Guests are welcomed into the home with an offer of drink; generally some variety of mushroom tea. At mealtimes Janakotans sit cross-legged around low tables upon which communal platters of food are set. Large banana leaves are held in the left hand to be used as plates and food is consumed using the right hand. The youngest in the group help themselves to the platters first, guests before hosts.
In the latter half of the 21st century the immense urban urban sprawl surrounding Johannesburg, South Africa grows unabated. An increasingly ineffective government, weighed down by regulatory capture and corrupt officials, fails to provide any oversight. The sprawl grows with no purpose, no plan, no end. Estimates near the end of the century place the population near a hundred million, though no census is conducted. Just as the population nears this landmark number global climate trends and a series of local phenomena lead to drastic water scarcity. Tens of millions are forced to flee and conditions in the city rapidly deteriorate. In a last-ditch effort to provide a semblance of government the region is consolidated under the bureaucratic umbrella of the Johannesburg Administrative District.
I like violence in my games to be ugly – if someone’s going to get murdered, I want it to be gross. Unfortunately I’m not great at coming up with gruesome injuries (or much else) on the spot. This injury system is meant to solve that problem for me.
This is the first draft, and I expect significant revisions – especially to the tables – after more playtesting. 90 entries was a bit exhausting and I’m just happy to take a break from it for a while.
Lately I’ve been trying to decide if I should have attack rolls in my ruleset or not. I’ve played both ways and like auto-hit attacks for two reasons: they’re fast and missing is boring anyway. However, I recognize that the threat of a miss might encourage players to be more creative in combat and the ability to differentiate between a good fighter and a bad fighter just by looking at one number on a character sheet has some value.
But that’s a decision for another day. Were I to remove attack rolls I’d need a mechanic to represent armor in place of AC. Armor as damage reduction comes to mind and I did briefly trial it last year.
Here’s a look at the effects of DR:
|Armor||d4 average damage||d6 average damage||d8 average damage|
DR is absurdly powerful at the damage scales commonly used in D&D and similar games. Any more than a couple points and you’re nigh unkillable.
Janakota is an island covered in oppressive jungle and teaming with dangerous wildlife. The legions of the Yellow City were recently withdrawn leaving the people of the island to, once again, govern themselves. For those brave enough to venture outside Janakota’s few settlements the jungle may hide unmatched wealth.