The GM
 GM, 16 posts
Wed 4 Dec 2019
at 14:23
You help shape what it's like Outside The Ziggurat.

Certain things, in particular, are already known:

1. It's very dark.

When the moon is visible in the sky, it's still dark... it's brighter than what people in the 21st century would call "full moon light," but not by much.

When the moon is NOT visible in the sky, it's VERY dark... There are a few orbiting satellites (or something?) in the sky that emit light, but in general, it's... really, really dark. Not pitch black, but visibility around one is, like, barely 50 yards.

2. Atmosphere: The temperature is usually around 70 degrees when the moon is visible, and more like 65 when it's not. Sometimes it gets cold for weeks, and the temperature range at those times is more like 45/35. Sometimes it gets warm for weeks, and the temperature range at those times is more like 85/75. It's not predictable when these fluctuations will come nor go, but they seldom last more than 12 weeks, but generally do last for at least a couple of weeks. Average is "several weeks."

There are almost never any clouds. There is seldom wind, and breezes are uncommon, and never very strong.

There is a normal amount of oxygen in the mix for humans to be sufficiently comfortable breathing it. (How? Do the monsters exhale oxygen...? Maybe?)

The landscape, at least around The Ziggurat, is rocky. There is little fungal or lichen growth, and even less plant life. There is hardly ever any water to be seen, at least near The Ziggurat.

3. Life, or things that move: There are known to be life forms... or, well, maybe not life as humans are used to it, but things that move, seemingly with a will of their own. Monsters, many call them. It is presumed that most of them are carnivorous (what else is there to eat, but each other?). It is thought that most of them are not capable of speech, or else do not bother to speak, and therefore it is thought that most of them are not smart enough to communicate (although it is thought that a minority of them are smart enough to speak, and capable of doing so).

But all of this applies to the area Near The Ziggurat. Farther, things may be different. Maybe there will be giant lamppost-towers. Maybe there will be bioluminescent fungi. Maybe there will be winds (but why, when there is none Near The Ziggurat?). Maybe the life forms will be different-- smarter, friendlier. (For that matter, maybe what the people living In The Ziggurat believe about the life forms Near The Ziggurat is partially, or very, incorrect. But probably not.)

When the party travels outside, any player may say what is different about a new area than the last one they left. Below are some suggestions.

--There's a building (or other structure)
--There's a new life form or robot or other being
--There's a group of new lifeforms or robots or other beings
--There's a lots of new lifeforms or robots or other beings
--There's a machine
--There's what looks like an unusual object d'art
--The PCs feel weird in some way
--There's something here that seems like it's impossible for it to be here (will it turn out to be illusory? a rifts in time and/or space?)
--There's something on the ground over there (a weapon? a gadget? clothing? an arrow pointing the way elsewhere?)
--There's some water (a natural spring? a geyser? a stream? a small lake? a medium-sized lake?)
--There's one or more plants (how?)
--There's some sort of vehicle (probably damaged, but possibly repairable?)

Let's say there's a building...

WHAT IS UP WITH THIS BUILDING (or other structure)?
--Is it labeled, on the outside, what its purpose is? (Probably not, but you never know)
--Will it turn out to store something useful? (gear? supplies? useful information about a nearby area?
--Will it turn out to be the home of a person or creature or being or robot?
--Will it turn out to have ancient technology of interest?
--Will it turn out to have broken ancient technology that would be of interest if we could repair it?
--Will it (or any occupant) turn out to contain a clue to the location of The Cloister?
--Is there some special reason why it (and/or any occupants) are ignored by the lifeforms nearby (special technology, maybe?)
--Is it (and/or any occupants) actually what it(/they) initially appear/s to be? Is it some sort of trap? Intended for what or whom?

--Move on, as quickly and safely as possible?
--Use, or repair, some ancient technology?
--Get back something (or someone-- a rescue?) that someone or something previously stole from them?
--Interact with one or more lifeforms, computers, creatures, or other beings?
----If so, how?
------Fight them?
------Destroy them?
------Escape from them? (Or, maybe before it comes to that, escape their notice?)
------Charm them? (Repair them? Reprogram them?)
------Intimidate them? (Frighten them?)
------Figure something out about them?
------Help them?
------Trick them?
------Learn from them?
------Capture them?
------Steal from them//steal something back from them?
------Impress them?
------Entertain them?
------Lie to them//give them misinformation?
------Inspire them?
------Persuade them?
------Buy something from them?
------Sell them something?
------Barter with them?

If a player helps answer one of the above questions, then once the new element is resolved (a fight is won, a puzzle is figured out, a new ally is made, etc), the GM might give the player's character an extra +1 on their next roll, or an item of cool Stuff... or maybe even a free XP point!

This message was last edited by the GM at 01:27, Thu 19 Dec 2019.