Despite having only so many hours in the day and enough creative pursuits already, my brain keeps saying, "Nathan! Hey Nathan, think about this..." I blame Chris McDowall: he wrote a game with a very easily hacked set of mechanics. This post is the latest "odd idea" that I've had... It has some blanks and some spaces which are currently boxed out with  square brackets because I haven't got that far yet. But I think I will, sooner or later...
Outside of Fortress Bastion there is nothing...right? The wastes are just wastes, and the last great society enjoys peace and post-prosperity. No-one lacks for food or shelter, merely for entertainment. Work provides access to funds for the finer things. Life is boring in Fortress Bastion.
The Polity will support brave and competent volunteers to head out into the spawn-blasted wilderness and see what can be found. Maybe treasures beyond their wildest dreams, maybe other surviving outposts of humanity - but most likely unspeakable monsters from who-knows-where.
But it's a lot better than being bored.
Roll Some Dice
You're not like those other people in Fortress Bastion. They're all basically interchangeable. But you and your friends see things differently. You want to go outside and see what the world is like. To do that, you need an awesome mechsuit.
Chargen: you have three stats and hit points. Stats are STR, DEX and WILL - all of which start at 10. You have 3HP. The people of Fortress Bastion have been inside for a long time; while inbreeding has been avoided they've genetically arrived at an average. Roll [combination of dice] and consult the following [to be done] table to see how you differ from the norm. You have to be different from the norm because you're thinking about going outside Fortress Bastion.
Mechgen: while the Polity operates on a pseudo-post-scarcity basis, you can't just have whatever you want no-strings. It still costs the city to put together a mechsuit for you, and to begin with you'll have to take the luck of the draw when it comes to what's put together by the city's nano-assemblers and fabrication-elves. Roll for 6+2d6 for each of [three stats], then roll 2+d6 for [Mech HP]. Consult the following [to be done] table to see what your mech starts out like. You can upgrade your mech but that takes some serious time, effort and resources. If you want Fortress Bastion to support your non-conforming life choices then you have to show that you're worth the investment.
Weapons: human-sized weapons, unless otherwise specified do d2 damage against mechs. If a mech has sufficient armour then human-sized weapons won't scratch it. Mech-scale weapons, unless otherwise specified do d12 damage against humans, and their normal dice rating against monsters and other mechs. Yeah, I know, it sucks to be human. [may end up creating a simple three/four column table that describes weapons, damage against humans, damage against mechs]
Where are you going and what will you see?
The Crater: something hit this piece of desert years and years ago, leaving a massive glass impact zone. Polity teams went out to take a look and never came back.
Station 57: an old-tech solar plant that some excited tweeners went out to and got running again. They wanted the exciting, frontier life but messaged in recently about generator damage and missing replicator units.
Monument Valley: from the ground it looks like a complex of names scrawled into a permanent black ultra-diamond field. From the air it shows how all of those people died in battle.
The Green: hundreds of miles of grassland, punctuated by forests, hills and the odd mountain. An ancient-tech irrigation system supposedly keeps it all lush. Nomadic creatures wander, and lore says that there are old-timey bunkers here and there.
What do you think? Interesting enough setting idea that I should spend more time on the mechanics and flesh out some places for a crawl? If so, comment below or email me!
Thanks for reading,