Thursday, 3 November 2016

The Estate: A horrible LotFP setting/game/brain expulsion.

The Estate is maybe Belfast in the early 70s or perhaps Manchester in the late 80s, or it could be Glasgow in the mid 90s. It is streets and tips and cornershops and cellars. It is Sectarian Pubs, brothels, Catholic bedrooms. It is warehouse raves and rusty parks and canal bridges. It is disused cotton factories,  family kitchens,yards backing onto alleys and empty football pitches.

People keep  pretending they can leave,  but they can't. They collect and hoard hearts. They don't know why. Monsters live in places,  but there's no acknowledgement. It's always night.Nobody ever remembers the monsters.  They are unrecognisable, psych, horrors.

The TV always has something to watch.

If you try to leave,  somebody appears in a car and begins chasing you.

There are hidden ways out. Voivodja is a good bet. The gatekeepers, if such exist, probably want hearts. Yeah, they're a bit like hearts in Zelda.

You have grown up here. Or maybe you haven't (there's nothing stopping this being an awful kind of demi Ravenloft meets Trainspotting).  Somebody told you you can leave with enough hearts.  Everyone thinks you're mad and that there's no problem.

For now, we can use LotFP as our basis.You could definitely have published LotFP  adventures happen here, but you'd obviously modify them to fit. Everything is re-skinned, in British neuroses (for the purposes of this idea, neuroses is skin). Everything is twisted by the worst fears of the British middle classes....the nightmares they imagine are perpetrated by the 'lower orders'.

    Valentina Ferrandes 'Council Estate'

Clerics are drag queens (you already know what these are America)

Fighters are local hard men

Rogues are scallies

Wizards are crusties .

There are no direct damage spells. Plus the wizard or cleric must be high as fuck. Did it really happen? I don't know. Maybe we imagined the whole thing.

XP is gained on a £ for £ basis. However,  XP will not get you off the estate.

The police arrive when the estate stress meter reaches a certain point (let's say 10). Different actions, cause more stress. Certain actions decrease stress.  The police are obviously Pigs in Uniforms. They beat and maim wantonly. Those they arrest, are never seen again.

The Estate is randomly generated.

Potions and such, are rendered as local alternatives eg: special brew super strength lager. Interesting because the players are relying upon the DMs interpretation of local myths.

...which is precisely the the point.

But this is my game haze,  so the laws of my experience (?) prevail.

Biscuit factories, rat infested tow paths, super market closes at 9.
Serial killer's attics, defaced mosques, Chinese chip shops.
Shite fairgrounds, guard dogs in car parks, stalled developments.

Steps to Play

1. Generate estate. Use a die drop method on the chart below if you like. It will probably work. Connect wth lines. Make those lines streets.
2. Generate characters
3. Stress level at zero
4. Take characters out into the streets,  played as a crawl.

Yes, there's some grim stuff on here. Rape, for instance. I'm not sure how one could approach the idea of urban monstrosity without considering that (to use another example) paedophiles are a part of British, urban myth/nightmare (and awful truth).

I don't know if it's playable yet. I'll give it a go and maybe write about it.


  1. You've read Alasdair Gray's 'Lanark' (or at least the bits of it set in Unthank), right? Because this is basically one 'symbolic mutations' table away from being an Unthank rpg...

    1. I have not. I'm very good at accidentally copying stuff though. I'm going to investigate...

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  3. This, this is awesome. It reminds me a lot of J.G. Ballard. Well done, sir!

    1. Thanks Ian. I'm a big fan of his work, though I wasn't specifically referencing. I think it's kind if interesting to apply the tropes of D&D to the mundane. I'll definitely add a bit more to it.

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  5. Scoping out stuff for my game after you ran this and MAN this is some good stuff! Did you piece together that whole session from something like this?
    I want to have one of these tables for every sector of my capital city.

    1. Yeah, this was all I had. I made a bit of a map and a few notes on what the random stuff might mean. I also refined the idea a little on the bus into town.

      Ideally, I'd want a table like this for every result on the master table. That Yoon Suin approach to setting building, was my Eureka moment.

      I WILL start to write more stuff soon...even if it's just for myself. Between music stuff and bar stuff, I've avoided any serious writing efforts, relying on stuff scrawled in my notebooks (sans grammar).

      Also, thank you. It's great that you enjoyed yourself and like this thing, whatever it is.

      Can't wait to play in that capital city of yours though...

    2. I will also add, that only in the last 20 minutes, did you go anywhere that I had pre-prepared. Which was interesting.