Sunday, 23 August 2015

Plug and play setting element, or, what do you want to play today (part 2)?

And so, to the final part of my series on how to customize your game world in All That Remains.

The assumption behind a vanilla game of ATR is that the apocalypse happened to a world more or less like ours. The technology is familiar and radiation is more likely to give you a bad case of death than three arms and precognition.

Of course, plenty of post apocalyptic fiction takes place in radically different settings, and ATR is designed to allow you to mix and match your favourite setting elements to your satisfaction.

Thus, the final thing you must agree with your opponent, before building your forces, is what setting elements your world includes.

To me the "big three" are futuristic technology, mutations and psychic powers.

Futuristic technology itself will be scalable, with three levels representing potential future development, speculative technology and what is essentially science fantasy.

20 Minutes Into the Future - the lowest level - includes things like OIWC systems and micro drones. Technology that is still very new or not quite mature.

Speculative fiction contains technologies that are mostly in the realm of science fiction but still grounded in reality. Powered exoskeletons, robots, and sentry guns belong here.

Science fantasy contains the technologies most divorced from reality - at least currently. Powered armour, energy weapons and androids are unlocked at this level.

The future technology element also modifies the Fog of War deck, by adding cards that can "glitch out" complicated technology or send robots into fratricidal rampages. This level should also result in new faction building rules for all AI factions.

The Mutants element adds well... mutants to the mix, allowing you to modify the base stats of your troops or give them wings and natural weapons. Mounts can also be modified to create agile leaping raptors or gigantic armoured beasts. The charges of animal handlers can also be modified allowing various mutant beasties to rampage across the battlefield.

Psychic powers allow you to field various psychic characters to support your forces, or interfere with your opponent. It's as simple as that really.

These will be produced after the main rules are done, initially as separate documents, but will be eventually incorporated into the main rules. Speaking of which, I've spent a lot of time on trains with my fancy new laptop recently, and the rules are evolving quickly.

Other 'minor' setting elements I'm thinking of adding are:

  • More options for very primitive factions and visionary re-inventor types
  • Rules for heroes - i.e. adding unique characters to the game
  • Archaeotech - rules for randomly generating future weapons, that may easily backfire on your forces.
I've got the feeling that I'm missing something important here. If you can think of a setting element I've overlooked or something you'd like to see in All That Remains, why not add a suggestion in the comments?

Hopefully the next post I make will contain some lead candy.

-- Sebastian

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