I've mentioned it before, but I'm running an ORE Fallout game for schoolpsychnerd
. I've run a Fallout game before briefly, where I took schoolpsychnerd
through part of the plot of Fallout 1 (which she's never played), but this time I was determined to break a bit out of my GMing rut. I'm typically one of those people who plots things out and has games with story arcs and dramatic revelations and conspiratorial machinations and so on, but right now I'm getting all my plot-based gaming urges out of my system with my mystery-focused DELTA GREEN game. For Fallout I wanted something different, so I laid down the goal for myself that I would make this the sandboxiest of sandboxes.
I read a lot of Old School Renaissance blogs
even though most of the specific RPGs they play are way too rules-light for my liking because there's a lot of good ideas and play resources out there. And while it's not universal, a lot of them are focused on sandbox play as well and have some discussion of the best way to go about it. One agreed-on aspect of sandbox gaming is that while the game requires less pre-game prep, it does require plenty of resources for creative inspiration during the game. Fortunately, Reign
, the basis for my Fallout ORE hack, already has randomness provided for in both the small-scale character rules and the large-scale Company rules, so I had a good place to start. I just had to adapt the Company rules to the Fallout setting
I'm not usually one for random generation of anything, but reading this Grognardia post
about the benefits of randomness for guiding the flow of a game convinced me to give it a try. After I wrote up the random Fallout Company rules, I grabbed some dice and populated the area around post-apocalyptic Chicago with organizations. The Elohim, who maintain the old rail network
. Bartertown, the caravanserai for the Heartland region. Wrigleyville, the fortress town at 1060 W. Addison. The Brotherhood of Steel (of course). And several other groups that I never would have thought of if all I had was a blank sheet of paper, but given some dice and a little beginning inspiration, it was easy. And the more groups I made, the easier it became to fit new groups into the existing fabric of the area.
A couple sessions ago, I had an epiphany about the random Company table: it's easy to use it to generate random important events, too. Just adapt the benefits that each number gives to a company into an event. 1x is news from another organization, 2x is something the Company did having further effects, 3x is economic events, 4x is technological events, 5x is military events, 6x is attacks, and so on. Choose dice, the more dice and more severe the event is likely to be, roll them, and interpret.
Here's an example from my last session: ( Read more... )
Honestly, the ease with which this all works out makes me want to use Dragon Reign
and a tweaked random Company set for my next fantasy game, or at the least develop a random Company generator for whatever other game I do next. Even in a more plot-heavy game, it's a great source of inspiration.