Erik Schmidt
Erik Schmidt



Make Pollen your own.

This is the sixth in a series of posts that provide ideas – bare-bones outlines – for Degenesis campaigns. They’re meant to serve as inspiration so you can use one of them as-is, grab bits from each and add them to your own ideas, or riff off them and come up with something completely new.

Before we get started, don’t forget that Chapter 11 in Katharsys is filled with useful campaign-planning info. Also, Group Alignments are found in Artifacts, and I’ve settled on a group size of four mostly because for me as a GM the sweet spot is three to four players.

Let’s do this.



The wanderings of the Garganti seldom take them to the town of Odrodzenie, the only permanent settlement for days in any direction. When a group of them arrives, resplendent on their mammoths, the entire town gathers to welcome them. The cellars are meager, but all bring out what they can – soup, distillate, bread, even smoked meat – anything to make the mammoth riders feel at home. It is a point of pride to this small community – hospitality provided to the somber Garganti is said to bring a year’s good fortune.

Sadly this time there is no good fortune. The mammoths fall ill. The enraged Garganti threaten to destroy the town unless those responsible for poisoning the mammoths are found. Suspicion quickly falls on four travelers – the only outsiders – who are are staying at the inn. No matter that the travelers don’t even know each other and just happened to be in the same inn at the same time. No matter that they had nothing to do with the mammoth poisoning.

You barely escape the town alive. The mammoths are more than mounts; they are sacred to the Garganti. You’re on the run, hunted by the townspeople who want you to take the blame, and by the Garganti who believe you have perpetrated a heinous crime.

These PCs have been brought together by a fluke of fate. Their group alignment is Chance, as they have nothing other than terrible circumstance in common.

  • Spitalian – How do you even poison mammoths? They’re indestructible! None of this makes sense. This is a setup. You’re an up-and-comer in the Spitalian order, so someone must want you dead.
  • Clanner – The towners are foolish. The Garganti are ignorant. They are fucking with the wrong woman. And whoever caused this mess is going to pay.
  • Anabaptist – You have never been accused of any misdeeds. You have always walked the straight path and done the right thing. That anyone would accuse you of poisoning, of such low treachery, is an affront. Your honor will be vindicated.
  • Chronicler – Highly emotional responses are within standard parameters for primative tribe-dwellers. Underlying question remains unanswered: who or what is root cause of mammoth sickness? Answer will be valuable to Tech-Central. Must pursue.


Every Scrapper in the area has heard the stories of how the famous Scrapper Dulik hid a vast collection of Bygone artifacts in a subterranean lair, only to die trapped with his treasures after a terrible earthquake. In the century since the event, the stories of Dulik’s Hoard have grown taller. But the location is still a mystery. Or was, until now.

Dulik’s notebook, which contains detailed notes about the location of the Hoard, has been found. The notebook puts the location of the Hoard at the edge of a spore field. This will take preparation, skill, and ample luck.

Each of these PCs is engaged in this dangerous expedition because they are willing to risk everything for greatness. They are bound by the alignment of Ambition.

  • Scrapper – When you found the notebook you immediately realized you’d need help from people you trust. Unfortunately you don’t really trust anyone. So you’ve done the next best thing and brought in three people whose motivations are clear to you.
  • Apocalyptic – The Flock can go fuck itself. Apocalyptics have become just like the Spitalians and the Judges. It’s all business. Screw that. Better to risk it all for one huge payoff than toil away doing someone else’s bidding.
  • Chronicler – Bios relies on outdated algorithms and inherently subjective analysis. Advancement blocked. Must utilize brute force method – maximize score for hardware/data acquisition to overcome subjective bias. Advancement will not be stopped.
  • Anabaptist – Who knows what Bygone artifacts lay buried in the Hoard? The others will want the items that will make them rich, but you know that in the long run the only artifacts that matter are those that will help the followers of Rebus defeat the Demiurge.


The Biokinetics have names: Tooth and Claw. They were born in the same village as you. Twins. Deformed babies who grew to become something else before running off. And when they returned, they took the whole village with them. Well, not the whole village. The four of you survived. When the Spitalians found you huddled in a pocket under the rubble of the broken stone mill, they took you in and made you part of their Cult.

That was years ago. You have become strong of mind and body, and you serve in the only war that matters – the struggle against the Primer. Now you’ve heard rumors that Tooth and Claw have been seen in the hinterland, picking off villages one by one. They are fearsomely powerful Psychonauts, but they are not indestructible.

To some in the Spitalian Order, fighting the Primer is the right thing to do for abstract reasons like the survival of humanity. But for all four of you, it’s personal. And now you have the opportunity to hunt down and kill the creatures that took almost everything from you.

While these PCs are all Spitalians, they are joined primarily not by Dogma, but by the alignment of Revenge. A raw, seething hatred boils within each of them, driving them to seek and destroy this deadly pair.

  • Spitalian – You see your father’s head bashed in. You hear the last cries of your brother. Every night. Every single night. Killing Tooth and Claw is the only way you’ll ever be able to sleep in peace.
  • Spitalian – Combat Instructor Taillonus called you the hardest-working Recruit he’d ever seen. You have taken advantage of what the Spitlians have provided. You have become a killing machine, for this one purpose.
  • Spitalian – For years you have wondered why Tooth and Claw returned to raze your village. It doesn’t fit what you now know of Biokinetic behavior. Something is different about these two. You want to find out what it is before you let them slowly die.
  • Spitalian – Tooth and Claw are almost legendary among the Spitalian outposts in this part of Pollen. It would be fitting wouldn’t it, if destroying them advanced your standing in the Spitalian order?