Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Life on Mars: a setting in a d20 table

Players are members of the Queen's Intelligence Services; an espionage and shenanigans bureau in service of the Cloud Queen.
Assume a small world, in which there are 4-6 factions; with a tech level that allows guns, autopropelled vehicles, electronics and other awesome devices that one gives to spies whenever they go on a mission.

Whenever the players get some information, roll 1d20 on this table to see what they have found out. Until then, you can use this facts to justify offscreen action. You'll have to fill some gaps yourself, bend and connect them in the way you like best. Wherever you read "someone" or "somebody", you're entitled to change it for a name or a faction if it fits best your plans, or leave it as it is, for characters to find out who.
Roll at the start of the game, to find out which is the object of the party's first mission.

1 In the city of Aurora; Early Morn kingdom's capital, there are shapeshifters that are taking the place of well-famed persons.
2 Someone wants to wake up the Cloud Queen, ruler of Early Morn, for there are found proofs that assure that the whole kingdom is in fact her dozy dream
3 In the isolated village of Dawn Town, a mysterious traveling musician has started a sleeping rebellion among its citizens
4 An historian from the Ravenshead University has interpreted the last blue comet as the signal foretold, in which one with the blood of the Ancients will arise as King. The Cloud Queen has pronounced it as nonsense and fairytales; still, the doctor, who its an afamed specialist on the myths of the Ancients, has mysteriously dissappeared, along with all his work.
5 It's just days until the great conjunction, in which the two moons will eclipse each other. It will be an astounding picture to see in all the land, but also some disturbs are expected; mainly coming from some marginal sects around the Ancients myth; which, among a popular belief on the slums, are believed to live still on one or both of the moons.
6 A beautiful young Witch is pulling the strings behind the government of the Midnight States Republic, and her charm has gathered an enormous trail of followers among the middle class. The actual Witch's purposes and agenda are unknown.
7 The evidences of forbidden rituals related to the Elder Gods keep rising all along the Midnight States. It's said that those gods can grant one's great power, but summoning those mysterious erratic creatures is very dangerous for the world itself.
8 The Midnight States Army has occupied all towns and territories circling the Small Sea. The reason is unknown, but the rumors say that they search something in the waters.
9 Something is wrong in Batlord Ridge, host to the biggest guano mines (used in gunpowder) of all the land. The miners have suddently stopped working, and the people that's left in town is scared, has barred doors and windows and refuses to talk with strangers. All the rats were seen fleeing from the town by the evening ring of the temple bells.
10 A new band of harriers is raiding the towns across the Guild Plains; and they even venture into big cities. Their leader is a mysterious figure that they address as "The Crybaby". They also write in paint a quote from an old forbidden song in every city: "The sea is red, the sky is black; this door leds to the moon and back". Nobody remembers why this song was forbidden, but the ancient guild's written law punishes it much harder than the very raids.
11 The Small Sea's Young Twin Kings have fortified their territories, and prepare for war. Rumors are that one of the Kings has set on a mision by his/herself, and uses supernatural methods to communicate with the other twin on the palace.
12 Several hundred acres of ruby trees have been found some miles west from the Small Sea; unbeknown to the United Nations. This irregulated situation can collapse global economy. The last member of the Queen's Intelligence Services who was sent to speak with the Twin Kings has been found dead.
13 A massive amount of exiled people from the Midnight States is trying to take refuge on the Guild Plains, speaking of darkness, civil disorder and political struggle in their homeland. The Guild Plains is reticent to take them as refugees, contravening the United Nations Treaties. Its also suspected that former governors of the States are also hidden in the crowd; as they're hiding from those who stayed.
14 The Midnight States press has published an article in which the moonlanding made 40 years ago by an expedition from the Early Morn Kingdom was a hoax. Why this attack? Who's lying here?
15 The great master of the Guilds Council has been acting strange lately. A Guild skinchanger has claimed that it all started when they traveled to the comet's landing crater, and found something strange there. The Guild Council has spoken about it being "a curse from the Ancients".
16 The King of the Crabfishers is lost somewhere on Big Sea, while on his quest for searching the mythical city of Campfire. Meanwhile, the Crabfishers' own floating city has been attacked by unknown stalking beasts. A comitive of sailors has been formed to search for help from other lands.
17 Someone has been selling weapons to the Midnight States violating the United Nations transparency pact.
18 Somebody suspects that a young man in your organization, specialized on long range guns, is in fact a double agent. You should check if that's true, and if it is, who's his new boss a is and what does he know
19 Somebody is drawing a big magic circle around the city of High Noon, capital of the Guild Plains. Its so big that can only be seen by exchanging souls with a bird, so the Guilds Council didn't realize until it was almost done.
20 Someone has sent their intelligence services to the Crabfishers Floating City; to search for a little girl who, it's said, "has uncanny powers and can contact with other worlds". This girl can be a menace if she falls in the wrong hands.

World Map (that is really a terraformed version of Mars):  Big Sea at North, Small Sea is the water patch on the south. Early Morn lies between them; the Guild Plains a bit to the west, and the Midnight States all down south, on the frozen tundra.

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