Pixels & Platforms

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

30 Day Challenge: Day 28 Community Building

I recently started reading Numenera Destiny, and so far I'm impressed. It's probably not surprising that I like the Numenera setting, I've said many times before how much I like Cypher System, and I know MCG has taken a lot of heat (deserved or not) for Invisible Suns, but I think Destiny is one of the most interesting tabletop books I've read in a long time outside of OSR.

The purpose of the book is to add lore, advice, and mechanics for community building. It's one of those ideas that seems so simple and obvious that I was surprised I hadn't seen much like it and that it's not more of a thing in tabletop. I don't have much experience with Dwarf Fortress, but I think something like a cross between Numenera Destiny and Dwarf Fortress would crush it in the OSR scene.

Anyway, I haven't actually played it, but even having just read it, I can tell there are certain mechanics that I'm not 100% on board with- it seems like something that would need some revising down the line, but on the whole it's a decent framework. The main features are that it adds a resource that gets used exclusively for building "magical" structures, adds some mechanics for dealing with communities and community actions, and adds special abilities that relate to the new resource, community mechanics, crafting, etc.

I've already played a fair bit of Numenera, so as intrigued as I am, I probably won't get around to this for some time, but I'm considering adding a stripped-down version of this into my upcoming Aquarian Dawn game (more on that in a separate post soon). So for my five minute challenge today, I'm going to spitball some ideas for community building campaigns.

  • A short campaign where the players know they are on the verge of a major invasion. Over the course of some finite amount of time, they must build defenses, organize the community (seven samurai style), and scout the environment. Additionally, they have reason to believe there's a traitor among them...
  • The party overthrew an evil lord, but now someone must manage the fiefdom. The lord was cruel and short-sighted, but the land is rich and tactically well-suited. The cruel lord was a cog in a larger, corrupt kingdom, with all the same problems at a larger scale. Under competent leadership, this fiefdom could take control of the whole kingdom...
  • An eccentric architect has undecipherable schematics for a new world wonder. The architect has undeniably proven their skills, but this wonder requires certain resources money can't buy. The whole project is a long-shot, but he claims it will change the world. He can't afford to pay, he's fully invested in the wonder, but if he succeeds, those who helped him will go down in history...

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