August 4, 2020 troika weird war

Weird War

The collective anguish, dreams and souls of the continent are rendered manifest in the Psychoscape/Psychogeography, the sur-reality layered below the earth, rising up as crystallisations of mind-stuff, shaped by the soldiers and their long, long threads back home to the will of leaders.

As the bombs excavate the land, the separation between the material and the Psychoscape becomes one of opinion.

Character Creation

You have a history. Do you remember before the war or has it colonised your dreams?

11 First Wave Survivor

You’ve been here since the start. You saw the streams of horses dying and their souls swallowed by the sky as their riders took refuge amongst the ribs and entrails. You shot the wounded, animal or man.

Skills
4 Weapon of your choice
2 Weapon of your choice
2 Forage
2 Forgetting

Possessions
2 Weapons of your choice, loaded
3 Set of ammunition for above weapons
A book of forgotten memories
Half a pack of cigarettes

Special You bear the mark of a survivor - a horrific injury.

1d6 Injury
1 Lungs pulled out by the gas - always external, hanging loose and raw. Carry a lotion to clean them.
2 Eyes rotten. They look like spoiled eggs. Need goggles to maintain pressure to stop them bursting.
3 Shrapnel-Termite infestation. Double Provision requirements.
4 You and your gun are one, fingers molten into draped flesh-spaghetti, charred bone fused to wood and steel.
5 Your heart is a live grenade. A hard fall could loose the pin.
6 Your scars extend out from you as a Psychoscape miasma, tendrils of Hurt squirming from every pore.

12 Downed Pilot

You were dragged screaming from your crashed vehicle. The world makes no sense when seen with the naked eye. You can still hear them, crying out for you in no-mans land.

Skills
4 Pilot
2 Revolver
2 Mechanics
1 Survival
1 Old Songs

Possessions
Service Revolver, loaded
6 Bullets for Revolver
Flight Jacket (Light armour)
A Medal OR A photo from home
Can of engine oil

Special You always know the location and status of your vehicle.

13 Psychosphere Storm-trooper

As we plunge deeper in psychogeographical warfare, new kinds of soldiers are needed - those who can storm and take fortresses of the mind, pamphlets in one hand and a gun in the other.

Skills
3 Psychology
2 Revolver
2 Rhetoric
1 Psychogeographical Mapping & Navigation
1 Hiding

Possessions
Service Revolver, loaded
12 Bullets for Revolver
2d6 Psychological Warfare Pamphlets
2d6 Psychogeographical Ideological-Mines

14 Despised Sniper

If you are caught, you won’t die for weeks.

Skills
5 Rifle
3 Hiding
2 Run

Possessions
Rifle, loaded
15 Bullets for Rifle
Sniper’s Scope
3d6 notches on Rifle OR Spotting Assistant NPC

Special Spotting Assistant gives +2 to all attacks with Rifle. If they die, all Luck is lost permanently.

15 Colonised Trooper

Forcibly shipped in from afar to an impossible battlefield with nothing to do with you. Roll again for what role they have given you, and the decide how you subvert it.

16 Horse Breather

In the early days there were horses. Glittering hordes of cavalry.
There are no horses in the trenches. Machines bite you for remembering the old ways of war.

Skills
3 Equine Maintenance
3 First Aid
2 Grave-Digging
2 Longing

Possessions
Toy horse
Service Revolver, loaded
6 Bullets for Revolver
Trench-shovel

Special Test your Luck whenever attempting to use machines powered by fuel or electricity. On a failure, they deal damage as a Beast, varying by size.

21 Gaseous Disintegrator

Swallowed by gas, becoming-gas, birthed from gas in a form more lethal - an advancement in Soldiers!
When you relax, your poisonous form could fill a room.
You are vampiric - stealing the breath of men at least once a week or else falling away to nothing.

Skills
3 Float
3 Drift
2 Pleading
2 Apologising

Possessions
Diving Suit OR Knighthood (to be redeemed post-war)

Special Unless you focus, you fill a room with your poisonous fumes. Those in the room breathing you in take 1d6 Stamina damage a round. Conventional weapons leave you unharmed.

Roll twice on the below for further detail:

1d6 Gaseous Weaknesses
1 Flammable - Test your Luck if you contact naked flame. On failure, you explode, dealing damage equal to your Stamina to everyone within 100ft.
2 Incredibly light - Test your Luck if there is a strong breeze - on failure, take damage as Maul.
3 Herbicidal - all plants die in your presence.
4 Insidious - you are nearly entirely transparent. Your presence compromises gas-masks if they are exposed for more than 4 hours.
5 Sulphurous - you absolutely reek. You are always smelt coming.
6 Staining - everything you touch is stained with an awful ochre shade.

22 Cinder-Man

Fire ruptures the spaces between. Fire looms larger in the psychogeography but equally consumes the material. You made a deal with fire, let a little bit in. Fire-hardened.

Skills
3 Club-fighting
2 Navigation
2 Fire-fighting
2 Gambling

Possessions
Internal flame
Trench-club
Bone Dice

Special Fire only deals 1 point of damage to you, no matter the situation. For every provision you eat, you must eat another half for the little-fire inside.

23 Disgraced Officer

You’ve got the gun, the boots, the sword. They took away your bullets so you couldn’t kill yourself after … the incident. That’s all we’ll say about that, hm?

Skills
3 Etiquette
1 Sword Fighting
1 Pistol Fighting

Possessions
Revolver, unloaded
Boots
Officer’s Sword
Letter of Commission
Shame

24 Photographer

Like a butterfly pinned to the cork-board, a moment stuck in amber, all motion frozen. The camera makes and kills worlds - does that make you God?

Skills
4 Photography
3 Hiding
2 Run
1 Chemistry

Possessions
Camera
Portable Photo Development Lab

25 Steel-Eyed Machine-gunner

To Load the Gun - (a) Pass the tag end of the belt through the feed block from the right side; (b) with the right hand pull the crank handle on the roller; (c) with the left hand pull the belt through the left front as far as it will go; (d) let go the crank handle. The first cartridge will then be gripped by the extractor. Repeat the above and, when this has been done, the first cartridge will be in the chamber, and another gripped by the upper part of the extractor. The gun is then ready for firing.

Skills
4 Machine-Gun
4 Drinking

Possessions
Machine-Gun, loaded
200 Machine-Gun Rounds
Loading Assistant NPC

26 Medic / Medic

How many operations have you slept through, hands moving under the control of another?

Skills
5 Medicine
2 Bedside Manner
1 Narcotics

Possessions
Medical Bag
Double-ration of Morphine

Special Roll up a separate Skill and Luck value. While one of you sleeps, the other is busy, busy, busy.

31 Forgotten Chaplain

You’ve got a stack of Bibles and no congregation. The burgeoning psychosphere and nihilism of the troops are your enemy. If only you could find God yourself.

Skills
4 Theology
3 Oratory
2 Hospice
1 Scepticism

Possessions
4d6 Bibles

32 Artillerist

Loader or spotter, engineer or officer - all are suborned to the gun. Faces blur as shells fly. You used to be one, but now the other. No matter, the gun needs feeding.

Skills
3 Loading Artillery
3 Aiming Artillery
3 Maintaining Artillery

Possessions
Engineers Tools
Ranging Tables
Cargo Hooks

33 Beached Sailor

Some say the Sea doesn’t exist anymore, drained away by a hole in the psychogeography.
You know the answer.

Skills
2 Watercraft
2 Survival
2 Revolver
2 Unarmed Fighting

Possessions
Service Revolver, loaded
Life-jacket
Oar

34 Railway Man

They bid you construct lines.
Enough lines make a net.
You could’ve held in the ground and stopped the psychogeography rising out of the earth - instead, you’ve been posted to the front.

Skills
3 Strength
2 Navigation
2 Hammer Fighting
2 Explosives

Possessions
Maul
1d6 sticks of Dynamite

35 Adapted Mole-man

You don’t remember houses. You only remember the dark, the safety as the surface is bathed in fire and steel.

Skills
3 Digging
3 Dark Navigation
2 Hiding 2 Talking to the Dark

Possessions
Trench shovel
Bucket of water OR bucket of notable stones
Mining Helmet

36 Barbed-Wire Whisperer

You learnt the language of barbed-wire in the psychogeography, split off from your unit. A kind word, a gentle stroke and voila - the coils part for you, thrumming delightedly.

Skills
5 Barbed-wire Whispering
3 Rifle
2 Scavenging

Possessions
Rifle, loaded
10 Bullets for Rifle

41 Machine Mortician

Place your hand upon this torn hull and listen to it’s swan-song.

Skills
4 Mechanics
3 Eulogising
1 Welding Torch-Fighting

Possessions
Welding Torch
Mechanical Toolkit

42 Radio Blotter

A psychic scream on the radio-waves, blotting out all communication, meaning, sense. The psychogeography oscillates with your ceaseless noise.

Skills
3 Rifle
3 Poetry
2 Radio Operation

Possessions
Rifle, loaded
10 Bullets for Rifle
Chapbook of poetry

Special Radio equipment cannot be used within 500ft of you.

43 Ghost

You weren’t killed. Somewhere, your body is waiting, the very soul blown out by the bombs. You hope it is looking after itself.

Skills
3 Rifle
2 Navigation
2 Hide-and-Seek

Possessions
None

Special Being not quite dead, your relationship with the physical realm is complicated. Any time you would take damage, you must Test your Luck. On success, no damage is dealt. On failure, damage is dealt normally.

44 Pretender

Even in times like these, there are rules on who can be drafted. You broke one, and finally have arrived at the front.

Skills
3 Disguise
2 Rifle
2 Throwing Voice
1 Hide
1 Run

Possessions
Rifle, loaded
12 Bullets for Rifle
Disguise Kit

45 Lying Interpreter

You told them you were multilingual. A link between them and some nebulous Other. For a while, you kept up the facade.

Skills
4 Confidence
3 Scam
2 Run
1 Distraction

Possessions
Service Revolver, loaded 6 Bullets for Revolver 1d6 Phrasebooks for various languages

46 Academy Observer

The Academy is delighted at the blossoming of war - storied institutions clamour to watch and you, meagre scholar, get to be their eyes and fingers.

Skills
2 Note-taking
2 Citations
2 Reading
2 Critiquing
2 Writing

Possessions
Spyglass
Spectacles
Reams of Paper
Pencils
Papers
Book of First-Class Stamps

51 Blacklisted Reporter

You wanted truth. They will drown you in it.

Skills
3 Bribery
3 Research
2 Run
2 Lock picking

Possessions
1d6 full notepads
2d6 empty notepads
1d6 pencils

52 Conscientious Objector

A body willing to fight or not can still take a bullet - and so you were cudgelled and off to the front.

Skills
3 Philosophy
3 Protesting
3 Rhetoric
1 of your choice

Possessions
None

53 Lazarus Man

You died. You are no longer dead - techniques only dreamed of are all-too possible in this brave new world.

Skills
3 Second Sight
2 Metaphysics
2 Rifle

Possessions
Rifle, loaded
12 Bullets for Rifle
Lazarus Engine

Special When you would die, Test your Luck - on success, the Lazarus Engine fires true and you recover on 1 Stamina the next day. If the Lazarus Engine is ever removed from your chest, you die, ignoring the prior.

54 Submariner

Whilst the land is ravaged by the surface flowerings of the psychosphere, you have seen the depths. Abstract symbols, older than thought, dancing in the dark. You watched them swarm around the hulls of sinking ships, burning impossibly underwater, screams distorted into song.

Skills
4 Listening
2 Mechanics
2 Device Operation
2 Revolver

Possessions
Snub-nosed Service Revolver, loaded
10 Bullets for Service Revolver
Life-jacket

55 Shell-Observer

Unlike the preening scholar, you are a person of action. You tabulate the spreadsheets of war, adjusting the ranging tables, crunching the kill-ratios. You haven’t seen a bombsite in months.

Skills
5 Calculation
5 Dispassion

Possessions
Book of Multiplication Tables
Book of Ranging Tables, heavily annotated
Pencils
Abacus

56 Trench-Knight

In the drowning-mud and the choking-fumes of the trenches strides one figure unbroken. Some ancient memory of a green and pleasant land, an oath made and a knighthood earned. Full-plate and a gas-mask. A trenchclub and a deathwish.

Skills
4 Club Fighting
3 Chivalry
2 Practical Compromise
1 Oaths

Possessions
Ancient Plate Armour (Heavy)
Trench-Club
Gas-mask
Token of Favour

61 Bureaucrat-Seer

Within the swirling miasma of numbers, schedules and bureaucracy is chaos. Where there is chaos, some can divine prophecy.
You may not work in tea-leaves, but you can tell fortunes.

Skills
3 Paper-Pushing
3 Forming Filling
2 Hiding 1 Entrepreneurship

Possessions
Rifle, loaded
12 Bullets for Rifle
3 Packets of Cigarettes
2 Bars of Chocolate

Special You roll all dice pertaining to lengths of Deployment and Downtime. These are your prophecies.

62 Artillery Witch

Rain is a given. Bombs can be forecasted.

Skills
3 Aerial Observation
3 Fortification
3 Running
1 Yelling

Possessions
Service Revolver, loaded
11 Bullets for Revolver
Cut-down Trench boots

Special You always know when bombs are about to fall - with 1d6 minutes warning.

63 Oil-Skimmer

As machines die they exhale, pissing oil and lubricant. You know how to coax every last drop - and you know what the engineers will do to get their hands on it.

Skills
4 Collection
2 Strength
2 Fluid Dynamics
1 Mechanics

Possessions
2d6 Containers for Liquids, empty
1d6 Containers of Oil
1d6 Packs of Matches

64 Displaced Noble

You were meant to be in the General Staff, or perhaps one of the more tasteful diplomatic missions. Some of these ruffians are positively ghastly - working men too, no doubt.

Skills
5 Etiquette
4 Foppery
1 Ignorance

Possessions
Whatever you want - you’re rich!

65 Quartermaster’s Boy

You may not be the most powerful man behind the lines, but you do shine his boots.

Skills
3 Theft
3 Backhanders
2 Errands 2 Skulking

Possessions
Boot Polish
Wicked Knife
1d6 Packs of Cigarettes
1d6 Bars of Chocolates
2d6 Provisions

66 Batman

If you could find the officer you are meant to be batting for, that would be splendid.

Skills
2 Boot-licking
2 Butlering
2 Compliments
2 Cooking
2 Wine-Pairing

Possessions
Boot Polish
12 Bullets, Revolver
Sword-Cane
Wine
Correspondence from the Family

Game Structure

Play begins Behind the Lines - the safe area’ behind the trenches, and rarely reached by bombs and artillery. It is a foreign land to you.
Rest periods last 1d6 days. During this time, the characters are free to do as they please - unless they are caught by the Military Police, of course.
At the end of this period, the characters are summoned for a Mission, as generated below. There is a 2-in-6 chance they receive 1d6 Provisions each, and a further 2-in-6 chance of 2d6 appropriate Bullets each. Any shortfall is up to them to make up.
Once the mission is given and supplies are collected, they will be given transport to the Mission Area. Failure or success may result in medals but little else of consequence.
Missions either take place Behind the Lines or at the Front.

i’ll do some mission generators and encounters and bestiaries later


Previous post
Running a Game This is everything I can think of/remember doing when I run games without focusing on stuff like encounter tables and whatever - more the social
Next post
ULTRANOIR! Tales are told of rain-slick streets sliced apart by hard-white reflections. Men with hats and cigarettes and women with red red red lips - the only