A follow-up to this post here. Part 2 is the backend stuff, tables and procedures for running the game.
A hack of Into the Odd where you play as legally distinct dark eldar.
The skeleton for the game, Into the Odd, was created by Chris McDowell at Bastionland.com
You get to play as horrible decadent evil space elves, being flamboyant in their extradimensional dark city and raiding realspace for fun and profit.
Please don't sue me, Games Workshop.
We've seen how cavegirl makes a setting before, this is familiar. Drop a full set of dice (one each of d4-d20, and a percentile. Maybe a particularly fun funky dice or two as well.) on a sheet of paper, mark what lands where. Each dice is a faction in your district of the dark city.
Look up the result of the dice on the list below to see what each faction is. For each, come up with a name, a symbol to mark what's theirs, and a quirk.
1: A Homonculus Coven. Practitioners of the ancient art of flesh-warping. Surgical geniuses that produce pain-engines, flesh thralls and bio-implants. Your flesh can be banked with them to be ressurected in the event of an untimely death. Absolutely terrifying, but you need them.
2: A Gladiator-Witch Cult. Fight for everybody's entertainment and nourishment in public arenas. Masters of ancient (and very showy) martial arts. A cross between sports team, public service, and local mascots.
3: A minor Cabal. Regular Folks, which is to say depraved, decadent and corrupt. Involved with the day-to-day running of some important industry, such as weapon-smithing, slave training, the drug trade, high fashion or espionage.
4: A prestigious Cabal. Also regular folks, but now with wealth and influence. Influential in their industry, and jockeying for higher power. Their leader might already be a minor Archon; if not, they've probably got their eye on the title, and big plans.
5: A Hellion Gang. Hover-board riding street punks. Ne'er do wells living lives of crime and scandal. Utterly disreputable. The main difference between this lot and a Cabal is largely one of attitude, and their unwillingness to engage with polite society on their own terms. They might grow out of it.
6: A flock of Scourges. Surgically altered Cabalites, blessed with wings and sharp senses. Try to stay neutral on the politics of the Dark City, acting as messengers, couriers and informants to whoever can pay for them. Loyal to their own, and whoever pays them.
7: An Incubus Shrine. Disciplined warrior-monks, practitioners of esoteric martial techniques and violent mysticism. Sell their violent services to the highest bidder. Keep their word. Thoroughly honourable, but with enough martial force that its hard to exploit that honour.
8: A Lamia Convent. A religious sisterhood of poisoners, courtesans and mystics. Frightfully fashionable, having a Lamia as a lover, assistant or assassin carries a lot of social cachet. Absolute masters of alchemy.
9: A Mandragora Pack. Shadow-elves, semi-real, with powers over darkness. Some can become invisible, or intangible, or step through shadows. A bit feral, lacking the refinement and grace of regular space elves. Collect grizzly trophies.
10: A Beast-master Cult. Ofshoots of the Gladiator Witches. Hunt, train, and fight strange animals. The source of the various delightful pets and combat beasts you might have in your menagerie. The most daring mess about with demon-beasts as prey, and if they have any sense of responsibility do it somewhere the inevitable collateral damage won't be too costly. Carry an air of danger.
11: A Medusa Infestation. Ethereal parasites latched onto victims, physically manifested as a mass of brain matter and spinal cords over their head like a hood. Smart. Feed on dreams. Can be negotiated with, paid off, or enslaved, but these ones are largely independent for now. Their gaze brings anguish, madness and catatonia.
12: An Alien Mercenary Company. Exotic and interesting, but not quite trusted. A novelty, rather than part of society. Might be avian predators, serpentine bodyguards, orc freebooters, or beastman corsairs. Insular, disciplined and in it for the money.
13: A Harlequin Delegation. Space elves from outside the dark city. Worshipers of the trickster god, repositories of ancient mythology, performers and scholars. An entertainment novelty. They probably have some grand agenda in the dark city, but nobody really cares.
14: An Outcast Delegation. High space elves from the monastry-worlds in real-space, in (often self-imposed) exile. Temporary visitors to the dark city as they adjust to life outside the rigid paths of the high space elves. Generally considered naive and vulnerable, it's understood that they'll either grow disgusted at the dark city's cruelty and decadance, returning to their monastry-worlds, or else assimilate and become just another cabal.
15: A shrine to a nearly forgotten Dark Muse. Dedicants pursue perfection in one particular aspect of the dark city's decadent ways, be it torture, poison, fear, sensuality, tragedy, power or romance. A little old-fashioned, perhaps, but basically a respectable religion. More superstitious evil space elves leave offerings for the Dark Muse's favour.
16: A Charibdean Fashion-House. Pursuit of aesthetic excellence, constantly inventing and creating. A never ending stream of new designs for those with up to date tastes, ever more elegant, risqué and boundry-pushing. Sit slightly apart from Cabal politics, dedicated to their art.
17: A Daeva Slave-market. Breeders and flesh-sculptors, a source of the most elegant thralls, mentally manipulated to be compliant and surgically altered to match current fashions. Will buy anybody you bring to them who doesn't escape. A bit of a used-car-salesman vibe going on.
18: A famed weapon-forge. Home of a master smith, creator of wonderous new weapons and pieces of violent hyper-tech. A cultist of the dead Forge-God. Treated as a sort of local savant, their creations a source of much gossip.
19: A cult of the Bloody Handed God. Followers ritually don aspects of the bloody-handed god of war, pursuing self-discipline and military excellence. A sort of hobby for cultists to dabble in between more serious matters, and deeply offensive to the high space elves who take this sort of thing very seriously.
20: A Slave Revolt. Escaped thralls lurking in the margins and shadows. Actual revolutionary zeal is quickly tempered by the realities of life in the dark city; soon enough the revolt will become just another gang scrabbling for position, and if it endures could morph into a successful cabal in its own right. Most consider the revolt not worth the effort of suppressing, and express amusement at its petty successes and descent into power.
Other: A cult of the Resurrected God Of The Dead. Absolute weirdos who's apocalyptic faith preaches that the end is approaching, and the God Of The Dead will soon do battle with the Thirsting God. Populists. Viewed with a mixture of distain, wry amusement, and secret worry that they might be right.
Also drop a single token - a coin, counter or similar - that represents the PC's Coterie.
Next, draw a loose network of lines connecting each faction to its neighbours. For each such connection, determine the relationship between the two factions: the closer together the dice are in size, the more friendly the relationship; matching dice sizes (for the d10 and the percentile) indicate an unshakeable alliance, while a d20 and a d4, being the most different in size, are eternally bitter enemies. More middling results indicate some sort of uneasy business relationship or treaty; things aren't openly hostile, but they could become so.
As a general rule, factions closer to the top of the page are also closer to the top of the social heirarchy, unless their nature makes them obviously unworthy (in which case they're a fashionable topic of conversation, but not actually privileged).
Life In The Dark City
1: An unusually beautiful and well-trained thrall.
2: A freshly-taken human slave.
3: Several doses of a combat drug.
4: A successful party's worth of recreational drugs.
5: A work of art, depicting something intellectually stimulating.
6: An interesting soul, contained in a soul-trap.
7: Poetry exulting the creditor.
8: A full wardrobe of up-to-the-minute fashionable clothing.
9: An exotic combat-beast, new enough to be interesting.
10: The head of a business rival. It's fine, they'll grow back in the homunculi's flesh pods, but it makes a point.
11: A sample of your own flesh, for... insurance.
12: An invitation to some highly prestigious social event.
13: Jewellery made from stolen high space elf Soul Gems.
14: A piece of interesting hypertech.
15: Direct service as a minion for a short time.
16: A full recording (vision, audio, scent and emotion) of some interesting event.
17: A dangerous secret, yours or somebody else's.
18: A religious relic from before the rise of the Thirsting God.
19: Some sort of practical tool, such as an astronavigation array or surgeon's kit.
20: An excitingly glamourous custom-made weapon.
d20 Trends, Fashions and Fads in the Dark City
1: Living skin clothing, still able to feel and move, proactively adjusting itself to your posture.
2: Additional, surgically grafted limbs, each with a specialised appendage in place of a hand.
3: Tattoos depicting exquisitely heretical versions of ancient space elf mythology.
4: Pet human priests, not fully broken, who babble religious nonsense for your amusement.
6: The plays of the harlequins. One doesn't take them too seriously, but they're very amusing.
7: Dabbling in masochism. Why must it be somebody else's suffering you feed on? The truly refined can feed one another with their sadomasochistic rites.
8: Emotional numbness. Feeling things is terribly gauche, the stylish simply exist.
9: The interplay of light and shadow instead of physical structure. Dwellings divided into rooms by sheets of brilliant light. The fashionable physically nude, accompanied by drones that project strategic fields of shadow that serve as clothing.
10: Exciting anatomical variations. The unexpected reveal of an eye or a mouth somewhere one wouldn't normally be.
11: Tattoos in frames, preserved on still-living skin for posterity.
12: Seemingly sincere and heartfelt religious devotion, for as long as the fashion lasts.
13: Exciting masks, mimicking mythical figures.
14: Mockingly imitating the ways and customs of lesser races, such as humans, orcs, avian predators, etc. Primitive-chique.
15: Perversely Competitive Minimalism. Does your spire really need floor? Do your thralls really need eyes?
16: Hallucinogens. Reality is as you experience it, so why not shape your reality to something more kaleidoscopically interesting?
17: Bonsai Suns. Elegantly sculpted, miniaturised stars, held in a containment field.
18: Vendettas and Duels. Where are we without a few fun duelling scars and a favourite sworn enemy (who you probably end up hooking up with).
19: Memento Mori, reminders of death and mortality. Deliciously ironic, since - with the immortal science of the homunculus covens - death is something that happens to lesser races and poor people.
20: Ironic Asceticism. By depriving oneself and feeling the touch of the Thirsting God, does one not cultivate greater suffering to feed on later? Utterly self-defeating, but deliciously perverse.
d20 Events, Upheavals and Shifts in Fortune.
1: A slave revolt devastates a key industry as a large portion of the indentured work-force disappears into the undercity. The question is whether the slave population can be restocked before those affected suffer permanent economic damage.
2: A malfunctioning pain-engine goes on an exciting rampage. Casualties mostly confined to those who showed up in the path of its carnage to enjoy the spectacle. And slaves, but they don't matter.
3: A local power undergoes a dramatic coup, the organisational structure is decapitated (possibly literally), and new masters install themselves. The power has a sudden shift in priorities as the new leadership assert themselves.
4: Two factions, formerly friendly, go to war! It's very dramatic, lots of people are gambling on the outcome, and bodies pile up in the streets. It's unlikely anybody dies permanently, of course, so long as they pay their debts to the homunculus covens for reviving.
5: Two factions, formerly rivals, form a convenient alliance, using their combined power to climb the social ladder.
6: An exciting new recreational drug sweeps the social scene, and nobody seems to be paying much attention to the horrible side-effects.
7: A faction embarks in a disastrous real-space raid, taking horrible casualties and suffering a dramatic plummet in their fortunes.
8: A meme-virus sweeps the population, causing people to babble very fashionable nonsense. It's unclear if the meme-virus has intent behind it, and if so what ends it might be working towards.
9: The high ruler of the dark city demands a tithe from all residents of the neighbourhood; those who can't provide it will suffer inventively instructive punishments.
10: A grand olympiad is to be held, the Gladiator-Witches engaging in a championship of blood sports to determine the most prestigious of their number. Gambling, match fixing and furious shipping immediately ensue.
11: A weird psychic fallout occurs, and somewhere important is now horribly demon-haunted. Dealing with the weakened veil, and bringing whoever was dabbling with forbidden psychic powers to justice, will surely bring whoever achieves it prestige.
12: Lurking horrible monsters of the undercity - mandragoras, blood worms, rogue pain engines, mutated escaped slaves - start hunting the public forums, dragging away citizens to unclear but presumably unpleasant fates. It's very funny for now, but at some point somebody should probably deal with it.
13: A faction returns from a wildly successful real-space raid, returning with fabulous wealth. Their status goes into rapid ascent as a result.
14: The high ruler of the dark city, in his whims, declares some draconian new law. While, of course, everybody privately ignores it, it provides some excellent blackmail material when you catch somebody out.
15: Some very violent nutter in ceremonial armour is challenging all comers to single combat, promising fabulous rewards to any who can beat them. It's not entirely clear what their scheme is, or if they're just weird.
16: Speculation abounds that the leaders of two rival factions are secret lovers. Scandal ensues either way.
17: A faction suffers a dramatic internal schism, splitting into two similar but bitterly opposed factions.
18: A faction suddenly, inexplicably self-destructs, leaving a power-vacuum to be filled.
19: Some hidden conspiracy is quietly assassinating prominent citizens, to unknown ends. Working out who's behind it, and what they want, becomes the height of gossip.
20: The most powerful faction locally makes an open bid for power, attempting to conquer their rivals by force and become a far greater power. It would be doomed to failure if their rivals were capable of healthy co-operation, but as it stands the mess of self-serving political nonsense that enmeshes everybody leaves things on a knife-edge.
d12 Cloning Errors:
1: Skin becomes unusually pigmented.
2: Eye fails to regenerate.
3: Skin translucent.
4: Scars remain from whatever killed you.
5: Fingers elongated, too many joints.
6: Memories of the state between death and revivification linger, they're existentially upsetting.
7: Body ice-cold.
8: Memories of the events leading to your death missing.
9: Limbs too long.
10: One limb withered and less functional.
12: Spine twisted, hunching forward.
d12 Job Offers In The Dark City:
1: One of the lesser races in realspace has irritated me; bring it back as a slave.
2: Assassinate a rival to make a point, they'll come back but they need to be taught a lesson.
3: Steal a rare Hypertech item for me, don't get caught.
4: Find out who pulled off a recent attack against me.
5: Do some industrial espionage, bring me a juicy secret about a rival.
6: Frame a rival for something they can be nicely blackmailed over.
7: Take me on a nice safe guided tour of somewhere exciting in realspace.
8: Spread some handy propaganda for me.
9: A rival is holding somebody I, shamefully, care about hostage, go get them back safely.
10: I did something potentially incriminating, clean up the evidence before it goes public?
11: I'm very bored, bring me something particularly amusing from real-space.
12: Here's some lovely sabotage, plant it where it can do some fun damage to my rivals.
d20 Nightmare Dolls For Sale
1: Allows you minor precognition when you hold it.
2: Wards the area it rests in against demons and spirits.
3: Allows you to sense psychic effects when you hold it.
4: Allows you to dispel psychic effects you brandish it against them. The psychic can make a Will save to resist.
5: Allows you to communicate telepathically with whoever you point the doll at. The subject may make a Will save to resist.
6: Allows you to see people's souls when you hold it.
7: Allows you to cause whoever you point it at to feel your emotions. Potentially very romantic. The subject can make a Will save to resist.
8: Lets you transfer people's wounds to yourself (healing them and dealing that much damage to you), or visa versa. The victim can make a Will save to resist.
9: Lets you project holographic images where you gesture with it.
10: Lets you cause excruciating pain to a psychic you point it at, reducing their Will by d10
11: Wards the area it rests in against psychic powers.
12: Wards the area it rests in against dimensional intrusions and spying.
13: Lets you read emotional resonances from objects it touches.
14: While you hold it, causes you a little jolt of pain whenever you hear a lie.
15: Lets you instinctively sense danger when you hold it.
16: Lets you project a telepathic message to somebody you care deeply about (love and hate both count) anywhere in the universe, or further afield.
17: Let's you start small fires where you point it. d8 Damage if used to set people on fire.
18: So long as it's on your person, lets your corpse keep talking (and listening to responses) after you die, until you're revived by the homunculi.
19: Inflicts a conscience on whoever you point it at. Reduce Will by d8 if you point it at somebody not used to the sensation.
20: Lets you dull the emotional responses of whoever you point it at. The subject may make a Will save to resist.
d20 Pieces of Advanced Hypertech for sale.
1: Homonculus Ossifactor Field. Causes rapid uncontrolled bone growth. A weapon that hits everybody nearby dealing d12 damage, damage rolls over to Dexterity not Strength.
2: The Dance Of Minds. Lets you swap bodies with a victim, who can make a Will save to resist. You each retain your Will scores, memories, personalities.
3: Handy Portable Black Hole. Held in a humming force-field inside a handbag. Utterly destroys whatever you push in there. Useful for disposing of evidence, or cleaning up after parties.
4: Gilded Demon Cage. Holds an enslaved demon prince. You can poke him through the bars for your amusement, or - by adjusting the dials on the cage - cause him to suffer until he offers you a prophecy.
5: Curly Soul Straw. Stick the sharpened end in somebody and drink, and their soul comes out with their blood. They lose d10 Will, you regain that much lost Will, and also absorb some of their memories and personality traits.
6: Soul Forge. Feed a trapped soul into it, and it sculpts it into something amusing that you can put on display. Or use it as a component when building hypertech that uses souls. Or whatever horribly inventive thing you can imagine.
7: Nightmare Jammer. Activated by whispering one of your fears to it. Overrides all local communications channels so the listener/viewer instead receives whatever the worst possible message would be - everybody gets their own personalised horrible communication.
8: Instant Sun, just add helium. A miniaturised star, held in stasis. Release the stasis and add some helium, and it roars into nuclear fire, dealing d20 Damage to everything in a very wide radius every minute, until somebody puts the star back in its box.
9: Homunculus Flesh Pod. Put a dead body in, or even a tiny fragment of one, and fuel the pod with somebody's suffering nearby. The body is revived into a living person once more. Useful in a pinch, so an untimely death doesn't end the fun of a real-space raid.
10: Hypnotic Curtain. Hang over a doorway or other portal. Anybody trying to pass through must pass a Will save or fall into a hypnotic trance, and be rendered helpless. Handy for privacy.
11: Extradimensional Bridge. Teleport yourself and your companions somewhere you've been before. Costs a trapped soul to establish a route if this is the first time you've taken the bridge there.
12: Corpse Thrall Spike. Jam it into the brain of a dead body, and it reanimates as a corpse thrall under your command.
13: Mirror Gown. Reach into a mirror to pull out the reflection-objects within, or step into the mirror to reside in the reflected pocket-realm on the other side.
14: Djinn Rings. A set of ten. Each ring contains a bound spirit. You can command the spirit to fetch you an object, releasing it from the ring, but when it returns you need to beat it into submission to put it back in the ring, or else it stays free (and a kleptomaniac).
15: Space Warper. Shrink a distance between two places down to a few feet, or expand it up to a mile. Handy for when you're too lazy to walk very far.
16: Shrinking Water. Sprinkle it on an object and it shrinks down to the size of a rice grain, no matter how big it started out. Once the object has dried out completely, it suddenly springs back up to its original size.
17: Locket Of Safety In Courtship. While you wear this, you cannot be injured by anybody you truly love or who truly loves you. They can still cause emotional pain, however. Taking it off after the first date is considered very romantic.
18: Fashion Gland. Implanted in the body, where it exudes flesh warping hormones. Whatever you want to look like, your body slowly shifts itself to look like that over the course of days or weeks. Requires focussed desire for best results.
19: Quantum-Entangled Paper. Two sheets. Whatever you do to one - origami, writing, tears, bloodstains - happens to the other as well. Popular with separated lovers.
20: Prismatic Gown. The wearer can shift from a particle to a wave temporarily, letting them project themselves over large distances, refract through objects, etc, before reforming.
d20 Human Planets to Visit
1: Veranthus. Agricultural world. Herds of shaggy beasts, rolling waves of golden grain. Tranquil, placid and pastoral, until you get there.
2: Asterion Prime. Hive-city world. Teeming masses of humans packed into hyper-dense urban sprawl. Monolithic architecture. Drab.
3: Sigma-Hoth. Ice world. Humans drill for oil beneath vast glaciers. Inhospitable, but very picturesque.
4: Carthagus. Port world. A trade hub where human spaceships dock in orbital space-stations to resuply or sell cargo. Fabulously wealthy by human standards, but to space elves terribly dull.
5: Madrix Delta. Jungle Death World. Human enclaves live beneath the trees, fending off horrible insect-monsters. A challenging visit, but very rewarding. Capturing the beasts is always fun.
6: Capsasitus Twenty-Two. Machine-world. A vast factory where the human machine-cult makes things they naively consider high-tech. Very ugly.
7: Dominus Prime. Shrine world. The humans' primitive religion thinks this place is very important; your visit will really make them upset. Lots of very beautiful slaves here.
8: Pacifica. Oceanic hive-city world. Sprawling ocean rigs lashed by storms. Humans here rugged and independent, not very bright even by human standards. Demons lurk in the depths of the ocean.
9: Planet Brox. Night-locked Urban World. Under a shroud of darkness, the vast cities descend into vice and crime. The humans are trying, bless them. Your atrocities need to be extra atrocious to stand out here.
10: Borneus. Garden World. Light agriculture in a rural paradise. Lots of soft, happy, contented humans, absolutely ripe for the picking. Won't this be fun?
11: Maximus Beta. Post-apocalyptic desert world. Human tribes fight each other among the ruins of a fallen civilisation. The people are ugly and rather dull, but there's lots of interesting pre-human relics to steal here.
12: Floyd Kappa. Mining world. Teeming hordes of slightly mutated humans horribly oppressed by their overseers, forced to work down the acid mines. Hyper-authoritarian dystopia. It's actually quite hard for you to make this place worse.
13: Dendrus Five. Gas giant. Human cloud-harvesters live on floating platforms. Low gravity. A good place for a nice, laid-back relaxing slaughter.
14: Sigma-Sigma-Gamma. Radioactive Death World. Incredibly poisonous. Everything here, including the humans, incredibly mutated. Distasteful. A nice source of gribbly combat beasts for the arena, though.
15: Nullius. Agricultural world. Very boring human settlements live very boring lives farming algae, studiously ignoring the ancient cyclopian alien ruins scattered about the planet.
16: Mortian X. Used to be a lovely agricultural world, now a warzone. Going on for five decades of trench warfare in a pointless civil war. A pit of human misery and meaningless death. Delightful, in an over-the-top sort of way.
17: Vera 12. Machine-world. Human populations toil away building crude, dangerous nuclear devices. Factory-thralls packed in like sardines. Oddly tranquil, probably due to all the sedatives in the drinking water.
18: Magnifax Ultima. Noble world. Centre of government for the local star cluster. Lots of beaurocrats. Absolutely packed with cultists of the evil gods. Best to be selective who you kidnap, you don't want to accidentally bring a cultist of the Thirsting God home with you.
19: Oasil. Desert world. Ash-choked atmosphere, lots of volcanos. Native humans hardy, cunning, and well-armed to defend against the predatory ash-stalkers. Somewhere you can really get stuck in if you feel sporting.
20: Hoplus Two. Radiactive gas giant. Humans only live in orbiting space station, syphoning the radon atmosphere for fuel. Space stations old, poorly maintained, possibly haunted. Very exciting to visit.
d12 Exciting Things To Steal From Human Worlds
1: Priceless religious relics.
2: Innocent children.
4: Beautiful flora.
5: Samples of the local diseases.
6: Unusually beautiful slaves.
7: Untrained psychics.
8: Stolid slaves for manual labour.
9: Prominent local nobility, for a laugh.
10: Old alien technology.
11: Amusing human narcotics.
12: Dangerous local wildlife.
d20 Complications On Real-space Raids
1: The humans here are about to do a civil war, and heavily armed.
2: Some other alien predator is also hunting here, and is actually quite scary.
3: Cults of the dark gods are active here, things could go badly.
4: It's the middle of an important human religious festival.
5: A grizzled human hero is here, he knows how to fight space elves.
6: A squad of human battle-nuns are here, guarding some dignitary.
7: A squad of space marines are here, scouting for new recruits.
8: A powerful latant psychic lurks among the masses here, things will get weird.
9: Space orcs have just shown up, and are having Fun.
10: The humans somehow predicted your arrival, and have prepared for a fight. How quaint.
11: A human inquisitor starts hunting you when you arrive.
12: The humans are in the middle of a violent religious schism.
13: The humans are in the middle of a horrible disease outbreak.
14: The place has been struck by a dramatic natural disaster.
15: Human technology is malfunctioning as you arrive.
16: Secret human xenophile cultists think you're on their side.
17: Human cultists of the Thirsting God have felt your presence.
18: Human authorities are in the middle of an authoritarian clamp-down.
19: The whole place is absolutely infested with sneaky hidden alien parasites.
20: The humans are overcome with xenophobic religious fervour, and you arrived at exactly the worst moment.