, wired form, and cities were left to fend for themselves. It is a metropolis of text-fed terminals, flickering hologram billboards, and murky phone booths with gnarled nerve-jack leads swinging in the ever present storm winds.
The crash was eighty years ago, and only now are we returning to the globalised world that was lost. So far, even the great corporations have been unable to challenge the primacy of the City States, but with more ships arriving in Metro East from abroad every day, that may be set to change.
It is a city of great divisions. Industry is driven by intensive, exploitative aquaculture and risky ocean mining, offset by a ravenous urge for respect that has manifested in a cutting edge fashion scene. The Oligarchs maintain their hold through monopolies on the most alarming magic – they say the rites of divination that keep them ahead of their rivals are unspeakably horrid – and access to the best medical care. They have developed a taste for flaunting their elegant, tailored bioware, the symbol of their coveted longevity, with the fashion for gauzy, revealing garments that display humanity’s augmented peak. For the kelp-fed poor, crude cyberware can be the difference between life and death, but social pressure often drives it to be covered; given the harsh weather, the working classes make their way in shrouds and bulky raincoats through the torrid, waterlogged industrial quarters. Life expectancy gets lower the deeper you go.
Metro East is viewed by outsiders as both an enclave of vain upstarts, and a pit of desperate criminal savagery… and both of these statements are true.
Tune in next week, and we’ll take a look at some of the City’s movers and shakers, at least in the tumbledown neighbourhood our characters inhabit. If you have any questions, drop a comment, or have a look at Cass K Designs; this game comes thoroughly recommended!
With their path to the planes conditional on returning stolen records to the governors, Carson the Half Elf gunslinger, Valanthe the Wood Elf druid and Domingo the Anthropig mathematician hunt the streets of Sigil on the trail of the Anarchists… though they do manage a short stop at the Cavern to help their old pal Sig with a planar problem of his own…
Dungeons and Dragons 5e is a product of Wizards of the Coast. If you’ve heard of us and not them… well, don’t I just feel special right now.
After a string of downright creepy dreams, our intrepid heroes beat feet onto the weird streets of Sigil. While not enduring apparently random encounters, Carson the Half Elf Gunslinger goes to the murder museum, Valanthe the Wood Elf Druid assists some poultry in need, and Domingo the Anthropig Mathematician does some paperwork.
They call them Adventurers for a reason kids.
This session features Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition. It doesn’t talk much, but it is most certainly present in the studio and contributing.
Join the crew on another jaunt in service of the Lord of the Depths in this grisly episode of our Blades in the Darkgame! Can Veleris the Hound, Vand the Whisper and Miss Ruby the Spider infiltrate the Gondolier’s subterranean canal network to find a safe home for the whispering Coral Crown?
As it so often is in this game, the answer is “Yes, but…”
With gory reminders of the town’s panicked disputes still scattered in plain sight, the final showdown beckons for those who would decide the fate of the colony. The question remains as to how much colony there will be left to rule…
Nick Wedig continues to make fantastic Creative Commons games. Check them out over at Teapot Dome Games!
With the local nobility supernaturally terrorized into a charitable mood, the Disciples of the Depths move on to the main event. Unfortunately someone tipped off their rivals in the Church of the Weeping Lady, so the battle for the hearts and wallets of Doskvol begins in earnest…
Season’s Greeting listeners! For our holiday horror special, here comes another slippery caper of Blades in the Dark!
With the terror of famine hovering like the ever present Doskvol fog, the Disciples of the Depths spring into action in what may be the biggest canned food scam the city has ever seen. After all, it is much easier to be faithful with a full belly, and if those nobles aren’t in a giving spirit yet then perhaps they need some convincing…
Will Miss Ruby the Spider, Vand the Whisper and Veleris the Hound be able to push some good-natured nuns out of the pickled eel racket?
Having blown their prior assailants into chunky salsa, the adventurers continue into the depths of the Hive and learn the finer points of mob mentality. Can Carson, Domingo, Valanthe and Snort find their quarry, let alone bring him back alive?
We’re going another round with Dungeons and Dragons 5th Ed, brought to you by the crazed machinations of Wizards of the Coast. Game on!