best resources for tech-ing things out?

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serendipitous
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best resources for tech-ing things out?

Post by serendipitous » Wed May 27, 2020 1:28 pm

I'd like to be able to bring in tech-based causality, and am wondering what y'all suggest for base material (I am newbie). It seems like the MCC rulebook would be a good investment? and would give me some tech-/bio- ideas for contamination/failures of various sorts, plus artifacts and moving magic tech-ward. Any other suggestions?

Thanks in advance.
"... and also: the willingness to stand firm, and also: where does one learn to stand firm? in what kind of school or university?" -- Bolano, 2666

serendipitous
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Re: best resources for tech-ing things out?

Post by serendipitous » Thu Jun 11, 2020 10:54 am

Well, thought I'd keep y'all posted. In case it is helpful to anybody else.

I ordered MCC and it definitely will be useful. I'm trying to build a campaign as I go, and sort of threw myself into it unprepared when our DM took an unexpected hiatus and I wanted to come up with a fun game for our group, using DCC 'cause one of us has judged several games but hasn't really had a chance to play in one.

I started us with the "Frozen in Time" module, run as a funnel for 7 players with 4 0-levels each, to set the tone & buy me some time. The general theme of my world is ER Eddison (Worm Ouroboros) flavor in the current time, built over buried, fallen tech in Iain Bank's "Culture" universe: lots of glamour, lots of bling and gorgeousness, lots of corruption and opportunity for the horrific, and an underlying tone of possible transformation/redemption in a purely secular sense: the chance to improve lives & societies and kick a$$ doing it. Plus get a lot of cool stuff.

I've reworked "Frozen in Time" a bit to reflect this.

(SPOILER ALERT! FOR THE REST OF THIS MESSAGE)

The artifacts in the module are of Earth origin -- recognizable art and robots -- on pedestals all over the place. I've kept the main art room, filled it with original works of art (this was fun, I was an art history major, the players had a good time going over the paintings & sculptures) and substituted an enormous, armored herbivore for the T. Rex b/c, well, enormous, armored herbivore. !!! Ever seen one in a bad temper???? stupid and very, very dangerous. For me, the rooms full of pedestals didn't make the best sense so I've boxed some stuff up in crates and subbed the items to fit the world I'm building.

From here, where? I'm limited by time, b/c I homeschool two children (did before the pandemic and Lord willing will do so after it) and one's almost in high school so that's time consuming. For the long term I'm leaning heavily on resources by Guy Sclanders & friends (attended a free weekend seminar with GreatGM, WorldAnvil, Dungeon Fog & Nerdarchy that gave me a start) to build my world and main storyline, which revolves around two large powers who practice war as, essentially, art. A subplot has one villain collecting specimens for a fabulous spectacle/show, and some of her minions are collecting in the polar regions; they have collected/enslaved some young Yeti which will bring them into the same plot as my characters, who killed the Yeti in our module & discovered, in its pack, an image of a Yeti child. Guilt! They are totally going to be willing to save that kid now.

So, for time-limited purposes, I'm mentally blocking off this polar stuff from the rest of my world & plot. I just need several weeks of stuff at the moment and then somebody else will probably DM for a bit while I work on my world in my spare time.

I couldn't find modules that would give me this in my tech setting, though I am looking at modules in the "Frozen North" setting. So I'm working on a sub-plot of my main story that revolves around the chief Yeti being the Big Bad, not sure. At any rate, I want to keep the players occupied with stuff in the North for the time being. If enough survive "Frozen" they'll have the choice to move towards a distant fire/set of fires (a Yeti group in process of retrieving the stolen Yeti children) or towards a caravan of sleds (this would be the slavers). They can't go home b/c their village got entirely swallowed up on their way to the current adventure. Working on more monsters + options for PCs to have personal-goal adventures.

If they don't survive "Frozen" I'll use fallen tech to revive some of them. I'd like to turn this into a ghosts-in-search-of-bodies adventure, so maybe they'll get uploaded into an AI environment and have to earn embodiment; or maybe they'll just keep their current bodies & get them patched up, not sure.

Grateful, of course, for ideas.
"... and also: the willingness to stand firm, and also: where does one learn to stand firm? in what kind of school or university?" -- Bolano, 2666

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GnomeBoy
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Re: best resources for tech-ing things out?

Post by GnomeBoy » Fri Jun 12, 2020 2:00 pm

serendipitous wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 1:28 pm
...tech-based causality...
So I saw this post before, but wasn't clear on what those words meant. But based on the second post, I guess you want less magic and more technology...

But is is, magic IS technology, or is it technology INSTEAD of magic?

Because the possible answers are very different, depending on which of those you're looking for...
...
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serendipitous
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Re: best resources for tech-ing things out?

Post by serendipitous » Sat Jun 13, 2020 10:23 am

GnomeBoy wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 2:00 pm
serendipitous wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 1:28 pm
...tech-based causality...
So I saw this post before, but wasn't clear on what those words meant. But based on the second post, I guess you want less magic and more technology...

But is is, magic IS technology, or is it technology INSTEAD of magic?

Because the possible answers are very different, depending on which of those you're looking for...
Thanks so much for helping me clean this up. I'm going for no magic (gosh, sounds harsh written out like that) and all tech. The PCs and NPCs in the world experience "magic" but the underlying reality is technological. They may experience supernatural entities; these will be AI, aliens. I'm playing fast-and-loose with the physics and allowing stuff like AI/neural interface with low-mass interface (ie, one could have a neural net and not notice); singularity-based "displacement" for moving stuff around; fields for anti-gravity; nanotech for bio mutations and other effects.

One of the elements of DCC magic that won't play nicely with this is time travel. In order not to break my universe, time travel would have to be up or down universe levels -- ie, one might be able to travel to a parallel universe that was very similar to the current one but younger/older. However, it couldn't be the same universe.
"... and also: the willingness to stand firm, and also: where does one learn to stand firm? in what kind of school or university?" -- Bolano, 2666

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GnomeBoy
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Re: best resources for tech-ing things out?

Post by GnomeBoy » Sat Jun 13, 2020 10:55 am

So MCC would give you some pre-prepared tech to play with... But it would do nothing in terms of "making magic into tech".

The easiest thing is to be playing with the assumption that magic is tech. In general, playing a Wizard, the player doesn't have to have a detailed understanding of how magic actually works, obviously. It's a game, we hand wave a lot of things. "My Wizard has studied that grimoire for months, and now she can cast this!" and in the narrative an effect happens, and in the game the player rolls a die, adds some numbers together and gets a result.

From the perspective of the character, it sounds like they believe in magic, so there's not really any change there... From the perspective of the player, either they know it's all possible through technology, because you're told them that that's the basis of the game, OR they are going to learn that bit by bit as the game unfolds.

If you are looking for all those technical details defined before they come up in play, that's a tall order and going to be a ton of work. Much easier to just keep the 'reality' of the game in your head as the game is played, and inject tech-y ideas as you go, as they become obvious for whatever reason, whether that's obvious to the player (but not the character) or as it becomes obvious to the character that things are not lining up to the paradigm they've grown up with...

Improvise as you go. So much freer.
...
Gnome Boy • DCC playtester @ DDC 35 Feb '11. • Beta DL 2111, 7AM PT, 8 June 11.
Playing RPGs since '77 • Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters.

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serendipitous
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Re: best resources for tech-ing things out?

Post by serendipitous » Sun Jun 14, 2020 4:29 pm

@GnomeBoy: thanks, that is very helpful. Extremely.

And, as you say, much more do-able than starting de novo esp. since I'm not all that familiar with DCC yet AND I don't want to break it for my players who love it.
"... and also: the willingness to stand firm, and also: where does one learn to stand firm? in what kind of school or university?" -- Bolano, 2666

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